Donald Trump has again gotten flak from climate change experts following a recent tweet where he seemed to claim that the expected cold weather in certain parts of the U.S. casts doubt on the phenomenon of global warming.
“Brutal and Extended Cold Blast could shatter ALL RECORDS,” wrote Trump in a Twitter post on Wednesday.
“Whatever happened to Global Warming?”
According to the Huffington Post, Trump might have been commenting on weather forecasts for specific Northeast cities that are expected to experience the lowest late-November temperatures in recorded history. Per NBC News, these cities could include New York, where Thursday’s temperatures are expected to be in the mid-20s for most of the day. Prior to this year, there have only been three Thanksgivings since 1870 where temperatures in New York City did not peak at 30 degrees or warmer.
Following Trump’s tweet, a number of climate scientists and experts reacted to his apparent skepticism regarding global warming, as further noted by the Huffington Post. Pennsylvania State University climate scientist Michael Mann emailed the publication, stressing that the president is someone who cannot be “taken seriously on any topic,” especially when it comes to serious issues such as climate change.
“He is a clown — a dangerous clown.”
Similarly, author and environmentalist Bill McKibben replied to Trump’s tweet and said that Trump, despite being “Mr. America-is-all-that-matters,” should appreciate how climate change is a “global phenomenon,” and how Earth, in general, is approximately 1.2 degrees warmer than it was during pre-industrial times. He posted an image of a global weather map, with red areas signifying the hottest parts of the world, to further prove his point.
According to a separate report from Newsweek, Donald Trump’s comments about climate change are not unprecedented, as he similarly took to Twitter last December to express his skepticism regarding global warming at a time when the eastern part of the U.S. was experiencing particularly cold weather. In that tweet, Trump said that the country “could use a little bit of that good old global warming” and further suggested that the U.S. was effectively saving “trillions of dollars” by pulling out of the Paris climate treaty.
Despite Trump’s repeated assertions that cold weather could be a reason to doubt climate change, NASA explained in 2005 that weather and climate are two different things, with the former term referring to short-term events and the latter covering a broader scope over a longer period of time. Newsweek also cited meteorologist Marshall Shepherd, who reacted to Trump’s December 2017 tweet by clarifying that cold snaps could serve as a symptom of global warming, as the greenhouse gases that have been blamed for climate change could cause polar ice caps to melt, thereby triggering droughts, cold snaps, and other extreme weather events.