WASHINGTON — The Obama administration is pushing back on skeptics who say the polar vortex proves climate change is a hoax.
In a new video to be posted on the official White House website Wednesday, President Obama's science adviser, John Holdren, warns against buying into the idea that a cold snap disproves that the earth is getting warmer overall.
"If you've been hearing that extreme cold spells, like the one we're having in the United States now, disproves global warming, don't believe it," he says in the video.
The two-minute clip puts the Obama administration at odds with conservatives and Republicans who have said the bitterly cold week in much of the United States proves their point that climate change isn't real.
The video is just one part of the administration's pushback on that idea. The administration plans to hold an online "We The Geeks" session on the polar vortex moderated by White House Office of Science and Technology Policy officials and featuring top climate observers from across the country. A tentative list of attendees, shared by a White House official:
Jason Samenow – Weather Editor at Washington Post
Dr. J. Marshall Shepherd – President of the American Meteorological Society and Professor, University of Georgia
Bernadette Woods Placky – Emmy Award-winning Meteorologist at Climate Central
Jim Overland – Arctic researcher at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
Stephanie Abrams – Weather Channel
The administration says global warming will likely cause more polar vortex-like winters, rather than fewer as skeptics suggest.
"We know that no single weather episode proves or disproves climate change. Climate refers to the patterns observed in the weather over time and space — in terms of averages, variations, and probabilities," reads the White House release announcing the We The Geeks session. "But we also know that this week's cold spell is of a type there's reason to believe may become more frequent in a world that's getting warmer, on average, because of greenhouse-gas pollution."