Thursday, 14 March 2013

Weird weather

global warming, climate change or just weather?

As we all know, global warming morphed into climate change to give fewer hostages to fortune, but now all but the most die-hard apocalypse fans know the climate isn’t warming.

Oddly enough we have been told many times that climate is not weather. However, over the past few years the climate is not weather message seems to have been dropped and it isn't difficult to see why.

The reason for the change in emphasis is reasonably well known but worth reiterating. Suppose we imagine the world divided up into 200 countries and further imagine 5 weather metrics for each country.

  1. Max temperature.
  2. Min temperature.
  3. Snowfall.
  4. Rainfall.
  5. Drought periods.

So if each of those 200 countries records 5 weather metrics, then assuming normal distribution, a 100-year record in at least one metric in one country will be broken 10 times a year.

200 x 5 = 1000 total metrics.
1000/100 = 10 hundred year records broken each year.

There are far more metrics than this of course and the distribution won’t be a normal distribution, but however artificial they are, the numbers highlight why record-breaking weather is bound to be a popular way to scare people about climate change. 

It's all there is left.


Demetrius said...

Does your picture prove global warming on the grounds that otherwise the car might have been under a glacier? I like to call this logic lacerated thinking.

A K Haart said...

Demetrius - yes, we can clearly see the ice-car melting because of all the CO2 it pumped out earlier.

malpas said...

BUT elsewhere - in Australia - we had a few days of 35C or thereabouts. And this was said to be record breaking and therefore climate change.

James Higham said...

When we get snow in June ... then it might be serious.

A K Haart said...

malpas - 35C? We could do with some of that here in the UK where it is cold, grey and drizzly. Records will always be broken of course - it would be seriously weird if they weren't. I think a record gas bill is next!

James - serious enough to emigrate I reckon.