“Climate change” is so slow it is hardly noticeable

If climate is defined as average weather over a 30 year period (i.e. WMO definition), then it would take several decades to see any true change show up given the wide variability experienced year to year. To illustrate, consider this plot of 100 years of maximum surface temperature data at Fire Station #3, Riverside, California.

Figure 8 top

Did the climate change? Well, yes it changes every day, month, year and decade, in this case with temperature swings within a wide band of variability.

But was there a permanent change based on 30-year averages? Perhaps so, but would it be noticed? It’s refreshing to see scientists (such as here) now starting to point out the long-term nature of changing climates.

The Clinton Administration White House held a summit on climate change in the early 90’s looking at a wide range of issues. With regard to water supplies, Denver Water Department Executive Director Hamlet J. Barry III (better known as ‘Chips Barry’) attended this meeting and argued quit correctly that a true change in climate happens over many decades which is slow enough for water utilities to adjust to any changes. I suspect the same would be the case for cities and towns as well. In reality action is already being taken to respond to slow changes in climate.

A greater need is to develop resilience to extreme weather events, which can happen at any time, and are unrelated to “climate change”.

 

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