“What Global Warming?” asks North Country New York. This Global Warming, answers NASA.
In a February 12 2015 letter to the editor of New York State’s North Country Now, an anonymous reader asks, “What Global Warming? Whatever happened to global warming? I feel short changed!”
You see, it’s been cold lately. How could that be if we’re experiencing global warming?
There are two answers to that question. The first answer is that even if the globe is warming, winter will be colder than the summer. That’s how winter works. But winters have been getting warmer, not cooler, over time. In the NASA dataset of global temperature measurements from 188o to 2015, the 10 warmest winters have all occurred in the last 20 years, and the 10 coldest winters all occur before 1920. We just don’t remember that winters used to be colder because most of those experiencing the coldest winters are dead.
The second answer is even on a warming globe, some places can be locally cooler. In other words, local weather is not the same as global climate. NOAA’s most recent global temperature anomaly map shows a local cool spot hanging right over New York’s North Country. The letter writer doesn’t know that in most other places around the globe, it’s getting hotter, making for a general trend of global warming.
The trend extends through data newly released by NASA, showing that after the record-hot year of 2014, January 2015 is the second-hottest January in its records, topped only by January 2007. Even in the winter, this is what global warming looks like.
P.S. I hear some other New Yorker under the local cold spot has been asking the same question. He goes by the name of Don: