President Trump said America would benefit from “a little bit of that good old global warming” as record-breaking cold weather slams much of the eastern United States.
Despite Trump’s claim, 2017 is still on track to be the second- or third-hottest year ever recorded globally — and scientists say climate change is to blame.
“In the East, it could be the COLDEST New Year’s Eve on record,” the President said in a tweet.
“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.”
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!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 29, 2017
Trump has previously claimed that global warming is “hoax” “created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive.”
In June, Trump announced that the U.S. would withdraw from the Paris climate change agreement, a worldwide pact to reduce carbon emissions in order to curb global warming.
As noted by the Independent:
Experts generally prefer the term “climate change” to “global warming” because the effects of humans emitting heat-trapping greenhouse gases are more likely to manifest as extreme weather events rather than temperature increases alone. Mr Trump has rejected that distinction as a distraction by the “dollar sucking wiseguys”.
Scientists who study the effects of climate change warn against conflating weather and climate. The former refers to short-term atmospheric conditions and discrete events like rain and blizzards, while climate refers to long-term weather patterns in a given area.
USA Today notes:
Even as the world gets hotter on average, winter isn’t going away, and there will still be extremely cold spells, climate scientists say. And even now, most of the world outside North America is warmer than usual for this time of year. In the Arctic and Alaska, recent temperatures have averaged 10-25 degrees above normal, said Zack Labe, a doctoral candidate studying Earth systems science at the University of California, Irvine.
“Climate change will not occur evenly from place-to-place. While your backyard may be having an intense cold snap, others may be having unseasonably warm temperatures. Climate is all about long-term trends,” Labe said in an email.
“We can still expect periods of very cold temperatures, snowstorms, and even days of record low temperatures. However, climate change continues to shift the odds towards more periods of warmer weather and less so for colder weather,” Labe said.