Former Vice President Al Gore is taking heat for his claim that the icy nor’easter blanketing the eastern seaboard with snow and freezing temperatures is “exactly what we should expect from the climate crisis.”
The debate over global warming’s impact on Winter Storm Grayson was already raging when Mr. Gore jumped in with a tweet positing that the storm was consistent with human-caused climate change, and citing an article by Penn State climate scientist Michael E. Mann.
“It’s bitter cold in parts of the US, but climate scientist Dr. Michael Mann explains that’s exactly what we should expect from the climate crisis,” said Mr. Gore in a Thursday tweet.
To nobody’s surprise, Mr. Gore was promptly deluged with an avalanche of skepticism from critics who accused him of adjusting his global-warming theories to fit the latest weather phenomenon.
Climate Depot’s Marc Morano pointed out that the climate-change-can-cause-cold-weather theory was never advanced in Mr. Gore’s 2006 global-warming film “An Inconvenient Truth,” which won an Academy Award for best documentary.
“Gore’s Oscar-winning documentary ‘An Inconvenient Truth’ did not warn of record cold and increasing snowfalls as a consequence of man-made global warming,” said Mr. Morano. “And as recently as 2009, Gore was hyping the lack of snow as evidence for man-made global warming.”
Anthony Watts, who runs the climate-skeptical website Watts Up With That, blasted the “sheer ridiculousness” of Mr. Gore’s comment in a post headlined, “Goremongering and Mannhandling the reality of winter weather ‘bombs.’”
A leader of the climate-change “consensus,” Mr. Mann argued that “warmer oceans also mean more moisture in the atmosphere, even more energy to strengthen the storm, and the potential for larger snowfalls.”
Other scientists have said that such “bomb cyclone” storms aren’t particularly rare.
Roger A. Pielke Sr., University of Colorado Boulder meteorologist, said the culprit behind the storm was cold air, not warm air.
“For those who claim USA/Canada nor’easter is stronger because of ‘global warming’, they apparently do not realize that [it’s] so strong because of especially strong horizontal temperature gradient in troposphere. It ‘bombed’ because of usually cold air!” said Mr. Pielke on Twitter.
Winter Storm Grayson brought rare snowfall to the South and unusually cold temperatures as it swept the eastern seaboard from Florida to New England, causing an estimated 11 deaths before moving out Friday.
Mr. Mann struck back by thanking the “right-wing climate denial machine” for drawing attention to his article, which was posted Thursday on Climate Reality Project, founded by Mr. Gore.