Eric Steig has responded to Nic Lewis's letter in the Guardian, which I mentioned here. Lewis had pointed out that warming in Antarctica is restricted to the West Antarctic Peninsula. Here's Steig's response:
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 While he is correct about this, his letter also refers to an outdated study of his, which argued that previous estimates of overall Antarctic warming were too high.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 wrong.
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
This is very, very naughty from Professor Steig, as you can probably tell. The O'Donnell (Lewis) et al paper showed that Steig had smeared the warming from the peninsula into the rest of the continent. How Steig can think that the Orsi paper - a noisy estimate of temperatures at a single point - can affect the finding that his paper was wrong is beyond me. It looks like an obvious attempt to muddy the waters. And as Jeff Id explains here, the Orsi paper is not one that you'd like to use in preferentially anyway:
What normal thinking person would take a temperature from a lousy borehole and hold that out as superior to an actual thermometer?
I'm intrigued by Jeff Id's suggestion that the IPCC is going to cite Steig's Antarctic paper in the Fifth Assessment Report. If they do, it really must be curtains for the organisation.
[Fixed an error re the Orsi paper]