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Everybody knows: [insert country here] is warming faster than the global average

21 Sep 2022 | Science Notes

In what country, gentle reader, are you located? Did you know it’s warming faster than the global average? If you’re in Canada then tough luck because everybody knows it’s warming faster than the global average. And so is China. And, come to think of it, so is Europe. And Russia. And Singapore, Japan, Eastern Europe and West Asia. And Karachi. And the Arctic. And northeastern US, Prince George, the UK, the Netherlands, New England, the Adirondacks and Antarctica. Not to mention... well, you get the idea. Everywhere in the world is warming faster than the global average. How is such a thing possible? The explanation is simpler than you might expect.

It’s that the Earth’s surface is 70 percent ocean, and whenever a warming trend occurs, regardless of cause, the land surface warms faster than the ocean because of the ocean’s greater heat capacity. Since every country is on land (except Atlantis, which we mention so we don’t get angry letters from beyond the Pillars of Hercules), and the global average includes the oceans, every country is warming faster than the global average.

Blogger Andrew Roman goes through the numbers, courtesy of Guelph University’s Ross McKitrick. From 1881 to 2019, according to NASA, the ocean warmed about 0.6° C while the land surface warmed about 1.8° C. Using the 30/70 land/ocean split the global average warming works out to about 1.0° C. So if every country warmed at exactly the same rate they would nonetheless each be warming at 1.8 times the global average.

Another feature of warming is that polar regions warm faster than non-polar regions, so countries like Canada and Russia get a further boost from where they sit on the Earth’s surface. It has nothing to do with how much greenhouse gases they emit.

If you live in a country warming faster than the global average you should be relieved, because it means you are on dry land. If you were living somewhere that was warming more slowly than the global average you’d be out on the ocean.

No matter where you are, chances are an alarmist scientist and a gullible reporter have teamed up to shock you with the news that your home is warming faster than the global average. It’s a clever rhetorical trick, but it’s a trick nonetheless and you are justified in taking note of who is peddling it and making a mental note never to trust them again.

2 comments on “Everybody knows: [insert country here] is warming faster than the global average”

  1. And more fun with averages….1/2 of the planet’s area is between +/-30 latitude, the other half of the area is between 30 and 90 latitudes N/S. So if the planet ISN’T warming between +/-30, then the rest of the planet has to warm by double the average……just sayin’….
    oh and 1/4 of the planet surface area is above +/-48.6 deg latitude, about the US/Canada border, so this is a possibility for where the sometimes quoted “4 x” number for Canada might come from.

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