Weather Does Change

Understanding the difference between weather and climate is difficult for most people because, (a) humans don’t live long enough to observe the climate changing first-hand, and (b) too much false information is swirling around in the background. The unfortunate reality is that looking at shifting weather patterns over decades is not very helpful in understanding climate changes over millennia. A rational look at the following examples might be helpful.

The Redwoods and Bristlecone Pines tell us that there have been tremendous weather changes over the past 2000 to 3000 years but they reveal no discernable change in climate. We know that because growth rings vary from decade to decade – even century to century – but there is no consistent pattern across millennia. Consider Muir Snag, believed to be the oldest redwood tree in the world. Although no longer living, it stands in the Converse Basin of the Giant Sequoia National Monument in California for everyone to see, and learn from. Observing and understanding what is demonstrated here doesn’t mean the climate isn’t changing. It is changing, but too slowly for even this 3500-year-old tree to have noticed.

If you happened to have been born in North Carolina in 1900, as you approached 25 years of age, you might have said, “Wow, this is the warmest winter I have ever seen – must be Climate Change”. But by the time you turned 80, things would have been back to normal, so you might have concluded, “No Climate Change going on here” – at least none that could be seen within a single lifetime.

Stock Market investors use things like Volatility Index (VIX) or Alpha and Beta calculations to minimize the confusion. In the world of electronics we call a similar thing “signal-to-noise ratio” or noise margin . In every example  it is easy to see how one could lose the “signal” in the “noise”; “miss the forest for the trees”; “confuse weather with climate”.

The point of all this is, looking out the window and concluding that Spring is earlier than usual, or counting the number of hurricanes in the Atlantic, or blaming the intensity of forest fires on Climate Change is total silliness – regardless of what politicians, journalists, or Climate Scientists tell us. If we want to find out what is actually going on, we need to fall back on Real Science, and that is more difficult, albeit not impossible.

By: Jim
Written: 2020
Published: May 2021