‘Weather’ or Not Climate is Changing

On Monday, I tried to explain why you haven’t felt climate change and why it is very unlikely any one person actually will. It doesn’t work on the same time span at the human experience. How counter-intuitive it is only furthers the credit deserved to those scientist whom have progressed our understanding of climate to point that we’re at and why I’m constantly surprised by the sheer arrogance of smug deniers who try to inform me why the science is wrong.

Anyway, Li et al. (2011) recently conducted an experiment where they asked groups of people from the US and Australia whether they thought the current day was warmer or cooler than average, what they thought about climate change and if they would donate to a charity focused on global warming.

What they found was probably expected by many readers.

Where respondents thought the day was warmer than normal, they tended to have more concern about climate change and donate more money to climate change causes.

Of course, the amount the local temperature anomaly has shifted over a lifespan isn’t great enough for a person to have noticed even if that amount of change had occurred over the previous hour – we’re not great at discriminating between a couple degrees. Suggesting that it’s noticeable over over our lifespan, hidden between the diurnal and seasonal fluctuations is simply ludicrous.

We simply will not feel climate change like we feel weather change.

Li et al. (2011) does, however, offer an interesting perspective in how climate change is perceived within the general public and room for improvement in education about what climate change actually is and what we can expect from warming rates.


One thought on “‘Weather’ or Not Climate is Changing

  1. I could only read the abstract so not the full story and this could be mentioned but i thought to share my thoughts.

    Myself do see and feel climate change not because i have better “sensors” but because i work with nature, i grow things. The work relies on climate/weather so you become more aware of it.
    Modern people have evolved so far away from their own food production and nature, that they have lost the ability to sense changes in the environment.

    On the moment here in Wales we have an extreme hot and dry spring which effects the growing. Perhaps we should let people know on a weekly basis. When weather forecasts are given the presenter says you need to water them plants and keep them young plants in the shade today etc. etc. Or even show a dried out field open to the elements as the farmers just seeded.
    Spring should be damp and cool, we can not seed earlier as for the frost and to water these fields costs and does not really help much.

    The perennial plants seem to adapt but the annual plants have a harder time. For growers it becomes more a question when to seed and how to seed.
    They try to develop new methods only to find them being very difficult and financial not viable or being unpredictable. I feel we need to look more at the example nature give us and develop this.


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