Is Global Weirding Affecting Your Travels?

Hendrik Terbeck

Our Earth’s climate has fluctuated through a number of cycles over the course of its existence. In the last two billion years alone, it has evolved from a greenhouse (during the reign of the dinosaurs), to the icehouse in which we exist today.

Yet many believe that the current changes we are seeing across the globe are, in fact, a product of man’s existence and directly related to the visible rise in levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide.

From the shores of island nations in the Pacific to the glaciers of Europe’s mountainous backbone, the current changes in weather patterns and seasonal temperatures are becoming more apparent. With international travel now a staple addition to our modern generation’s annual itinerary, should we be concerned that our favourite destinations could fall victim to the effects of global weirding?

Is global weirding affecting your travels?

What is global weirding?

Lightning striking Horseshoe Bend on Seedskadee by USFWS Mountain-Prairie

 The term global weirding describes the inexplicable weather patterns, temperatures, and natural events that are resulting from the current changes in climate.

For example, the current warming trend we are seeing worldwide has brought with it changes in ocean temperatures and acidity, which have in turn influenced weather patterns and the delicate ecosystems that coexist on land and under the sea.

Destinations already effected by climate change

Already visible in some parts of the world, global weirding is threatening catastrophic changes to the landscapes of our earth.

It is estimated that more of Earth’s citizens are currently displaced by natural disaster than war. Sadly, it is also predicted that by the year 2050, 250 million people (mainly from the world’s poorest countries, where governments are ill-equipped to act against the perils of our warming world) will have fled from their homes as a result of ecological disasters, famine, or war.


Climate change is slowly consuming the tiny Pacific island nation of Kiribati, which recently declared rising sea levels will soon render its lands uninhabitable.

North America

America’s Gulf Coast has been battered by stronger and more frequent hurricanes in recent years. Hard hitters like Hurricane Katrina affected the export of cotton and the region’s oil production, displaced thousands of people, and cost the states of Louisiana, Texas, and Mississippi in excess of $150 million.

The Great Barrier Reef

The world’s coral reefs are feeling the pressure of a global weirding double whammy thanks to rising ocean temperatures and a changing ocean chemistry. This is the beginning of a chain reaction making its way through the food chain of living giants like the Great Barrier Reef and then making its way into the Australian seabird population, which is now in decline.


In recent years, Europe saw its first outbreak of a tropical disease thanks to the effects of a warming climate. An extremely mild winter allowed numbers of Asian tiger mosquitoes to spiral out of control, causing a chikungunya epidemic to sweep through parts of Italy.

It is clear that nowhere on earth is immune from the effects of climate change and the wave of global weirding sweeping across the planet.

How can you make a difference?

Looking out over the Milford Sound

So how can you reduce the impact your travels have on our changing climate? How can you help to slow the effects of global weirding on your favourite holiday destinations?

Be mindful of your carbon footprint when you travel. Look for schemes that off-set carbon production, and take a good look at how you can minimize your carbon emissions at home. Power down, insulate your property, recycle, reduce food waste, choose public transport, and walk or cycle instead of driving whenever possible.

If you’re passionate about finding a practical solution for our ailing climate, you could study environmental policy and law at one of America’s environmental law schools. Be a part of future environmental policies that focus on renewable energy sources, and spearhead legislation that prohibits carbon production in industry.

Our Earth is changing — of that there is no doubt. While there remains a heated debate about the cause of climate change, one thing is for certain: our climate is changing and so too are the landscapes that blanket our earth.

✈ ✈ ✈

Have your travels been affected by global weirding? Share your thoughts on the subject below.

Travel Blogger & Photographer
  1. Well, global weirding has affected our lovely Los Cabos retreat (damaging it with Hurricane Odile recently). The catch-22 as concerned travel writers is that maybe we shouldn’t travel? (what with all the pollutants that planes spew out into the atmosphere) But we’d rather give up the car back home, and turn down the heat and lights, than give up on traveling…

    1. It is such a sticky topic. There are arguments for and against Global Weirding, and you’re right, burning fossil fuels to transport us and our luggage half way across the world is not sustainable. It’s a catch 22 that we’re not likely to find our way out of in this lifetime.

  2. I’m going to be the unpopular one who pisses everyone off and says, I’m don’t believe in global warming.

    Now, before anyone kicks off, I believe in Climate change, and recycling and being energy efficient and driving economically. So why don’t I believe in global warming? I’ll go back to Roman times when they used to grow grapes to make wine here in the UK. Vast swathes of the country was vineyard, but nowadays the climate is too cool to do that. Yet the globe is warming and that’s a bad thing, hm? You know as long as there are polar ice caps on this planet we’re in an ice age- according to a geologist I met today. Like the seasons, everything is circular, and if the seasons occur and reoccur each year then so must the planet heat and cool. The geologist also said that there isn’t a great deal we can do about it.

    Another thing I will point out is, if it was really that bad, then why are governments blocking businesses trying to create cars that run on water, or air, or other natural resources that aren’t likely to run out? This is something that is happening, worldwide. Partly because they’ll lose out on their precious “green tax”. We have the technology, look at the things already being created.

    1. I think our governments and the big businesses that line their pockets have a lot to answer for, and I do agree that our earth’s climate is cyclical. However there must be some visible affects from the abundance of chemicals we are expelling into our atmosphere, and the detrimental changes we are making to the delicate balance of life on the planet.

  3. Very interesting points, and a good way to look at it. I agree, it’s super important to reduce your footprint both when traveling and when at home. The day to day choices we make can really have a large impact!

  4. Interesting read Charli! I do my best to walk as much as possible both at home and during travels, and if that doesn’t work- car pooling! I know lately here in my part of Canada our summers have been very rainy and cool the past couple of years… so things are definitely weird.

    1. We are definitely going to have to start adapting to weird and wonderful weather patterns. I just hope freak weather doesn’t uproot too many of our earth’s citizens along the way.

  5. I’ve always thought of global warming as a big, obscure idea, but this post really brings home how real is. It’s so easy to overlook the importance of living a green life, but this has definitely reminded me to be more mindful of it.

    1. Global warming is the elephant in the room at the moment. We all know that our climates are changing but to make the changes needed to try to slow the rate of change we are all going to have to alter the way we live. I’m not sure the human race has the resolve to do so.

  6. Good point Charli and you are totally right about how the landscapes are changing and quite fast too. The only way we could not make things worse is by trying to be more responsible towards the environment when travelling as you said, and make the best travelling choices in order to support our earth instead of contributing to destroying it.

    1. I think us travellers are caught between a rock and a hard place. Unless it’s peddle powered, most modes of transport will have an affect on the environment. It’s a difficult balance to try and make sure we’re not having a negative impact when we travel.

  7. I have a friend who told me those who belong to colder countries actually liked the idea of global warming because they don’t have to suffer the ill effects of winter. But then those from warmer countries are actually already getting toasted during summer!

    I belong to a country that feels the effects of climate change, but that does mean I don’t have to travel so I can avoid riding planes that contains air pollutants? The world is too beautiful not to see before our time is up but we just have to make sure we travel responsibly and not contribute to the faster destruction of the planet.

    1. I think implementing sustainable travel practises should be something we all make a concerted effort to do. It’s easy to forget that we are responsible for our own carbon footprint.

  8. Great article! I remember talking to my friend about Kiribati and how it’s going to disappear if the oceans rise and how I wanted to go and visit it while there’s still time. Then she said my going there would just be making the problem worse with all the flying and that was a good point. Honestly I don’t think we can reverse anything at this point even if we were to stop traveling. I try to do what I can to save the earth (recycling, turning lights off when I’m not in the room, keeping the ac off as long as possible etc). If more people did just little things like that it would add up.

    1. I have to agree, I think time may have run out regarding our chance to halt and reverse the effects climate change. Even so I agree that it’s important that we do our best to preserve the landscapes and environments that blanket the earth.

  9. Such an interesting blog post! I’m a climate scientist but also a traveller, and I’ve definitely noticed climate-related impacts in my travels and at home in New Zealand – definitely in the rising snow lines. I’ve recently visited Kiribati (for work) and there are massive issues there – it’s such a difficult situation being where they are with nowhere to go. Thanks for raising this issue – it’s an important one!

  10. I was trekking in Ladakh in summer 2010 – it had not rained in summer for 100 years. It did that year – widespread flooding in Himalaya. We were cut off by a flash flood (4 trekkers died) down the gorge we had walked down 3 days earlier. We ended up stranded in remote village. Looked after the wounded and stranded (tourists, locals, Kashmiri support staff, 31 ponies) and rescued a few days later by Indian Air Force helicopters. 2010 was not the only recent year when severe flooding occurred in the Himalaya Region

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.