A professor frequently identified as a global warming skeptic has tried to distance himself from that label and a scientist skeptical of that theory questions that shift. “The Antarctic has been cooling (Doran et al)—while climate models all predict a strong warming,” S. Fred Singer for the Science & Environmental Policy Project reports. “It is comical—and also a little sad—to watch the lead author try to explain away his own results in order to maintain a politically correct position on global warming.”
A climatologist, Dr. Singer is a professor emeritus at the University of Virginia. He was the first director of the National Weather Service.
“My research colleagues and I found that from 1996 to 2000, one small, ice-free area of the Antarctic mainland had actually cooled,” Peter Doran wrote in The New York Times. “Our report also analyzed temperatures for the mainland in such a way as to remove the influence of the peninsula warming and found that, from 1966 to 2000, more of the continent had cooled than had warmed.”
“Our summary statement pointed out how the cooling trend posed challenges to models of Antarctic climate and ecosystem change.” Doran is an associate professor of earth and environmental sciences at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He went on to distinguish himself from the work of climatologists who have reached similar conclusions and pointed to them as evidence that global warming is not a fait accompli.
“Our study did find that 58 percent of Antarctica cooled from 1966 to 2000,” Dr. Doran writes. “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?” Perhaps, but how much real data goes into the construction of those models? Doran seems to acknowledge this shortage later.
“The disappointing thing is that we are even debating the direction of climate change on this globally important continent,” Doran writes but admits, “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,” he insists. “I know my coauthors would as well.” Maybe, but other scientists are joining the ranks of global warming cynics.
“And yet there was Los Alamos National Laboratory climate scientist Petr Chylek last week, standing before a gathering of his colleagues to explain that Greenland isn’t actually warming,” John Fleck reports in the ABQ Journal. “What gives?,” he asks.
“Chylek is a dissenter from the scientific mainstream,” Fleck explains. “While most scientists think greenhouse gases are responsible for changes already seen in Earth’s climate, Chylek believes the ‘data are inconclusive.’”
“You really cannot say for certain what is causing current climate change,” Chylek said in an interview.
“The Greenland story gained traction in February, when a team of U.S. scientists drew headlines around the world with new data suggesting Greenland’s glaciers are melting and slipping into the ocean far more rapidly than previously thought,” Fleck reminds us. “Chylek shot back last month with evidence from Greenland temperature records showing the North Atlantic island was cooler in the second half of the 20th century than it was in the first.”
Malcolm A. Kline is the executive director of Accuracy in Academia.