Contrarian NOAA Meteorologist Martin Hoerling: Freak Heat Wave ‘A Darn Good Outcome’

Martin Hoerling, a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration meteorologist, argues that the freak March heat wave which most climate scientists are attributing to global warming is something to be celebrated. In an interview with the Associated Press, Hoerling said that the record-shattering warmth was a “darn good outcome”:

Why wouldn’t we embrace it as a darn good outcome? This was not the wicked wind of the east. This was the good wind of the south.

The record warmth has already led to pervasive drought in Colorado, an early wildfire season across much of the country, a record-breaking onslaught of pollen. The heat has fueled an early and destructive tornado season and crippled ski areas and maple-syrup producers.

Hoerling’s sentiment was shared by President Barack Obama, who said “we really have enjoyed the nice weather” even though it makes him “a little nervous.”

Hoerling says that global warming was “certainly a minor factor” in causing the March madness.

Hoerling — who clearly accepts that man-made global warming is making weather hotter and more extreme — has published several non-peer-reviewed reports as the lead of NOAA’s Climate Scene Investigators that claim global warming did not influence recent catastrophic extremes, such as the 2009–2010 Snowmageddon, the 2010 Russian heat wave, and the 2011 tornado outbreak. Hoerling’s team did conclude, however, that “human-caused global warming was a factor in the Midwest flooding disaster” of 2008. Hoerling’s method of ascribing attribution to global warming relies primarily on statistical analysis of weather records. His method can miss phenomena that occur because of non-linear changes in the climate system, such as how the decline in Arctic sea ice caused by global warming is influencing large-scale circulation patterns.


Peer-reviewed studies that don’t rely on a single test for attribution have found a clear link between global warming and the 2009–2010 Snowmageddon and the 2010 Russia heat wave.

In a peer-reviewed work, Hoerling did find that the increasing frequency of Mediterranean droughts is caused by global warming.