AP ClimateGate Apologist/Participant Borenstein Can't Keep Global Warming Out of National Snow Story

February 12th, 2010 11:54 PM

Poor Seth Borenstein of the Associated Press.

Since the AP science reporter wrote his December 12, 2009 defense of the alleged scientists who have promoted the alleged perils of human-caused global warming, the scandal known as ClimateGate has inexorably widened. It has deeply tarnished never-deserved reputations; revealed the entire premise to be based on fraudulent, corrupted, manipulated and/or nonexistent data; and taken the entire enterprise to the point where it is utterly without objective credibility.

Thus, it would be understandable if poor Seth might be looking for some way, any way, to inject in his two cents yet again without being forced to defend the indefensible.

He found a bit of an outlet on Friday in his coverage of this year's virtually unprecedented U.S. snowfalls. How unprecedented? This may be the first time 49 out of 50 states have snow on the ground at the same time.

Here are key factual paragraphs relating to the U.S. situation in Borenstein's report, followed by his veer-off into global warming near its end (bolded by me):

49 states dusted with snow; Hawaii's the holdout

Forget red and blue (AP) -- color America white. There was snow on the ground in 49 states Friday. Hawaii was the holdout. It was the United States of Snow, thanks to an unusual combination of weather patterns that dusted the U.S., including the skyscrapers of Dallas, the peach trees of Atlanta and the Florida Panhandle, where hurricanes are more common than snowflakes.

More than two-thirds of the nation's land mass had snow on the ground when the day dawned, and then it snowed ever so slightly in Florida to make it 49 states out of 50.

... Snow paralyzed and fascinated the Deep South on Friday. Snowball fights broke out at Southern Mississippi University, snow delayed flights at the busy Atlanta airport, and Louisiana hardware stores ran out of snow supplies. Andalusia, Ala., shut down its streets because of snow. And yet, Portland, Maine, where snow is usually a given, had to cancel its winter festival for lack of the stuff.

Weather geeks turned their eyes to Hawaii. In that tropical paradise, where a ski club strangely exists, observers were looking closely at the islands' mountain peaks to see if they could find a trace of white to make it a rare 50-for-50 states with snow. But there was no snow in sight.

... The idea of 50 states with snow is so strange that the federal office that collects weather statistics doesn't keep track of that number and can't say whether it has ever happened. The office can't even say whether 49 out of 50 has ever taken place before.

... The all-time record (for U.S. snow cover) is February 1978, with 7.31 million square miles. There is a chance this February could break that. There is also a chance that this could go down as the week with the most snow cover on record, (head of the Global Snow Lab at Rutgers University David) Robinson said.

... As long as this pattern persists we have potential for additional storms," said Dan Petersen, lead winter weather forecaster at the National Weather Service prediction center in Camp Springs, Md.

... A snowy winter doesn't disprove - or prove - global warming, Petersen and Robinson said. This is weather, which is variable, not long-term climate, and there is a huge difference.

"This has nothing to do with long-term trends," Petersen said. "This is just a several-week period."

Hey Seth, if you already knew the answer to your question, and you knew that that answer to be "it's irrelevant," why did you even bring it up?

In reaction to his December piece, the folks at the Watt's Up With That? blog took the reporter and his employer to the woodshed for a drop-dead obvious conflict of interest. AP was apparently okay with assigning Borenstein to the ClimateGate story even though he had been a de facto part of that story, as an involved party in several ClimateGate-related e-mails.

Looking at the bright side, at least Borenstein didn't come out and try, as did the News York Times (HT NewsBuster Martin Finkelstein), to tie some kind of generalized increase in weather extremes to global warming.

Have some compassion for Seth (but not too much). It must not be easy having been conned by greens.

Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.