Rolling the dice on weather

I’m sharing this article not out of sheer laziness and a desire to avoid writing my own post, but because I think that James Hansen does a fantastic job of using analogy to describe climate change.  His description of a dice whose sides are gradually becoming more and more uniform (the ‘hot’ sides) provides a good framework for understanding the changes in global weather:

Years ago, I introduced the concept of ”climate dice” to help distinguish the long-term trend of climate change from the natural variability of day-to-day weather. Some summers are hot, some cool. Some winters brutal, some mild. That’s natural variability.

But as the climate warms, natural variability is altered, too. In a normal climate without global warming, two sides of the dice would represent cooler-than-normal weather, two sides would be normal weather, and two sides would be warmer-than-normal weather. Rolling the dice season after season, you would get an equal variation of weather over time.

But loading the dice with a warming climate changes the odds. You end up with only one side cooler than normal, one side average, and four sides warmer than normal”.

I’d really recommend it as a quick and interesting read.

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2 thoughts on “Rolling the dice on weather

  1. Hansen is incredible. He has been warning us for three decades about what would happen if we continued pumping carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. And most (if not all) of his predictions have been right.
    I recently read his book “Storms of my grandchildren”. It is quite eye-opening. Scary at times, and very technical at times, but overall, really interesting read.

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