The PJ Tatler

California's long-term cooling trend cited as evidence FOR global warming

Want to know why global warming alarmists and climate scientists in general have lost credibility with the American public? Consider a new study released today — and the unintentionally hilarious weasel words of its author — as Exhibit A.

As reported in the San Francisco Chronicle today, a meteorologist did a 30-year survey of temperature and precipitation data for most of the largest cities up and down the state of California. Conclusion? In 75% of the sites, the weather has grown colder and rainier than it used to be:

(To see the complete illustration from which this graphic was excerpted, see the SF Chronicle‘s version here.)

Of course, this “inconvenient truth” was not what either the study’s author nor the Chronicle‘s reporter wanted to see, so the spin cycle goes into overdrive right from the headline, which manages to use the word “warmer” first despite there being only two warmer cities in the entire study: “CA climate: inland warmer; coast cooler and wetter.” Uh-huh. But that’s just the aperitif. How does the author, a meteorologist named Jan Null who also happens to be on the global warming bandwagon, explain away the trend he uncovered? Behold:

The data may appear to bolster the arguments of global warming skeptics, but Null said the findings actually fit in with the predictions of scientists who believe the climate is changing as a result of human-caused carbon emissions.

“People say, ‘Wait a minute, what about global warming? Shouldn’t it be warmer?’ ” Null said. “Well, if you have more warm days in the Central Valley, you are going to have a stronger sea breeze so you will cool off the coastal areas. That certainly does not contradict any of the models about global warming. This is what is to be expected.”

They always say that: Whenever evidence of cooling is found in the data, it somehow magically becomes confirming proof of global warming, because cooling is “expected” in the forecasts. Of course, whenever localized warming trends are found, those too are cited as evidence of global warming.

Which leads me to my Global Warming Spin Axiom:

Hot we win, cold you lose!

What’s most astounding is that Null, who claims to be a world-class expert on California meteorology, uncorked the whopper “if you have more warm days in the Central Valley, you are going to have a stronger sea breeze so you will cool off the coastal areas,” which as anyone who lives in Northern California knows is complete balderdash. Hot days in the Central Valley are generally caused by high-pressure systems settling over the area, which also cause off-shore (i.e. reverse of normal) winds and higher temperature at the coasts. Incoming low-pressure fronts cause cold temperatures at the coasts and cooling inland. To say that warm temperatures inland somehow induce cold and rain on the coast is wrong in more ways than I can count. And Jan Null knows that, so he must be purposely obfuscating to undermine the conclusions of his own unfortunate study.

One thing I will say in Null’s favor, though: At least he released the stats he uncovered, rather than burying them once he realized that they undermined his favored thesis (as other researchers have done, we now know). But he would have been wiser to just release them and make no further comment, because every time a climatologist cites cooler temperatures as proof of global warming, another angel dies in heaven and another thousand Americans lose faith in the global warming mania.

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