Peter Doran published a paper several years ago showing that parts of Antarctica were actually cooling, rather than warming—that there were local variations in temperature trends. This is not surprising. It’s also not surprising that he was quote-mined like mad by the global warming denialists. He has now written a calm, solid rejection of the misuse of his data in the NY Times.
Our results have been misused as “evidence” against global warming by Michael Crichton in his novel “State of Fear” and by Ann Coulter in her latest book, “Godless: The Church of Liberalism.” Search my name on the Web, and you will find pages of links to everything from climate discussion groups to Senate policy committee documents—all citing my 2002 study as reason to doubt that the earth is warming. One recent Web column even put words in my mouth. I have never said that “the unexpected colder climate in Antarctica may possibly be signaling a lessening of the current global warming cycle.” I have never thought such a thing either.
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?
This is great stuff, but anyone want to take any bets on whether the anti-scientific global warming crackpots will now extract that penultimate sentence and use it to urge easing the ban on fluorocarbon release?