As the temperature freezes up the global warming debate heats up, with skeptics mocking those who believe there is actually such a thing as global warming.
Most climate scientists respond that the ferocious storms are consistent with forecasts that a heating planet will produce more frequent and more intense weather events.
As an illustration of their point of view, the family of Senator James M. Inhofe, Republican of Oklahoma, a leading climate skeptic in Congress, built a six-foot-tall igloo on Capitol Hill and put a cardboard sign on top that read "Al Gore's New Home."
But Josesph Ramm at the Center for American Progress rightly calls this nonsense. "Ideologues in the Senate keep pushing the anti-scientific disinformation that big snowstorms are evidence against human-caused global warming."
A federal government report issued last year, intended to be the authoritative statement of known climate trends in the United States, pointed to the likelihood of more frequent snowstorms in the Northeast and less frequent snow in the South and Southeast as a result of long-term temperature and precipitation patterns. The Climate Impacts report, from the multiagency United States Global Change Research Program, also projected more intense drought in the Southwest and more powerful Gulf Coast hurricanes because of warming.