The White House Panel Discusses Climate Change With Experts

By Devin Brown
Published: January 10, 2014

Join the White House's “We the Geeks: Polar Vortex and Extreme Weather”

Watch The White House's Google Hangout on Climate Change! In case you missed it, you can watch the entire hangout above! (If you cannot see the above video, refresh the page!)

The 'Polar Vortex' has been discussed at length in connection with whether or not climate change is a fact of science or a media agenda. This week’s drop to freezing temperatures has led to less of a debate on how to stay warm and more of a political ‘he said’, ‘she said’ on the validity of such a term as well as climate change in general. From Rush Limbaugh lampooning the term and going as far to call it a way for the media to “attach this to the global warming agenda,” to other outlets displaying similar if not supportive sentiments the conversations has become less about science and more about politics.

Since Limbaugh’s declaration that the media “created it [the polar vortex] for this week,” many meteorologists have come forward to prove the science behind the term in order to steer the conversations away from liberal or conservative agendas and more towards the facts.

It is now The White House’s turn to set the record straight. In their words, “our discussions about the science of weather extremes are heating up.” Beyond the incidence of backlash from the public on the reality of extreme weather, The White House is now hoping to open the conversation and share the science behind the polar vortex and changing weather patterns in general.


According to the The White House, "we know that no single weather episode proves or disproves climate change. Climate refers to the patterns observed in the weather over time and space – in terms of averages, variations, and probabilities. But we also know that this week’s cold spell is of a type there’s reason to believe may become more frequent in a world that’s getting warmer, on average, because of greenhouse-gas pollution."

With that in mind, The Weather Channel’s Stephanie Abrams joins a panel hosted by The White House to open a discourse about why temperatures dipped to such frigid lows, how experts turn raw data into forecasts and what we know about extreme weather in the context of a changing climate.

Abrams, along with other climate experts including Jim Overland an Arctic researcher at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Jason Samenow the Washington Post Weather Editor and more, will answer mediated questions from the public about these weather occurrences and not only their validity, but the process in which meteorologists come to these conclusions.

(MORE: Polar Vortex and Climate Change: Why Rush Limbaugh and Others Are Wrong)

You can watch the Google Hangout here on, or at and on the White House Google+ page to hear from the experts on the front lines of weather forecasting and climate science.

Got questions? Ask using the hashtag #WeTheGeeks on Twitter or on Google+ and they'll answer some of them during the live Hangout.

MORE: Photos from the Deep Freeze

An old man looks out on a Greenland glacier. (Flickr/Goran Ingman)


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