Missing the Mark on Climate Change

For the second year in a row, we’ve had peak cherry blossoms later than the average date of March 31. In 2013, they were nine days late; this year they were 10 days late. That’s not a big surprise; after all, the usual peak date itself is just an average.

But what is curious is how The Post’s coverage of cherry blossoms veers into discussions of global warming in some years but not in others. In 2012, when the blossoms peaked on March 20, one front-page article was ominously headlined, “Much-too-early bloomers? As temperatures rise, scientists speculate that cherry blossom times could advance by a month .” A Capital Weather Gang blog post that month was headlined, “D.C.’s cherry blossoms have shifted 5 days earlier: What about global warming and the future?” Why enjoy an early spring when you can turn it into a teachable moment?

Needless to say, this news angle wilted a bit in the past two years.

When it comes to global warming, the recent late blossoms don’t prove much. But for that matter, neither did the early blossoms of years past.