It has been hot and humid here for the past two weeks. Even the trees are wilting. Needless to say the media are onto it.
‘Is this heat wave global warming?’ they ask Dr David Jones, Acting Head of the National Climate Centre in Australia.
‘It’s a complex discussion. What global warming does is… it increases the frequency of hot events and decreases the frequency or likelihood of a cold event.’
I wonder how many of us know what this solid answer from Dr Jones means?
Is it hot because of global warming? No, it is hot because it is summertime. And in the Australian summer there is a chance that it will not only get hot, but also that it will stay hot for several days. Down under hot means over 40 degrees Celsius. What Dr Jones was saying is that as the globe heats up, so there will be a greater chance of these warm events occurring.
It is like weighting a coin. Spin a normal coin and there is an equal chance that it will fall heads or tails. Put a little extra weight on the head side and it will fall head side down more often than 50% of the time.
So warming weights these hot events, they are more likely to occur.
Global warming is really global climate changing. Especially change in the frequency of certain events.
Dr Jones did a good job. It’s a tough gig being the person everyone asks when there is a question about the climate.