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Posted 05.22.06

MU Professor Refutes National Television Ads Downplaying Global Warming

Engineering Professor Curt Davis says TV Spots are Misrepresenting His Research

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COLUMBIA, Mo. -- Recently, the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI), a non-profit public policy organization based in Washington, D.C. and partially funded by large oil companies, announced a national television campaign claiming that global warming is not causing ice sheets to shrink. Curt Davis, director of the Center for Geospatial Intelligence at the University of Missouri-Columbia, says CEI is misrepresenting his previous research to back their claims.

Curt Davis."These television ads are a deliberate effort to confuse and mislead the public about the global warming debate," Davis said. "They are selectively using only parts of my previous research to support their claims. They are not telling the entire story to the public."

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Prior to Davis' 2005 Science study, the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change said that if global warming were occurring, increased precipitation in Antarctica's interior would likely result. In his study, Davis reported growth in interior East Antarctica. He said this growth was probably caused by an increase in precipitation.

Davis said that three points in his study unequivocally demonstrate the misleading aspect of the CEI ads.

  • His study only included the East Antarctic ice sheet, not the entire Antarctic ice sheet.
  • Growth of the ice sheet was only noted on the interior of the ice sheet and did not include coastal areas. Coastal areas are known to be losing mass, and these losses could offset or even outweigh the gains in the interior areas.
  • The fact that the interior ice sheet is growing is a predicted consequence of global climate warming.

"It has been predicted that global warming might increase the growth of the interior ice sheet due to increased precipitation," Davis said. "All three of these points were noted in our study and ignored by CEI in a deliberate effort to confuse and mislead the public."

Curt's research is featured in the Spring 2006 issue of Illumination magazine.



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