Scientists in Alabama are reportedly expecting tick populations in the state to expand to what could end up being record levels, and they say global warming is largely to blame. However, climate data tell an entirely different story.
According to a report by Dennis Pillion for AL.com, researcher Tim Sellati, chair of the Southern Research’s Infectious Diseases Department, says warmer conditions will likely help tick populations in the state.
“I would say this is going to be a very bad tick year because it was a very mild winter,” said Sellati.
“The winters are warmer and the ticks recognize this, they sense this change in their environment,” Sellati said. “We are seeing, year over year, ticks migrating into areas they would not normally venture into.”
WSFA-TV reported Lyme disease, as well as other diseases carried by ticks, could increase as tick populations boom.
This problem is not limited to Alabama. When climates warm, ticks thrive and populations expand, reported the New York Times in January.
“Climate change, as shortening winter, plays to the advantage of the tick,” said Peter Pekins, the chairman of the natural resources and environment department of the University of New Hampshire, in the Times’ report.
There’s a massive problem with Alabama scientists’ concerns, however: The climate in Alabama has actually cooled over the past century.
[graphiq id="eL00wzwD3vL" title="Tick" width="500" height="651" url="https://w.graphiq.com/w/eL00wzwD3vL"]
Relying on data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, man-caused climate change skeptic Anthony Watts pointed out in a recent article on the Alabama tick problem the climate data for the region doesn’t fit with alarmists’ claims.
“It has not warmed in Alabama in the last century according to NOAA’s own data,” Watts wrote on his website Watts Up With That? “In fact the average temperature has COOLED since 1895. … And if ‘ticks recognize this, they sense this change in their environment,’ according to Tim Sellati, chair of Southern Research’s Infectious Diseases Department, you’d think they would sense that Alabama is getting cooler, especially the daytime high temperatures.”
Watts concludes, “Sellati might be a tick expert, but to quote one of the favorite lines of climate skeptic detractors: he’s not a climate scientist. While the data shows winter was warmer in Alabama, it isn’t part of a long-term trend and in fact, there were three other periods in 1932, 1950, and 1957 that were warmer than this most recent winter.”