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A Little Perspective

By:
Edward A. Reid Jr.
Posted On:
Jan 17, 2017  at  at 7:33 AM
Category
Climate Change

The angst-ridden, consensed climate science community is focused on an increase in global average near-surface temperature of approximately 0.7oC (1.3oF) per century, or a total increase of approximately 0.9oC (1.6oF) since 1880, according to NOAA.

To provide some perspective on the cause of this angst, I have selected Wichita, Kansas, a city located very near the geographic center of the contiguous 48 states of the US. The data source for this analysis is weather.com.

The record high temperature in Wichita is 114oF. The record low is -22oF. That is a difference of 136oF between the record high and low temperatures over the same period that NOAA reports a global average near-surface temperature increase of approximately 1.6oF.

The typical range of daily high and low temperature in Wichita is approximately 20oF throughout the year. Assuming that the transition from the daily low temperature to the daily high temperature occurs over a period of approximately 12 hours, the rate of diurnal temperature change in Wichita is approximately 1.7oF per hour, or approximately the same as the total change in global average near-surface temperature over the 136 years since 1880.

NOAA reports the global average near-surface temperature as approximately 57oF. Wichita average temperatures range from approximately 32oF in January to approximately 80oF in July, relatively close to the global average near-surface temperature. This is a local average temperature change of approximately 0.3oF per day, or approximately one fifth of the total reported change of global average near-surface temperature over the 136 years since 1880.

It is also interesting to compare the rates of change of temperature. The approximately 0.3oF daily rate of local average seasonal temperature change in Wichita is approximately 10 thousand times the reported rate of global average near-surface temperature change over the 136 year period since 1880. The approximately 1.7oF per hour rate of change of diurnal temperature in Wichita is approximately 1.2 million times the reported rate of change of global average near-surface temperature over the same period.

Similar analyses in other areas of the globe would produce similar, though not identical, results. Clearly, all life forms on earth experience far more rapid temperature changes on a daily and seasonal basis than the earth has experienced on a global basis over the past 136 years. Also, the global change has manifested predominantly as warmer nights and milder winters, rather than as increased maximum temperatures, thus reducing the stress imposed by the increase.