1,700 U.K. scientists back climate science

Over 1,700 scientists in the U.K. have signed a statement to defend the "deep and extensive" evidence that climate change is real and is the result of human activity.

Over 1,700 scientists in the U.K. have signed a statement to defend the "deep and extensive" evidence that climate change is real and is the result of human activity.

The Met Office, the U.K.'s national weather service, circulated the petition in the wake of the publication of emails stolen from the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia.

Skeptics of climate science have seized on the documents — at least some of which have been confirmed as authentic — as evidence that some scientists have overstated the threat of man-made global warming and have attempted to alter how global temperature data was presented.

Researchers working with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) have dismissed the posting of documents as an attempt to derail discussions on dealing with global warming, in advance of the upcoming global climate summit in Copenhagen.

"We, members of the U.K. science community, have the utmost confidence in the observational evidence for global warming and the scientific basis for concluding that it is due primarily to human activities," the petition reads.

The statement follows another released in November by the Met Office, in conjunction with the Natural Environment Research Council and the Royal Society, the U.K.'s national academy of science, that states "the evidence for dangerous, long-term and potentially irreversible climate change has strengthened" since the IPCC assessment in 2007.