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.