Antarctic Warming Claims Should be Greeted with Skepticism

Published January 22, 2009


An article in today’s issue of the journal Nature argues that, in defiance of decades of raw temperature data showing Antarctica is cooling, the continent is actually warming.

James M. Taylor, senior fellow for environment policy at The Heartland Institute, warns about assigning too much weight to the study. You may quote from this statement or contact Taylor directly at [email protected] or 941/776-5690.


“I would be quite wary of assigning much value to this article. Raw temperature data and a number of studies over many years have determined that Antarctica is cooling. Now we have a single article, reliant on subjective data interpretation from well-known global warming alarmists, saying the opposite.

“For a long time now, Antarctic cooling has been a stone in the shoe of global warming alarmists. Now, conveniently, those who regularly blog on an alarmist Web site claim they have ‘statistically smoothed’ the data to show Antarctica is warming, even though surface temperature stations show a significant, long-term cooling trend.

“The article appears to argue that due to incredibly bad luck, many temperature stations scattered throughout the continent are located in random, isolated pockets of cooling that defy the overall warming trend. The odds of this being the case are quite remote, and the theory is notably short on reliable evidence. Adding to the dubious nature of the study’s conclusion is the authors’ self-interest in silencing an embarrassing mountain of raw temperature data that contradict the authors’ global warming theory.

“It is funny how global warming alarmists worship at the altar of alleged ‘consensus,’ but then totally abandon the appeal to consensus when it is convenient to do so.”