The UK Met Office, and an author in The Conversation which on climate might want to reconsider renaming itself The Rant, tries to scare Britons with the prospect of French summertime weather. And who wouldn’t prefer an old-time Blackpool beach scene to that awful Riviera? The idea is that by 2100 the UK could see a temperature over 40°C once every three and a half years with, of course, mass deaths in consequence. Assuming no one knows how to cope with hot weather. And assuming you use a computer-modeling scenario even the alarmists know is bogus.
There are a number of suspicious things about this story including that as we’ve documented cold kills more people than heat. In commenting on this screed, Eric Worrall noted that while the infamous French heatwaves claimed 1,500 lives in 2019 and 15,000 in 2003 (and parenthetically shouldn’t it have been the other way around), “there were 49,410 excess deaths in the winter of 2017-18, and 23,200 deaths in the 2018-19 winter” and “A few heatwaves seems a small price to pay, to reduce that dreadful winter excess mortality rate.”
It’s also fishy that the Conversation piece claims that “While traditionally warmer climes have adapted over time to soaring summer temperatures, the UK is not prepared to handle these kinds of heatwaves.” Well, no, since it doesn’t get them. But if the temperature rises oh so gradually over 80 years, it’s just possible that the same culture that brought us the Industrial Revolution and the Spitfire and chucked fish and chips for Vindaloo as its national dish will find workarounds.
If. Because the punchline here, which our regular readers may well have seen coming, is that the simulations are based on “two future climate scenarios with different concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, known as RCP 4.5 and RCP 8.5.” Of course they are.
Are these scenarios reasonable? This author thinks so: “The projected global mean temperature rise under RCP 4.5 would be 2°C to 3°C by century’s end. RCP 8.5 is considered a worst-case scenario in which emissions continue to rise at current rates unabated through the 21st century, resulting in a global mean temperature rise of as much as 4.8°C by 2100.” But actually RCP 8.5 does not envision emissions going up at current rates, it posits absurd accelerations due to increases in things like coal use that no one believes are possible. And as we have also observed, that boring old empirical data shows that we’re at the low end of projected increases in emissions as well as of the probable sensitivity of temperature to increases in CO2.
The piece plows on undaunted, including a graph showing the distribution of maximum daytime temperatures at Heathrow in London under “Natural”, “Present” and “Late Century” conditions. And we’re nearly half-way from “Natural” to “Present” meaning they’re already claiming a lot of unnatural warming. Specifically that “Between 1960 and 2016, maximum daytime temperatures rose as much as 1°C per decade in the south-east of the UK” though they didn’t have the gall to claim Scotland has become warm. But if you stop and ponder for a bit, you realize they’re claiming global warming kicked in back in 1960. Is that really what they think? Or does it move around depending on polemical requirements?
Are they just playing fast and loose with the facts in an effort to appal you with the prospect of acres and acres of pallid British bodies glistening in the hot sun come 2100?