Blowing Hot And Cold

Guest Post by Willis Eschenbach

My mind runs to curious things. Today it went to this one of Aesop’s Fables:

A man and a satyr once poured out libations together in token of a bond of alliance being formed between them. One very cold wintry day, as they talked together, the man put his fingers to his mouth and blew on them.

On the satyr inquiring the reason of this, he told him that he did it to warm his hands, they were so cold.

Later on in the day they sat down to eat, the food prepared being quite scalding. The man raised one of the dishes a little towards his mouth and blew in it. On the satyr again inquiring the reason of this, he said that he did it to cool the meat, it was so hot.

“I can no longer consider you as a friend,” said the Satyr, “a fellow who with the same breath blows hot and cold.”

What brought this to mind was looking at the temperature trends for the planet. I’ve always sort of assumed that the temperature trend varied somewhat around the world. But I was surprised to see how much of the world was cooling. Here’s a Pacific and a corresponding Atlantic centered view of the cooling:

Some of this I expected. The Southern Ocean, for example. But I certainly wouldn’t have guessed that most of South America is among the fastest cooling areas of the planet.

Here, the oddity is that almost the entire North Atlantic is cooling … didn’t see that coming. Same thing for the middle of the Indian Ocean.

Intrigued by that, I thought I’d take a corresponding look at the hot spots. Here are the same views, but this time showing the areas which are warming faster than 0.25°/decade.

The entirety of the eastern Pacific is warming fast … as is the center of the southern Indian Ocean. And Australia has it in spades.

Part of Eastern Brazil is warming fast … and western Brazil is cooling fast. Northern Africa is warming … and southern Africa is cooling. And all of Siberia is warming … say what?

I draw no overarching conclusions about this, except that I was surprised to find out that a quarter of the world is cooling …

My best to all. Me, I’m gonna stay up late on New Year’s Eve, but not to welcome 2021 in. 

I’m doing it to make sure that 2020 leaves …

w.

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December 28, 2020 at 04:07PM

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