Alarmists Blame Global Warming for Recent Midwest Floods

Published September 1, 2008

In the latest in a series of claims arguing every unfortunate event in the world is caused by global warming, the environmental activist group Clean Wisconsin is saying the disastrous June floods that ravaged Wisconsin and the Upper Mississippi River confirm global warming predictions.

Alarmists have adopted the can’t-lose position that all extremes of weather–cold, warm, wet, dry–are due to global warming. They blamed the frequent tornadoes of the late winter and spring on global warming, even though the number was not at all atypical for a La Niña year. Southern Wisconsin and much of the Midwest had a rough winter and spring, but it has been the antithesis of global warming.

Wisconsin had its 33rd coldest winter on record, nearby Iowa its 19th coldest in 114 years. The cool weather continued into the spring, with the 22nd coldest spring on record in Wisconsin and 24th in Iowa. Madison, Wisconsin had the snowiest winter on record, topping 100 inches for the first time ever.

An Inconvenient Cooling

The record snows, severe weather, and heavy rainfall have been the result of rapid cooling in the northern tier of the United States and Canada, not global warming. The flooding exceeded the floods of 1993 that followed the eruption of Mt. Pinatubo, which produced a similar cooling and resulted in a steady stream of storms and flooding in these same parts of North America.

Rapid warming, as took place in the 1930s and again around 1980, leads to drought and record heat, not rain and floods.

The global warming alarmist movement is reeling since the warming stopped in 1998 and cooling began in 2002, accelerating in the past year. In an effort to keep their hoax alive, their claims have morphed from a concern over warming to a focus on the extremes typical of La Niña and the colder decades.

Meteorologist Joseph D’Aleo ([email protected]) is executive director of the International Climate and Environmental Change Assessment Project (ICECAP). An earlier version of this article appeared on the ICECAP Web site (