Energy & Environment

Federal agency after Trump tweet: Winter storms don’t disprove climate change

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A federal agency tweeted Tuesday that winter storms don’t disprove climate change, hours after President Trump seemed to imply the opposite in a tweet.

“Winter storms don’t prove that global warming isn’t happening,” the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) tweeted from its main climate change-related account, which is associated with its website.

The tweet had a cartoon-like drawing and linked to a 2015 post on NOAA’s website explaining that even with climate change, certain locations will continue to experience “winters that are unusually cold and snowy.”

{mosads}Monday night, Trump tweeted about the extreme, historic cold blast coming into the Midwest and other parts of the nation.

“What the hell is going on with Global Waming [sic]? Please come back fast, we need you!” the president joked.

Trump has often mocked global warming when temperatures turn frigid, including in a tweet earlier this month, writing of another storm, “Wouldn’t be bad to have a little of that good old fashioned Global Warming right now!”

An NOAA spokeswoman denied that the agency’s tweet was a response to Trump.

“With the blast of severe winter weather affecting the US, we often get asked about the relationship between cold weather and climate change. We routinely put this story out at these times,” spokeswoman Monica Allen said. “Our scientists weren’t responding to a tweet.”

NOAA, a component of the Commerce Department that was furloughed until Monday due to the partial government shutdown, is one of the government’s leading agencies on climate change, conducting and funding research, tracking temperatures and other responsibilities.

As of Tuesday morning, NOAA’s tweet had more than 1,200 retweets and more than 2,000 likes, far higher than most recent tweets from the account, which had retweets and likes in the double digits.

NOAA’s longstanding position on climate change is also at odds with Trump.

While NOAA says that climate change is happening and that human activity, via greenhouse gas emissions, is the main cause, Trump has expressed various kinds of doubt of that scientific consensus.

Last year, for example, he told “60 Minutes,” “I’m not denying climate change, but it could very well go back.”

—Updated at 2:12 p.m.

Tags Climate change Donald Trump Global warming NOAA Trump tweets

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