Marion Kujawa looks over a pond he uses to water the cattle on his farm on July 16, 2012 in Ashley, Illinois. Kujawa began digging the pond deeper after it began to dry up during the drought. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
CLEVELAND - You won't see this on the national news. Although you should.
Remember last year's drought? The hype was all over the news last summer.
The devastating drought that affected a large part of the United States, including Texas and the Central Plains, was being blamed on the increase of man-made CO2 in the atmosphere, otherwise known as global warming. (Since the Earth inconveniently stopped warming 17 years ago, some advocates use the term climate change now.) One national news writer even went so far as to say last year that "this is what global warming looks like."
Funny how a year, actual data analysis and sensible science can change things. This week, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) released a report by its Drought Task Force, which basically debunked any and all claims that global warming/climate change caused last year's drought.
The report, titled "An Interpretation of the Origins of the 2012 Central Great Plains Drought" says the central Great Plains drought during May to August of 2012 resulted mostly from natural variations in weather . Did you get that? Natural variations in weather. Sounds about right.
The report explains that moist Gulf of Mexico air failed to stream northward in late spring as cyclone and frontal activity was shunted unusually northward. Summertime thunderstorms were infrequent and when they did occur, produced little rainfall.
And here's the money quote from NOAA: "Neither ocean states nor human-induced climate change appeared to play significant roles in causing severe rainfall deficits over the major corn producing regions of central Great Plains."
The report also emphasizes the inability of climate models to forecast the event.
"Official seasonal forecasts issued in April 2012 did not anticipate this widespread severe drought. Above normal temperatures were, however, anticipated in climate models, though not the extreme heat wave that occurred and which was driven primarily by the absence of rain."
These same climate models are telling us the world will warm 5 degrees in the next 50 to 100 years. And the climate models didn't tell us that global temperatures would show virtually now warming from 1998 to now.
Somebody get me a piece of gum. There's a hole in the dam.
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There was a mix of snow and slush on the roadways Friday as snowstorms from the south pushed their way into Northeast Ohio.
Parts of southwest and central Ohio are seeing snow as more wintry weather hits areas that earlier got a mix of rain and sleet.