Jon Stewart once jokingly observed, “Global warming is a total hoax. And Ill tell you how I know. Because it’s cold, today, where I live. That’s jus’ science.” Trump supporting actor Scott Baio must have decided that Stewart was serious, based on a tweet he posted on April 3.
Baio, who hasn’t had much steady acting work since the end of the 1980s sitcom “Charles In Charge,” recently came out as a Donald Trump supporter. It seems like a perfect fit, because Baio, like Trump, obviously doesn’t know that there are things he doesn’t know. This tweet about “global warming” proves it.
It’s bad enough when climate change deniers do things like throw a snowball on the floor of the United States Senate during a winter storm, as Oklahoma Senator Jim Inhofe did in February 2015. Forget the fact that scientists say that 2015 was the warmest year on record. No, the snow on those mountain peaks proves that climate change is a myth in the weak mind of Scott Baio.
If Baio had spent more of his formative years in school instead of on the set, he might have learned about something known as the “atmospheric lapse rate.” Excepting for conditions that cause a thing called a “temperature inversion,” the atmosphere cools at a rate of 5.4 degrees Fahrenheit per 1,000 feet of altitude. Those mountains Baio was looking at rise several thousand feet above sea level. So at the peak of Mt. Palomar, about 6,100 feet above sea level, the temperature is going to be over 32 degrees colder than the temperature on the ground. At the top of the even higher Mt. San Jacinto, that temperature difference is almost 60 degrees.
Baio, like many climate change deniers, thinks that because it is still snowing in places that typically have snow, “global warming” is a hoax. But there’s something else that Baio apparently doesn’t understand: we’re talking about global average temperatures. And in case he hasn’t noticed, Earth is a fairly good-sized place. It is not going to be warmer than normal everywhere on the planet at the same time. Earth’s atmosphere functions as a giant heat pump. Warmer than average warm air masses will be balanced by colder than average cold air masses. Because temperature seeks equilibrium, warm air tries to flow into colder air. It’s the collision of those air masses, along with the fact that warmer air picks up more moisture than cold air, that is producing ever more extreme and violent weather as the planet’s average temperature rises.
But all of that science seems to be lost on Scott Baio, who is just amazed that there is still snow in the mountains.
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