Thursday, May 03, 2012




Happenstance


Rush Limbaugh realizes he needs to come to terms with the impending nomination of Mitt Romney by the party Limbaugh so faithfully represents.

He took a step toward that end yesterday when be began transitioning to the (latest) Romney position on climate.      At a fundraiser last October, the former Massachusetts governor stated  "One, I believe what I said before, I think it's getting warmer. Two, I believe we contribute to it. And three, I don't know by how much -- a lot or a little...."      Limbaugh, recognizing the inevitability of a Romney nomination (and the cheerleading he'll be doing), admitted on Monday to a caller "I think it's entirely possible that the earth might be warming.   The earth might, in fact, be warming."  

Admittedly, Rush emphasized that he doesn't believe human activity is contributing to the trend, and even suggested that warming might not be harmful.     But he did tell the caller- without any hint that it represents a major shift in his emphasis- that the issue is not weather but climate.     Unfortunately, he did so after attaching importance to the record-setting snowfall in Anchorage, Alaska this winter season.

Many individuals who deny the reality of climate change confuse global warming with global drying.     When there is a record snowfall or frequent snowfalls, they gleefully point to it as proof ( not evidence, but proof) that the earth is not warming.    Unfortunately, it proves nothing other than, presumably, that "global drying" is not taking place.

Notwithstanding the 2011-2012 Alaskan winter- which may have been colder than usual- this past meteorological winter (December-February) was in the continental United States far warmer than normal.      The Weather Channel (with data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) compared the average December to February temperature in each of the lower 48 states and the District of Columbia  to the average temperature in the state for that period.     As the map indicates, 40 of the continental 49 experienced above average temperatures, eight near normal temperatures, and only one (Washington state) above-average temperatures (and only barely so).




This period stands as the fourth warmest, and the warmest since 1999-2000, winter on record in the contiguous United States.        And February was the 324th consecutive month with a global land and ocean temperature above the 20th century mean for that month.     All just a coincidence.



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