It is Colder During the Winter in the United States

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.

For example, in February of 2015, Skeptics were pointing out how cold it was in portions of the United States. They were implying, without actually stating it, that there was no warming throughout the rest of the world. However, the temperature map below put out by the Goddard Institute of Space Studies (G.I.S.S.) shows it was as warm, warmer or much hotter than average throughout 98% of the world. Less than 2% of the earth was colder than average. A substantial amount of the colder than average weather in that month occurred throughout limited portions of the United States and Canada* while it was 7.2-15.12 Fahrenheit  (4 to 8.4 degrees Celsius) above average in Alaska, Siberia and northern China.

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 that year as warmer worldwide except in one tiny area.

Temperature map 2-2015

Figure 1: GISS temperature anomaly map for February of 2015. Temperature bar is in degrees Celsius.

When the Arctic warms it results in a slower jet stream that meanders more (see illustration below). The loops bring extreme weather to lower latitudes. Cold air goes further south and warm air goes further north.

jet-stream-arctic

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

Below, a video showing United States Senator Inhofe thinking that he’s made a point.

*The United States covers only 1.8% of the Earth’s surface and Canada 1.9%.

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