Friday, July 2, 2021

The Extraordinary Heat in the Northwest and Its Possible Relation to Global Warming

[Bumped because of new information pertaining to the heat of the 1930's]

I haven't written about the Northwest heatwave -- even though it is an extreme event -- because just about everyone else has. I have been focusing this blog and my Twitter coverage on the undercovered Midwest/Great Plains flooding and on the unwarned tornadoes in the Midwest. 

With that stated, let's take a look at the heatwave in the Northwest. 

Examples of Heatwave Coverage

Note to Dr. Judith Curry who, like me, 
has not been writing about the heatwave
"What's It Going to Take?"
The following comment from the State Climatologist of Colorado is pretty typical.

Actually, it isn't that simple. 

We keep hearing the current drought in the West is the worst in 1,200 years or even the "worst ever." But, it isn't. Here is the latest monthly Palmer Drought Index (May, 2021). Yes, the drought is terrible as are the water shortages. 

But, compare the current drought to the Dust Bowl drought.
If the conditions of July, 1934, were occurring today,
Big Climate would be confidently telling us it was due to global warming. 

The heatwave in the Northwest will have lasted about six days. The extraordinary drought of the 1930's lasted six years. The heat that accompanied the drought was extraordinary. For example, the highest temperatures ever recorded in Kansas were 121° in Fredonia on July 18 and Alton on July, 24, 1936. Those records still stand. Obviously, the extreme heat and Dust Bowl did not signal a change in climate. In fact, there is a slight trend toward wetter than average weather in the High Plains of western Kansas the last twenty years. 

Addition (Fri. 2:30pm):
On LinkedIn, the alarmists said (quote), "comparing the 30's to now
[the Northwest heatwave] is apples to oranges." So, I found this graph (h/t Bjorn Lomborg) that demonstrates
that nothing -- before or since -- compares to the heatwaves of the 1930's.

[Resume original posting] If the current heatwave in Washington and Oregon was part of a nationwide change in climate, that change would show up in the data of the United States' Climate Research Network (USCRN). The USCRN was commissioned in 2005 to establish warming temperatures once and for all. Its data gathering points are in remote areas so as urbanization and other factors would not influence the results. Turns out, its data has done the opposite. 
There is no trend -- warmer or colder -- in the temperatures of the United States during this 16-year period. Therefore, one cannot with any confidence attribute the current Northwest heatwave to global warming. 

There is no question that world temperatures are significantly warmer than they were 50 years ago. But, whether it is the heatwave in the Northwest or the February extreme cold wave in Texas, one cannot automatically conclude an extreme event of a few days' duration, regardless of its severity, is due to global warming. 

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