Did Punxsutawney Phil Predict Global Warming?

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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.

NEXT: Rip-Off in the Heartland

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  1. There you have it, the debate is over, because Phil says so.

  2. Punxsatawney Phil should apply for a job with the Boston PD; afraid, as he is, of his own shadow, I reckon he’d fit right in.

  3. Well now we know who is paying for Phil’s groundhog chow- BIG OIL.

  4. his pudgy silhouette was obscured indicating that winter will drag on for six more dreary weeks.

    Er, other way around. No shadow = short winter.

  5. Well if I recall correctly, Phil has been correct about 49% of the time, meaning you’d make more money betting against phil than with him. Essentially, its an anachronistic ritual that people like to do because everyone likes a picture of a cute furry woodland creature.

  6. Eh, ‘scientists’ that ‘study’ groundhog-based climatology are not, in fact, scientists.

  7. Grummun,

    That’s not what the associates degree in Animal Husbandry says on Doug Inkley’s desk, =P

  8. So it’s Phil’s fault that Californicate lost 2/3 of it’s citrus crop to a hard freeze this year?

  9. Boy, that’s one old gopher!!

  10. “Eh, ‘scientists’ that ‘study’ groundhog-based climatology are not, in fact, scientists.”

    Grummun, don’t you know that anything that demonstrates man-made global warming to kids is “Real Science?” Next you will be saying crazy things like IDers, Big Bang deniers, and flat earthers aren’t Real Scientists.

  11. Actually, Dr. Inkley’s PhD is likely in wildlife biology and according to his bio he’s been a wildlife biologist for over 30 years. I’m sure he knows Phil’s predictions have no scientific merit but he’s probably seriously concerned about global warming and sees Phil as a way to get the messge out.

  12. Phil: What would you do if you were stuck in one place and every day was exactly the same, and nothing that you did mattered?

    Ralph: That about sums it up for me.

  13. I’m sure he knows Phil’s predictions have no scientific merit but he’s probably seriously concerned about global warming and sees Phil as a way to get the messge out.

    Thus illustrating the whole “fake but accurate” problem infesting the culture, including global warming alarmism. (See, also, “hockey stick”).

  14. 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!

    I think we’re overlooking the horrifying implication that Phil is a vampire.

  15. Ron–You did not disclaim how much money you take in from Big Groundhog.

  16. Did Punxsutawney Phil Predict Global Warming?

    Are Ron Bailey’s pronouncements on the issue worth less than those of burrowing rodents?

  17. Phil is a woodchuck… woodchucks are vermin.

  18. Shocked, Shocked! I am to discover that Ron Bailey is still muddying the waters on climate change even as stories like this one are coming out:

    http://environment.guardian.co.uk/climatechange/story/0,,2004397,00.html

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