Our Future? More Heat Waves Like This

I figured that the rest of you stuck inside during your summer vacations like me, and for me this is my last summer, would appreciate this blog post by Time's science writer. Essentially his point is, there is no way to tell for sure how Global Warming affects individual heat waves but be ready for more frequent and hotter waves than would otherwise occur:

Next summer may not be especially hot--but over the next several decades, expect more and more heat waves like this one--and a few that are even worse. Expect them to show up more often, last longer and affect larger areas. And expect those other signs of warming--the storms, the droughts, and even such counter-intuitive events as the unusually harsh, snowy winter now going on in South Africa--to come along more often and be more severe as well.

Comments

I was wondering why

we're getting so much traffic these days! It's too damn hot for anyone to be doing anything outside.

I was outside today in Biscoe!

Amazing...I can't wait to write this story. I have another one almost finished though that I think you will all like.

Click on the hat to see all Citizen Journalist files



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Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

SD,been waiting all day to hear from you

Hope you got some good pics. Have you seen the DCCC picked up Kissell on their blog and over at dailykos Rant has a good rant going. All have been linked here earlier!

momo

Thanks for the comment over at ScruHoo. What did your LTE say?

Scrutiny Hooligans - http://www.scrutinyhooligans.us

A Bit of History for Global Warmers: Look at 1930

A Bit of History for Global Warmers: Look at 1930
By Randy Hall
CNSNews.com Staff Writer/Editor
August 04, 2006

(CNSNews.com) - People sweltering from a heat wave in the Mid-Atlantic region of the U.S. might find cold comfort in the fact that the temperatures of the past few days are not the hottest on record. That "honor" belongs to a summer 76 years ago -- decades before the controversy over "man-made global warming" began.

"From June 1 to August 31, 1930, 21 days had high temperatures that were 100 degrees or above" in the metropolitan Washington, D.C., area, Patrick Michaels, senior fellow for environmental studies at the libertarian Cato Institute, told Cybercast News Service. "That summer has never been approached, and it's not going to be approached this year."

Between July 19 and Aug. 9 of that year, heat records were set on nine days and they remain unbroken more than three-quarters of a century later. "That's hot," added Michaels, who also serves as professor of natural resources at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in Blacksburg, Va.

The summer of 1930 also marked the beginning of the longest drought of the 20th century. In 1934, dry regions stretched from New York and Pennsylvania across the Great Plains to California. A "dust bowl" covered about 50 million acres in the south-central plains during the winter of 1935-1936.

However, the first six months of this year were the hottest across the nation since the federal government began keeping records in 1890, according to Dennis Feltgen, a meteorologist with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration who told NBC News that about 50 all-time high-temperature records were broken during the month of July.

But Michaels noted that high temperatures are common in the middle of the summer.

"Climatologically, the last week in July is the warmest week of the year on average, and when the atmospheric flow patterns get into anomalously warm configurations during this time of the year, temperatures will skyrocket," he said.

Along with an unusual upper-air pattern, the Washington, D.C., area "was exceedingly dry" during the summer of 1930, Michaels stated.

"Generally speaking, when the ground is moist here, temperatures cap out in the high 90s," he noted. "That's because the sun's energy is divided into evaporating water and directly heating the surface. If the surface is dry, then everything goes into heating the surface, and you get exceedingly hot temperatures like you saw in 1930.

"Big cities are getting warmer -- with or without global warming -- because the bricks and the buildings and the pavement retain heat," Michaels added. For that reason, he prefers to compare temperatures in nearby rural areas. "There's been very little change" in those areas, "so we trust the record to be a reliable indicator of base climate."

Residents of the nation's capital can look forward to some relief, as weather forecasts for the weekend call for a cooling trend. "If we were going to go into the 100s -- the 103 and 104 degree range -- we would have done it, but there's just a little bit too much moisture in the surface to allow that to happen," Michaels said. He noted, however, that temperatures are expected to rise again next week.

The mid-summer temperatures have provided more opportunities for environmentalists subscribing to the theory that man is responsible for the current global warming.

Jay Gulledge, senior research fellow for science and impacts at the Pew Center on Global Climate Change, told NBC News on Wednesday that "this heat wave and other extreme events we've seen in recent years are completely consistent with what we expect to become more common as a result of global warming, even though we can't be definitive on any single event."

Michaels acknowledged that "global temperatures have been warming slightly for several decades" and noted that the surface of the world "is a little bit warmer than it was in the 1930s" even though "temperatures dropped between 1940 and 1975."

"Usually, the way the jet stream breaks out is very hot in the East and relatively cool in the West or vice versa," he said. "This time around, it looks more like the summers of the 1930s," but he dismissed the idea that the extreme temperatures of that time were caused by man-made "global warming" since "it wasn't around then."

Although the recent heat wave have not convinced Michaels that "global warming" is a severe problem, it was apparently enough to make a "convert" out of conservative Christian broadcaster Pat Robertson.

"We really need to address the burning of fossil fuels," Robertson said during his "700 Club" broadcast on Thursday. The high temperatures in some regions of the U.S. East are "the most convincing evidence I've seen on global warming in a long time," he added.

Pat Robertson

a fool and a charlaton, unwilling to accept scientific findings until his own sweaty arm pits start to stink.

Again, please use your own words.

I have no clue what point you are trying to make. Use your own words rather than cutting and pasting an article. Also, your article completely refutes the point you are apparently trying to make.

From your title you appear to say that since 1930 was a hot summer, global warming is not real. If that is the case, the article you cite completely refutes that proposition. Despite the fact that there was one hot summer long ago, the summers now are longer and hotter and the heat waves occur more frequently. Which is all consistent with global warming.

1930 was a hot year, but 19 of the hottest 20 years on record have been since 1980 (Link). The other hottest year was 1944. This shows the same illogical conclusion that you draw from 1930 being a hot summer. Yes there was one hot year decades ago, but the frequency of hot years is increasing.

When Pat Robertson sounds more reasonable than you, you need to reconsider your position.

New Posting Rule

I have not done one action by fiat here yet, so I think that it is about time. Any comment that I see from here on out without any content beyond the cutting and pasting of an article will be marked as spam and deleted. I think that if someone is not intelligent enough to use his own words to make a point that we do not need to bother giving him space. I will be on the look out for these comments but ask that others look out and mark them also.

What if Al Gore is right?

I feel his evidence is compelling, therefore I believe Gore. What I don't understand are people who say that he's PROBABLY wrong. Why not just start putting more $$$$ into developing alternative sources of energy.

Or are you a energy corporation plant, visiting blogs trying to get people to give up on this research?

Look at the title of the movie

"An Inconvenient Truth" It is going to be costly to deal with this problem, for society in general and the oil companies in particular. They are just trying to keep reeling in record profits as long as possible while trying to prevent America from looking the cliff we are about to be dumped from.

Hurricane season defying forecasts

Hurricane season defying forecasts
By John Ritter
USA TODAY

So far the 2006 hurricane season has been quiet, but forecasters warn there's still plenty of time for devastating storms to develop heading into the peak months of August, September and October.

Last year, the most intense in more than a century of hurricane record-keeping, was an anomaly, says National Weather Service meteorologist Dennis Feltgen.

There were 28 named storms, more than double the seasonal average. Three reached the strongest intensity, Category 5, with winds greater than 155 mph. Four hit the U.S. coast, including Katrina, which devastated New Orleans and the Mississippi coast.

In the past two years, 13 major hurricanes have struck southern and eastern coastal regions.

Three tropical storms this year — most recently the waning Chris — have failed to become hurricanes. The National Hurricane Center in Miami predicted Tropical Storm Chris, with 40-mph winds, would maintain its strength until it reached Cuba, likely by Saturday.

Thursday, hurricane researcher William Gray at Colorado State University said the season won't be as bad as he had predicted. Gray and his forecast team reduced the number of expected hurricanes from nine to seven and said a monster storm like Katrina is unlikely.

In May, government forecasters predicted 13 to 16 tropical storms, eight to 10 of which could grow into hurricanes, during the six-month Atlantic hurricane season that started June 1. The hurricane center will update its forecast Tuesday.

Conditions were favorable for hurricane development much earlier last year than is typical, and they persisted, producing a record number of storms. Those conditions — warmer sea-surface temperatures and the absence of high-altitude, west-to-east wind shear that breaks up storms as they're forming — weren't repeated this June and July.

“All of the ingredients that were in place last year simply weren't this year,” Feltgen said. “Now winds are lightening up, sea surfaces are warming, and all the conditions are becoming quite favorable for activity to really take off like it's supposed to this time of year.”