January 7, 2014 by David K. Sutton
It’s Winter, It’s Cold, Bring On The Global Warming Denialists: Polar Vortex Style
Did you know winter disproves global warming? It’s true, that is, if you watch Fox News. I know this because Donald Trump told me during a segment on Fox & Friends. And everyone knows ‘The Donald’ never lies.
Do climate change denying conservatives know how silly they look every time they hold up a cold weather event as proof they were right all along? Of course not. Do they remember back a few months when they were accusing the rest of us of using droughts and extreme heat events as examples of the effects of climate change? Of course not. And do you want to know the difference? Of course you do.
Those of us who accept the scientific evidence of man-made global warming do not cite weather events as further proof of global warming. But what we do is point to these events as examples of the types of events that will happen more frequently due to a warming planet and changing climate. This is hardly as absolute as pointing to a snow storm or extreme cold and saying it definitively disproves global warming. Conservatives need a healthy dose of their own criticism.
But this story gets even better. While the polar vortex that grips much of the nation is not itself proof of anything (other than it’s really f’n cold), it turns out events like this are also more likely on a warming planet with vanishing sea ice.
Polar Vortex: Climate Change Could Be the Cause of Record Cold Weather | TIME.com — But not only does the cold spell not disprove climate change, it may well be that global warming could be making the occasional bout of extreme cold weather in the U.S. even more likely. Right now much of the U.S. is in the grip of a polar vortex, which is pretty much what it sounds like: a whirlwind of extremely cold, extremely dense air that forms near the poles. Usually the fast winds in the vortex—which can top 100 mph (161 k/h)—keep that cold air locked up in the Arctic. But when the winds weaken, the vortex can begin to wobble like a drunk on his fourth martini, and the Arctic air can escape and spill southward, bringing Arctic weather with it. In this case, nearly the entire polar vortex has tumbled southward, leading to record-breaking cold
Again, the polar vortex heading south for a while is not proof of global warming, it’s just an example of a singular event that is more likely due to the effects of climate change.
It turns out science takes too much thought and comprehension of scales well beyond day-to-day human contemplation for conservatives to bother themselves with the details. So instead of that, it’s a lot easier to be a talking head spouting a broken record of convenient politically charged hyperbole.