How To Explain Global Warming When It’s Freezing

Winter Storm 2013

Now that many cities across the U.S. are facing below-freezing temperatures, it’s time for liberals to bust out their best thermals, flannels, and pro-climate science arguments?the arguments necessary when conservative friends and family ask the eye-roll inducing question, ?If global warming is real, why is it so cold??

The conservatives in question may be devotees of Donald Trump or just genuinely confused. Although studies show an increasing number of Americans believe in an increasing severity of global warming, more hearts and minds must be won to summon the public support necessary to bring about policy change.

You remember hearing something about how climate change is making the atmosphere and weather more unstable and extreme, not just warmer, yet you want some killer facts.?Fear no more liberals, progressive, and otherwise-identified defenders of climate science?here’s how to explain global warming or climate change when it’s freezing outside.

The ?polar vortex? is defined as ?a huge system of [Arctic] moving swirling air that normally contains the polar cold air? by bioanthropologist Greg Laden. According to Laden, ?We are not seeing an expansion of cold, an ice age, or an anti-global warming phenomenon.? Instead, this Arctic air is ?taking an excursion? south to regions that are usually more temperate.

Rutgers research professor of Marine and Coastal Science Jennifer Francis has also identified a ?waviness? in the jet stream that contributes to winter warming in Arctic regions and cooling in places like the U.K.

Regardless of the exact interpretation of the polar vortex, the following reminders about global warming might be necessary.

Global warming is about:

1) Average global temperatures, which remain among the highest ever according to recent data

2) Temperatures over longer periods of time than any one year (think over centuries, with rapid increases over the last century)

3) Record highs outpacing record lows by 2 to 1

Ready to nerd out on more science to dispel climate-denying myths? Check out how global warming causes heavy precipitation?and everything you need to know about land and sea ice in Antarctica?for more!

Edited/Published by: SB

Lindsay Jakows was born and raised in Phoenix, Arizona. She is a 2012 graduate of Pepperdine University, where she organized a campaign for a recognized LGBT student organization on campus. After graduation she took a job with the Student PIRGs, organizing a student-run voter registration drive in Denver, CO and environmental campaigns in Western Massachusetts. Currently Lindsay resides in Northampton, MA, where she works for a local environmental non-profit. She enjoys coffee, cats, and Harry Potter. Her views expressed here are hers and hers only.


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