"System change is now inevitable. Either because we do something about it, or because we will be hit by climate change. '...

"We need to develop economic models that are fit for purpose. The current economic frameworks, the ones that dominate our governments, these frameworks... the current economic frameworks, the neoclassical, the market frameworks, can deal with small changes. It can tell you the difference, if a sock company puts up the price of socks, what the demand for socks will be. It cannot tell you about the sorts of system level changes we are talking about here. We would not use an understanding of laminar flow in fluid dynamics to understand turbulent flow. So why is it we are using marginal economics, small incremental change economics, to understand system level changes?"

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Global Wierdness Index

The South Asian Monsoon is turning out to be quite exceptional.

I think there should be a global index of how anomalous the global weather is at any given moment. It's not obvious what the right metric would be. Because everything is more or less coupled to everything else, anomalous weather in one place should be accompanied by anomalous weather elsewhere.

It certainly is hard to avoid an intuitive sense that flooding is rampant this (northern hemisphere) summer.

update: An F2 tornado hit Brooklyn NY on the day I wrote the article. Urban tornados are rare and this one caused quite a lot of disruption.

update: A blogger at Wired chimes in.

Texas, however, has at last settled down into the wretchedly and uneventfully hot, humid and sunny pattern I had been warned about...


plum said...

I agree. I know there's a Climate Extremes Index for the US, but haven't been able to find a global index.

inel said...

I was thinking the same thing yesterday, after finding the WMO's Severe Weather Information Centre. Actually, I was pottering around the main WMO site (amongst others) trying to find a map that illustrates the latest press release no. 791 which is not an official record, but their final paragraph gives some hope of a more detailed report on anomalies later this year:

"This information is based on inputs received from several WMO Members and with the collaboration of the NOAA National Climatic Data Centre (NCDC), USA, Germany’s National Meteorological Service, the Deutscher Wetterdienst (DWD) and the Met Office, UK. It includes an indicative but not exhaustive coverage of the observed weather and climate extremes. More comprehensive information on weather and climate anomalies observed in 2007 will be provided towards the end of the year."

P.S. Unrelated to weather, more connected to your earlier post about the bridge in Minneapolis and competency, there is a dam on the verge of bursting in Iraq, which will add to the woes there if it does fail …