Global Cooling : Beyond Parochialism

During the next 10 years, climate science and climate science reporting will, I believe, change the public perception of climate change.  More people will come to understand the difference between parochial weather and global climate.  As more and more people become directly affected by climate change, former deniers will begin to ask why "they" didn't do something about the problem.

Parochialism is the mode of thinking that expects the whole planet to obey laws of nature modelled on one's immediate locality.  In this information age we have advanced only from village-based parochialism to 'hemispherical parochialism'.  That is to say, the media in the northern hemisphere tends to report news only from the northern hemisphere.  The same is true for the southern hemisphere.

Parochialism leads people in the north to accept the current nonsense of 'global cooling' based only on their own immediate experiences and what is reported to them in the media.

As the northern hemisphere undergoes its current winter trials, some people are persuaded to falsely equate local seasonal weather patterns with climate change.  Look: just because it is winter in the northern hemisphere, that does not disprove global warming!  Global warming is made up of averages.  If the cold of a northern winter is combined with the heat of southern summer and the average global temperature is greater year-by-year, then that is proof positive of global warming.  That proof exists.

Now, we know that records have been broken in the northern hemisphere. For example, the U.K. has been experiencing its worst winter weather for at least 30 years, perhaps 40.

In the U.K., salt for the roads has run low, as have gas supplies.  Although the U.K. has direct access to gas reserves, there is a limit to the rate at which gas can flow through pipes.  Reserves are stored in gasometers to buffer the grid.  These reserves have run low, leading to power being cut to some industries during the cold spell.

Much the same sort of thing has happened in China, where power stations have been in danger of running out of coal.  Extreme lows have been recorded in India.
An 86-year-old woman was killed when her saree caught fire while she
was warming herself this morning in a Malda village where the minimum
temperature recorded in the past 24 hours was 9 degrees Celsius.
Source: The Telegraph Calcutta

But What Of The Southern Hemisphere?

New Zealand:
Forecasts from the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (Niwa) suggest below-normal rainfall for the next three months in areas such as Waikato and The Bay of Plenty and eastern parts of the North Island.
Source: NZHerald

The noughties were the warmest decade on record in New Zealand, although last year was cooler than average, latest climate figures from the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (Niwa) show.

The years 2000-2009 were slightly warmer than the 1980s, which were previously the warmest decade on record and now ranked second ahead of the 1970s and 1990s.
Source: NZ Herald


Melbourne has suffered its hottest night since 1902 as a heat wave grips southern Australia.

much of the northern hemisphere is suffering from unusually cold
conditions, night-time temperatures in Melbourne have reached 34C

Source: BBC

WATER Minister Tim Holding says people should use as much water
as they need in hot weather after the equal-warmest night in history. 


Mr Holding said Victorians had saved the state’s supplies by dramatically reducing their water use in the past few years.

Despite rainfall only decreasing by 10% in the past decade, the level of water that flowed into Victorian dams decreased by 25%.


power cuts came as Melbourne sweltered through its equal warmest night
in history, the hottest since February 1, 1902, when the record of
30.6C was set.

Source: HeraldSun

Future trends.

I well recall Britain's Astronomer Royal denying the possibility of space travel just two weeks before the launch of sputnik 1.  There is always a danger in speculations about the future.  Nevertheless, I am going to stick my head well above the parapet on this issue.  On looking at current predictions by relevant experts, I notice that they are not generally using the latest available data.  They have also tended to avoid being alarmist, giving 'worst-case' scenarios which are decidedly on the optimistic side of the worst-case.  I have taken some of those predictions, such as 'Arctic ice-free by 2020', and modified them in light of current data.  Here, then, are my predictions for the decade 2010 - 2020.

Many hottest weather records are broken in northern hemisphere.
Summer arctic ice at record low in extent.
By September the Arctic Ocean is freely navigable by both the northern sea route and the north west passage.

Reduced ice cover affects sea temperatures, in turn affecting Arctic current flows and air movements. Thinner ice, instead of piling up as pressure ridges due to compression effects, cracks into sections due to tension and agitation effects.
The Arctic is virtually ice-free by late summer: there is open water at the North Pole.

Loss of summer ice in the Arctic addressed by scientific conferences.  General public in U.S. and much of Europe still unconcerned.

Arctic Ocean and surrounding seaways virtually ice-free.
Southern Ocean significantly warmer than average since direct measurements began.
Substantial ice loss from Antarctic ice shelves.
Katrina-style inundation of at least one major northern hemisphere east coast city attributed to global climate change.  Public begins to demand immediate action on climate change in western democracies.

Inundation of substantial amounts of agricultural, industrial and residential land, with loss of millions of lives, seen as wake-up call to humanity.

Related / further reading:
Ice-Free Arctic - TimesOnLine

Recommended: Discover Magazine Blogs/80 Beats

More on climate from the chatter_box
Global Cooling: A Good Story, If Only It Were True.
Global Cooling : How Wrong Can You Get?
Join The Navy : See A Nuke
Himalayan Hype : Reading Between The Lines
Post Glacial Eustatic Sea Level Rise
GMST : Discovering Trends
How To Model A Smoking Gun