Why do people think cold weather disproves global warming?



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    Because when people hear a phrase like “global warming,” they think (or want to think) that it means all temperatures everywhere on the Earth are always rising all the time. Of course in reality this is absurd. One particular data point is an unreliable indicator of temperature trends generally, especially at one given time. There’s also a difference between weather, which is meteorological conditions at a given location, and climate, which is a long-term trend of atmospheric and oceanic conditions aggregated over a long period. Despite the silliness of the “it’s cold today, must not be global warming after all” argument, those who disbelieve that global warming is real, or that it is caused by human activity, will continue to use single-point cold temperatures to bolster their case that climate change is exaggerated or a flat-out hoax, as several politicians recently did regarding the 2010 East Coast blizzard.

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