Friday, March 08, 2013

Why a little change is a big deal

I found this kind of graphic helpful to understand why a few degrees of warming makes a big difference - particularly with heatwaves.

Most of the time the temperature is in the big middle area - and we don't really notice an extra degree or two. But when the temperature gets past a certain point, that's when we really feel it.

So even a small bit of increase, means that the 'hot end' is now in record territory (like we had this Australian summer). Also, the amount of hot days (that aren't quite records) has increased dramatically.

In the previous climate, hot days used to be a small little triangle (about the size of the red bit). But as the planet warms, many more days are now in that hot zone - as shown by the red and yellow areas.

It might be a small change in temperature (so far) but it means a big difference in the amount of hot days we experience.

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