Friday, July 8, 2016

We've Just Passed a Climate Tipping Point

Over the years, I've noticed that I tend to utter my first "I hate summer" of the year several weeks before it has actually turned to summer.  We're always looking for signs that our misery will be short-lived. 

I note that yesterday the latest Sunset of the year clicked back a minute earlier (on my sunrise/sunset timer app).  That means that for the next five to six months, sunset will get progressively earlier every night.  Slowly at first, then faster as the months go by, the days will get shorter.  We had the earliest sunrise about a month ago, and sunrise is already running in the trend of getting a little later every morning.  Every day the amount of daylight will decrease.

Since we can directly correlate incoming solar energy (insolation) with temperature, I can predict that temperature will follow the same trend as daylight.  Slowly at first, then faster as the months go by, the northern hemisphere will enter a period of global cooling.  We've passed the tipping point. 

I await with eager anticipation.  Your mileage may vary.
It only feels like we have dual suns.  Sometimes. 


  1. Every year I fantasize about discovering that "magic balance point" between solstices where Life Outside Becomes Pleasant and the heating/air conditioning bills drop to zero; it appears that there are only two, occurring a couple weeks after the equinoxes, and are rather short-lived.

    Until we find a way to adjust the axis, I suppose it's either find the money for a lakeside summer place in NH to go with the winter abode in the Keys (and exclusive rapid transportation between them, pronounced "Gulfstream V") or continue the suffering.

    I've been informed that my odds of winning the necessary lottery to pay for it all would go up substantially if I purchased a ticket. I'll have to research that.

    1. Your climate sounds a bit nicer than mine, if only that the spring and fall equinoxes seem to mean something. Our fall equinox is usually pretty miserably hot and just a week after the peak of the hurricane season, although the spring equinox can be nice. Sill, the idea of that magic balance point sounds pretty good.

      It's probably a week or two in November and February here.

  2. Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Axial Tilt?

  3. I lived 40 miles west of you for over 20 years; when I was offered early retirement I suggested no one stand in the doorway. Speed records were broken in evacuating to someplace that has more than two seasons, e.g., "summer" and "holy crap it's hot." I remember seeing my outdoor MCFD in August displaying 84F at 2330 with alarming frequency.

    A great many years ago during a summer landscaping job in a more temperate clime a preference was stated by a full time crew member for winter rather than summer because in winter it's easy to add enough clothing to stay warm, but in summer it was not possible to remove enough clothing to stay cool. A single 12-month cycle in Florida will convince anyone of the truthfulness in that.

    I don't miss it even a little bit, and am glad to see folks like you holding the fort. I may stop by occasionally, but only in January, or maybe early February.

    1. You obviously know the place and our reality well. And your observation about cold places being better because of it just not being possible to remove enough clothing to stay cool is one of our regular sayings.

      Like you say, 84, with a "feels like" temp over 90, is common at 2330. Just as disgusting is an overnight low of 80 at 0700.

      I get really tired of it. In mid-February, when most of the country is getting excited because spring is coming, I'm typically getting depressed because the chance of really cool days is ending. On the other hand, when the rest of the country is steeling itself for a cold, nasty winter, I'm getting relieved and relaxed. It has been decades since we've run anything except a tiny space heater, but that weather means my air conditioner gets a breather.

      We're the complete opposite of the rest of the country.