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Joined: 30 Oct 2006
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 23, 2009 1:19 pm    Post subject: Antarctica is warming, not cooling: study Reply with quote

From the desk of the Global Warming Alarmist Times....

Antarctica is warming, not cooling: study

By Alister Doyle, Environment Correspondent

ROTHERA BASE, Antarctica (Reuters) - Antarctica is getting warmer rather than cooling as widely believed, according to a study that fits the icy continent into a trend of global warming.

A review by U.S. scientists of satellite and weather records for Antarctica, which contains 90 percent of the world's ice and would raise world sea levels if it thaws, showed that freezing temperatures had risen by about 0.5 Celsius (0.8 Fahrenheit) since the 1950s.

"The thing you hear all the time is that Antarctica is cooling and that's not the case," said Eric Steig of the University of Washington in Seattle, lead author of the study in Thursday's edition of the journal Nature.

The average temperature rise was "very comparable to the global average," he told a telephone news briefing.

Skeptics about man-made global warming have in the past used reports of a cooling of Antarctica as evidence to back their view that warming is a myth.

Cooling at places such as the South Pole and an expansion of winter sea ice around Antarctica had masked the overall warming over a continent bigger than the United States where average year-round temperatures are about -50 Celsius (-58.00F).

The scientists wrote that the Antarctic warming was "difficult to explain" without linking it to manmade emissions of greenhouse gases, mainly from burning fossil fuels.

Until now, scientists have generally reckoned that warming has been restricted to the Antarctic Peninsula beneath South America, where Britain's Rothera research station is sited.

Temperatures at Rothera on Wednesday were 2.6 C (36.68F).


"The area of warming is much larger than the region of the Antarctic Peninsula," they wrote, adding that it extended across the whole of West Antarctica to the south.

Rising temperatures in the west were partly offset by an autumn cooling in East Antarctica. "The continent-wide near surface average is positive," the study said.

Antarctica's ice contains enough frozen water to raise world sea levels by 57 meters (187 ft), so even a tiny amount of melting could threaten Pacific island states or coastal cities from Beijing to London.

West Antarctica "will eventually melt if warming like this continues," said Drew Shindell, of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, who was one of the authors. A 3 Celsius (5.4 F) rise could trigger a wide melt of West Antarctica, he said.

Greenland is also vulnerable. Together, Greenland and West Antarctica hold enough ice to raise sea levels by 14 meters.

"Even losing a fraction of both would cause a few meters this century, with disastrous consequences," said Barry Brook, director of climate change research at the University of Adelaide in Australia.

Ten ice sheets on the Antarctic Peninsula have receded or collapsed since the 1990s. The Wilkins sheet is poised to break up, held in place by a sliver of ice 500 meters (1,640 ft) wide compared to 100 km in the 1950s.

Other scientists said that the study did not fully account for shifts such as a thinning of ice sheets in West Antarctica.

"This warming is not enough to explain these changes," said David Vaughan, a glaciologist for the British Antarctic Survey at Rothera, by an iceberg-strewn bay. He said the thinning was probably linked to shifts in the oceans.

The Nature study compared temperatures measured by satellites in the past 25 years with 50-year records from 42 Antarctic weather stations, mostly on the coast. Scientists then deduced temperatures back 50 years.

(Editing by Richard Balmforth)

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 25, 2009 1:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is a letter written by Ross Hays. Ross was a CNN meteorologist for many years. He works for NASA at the Columbia Balloon Facility. In that capacity he has spent much time in Antarctica. He obviously can’t speak for his agency but can have an opinion which he shared with several people. His letter is printed below in entirety, exactly as he sent it to Eric Steig today, the lead author of the University of Washington paper highlighted in a press release yesterday that claims there is a warming in Antarctica. There were some of the pronouncements made in the media, particularly to the Associated Press by Dr. Michael Mann, that marry that paper with “global warming”, even though no such claim was made in the press release about the scientific paper itself.

I agree with Ross Hays. Science cannot use computer modeling as a substitute for real field work.
In my opinion, this press release and subsequent media interviews were done for media attention. The timing is suspicious, with the upcoming Al Gore’s address to congress, he can now say: “We’ve now learned Antarctica is warming”. A Google News search shows about 530 articles on the UW press release in various media.


Let me first say that this is my own opinion and does not represent the agency I work for. I feel your study is absolutely wrong.

There are very few stations in Antarctica to begin with and only a hand full with 50 years of data. Satellite data is just approaching thirty years of available information. In my experience as a day to day forecaster that has to travel and do field work in Antarctica the summer seasons have been getting colder. In the late 1980s helicopters were used to take our personnel to Williams Field from McMurdo Station due to the annual receding of the Ross Ice Shelf, but in the past few years the thaw has been limited and vehicles can continue to make the transition and drive on the ice. One climate note to pass along is December 2006 was the coldest December ever for McMurdo Station. In a synoptic perspective the cooler sea surface temperatures have kept the maritime storms farther offshore in the summer season and the colder more dense air has rolled from the South Pole to the ice shelf.

There was a paper presented at the AMS Conference in New Orleans last year noting over 70% of the continent was cooling due to the ozone hole. We launch balloons into the stratosphere and the anticyclone that develops over the South Pole has been displaced and slow to establish itself over the past five seasons. The pattern in the troposphere has reflected this trend with more maritime (warmer) air around the Antarctic Peninsula which is also where most of the automated weather stations are located for West Antarctica which will give you the average warmer readings and skew the data for all of West Antarctica.

With statistics you can make numbers go to almost any conclusion you want. It saddens me to see members of the scientific community do this for media coverage.


Ross Hays

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 25, 2009 9:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, I have to report I am heading down that way on tuesday morning. I sure hope the weather is fairly calm around the st of magellan. I have attached a draft of my next column which is published weekly out here in lake country. For those who would enjoy what old folks in little towns think you can go to www.lakecountrycalendar.com I usually have a column.
Since i will be on board ship for 7 weeks I will miss reading what everyone has to say! one interesting note. Politicians all want to go GREEN untill they have to participate. When a group wanted windturbines out here, city council wouldn't think of defacing the scenery.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 26, 2009 3:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What I found really informative, is that more ice in Antarctica is due to wind, and has nothing to do with temperature, while less ice in the Arctic has nothing to do with wind and is all about the temperature. I am really glad we have impartial scientists to clear these things up for us.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 26, 2009 4:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

kwlafayette wrote:
I am really glad we have impartial scientists to clear these things up for us.

Heh... true, that... :lol:

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Antarctica is warming, not cooling: study

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