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There is no "cover-up" when it comes to the publication of research that questions manmade climate change, two scientists have said.
Writing for their Guardian blog Climate Consensus – the 97%, scientists Dana Nuccitelli and John Abraham address recent media reports spawned from the rejection of meteorologist Lennart Bengtsson's paper by a journal called Environmental Research Letters.
Covered by newspapers including The Times, The Telegraph, MailOnline and The Wall Street Journal, it was claimed Bengtsson had accused ERL of rejecting his paper based on his association with the Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF), a charity which rejects arguments that climate change is manmade.
"The problem we have now in the scientific community is that some scientists are mixing up their scientific role with that of climate activist," Bengtsson told the Times.
However, several media outlets took his comments to mean the scientific community was censoring research that does not support popular understanding of climate change – 97% of climate scientists agree change is due to manmade emissions.
Following the reports, Bengtsson said his comments were distorted, telling the Science Media Centre: "I do not believe there is any systematic 'cover up' of scientific evidence on climate change or that academics' work is being 'deliberately suppressed', as The Times front page suggests.
"I am worried by a wider trend that science is being gradually being influenced by political views. Policy decisions need to be based on solid fact."
Commenting on the accusations of politicising research, Nuccitelli and Abraham said that considering Bengtsson's involvement with the GWPF (he has since resigned), political affiliations appear to be greater among sceptics.
"Along with Richard Lindzen joining the Cato Institute, Bengtsson now gives us two examples of 'skeptical' scientists becoming associated with political advocacy groups, and zero examples of mainstream climate scientists joining political organizations. Who is it that's politicising science?
"In any case, the accusations in the conservative media of climate journals suppressing research are clearly unfounded, even according to Bengtsson himself."
They said it is easy to understand why climate scepticism appears to conservative media and that global warming is part of a greater conspiracy.
"Everybody loves a good conspiracy theory. Perhaps climate experts' conclusions are dictated by grant money, perhaps journals won't publish dissenting research, or perhaps these tens of thousands of climate experts have been subjected to a secret government brainwashing programme led by Al Gore," they wrote.
"Or perhaps the scientific evidence overwhelmingly points to humans causing dangerously rapid climate change, and these conspiracy theories and manufactured controversies are just excuses to reject that inconvenient reality. You be the judge."