NY vs Istanbul in December

Now that the holiday season is in full swing and December around the corner, I wanted to satisfy my curiosity and have some fun on a Friday evening. Whether you should take it seriously is up to you. I am neither a climatologist, nor a meteorologist but wanted to do some number crunching for a comparison of New York City and Istanbul. The reason is that both cities are almost on the same latitude. Determining the location of a (large) city is a bit tricky; therefore, I focused on the JFK Airport (KJFK) and Atatürk International Airport (LTBA). Both airports are close to the sea and both cities are harbor cities. JFK’s coordinates are 40 38 23 N, 73 46 44 W and Atatürk’s 40 58 34 N, 28 48 51 E. The orthodromic distance between the two airports is 8072 km.

What I did here was, using Weather Underground data, to compare the minimum, maximum and average temperatures of the two cities in December 2014-16. The choice of years is arbitrary, and with no scientific criterion. However, it should be interesting to see how similar or dissimilar the weather conditions are in two cities that are on the same latitude.

The boxes without a label indicate the Istanbul temperatures.

 

The average temperature in NY during December in the stated years was 6.7 degrees Centigrade, whereas in Istanbul that was 7.8 degrees. The low, high and average temperatures in Istanbul seem to be consistently higher than they are in NY. The difference is miniscule but those in NY seem to have a bit more variation. A t-test of the average temperatures indicates borderline statistical significance (p < 0.04521) but in real life this is probably inconsequential.

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Istanbul Temperatures: March 2017

As the disputes on global warming and climate change rage on at various levels, I checked the minimum, average and maximum temperatures in Istanbul in March 2017. This year’s temperatures seem to be higher than the 90-year averages (1926-2016).

March 2017 Temperatures Changes over Days

According to the State Meteorological Office, the historical minimum, maximum and mean temperatures were 4.2, 10.9 and 7.7 degrees centigrade. This year, however, these temperatures were 6.194, 14.19 and 10.23 degrees respectively.

March 2017 Temperature Differences

 

This year’s warmer temperatures may not seem to be very meaningful in and of themselves; however, considering that the overall context is a hot issue (no pun intended), there may be enough reason to worry about the higher temperatures of this year, as these may be evidence for the much feared global warming.

Data: NOAA

 

 

Çirkin Tavır

Bundan bir önceki yazımda Istanbul Belediyesinin (bazı) parklara koyduğu tabelalarda Istanbul halkına adeta bir lütuf yaptığını ima eden ifadesini eleştirmiştim.

Belediyeler, şehirleri yaşanılabilir yerler haline getirmek, insanların dinlenebileceği, nefes alabileceği parklar ve dinlenme alanları yapmak, çocuk parkları inşa etmek ve benzeri işler yapmak zorundadır. Sözü edilen bu işler, belediyelerden beklenen, onların görevi olan icraatdır. Bu nedenle de, yapılmış bu tür işleri veya hizmetleri bir lütufmuşcasına sunmak ayıptır.

Suadiye sahili
Böylesi olur.

Istanbul gibi 15-20 milyon insanın adeta alt alta üst üste yaşadığı, gürültüsüz bir köşesinin neredeyse hiç kalmadığı devasa bir motropolde bu tür alanların oluşturulması, yiyip içmek kadar önemli ve doğal bir ihtiyaçtır. Tabiattan yeterince uzaklaşmış, çevresine ve doğaya yabancılaşmış metropol halkının genciyle, yaşlısıyla nefes alabileceği alanların oluşturulması belediyelerin öncelikli işleri arasında yer almak zorundadır (her ne kadar ütopik ise de, kentlerin ve özellikle de Istanbul’un modern bir şehircilik anlayışıyla yönetileceği varsayımıyla düşünüyoruz).

Beykoz_park
Böylesi olmaz.

Köylülükle kentlilik arasında sıkışıp kalmış, yeterince kentlileşememiş, kültür fukarası ve üstelik sınır tanımayan bir rant hesabıyla kenti yöneten taşralı kadronun hiç değilse işi bilen uzman, akademisyen, meslek odalarının sözünü dinlemesi beklenir. Ne yazık ki mevcut yönetimin bu tür bir çalışma anlayışından fersah fersah uzakta olduğu görülüyor.

 

For the English-speaking readers:

The attitude of the Istanbul Municipality leaves much to be desired when it comes to presenting its services.

The placards they have placed in some parks indicate that the park is a favor by the municipality when in fact it is the “duty” of local administrations to make urban areas livable by building parks and recreational areas. When the residents of a city vote for a particular candidate, they expect basic services no matter what. Creation or rearrangement of urban space for common good is among them. Therefore, it is appalling that services we expect and naturally take for granted are presented as if they were a big favor or as something granted out of the administration’s good heart!

Görev mi, Lütuf mu?

Istanbul Büyükşehir Belediyesi’nin parklara yerleştirdiği tabelalarda “Bu Park, Istanbul Büyükşehir Belediyesinin ……… Halkına Armağanıdır” ifadesi yer alıyor. Belediye yetkililerine hatırlatmak gerekir ki, kentin muhtelif yerlerinde oluşturulan, bakımı yapılan parklar ve bahçeler, şehircilik anlayışının bir gereği olarak yerine getirilmesi gereken ve kanunlarla belirlenmiş bir görevdir, lütuf değildir. Parklara böyle bir tabela yerleştirilecekse yapılan hizmetin bir armağan olduğunu yazmak en hafif ifadeyle Türkçe bilmemektir. Daha da eleştirel bakarsak, kaba bir propagandadır, yakışıksız ve çirkindir.

Beykoz_park

9.7.2004 tarih ve 5215 sayılı Belediye Kanununun 14. maddesi, “Belediye öncelikle imar, su ve kanalizasyon, ulaşım gibi kentsel alt yapı; çevre ve çevre sağlığı, temizlik ve katı atık; zabıta, itfaiye, acil yardım, kurtarma ve ambulans; şehir içi trafik; defin ve mezarlıklar; ağaçlandırma, park ve yeşil alanlar; konut; kültür ve sanat, turizm ve tanıtım, gençlik ve spor; sosyal hizmet ve yardım, evlendirme, meslek ve beceri kazandırma; ekonomi ve ticaretin geliştirilmesi hizmetlerini yapar veya yaptırır. Büyükşehir belediyeleri ile nüfusu 50.000’i geçen belediyeler, kadınlar ve çocuklar için koruma evleri açar.” ibaresiyle belediyelerin görev ve sorumluluklarını net bir biçimde belirlemiştir.

Sonuç olarak, yapılan bu hizmetin halka tanınmış bir ayrıcalık veya bir lütuf gibi gösterilmesi son derece yakışıksız ve çirkin kaçmaktadır. Umarız Belediye bu kaba propagandaya bir son verir ve vatandaşa karşı daha saygılı bir tavrı benimser. Unutulmamalı ki belediye yetkilileri seçilerek görevlendirilen kimselerdir; görevleri hizmettir.

November 2015

This year in November the weather in Istanbul has been quite warm – unusually so. Whether it is due to the hotly debated climate change/global warming or it is simply because we are having a warmer November is beyond my pale. The political climate is certainly reaching the boiling point but that is not what I intend to show here, although I am very much tempted to do so. The United Nations Climate Change Conference started in  Paris, and some of the leaders have already made striking statements, indicating the imminence of taking serious measures such as the use of sustainable technology, energy efficiency and innovation. We will have to wait and see, however, if the participants can reach a binding and universal agreement on climate.

In a previous post, “Climatic Anomalies“, I had shown the increasing global temperatures. Given the anomalies that are reported and the Conference being held, I researched the average temperatures in Istanbul. According to the State Meteorological Office mean temperature in November between 1950 and 2014 was 7 degrees Celsius, mean maximum temperature 12.8 degrees and mean low 2.4 degrees Celsius.

Maximum, mean and minimum temperatures in Istanbul (November 2015)
Maximum, mean and minimum temperatures in Istanbul (November 2015)

This year, however, mean temperature has been 14.17 degrees Celsius, mean maximum temperature 17.13 and mean low temperature 11.27 degrees Celsius. The chart below shows the course of temperatures throughout the month of November.

Temperature fluctuations - November 2015
Temperature fluctuations – November 2015

Given that in many countries total carbon dioxide emissions and per capita emissions have increased in the last couple of decades, and in the face of empirical data, we seem to have good reasons to worry about global warming and its devastating consequences, as already stated by some of the conference participants.

 

Climatic Anomalies

After a long and wet winter here in Istanbul, where grey, dull and gloomy skies are quite typical, and where you feel the humid chill right in your bones, we finally felt it was a blessing to have the spring. Come May, the judas trees, tulips and all the verdure around the city suddenly created an aura of joy and relaxation (save for the political atmosphere), almost imposing an untimely restfulness.

Plum Tree
Plum Tree

Unfortunately, that did not last very long. Just as we thought we were easing into the summer we found ourselves hit over the head by temperatures hovering around 25 degrees Celcius, almost as oppressive as it usually gets in August.

Judas Tree
Judas Tree

That is certainly welcome considering the outrageous heating bills or not having to worry about a summer with dwindling water in the reservoirs(the summer of 2007 is still in memory!).

Tulips
Tulips

However, as the specialists indicate, weather anomalies cannot be ignored. With global temperatures rising and the arctic ice pack retreating and becoming thinner, and the antarctic glaciers moving into the ocean more quickly than before (http://www.sciencemag.org/content/348/6237/899), here is some food for thought for those who are interested. The chart below indicates weather anomalies based on data from the NOAA. Data: NOAA If the trend of the 20th century is any indication, we are heading towards some real hot years.