Gambar di atas memaparkan sebahagian panorama sekitar Sekolah Sains Sosial pada 28 September 2009 (Isnin), selepas berlaku hujan ribut pada malam sebelumnya. Anomali cuaca begini adalah satu ciri lazim pada musim perantaraan monsun (Mac-April; September-Oktober). Pertukaran suhu udara secara mendadak di antara hemisfera utara dan selatan, mewujudkan cerun tekanan yang tinggi. Ini mengganggu kestabilan atmosfera, terutama sekali di sepanjang garis khatulistiwa (yang bertindak sebagai titik pemisah tekanan). Gangguan ini kemudian mencetuskan tabiat-tabiat cuaca yang menyimpang daripada kebiasaan.
More often than not, people (including academics) would conveniently blame climate change for such anomalous weather. Why? Because (they might think) it is the trendiest thing to do. Jumping into the global bandwagon at every opportunity is cool, no? Sadly, extreme climatic incidents are not necessarily the result of climate change. Climate and weather are just like human. Sometimes they do misbehave. Yes, they can be uncharacteristically erratic. But it doesn’t mean that the climate ‘has changed’. There is a distinctive difference between ‘climate change’ and ‘climate variability’. The former is typically forced by global warming. Whereas the latter is part of the natural fluctuation.
Climate change and climate variability are not the only aspects that commonly confuse people (i.e. including some supposedly ‘learned’ scholars). Many still find it difficult to differentiate ‘climate change’ from ‘global warming’. People would make an excuse: I am not a climatologist, so how would I know? Such excuse is only valid if you actually distance yourself from the issue (thus, help you avoiding the abuse of the terms). But if you do use these ‘terms’ (excessively, no less) in your work: then, you have no option, but to really understand (AT LEAST) the fundamental science behind the phenomena.
Yes, we need to get some decent understanding of the atmospheric circulation. Only then, we might be able to put them (i.e. climate change and global warming) into the right context. Climate change and global warming may seem inter-connected. But they are, actually, two different ‘entities’. In certain cases, those two do not even mutually co-exist. One is the actual ‘disease’ (the underlying cause), and the other is the ‘symptom’ (the visible effect). Which one is which? That is for you to find out.