Peak Bloom Is Here – DC’s Global Warming Canary Lands with Frost on its Feet

by Adam Sandberg on April 15, 2013

in Blog, Features

As we have previously noted, the peak bloom date of DC’s cherry blossom trees has been delayed this year. While it was originally predicted to take place during March 23-26, it wasn’t until last Tuesday—April 9th—that it actually started, checking in 20 days later than last year.

Earlier peak blooms in past years have triggered a variety of global warming-related news articles. The Huffington Post characterized the cherry blossom trees as humanity-serving “global warming canaries” and the Washington Post suggested that the trees could one day be blooming in winter. However, this year’s late peak bloom date has not received the same treatment. As a matter of fact, we can’t find any examples of GW being discussed in connection with this year’s late peak bloom. (Are we the only exception?)

Well, today we can definitively announce that peak blooming actually began to plateau in 1998, much like what happened to global warming in general. After the unusually hot year of 1998 (which has been attributed to El Niño), temperatures have actually stopped rising.

Take a look at these cherry blossoms graphs below. The Y-axis measures how early peak bloom occurred; it’s constructed by subtracting the number of days between March 1 and peak bloom from 50, so a higher number on the Y-axis means an earlier peak bloom. These carefully developed graphs have been peer-reviewed by CEI general counsel Sam Kazman, but are hitherto unpublished.
cherry graph

Now compare the graphs to these statistics on global temperatures. If that isn’t conclusive evidence, then I don’t know what is.

Washington Post’s Jason Samenow wrote an alarmist piece last year called “D.C.’s cherry blossoms have shifted 5 days earlier: what about global warming and the future?” in which he claimed that “there is no reason to think the shift towards earlier bloom dates will not continue”.  Samenow has yet to comment on this year’s absence of an earlier peak bloom, even though his article surely begs for a follow-up. What is Samenow, a plateau denier? Where’s he getting his funding from, the Spring in February Foundation?

Whatever conclusions are to be drawn from various climate change indicators, one thing is rather obvious: GW alarmists say next to nothing when the conclusive, definitive, slam-dunk evidence runs counter to their claims.

Isn’t a 20-day delay conclusive proof that they’re wrong?

No, of course it isn’t. It’s just a single year.

But, then, so was 2012.

And that’s one of the reasons why we’re covering the cherry blossoms in the totally unbiased and authoritative manner they deserve. The second reason is that cherry blossoms are pretty and writing about them makes us happy.

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