The Responsible Survivialist


Get Used To The Heat
December 3, 2009, 6:03 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Ok, so some facts to back up my argument earlier, that it was colder in the past:

“We’re Feeling the Heat” By John D. Cox

The warming climate is making itself felt in the daily weather across the United States, tilting the odds in favor of a daily record high temperature to two-to-one over a record low. In a world without a warming climate, the record daily highs and lows each year would be about even.

In the last decade, as the country experienced unusually mild winters and intense summer heat waves, researchers report, the continental United States set 291,237 record highs and 142,420 record lows. The trend was felt especially in the west.

A detailed analysis of daily temperatures at 1,800 weather stations since 1950, by a team of researchers from the National Center for Atmospheric Research, Climate Central, The Weather Channel and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration will be published soon in Geophysical Research Letters, a journal of the American Geophysical Union.

“Climate change is making itself felt in terms of day-to-day weather in the United States,” said Gerald Meehl, an NCAR researcher and the lead author of the study. “The ways these records are being broken show how our climate is already shifting.”

Statistician Claudia Tebaldi of Climate Central put it this way: “If the climate weren’t changing, you would expect the number of temperature records to diminish significantly over time. As you measure the high and low daily temperatures each year, it normally becomes more difficult to break a record after a number of years. But as the average temperatures continue to rise this century, we will keep setting more record highs.”

The trend has not been a straight line, reflecting changes in average temperatures, which rose in the 1950s, flattened in the 1960s, and began rising with a continuing warming trend that began in the 1970s. Even in the relatively cool year of 2009, the researchers report, record daily highs out-numbered daily record lows by three to two.

“One of the messages of this study is, you still get cold days,” Meehl said. “Winter still comes. Even in a much warmer climate, we’re setting record low minimum temperatures on a few days each year. But the odds are shifting so there’s a much better chance of daily record highs instead of lows.”

graph of hottest records

And:

“New analysis released today has shown the global temperature rise calculated by the Met Office’s HadCRUT record is at the lower end of likely warming. The study, carried out by ECMWF (the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts) with input from the Met Office, performs a new calculation of global temperature rise. This independent analysis is based on information from a wide range of sources. It uses all available surface temperature measurements, together with data from sources such as satellites, radiosondes, ships and buoys.

The new analysis estimates the warming to be higher than that shown from HadCRUT’s more limited direct observations. This is because HadCRUT is sampling regions that have exhibited less change, on average, than the entire globe over this particular period. This provides strong evidence that recent temperature change is at least as large as estimated by HadCRUT. This conclusion is in contrast to a recently released study by the Institute of Economic Analysis (IEA) think tank based in Moscow. The IEA’s output is consistent with HadCRUT as they both confirm the global warming signal in this region since 1950, which we see in many other variables and has been consistently attributed to human activities.”

“The lower figure is the ECMWF analysis which uses all available observations, including satellite and weather balloon records, synthesised in a physically- and meteorologically-consistent way, and the upper figure represents the same period from our HadCRUT record. The ECMWF analysis shows that in data-sparse regions such as Russia, Africa and Canada, warming over land is more extreme than in regions sampled by HadCRUT. If we take this into account, the last decade shows a global-mean trend of 0.1 °C to 0.2 °C per decade. We therefore infer with high confidence that the HadCRUT record is at the lower end of likely warming.”

temperature chart

ADDED: Notice something particularly scary. The 2.5 rise over Eastern Canada and Greenland. One of my biggest worries is a complete melt of the Greenland Ice shelf and the resultant collapse of the Gulf Stream. That could signal short term Winter temperature drops of as much as 10 degrees C for Europe, which they are completely unprepared for.

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