On Tuesday night, Trump posted a tweet referencing the cold snap in the Northeast.
“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!” he wrote.
“He sees it as a joke. It’s a troll job,” said Ryan Maue, a meteorologist for Weather.us.
Maue told ABC News that how one interprets the tweet “depends on if you’re taking it literally or not.”
For those taking the tweet literally, Noah Diffenbaugh, a climate scientist at Stanford University, explained that the particularly warm weather in the west of the country and the cold weather in the east is known as the North American winter temperature dipole, and it is becoming more common.
“We have peer-reviewed scientific evidence that, No. 1, this situation that’s happening this week with the temperature in the U.S. is happening more frequently in recent years. No. 2, that is completely consistent with our understanding of global warming and we have peer-reviewed scientific evidence that this increase that we've identified is more likely with global warming,” Diffenbaugh told ABC News.
When asked what was scientifically correct in Trump’s tweet, Maue noted that it could be the coldest New Year’s Eve on record in some parts of the country.
Aside from the observation that it is cold in parts of the country, Mark Muro, who leads research on energy and climate policy at the Metropolitan Policy Program, said that Trump got “basically everything” else wrong.
“Most seventh-graders know that local, day-to-day weather changes say very little about long-term climate trends -- but apparently Trump does not know the difference,” Muro told ABC News.
“In any event, what matters is not what happens today or this week but what happens over decades, and on that the scientific consensus is overwhelming: The world is warming up dangerously thanks to human-caused emissions and may warm as much as 7 degrees Fahrenheit by the end of the century,” he said in an email. “So Trump either does not know a basic tenet of climate science or is knowingly pushing hot buttons.”
Maue echoed Muro's comment about Trump pushing buttons.
“Honestly I really wish he wouldn’t tweet this stuff out ... he doesn’t need to repeat this stuff. But honestly, I don’t think we're going to see less of it going forward,” Maue said, referencing both this latest tweet and similar ones that Trump’s posted in the past.
Here are some examples of past tweets on the topic:
November 2012: "The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive."
November 2012: "It's freezing and snowing in New York--we need global warming!"
March 2013: "Looks like the U.S. will be having the coldest March since 1996-global warming anyone?????????"
May 2013: "It's freezing outside, where the hell is "global warming"??"
January 2014: "We are experiencing the coldest weather in more than two decades-most people never remember anything like this. GLOBAL WARMING anyone?"
January 2015: "It's record cold all over the country and world - where the hell is global warming, we need some fast!"
February 2015: "Record low temperatures and massive amounts of snow. Where the hell is GLOBAL WARMING?
October 2015: "It's really cold outside, they are calling it a major freeze, weeks ahead of normal. Man, we could use a big fat dose of global warming!"