Of the four British “leaders” in Arctic research, three have recently died in quick succession

A Cambridge professor famed for his exaggerated predictions of Arctic apocalypse appears to have found a new way of attracting attention. 

Peter Wadhams, professor of ocean physics, believes he is the final surviving British expert on Arctic ice melting.

He claims the other three, who all died in early 2013, were bumped off by a Big-Oil-funded “death squad”.

After surviving a nail-biting incident on the M25 at about the same time, he says his suspicions were confirmed. A driver of a unmarked lorry attempted to push his car off the road, he says.

Why would anyone want to kill me?

Professor Wadhams, right, looking worried

Somewhat less suspect, however, were the deaths of his fellow academics – Seymour Laxon and Katherine Giles of UCL, and Tim Boyd of the Scottish Association for Marine Science.

Professor Laxon fell down a flight of steep stairs at a New Year’s Eve party; Dr Giles died when she was in collision with a lorry when cycling to work in London; and Dr Boyd is thought to have been struck by lightning while walking in Scotland.

Speaking to The Times, he agreed the deaths of his three former colleagues – in his view the only other “leaders on ice thickness in the Arctic” working in Britain – seemed rather less calculated than his own close shave.

“It seems to me to be too bizarre to be accidental but each individual incident looks accidental, which may mean it’s been made to be accidental.”

Just a bit looney?

A Texaco kite and Exxon Mobil lightning

Perhaps reconsidering his suggestion oil companies not only cause climate change but also control the heavens, he separately admitted: “I can see that I would be thought of as a looney for believing this.

“But it’s just very odd coincidence that something like that should happen in such a brief period of time.”

Less of a coincidence, it seems, is his timing. He has aired these astonishing claims at a time when the solidity of his actual research has faced considerable criticism.

Only this week, a study contradicted his prediction Arctic ice was melting so fast it could all disappear this summer.

What’s more, when asked for his response to the fact that the total volume of ice grew 40 per cent in 2013, he insisted there was still an outside possibility of the Arctic being ice-free this year.

Who said The Tab isn't educational?

The Tab is always this educational

Professor Wadhams’ suspicions did not go down well with Prof Laxon’s partner, Fiona Strawbridge.

She told The Telegraph: “Good god. All of this is completely outrageous and very distressing.”

But, perhaps in acknowledgement of Professor Wadhams’ reference to the suspected cover-up surrounding the death of the government’s weapons expert Dr David Kelly, she did not rule out shady goings-on altogether in her partner’s line of work.

“I am sure there are some climate scientists who do get trolled and pursued but Seymour wasn’t one of them. I would have known if anybody had been pursuing him.

“Sometimes there are tragic coincidences and you have to accept that.”