What oh what will happen to those adorable little pikas when global warming melts away the Rocky Mountain tundra? If you've been losing sleep over that question, sleep better tonight.
Despite frequent scare stories about the dramatic changes coming to Colorado's high country if Al Gore is correct -- of ski resorts closing, of flora and fauna struggling, of snow-capped peaks melting like ice cream cones in an oven -- the promised apocalypse just isn't unfolding according to plan, according to this report in the Durango Herald. Actual temperature readings show a very modest trend toward warming -- nothing like the runaway train alarmists predict:
"VAIL - Climatologists are about to establish a "new normal" for temperature trends in Colorado.
And, believe it or not, it looks a lot like the old normal, said Colorado State Climatologist Nolan Doesken.
"What I was surprised about when I looked at these new quote-unquote normals is they really haven't changed very much," Doesken said Thursday in a presentation to the Colorado Water Congress.
Climatologists calibrate normal temperatures every 10 years, based temperatures over the last 30 years. So by the end of this year, the "normal" data will kick out the 1970s and introduce the warm 2000s.
Temperatures at a weather station in Mesa Verde National Park are on track to rise 0.8 degrees Fahrenheit in the new period - in line with most of the rest of the state, according to Doesken's data about the last 29 years.
But compared to the 1951 to 1980 period, temperatures at the Mesa Verde station have fallen 1.3 degrees. Most of the other weather stations in Colorado show slight temperature increases over the same time frames.
Doesken knows his numbers don't match up with the perception of a rapidly warming planet. He watches data gathered at weather stations, while projections of global warming are made through computer models that attempt to predict the future, he said.
Despite the models of warmer future weather, he has not seen drastic warming so far in Colorado.
"You've got to be thinking beyond that to plan for the future, but the current data are showing pretty small changes so far. But it leans in the warm direction," Doesken said in an interview."
So great is the pressure to ride the alarmist bandwagon that even credible researchers, when confronting hard contradictory evidence, seem reluctant to voice skepticism about what the climate cartel, using computer models, is saying. Temperatures in Colorado are actually considerably cooler that they were in the 30 year span between 1950 and 1980, as the story points out, and they show only a minor trend upward, yet the state climatologist can't quite bring himself to concede that the world might not be coming to an end after all.
You really get a sense of the mania that's afoot when scientists are more inclined to believe suped-up supercomputer simulations than what's right in front of their faces.