Polar scientist: Stop using my research to dispute global warming
Peter Doran, a professor of earth and environmental sciences at the University of Illinois at Chicago, says a paper he published in 2002 has been misinterpreted, misquoted, and misused by right-wing media, politicians, and even fiction authors Michael Crichton and Ann Coulter.
Doran's research did find that 58 percent of Antarctica had cooled between 1966 to 2000, but that the rest of the continent was warming. Also, Doran says, "climate models created since our paper was published have suggested a link between the lack of significant warming in Antarctica and the ozone hole over that continent."
Nevertheless, newspaper and television reports focused on the "58 percent cooling" part of the study and concluded that the earth was not warming at all. The study was also misused as "evidence" against global warming in Crichton's novel "State of Fear" and Coulter's "Godless: The Church of Liberalism." If you search Doran's name on the Web, you'll find pages of links to everything from climate discussion groups to Senate policy committee documents - all citing his 2002 study as reason to doubt that the earth is warming. One recent Web column even put words in his mouth: "...the unexpected colder climate in Antarctica may possibly be signaling a lessening of the current global warming cycle." Doran never said - or thought - that either, he says.
Also missing from the skeptics' arguments is the debate over Doran's conclusions. Other researchers have found no clear cooling trend in Antarctica. Unbiased reporting would acknowledge these differences of opinion.
"The disappointing thing" Doran says, "is that we are even debating the direction of climate change on this globally important continent. And it may not end until we have more weather stations on Antarctica and longer-term data that demonstrate a clear trend. In the meantime, I would like to remove my name from the list of scientists who dispute global warming."