‘If We Did Not Have Global Warming, We Wouldn't See This'

ProudProgressive 2012/06/30 17:46:17
NBC Meteorologist On Record Heat Wave: ‘If We Did Not Have Global Warming, We Wouldn't See This'
By Joe Romm
Jun 30, 2012

Tweet of the heat wave, from the National Weather Service:


It is friggin' hot!

How hot is it? It's so hot that all-time records are being set in June: "Nashville has reached its hottest temperature on record…109 degrees at 314 pm. The previous all time record was 107 from July 27th and 28th of 1952."

Here is a great graphic via Capital Climate:


The U.S. surface temperature map from Unisys at 4 pm, June 29,2012, shows 100° temperatures stretching almost continuously from California eastward to the Carolinas.

NBC Meteorologist Bill Karins said on Friday , "We've never really seen a heat wave like this in the month of June." Sadly, in a few decades this will just be considered a normal June (see below).

How hot is it? It is so hot that NBC Washington's Chief Meteorologist, Doug Kammerer, explained on air "If we did not have global warming, we wouldn't see this."

Like a baseball player on steroids, our climate system is breaking records at an unnatural pace (see "March Came In Like A Lamb, Went Out Like A Globally Warmed Lion On Steroids Who Smashed 15,000 Heat Records"). As Climate Central explains in its post, "Scorching June Heat Wave Puts 50 Million in U.S. on Alert":

During the June 22-to-28 period, there were 2,132 warm temperature records set or tied in the U.S., compared to 486 cold temperature records. This includes 267 monthly warm temperature records, and 54 all-time warm temperature records.

For the year-to-date, warm temperature records have been outpacing cold temperature records by about 7-to-1.

In a long-term trend that demonstrates the effects of a warming climate, daily record-high temperatures have recently been outpacing daily record-lows by an average of 2-to-1, and this imbalance is expected to grow as the climate continues to warm. According to a 2009 study, if the climate were not warming, this ratio would be expected to be even. Other studies have shown that climate change increases the odds of extreme heat events and may make them warmer and longer lasting.

All-time records set Thursday included several in Kansas, where Norton Dam recorded a high of 118°F, beating the old record of 113°F set just a few days earlier. Dodge City, Kan., set a daily high temperature record with a mark of 108°F. That came one day after that town recorded its all-time highest temperature of 112°F, breaking the old record of 110°F, which had been recorded just two days earlier, on June 26.

Since the science of attributing extreme events to global warming is still emerging, scientists still disagree to what extent a specific event like this heat wave is driven by global warming. But two of the leading experts explain at RealClimate why even small shifts in average temperature mean "the probability for ‘outlandish' heat records increases greatly due to global warming." Furthermore, "the more outlandish a record is, the more would we suspect that non-linear feedbacks are at play – which could increase their likelihood even more."

Here's a Stanford release for Climatic Change study (PDF here) I wrote about last year:


Stanford climate scientists forecast permanently hotter summers

The tropics and much of the Northern Hemisphere are likely to experience an irreversible rise in summer temperatures within the next 20 to 60 years if atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations continue to increase….

"According to our projections, large areas of the globe are likely to warm up so quickly that, by the middle of this century, even the coolest summers will be hotter than the hottest summers of the past 50 years," said the study's lead author, Noah Diffenbaugh, The study, based on observations and models, finds that most major countries, including the United States, are "likely to face unprecedented climate stresses even with the relatively moderate warming expected over the next half-century."

I interviewed Diffenbaugh for my book, Hell and High Water, and in 2008 wrote about his earlier work in a post titled, "When can we expect very high surface temperatures?"

Bottom line: By century's end, extreme temperatures of up to 122°F would threaten most of the central, southern, and western U.S. Even worse, Houston and Washington, DC could experience temperatures exceeding 98°F for some 60 days a year. And that's not even the worst case, since it's "only" based on the A2 scenario, 850 ppm.

The peak temperature analysis comes from a Geophysical Research Letters paper that focused on the annual-maximum "once-in-a-century" temperature. The key scientific point is that "the extremes rise faster than the means in a warming climate."

The definitive NOAA-led U.S. climate impact report from 2010 warns of scorching 9 to 11°F warming over most of inland U.S. by 2090 with Kansas above 90°F some 120 days a year with 850 ppm. By 2090, it'll be above 90°F some 120 days a year in Kansas — more than the entire summer. Much of Florida and Texas will exceed 90°F half the days of the year. These won't be called heat waves anymore. It'll just be the "normal" climate.

And remember, high heat means dry areas become drier and humid areas become intolerable.

On our current emissions path, we may well exceed the A2 scenario and hit A1FI, 1000 ppm (see here). In a terrific March 2010 presentation, Climate scientist Katherine Hayhoe has a figure of what the A1FI would mean:


Mother Nature is just warming up.

The time to act is yesterday.

Related Post:

Science stunner — On our current emissions path, CO2 levels in 2100 will hit levels last seen when the Earth was 29°F (16°C) hotter: Paleoclimate data suggests CO2 "may have at least twice the effect on global temperatures than currently projected by computer models"


Read More: http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2012/06/30/509246...

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  • Kashee 2012/07/02 14:32:38
    nobody wanted to believe it
    head in sand
  • ray 2012/07/01 03:47:15
    What a bunch of bull sh-t. Several years ago it was extremely freezing and they called it Global Freezing. Now here we are, and the globe is heating and what to they call it? Global Warming!
  • rand 2012/06/30 23:48:53
    Anthropogenic climate change is as close to a scientific certainty as it gets and we've known it for almost a decade. It's why I retired on the coast of the Baja. Mankind is now reaping what he has sown.
  • it'skrissie!d:) 2012/06/30 22:48:02
    The earth has been in a cooling state since the 1930's. Everybody...breathe.
  • Steve it'skri... 2012/07/01 00:20:40

  • it'skri... Steve 2012/07/01 02:07:57
    Trust me on this. This Winter will be freezing.
  • say what? 2012/06/30 20:17:36
    say what?
    It's all that hot air from the campaign trail. It should cool off after the elections.
  • niki 2012/06/30 20:14:59 (edited)
    Remember...we must call it "climate change" because although we are experiencing a heat wave, as soon as we get a blizzard the naysayers will be out in droves!
  • zero 2012/06/30 19:20:24
    So the old record was set back in 1952, Were people back then worried about climate change? What a bunch of crap.
  • Steve 2012/06/30 18:53:53 (edited)
    Vermont and Seattle are looking better and better as places to live.

    Now, any place on earth can have a heat wave. But when Arctic ice melts away, that reflects average temperatures going up over a year or several years, and nobody can claim the thermometer data are biased:

    Ice doesn't lie:

    Arctic Ice
  • Phoenix 2012/06/30 18:20:46
    Meanwhile, in England it's like this:
    floods england 2012

    I've found this 3 part series a good guide to what's going on with the climate and the so-called debate that goes with it:

    Global warming isn't the biggest threat to life on Earth ..... ignorant, selfish people are! And to the future generations, I apologize for their ignorance, greed and lack of foresight.
  • niki Phoenix 2012/06/30 20:13:04
  • zero Phoenix 2012/06/30 20:42:41 (edited)
    I just finished watching the first episode, and near the beginning they show an 'experiment' where they add co2 to a tube and show that it absorbs the infrared energy of a candle. They claim this 'proves' that carbon dioxide absorbs heat. At first I thought it looked pretty convincing, but then I thought about it a little more and I have some doubts.

    First of all, they didn't show a comparison to nitrogen or oxygen, they just showed co2. Then it occurred to me that co2 cools as it expands, and for that reason it's likely that the gas in the tube was cold, having just come out of a 'rather large cylinder'. Wouldn't any cold gas tend to absorb heat energy?

    That demonstration had more in common with a magic trick than it did with real science, and that's the kind of pseudo-scientific manipulation that makes me doubt the assertions of the climate change people.

  • Phoenix zero 2012/06/30 21:32:28
    Carbon dioxide being greenhouse gas is pretty much undisputed.
    Further reading:
  • zero Phoenix 2012/06/30 21:53:23
    "Five hundred million years ago carbon dioxide was 20 times more prevalent than today" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/...

    "Water vapour is by far the most important contributor to the greenhouse effect."
  • Phoenix zero 2012/06/30 22:18:21
    LOL ... I knew you'd try and cherry pick information from them, you even added a BBC hit piece!

    Five hundred million years ago carbon dioxide was 20 times more prevalent than today, decreasing to 4–5 times during the Jurassic period and then slowly declining with a particularly swift reduction occurring 49 million years ago. Human activities such as the combustion of fossil fuels and deforestation have caused the atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide to increase by about 35% since the beginning of the age of industrialization

    Water is a major greenhouse gas too, but its level in the atmosphere depends on temperature. Excess water vapour rains out in days. Excess CO2 accumulates, warming the atmosphere, which raises water vapour levels and causes further warming.

    These are from the same pages that you cherry picked from, it shows you didn't read them properly and it has exposed your tactics.
  • zero Phoenix 2012/06/30 22:52:26
    How about some actual solutions to pollution? They are out there, but none of those caring, wonderful climate change people are promoting them, in fact their usual response to this information is to attack it.

  • Phoenix zero 2012/06/30 23:35:55 (edited)
    Solutions are what we should be debating but perpetual motion machines are just not possible without violating both the first and second laws of thermodynamics.

    Stanley Meyer's claims about his "Water Fuel Cell" and the car that it powered were found to be fraudulent by an Ohio court in 1996.
    The makers of the Lutec 100 (video 2) have never proved it and they're still looking for investors, if it worked then they'd be super-rich and would get a Nobel prize! http://www.lutec.com.au/

    A Youtube video doesn't make them real or what they say they are.
    Do some research.
    I assume you think that global warming is a scam but you believe these videos?
  • zero Phoenix 2012/07/01 00:01:40
    I just see both sides of the scam. On one hand they keep free energy off the market and by doing so continue to make massive profits. And on the other hand they hold out the solution which is higher taxes.

    These are not perpetual motion machines any more than a water wheel is perpetual motion. It's about harvesting energy that is ambiently existing all around us.

    The laws of thermodynamics are only true to a point, there are exceptions to them. Take Meyer's invention for instance, fuel cells do not change electricity into hydrogen, they use electricity to stimulate the separation of water into it's constituent elements. Meyer just found a more efficient way to do it. The fact that burning the hydrogen releases more energy than it took to separate it is irrelevant. And Meyer's technology does work, there are quite a number of water powered vehicles running around out there. The fact that nobody is getting rich off it yet is a result of manipulation - patents and financing are two areas that the controllers use to keep these technologies down and without those two things it's pretty hard to do much. But the information is out there and every day there are people modifying their vehicles to run for free. Heck, you can buy the parts on Ebay.
  • Papillon zero 2012/07/02 19:48:13
  • zero Papillon 2012/07/02 20:10:11
    Interesting. Here's one for you. Back in the 30s a guy invented a carburetor that enabled a Model A Ford to get 200mpg. It worked by using heat from exhaust gasses to vaporize the fuel before introducing it to the air. Well he opened a factory allright, making oil filters. Not long after, the fuel industry changed it's manufacturing method to a system that created a fuel that could not be vaporized without leaving residue. I have a Coleman lantern from 1935, on it is printed Sport Lite 242 'For Gasoline Only'. So I guess gasoline used to be like Coleman fuel back in the 30s.
    gasoline lantern
  • Papillon zero 2012/07/03 16:13:02
  • seattleman 2012/06/30 18:15:10
    Shut up! It's a myth! It's all a big hoax! osterich
  • Papillon 2012/06/30 18:08:04
  • Steve Papillon 2012/06/30 18:57:47
    Don't be daft. The money that fuels the deniers is from Saudi Arabia (major investor in Fox), and Exxon (funds Hearland Institute). If the world got serious about alternatives to Big Oil, they stand to lose tens of billions of dollars annually in pure profits. Nobody on the "green" side has anything like this financial incentive to skew the debate.

    Follow the money.
  • M A Steve 2012/06/30 19:15:59 (edited)
    M A
    Yea lets ignore the trillions being spent by big govt to promote this scam
  • Phoenix Steve 2012/06/30 19:20:24
    Rave x10 :)
    What a joke the Heartland Institute is.
  • ALofRI Papillon 2012/06/30 19:02:28
    It seems you fit in the "idiots and others" category you mentioned. Everything you said comes straight from the coal and oil fellas who are making FAR more millions than Al Gore, BILLIONS even! AND YOU, of the nodding bobbleheader REAL "sheeple" BUY INTO THAT...What a surprise.
  • Midnite12 2012/06/30 17:55:37
    It's real, damn it! Global Warming is real!
  • rand Midnite12 2012/06/30 23:54:01
    For an article refuting the absurd arguments against it, google the scientist, economist, founder of Skeptic magazine, Libertarian Michael Shermers ESkeptic. Murdoch's minions look more and more ridiculous with each passing day.
  • HarleyCharley 2012/06/30 17:47:26
    it will end when it kills us...

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