Yes, Frigid Temperatures Are Part of Climate Change

Baby, it’s cold outside — and those sub-freezing temperatures don’t disprove the existence of climate change. If anything, this extreme weather adds to the growing body of evidence that something is going very wrong on everyone’s favorite blue marble, Earth.

If this conversation feels like deja vu, it should. Remember 2014′s polar vortex, pictured above? It was another period of severe cold filled with dramatic photos and headlines. And then, as now, it marked a good time to talk about climate change, as well as the importance of distinguishing between climate and weather — something the current president of the United States appears to have some difficulty with.

So here’s the deal: The chilly temperatures across many parts of the U.S. are projected to get even colder, the result of a one-two punch that starts with a “bomb cyclone” before pivoting to a polar vortex. That means there will be an extremely powerful and fast-developing ocean storm that batters the Northeast with snow and ice, causes flooding and results in some pretty dramatic conditions. All that wind movement, in turn, will draw extremely cold air down from the Arctic, blasting the eastern United States with super cold temperatures.

Meteorologists suggest that this combination of storm and cold conditions will break records up and down the Eastern Seaboard. It’s a good time to be warm and indoors — and for your pets to join you there. Extreme weather like this can be fatal for members of the homeless community, as well as older and disabled adults. If you live in an affected area, consider checking in on your neighbors.

Okay, but what does this have to do with climate change, exactly? Well, for starters, the cold weather illustrates why people are shifting towards “climate change” as a descriptive term for what’s happening on Earth, versus “global warming,” which is only an element of a changing climate. When people hear “global warming,” they tend to assume it means everything across the Earth is getting hot uniformly, so rain, extreme cold and other weird weather conditions are proof that nothing’s wrong.

In fact, these things are all tied together.

The freezing temperatures on the East Coast right now are an example of weather: specific local events that take place over a short time period. Climate, on the other hand, is about larger trends.

Thus, for example, residents of San Francisco might say they live in a “Mediterranean climate,” because temperatures stay pretty moderate and consistent, with occasional rain and occasional periods of dryness. If they want to know what conditions will be like on a specific day, though, they check the weather report to see if it’s going to rain. If it snows in San Francisco — which does happen sometimes! — it doesn’t disprove the overall assertion that the city is located in a Mediterranean climate. But if it started snowing heavily over long periods of time year after year, with markedly cooler temperatures than normal, it would suggest that something about the city’s climate — the big picture in terms of what’s happening outside — is changing.

Globally, a number of worrying climate trends are appearing. These include, yes, warmer temperatures, but also changes in climate patterns fueled by these temperatures, affecting ocean circulation and atmospheric currents. In some places, that means heat waves and drought. In others, it means rain and cold.

Any one incident of weather, like this cold snap, doesn’t prove or disprove anything about the climate, but when weather incidents over time are viewed together, they can hint at trends — and climate change may fuel some extreme weather. In fact, over time, we’re having more hot extreme weather than intense cold, highlighting the development of a trend.

Got climate change deniers in your life? There’s literally an app for that, and you might find it a useful tool for firmly and politely rebuking people who try to convince you climate change isn’t real.

Photo credit: David Robert Crews

169 comments

Dan Blossfeld
Dan Blossfeld7 days ago

Gerald L.,
Many do not like to acknowledge the effects of carbon black. Similarly, they diminish the effects of urbanization. Replacing nature with metallic structure and black roadways has had the same effect on the midlatitudes as carbon black has had on the glaciers. The albedo effects between snow-covered and plowed roadways is huge. But acknowledging these effects tend to diminish their own theories, so they ignore them, call them nonsense, or attribute them to some hated bogeyman. In their mind, ignorance is bliss.

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Philip W
Philip W8 days ago

Publish or Perish 2: The Co2 Cult

Tagline: Forget Global Warming: The Co2 Cult Will Kill Unless You Publish

Gerald L,

Your argument has already been refuted:

https://www.skepticalscience.com/soot-global-warming.htm

Gerald and Dan, you are just wasting time, your arguments have already been refuted. If you actually have new research that you wish to have reviewed, send it to the 97% of climate scientists who agree that humans are the main cause of Global Warming. Trying to convince people to deny climate change will not change science.

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Gerald L
Gerald L8 days ago

Get your Popcorn Ready for a Historical Animation of Great Lakes Ice Cover.
https://www.glerl.noaa.gov/data/ice/historicalAnim/

Currently working on a Repeat for the Winter of 2017 to 2018.

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Gerald L
Gerald L8 days ago

Pictures are worth a thousand words! Ref:
https://www.google.ca/search?q=Pictures+of+Black+Carbon+on+Greenland+Ice+cap&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjN5ZGK5dfYAhVI5GMKHXB-BLEQ7AkIQg&biw=1440&bih=751


When I Posted a personal Observation when shovelling snow on Lake ice in the early 70’s on isolated St Ignace Island to do Beaver Sets noting there were layers of Dust and Particulate in the snow and that may be the issue causing Premature Ice Cap failure in Greenland and Canadas Arctic. I was laughed Off the Cbc Blog and told to go present my laughable theory to NASA. Philip W just as you are mockingly doing to Dan.

Philip it is obvious you are a member of the Co2 Cult blind to the obvious that Black Carbon Emissions play the Dominant Role of Premature Glacier and Ice Cap Failure. The same thing has happened on Tibet's Mountains. Google the Lake Kluane Glacier in the Yukon that has Reversed itself to the Gulf of Alaska. It's the same Grey Soot. Now is your Green Kool-Aid getting murky?

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Philip W
Philip W8 days ago

Dan Blossfeld,

Publish or Perish; Ooh, that sounds so scary. Sounds like a corny B-Movie.

Dan, you should send your links that deny climate change to the 97% of climate scientists who agree that humans are the main cause of Global Warming. They may not know about your exhaustive research, you would be doing them a favor, you would be saving them a lot of embarrassment. Most of them may not know how to surf the internet to find out the truth, if you could only change their minds, you would be a hero. And, the Koch brothers would love you.

Your nonsense has already been refuted:

https://www.skepticalscience.com/global-warming-scientific-consensus.htm

https://www.skepticalscience.com/pal-review.htm

https://www.skepticalscience.com/500-scientists-global-warming-consensus.htm

https://www.skepticalscience.com/97-percent-consensus-robust.htm

https://www.skepticalscience.com/climate-scientists-in-it-for-the-money.htm

https://www.skepticalscience.com/deniers-are-part-of-97-percent.htm

https://www.skepticalscience.com/settled-science.htm

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Dan Blossfeld
Dan Blossfeld8 days ago

Gerald L.,
That is the old publish or perish paradigm. Most universities still use this as one of their barometers. Many profession publications are just copycat papers. It is much easier to duplicate (they call it verify) others work, that produce something genuine. Consequently, we get numerous papers drawing similar conclusions, using the same data, or adding one more piece to the dataset. Few are actually working on new research, as it is more difficult and time consuming. Whenever someone comes up with something new, those in their ivory towers sit back and criticize it, as it conflicts with their preconceived notions. The real research is out in the field and the markets. Whenever it contradicts the university work, the professors deny it or call it biased. They need their egos constantly stroked. Not all mind you. There are still several adhering to strict scientific principles. But they are not rewarded as much by the deans and chairs.

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Gerald L
Gerald L8 days ago

Philip W many Professors or PhD Students Publish Journals to maintain the Cash Flow for Research. So much is Redundant Repetitive blah blah blah. Reinventing the Wheel. It gets boring. How the hay can they get funding for controversial research So BS walks.

Fake peer review: Scientific journals publish fraudulent, plagiarized, or ...
www.slate.com/articles/...science/science/.../fake_peer_review_scientific_journals_pub...
Apr 1, 2015 - And for the better part of a decade, SCIgen-written papers have been appearing in conference proceedings and computer science journals all around the world, exposing bogus peer review wherever it crops up. (It's not hard to find oodles and oodles of examples if you know what to look for.) So, last year ...

Fraud in Science Journals Exposed by Study | Time
time.com › Science › Research
Mar 22, 2017 - The “publish or perish” dictum is a very real thing for researchers and academics whose hopes for career advancement depend on doing work that earns a spot in peer-reviewed journals. There are thousands of legitimate journals out there beyond the well-known powerhouses like Science or the BMJ or ...

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Gerald L
Gerald L8 days ago

Brian F what was the Global Population in 1860? How much carbon Fuel was being burnt. I witnessed the Damage from an Atmospheric River on the North Shore of Lake Superior in September 2004 over a 20 Mile area. Every Trans Canada Highway Bridge approach was washed out and the Canadian Pacific Transcontinental railway has rail hanging in mid air with the roadbed washed out. Trees were hanging in Telegraph wires. The only way that I could describe it was that every Cloud Around the Globe must have Gathered Over That area and Dumped. The winter of 2015 I could have driven over Ice from Thunder Bay on the North Shore of Lake Superior to Chicago on the bottom end of Lake Michigan. It may become a reality again this winter. So the warmunists state Global Warming was the cause of the Houston Flood right. Ponder this.

Great Flood of 1862 - Wikipedia
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Flood_of_1862
The Great Flood of 1862 was the largest flood in the recorded history of Oregon, Nevada, and California, occurring from December 1861 to January 1862. It was preceded by weeks of continuous rains and snows in the very high elevations that began in Oregon in November 1861 and continued into January 1862. This was ...

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Gerald L
Gerald L8 days ago

Brian F. the Late Bill Lieshman, the inspiration for the Movie, Fly Away Home about Canada Geese following his Ultralight to the Warmer South from Northern Canada stated There Is NO Straight Line in Nature.

Major Volcanic Ash Umbrella Events are NoT a fault of man. What will happen to the Planet if this area breaks open?

NASA Discovers Mantle Plume Almost as Hot as Yellowstone ...
www.newsweek.com/antarctica-melting-below-mantle-plume-almost-hot-yellowstone-...
Nov 8, 2017 - A mantle plume producing almost as much heat as Yellowstone supervolcano appears to be melting part of West Antarctica from beneath. Researchers at NASA have ... Once it gets through the mantle, it spreads out under the crust, providing magma for volcanic eruptions. The area above a plume is known ...

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Glennis W
Glennis W9 days ago

Deplorable and sickening Thank you for caring and sharing

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