Will all regions of the U.S. experience a warmer, shorter winter this year due to global warming?



  1. 0 Votes

    No. Many regions will, but climate change does not universally result in warmer temperatures and shorter winters everywhere all the time. In fact, in certain cases the opposite may happen; we’ve already seen record-breaking snowfall in many large East Coast cities. This does not mean that climate change is not happening. The reason is because there is a difference between weather and climate. Weather is what it’s doing outside your window right now and is sometimes difficult to predict; climate is a long-term trend that can be reliably predicted, and those predictions show that the earth, on balance, is getting significantly warmer. The difference from year to year is not uniform, however. Global warming does lead to an increase in evaporation from the oceans and waterways, often leading to greater precipitation, which in the winter may take the form of snow or ice events. Thus you wouldn’t expect to be sitting around in your shorts in January waiting for the winter to become like summer. People who do not understand climate change or the difference between weather and climate may be tempted to say, “Wow, we had a snowstorm at the very end of the winter this year–global warming must not be happening!” Some refer to this as the “it’s cold today in Wagga Wagga” argument, but it is patently illogical and totally misses the point of climate change science. Nevertheless it’s one of the most common arguments you hear from people who are unconvinced that climate change is real.

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