Snow in Spring? Why a Cold March Doesn’t Disprove Global Warming.

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Location

It’s the first week of spring, and yet many East Coasters woke up this morning to freshly fallen snow. Isn’t that counter to the fact that the Earth is experiencing a warming trend?

“People make the mistake of equating weather in their location with global warming or climate change,” said David Easterling, chief of the Scientific Services Division at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Climatic Data Center. “But the answer is that even with a warming planet, you’re always going to have some places that are unusually cold for a day, or even a month, while at the same time other areas are unusually warm.”

That type of variation was apparent on the global scale in February, Easterling said. In that month, New York City was slightly colder than average, but areas around it were unusually warm. While the western part of North America was unusually cold, Alaska was warmer than average. Similarly, a colder-than-normal Europe was offset by unusually warm temperatures in China, India and central Siberia.

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