by Dr. Sebastian Lüning and Josef Kowatsch
(Translated and rewritten by P Gosselin)
At the Hamburg Binnenalster near the Lombard Bridge, one finds a particular patch of forsythia, which blossoms every year when spring arrives at the north German port city. And just days ago on March 24, 2017, the famous patch blossomed again as it does every year.
So what’s the big deal about a spring flower patch blossoming in the spring?
It turns out that this particular patch is in fact one of great scientific interest as it has been scientifically observed since 1945. The dates at which the flowers blossom have been carefully recorded each year.
In the age of “rapid, unprecedented global warming”, you’d think that the blossoms would be appearing earlier and earlier as the global climate heats up like NASA insists it is. So it is all the more surprising that the data show that the opposite is in fact happening: the trend over the past 30 years is that this particular patch is blossoming later and later, indicating harsher and harsher winters.
Despite this year’s seemingly early spring in Europe, the most recent 2017 data point of the Hamburg Lombard Bridge forsythia blossoms in fact fits right with the overall 30 year trend.
Figure 1: The blossoming date of the Hamburg Lombard Bridge forsythia patch over the past 30 years with linear trend. The Y-axis is the number of days from the start of the year (January 1st). Spring at the site is arriving 3 weeks later!
The reason for the increasingly delayed spring blossoms likely has much to do with the trend of colder months of February over the past 30 years:
Figure 2: February mean temperatures in GERMANY over the past 30 years. Data from the German DWD National Weather Service. Chart by Josef Kowatsch.
Wikipedia censors, cherrypicks and disinforms
Lüning and Kowatsch add that because of the Lombard Bridge forsythia patch’s significance, it even has its own Wikipedia page.
The two authors at the Die kalte Sonne site note that Wikipedia makes no mention whatsoever of the later blossoms trend. In fact one skeptic who wishes to remain anonymous actually logged in the Wikipedia site and suggested the following important addition on the now famous Hamburg forsythia blossoms:
Over the past 50 years there’s been a detectable trend of earlier blossoming. However since 1988 the blossoming date of the Hamburg forsythia has been again coming later.“
This is a perfectly legitimate scientific statement that notes fairly both a trend of earlier blossoms on one hand, and on the other hand the current trend of the past 30 years, where the blossoms have been appearing later. The official long-term dataset since 1945 can be viewed at this DWD website (second chart, yellow curve).
So did the Wikipedia editors allow the added information? Lüning and Kowatsch write:
It did not even take a half hour, before the additional information was taken down. The reason according to page editor “DeWikiMan”: The trend of later blossoming over the past 30 years is not sufficiently statistically established.”
Lüning and Kowatch refer readers to Figure 1 above, and of course characterize DeWikiMan’s reasoning as somewhat absurd, before going on to show that the Wikipedia editor is in fact an activist and a “classic gatekeeper”: Wikipedia profile here. They depict DeWikiMan as a cherry-picker and purveyor of disinformation, and suggest that Wikipedia ought to take a much closer look at this editor.
Lüning and Kowatsch summarize:
It is a pity that the original excellent concept of a voluntarily written online encyclopedia has been hijacked by political activists and rendered useless in a number of sensitive subjects areas”