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Trump Should Have Watched This Video Before He Tweeted About Climate Change

The difference between climate and weather.

SCIENCE AF STAFF
29 DEC 2017
 

Here we go again. President Trump could not let the winter season pass without posting a willfully ignorant tweet about climate change. After all, when there's snow on the ground how can there be global warming?

 

The tweet is fundamentally ignorant and exceptionally harmful, given it comes from the most powerful figure in the U.S. and maybe even the world.

Climate change is the most pressing issue of our time, but we are all in serious trouble if the U.S. President cannot understand the difference between climate and weather.

Let's go back to the basics, shall we?

In a National Geographic video from three years ago, Neil deGrasse Tyson uses a brilliant analogy to explain the difference between weather and climate - the elementary science President Trump just can't seem to wrap his mind around.

"This year we had a colder winter in my town. For all the scientists know, we could be in for global cooling," he jokes.

 

Obviously, that isn't the case.

Walking down the beach with his attention-deficit dog, Tyson breaks down the classic climate denier argument.

Tyson explains the weather is like his dog, speeding up and down the beach on the end of a leash. It changes in the short-term, hour to hour, day to day.

Screen Shot 2017 12 29 at 4.01.40 pm

"My friend's meandering represents the short-term fluctuations. That's weather," he says.

"It's almost impossible to predict what will attract his interest next. But it's not hard to know what the range of his meandering will be cause I'm holding him on a leash."

Whereas Tyson's own, more direct path is analogous to the climate, which is much more predictable.

"We can't observe climate directly, all we see is the weather. The average weather over the course of years reveals a pattern," he explains.

"I represent that long-term trend, which is climate. Keep your eye on the man, not the dog."

Still confused? Watch the full video below: