La Vanguàrdia d'avui publica aquest parell d'articles amb la inequívoca intenció no d'informar-nos de l'existència d'un nou treball sobre el suposat escalfament de l'Antàrtida sinó de fer-nos empassar que es tracta de l'última paraula sobre el tema i que, a partir d'ara, ja no hi ha discussió que valgui. El destacat ho deixa clar: "Los científicos cierran el debate sobre el supuesto enfriamiento de la Antártida". I el titular de l'"analista" encara és més contundent: "La última verdad del clima". Sentències que, com poden comprovar, no poden ser més anticientífiques.
És per això que m'he posat en contacte amb el professor Antón Uriarte, geògraf i especialista en paleoclimatologia, per saber-ne la seva opinió. I m'ha adreçat a la pàgina del comité de medi ambient del senat dels Estats Units, on hi ha una extensa referència a l'article de Nature. No cal dir que dónen molt poca credibilitat a l'estudi.
Washington, DC: A new study on Antarctic temperatures – which is contrary to the findings of multiple previous studies - claims "that since 1957, the annual temperature for the entire continent of Antarctica has warmed by about 1 degree Fahrenheit, but still is 50 degrees below zero.”
Despite the fact that the study was immediately viewed with major skepticism by scientists who are not skeptical of anthropogenic global warming claims, many in the media pounced on the study as a chance to attack those skeptical of man-made climate doom. According to the release of the study, “The researchers devised a statistical technique that uses data from satellites and from Antarctic weather stations to make a new estimate of temperature trends. […] The scientists found temperature measurements from weather stations corresponded closely with satellite data for overlapping time periods. That allowed them to use the satellite data as a guide to deduce temperatures in areas of the continent without weather stations.” (emphasis added) Few media outlets noted that in 2007 Antarctic “sea ice coverage has grown to record levels since satellite monitoring began in the 1979, according to peer-reviewed studies and scientists who study the area.” [See also other factors impacting Antarctica: “Volcano, Not Global Warming Effects, May be Melting an Antarctic Glacier & The Antarctic deep sea gets COLDER – April 21, 2008 & A January 12, 2008, peer-reviewed paper in AGU (American Geophysical Union) found “A doubling in snow accumulation in the western Antarctic Peninsula since 1850.” Map of Volcanoes - See comprehensive data round up below]
The new Antarctic study was published in Thursday's issue of the journal Nature and the lead author of the study was Eric Steig, a University of Washington professor of Earth and Space Sciences. Other co-authors include: David Schneider of the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado, a former student of Steig's; Scott Rutherford of Roger Williams University in Bristol, RI; and Michael Mann of Pennsylvania State University.
UN IPCC lead author, Dr. Kevin Trenberth, who is not in any way a climate change skeptic, said of the study, "I remain somewhat skeptical… It is hard to make data where none exist.” Echoing Trenberth’s analysis were several other scientists.
Climatologist Dr. John Christy of the University of Alabama in Huntsville questioned the study. "One must be very cautious with such results because they have no real way to be validated," Christy told the AP. “In other words, we will never know what the temperature was over the very large missing areas that this technique attempts to fill in so that it can be tested back through time,” Christy added.
Former Colorado State Climatologist Dr. Roger Pielke, Sr., senior scientist at the University of Colorado in Boulder said the authors of the Antarctic study “overstated” their results. “In terms of the significance of their paper, it overstates what they have obtained from their analysis,” Pielke told the AP. “In the abstract they write, for example, ‘West Antarctic warming exceeds 0.1C per decade over the past 50 years.’ However, even a cursory view of Figure 2 shows that since the late 1990s, the region has been cooling in their analysis in this region. The paper would be more balanced if they presented this result, even if they cannot explain why,” Pielke wrote. Pielke also questioned how 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.” Pielke added, “These cool anomalies have been there for at least several years. This cool region is also undoubtedly related to the above average Antarctic sea ice areal coverage that has been monitored over recent years.”
A critical analysis of the paper from December 21, 2008, accused the authors of the Antarctic study of making questionable data “adjustments.” (See: Scientist adjusts data -- presto, Antarctic cooling disappears - December 21, 2008) The analysis concluded, “Looks like [study author] Steig 'got rid of' Antarctic cooling the same way [Michael] Mann got rid of medieval warming. Why not just look at the station data instead of 'adjusting' it (graph above)? It shows a 50-year cooling trend,” the analysis concluded.