Originally posted on the Air Vent:
I know you guys missed me, Real Climate sure did. Eric Steig has written a letter to “The Guardian” (booming voice) in response to a Nic Lewis letter patiently explaining problems in an article written by yet-another-know-nothing with a keyboard. Unfortunately for us, the article itself has been updated in response so we can’t read the original. What is interesting about the exchange is Dr. Steig’s wild reply.
Nicholas Lewis (Letters, 28 August) complained that your report (Arctic ice
melt likely to break record, 24 August) gave the impression that typical
temperatures in Antarctica have risen as much as on the Antarctic peninsula.
While he is correct about this, his letter also refers to an outdated study
of his, which argued that previous estimates of overall Antarctic warming
were too high. In fact, the work of Lewis and co-authors has been proven
The relevant paper here is Orsi et al, Geophysical Research Letters, vol.
39, 2012, which shows that the rate of warming in west Antarctica is as
great, or greater, than what we showed in our original work (Steig et al,
Nature, vol. 457, 2009). Moreover, Lewis’s own paper shows there has been
significant warming in west Antarctica and that the average trend over
Antarctica is of warming, not cooling as is often stated.
The reality is that the Antarctic is warming up and is contributing
significantly to sea level rise; and that there is strong potential for a
greater contribution to sea level rise from Antarctica in the future.
Professor Eric Steig
University of Washington, Seattle, USA