[ RadSafe ] Scientist changes mind

Muckerheide, Jim (CDA) Jim.Muckerheide at state.ma.us
Thu Jul 27 22:02:28 CDT 2006

Hi Maury,

Thanks.  Maybe the last paragraph means he needs to fix any "confusion" to get on the "good side" of his funding agencies!?  :-) 

Regards, Jim

-----Original Message-----
From:	radsafe-bounces at radlab.nl on behalf of Maury Siskel
Sent:	Thu 7/27/2006 9:54 PM
To:	Peter Thomas
Cc:	radsafe
Subject:	Re: [ RadSafe ] Scientist changes mind

In order to minimoze distortions, misinterpretations, and around the 
bush beating,. here is the straight skinny by Dr. Doran

New York Times
July 27, 2006
Op-Ed Contributor

  Cold, Hard Facts



IN the debate on global warming, the data on the climate of Antarctica 
has been distorted, at different times, by both sides. As a polar 
researcher caught in the middle, I’d like to set the record straight.

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 1986 to 2000, one small, 
ice-free area of the Antarctic mainland had actually cooled. 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.

Newspaper and television reports focused on this part of the paper. And 
many news and opinion writers linked our study with another bit of polar 
research published that month, in Science, showing that part of 
Antarctica’s ice sheet had been thickening — and erroneously concluded 
that the earth was not warming at all. “Scientific findings run counter 
to theory of global warming,” said a headline on an editorial in The San 
Diego Union-Tribune. One conservative commentator wrote, “It’s ironic 
that two studies suggesting that a new Ice Age may be under way may end 
the global warming debate.”

In a rebuttal in The Providence Journal, in Rhode Island, the lead 
author of the Science paper and I explained that our studies offered no 
evidence that the earth was cooling. But the misinterpretation had 
already become legend, and in the four and half years since, it has only 

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?

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.

Peter Doran is an associate professor of earth and environmental 
sciences at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Peter Thomas wrote:

>So did he actually change his mind and were they your words or someone
>All I heard was someone asking that 
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