There has been a lot of talk recently about how the world is warming because we in eastern Australia have had a couple of months warmer than usual for the time of year. It fascinates me that when the weather is warmer it must be climate change, but when it is colder that is just weather, or natural variation, or of no real concern anyway.
There is no doubt that August and September were warmer than usual, but it is a useful corrective to see what was happening elsewhere. And you can do this by going to the website Climate4you, where you can check temperature around the world on a monthly basis (as well as much else). In August Australia was warmer than usual, as was Japan and eastern China, but most of the rest of the world was colder. In September, yes, Australia was warmer again, as was Canada and the midwest of the USA, but South America, Europe and eastern Canada were all colder than usual. What does it mean? Until someone comes up with a compelling theory backed by excellent observations, I’m inclined to say it means there’s a lot of variation from time to time and from place to place.
A fellow inquirer into ‘climate change’, Madhav Khandekar, who lives and works in Canada, but was born in India and learned his profession as a statistician there, has sent me a copy of a paper he wrote about how India is an obvious example of the benefits of global warming, about which I wrote the other day. It was published in Energy & Environment in 2006 (Vol.17 No.5), and you can read it here. It is a simple story, but its point is that India has rocketed ahead in productivity, food production and standard of living at a time when the IPCC was warning of ‘the deleterious impact of Global Warming’.
The paper concludes: In summary, India today has done well by adapting to the warmer climate and associated climate change. Indians do not mind hot weather, in fact they thrive on it! The India Meteorological Department has increased its mandate and personnel substantially in recent years and has developed improved capabilities for foreshadowing of the summer Monsoon rainfall and associated variability. Extreme weather events like Bay of Bengal cyclones striking coastal regions of southern India are monitored at present with improved technology and this has resulted in reduced human and property losses in recent years.
In his email to me Madhav has made some perceptive comments that are worth thinking about, for example, ‘IPCC science is, in my view, is very narrowly focused on Global Warming’s adverse impact, based again only on a few examples of “how heat waves in Europe could harm Europe and other nations!”‘