Duke University Professor William Chameides -- dean of the Nicholas School of the Environment and a member of the National Academy of Sciences -- says global warming is a fact, no matter what the current temperature might be.
"There is a reason we call it global warming," Chameides said. "Global temperatures can be warming, even if temperatures in the United States are not."
He notes that while some areas have been experiencing wintry extremes, other regions of the world have had to contend with extreme heat waves, including Australia, Brazil and South Africa.
Even in the United States, January was the fourth-warmest January on record, he noted.
"This pattern of (higher) temperatures and stronger storms is consistent with climate models that show global warming will bring more extreme weather, specifically more severe storms with greater amounts of precipitation," Chameides said. "A careful, objective, complete reading of the scientific literature reveals the scientific evidence that the globe is warming -- and that this warming is connected to human activities."
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