This is Scientific American — 60-Second Science. I'm Christopher Intagliata.
Global warming deniers love to point to cold or snow as evidence against climate change. Like Oklahoma Senator James Inhofe. Remember last year, when he tossed a snowball in Congress? "You know what this is? It's a snowball. It's just from outside here. So it's very, very cold out, very unseasonal. So here, Mr. president, catch this." With that, he offhandedly disproved decades of climate science. To some people at least.
But such cold-influenced-denial may be playing out across the U.S., in particular in Appalachia and the South. Because it turns out those areas have had lots of record low temperatures in the last 12 years. And they're also by and large the same parts of the country that have high numbers of global warming skeptics. So researchers have a theory that personal experience with cold snaps could be trumping scientific facts. The analysis is in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Study author Robert Kaufmann, an environmental scientist at Boston University, says the way around this might be to put climate data in terms people understand: money. "We should propose a simple bet to climate skeptics. And that is: For every new record high temperature at a weather station, you pay us a dollar. And for every new record low temperature, we'll pay you a dollar."
Or, he says, think of climate change as a slot machine, especially with the president-elect. "He's run casinos. So you can kind of think of climate like a climate casino. If you were a casino owner and you had a machine that was constantly paying out more record high temperatures than more record low temperatures, you would look into that machine. Something's wrong with the machine. And that's what the climate machine has been doing."
However you think about it, Kaufmann won't be betting. "I got no dough, man, I'm an academic."
Thanks for listening for Scientific American — 60-Second Science Science. I'm Christopher Intagliata.
全球变暖否认者喜欢用寒冷和降雪来证明气候没有变化 。俄克拉何马州参议员詹姆斯·英霍夫就是如此 。还记得去年他曾在国会扔雪球吗？“你们知道这是什么吗？这是雪球 。这是刚刚在外面做的雪球 。外面非常非常冷，很反常 。主席先生，请拉住 。”他就这样反驳了数十年的气候科学 。反驳了一些气候学家 。
但是，这种否认寒冷的局面可能正在美国上演，阿巴拉契亚和南部地区尤为明显 。因为事实表明，这些地区在过去12年有大量的低温记录 。总的来说，这些地区的全球变暖怀疑论者人数也很多 。所以研究人员认为，体验过寒流的个人经验可能会击败科学事实 。这一分析发表在《美国国家科学院院刊》上 。
研究作者罗伯特·考夫曼是波士顿大学的环境科学家，他表示，也许可以将气候数据用人们理解的术语——也就是钱，来表达 。“我们可以和气候怀疑论者打赌 。气象站一出现新的高温记录，这些怀疑论者就要给我们一美元 。出现新的低温记录时，我们给他们一美元 。”
他说，因为新当选的美国总统，或者也可以把气候变化当成是老虎机 。“特朗普经营赌场 。所以你可以把气候变化想象成气候赌场 。如果你是赌场老板，你有一台机器，与低温记录相比，这台机器一直在支付高温记录，这时你就会对这台机器进行检查 。以确定这台机器是不是哪里出了问题 。这就是气候机器所做的事情 。”
但是你仔细想一下，考曼夫不会赌博 。“我没有钱打赌，因为我仅仅是一个学者” 。
谢谢大家收听科学美国人——60秒科学 。我是克里斯托弗·因塔利亚塔 。
1. play out （使）（戏剧性的事件）逐渐发生；（使）展开；
例句：I know it's not how you'd want us to play out.
2. by and large 大致上；总体上；总的说来；
例句：By and large, your plan is a good one.
3. pay out 支付，花费（通常指一大笔钱）；
例句：I had to pay out 200 to get my car repaired!
4. look into 考察；调查；研究；
例句：The manager would look into the queer goings-on in the office.