Researcher Slams Skeptics' Distortions in New York Times Op-Ed

“Our results have been misused as 'evidence' against global warming by Michael Crichton … and by Ann Coulter… 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, Op-Ed Page, New York Times, July 27, 2006


There are two findings that have been (mis)used by Crichton and others - i) the Antarctic is cooling, ii) the middle of the East Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets are thickening - to wrongly imply global warming is not happening.

Doran points out that the first is only true for part of the continent, and may be the result of the ozone hole impeding warming in the region. The second does not mean it is colder; in fact, it could very well imply the opposite. Cold, polar regions, you expect more snow when things warm up. As for the effect on sea level, the rate of melt at the edges of the ice sheets may very well exceed the increase or “thickening” in the middle.