Increased warm temperatures indicate global warming. Severe winter storms also help prove global warming, according to a recent op-ed in the New York Times. So is there any weather pattern that would disprove or call into question the existence of global warming?
“Basically anything that would appear like magic would throw the laws of physics into question,” Brad Johnson, a climate editor at the Center for American Progress, a progressive Washington, D.C. think tank, told The Daily Caller. “The only way to disprove the global warming theory is if magic is real and that our understanding of the universe is completely wrong.”
Johnson explained that weather does not prove or disprove global warming.
“The idea that weather proves or disproves global warming doesn’t make sense,” he said.
“Warm weather and cold weather aren’t proof that the temperature of the planet is increasing,” Johnson continued. “A temperature in one place on one day isn’t very strong evidence of anything, and it’s certainly not proof of anything.”
Dr. Patrick J. Michaels, a senior fellow in environmental studies at The Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank in Washington, D.C., told TheDC that global warming proponents wrongly try to justify numerous weather patterns as being the result of global warming.
“Global warming scientists say it will be warmer, colder, snowier, and less snowy all at the same time, which is impossible. Anyone who follows global warming knows the theory is rife with exaggeration,” Michaels said. “What’s disturbing is to see The New York Times put a really fringe idea on their editorial page. Obviously they’re panicking about people’s distrust of the political nature of global warming science. It struck me as desperation pass, knowing the people are abandoning global warming as a signature issue.”
Michaels said many global warming proponents defer to “unfalsifiable science,” which is science that cannot be tested.
“When it doesn’t snow, global warming proponents blame global warming, and when winters are cold, they blame global warming, etc. This is what you call unfalsifiable science,” Michaels said. “It’s not science because it can’t be falsified.”
Johnson said it’s very hard to prove whether a particular extreme event is in some way a consequence of the increased temperatures of the atmosphere. He compared this to the fallacy of generalizing.
“Let’s say you’re 5 foot 8 inches in height. That’s tall, but it doesn’t prove that the average height of people in the United States is increasing. Again, you’re only one person,” he said.
Though he was hesitant to use the word ‘disprove,’ Johnson said that global warming would only be disproved if the seasons flipped without anything else on earth changing or if the East Coast were to experience 80 degree weather in winter. Johnson also said global warming could be called into question if New York City were to have below freezing temperatures for the entirety of 2011.