President Donald Trump is a frequent and vocal climate change denier. From repeatedly calling global warming a “hoax” to withdrawing the U.S. from the Paris Climate Accord, the president has taken an aggressively anti-science stance. And in a recent tweet, Trump dismissed scientific evidence yet again, joking that global warming needs to “come back fast” in light of cold winter weather.
Weather forecasts are predicting a brutal cold snap this week, with weather.com reporting that the Midwest will experience its coldest temperatures in more than 20 years. So, true to form, the president took to Twitter on January 28th to suggest (erroneously) that these subzero temperatures were a sign that global warming is not a problem (and he even managed to misspell “warming”).
Twitter users were quick to point out the flaws in Trump’s logic.
Others just had jokes.
Even the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration stepped in to fact-check Trump.
As NOAA points out in a blog post, when scientists refer to “global warming,” they simply mean that Earth’s average temperature is increasing—not that every single day will be hotter than the last.
Some scientists even believe that cold snaps like the one the U.S. is currently experiencing are actually caused by global warming. According to CBS News, as warm air travels north, it can displace the polar vortex (an area of cold air around the North Pole), sending the frigid air south. And the Associated Press notes that these cold snaps have become more common in recent years. While not every scientist agrees that they are caused by climate change, Jennifer Francis, a climate scientist at the Woods Hole Research Center, told the AP in an email that several research papers have found evidence of the connection.
The bottom line is that climate change is a very real threat, and it would be great if the president of the United States acknowledged that instead of just making ill-informed jokes.