The Washington Post Sunday

It’s cold outside — global warming can’t be real.

- Katharine Hayhoe is a professor and director of the Climate Science Center at Texas Tech University. She is a lead author on Volumes 1 and 2 of the Fourth National Climate Assessment. Twitter: @KHayhoe

Whenever a cold snap brings out our winter parkas, there’s a politician or pundit saying, Global warming? Global cooling, more like! Trump has done so repeatedly, tweeting just before Thanksgivi­ng, “Brutal and Extended Cold Blast could shatter ALL RECORDS — Whatever happened to Global Warming?” In 2015, Sen. James M. Inhofe (R-Okla.) brought a snowball to the Senate floor in an attempt to reject the reality of climate change.

But cold weather doesn’t rebut the data that shows the planet is warming over climate time scales. Think of it this way: Weather is like your mood, and climate is like your personalit­y. Weather is what occurs in a certain place at a certain time. Climate is the long-term average of weather over decades. The fact it was cold and snowy one day last week? That’s weather. Global warming or not, cold days still occur, particular­ly in winter. But since 2000, we’re seeing far more new hot-temperatur­e records than cold ones. In fact, in 2017, we saw more than 10,000 cold-temperatur­e records broken at weather stations across the United States. And more than 36,000 high-temperatur­e records were broken the same year.

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