While expressing his own views on climate change and global warming, Donald Trump at the same time questioned some of the major scientific pillars. In an interview with Piers Morgan, the US president explained how he perceived the very existence of climate change, which in fact appeared to contravene widespread scientific consensus.
“There is a cooling, and there’s a heating. I mean, look, it used to not be climate change, it used to be global warming. That wasn’t working too well because it was getting too cold all over the place,” he said.
Despite being related and sometimes used interchangeably, the terms “global warming” and “climate change” technically refer to two different things. While the former applies to the long-term trend of rising average global temperatures, the latter is a broader term that reflects the changes occurring due to carbon pollution, such as changing rain and snow patterns, for instance.
In the East, it could be the COLDEST New Year’s Eve on record. Perhaps we could use a little bit of that good old Global Warming that our Country, but not other countries, was going to pay TRILLIONS OF DOLLARS to protect against. Bundle up!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) 29 декабря 2017 г.
The opinion that recent global warming is human-induced is shared by 90%-100% of published climate scientists according to a paper-study “Consensus on consensus: a synthesis of consensus estimates on human-caused global warming.”
Trump seems to share the views of climate change sceptics who believe that global warming has stopped. He has repeatedly tweeted his climate change denial long before he became President of the United States:
It snowed over 4 inches this past weekend in New York City. It is still October. So much for Global Warming.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) 1 ноября 2011 г.
In the 1920's people were worried about global cooling--it never happened. Now it's global warming. Give me a break!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) 4 мая 2012 г.
Let's continue to destroy the competitiveness of our factories & manufacturing so we can fight mythical global warming. China is so happy!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) 1 ноября 2012 г.
It’s extremely cold in NY & NJ—not good for flood victims. Where is global warming?— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) 5 ноября 2012 г.
The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) 6 ноября 2012 г.
“The ice caps were going to melt, they were going to be gone by now, but now they’re setting records. They’re at a record level,” Trump proceeded to say.
However, data suggests that global surface temperatures in 2017 were the second hottest since 1880, according to a survey by scientists with NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies. Another analysis by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration concluded that 2017 was the third-warmest year on record.
As for Trump’s “record level,” NASA did report record lows in sea ice extent in both the Arctic and the Antarctic, and it’s definitely not the level the US President was talking about.
In August 2017, Walt Meier, a sea ice scientist at Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, said that “it is tempting to say that the record low we are seeing this year is global warming finally catching up with Antarctica.” But to be fair, he added that the researchers at NASA would need “to have several more years of data to be able to say there has been a significant change in the trend.”
When replying to Morgan’s question about the Paris climate agreement, which Trump withdrew from after his inauguration, the current occupant of the White House said he would consider going back only if there was a good deal for the United States.
“If somebody said go back into the Paris accord, it would have to be a completely different deal because we had a horrible deal. As usual, they took advantage of the US. Would I go back in? Yeah, I’d go back in … but it’s got to be a good deal for the US.”
He had previously said that the Paris agreement was unfair to the United States as it imposed penalties and hurt US businesses, giving advantages to other countries such as China.
The Paris agreement was created within the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, ratified by 170 countries out of the 197 parties to the convention. The climate deal, which came into force in November 2016, took aim at keeping the increase in average global temperature at below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels by reducing greenhouse gas emissions.