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More evidence of things not seen

08 Jun 2022 | OP ED Watch

NOAA forecasts a long, hot summer in the United States. As Grist (slogan: “Climate. Justice. Solutions.”) put it, “Summer forecast: Extreme heat with a chance of rolling blackouts”. Now it’s a bit awkward that, as we observed last week, there’s actually been no global warming in the last seven years. So in the absence of observable warming, forecasts will have to do. NBC chortles that “Cities across the United States are preparing for what could be a sweltering summer, enacting rules to protect people during heat waves and experimenting with new ways to communicate the risks of extreme temperatures…. More than a week ago, temperature records were set in Mississippi and Texas, after conditions reached nearly 100 degrees Fahrenheit in some areas on May 21.” In fact the latest best satellite records say that in May 2022 the global temperature was 0.17°C above the 1991-2020 average. Prepare for blackouts.

NBC added “It was the kind of early season heat wave that serves as an important reminder of the risks of extreme temperatures, said Kristina Dahl, a principal climate scientist with the Union of Concerned Scientists. And with heat waves becoming both more frequent and more severe because of climate change, Dahl said it should be a wake-up call for the entire country.”

Grist says that “From June to August, unusually hot temperatures are expected across all 50 states, particularly the Southwest and Northeast. Much of the country is also expected to have a dry summer. ‘Typically La Niña favors warmer than normal conditions over much of the West,’ said NOAA meteorologist Johnna Infanti, referring to the climate pattern currently influencing weather in the U.S. It involves cooler sea surface temperatures and strong east-to-west winds in the Pacific Ocean, and it affects weather around the globe.”

Eh? Cooler sea surface temperatures? But don’t worry, wildfires and blackouts and heat wave deaths are coming.

Many Canadian outlets also ran with a story that “Seasonal or higher-than-normal temperatures across much of the country will offer Canadians a chance to enjoy the summer, but predictions from a prominent national forecaster warn the humidity could welcome a rather stormy few months.” Which doesn’t sound that bad. Moreover “Chris Scott, chief meteorologist at The Weather Network… Mr. Scott says Western Canada isn’t shaping up to face the same conditions that led to last year’s devastating heat wave and wildfires in British Columbia.” Which is odd since they were an inevitable consequence of relentless warming last year. What happened?

Well, “The westernmost province is expected to gradually emerge from a cool spring and into near-normal temperatures starting in June, which he says will drag out the snow melt and slow the start of wildfire season.” Cool spring? Near-normal? And while Alberta might get imported American heat, “In Ontario and Quebec, most of the region is likely to experience a ‘very warm and humid summer’ that doesn’t quite touch the levels of last year’s sweltering June.” Strange. But who are you going to believe, the evidence or some nasty predictions?

“Mr. Scott noted that extreme heat scenarios are on the rise and will continue in that direction. ‘We know that our climate is warming; that is unequivocal,’ he said. ‘Science tells us that the world is warming as a whole and Canada’s climate is warming. So any event that can be tied to that – like a heat wave that we saw last year in B.C. – that is made more likely in a warming climate.’”

Noted. Not argued. Not predicted. Just took for granted.

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