Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg blamed Wednesday the frigid cold temperatures sweeping the Midwest on global warming, arguing that climate change makes weather events more extreme.
“The science is clear: Climate change makes extreme weather more frequent and more intense,” tweeted Mr. Bloomberg. “Americans are seeing this first hand from wildfires to hurricanes to the #PolarVortex in the Midwest. We need a climate champion in the WH who can lead us forward.”
The billionaire Bloomberg has made trips to Iowa and New Hampshire in recent weeks as he considers running for president as a Democrat, with gun control and climate change among his top issues.
The polar vortex, which sent sub-zero temperatures Wednesday through the Upper Midwest, has also fueled the debate over whether extreme cold weather is the result of climate change driven by increased atmospheric emissions.
“U.S. Midwest Freezes, Australia Burns: This is the Age of Weather Extremes,” said the headline of a Tuesday news article in the New York Times.
On the other side was Czech physicist Lubos Motl, who called the extreme-weather narrative a “pseudo-scientific scam” in a Tuesday post, while Climate Depot’s Marc Morano argued that record cold “does not disprove ‘global warming,’ but it certainly did not cause it.”
“Predictions of less snow were ubiquitous by global warming scientists,” Mr. Morano, author of “The Politically Incorrect Guide to Climate Change.” “But once that prediction failed, the opposite of what they predicted became — what they expected. So no matter what happens, the activists can claim with confidence the event was a predicted consequence of global warming.”
Roger A. Pielke Sr., senior research scientist at the University of Colorado Boulder’s Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences, said the polar-vortex phenomenon isn’t new.
“These southward movements of part of the vortex have always occurred,” said Mr. Pielke in an email. “With respect to climate, a strong polar vortex occurs when it is particularly cold at higher latitudes. The colder the troposphere at the higher latitudes, the stronger is the polar jet stream. So if anything, these extreme Arctic outbreaks suggest global warming has little effect on them.”