U.S. cold snap inspires climate change denial, while scientists see little room for doubt – ‘The real story is that people have forgotten what cold weather is like. It was common 20 years ago.’Posted by Jim at Thursday, January 09, 2014
By Brian Clark Howard
8 January 2014
(National Geographic News) – The most severe cold snap in the U.S. in 20 years (see pictures) has some people questioning whether the Earth's climate is in fact warming.
The conservative website Breitbart.com has called the cold snap evidence of a global warming "hoax," while Donald Trump recently tweeted:
But climate scientists say the weather does not invalidate prevailing climate models, and Prof. Gavin Schmidt says that reactions to this week's polar vortex suggest that “people have forgotten what cold is like.”
Over the past few days, some parts of the Midwest dipped to nearly -40°F (-40°C)—with windchill, -60°F (-51°C)—and states as far south as Alabama and Georgia experienced colder temperatures than they've had in years. More than 20 deaths have been reported as a result.
The weather has prompted Texas Senator Ted Cruz, a Republican, to poke fun at climate change advocate Al Gore: "It's cold. Al Gore told me this wouldn't happen."
But Gavin Schmidt, a climate scientist with NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York City, tells National Geographic that people are missing the big picture.
"People should stick to the basics of what we know, the long-term trends, and realize that what we are talking about are global averages," he says.
Schmidt, who enjoyed a cold-weather run in Central Park on Wednesday morning, says climate data show that North America has been warming steadily over the past 30 years.
"The real story is that people have forgotten what cold weather is like," he says. "It was common 20 years ago." [more]
By Rebecca Shabad
8 January 2014
(The Hill) – Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) says climate change is a “hoax” and it’s “laughable” that people are saying it’s caused the latest cold weather. [WATCH VIDEO]
Inhofe is a member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. He previously served as its chairman and ranking member. This is not the first time he's rejected the concepts.
"First of all, global warming is not taking place. It's kind of laughable right now with all the records that are being set," Inhofe told the Fox affiliate in Tulsa, Oklahoma, in an interview Tuesday.
The polar vortex, a major cold front bringing all-time low temperatures to some areas, has swept across the country in the last few days.
Inhofe rejects the notion that global warming or climate change has precipitated the extreme weather.
"The reality is there's a difference between weather and climate," Inhofe said.
Climate change researchers, however, said earlier this week that global warming might have brought on the frigid temperatures.
"You gotta understand we have people with their lives tied up with trying to make this hoax a reality,” Inhofe added. [more]