Climate at a Glance: Cold Spells

Illustration from NOAA.gov (click to enlarge)

View this page as a printable PDF here:

Bullet-Point Summary:

  • Global warming does not cause an increase in the frequency or severity of cold weather events such as colder than normal winter outbreaks of “The Polar Vortex”.
  • The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reports it is “very likely” that there have been fewer cold days and nights in recent decades.
  • The U.N. IPCC reports it is “virtually certain” that there will continue to be decreases in cold temperature extremes.

Short Summary: Climate alarmists frequently respond to polar vortex events and other extreme cold weather by claiming global warming is to blame. Not only does that defy common sense, it also defies scientific evidence and the findings of the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The IPCC’s latest report says it is “very likely” that there have been fewer cold days and nights in recent decades and it is “virtually certain” that there will be “deceases in cold extremes” due to global warming.

Extreme cold spells have always occurred and likely always will. Blaming a “polar vortex” or other extreme cold events on global warming defies common sense, scientific observations, and the findings of the IPCC.


Climate At A Glance is a Project of The Heartland Institute
© Copyright – The Heartland Institute think@heartland.org