Cold temperatures and snowfalls confuse some people and cause them to question the veracity of global warming. However, climate change is a function of global average temperatures over protracted periods of time. A cold snap or a snowstorm is not proof one way or the other.
We need to understand the difference between weather and climate. A good way to illustrate this point is by pointing to the global average temperatures for October. Even though it was cooler in much of North America, the Arctic and almost all of Europe, Middle East, Australia, parts of the Antarctic, southern Africa, and northeastern China, had far-above average temperatures. The result is that the average temperature in October 2019 was hottest month of October on record.
However, one month or one year is not proof of global warming. For this we need many years of data. So for example support for climate change can be derived from the observation that we have seen 418 consecutive months of above average temperatures. Eight of the ten warmest years have occurred in the last
decade, the five warmest years have all occurred in the past five years
and all of the warmest years have come since 2015.
According to NASA, “Weather is the condition in the atmosphere over a short period of time. Climate is how the atmosphere behaves over relatively long periods of time.”
So the next time someone points to a cold day as evidence contradicting climate change, tell them that proof of global warming can be found in average temperature readings taken over many years.
While you are at it let them know that climate change is real and it is the result of human activity.