Did Punxsutawney Phil Predict Global Warming?
Possibly, according to National Wildlife Federation scientist Doug Inkley. Inkley studied Phil's record for the past century—the number of times the rotund rodent saw failed to see his shadow which allegedly predicts an early end to winter versus the number of times his pudgy silhouette was obscured visible indicating that winter will drag on for six more dreary weeks. Inkley reports that:
He found that in the first 75 years of the 20th century, Phil cast no shadow only four times, which according to folklore meant an early end to winter.
But in just the last 25 years of the century, Phil cast no shadow fully eight times, alerting us that winter was coming to an early end, a six fold increase!
Tomorrow—Groundhog Day—the Intergovernmental Panel Climate will add its views to Phil's as it releases the Policymakers Summary to its Fourth Assessment Report of the scientific basis of climate change.
Thanks lunchstealer for pointing out my confusion about the meaning of seeing and not seeing groundhog shadows.