With New England, much of the middle Atlantic region, and parts of the southeast extending well into Florida suffering through late December, early January-punishing cold temperatures, and in a number of places, record night-time lows and heavy snowfalls – the inevitable “so much for global warming” argument seemed certain to arise.
On the one hand there were analytical news stories such as The Washington Post’s Capital Weather Gang’s story headlined “Historic ‘bomb cyclone’ unleashes blizzard conditions from coastal Virginia to New England. Frigid air to follow.”
There also was President Trump’s “we could use a little more of that good old global warming” tweet from his “balmy Mar a Lago” residence looking forward to a frigidly cold New Years Eve dropping of the 2018 ball at Times Square in New York City.
So how then to explain such not-at-all-unusual experience of cold weather temperatures even as the global temperatures continue rising? (One can safely anticipate having to explain cool summer-time daily temperatures in some places as the world continues warming.) To some extent, it’s a simple question of needing to repeatedly explain the difference between weather (short term and local) and climate (long term and global).
This month’s “This is Not Cool” video lays-out the scientific explanation. Through the experience-based research and careful descriptions of a handful of prominent climatologists, the video makes understandable a question puzzle sure to arise in the minds of professional climate-science “skeptics” and also the public at large.