Despite the overwhelming evidence for climate change, deniers love to point out that it can still sometimes be a bit chilly outside as a basis for their ridiculous arguments. Scientists will naturally counter such claims by explaining the difference between weather and climate, but having been repeatedly ignored, researchers are now confronting the skeptics on their own terms by showing how the weather paints a picture of global warming. Every. Single. Day.
Publishing their findings in the journal Nature Climate Change, the study authors looked at weather readings taken at multiple locations across the world to calculate the global daily temperature going back several decades. When comparing this average global temperature to the expected values based on statistical models, the researchers were able to identify the “fingerprint” of climate change on any given day.
Results showed that global temperatures have been higher than natural models predicted every single day since March 2012, suggesting that the weather can indeed be taken as an indicator of climate change.
Aside from highlighting the alarming consistency of the trend towards global warming, these findings could also help to transform the dialog around climate change. Until now, skeptics had pointed to every cold snap as proof that climate change isn’t real. In response, scientists have pointed out that conclusions about the climate can only be derived from looking at long-term trends, rather than from the weather on a given day.
Yet this new study reveals that, when observed globally, the weather on any one day can in fact reveal key information about the state of our climate. In other words, even if it is unseasonably cold in one particular place, the average global temperature on that day will still be higher than it should be according to natural climate change models.
The “weather-is-not-climate” argument may, therefore, need revising, as while it is true that regional temperatures give little away, global weather does in fact reflect climate change.