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 certain regions of the world is supposed to prove that there is no warming throughout the rest of the world. However, the temperature map below put out by the Goddard Institute of Space Studies (GISS), shows it was as warm, warmer or much hotter than the previous average (1951-1980) throughout 97% of the world during February of 2015. Less than 3% of the earth was colder than its previous average for the same time period. A substantial amount of the colder weather in that month occurred throughout limited portions of the United States and Canada while it was 7.2-15.48 Fahrenheit  (4 to 8.6 degrees Celsius) higher 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 those months as warmer worldwide except in a few small areas.

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

Temperature map 2-2015

Figure 1: GISS temperature anomaly map for February of 2015. Temperature bar is in degrees Celsius. One degree Celsius equals 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit.

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 between the Arctic region and regions south of it.

Because of the massive warm-up in the Arctic region, the jet stream has weakened causing it to meander more than previously. This brings extreme weather to lower latitudes. 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, a video showing the United States Senator Inhofe (Rep. Oklahoma) thinking that he’s made a point.


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