Houston, we have a problem.
And the problem is unusually cold weather in Houston to the extent that city had its earliest recorded snowfall on Friday. Plus much of the rest of Texas also had quite cold weather which caused the cancellation of a global warming lecture at the University of Texas in Austin.
Here is the e-mail received by the Houston Chronicle SciGuy blogger Eric Berger:
Global Warming lecture postponed due to cooling
Given the travel advisories issued and the likelihood of freezing weather for the Austin area tomorrow evening, we are postponing the December 4 event, Global Warming - Lone Star Impacts.
Yes, Eric, welcome to the "Gore Effect." If you haven't heard of this phenomenon (although I suspect you already know about it), allow Politico to provide the definition:
The so-called Gore Effect happens when a global warming-related event, or appearance by the former vice president and climate change crusader, Al Gore, is marked by exceedingly cold weather or unseasonably winter weather.
Some Politico examples of the Gore Effect:
...in March, 2007, a Capitol Hill media briefing on the Senate’s new climate bill was cancelled due to a snowstorm.
On Oct. 22, Gore’s global warming speech at Harvard University coincided with near 125-year record-breaking low temperatures. And less than a week later, on Oct. 28, the British House of Commons held a marathon debate on global warming during London’s first October snowfall since 1922.
And to the examples of the Gore Effect, we can now add the cancellation of that lecture on global warming due to freezing weather in Austin.
What makes this the global warming lecture cancellation and the early snowfall in Houston so delicious (to use NewsBusters Noel Sheppard terminology), is that this weather condition closely follows a Houston Chronicle editorial which asserted that the globe is warming but made no mention of ClimateGate which was openly mocked by many Chronicle readers and chronicled here in NewsBusters.
Meanwhile, despite the unseasonable Texas cold weather and the ClimateGate revelations, SciGuy Eric at the Chronicle continues to maintain his global warming belief:
There's weather, and there's climate. Tomorrow's likely snowfall event -- forecasters predict 1 to 2 inches of widespread white stuff, with 5 inches possible -- is the former.
Anyway, in a warmer world you might expect it to snow less often in Houston. Why? Here's state climatologist John Nielsen-Gammon with more:
A lot of things had to come together (a strong subtropical jet, an amplifying polar jet ridge, an upper-level trough that's not too strong and not too weak, air sitting over the Gulf long enough to pick up moisture but not too much heat etc.) to give Houston a snow scenario, at least one of which (a strong subtropical jet) is attributable to El Nino and none of which, as far as we know, is attributable to global warming.
If anything, the fact that the mean position of the jet stream has shifted north in recent years should make snow in Houston less likely.
Yes, interesting how signs of cold weather are written off as an unusual confluence of weather events but when the slightest bit of warm weather arrives the Chicken Littles are out in force chirping about "Global Warming!"
At least SciGuy Eric has a sense of humor about that e-mail he received canceling the global warming lecture:
That was an unfortunate subject line for the e-mail. But it made me laugh.
However it will soon become much harder for the Global Warming believers to laugh when more of the University of East Anglia CRU (Climatic Research Unit) Interactive Data Language (IDL) computer code is revealed. Your humble correspondent has had a heads up on those revelations and if you think the CRU e-mails make the climate scientists look bad, the computer code makes them look even worse. Much worse.
Enjoy the snowfall, Houstonians! And make sure Santa dresses warmly when visiting your city. The Gore Effect of the upcoming Copenhagen conference could makes things very cold this winter.