How much weather is being caused by climate change? Maybe 1 part in 1,000

How much weather is being caused by climate change? Maybe 1 part in 1,000

In another silly pseudo-science rambling, the President’s science advisor, John Holdren, has recently stated, “Weather practically everywhere is being caused by climate change.”

Drought in California. Record snows in the East. It’s tempting for many to blame it all on our use of fossil fuels.

What Causes Weather?
Let’s start with the basics. Weather is caused by energy imbalances, primarily (1) between the solar heated surface of the Earth and the atmosphere above it, and (2) between different geographic regions (e.g. the tropics vs. high latitudes; the warm oceans versus cold continents in winter).

These energy imbalances have associated temperature differences, which in turn cause atmospheric circulation systems which form clouds, precipitation, and high and low pressure systems.

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