New study shows that Antarctica is warming, well not really

The temperature measurements over Antarctica have consistently shown temperature drops over the last 50 years. So how do you get a study that claims the opposite? You guess what the temperatures are in places in Antarctica where there were no recorded temperatures. Lawrence Solomon's take in the National Post is actually dead on and pretty amusing.

The Nature authors had a daunting challenge. For one thing, the U.S. government has maintained a scientific base at the South Pole since 1957 at which temperatures have been continuously measured. The temperature readings show a cooler climate over the past half century. For another, various weather stations in Antarctica record cooler temperatures. Moreover, satellite readings of temperatures above Antarctica show a cooling trend. Little wonder that the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change itself rejects the warming hypothesis. In its 2007 report, the IPCC accepts that Antarctica shows a “lack of warming reflected in atmospheric temperatures averaged across the region.” . . .

Where data doesn’t exist, Mann makes various assumptions, then deduces Antarctic temperatures over the last 50 years with the help of computer models. The official explanation: “The researchers devised a statistical technique that uses data from satellites and from Antarctic weather stations to make a new estimate of temperature trends.” . . .

“I have to say I remain somewhat skeptical,” states Kevin Trenberth, a lead author for the IPCC and director of climate analysis at the National Center for Atmospheric Research. “It is hard to make data where none exist.”

Such results “have no real way to be validated,” states John Christy, an atmospheric scientist at the University of Alabama-Huntsville. “We will never know what the temperature was over the very large missing areas that this technique attempts to fill in.”

“How do the authors reconcile the conclusions in their paper with the cooler than average long-term sea-surface temperature anomalies off of the coast of Antarctica?” asked Roger Pielke, senior scientist at the University of Colorado in Boulder, in noting one of several failings in the study.

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