HEAT

I haven’t really felt like writing lately. Don’t know why but maybe it’s the heat. There’s a big smile on my face as I write that comment. Thanks to the app WunderStation you can see that we’ve only had one day over 70° this summer. That was a big 72°F on June 9th. As I look at the chart, what’s scary about it are those winter temperatures.

When we first moved to the Mendocino County coast almost 10 years ago I remember joking about having to turn on the heater during the summer because of the constant fog and low temperatures. That rarely happens these summer days. I have proof that things are changing.

I have never been able to grow zucchini here on the coast. This beauty was just harvested today. So how hot has it been? How about a headline like this.

NOAA: Hottest First Half Of Year In Northern Hemisphere By Stunning 0.36°F

 

Another headline.

Another month, another global heat record broken _ by far

This AP story has some good quotes in it. Good quotes for this post not the planet.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Earth dialed the heat up in June, smashing warm temperature records for both the month and the first half of the year.

Off-the-charts heat is “getting to be a monthly thing,” said Jessica Blunden, a climate scientist for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. June was the fourth month of 2015 that set a record, she said.

“There is almost no way that 2015 isn’t going to be the warmest on record,” she added.

NOAA calculated that the world’s average temperature in June hit 61.48 degrees Fahrenheit (16.33 Celsius), breaking the old record set last year by 0.22 degrees (.12 degrees Celsius). Usually temperature records are broken by one or two one-hundredths of a degree, not nearly a quarter of a degree, Blunden said.

And the picture is even more dramatic when the half-year is considered.

The first six months of 2015 were one-sixth of a degree warmer than the old record, set in 2010, averaging 57.83 degrees (14.35 Celsius).

June was warm nearly all over the world, with exceptional heat in Spain, Austria, parts of Asia, Australia and South America. Southern Pakistan had a June heat wave that killed more than 1,200 people — which, according to an international database, would be the eighth deadliest in the world since 1900. In May, a heat wave in India claimed more than 2,000 lives and ranked as the fifth deadliest on record.

Earth has broken monthly heat records 25 times since the year 2000, but hasn’t broken a monthly cold record since 1916.

“This is what anthropogenic global warming looks like, just hotter and hotter,” said Jonathan Overpeck, co-director of the Institute of the Environment at the University of Arizona.

Another AP story with the headline-

SUMMER IS SIZZLING: HEAT RECORDS FALL ACROSS US WEST

Seattle, not accustomed to prolonged hot weather, saw its hottest June ever.

The average high temperature each day in June was a record 78.9 degrees, breaking the 1992 record by more than 3 degrees, said Johnny Burg, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Seattle.

“Our high is supposed to be in the low to mid 70s at this time and lows in the mid-50s,” he said.

Instead, the Seattle area is seeing highs in the 80s and lows in the 60s.

Because the Seattle area suffers few heat waves, many people do not have air conditioning.

The weather was also dry in the Seattle area in June, when only 0.23 inch of precipitation was recorded. That’s the fourth driest June on record.

Meanwhile, June temperatures were scorching in in Eastern Washington, with many record highs set.

The two highest readings in June were 113 degrees at Chief Joseph Dam and in the town of LaCrosse. The towns of Chelan, Ephrata, Odessa and Omak all recorded record highs of 110 degrees in June. Spokane reached a record 105 one day.

June in Las Vegas is officially the hottest ever.

The National Weather Service said the average June temperature recorded at McCarran International Airport was 91.9 degrees, breaking the previous record of 91.5 in 2013.

More than half of last month was at or above 105 degrees. A meteorologist said June 13 through June 30 brought 18 consecutive days of temperatures in that range.

There’s never been that many in a row or in total in a June month. In 1961, there was a streak of 12 days straight and in 1985, there were 17 total.

Salt Lake City also saw the hottest June on record following the warmest winter ever.

The National Weather Service said the average temperature last month was 77.5 degrees, breaking the previous record of 75.7 set in June 1988.

The average monthly low of 64.5 degrees also beat the 63.3 degrees in 1918.

Phoenix is known for its stifling summer heat, but June 2015 stood out.

It was the third hottest month the city has endured since the National Weather Service began keeping records back in 1895. The warmest June in Phoenix was in 2013 where temperatures averaged 94.8. The average temperature for this June was 94.0.

Time reported, More Than 2,300 People Have Now Died in India’s Heat Wave

Grist reported, Europe is so hot right now — and only going to get hotter

If you were in Paris or Madrid as June transitioned to July, you could be forgiven for thinking you had been transported to the equator, as temperatures across Western Europe soared over 100 degrees F, toppling records during major sporting events like the Tour de France.

The unusually early surge of summer heat was almost certainly affected by the overall warming of the planet, which has at least doubled the chances of such a heatwave, a group of scientists working with Climate Central, as part of its World Weather Attribution program, has concluded.

One of the clearest findings of climate science has been that heatwaves will become more common, more intense, and longer as a result of global warming. Heatwaves today are already happening in a world that is 1.6 degrees F warmer than at the beginning of the 20th century. Warming has also influenced the way that weather patterns, including those that usher in heatwaves, behave.

It’s not just the days that are getting hotter.

Summer Nights Are Heating Up Across U.S.

Global warming often conjures scenes of sweaty, scorching summer days, but daytime temperatures aren’t the only thing expected to rise in a warming world. Nights, too, are expected to get sultrier, with overnight lows not dropping as much as they used to.

When nighttime temperatures stay warm, they can cause health problems by not allowing bodies to cool down after hot days. This can be particularly dangerous for vulnerable populations like the elderly and for those without air conditioning. And according to the 2014 National Climate Assessment, rising nighttime lows can also tax power grids, as air conditioning demand stays high, and can negatively impact crops and farm animals.

Climate Central has a handy chart where you can plug in your state to see how nighttime temperatures have climbed since 1970.

July scorcher baking much of U.S. This recent news flash from CNN is happening now.

I’m only using this news flash in this post for one reason. How it begins and how it ends.

(CNN)It’s days like these that make you appreciate why Willis Haviland Carrier deserves a spot on Mount Rushmore.

With triple-digit heat indices across a large swath of the U.S., the man who’s credited with inventing modern air-conditioning holds a special place in the hearts and homes of the some 70 million Americans currently under a heat advisory…

…God bless you, Willis Carrier.

Pope Francis singled out air conditioning as an example of “harmful” consumption in his June 18 Environmental Encyclical,

People may well have a growing ecological sensitivity, but it has not succeeded in changing their harmful habits of consumption, which, rather than decreasing, appear to be growing all the more. A simple example is the increasing use and power of air conditioning. The markets, which immediately benefit from sales, stimulate ever-greater demand. An outsider looking at our world would be amazed at such behavior, which at times appears self-destructive.

The Pope’s mention of air conditioning caused some controversy.

That’s assuming the outsider lives in a very cool climate, or doesn’t mind sweating. Anyone not so lucky probably thinks the inventor of air conditioning should be canonized. In France about 10 years ago, roughly 15,000 mostly elderly people died during a heat wave, in part because they lacked the aforementioned wasteful air conditioning.

If saving the planet, or our souls, depends on giving up air conditioning or cars, we are all indeed on the road to perdition. The pope at one point favorably cites the example of the desert monks. But while living a life of contemplation in the middle of nowhere suited St. Anthony of Egypt just fine — he is reputed to have lived to 105 — most of us aren’t spiritual superheroes, nor does monasticism as a general matter tell us anything useful about improving the lives of the poor.

But at least when everyone died at a much earlier age, we weren’t engaging in the ravages of the planet that so exercise Francis. This sinful assault on the Earth, by the way, largely consisted in taking otherwise completely useless glop from the ground and using it to power economic and technical advances that enriched average people beyond anyone’s imagining. This is obviously a secular miracle of the highest order, although the religiously inclined might think: Thank God for fossil fuels, and above all, for the human ingenuity that figured out what to do with them.

You might want to read the above story in it’s entirety. It explains why solving the climate change problem will be next to impossible. It’s also why I’m pessimistic about the future.

Climate Central has this to say about air conditioning,

As the world swelters, so will energy demand rise: the heat extremes generated by climate change are likely to raise the global demand for air conditioning by 72 percent. So people will generate more heat and release more carbon dioxide just to stay cool as the thermometer soars.

Right now, the U.S. uses more energy to keep cool than all the other countries in the world combined. “But this distinction might not remain true for long,” he says. “Several developing countries rank both among the most populous and hottest areas of the world. As personal incomes rise in those countries, their use of air conditioning will likely go up.

In all, 87 percent of U.S. households now have air conditioning and it takes 185 billion kilowatt hours of energy annually to keep American homes cool. But other countries have begun to turn down the thermostat. In 2010 alone, 50 million air conditioning units were sold in China. Air conditioning sales in India are growing at 20 percent a year.

Altogether, he reasoned, eight of the world’s nations have the potential to exceed U.S. air conditioning use: India would surpass the U.S. 14-fold if Indians adopted U.S. standards of cooling; China more than five times and the Indonesians three times.

But, Sivak warns, as affluence increases, and as global average temperatures rise, so will demand: “This trend will put additional strains not only on global energy resources but also on the environmental prospects of a warming planet.”

Just goes to show what kind of trouble the planet is in. The first thing we can do is turn the air conditioner down.

Cold offices bad for productivity and the environment

Heading to work in the summer can often mean dressing in layers, pairing sandals and shorts with sweaters and leggings.

But not only are overly air conditioned offices affecting our summer fashion choices, they’re part of a larger environmental issue.

Jose Etcheverry, an associate professor in the faculty of environmental studies at York University and co-chair of the Sustainable Energy Initiative, says cooling down offices in particular is a big problem.

“They use way more energy than they should,” he said.

“The energy comes from dirty sources and we have this vicious cycle that ends with people freezing in their desks in the middle of a hot summer. This is happening in many, many places around the world; it’s not just here in Canada.”

An in-depth New York Times report not only condemned the use of air conditioning as an environmental problem, it cited multiple studies that find workers are less productive in cooler temperatures.

Etcheverry said there are more examples today of eco-friendly buildings, but not enough, and reducing energy usage needs to be a priority.

“We need to use the resources in a more efficient and conservative manner and also ensure that the sources of the energy that we use come from renewable energy … so we’re not destroying the planet for something as simple as air conditioning.”

By the time we see that climate change is really bad, your ability to fix it is extremely limited… The carbon gets up there, but the heating effect is delayed. And then the effect of that heat on the species and ecosystem is delayed. That means that even when you turn virtuous, things are actually going to get worse for quite a while.

Bill Gates

 

It ain’t the heat, it’s the humility.

Yogi Berra

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Haboobs–Is Phoenix Doomed?

I'm reposting this article because it continues to get hits on my blog. Just this last week it got 7 views. Don't know why that is because it's not Haboob Season. I've cleaned it up a bit.

This is a post that I really wanted to do last year(2013) when I did my “Miami is Doomed” and “The Marshall Islands are Doomed” posts. In fact there were several posts that I didn't get to, for one reason or another, that I've decided to write about in the coming weeks. One of the reasons that I wanted to say Phoenix is doomed was that I really, really, wanted to use this picture.

This fascinating picture, photographer unknown, intrigues me. I mean if you were looking out your window and saw this wall of dust coming at you wouldn't you think you were doomed? Let's look at another picture.

I thinking I've seen these things in the “Mummy” movies where you can see the evil forces of the Pharaoh coming at you. These are called Haboobs (Origin: Arabic habūb violent storm). For some reason I did not know that these things are common in the Phoenix area.

Phoenix experiences various degrees of dust storms, but the haboob is the largest and most dangerous. According to the National Weather Service, Phoenix experiences on average about 3 haboobs per year during the months of June through September.

I thought we had come a long ways from the Dust Bowl Days of the 1930's Here is a Weather Channel video that explaind how they happen. Many reports say that these Haboobs are becoming more intense.

Haboobs were not the reason that I thought Phoenix was doomed. Heat and water were my main reasons. I first heard about Phoenix's problems when I saw a book reviewed. The name of the book was, “A Great Aridness: Climate Change and the Future of the American Southwest” by William deBuys. This Huffington Post article explains his thinking.

If, in summer, the grid there fails on a large scale and for a significant period of time, the fallout will make the consequences of Superstorm Sandy look mild. Sure, people will hunt madly for power outlets to charge their cellphones and struggle to keep their milk fresh, but communications and food refrigeration will not top their list of priorities. Phoenix is an air-conditioned city. If the power goes out, people fry.

In the summer of 2003, a heat wave swept Europe and killed 70,000 people. The temperature in London touched 100 degrees Fahrenheit for the first time since records had been kept, and in portions of France the mercury climbed as high as 104°F. Those temperatures, however, are child's play in Phoenix, where readings commonly exceed 100°F for more than 100 days a year. In 2011, the city set a new record for days over 110°F: there were 33 of them, more than a month of spectacularly superheated days ushering in a new era.”

It goes without saying that Phoenix's desert setting is hot by nature, but we've made it hotter. The city is a masonry world, with asphalt and concrete everywhere. The hard, heavy materials of its buildings and roads absorb heat efficiently and give it back more slowly than the naked land. In a sense, the whole city is really a thermal battery, soaking up energy by day and releasing it at night. The result is an urban heat island, which, in turn, prevents the cool of the desert night from providing much relief.

Sixty years ago, when Phoenix was just embarking on its career of manic growth, nighttime lows never crept above 90°F. Today such temperatures are a commonplace, and the vigil has begun for the first night that doesn't dip below 100°F. Studies indicate that Phoenix's urban-heat-island effect may boost nighttime temperatures by as much as 10°F. It's as though the city has doubled down on climate change, finding a way to magnify its most unwanted effects even before it hits the rest of us full blast.

This ThinkProgress article explains, “How Phoenix Is Getting Ready For 100-Degree Nights”.

The city averages more than 100 days a year with temperatures reaching over 100 degrees. In 2013, 115 days hit 100 degrees. In 2011, the city set a new record for days over 110 degrees with 33. That's over one month of the year with scorching highs. This winter has so far been warmer than average…The extreme heat and the heat island effect have also led Stanton to change the way the city looks at human services planning, and to make sure that on the hottest days those in need are taken off the street and into air-conditioned areas because it can be deadly. That's assuming air-conditioning is readily available.

Think of the energy needed to power the air conditioners needed to “survive” this furnace.

Phoenix gets it's water from 4 sources. The Colorado River, ground water, reclaimed water and the Salt River Project(SRP) from the Salt and Verde River watershed. The Colorada River water has always been fought over. Arizona gets a reduced share because of the strength of California's size. In the time of drought and low snow pack this source is not certain. Phoenix's ground water has been pumped to where it's in a state of “overdraft”. It's the SRP water source that prevented me from pulling the trigger lever on Phoenix being doomed. It appears to be a good source of water.

This Grist article has a guest writer, Grady Gammage jr., disputing the fact that Phoenix is doomed.

As a lifelong resident of Phoenix, author of the book, Phoenix in Perspective, and a frequent commentator on our desert city, I have had the privilege of debating both Ross and deBuys. While both have many important points about the future of America's urban places, I must point out they both continue to misunderstand a great deal about my city…The next and the most common indictment of Phoenix is that there's no water so people shouldn't live in such a desert city. DeBuys criticizes Phoenix for its reliance on Colorado River water and water from the mountains of central Arizona. Similar criticisms can be leveled at every city in the arid Southwest especially Los Angeles. Most Western water managers will tell you that Phoenix has a water supply to support its future growth more robust than that of Los Angeles, San Diego, Las Vegas or Denver. Half the water that comes to Phoenix is still being used for agriculture. Agriculture is being retired here and that water is slowly being converted to other uses.

The author is certainly right when talking about these other cities but if you read the article closely you will find him agreeing with DeBuys on many of his points.

In the end Phoenix is doomed along with many other American cities if we don't find a solution to global warming. It's just a matter of time.

I will be following up this post with one about a “mystery lung fungus”. Why? Because I want to use another Haboob picture.


Edited with BlogPad Pro

 

NASA and NOAA Agree and Other Stuff

The results are in. I had to wait for NOAA but this morning they agreed with NASA. September was the hottest September in recorded (since1880) weather history. We are on track for the warmest year on record if the next few months follow the same patterns especially if a projected (67% possibility according to NOAA) El Niño happens. We have actually already had the warmest year on record if your year is October 2013 to September 2014.

NASA

“Researchers from NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center found that the Earth’s average global land and ocean surface temperature temperature in September was 60.30°F, which is 1.30°F warmer than the 20th century average.”

“In September, NOAA states, “warmer-than-average temperatures were evident over most of the global land surface, except for central Russia, some areas in eastern and northern Canada, and a small region in Namibia. Record warmth was notable in much of northwestern Africa, coastal regions of southeastern South America, southwestern Australia, parts of the Middle East, and regions of southeastern Asia.” Southern California experienced a heat wave in September that forced schools to shorten the school day and saw temperatures that about 15 degrees higher than average for the region.”

For all you pelagic birders looking for rare warm water birds check out the temperatures in the Pacific Ocean.

I don't see how a climate change denier would have any arguments left when you look at the next graph.

 

NOAA has also report that:

“For the third month this year, the world's oceans set a record for the warmest they have ever been since at least 1880, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) reported on Monday.

September had the highest global average sea surface temperatures of any month on record since instrument record-keeping began, with a global average temperature of 61.1 degrees Fahrenheit. This was warm enough to set another milestone that had already been set two previous times this year; the average global sea surface temperature was so warm in September that it broke the all-time record for the highest departure from average for any month since 1880, at 1.19 degrees Fahrenheit above average.”

Things don't look especially good for the Southwest for the rest of the year. NOAA has also release drought tendencies and the Winter temperature forecast.

Who would get your vote for bad news-my blog or NOAA? If you continue reading there is some good news concerning California and some toilet humor.

But first more bad news. Several cities in California are experiencing record warm years. San Francisco and Sacramento are two of these cities. This InsideClimate news story features San Diego.

“San Diego, known for having one of the most desirable climates in the United States, set a record over the summer that will never be broken: It had zero days that were cooler than normal. None. Four were exactly the climatological norm, and 90 were warmer than average.”

Let's look for that good news I promised you.

Millions of households to receive the California Climate Credit in their October/November electric bill.

SACRAMENTO October 15, 2014 – The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) and California Air Resources Board are reminding consumers that in October, during National Energy Awareness Month, 10.7 million California households will see a credit averaging $35 on their electricity bills thanks to the State’s cap-and-trade program to fight climate change. This is the second time consumers will receive the Climate Credit, as they also received it this past April, resulting in an overall total credit of $755.5 million to California households.

Did you even notice? Here in P.G.&E. area the credit is $29.80. It could be as high as $35 in other parts of the state. Small businesses receive a monthly credit. It is hoped that California residents will use their credit to purchase energy efficient appliances for their homes. I hope that renters get it passed on to them. I plan on writing about cap and trade programs in the future.

California leads on climate change, says 50-state tool.

California has completed the highest number of goals to prepare for climate change, followed by Massachusetts and New York, according to a first-of-its-kind 50-state tracking tool unveiled Thursday.

In the last five years, there's been a burst of state efforts to deal with already occurring climate impacts such as more frequent storms and rising sea levels. They've ranged from elevating wastewater treatment plants to insulating roads, building micro-grids for backup power or buying out homes in flood-prone areas.

California has been a leader, achieving 48 or 14% of its 345 self-described climate goals, says the new online tool developed by the Georgetown Climate Center, a nonpartisan research group based at Georgetown University Law School. It passed, for example, a “cool pavements” bill in 2012 to encourage lighter-colored paving materials that reduce the heat-island effect in urban areas .

OK that's not much good news but it just might swing the bad news vote to NOAA.

I have always said that there's nothing like some good toilet humor to end a post. This is toilet humor for a good cause-saving water. Enjoy or don't, it's up to you.

 

 

 

Hottest August Ever!! Yes I Know I’m Repeating Myself.

Land and sea surface temperature percentiles in August 2014. Hot spots in red.

NASA reported today (15 September 2014) that the global surface temperature anomaly for August 2014 was 0.7C.
This makes August 2014 the hottest August since records began in 1880. The previous record of 0.69C was set in 2011. The temperature anomaly is the variance in degrees C against the long term 1951-1980 average.

 

Both NOAA and NASA agree that August has been the hottest ever recorded. Below is NASA’s August heat map. As reported by ThinkProgress, “Over West Antarctica, however, it was so hot NASA had to put in the color brown to cover the 4°C to 8°C (7°F to over 14°F!) anomalous warmth. Fortunately that is so far away from us why should anybody get very concerned about it when D.C. had such a mild summer? It’s not like recent studies have found that glaciers in West Antarctic ice sheet “have begun the process of irreversible collapse,” is it?”

There seems to be some agreement that it’s possible that 2014 will be the hottest year on record.

What does this kind of record temperatures mean out here in the western part of the United States?

In Washington State, The 2014 Wildfire Season Has Been 6 Times Worse Than Normal.

Wildfires rage across drought-hit California.

Southern California Heat Wave Forces Schools To Cancel Outdoor Activities

Phoenix Redux

I’ve been wondering why my post called, Haboobs–Is Phoenix Doomed, has been looked at over 10 times in the past couple weeks. I found out today. It’s Haboob season in Phoenix!!!

“A dust storm reported to be more than 3,000 feet high hit Phoenix Friday, limiting visibility and threatening to reshape landscapes and leave a coating of grit in its wake. Striking photos show a wall of dust pushing its way across neighborhoods and streets in the Phoenix metro region in the Valley.

The storm is commonly referred to as a haboob, from the Arabic word for an intense summer dust storm. Today’s storm hit in time to complicate the Friday afternoon commute.”

The video above is from a July 3, 2014, Haboob. In the video you can hear a person say that carwashes love these and he also states that these are how Valley Fever is spread.

 

SO LET’S THROW FUEL ON THE ISSUE–IS PHOENIX DOOMED?

Phoenix Sets Temperature Records As Arizona Gets Punished By Extreme Heat Wave.” This blog post states, 

“Phoenix set a record high temperature of 115°F at 1:32p.m. on Thursday afternoon. Then, 43 minutes later, it set another as the temperature gauge at Sky Harbor International crept up again to 116.

Yuma, Arizona tied its record high of 117 for this date, and nearby Tacna hit 120.

Arizona hasn’t just been suffering high maximum temperatures — it’s the high minimum temperatures too. Thursday set a record high minimum temperature of 93, up from the previous record of 90 set back in 2006. “We have not dropped below the 90 degree mark since Tuesday morning, if you can believe that,” said Dr. Matt Pace of Phoenix’s NBC 12 News…

Phoenix gets hotter than some more rural areas because of the urban heat island effect, which causes the dense and smooth structures in a city (think cement) to absorb more heat than natural landscape does, and allow for more convection and less turbulence than rougher rural areas do. Some in the city are turning to cool roofs and vegetation to cut this effect down a little.

When hikers take to the trails without adequate hydration, they need to be rescued, something that is happening more and more. Last year there were 153 mountain rescues for stranded hikers in total. Just through the first six and a half months of this year, firefighters have reported 133 such rescues, and two deaths. So many of them are caused by extreme temperatures that the Phoenix Fire Department asked residents to just stay indoors between 8 a.m. and 10 p.m. through Thursday evening.”

Air conditioning raising night-time temperatures in the US. This Guardian article states,

 “Researchers in the US have identified a way in which city-dwellers are inadvertently stoking up the heat of the night – by installing air conditioners.

Because the cities are getting hotter as the climate changes, residents are increasingly investing in aircon systems − which discharge heat from offices and apartment blocks straight into the city air. And the vicious circle effect is that cities get still warmer, making air conditioning all the more attractive to residents.

According to scientists at Arizona State University, the air conditioning system is now having a measurable effect. During the days, the systems emit waste heat, but because the days are hot anyway, the difference is negligible. At night, heat from air conditioning systems now raises some urban temperatures by more than 1C, they report in the Journal of Geophysical Research Atmospheres

To cap this, cities are inevitably hotspots – and it’s not just because of global warming. The concentration of traffic, commuter systems, street and indoor lighting, central heating, light industry, tarmac, tiles, bricks, building activity and millions of people can raise temperatures as much as 5C above the surrounding countryside.

At present, 87% of US households have air conditioning, and the US – which is not one of the warmer nations – uses more electricity to keep cool than all the other countries of the world combined. To keep the people of Phoenix cool during periods of extreme heat, air conditioning systems can consume more than half of total electricity needs, which puts a strain on power grids.”

This blog post states,

“At night, the urban heat island effect is even more extreme, as paved surfaces continue to radiate heat. A city can be as much as 22°F hotter at night than a neighboring rural area…

Extreme heat is already the leading weather-related cause of death in the United States since records began in 1986 and Arizona has the highest rates of heat-related mortality in the country. The latest National Climate Assessment emphasized that heat waves are projected to increase in frequency, duration, and intensity as the climate changes…

The large amounts of heat that the researchers discovered being pumped out into Phoenix also represent a substantial waste of energy. The researchers point out that that heat could be captured and used to heat water, reducing electricity consumption on multiple fronts.”

So if Phoenix isn’t doomed–many of it’s residents are. 


 

 

Last April–Second Hottest Ever Recorded.

The headline read–“Last Month Was The Second Warmest April Ever Recorded“. Yesterday, when I read it, it was over 80°F where I live. Today we set a record (since we’ve lived here) with a temperature over 82.2°F.  Of course if you asked someone back East they might disagree with this headline. This ClimateProgress article explains it all.

“We may not have felt it in the United States, but last month was the second-warmest April worldwide since scientists began recording temperature data, according to a preliminary report from NASA.

Around the planet, April temperatures averaged 58.5°F, which is 1.3°F above average temperatures. This is only a tad lower than than the warmest April ever recorded, a milestone hit in 2010 when NASA calculated global temperatures of 1.44°F above average, according to the data sheet.

The data announcement also marks this April as the 350th month in a row where the globe has experienced above-average temperatures, a phenomenon that scientists agree is largely caused by increases of man-made greenhouse gases emitted into the atmosphere. Incidentally, April 2014 also marked the first month in human history when average carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere reached above 400 parts per million.”

How temperatures worldwide compared to average temperatures in April 2014.
CREDIT: NASA

As I write this San Diego County is on fire. El Niño is on it’s way. Coffee prices are on their way up because of drought in Brazil!! It’s going to be an interesting year.

 

Hot! Hot! and More Hot!

Credit: AP/Bebeto Matthews)

 

I been saving story’s about how hot it’s been lately. It’s something that a person who writes about climate change has a tendency to do. Let’s start on the East Coast a week and a half ago. 

The heat wave that blanketed parts of the East Coast in close to 100-degree temperatures and high humidity broke the daily temperature record at JFK International Airport. It was the longest heat wave in New York City in more than a decade. But it made history in another way too: New York City broke its record for energy use on Friday, as residents cranked up air conditioning in an effort to stay cool.”

New York City’s last energy use record was set in July 2011, amidst another bout of extreme temperatures — a cycle of high rates of energy usage in response to high temperatures that will become more common as climate predictions continue to play out. Heat waves are already becoming more frequent and intense as temperatures rise, and duration of heat waves has increased worldwide since the 1950s.” You can read the rest of the story here

Washington D.C. also made some history. “For over five and a half days, the temperature was least 80 degrees in D.C. This 138-hour streak is the longest on record, dating back to 1871, and besting the 128-hour streak of two years ago.

As Jason Samenow of the Capital Weather Gang notes, this record is just the latest in an “astonishingly long list” of heat-related milestones amassed over the past four summers, including: hottest three Julys, hottest three summers, most 100-degree days in a month, and longest uninterrupted stretch above 100 degrees.” That story can be found here.

Let’s go up to Alaska next. “Anchorage has set a record for the most consecutive days over 70 degrees during this unusually warm summer, while Fairbanks is closing in on its own seasonal heat record.

The National Weather Service said Alaska’s largest city topped out at 70 degrees at 4 p.m. Tuesday, making it the 14th straight day the thermometer read 70 or higher. That breaks a record of 13 straight days set in 2004.

In Fairbanks, temperatures Monday reached 80 or higher for the 29th day this summer.” Read about it here.

Let’s go over to Europe. “Europe is facing warmer-than-usual weather for a second month after temperatures soared in a July heatwave, boosting power prices in the region’s biggest market.
Germany may be as much as 8 degrees Celsius (14 degrees Fahrenheit) warmer than average on some days through Aug. 10, Andreas Gassner, a meteorologist at Meteomedia AG in Gais, Switzerland, said July 30 by e-mail. MetraWeather, Deutscher Wetterdienst and MDA Information Systems Inc. also predicted hot weather in most of Europe for this month, while WSI Corp. and MeteoGroup U.K. Ltd. said the warm spell will end.” The story is here.

How about Siberia? “Your mental image of Siberia is probably a snowy, wind-whipped expanse, perhaps with a cluster of buildings to house those banished from Russian society. Not this week. This week, Norilsk, the northernmost large city in the world, the second largest city north of the Arctic Circle, and the site of one of those gulags, hit a balmy 32 degrees Celsius — about 90 Fahrenheit. It’s normally in the mid-60s.

The online outlet The Siberian Times (“up-to-date information in English from across Siberia’s six time zones”) featured a photo of people sunbathing on the shores of Lake Baikal in its report on what may be a new record high.” Read all about it here.

China? “Sweltering summer heat across China has pushed thermostats surging above 104 degrees in over 40 cities throughout the mainland and has been blamed for dozens of heat-related deaths.
The month-long heat wave, particularly in southern and central parts of the country, has forced leaders in Beijing into action.
 
 
 

The China Meteorological Administration on Tuesday ordered a “Level 2” emergency response to the dangerous heat.

Such an emergency order is usually reserved for natural disasters like typhoons and severe flooding. A “Level 1” emergency has never been called before.”

The blistering heat has manifested itself in several ways. Local news reports have described glass cracking in the city of Ningbo and cars self-combusting elsewhere.

Excited reports of eggs that a woman in Hunan planned to eat suddenly hatching later proved to be false, but sparked humorous comments online: It’s so hot, eggs are hatching without the need for a hen to sit on them.

Then there has been the street cooking. Videos of people frying eggs and bacon on scorching hot city streets have been all the rage on the internet.

One photo of a boy in the eastern city of Jinan cooking shrimp on a manhole was featured prominently on China’s state newspaper, China Daily.” You can check out the story here.

NOAA has reported on the month of June for global “average” temperatures. “June 2013 also marked the 37th consecutive June and 340th consecutive month (more than 28 years) with a global temperature above the 20th-century average, according to NOAA scientists. The last below-average June temperature was June 1976, and the last below-average temperature for any month was February 1985.” If you are 28 years old or younger you have never experienced a below average month of temperature. Check it out here or here.