The book by Ralph Alexander makes the point that the term "Climate Change" is used at least as much as "Global Warming" these days. Which is, perhaps, for the good reason that there are a lot of local, fairly intense climate changes going on, in addition to the long-term global trend. In addition to temperature increases, there are changes in seasonal rainfall patterns, and some regions are getting colder winters.In Australia we have the worst drought ever in the inland of northern New South Wales, and a general drought over inland Australia. This is because the ocean is warming and it requires more heat on the land to bring the moist air in off the ocean.
And skeptics will point out that the climate is always changing, especially on a local basis. And if we wait a few years, maybe those local climate changes will reverse themselves. Or maybe not.
Many mainstream scientists, on the other hand, believe that these local climate changes are caused, at least to a large extent, by the unfolding global changes.
The map below shows that the most extreme changes are in the Arctic region, with some locations more than 4C warmer in 2014-2018 compared to an 1880-1909 baseline. Australia is mostly about average for continental areas, but the ocean to the east of New South Wales is warmer than most of the world's oceans. This tends to confirm Claude's statement above.
About the increasing temperatures in the Arctic region, meteorologist Nick Humphrey (who says he gets all his funding from his Patreon sponsors) says:
The Arctic as a whole is already in the range of +3-4 C/5.5-7 F above pre-industrial times. The Arctic is now a permanently altered climate region. It will continue to warm rapidly given the existing greenhouse gas concentration in Earth's atmosphere.
On a global scale, the current carbon dioxide equivalent concentration (based on the heating impact of all greenhouse gases) is near 500 parts per million (NOAA). In the past decade, the carbon dioxide equivalent concentration has risen, on average, near 3.5 ppm/yr. A (conservative) long-term warming expectation based on such a concentration would be over +2.5 C/4.5 F for the land air+sea surface. This would likely translate to +7-8 C/12.5-14.5 F of warming in the Arctic, supporting the rapid destruction of Arctic sea ice and permafrost discussed below. [....]
Permafrost - both land-based and sub-sea permafrost under the shallow areas of the Arctic Ocean - is melting much faster than projected originally. Terrestrial permafrost is melting across the Northern Hemisphere abruptly by way of landslides, thaw lakes and coastal erosion as sea ice is lost. The terrestrial permafrost contains 1,450-1,600 billion tonnes of organic carbon (per the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Cryosphere Report) and hundreds of billions of tonnes of it will be released assuming a high emissions scenario (the scenario we are currently on). For comparison, about 275 billion tonnes of carbon have been released to the atmosphere since 1750 in the form of carbon dioxide (1 ppm of additional carbon dioxide = 2.13 billion tonnes of carbon; The actual carbon dioxide concentration has risen 130 ppm from near 280 ppm in 1750 to 410 ppm in 2019).
Much of these terrestrial permafrost emissions will be as carbon dioxide, but a portion of it will be methane (CH4), a powerful greenhouse gas on short-time scales (96 times more powerful than CO2 on a 20-yr timescale). There is also evidence that a significant amount of nitrous oxide, another powerful and long-lived greenhouse gas is already being released. These emissions will accelerate as rapidly as the permafrost holding the organic material melts.
Sub-sea permafrost in the East Siberian Arctic Shelf (under the East Siberian and Laptev Seas) is methane-bearing via methane hydrates and free pressurized gases. It is estimated that >1,400 billion tonnes of methane are stored in the ESAS, with its ability to be released into the free atmosphere by the fact that the sea is so shallow over the continental shelf.
But before panic sets in, I should mention that the "geopolitical climate whore scientists" say there's nothing to worry about, because it will take hundreds or even thousands of years for any significant amount of methane to be released from the undersea methane hydrate deposits and permafrost.
Are y'all reassured by my calming message from the geopolitical climate whores?