December 8, 2004

A Natural Oscillation

Filed under: Antarctic, Climate Changes

A new paper casts doubt on recent claims that ozone depletion and global warming have combined to lower Antarctic temperatures. In fact, similar changes have taken place during the time before widespread release of greenhouse gases and ozone-destroying chemicals.

Earlier this fall Drew Shindell and Gavin Schmidt of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) published a report in Geophysical Research Letters—accompanied by NASA press releases and much fanfare—in which they claimed the observed cooling trend over the last 30 years in Antarctica was caused by a combination of global warming and the ozone hole. That cooling trend, they warned, is likely to “rapidly reverse,” resulting in enhanced warming over the South Pole during the next 50 years. Their press release promised certain disaster for the region by way of “ice sheets melting and sliding into the ocean,” leading to “greatly increasing sea levels.” This is another example of how somebody somewhere will inevitably assert that any current climate trend of any type is caused by anthropogenic global warming.

November 11, 2004

Krill the Messenger

The Los Angeles Times reports that a decline in krill stock in the oceans around Antarctica could spell doom for the region’s whales, seals, and penguins. Global warming is their suspect, but a close look at the evidence is enough to acquit.

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