Another winter storm is pounding much of the nation. Between Midwestern blizzards, record-breaking Northeast snowfall and widespread winter cold, what's with climate change and global warming?
Are the U.S. winter extremes proof that global warming isn't happening or is even a hoax, as many skeptics suggest? Are the winter extremes a product of a warming atmosphere, as many climate change advocates assert?
While opinions about climate change vary greatly, even among experts in climate science, the consensus is that short-range weather events have little to do with the climate change debate.
There's no debating that it's been cold, especially in January. According to Deke Arndt of the federal National Climatic Data Center, "January 2011 will rank among the coldest 20 percent of Januarys on record since 1895." December, although very cold in the Deep South, averaged near normal across the country since the Southern cold was balanced by warmth elsewhere.
There's also no debating that there's been plenty of snow. January has brought record snowfall to New York City and elsewhere in the Northeast, not to mention blizzards in the Midwest and a major snow and ice storm in the Deep South.