Weather vs. Climate: Why Trump’s Global Warming Statement is Misleading

In his recent interview with New York Times on Tuesday (Nov. 22), President-elect Donald Trump said that the hottest day ever was in 1890’s, which was yet another false and misleading claims that have often been used by those who reject mainstream climate science.

Trump have recently caused many controversies with his points on climate change and global warming. He  has especially made controversy with the statement that the climate change is just a Chinese hoax.

In the mentioned interview with NYT, Trump said: “You know the hottest day ever was in 1890-something, 98. You know, you can make lots of cases for different views.”

This statement caused several newspapers to put this subject into focus again and explain what exactly is the difference between climate and weather.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Ocean Service (NOS) stated that it is misleading to single out a weather event as evidence for or against climate change. “When we are talking about climate change, we are talking about changes in long-term averages of daily weather. In most places, weather can change from minute-to-minute, hour-to-hour, day-to-day, and season-to-season. Climate, however, is the average of weather over time and space”, according to NOS.

NOR also said that “the weather is what you see outside on any particular day. For example, it may be 75 degrees and sunny or it could be 20 degrees with snow, but the climate is the average of that weather. You can expect snow in the Northeast in January or for it to be hot and humid in the Southeast in July.”

LiveSciense gave another example for understanding the difference between climate and weather: according to The Weather Channel, in 1898, both Oregon and Maryland reached their highest temperatures on record: 119 degrees Fahrenheit (66 degrees Celsius) in Oregon and 109 F (60.5 C) in Maryland. But these record-hot temperatures are simply climate records in two states, not evidence for widespread climate change, according to experts. Moreover, 2011 to 2015 is the hottest five-year period on record, according to a separate WMO report released this month. When 2016 officially becomes the hottest year on record, 16 of the 17 hottest years will have happened since 2000, with the El Niño year of 1998 being the only exception.


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