• @crossover
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    268 months ago

    Ok this is an idiot question but how does the global average temperature change so much over the course of a year. Is the northern hemisphere warmer overall during its summer compared to the southern hemisphere in its summer?

    • Cethin
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      158 months ago

      I don’t know the answer and was wondering the same thing, but the southern hemisphere has a lot more ocean, which I’m guessing is the difference.

      • @WhatAmLemmy
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        8 months ago

        There are potentially thousands of interdependent variables that impact climate, on both a local and global scale.

        Everything from the slight variations in the suns energy, the extent of ice (reflects heat), chemical composition of the atmosphere/land/oceans (including everything we emit), existing distribution of energy (GHG’s trap more energy in the system), geography and terrain, to the plants and animals.

        The reason we can’t reliably predict the weather beyond a week in advance is due to this enormous amount of variables. In statistics, attempting to model the behaviour of 1 variable via its dependent variables becomes extremely difficult beyond a relatively small number, especially when there are multiple confounding variables — the weather and climate is that, except there’s hundreds/thousands of dependent and confounding variables that impact each other. All we can do is provide a probability distribution or range.

        That’s also why climate scientists stress for warming to be limited as much as possible, because every 0.1 c increase in temp, increases the volatility and uncertainty of the modelling; feedback loops exponentially increase the complexity (predictability) and, if triggered, could render all our existing climate modelling devastatingly inaccurate.

        NOTE: GHG’s are the strongest variable that we have any control over, and the probability distribution of climate modelling over the last 50 years has been extremely accurate — that is to say that the majority of historic modelling predicted where we are today as the most probable.

      • Kranerian
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        38 months ago

        This is correct. Water has an extremely high heat capacity, meaning that it takes a lot of energy to warm or cool it by any noticable amount. Land does not. So while the different amount of sunlight in summer/winter changes the land temperature by a large amount, the ocean barely changes. Most of the land on Earth is in the northern hemisphere and therefore we get those temperature swings.

    • @bouh
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      108 months ago

      I suppose there is more landmass on the northern hemisphere. Landmass is more prone to temperature changes because water dampen the change while land quickly absorb or radiate the heat.

    • @Spedwell
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      58 months ago

      There is a theory based around how ocean tankers’ exhaust historically included sulfates, which can actually seed cloud formation.

      Recent emissions regulations reduced this effect, so fewer clouds are being seeded over the ocean, and the oceans are absorbing more sunlight and heating more.

      So we were basically painting large swaths of reflective clouds over the oceans, masking the heating. And now we’re seeing unencumbered heating effects.

    • Syl ⏚
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      38 months ago

      Could it be related to land mass? Temperature gets 1°C hotter on land.

    • Blake
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      38 months ago

      I would presume the Earth would be hottest during periapsis (closest point to the Sun in its orbit) and coolest during apoapsis (furthest point to the Sun in its orbit).

      • @[email protected]
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        28 months ago

        Good guess, but doesn’t look like it: July is when the Earth is at its furthest point from the sun.

        • @CodingAndCoffee
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          48 months ago

          And summers in Australia are brutal and can give you skin cancer

    • subignition
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      18 months ago

      It’s like when you start pushing something and the friction goes down, making it easier to push. Except for most of the last century we’ve been pushing increasingly hard against the climate.

    • @[email protected]
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      18 months ago

      I think it’s because the Northern hemisphere is a lot colder during winter compared to the southern hemispere in its winter, or at least one reason.