Last night on his Fox News show, Sean Hannity claimed that the recent spate of winter snow storms in the Washington, D.C. region clearly means that the planet isn’t warming. He then attacked Vice President Gore, calling his anti-global warming advocacy “hysterical”:
HANNITY: And tonight’s “Meltdown” is brought to you by the D.C. snow storm, you know, the storm that dumped about two feet of snow on the Washington area over the weekend causing thousands of power outages and keeping many people home from work today. And it’s the most severe winter storm in years, which would seem to contradict Al Gore’s hysterical global warming theories. […]
Pretty unbelievable. I bet the snow even kept Al Gore’s jet from taking off.
Because of the recent snow storms in the Northeast, many conservatives like Hannity have taken the opportunity to take cheap shots at Gore. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK) and his family mocked the former Vice President by building an igloo on the National Mall and calling it “Al Gore’s new home.” And Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) joined in as well, tweeting today that, “It’s going to keep snowing in DC until Al Gore cries ‘uncle.’”
As the Wonk Room’s Brad Johnson has explained, “winter snows do not invalidate the reality that the planet just experienced the hottest decade on record. Scientists have been warning for decades that global warming would increase the severity of winter storms.” And a recent National Wildlife Federation report has found that winter storms are getting fiercer even as the season gets warmer.
Climate expert Dr. Jeff Masters notes, “It’s not hard at all to get temperatures cold enough for snow in a world experiencing global warming. … Global warming theory predicts that global precipitation will increase, and that heavy precipitation events…will also increase,” he said, adding that this “occurs because as the climate warms, evaporation of moisture from the oceans increases, resulting in more water vapor in the air.” Indeed, the IPCC has said that atmospheric moisture has increased 5 percent over the last century.