"Baby, It’s Cold Outside"
The nation’s political and media centers on the northeast have been hit with both a giant snowstorm and a severe cold snap over the past month, so naturally it’s got tongues clucking about climate change. Andrew Revkin has a good post at the NYT for those interested in what’s actually going on—an unusually severe Arctic Oscillation is bringing abnormally cold weather to part of the planet. He observes that “federal forecasters have said that the warming influence of a persistent El Niño warming of the tropical Pacific Ocean is likely to be a bigger driver of conditions through the full course of this winter.”
Indeed, as Joe Romm pointed out a couple of days ago there’s nothing special about the part of the planet you happen to be sitting on. The fact of the matter is that right now it’s unusually warm in most places. We just don’t happen to have any major news organizations headquartered in the middle of the Pacific.