"It's going to keep snowing in DC until Al Gore cries 'uncle.'"


The headline is a tweet from Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) who is using the Snowpocalypse to poke fun at those concerned about global warming. But it's no laughing matter to some. Left-leaning Media Matters huffed:

Conservative media figures have used the recent snowstorms in the Washington, D.C., area to level more science-free attacks on global warming. As Media Matters for America has repeatedly noted, scientists agree that short-term localized weather patterns are not relevant to global warming.

Well, yes. That's right. But people who fear man-made global warming are not completely above citing weather events to suggest that climate catastrophe is impending. For example, consider this article on Hurricane Katrina by the Pew Center on Global Climate Change:

…can science tell us whether Katrina's destructiveness was related to global warming? Not directly: science, as a method, is not good at assigning causation for uncontrolled events, and no single weather event can be linked directly to a long-term driver, such as global warming.

So far, so good. But the article continues:

…although we cannot be certain global warming intensified Katrina per se, it clearly has created circumstances under which powerful storms are more likely to occur at this point in history (and in the future) than they were in the past. Moreover, it would be scientifically unsound to conclude that Katrina was not intensified by global warming.

Of course, the article doesn't flat out say that global warming is responsible for Hurricane Katrina, but it is suggestive.

Then there was the summer 2006 heat wave. The Washington Post cited Kevin Trenberth, chief of the climate-analysis branch of the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Colorado, as saying:

"There are very good reasons to believe that the current U.S. heat wave is at least partly caused by global warming."

While it is true that weather is not climate, I don't expect that either global warming alarmists or deniers (using the epithets they call each other) will stop using weather events to make rhetorical points in support of their views.

Although Washington, D.C. and much of the eastern U.S. coast is buried in snow, the satellite data do find that globally this past January was the warmest in the past 32 years of the record. Below is a map showing areas of the globe that were warmer than normal (much of Canada, Greenland, and the eastern Pacific Ocean) and areas that were cooler (eastern U.S. and western Europe).

Jan 2010 temp anomalies

Finally, I note that the left-leaning Center for American Progress' climate change blogger Joe Romm asserts that…

…heavier, more frequent snowstorms and other extreme weather events are consistent with the predictions of leading climate scientists throughout the world that global warming is occurring.

Fair enough. But are there any kind of weather events that would be inconsistent with man-made global warming? Just wondering. Let's just stick with long-term trends as evidence for or against man-made climate change, why don't we?

Finally, for what it's worth, I think DeMint's quip is mildly amusing in that mean-spirited way we all enjoy when pricking self-important pomposity.