Real Genius
Thursday, July 27, 2006
Yeah, Baby!
Dr. Doran sticks it today to every idiot from Michael Crichton to Ann Coulter who misrepresented or flat-out lied about his findings on the climate of Antarctica: (emphasis mine)
In January 2002, a research paper about Antarctic temperatures, of which I was the lead author, appeared in the journal Nature. At the time, the Antarctic Peninsula was warming, and many people assumed that meant the climate on the entire continent was heating up, as the Arctic was. But the Antarctic Peninsula represents only about 15 percent of the continent’s land mass, so it could not tell the whole story of Antarctic climate. Our paper made the continental picture more clear.
My research colleagues and I found that from 1996 to 2000, one small, ice-free area of the Antarctic mainland had actually cooled. (...) Our summary statement pointed out how the cooling trend posed challenges to models of Antarctic climate and ecosystem change.
Our study did find that 58 percent of Antarctica cooled from 1966 to 2000. But during that period, the rest of the continent was warming. And climate models created since our paper was published have suggested a link between the lack of significant warming in Antarctica and the ozone hole over that continent. These models, conspicuously missing from the warming-skeptic literature, suggest that as the ozone hole heals — thanks to worldwide bans on ozone-destroying chemicals — all of Antarctica is likely to warm with the rest of the planet. An inconvenient truth?
Also missing from the skeptics’ arguments is the debate over our conclusions. Another group of researchers who took a different approach found no clear cooling trend in Antarctica. We still stand by our results for the period we analyzed, but unbiased reporting would acknowledge differences of scientific opinion.
The disappointing thing is that we are even debating the direction of climate change on this globally important continent. And it may not end until we have more weather stations on Antarctica and longer-term data that demonstrate a clear trend.
In the meantime, I would like to remove my name from the list of scientists who dispute global warming. I know my coauthors would as well.
Beautiful Op-Ed piece in the Times --there's nothing like starting one's day with a fresh bit of good, cheerful news, is there?

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