It is not that it is very cold now, it is strange that it does so because it is no longer so common

What was that about global warming? Lately it is freezing cold. Not so much in Spain, where this winter is being relatively milder than expected according to AEMET, but for example in the United States, where an explosion of arctic air has caused at least eight deaths, they report in El País.

Temperatures of -28 ºC have been reached in cities like Chicago, and these extreme cold waves that also occurred in 1985, 1989 or 2014 seem to have reverted to virulence in recent days. It's cold, of course, but we are not so used to it anymore.

Being very cold is getting more unusual

Many studies confirm that this is the case, and in the United States it has long been talked about how those extreme winter temperatures are increasingly rare. They were doing this at Climate Central in January 2014, just as the last blast of arctic air occurred. However, who best reflected it was the famous xkcd comic right at that time:

This well-known strip has a lot of comics but also a lot of science, and the data referred to in this "caricatured" graphic are real. As revealed in ExplainXKCD - fantastic for understanding the message in detail - those data from the ACIS organization have changed location and are mentioned in the Climate Central link mentioned above, and the integrated graphics indicate, for example, the number of nights in which the temperature in Minneapolis or Detroit has dropped below -10ºF (-23.33ºC).

As can be seen, that number has fallen significantly in recent decades, and data from other NOAA agencies (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) that also include in the ExplainXKCD discussion reveal that "although there were several very cold years in the In the 1970s, the clear global trend is that there are fewer and fewer days of cold weather over the years. "

In Spain there are fewer and fewer "cold years"

This same perception is repeated in other countries such as Spain, where for example a study shows that the average temperatures of the winter quarter have been increasing gradually in recent years:

This graph does not show so much the lower occurrence of days and nights with extreme cold, but for example the summary of the evolution of the climate that this organism carried out a few days ago reached the same conclusion that we mentioned earlier.

Thus, this report explained how in the current decade "only two years (2010 and 2013) have been cold. The rest, all, have been warm, and if we look closely, we observe that the four warmest years correspond to this decade: 2017, 2015, 2011 and 2014. " While the cold years predominate in the 1980s, this trend began to change in the 1990s, and now, they explain in AEMET, "a clear trend is observed towards a greater number of warm years in recent periods."

That it is cold, therefore, does not serve to deny the reality of climate change that in fact partially explains this phenomenon: the extreme episodes of our climatology are becoming increasingly extreme. There may be fewer cold years and fewer cold days, but there will be more extreme episodes than ever and that is what is being shown in the United States, for example.

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