Here’s What These Record Low Temperatures Say About Global Warming

Scientific studies on climate helped establish...

Scientific studies on climate helped establish a consensus. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As the frigid polar vortex makes itself at home over a giant swath of the country, it’s also serving as fodder for all those equally unwelcome climate change deniers. Despite the fact that 97 percent of scientists agree that man-made climate change is happening, the likes of Donald Trump say many of these record lows are the perfect proof to show that, no, the planet is not warming. Scientific right?

So, does this extreme winter weather prove that our planet is just as cold as it’s always been? No, not at all. But it does say this.  It’s cold.

via Here’s What These Record Low Temperatures Say About Global Warming.

It seems like this conversation has to happen every year.

While I agree with this article, it finishes with something I wish science writers would stop saying, that the frigid weather is itself further proof of global warming.  It may be technically true, but if someone is already struggling with the distinction between single weather events and long term climate trends, saying that frigid weather is further proof of global warming only sounds like desperate spin to them.

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6 Responses to Here’s What These Record Low Temperatures Say About Global Warming

  1. Steve Morris says:

    I think the “climate change is real” lobby created this problem by making a fanfare every time the weather got hot or the wind blew hard. There is pseudo science by the bucketful on both sides of the argument. That’s why the science lost credibility in the minds of many.

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    • I agree that many of the people arguing for action on climate change can get loose with the facts. Scientists do periodically warn them not to cite individual heat waves or forest fires as evidence. That said, I can’t agree that they’re both equally to blame. One side is at least influenced by the scientific evidence, the other side is influenced by industry money.

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  2. Larry says:

    Here’s a new statistic. James Powell, a geochemist and head of the National Physical Science Consortium, has surveyed the peer-reviewed articles in science journals published between November 2012 and December 2013. He found that among the 2,258 articles, written by a total of 9,136 authors, there was only one article by one author who rejected man-made climate change. Even the author of that article believes the climate is getting warmer, but he thinks it’s for other reasons (e.g. deforestation). He also happens to be a Russian scientist who expresses concern in his article that Russia might lose income if people stop using so much oil.

    So much for the idea that there is “pseudo-science by the bucketful” on both sides of the argument. (That’s what the global warming-deniers want people to think.)

    http://www.desmogblog.com/2014/01/08/why-climate-deniers-have-no-scientific-credibility-only-1-9136-study-authors-rejects-global-warming

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    • Steve Morris says:

      Larry, I wasn’t claiming that there is “pseudo-science by the bucketful” in peer-reviewed papers, and I’m not a global warming denier. I was speaking about the level of debate you hear on the news and in newspapers.

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      • Larry says:

        Sorry, I misunderstood. I agree that there is a lot of noise out there on the subject, which is one reason I stopped watching TV news some years ago. It was too depressing (and I don’t mean because the facts are depressing).

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  3. Steve Morris says:

    If you use an extreme weather event to “prove” anything about climate, don’t complain when others use different weather events to “prove” something different.

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