Your opinion on global warming may change today

People walk in Manhattan during a snowstorm on January 21, 2014 in New York City.
Getty Images

The winter storm rollming through the Northeast is on pace to be one of the biggest ever to hit the area. That will certainly lead to tweets like this one:

Donald Trump Tweet

Let's just take a moment to remember that Trump is not alone. In fact, it's a scientifically proven fact that people's opinions of global warming—an issue reaching over years and decades and centuries—can change based on the weather of a single day.

Let's just say that again, to let it settle in. It's scientifically proven that the public will dampen its belief in global warming if the day they are being asked about it is colder than usual.

According a study published in the Journal of the American Meteorological Society, two scientists proved the connection:

The significant role that weather played in the short-term fluctuations in public opinion regarding global warming....

Individuals regularly refer to weather-related factors when explaining how they arrived at their conclusion that the planet is either warming or not warming....

Actual weather conditions, and specifically seasonal snowfall, shape the process by which individuals arrive at their conclusions regarding the existence of global warming.

Separate research at Yale showed that Americans were most likely to connect global warming to the weather during a record-high summer. And a different research report in Nature Climate Change also identified similar behavior:

Climate change judgments can depend on whether today seems warmer or colder than usual....

Previous research has demonstrated that this effect occurs....

Ultimately, we show that present temperature abnormalities are given undue weight and lead to an overestimation of the frequency of similar past events.

It's not just Americans who experience this short-term opinion whiplash, as this same pattern of behavior has been shown in other countries, such as Australia, too.

To be clear, the United Nations says "there is strong scientific consensus that the global climate is changing and that human activity contributes significantly to this trend," and the majority of Americans believe in climate change. Regardless of what you actually believe, don't let a single snowstorm in January affect it. The science on that is clear, too, that people like Trump are too easily swayed by a single day's weather.