Last Wednesday, my local paper ran a story titled July was hottest month ever recorded in Lower 48. Yep, it’s been warm in the USA. It was 3.3 degrees F warmer than the average July of the 20th century. It was a whopping 77.6 degrees. Three of the five warmest years since 1895 when the NOAA data base begins were very recent years (2006, 2011 and 2012).
All that didn’t surprise me a bit. We should be seeing new records. The records are only 150 years old and the world has warmed .9 degree C in that period. The world has been warming steadily for a long time as this East Anglia University Chart demonstrates.
But I was surprised by the other two in the top five, 1936 and 1934. Yep, 2012 beat out 1936 by .2 degree F or .11 degree C. Both 1934 and 1936 were much colder years than any year in the 21ts century, a full .6 degree C colder.
What does this data tell me? The world is warmer than it was a few hundred years ago. But it also says the study just released by Dr. Hansen is crap. Allow me to explain.
July was hot in 2012, no doubt about it, but it was beginning from a high base temperature. Temperature is a relative function. Today is in part a result of yesterday and tomorrow is impacted by the weather today. In 1934 the average temperature for the year was a full degree F. colder than today, so the temperature relative to it’s base line was more extreme, lots more extreme, in 1934 and 1936 than it is today.
If I were to assume the UN is correct about carbon dioxide…there’s lots more carbon dioxide now than there was in 1934. Enough so that the whole world should be quite a bit warmer today than it was in 1934. So if those years (1934 and 1936) had extreme weather…it was some serious heat.
Dr. Hansen and just about everybody else in the climate game agrees that the temperatures in 1934 and 1936 were not materially impacted by man caused activities. So 2012 doesn’t prove the Dr. Hansen is correct, but 1934 and 1936 seem to prove to me that Dr. Hansen must have been wrong when he said the following.
We now know that the chances these extreme weather events would have happened naturally — without climate change — is negligible.
If the dust bowl was more extreme than the weather we are seeing today, relative to the averages of the time, and it was natural, then how does he know that 2012 wasn’t natural?
The WAG world of climate science is alive and well.