The “Heartland Institute” is hosting their 14th annual “ICCC” convention this weekend in Las Vegas, Nevada, to carry on their mission as one of the world’s leading organizations of climate deniers. One of the sessions listed on their schedule for this very morning is about the latest global temperature trends, hosted by none other than Anthony Watts, Roy Spencer, and Ross McKitrick. I’m familiar with their work.
I thought it would be a good idea to present an honest appraisal of the subject at hand.
The vaccine against COVID-19 reduces its spread, even for the highly contagious delta variant. Perhaps more important, the vaccinated who contract the disease are likely to have a mild case, less likely to require hospitalization, and much less likely to be killed by it.
Maybe that’s why states with low vaccination rates have higher infection rates:
and states with low vaccination rates have higher death rates:
Lower infection rates, and especially fewer hospitalizations, is what our country’s health care providers are begging for. Maybe that’s why they’re begging us to get vaccinated against COVID-19.
Over a year ago I began making graphs related to the COVID-19 epidemic. It’s not controversial to identify the most basic number to tell the story: how many new cases each day, per capita? Medical personell tend to express this as cases per day per hundred thousand population, but I prefer to use cases per day per million population. Call me quirky.
I (like many before and since) decided to color-code some of my graphs, with “red” reserved for the most severe outbreaks — so many new cases each day that it will strain the health care system in a week or less, and before too long will crush it, while filling up the morgue to overflowing. I did a little research (translation: looked around on the internet, not peer-reviewed research, but at least I used “reliable” sources like Johns Hopkins Univ. School of Public Health) and concluded that since the so-called “experts” seemed to think that was 25 cases/day/100,000 people, that’s what I’d use — but I’d call it 250 cases/day/million population. Call me quirky.
Warm sea water is what powers hurricanes. Usually, sea surface temperature (SST) in the Gulf of Mexico needs to exceed 29°C to intensify a hurricane, and every fraction of a degree above 29°C increases the chance — dramatically — of not just intensifying, but super-charging it, creating a “monster storm.”
Which makes one wonder … if a storm passes by, what are the odds the sea surface temperature (SST) will exceed 29°C? Or more? Have the odds changed over time? Of course SST isn’t the only factor at play, only fools say so, but only bigger fools deny its impact on tropical storms.
The state of Maine is suffering through an explosion of COVID-19 cases, now that the delta-variant has arrived. It’s especially a pity because we were doing so well when July began, with only about 20 cases per day per million population — but now we’re up to nearly 120. It’s putting a real strain on the health care system.
The memory is still fresh, in the minds of Americans, of the fearful heat wave which struck the Pacific Northwest in late June, reaching temperatures never before imagined in the region. It drives home the point that the effects of climate change are here, now, to stay — and that includes more and hotter heat waves.
Convincing Americans of that is made easier by the fact that we ourselves have seen it happen in our own back yard. I suspect it’s downright easy to convince Europeans — because they’ve seen it before. More than once.
My investigations suggest that the strongest influence on extreme heat is the increase in average temperature during summer; the shape of the distribution can change, and that has an effect, but change in the average value dominates. So I decided to look at how summertime heat has changed in each climate division of the conterminous USA (i.e. the “lower 48 states”), according to the data for high temperature from NOAA.
For each division, I fit a smooth curve (lowess smooth), then estimated the “summer warming” as the difference between the smoothed values now (i.e. in 2021) and at the start (i.e. in 1895). Some of them show considerable warming, in fact the northeast corner of Utah has warmed by a whopping 6.05°F:
Although most climate divisions show summer warming, not all of them do; in fact in Alabama there’s a division which shows cooling by -2.39°F:
Whichever divisions in the USA have warmed by the most, are most at risk for never-before-seen extreme heat. And here they are as red dots (bigger dots, bigger risk), with blue dots indication regions which have shown net summer cooling (rather than heating) since 1895:
Two regions stand out as being at greatest risk. First is the entire U.S. west, westward of longitude 100°W. Second is the northeast coast, northward of Washington D.C.