It is Colder During the Winter in the United States and Elsewhere

Skeptics like to point out what is happening in limited portions of the world as if the same thing was happening all over the world. It helps to see the big picture though.

The fact that it gets cold in limited regions of the world is supposed to prove that there is no warming throughout the rest of the world. However, the temperature map below for February of 2019, shows it was as warm, warmer, or much warmer than previous temperatures (1951-1980) throughout 97% of the world. About 3% of the earth was colder than previous temperatures for the same time period. Most of the colder weather in that month occurred throughout most of the United States and Canada. Temperatures were up to 11.8 degrees Celsius (21.24 degrees Fahrenheit) higher in most of Alaska, Siberia, and Russia.

Since the phrase “Global Warming” refers to the whole globe and not just one portion of it alone, it would not be inaccurate to describe those months as warmer worldwide except in a few small areas.

The map below shows the warmer and cooler regions of the Earth. The United States covers only 1.8% of the Earth’s surface and Canada 1.9%.

Fig 1: Global map

Figure 1: GISS temperature anomaly map for February 2019. Temperature bar is in degrees Celsius. One degree Celsius equals 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit.

Note: If map above does not appear in your browser go to https://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/maps/index_v4.html and search under month and year.

The reason for this colder weather in some parts of the world has to do with how global warming affects the jet stream.

The jet stream is a current of air that blows around the Northern Hemisphere in an easterly direction. In the North American continent, the jet stream used to run right around the border between Canada and the United States (see illustration below). It served as a wall between cold air in the Arctic region and warmer regions south of it.

Because of the change of temperature in the Arctic region, the jet stream has weakened, causing it to meander more than previously and sometimes going as far south as Florida. The illustration of the jet stream below shows how cold air goes further south and warm air goes further north.

The Polar Vortex Explained

Figure 2: A visualization of the jet stream before and during global warming.

Below is a video showing United States Senator Inhofe (Rep. Oklahoma) thinking that he’s made a point.

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