When Will 61 Degrees in Minot ND Mean Global Warming is Real?

It snowed here yesterday briefly, on the outskirts of D.C. But I’m not fooled, even if Sean Hannity likely is. Global warming is real though Hannity’s reaction would likely be, “Hah! It snowed! No global warming!” But of course, the D.C. area does not exist in a vacuum.

Why it’s cold in Iowa in the winter means there is no global warming, the complete lack of cold – and not only that but 61 degrees in Minot, North Dakota – doesn’t mean there is global warming is anyone’s guess. Hannity probably can’t explain it. I know he can’t.

Well, no one ever said Republican political theology made any sense. It doesn’t. It’s simply a collection of unrelated talking points which can and often are refashioned to meet the needs of the moment. It’s more of a theology of negation than anything, ready to disprove, disenfranchise, discredit…well, you get it. Dissing is a big part of it.

But here is the thing (I’m addressing thinking people here now, not Republicans) if snow in the winter (where, remember, you’re actually supposed to have snow, at least in Iowa) means that global warming is an evil liberal conspiracy, then why, many miles further north, recipient of winter-long Alberta Clippers, does the absence of snow in winter not mean the opposite? Why is 61 degrees not a noteworthy statistic? It’s not supposed to be that warm until April. Republicans may not have calendars. I do. And it’s not April (I’m increasingly questioning their basic literacy).

The Weather Channel tells us that we’re seeing outrageously high temperatures all the way from southern California to North Dakota. “Temperatures have reached up to 40 degrees above early January averages in North Dakota.” Forty degrees! What happened to winter?

For the record, here’s the Weather Channel’s three-day forecast from last Friday:

I realize I am living just outside Washington D.C. these days and that there is often no snow here, but there ought to be snow in other places. There is supposed to be snow in other places because there is supposed to be winter. But winter seems to have disappeared with as completely as honesty from a Republican debate. I mean, what the hell is happening? There isn’t even any snow in my old hunting grounds in the Twin Cities – it’s not even cold enough to snow.

The Weather Channel feels me, if Hannity does not:

We’re talking temperatures in cities such as MinneapolisMilwaukeeChicagoSt. Louis,IndianapolisDetroit and Cincinnati enjoying highs on the order of 10-to-20 degrees above average. High temperatures around 5-to-15 degrees above average will make it all the way to the East Coast including New York CityWashington, D.C. and Charlotte, N.C.

According to the Weather Channel,

Daily record highs have been set in Des Moines, Iowa (65 degrees), Rapid City, S.D. (73 degrees), International Falls, Minn. (46 degrees), St. Louis, Mo. (66 degrees) and Fargo, N.D. (55 degrees), to name a few locations.

I don’t know about you, but that sounds like global warming to me. The image below illustrates the extent of the problem – the numbers shown are not temperatures but departures from temperature as in degrees above average.

But nooooooo…there is no global warming, ‘Lil Jimmy. I’m sure Hannity would focus on the small area of below-average temperatures in Texas.

As Weather Channel says, “Welcome to the winter of 2011-2012 – so far it will be known as the winter without snow and the winter of little cold air.”

I’d add to that, welcome to the winter that wasn’t – because of global warming. Newt Gingrich can drop a chapter from his book by a professor of atmospheric sciences at Texas Tech University – even though she’s an Evangelical Christian herself – and Rick Perry can stifle evidence of global warming in Texas, but that’s not going to make it any colder in Minot, or make it snow in Minneapolis. Trying to shove the evidence under the rug won’t change the scientific facts.

Sadly, no one can change the scientific facts, and they are facts. The overwhelming verdict of climate scientists is in, and even attempts to disprove global warming have found it is, indeed, a fact. We can only hope its not too late to do something about it. The survival of our species is at stake, and tempting though it is to laugh at Sean Hannity, the day may well come when nobody feels like joking about it.


44 Replies to “When Will 61 Degrees in Minot ND Mean Global Warming is Real?”

  1. In fact, I am sure all these climate deniers know they are lying, and they’re lying for spite. It’s a power trip for them. Meanwhile, just a fraction of the temperature increase we’re seeing in the United States were to be sustained globally for the next few years…well, I’m living in Atlantis, along with several million others, and we’re not alone. The Delmarva Peninsula, the Mississippi Delta up to Memphis, the Seaboard up to the Piedmont, and quite a bit more we’re used to seeing on our maps will be history.

  2. It’s going to be in the 60s where I am (30 mi from Charlotte) for the next few days w/some rain. We had those temps for a week in Dec and bulbs were starting to pop up. The flora and fauna are totally confused.

    I’m wondering what all this will mean for planting season and the food chain?

  3. Keep in mind that just as a snowstorm doesn’t disprove global warming, nor does a single warm spell prove it. It is global trends in climate (long term weather patterns) that prove global warming is occuring. That having been said, this recent pattern is congruent with a larger (and longer) warming pattern across the globe. South Lake Tahoe just broke 10 high temperature records in 12 days. And we’ve had zero outbreaks of arctic air here in western Montana yet this winter. This is the face of the future weather wise.

  4. Its a great winter here in Knoxville, am still wearing shorts to the gym 3 days a week. Usually we would be having quite chilly weather. And to think, we will be planting flowers in 2 months

  5. Where I live in Washington State, snow usually arrives around Thanksgiving and lasts until mid-March. This year the ground is still bare and it is currently raining.

    I suspect that eventually even Hannity and Limbaugh will have to come around and admit that global warming is real, but they will then claim the burning of fossil fuels has nothing to do with it. (Gotta keep the Big Oil folks happy, you know.)

  6. While conservatives latch on to isolated incidents and fragmentary evidence to try to support their irrational dogma, they are irrational and dogmatic. There’s a reason why only 9% of all scientists are conservative.

    We on the rational and intelligent side of the human species carry a bigger burden. We actually have to impartially examine the evidence and come to a logical conclusion based on it instead of just regurgitating the latest corporate talking points from Fox News.

    The most important thing when we are examining these record temps in the upper midwest (where I live, and yeah, it’s been nice) is to remember that these are weather patterns, and may not be indicative of an overall climate shift of this magnitude. There is no doubt global warming is happening, and that the activities of our species are at fault for most of it, but this warm bubble does not mean the entire planet is 20+ degrees above “normal”.

    Good call by the author to call out the right wing propagandists on their sudden silence and hypocrisy here.

  7. Why has the regular news media not taken this up? Other than the weather channel and a couple of internet sites, there has been silence. We are supposed to be in the rainy season with temps in the 40ies and 50ies. Instead we have had nothing but sunshine and dry weather for over two months and ongoing.

    This will effect the growing cycles everywhere, not to speak about tourist dollars lost due to no wintersports.

  8. If we start using the term global climate change, then it would be easier to explain. You gotta keep it simple with them. Global climate change is a better description of what is happening anyway. There is one proven fact, which is driving most of this climate change that is in effect, a global warming nd that is of the oceans. Ocean temperatures have been on the rise steadily. They cannot deny that.

  9. I live 20 miles south of the Canadian border.
    We had a snow storm right before Thanksgiving. We have had a few days of very cold weather, but now it’s int the 20 and 30’s.
    I am a gardener and have been for over 30 years. We never, ever planted before Memorial day.
    For the past 4 years, we have been planting on Mothers day almost 15 days earlier. We have had snow once during that time and it did not last, but I did not lose any plants.
    This year, we did not have a hard frost till end of Oct. Before, we had frosts by the end of Aug. and hard frosts in Sept.

    This is changing the flavor of our area. ant body that does not believe in global climate change is delusional.

  10. Today, in DC, it’s supposed to go up to the 50’s, and we have had quite a number of such days since the Winter Solstice.

  11. In Canada where I live (Prince Albert, Saskatchewan) it’s been raining more than snowing! Usually Jan & Feb are our coldest months, and our average temperature is usually around -25C (-13F) at 7:00am this morning it was 0C (13F) which is what we have been seeing for almost the last month or so. I thought last winter was warm, but this!!! This is like our summer , (not really, but close) , this is not normal weather for us. It’s really sad to see how far the Right will go to distort actually fact, and doubly so that so many actually believe these lies without doing their own due diligence.

  12. All global warming deniers should take a trip up to the high arctic, and then look at maps comparing ice coverage today and 20 years ago. Oh yes, check out a few polar bears if you can find any — many of them have made their way down into settlements where they can forage for people food.

    Deniers are terrified of the truth — especially the truth that global warming is human-induced. It will hurt them in their pocketbooks, their bank accounts and their oil/coal/gas investments and businesses. It all comes down to money, folks!

  13. Absolutely. The headline was meant as an attention getter – and space restrictions for SEO purposes are very limiting

  14. well, it’s good to see you left “anthropomorphic” and/or “man made” out of the title. I think you’d find almost everyone in the “skeptic” community is well aware that the temperature on the surface of planet earth varies. It is the idea that mankind is capable of responsibility on a global scale that we find laughable.

  15. Unless man lives in a vacuum and has no interaction at all with his environment, I’d say your skepticism about the role man has played in global climate change has value, but that is not the case. Somehow, I knew just by seeing your username, you’d absolve the actions of billions of humans of having any negative impact on the planet. ROTFL

  16. “When Will 61 Degrees in Minot ND Mean Global Warming is Real?” When will the 21 degree below normal readings in Texas and the two feet of snow in central Arizona prove that Global warming isn’t real? If the people in ND are missing the snow, tell them to move to the Southwest. Winter is here, whether global warming cultists choose to acknowledge it or not.

  17. The headline is a question I’ll answer directly: when it’s a data point that whose weight supports a higher average global temperature over time than that temperature had been in the past. No single warm spell means there is global warming any more than any single cold snap means there is no global warming.

    This is not to disparage the stats that show that overall, temperatures are warmer. But note that that is a different standard of proof what’s happening lately in Minot — or in and around Washington, DC, for that matter.

    Ewen Allison
    (202) 744-1786

  18. I used to live in North Dakota, 61 degrees is not something I remember. Snow, driven so hard by wind, would bury your car in your garage if there was even the slightest leak in your garage door’s weather stripping. Fourteen foot high drifts that would occur in an instant burying my father’s car. Chill factors of 85 degrees below zero and people’s lives ended because they became stuck during one of the many blizzards each winter would bring. Sixty one degrees would feel like a massive heat wave up there in the great white north of Minot!

  19. You do not mean “anthropomorphic” , unless you are refering to my allusion to Mother Carey. You mean “anthropogenic”. There is really no question that when land is deforested, when grasslands turn to reg (which is what massive paving does), when carbon dioxide levels go up, and when watersheds and aquifers are depleted, both global heating and desertification are underway. We have done this damn fast, and it’s happening damn fast. And now, “patriot”, what is patriotic about your smirky, blustering lies that you insist on cramming down our throats by force as our Seaboard and Gulf Coasts are menaced with submergence? As far as I’m concerned, you’re a precious little traitor.

  20. When will people stop calling it Global Warming and start using Climate Change. It just gives the morons talking points.

  21. Unseasonably warm weather for a few weeks does not mean global warming. Everything I’ve read about global warming says that the average temperature of the earth will only rise a few degrees. Do a little research into weather patterns, pressure systems, and air currents before generalizing some warm weather as global warming. And stop using every chance you get to bash republicans. It’s petty and boring. Find something else to complain about. I believe in climate change. I don’t like republicans, but I really hate liberals. If you want to address thinking people, try becoming one yourself. Anybody who wants to cry like a little bitch over anything I’ve said doesn’t have to bother, I won’t be checking back.

  22. I’m old enough, Mr. Allison, to remember sixty-five summers and winters, at least sixty clearly. There’s no question in my mind that this is the trend. We did have it broken by two unusually severe winters, which is what happens when an unusual amount of glacial meltwater goes into the sea. The end of the Wisconsin Glaciation saw the two Dryas Periods when the same thing happened. The undamming of Lake Agassiz saw a catastrophic rise in sea level, one of the Dryas “mini-ice ages”, and the final extinction of the Pleistocene fauna, as well as the severence of the last of the Bering Land Bridge and the reduction of the Florida Peninsula to its present size from almost twice that. There could be a bigger Lake Agassiz under the Greenland Icecap right now. I live in Florida, and I don’t want to hear any more B.S. from climate deniers.

  23. I’m not saying I don’t believe in global warming, but that aside everyone is forgetting the reason we are having the lack of winter is el nina. Remember that thing that was blasted across every newspaper around 98, which subsequently pushed warm fronts across the US that winter? I guess what I’m saying is, if winter is like this next year… I’ll buy into this theory more. I’m a DEM. for the record.

  24. Yup, Fox News is about as partisan and propagandistic as this website.
    But, no matter how much he talks Hannity still isnt an elected representative that can effect legislation.

    Yup. But luckly we have that Obama guy, who sure has done a lot to combat global warming. Oh wait, I mean hasnt done anything. His environmental policies, especially with regard to kyoto etc., virtually mimic Bush’s.

    But we wont talk about that here. Remember, this website is designed to convince you that there is a difference between the cooperate masters who own the republicans, and the corporate masters who own the democrats.


    Wake up sheeple Ron Paul 2012!

  25. I’m a Republican and Global warming has been going on sense the last ice age. That is not the question, the question is what is causing the global warming and can man effect its change. Please get your facts correct.

  26. Well, good to know you won’t. A temperature rise of a few degrees is enough to do it, and check your facts and wash your mouth out with Fels Naptha before calling people you disagree with “little bitch” again, you effing coward.

  27. Lets see….
    F1rst, one day (even 1 week) of record temps is Weather, not Climate. It will take months of record highs to be Climate Change.
    Second, Global Warming predicts a change of 0.2 degrees, not 40 degrees. Pretty big error there, probably best not to call attention to it.
    Third, contrary to what most US citizens believe, one US city is *not* the entire Globe. Moscow temps are normal, Thank You Very Much. Global warming means the *whole* globe, not just the US.
    Fourth, Global Warming is old school, now it is Climate Change. Climate Change is much more vague and can include storms.

  28. If this is all “global warming”, then i’m all for it.
    Last year we were locked in the deep freeze, snow piled every where, and NOT A PEEP – not a single word, from the climate idiots about how the cold weather proved that “global warming” was upon us.

  29. What I am trying to point out here to people like Hannity is that if being cold in Iowa in December means there is no global warming, then 61 in Minot ND in winter means there IS global warming. Everyone seems to be missing that obvious point.

  30. Goober, you have ten months to practice printing Dr. Paul’s name for the Nov. ballot. Spelling and legibility matter.

    As to President Obama’s environmental policies, two words –
    Congressional obstruction.

  31. Peanut with a brain to match, you do enjoy rattling your little nuts, don’t you? Maybe the Georgia Militia can use another goober pea (though the last I heard, they were sick of ’em.

  32. This article unfortunately displays the same ignorance of those it accuses. A warm winter provides as much evidence /for/ global warming as a cold spring/summer does /against/. Local weather patterns are irrelevant; that’s why it’s called /global/ warming.

    Any time anyone, anywhere, cites local weather patterns (and yes, compared to the rest of the world, the United States is “local”) as evidence for or against massive global climate change, disregard them completely. The change is slow and takes place on a global scale. Melting ice packs on the poles are evidence for global warming. Years of data gathered from around the world showing an average increase in temperature (one or two degrees F) is evidence for global warming. 60 degrees in your state during January means that you’re having a warm winter, just like 60 degrees in your state during July means you’re having a cool summer.

    This year is an El Nina year. It necessarily means different weather patterns for the affected landmasses. I live in Seattle, and we’ve generally gotten our snow in late November/early December, but that has not always been the case. There has been snow in January, February, and one year on the first day of spring. This weekend, there is a prediction of massive snowfall at sea-level.

    I reiterate: Local weather patterns are not evidence for or against global climate change. And yes, compared to the rest of the world, the United States is “local”.

    Your warm weather is just as much proof in favor of global warming as their cold weather is against it. And the comments on here speaking of last year’s major freeze are yet more evidence that this year’s warm winter means nothing on a global scale; the temperature differences of a single year mean nothing. The temperature differences across decades do.

    Anyone citing this winter’s warm weather as evidence for global warming, and meaning to throw it back in the face of those who would deny climate change, is just as guilty of a misrepresentation of facts as those they accuse.

  33. I like how you waited until the very end to mention the -21 differential in texas, and then shoved that off as meaning nothing while trying to say the the +27 in north dakota means everything.. while i dont deny Global Warming your hurting the cause with whiny “republicans are idiots” dribble…HA and Jaybird made excellent points, this is called weather not climate, i live on LI and the snow last year was ridiculous and indicative of the fact that global warming isnt happening as fast as people such as yourself would like everyone to believe..

  34. If we have a second drought in Texas and the south west this year, that’s two years in a row. When food prices spike this summer becasue of drought ib the plains and Calif. basin, maybe people will wake up. Climate change does not take a lot of time to produce in geologic terms. The last 40-50 years have shown a steady increase in global temperatures and a corresponding increase in fossil fuel emissions. I know coincidence doesn’t necessarily equal causation, but the evidence is more and more clear that that is the case.

  35. What the f is “El Niña”? ¿Habla Usted español? There is a phenomenon called El Niño, and an opposite phenomenon called La Niña. Their effects on the climate are quite different. When Rachel Carson was writing in the early’50’s, there was only El Niño, and it occurred every ten years. The intervals are a lot shorter now. Now, if you are going to dicuss these phenomena, at least learn to tell the difference between a boy and a girl.

  36. I’m sure the author is aware that one season of warm temperatures is not prrof of global warming any more than one season of cold weather is proof of the absence of global warming. It’s all about decades long trends; I suspect soon global warming will be acknowledged by all parties. Whether all sides acknowledge that the problem is caused by man is less important to me than acknowlegement of the need to take immediate action, regardless of what’s really causing it. I personally believe, though, that mankind is largely responsible for global warming.

    All in all, I’d rather be up in North Dakota where a warmer climate might be welcome, and where water will still be plentiful in an America on the verge of long-term water shortages and struggles over water distribution.

  37. Here in northeastern Iowa, it has snowed every winter since we’ve been here (we’ve only lived here for five years) the first week of December and it stays on the ground until mid-March. We’re still waiting for any snow of any significance.

    And BTW, evangelical Christians who write chapters of books that are utterly contrary to fact are insulting to me as a scholar. Just had to throw that out there.

  38. I see. You started out as an apprentice baiter, and worked your way up to master. I lived on the Staked Plains almost four years, and the weather was pretty damn Plesistocene in winter. That’s an abrupt rise of almost 3000 feet, and adiabatic cooling is a factor, and when the incoming airmasses are moist, there are blizzards. Now, look at the map. The percentage of land map in the United States experiencing cooling is a minuscule portion of that experiencing the reverse.

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