Trump’s Climate Tweet Irks Science Community

Trump has been widely criticized for not understanding, or choosing to ignore, the difference between "weather" and "climate"
The 10 hottest years ever measured were in the last two decades, with the top three being 2014 through 2016.
The 10 hottest years ever measured were in the last two decades, with the top three being 2014 through 2016.

US President Donald Trump's recent tweet suggesting that the ongoing cold snap gripping the nation disproves global warming has raised an outcry in response from climate scientists.

On holiday in Palm Beach, Florida, on Thursday, when the temperature was 22 degrees Celsius, he tweeted:

"In the East, it could be the Coldest New Year's Eve on record. Perhaps we could use a little bit of that good old Global Warming that our Country, but not other countries, was going to pay trillions of dollars to protect against. Bundle up!" CNBC reported.

What he does not understand or has chosen to ignore, however, is that "weather" and "climate" are not the same thing.

Weather, according to NASA, is what conditions of the atmosphere are over a short period of time, while climate is how the atmosphere behaves over relatively long periods of time.

Climate scientists have long warned against using individual weather events to ponder the existence or otherwise of global warming and have sharply reacted to Trump's comment.

"What's going on in one small corner of the world at a given moment does not reflect what's going on with the planet," Anthony Leiserowitz, director of Yale University's project on climate change communication, said referring to Trump's tweet as "scientifically ridiculous and demonstrably false", the Guardian reported.

  Ignorant Misconception

Matthew England, a climate scientist from the University of New South Wales, has also called Trump's comment "an ignorant misconception of the way the earth's climate works".

"Nobody ever said winter would go away under global warming, but winter has become much milder and the record cold days are being far outnumbered by record warm days and heat extremes."

Climate modeling has shown that despite year-to-year variability, the average coldest temperature in December in the north-east of the US has increased in the past 50 years.

According to the National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration, the 10 hottest years ever measured were in the last two decades—with the top three being 2014 through 2016 and 2017 set to be the next warmest on record.

Experts also know climate change is linked to a dangerous pattern of major weather events. There had been at least 15 extreme weather and climate events this year in the US, including Hurricane Harvey in Texas and wildfires in California.

This is far from the first time Trump expressed skepticism about climate change. In 2012, he called global warming a "hoax" that the Chinese created in an effort to hurt the American economy.

His repeated attempts to pour skepticism on global warming match his decision to withdraw from the Paris climate accord, which aims to curb carbon emissions.

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