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“Ideal” Climate

By:
Edward A. Reid Jr.
Posted On:
Jan 22, 2019  at  at 6:30 AM
Category
Climate Change

The earth does not have a climate, except as an “average” of thousands of local climates. Each of those local climates is changing, though not always in the same way or at the same pace. The “average” climate is changing, as measured by numerous temperature measuring stations and reported as global average temperature anomalies. These anomalies are calculated deviations from the conditions measured over a 30+ year reference period. There is no explicit recognition of the climate of this reference period as the “ideal” average global climate. There is, however, the inference that this reference period, or some other period, was “ideal” and that the recently calculated anomalies represent a departure from that “ideal”.

The thousands of local climates on the earth vary tremendously. The highest temperature ever recorded on earth (134°F) occurred in Furnace Creek, CA in July, 1913. The lowest temperature ever recorded on earth (-128.5°F) occurred in Vostok, Antarctica in July, 1983. Neither of those record temperatures would likely be considered a characteristic of an ideal climate. The current estimated global average surface temperature is 58.6°F, well above the mean of the global temperature extremes. The current global annual average temperature anomaly is ~1.6°F, suggesting that 57°F was the annual average temperature during the reference period.

National average annual temperatures range from Canada at 22°F to Burkina Faso at 83°F. The US average temperature is 47°F. US cities with an average annual temperature approximately equal to the global annual average temperature of 57°F during the reference period include: Albuquerque, NM; Louisville, KY; St. Louis, MO; and, Wichita, KS. European cities with similar average annual temperatures include Sochi, Russia and Istanbul, Turkey.

Miami, FL has an average annual temperature of 77.2°F, with an average high temperature of 84.3°F and an average low temperature of 70.1°F; and, record temperatures of 98°F and 30°F. Miami’s annual average temperature is 18.7°F warmer than the global average. Barrow, AK has an average annual temperature of 11.8°F, with an average high temperature of 17.3°F and an average low temperature of 6.3°F; and, record temperatures of 79°F and -56°F. Miami’s average high and low temperatures vary by 14.2°F, while the record temperatures vary by 68°F, nearly 5 times the average variation. Barrow’s average high and low temperatures vary by only 11°F, while the record temperatures vary by 135°F, more than 12 times the average variation. Barrow’s annual average is 46.7°F below the global average.

Somewhere, between the record global temperatures, within the range of national average annual temperatures and climates, lies the “ideal” global annual temperature and the “ideal” global annual climate. There are numerous nations for which an increase in annual average temperatures would probably represent a move toward an “ideal” climate, while there are other nations for which it would represent a move away from an “ideal” climate. In each case, that perception would be based on the characteristics of the “ideal” climate. These perceptions vary considerably, but seem to favor warmer climates with limited seasonal variation.