If you haven’t had to step foot outside of your house since Christmas, consider yourself lucky. There are millions of people all across the U.S. who are currently being subjected to freezing-cold temperatures, and unfortunately, it doesn’t look like there’s any end in sight. Those who live up and down the East Coast and in parts of the Midwest are dealing with subzero temperatures in many areas, and the temperatures are expected to hang around well through the new year.
In Watertown, New York, the wind chill fell to a mind-boggling 33 degrees below zero on Thursday. In Mount Washington, New Hampshire, the wind chill clocked in at 34 degrees below zero. And while it wasn’t quite that cold in other states, most people are being forced to deal with temperatures that are sitting in the teens, with wind chills making it feel even colder.
With the weather being as frigid as it is, you might be tempted to second-guess all of the reports about climate change that have circulated over the course of the last few years. If it’s this cold, how can global warming possibly be real? And that’s exactly what President Trump wondered in a tweet he sent out on Thursday night.
In his tweet, Trump seemed to suggest that the recent cold weather in the Northeast and Midwest is an indication that climate change is somehow not as important of an issue as we have all been led to believe. He suggested that the U.S. is wasting money by trying to protect itself against the effects of global warming.
“In the East, it could be the COLDEST New Year’s Eve on record. Perhaps we could use a little bit of that good old Global Warming that our Country, but not other countries, was going to pay TRILLIONS OF DOLLARS to protect against. Bundle Up!”
While Trump is right in that it is cold outside right now, USA Today and others are reporting that the cold weather is not indicative of the rising global temperature trends. In fact, 2017 is currently on pace to be either the second or third-hottest year ever recorded. And because the three hottest years on record as of right now are 2016, 2015, and 2014, in that order, it would seem as though all signs point to the planet getting warmer over time, despite what the current cold weather might make you think.
Trump’s polarizing tweet touched a nerve on Thursday night with many people arguing both for and against his thoughts on climate change. But regardless of what he said, many experts have been quick to point out that climate change is real, no matter what the weather outside today is. J. Marshall Shepherd, the director of atmospheric sciences program at the University of Georgia, put it very simply during an interview with USA Today.
“The clothes that you have on today do not describe what you have in your closet but rather how you dressed for today’s weather. The range of clothing that you have in your closet is climate.”
Or as former Jersey Shore cast member Vinny Guadagnino put it in his response to the President, you shouldn’t let a little cold weather distract you from the fact that the planet is still in trouble.
“I think climate change is more complex than global warming will make it hotter. It has to do with disruptions of atmospheric conditions, ocean patterns, jet streams and shit like that.”
Did someone from the Jersey Shore cast really just school the President on climate change? Be careful out there, people. Hell, much like most of the U.S., really has frozen over.