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Weekly Round-Up: 2008 Media Coverage Vs 2007 Media Coverage
March 4, 2008

Posted by Matthew_Dempsey@epw.senate.gov (5:02pm ET)

Here at the Inhofe EPW Press Blog we have been reading – with great interest, and to be honest, a little amusement – the media’s coverage of our blog post from last week. The blog post was simply a round-up of several articles/blog posts reporting on the news that temperatures this past winter have been lower in temperature. Yet this blog, with that title, was enough for the New York Times and Las Vegas Sun to use for a lead in a story and the Las Vegas paper to write an editorial.

From the tone of their pieces, we think they will be a little surprised to learn that we applaud and congratulate them on getting the story right: seasonal temperatures are no indicator of climate trends.

Of course, we wish they would have better understood our position. One only needs to look at last year’s media coverage of a warmer winter versus this year’s coverage to understand our point.  When newspapers were writing about a “warmer winter” in 2007, where was the New York Times and Las Vegas Sun slamming the use of warmer seasonal temperatures as proof of global warming?

Consider this round-up of articles from roughly the same time period last year: 

 

New York Times

And the Color of the Year Is ...

By THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN

December 22, 2006

I know that you should never generalize about global warming from your own weather, but as a longtime resident of Washington, D.C., it’s hard not to, considering that it’s been so balmy this winter season I’m half expecting the cherry blossoms to come out for Christmas. In fact, my wife was rummaging through her closet the other day and emerged to tell me she needed a whole new wardrobe — “a global warming wardrobe,” clothes that are summer weight but winter colors.  

 

ABC NEWS

Global Warming and Warm Weather: Connected? Scientists Say Current Patterns Fit Into Overall Predictions

By BILL BLAKEMORE

Jan. 6, 2007

It was expected to reach into the 70s today in New York City. Cherry blossoms were blooming in Washington, D.C. Is there a connection between the January heat wave that is sweeping the East Coast and man-made global warming?  Scientists say yes -- in this way: What they know for sure is the warm winter fits the pattern, exactly, that has long been predicted for manmade global warming of more and more frequent unseasonable warm spells.  

 

Washington Post

March in January! Or Is It Mayday? It's Nice Out There, But Global Warming Dampens the Fun

By Joel Achenbach Washington Post Staff Writer Sunday, January 7, 2007; Page D01            

Never has good weather felt so bad. Never have flowers inspired so much fear. Never has the warm caress of a sunbeam seemed so ominous. The weather is sublime, it's glorious, it's the end of the world. January is the new March. The daffodils are busting out everywhere. It's porch weather. Put on a T-shirt and shorts, fire up the grill, blast "Rastaman Vibration" into the back yard. Everyone out for volleyball! The normal high for this time of year is 43 degrees; yesterday's high at Reagan National was a record-breaking 73. And yet it's all a guilty pleasure. Weather is both a physical and a psychological phenomenon. Meteorology, meet eschatology. We've read the articles, we've seen the Gore movie, we've calculated our carbon footprint, and we're just not intellectually capable anymore of fully enjoying warm winter weather. Just ain't right. Ain't natural. Cherry blossoms during the NFL playoffs? Run for your lives.

USA TODAY

El Niño, greenhouse gases predicted to make 2007 hottest ever

By Raphael G. Satter, Associated Press Writer

LONDON — Deepening drought in Australia. Stronger typhoons in Asia. Floods in Latin America. British climate scientists predict that a resurgent El Niño climate trend combined with higher levels of greenhouse gases could touch off a fresh round of ecological disasters — and make 2007 the world's hottest year on record. "Even a moderate (El Niño) warming event is enough to push the global temperatures over the top," said Phil Jones, director of the Climatic Research unit at the University of East Anglia. The warmest year on record was 1998, when the average global temperature was 1.2°F higher than the long-term average of 57°F. Though such a change appears small, incremental differences can, for example, add to the ferocity of storms by evaporating more steam off the ocean. 

 

Science Daily

Warm Winter Predicted For United States

Temperature forecast for US December 2007 to February 2008. (Credit: NOAA)

ScienceDaily (Oct. 11, 2007) — NOAA forecasters are calling for above-average temperatures over most of the country and a continuation of drier-than-average conditions across already drought-stricken parts of the Southwest and Southeast in its winter outlook for the United States, announced at the 2007-2008 Winter Fuels Outlook Conference in Washington, D.C October 9, 2007. “La Niña is here, with a weak-to-moderate event likely to persist through the winter,” said Michael Halpert, head of forecast operations and acting deputy director of NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center. “The big concern this winter may be the persistence of drought across large parts of the already parched South. And while December through February is likely to be another milder-than-average winter for much of the country, people should still expect some bouts of winter weather.”For the 2007-2008 U.S. winter, from December through February, NOAA seasonal forecasters predict…The U.S. winter outlook is produced by a team of scientists at the Climate Prediction Center in association with NOAA-funded partners. Scientists base this forecast on long-term climate trends and a variety of forecast tools from statistical techniques to extremely complex dynamical ocean-atmosphere coupled models and composites. Adapted from materials provided by National Oceanic And Atmospheric Administration. 

 

Note: I am sure there are several additional articles from 2007 that could be included above. If you know of one, please email me [ matthew_dempsey@epw.senate.gov ]a link to article and I will be sure to include on our blog.

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