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Jul. 21, 2010

Climate = Weather x decades

by Neil Wagner

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Determining climate from short-term weather would be like declaring someone chronically ill because you heard them cough.

Global warming skeptics made jokes in January about all the snow and cold being experienced along the east coast, but more recently that region has experienced intense heat. The jokes are now few and far between. But the important thing to remember is that short-term weather is not an indicator of climate change. Imagine one day’s weather is a square inch of wall paper, and a season’s weather is one roll. Seeing an entire room wallpapered would be like identifying a region’s climate.

NASA: What’s the Difference Between Weather and Climate?

Planet Green: Climate Vs. Weather

Winter, 2010

Clean Skies Network on January’s snowfall in Washington DC: Inhofe’s family builds an igloo as "Al Gore’s new home"…Jim DeMint says “It’s going to keep snowing in DC until Al Gore cries ‘uncle’ "…Virginia Republican Party wants folks to tell their Democratic congressmen "how much global warming you got this weekend."

Washington Times, Feb 8, 2010: "Those who value freedom should thank Mother Nature for her sense of humor, undermining the case for global warming one flake at a time. So although we’re quite tired of shoveling, we say, "Bring on the blizzard."

Summer, 2010

New York City, U.S.: Record temps

Montreal, Canada: Record-breaking heat and humidity

Russia: "A blistering heat wave in Russia has been caused by man-made global warming…for the past four weeks temperatures across western Russia have topped 35 degrees Celsius (95 degrees Fahrenheit), killing scores of people and creating what is thought to be the worst drought since 1972."

Did you see Monday’s bonus edition of What on Earth?

Did you see Tuesday’s bonus edition of What on Earth?

In other "What on Earth?" news…

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About Neil Wagner

Neil Wagner's What on Earth? comic strip uses humor to discuss global warming.

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Science Friday.

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