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The Al Gore Effect Comes to Minnesota

The House Energy and Climate Finance and Policy Division has been holding hearings on global warming. To what end, is not yet clear. But on January 15, several purported experts testified about what Minnesota can expect, in terms of weather and climate, in years to come. Their testimony was based on models, of course, not on actual observation. And we already know the models are wrong, since their predictions have been far off the mark for some years. But global warming alarmists are undeterred by reality.

You can watch the video of the committee hearing here. At the 43:30 mark, witness Tracy Twine completes her testimony. The first question comes from DFL Representative John Persell of Bemidji. This is the colloquy:

Rep. Persell: I may have missed this, but up in northern Minnesota, my home, and we haven’t had a big snow up there for a long time. Eight-ten inches was the last one. We haven’t been anywhere close to our six-foot average for decades. What’s the phenomenon associated with that? We talk about more precipitation, but we’re talking about rainfall, up our way, anyway.

Witness Twine: Thank you for the question. That is global warming. So there are always natural variability in the system that’s happening, that’s helping to bring us our El Nino winter this year, so part of our warm winter is from the El Nino phenomenon, which is completely natural. But that continued warming that you see up North, with decreases in the snow that you used to see, is from anthropogenic global warming.

But wait! Did anyone check to see whether snowfall in the Bemidji area, or northern Minnesota generally, has actually declined? Evidently not.

You can access the National Weather Service data for Minnesota here. The nearest weather station to Bemidji is Cass Lake, just a few miles away. The National Weather Service records show that from 1930 through 1999, the average annual snowfall at Cass Lake was 50.2 inches. From 2000 through 2018, it was 52.5 inches–more snow, not less. And the 2008-09 total of 73.7 inches was the most since 1955-56.

Grand Rapids is in the same region of the state as Bemidji. The National Weather Service records show that from 1930 through 1999, the average seasonal snowfall there was 57.4 inches. From 2000 through 2018, it averaged 56.9 inches–an insignificant difference. But most recently–2012-2018–annual snowfall has averaged 63.4 inches. More snow, not less.

This trend generally holds across northern Minnesota. In Duluth, annual snowfall averaged 80.3 inches from 1930 through 1999. Since 2000, the average snowfall has increased to 83.2 inches.

It is remarkable that the Minnesota legislature would hear testimony from a purported expert who blithely assures legislators that decreasing snowfall is due to “anthropogenic global warming,” when in fact, snowfall has been increasing, not decreasing.

Then we come to Ms. Twine’s unfortunate reference to the “warm winter” that we are enjoying. That characterization was ill-timed, as we are now seeing headlines like Coldest air in 23 years? Currently the forecast for the Twin Cities calls for brutal cold, including three consecutive days this week when the temperature will not rise above zero, with lows of more than 20 below.

In Rep. Persell’s Bemidji, the forecast for Tuesday is a high of 20 degrees below zero, and a low of 35 degrees below zero. No doubt anthropogenic global warming is to blame!

If you are interested in climate issues, you should subscribe to the Science and Environmental Policy Project’s The Week That Was. The linked email, from last week, points out that despite huffing and puffing by supposed experts who rely on discredited models rather than empirical observation, there has been “no statistically significant warming” of the atmosphere in the current century.

Which is too bad, if you live in Bemidji.