Warming in Antarctica – Who was right?

What did they say about warming in Antarctica? In a review by Professor Will Steffen, Australian National University, commissioned by the Department of Climate Change and a major input to Labor government policy advanced also by Senator Wong in her discussions with Senator Fielding:

Climate Change 2009: Faster Change & More Serious Risks

A recent analysis shows warming of about 0.1°C per decade over the West Antarctica region over the last half century, attributed in part to changes in sea surface temperature (Steig et al. 2009).

In a response by Bob Carter, David Evans, Stewart Franks, and William Kininmonth Minister Wong’s Reply to Senator Fielding’s Three Questions on Climate Change–Due Diligence

11. In addition to acknowledging inadequacies in modelling skill, Steffen also quotes papers that, contrary to many other studies, report empirical data in support of a recently enhanced rate of sea-level rise (Church & White, 2006; Domingues et al., 2006) and a warming of Antarctica (Steig et al., 2009). In reality, these papers are underpinned by complex data manipulations and computer modelling, and the outlier results that they produce contradict other similarly detailed studies that show a steady rate of long term sea level rise (albeit with decadal modulations which include the start ofa recent fall; Jevrejeva et al. 2008; Cazenave et al. 2009; Woodworth et al. 2009) and a cooling Antarctic icecap -which, like Greenland, appears to be close to mass-balance (Stenni et al. 2002; Goodwin et al. 2004; Masson-Delmotte et al. 2004; Schneider, et al. 2006; Monaghan, et al. 2008; Schneider & Steig, 2008; Chapman, 2009).

Who do you believe, flashy commissioned reports or hard-science scientists?


0 thoughts on “Warming in Antarctica – Who was right?

  1. “Who do you believe, flashy commissioned reports or hard-science scientists?”

    Well it looks like the flashy commissioned reports were right.

    Google “O’Donnell et al 2010 Refutes Steig et al 2009”

  2. Ho ho. Beware of a rapidly changing climate. Since Steffer wrote his report, many indices have changed rapidly in a way that spoils his alarm. Part of this is due to natural variablity – he picked an extreme year to close his report – and part is due to better analyisis and collection of data. What a difference a few years of cogitation can make.

    Remember Phil Jones’ statement that (approximately) the global temperature has not changed within statistical uncertainty for the last 15 years.

  3. Even without the problems with the statistical evaluation, Steig and others misrepresented what his paper showed. I seem to remember that he showed about 10 years of fast warming at the beginning of the record with over 30 subsequent years of cooling.

    I never understood how even his inflated temps could support the idea of a warming Antarctic. Now that a better analysis has been done I doubt that Steig and others will change their tune because the basic WARMING meme is still there in the trend if reduced. The idea that the Western Shelf is in danger is also not completely refuted due to this same misdirection.

    Over all, the fact that the warming trend would take an extremely long time to do any damage apparently does not enter into their discussion when it is the trend and we are all gonna die.

    Sadly, JeffId’s comment at CA that even their new paper, due to the sparse data and the process used, is still most likely overestimating the warming, will be ignored.

  4. Nope hecatom, 1998 was; that is if you can believe the temperature indices which all show that except for GISS; and who would rely on GISS?

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