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Scientist sparks discourse after debunking common misconception about weather: 'The data isn't selective'

"This one's really useful to clear up."

"This one's really useful to clear up."

Photo Credit: TikTok

A climate scientist addressed a common question by those who are still skeptical about climate change: If global warming is real, why is it still so cold?

Doug McNeall, a climate scientist at the Met Office and University of Exeter in England, posted a 37-second video on TikTok dispelling the myth that cold temperatures somehow disprove global warming.

"This one's really useful to clear up. It's called global warming, because overall the globe has been getting warmer over the last 150 years or so, and in fact for a long time before that, from Paleo records," McNeall said. "So just because it's globally warming doesn't mean it can't be cold in some places at some times. That's weather, right?"

@dougmcneall Replying to @Cooperman Global warming is global - but sometimes it can be cold! #climatescience #climatechange #climatecrisis #learnontiktok #climatechangeawareness #science #globalwarming ♬ original sound - Dr. Doug McNeall

McNeall was replying to a comment that read, "The U.K. has a cold summer. Snow was early in Russia and most European countries. Australia also had a cold winter. Your data is selective." However, he went on to explain that there has been evidence of the ongoing warming of the planet for years.

"The data isn't selective. If you take a representative sample of weather stations all over the world, and you look at their average over the last century-and-a-half, it's been getting warmer decade on decade," McNeall said. "And you also see the warming in the extremes in the records. So for example, there are many more warm records than there are cold records over the most recent period."

Global warming plays a factor in cold climates and the frequency of snowstorms. Higher temperatures cause the atmosphere to retain more moisture, which creates more precipitation and thereby leads to more intense and frequent winter storms, blizzards, and even frigid temperatures in some regions.

In addition to the misconception about global warming's effect on cold climates, another common misunderstanding is that it is a natural phenomenon that humans don't play a part in. However, the burning of fossil fuels like coal, oil, and gas has significantly contributed to the acceleration of global warming. 

Turning to clean energy options will reduce your contribution to global warming. This guide can walk you through the steps you need to change the way you use electricity, gas, and water.

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