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Colour us skeptical

03 May 2023 | News Roundup

GB News, an ostensibly conservative British news organization, has taken a page from the alarmist handbook of temperature map colouring, using this map to illustrate a coming swing to temperatures as high as… 20°C in parts of the UK and Spain.

Yes, those charred black wastelands in western Scotland and the Iberian peninsula indicate places you might still need a sweater at night. And the text of the article takes a decidedly cooler tone: “The South West-based forecasters also add some eastern coasts may stay cooler, and possibly chilly overnight in sheltered parts... Met Office spokesperson Stephen Dixon said: ‘Things are due to settle down for many areas…The temperatures will feel quite pleasant.’" The map reminded us of some sleuthing work done by WattsUpWithThat readers back in 2014 showing how weather agencies had quietly changed their colour schemes with the effect that regions which were once shown in pleasant green are now drawn in yellow or red. Or, at GB News, charcoal black.

The WattsUp comparison was as follows:

Not that alarmists need colourful maps, when they have a facility for colourful language. Describing the arrival of spring, Greenpeace tweeted that:

“An early-season heat wave is shattering records across North Africa and the Iberian Peninsula. Morocco, Portugal, Spain are all feeling the pain. As the fossil fuel industry roasts the planet, more extreme weather records are being broken.”

If the fossil fuel industry was trying to roast the planet they missed Ontario where we are still getting below-normal temperatures including occasional wet snow overnight. Meanwhile the idea of calling temperatures in the upper teens a “heatwave” led Anthony Watts to declare indignantly that the people behind this story were scientific dunces. All you need is a Google Search to discover that:

“20°C is the same as 68°F – in other words, indoor room temperature. It seems that the GBN reporter, Georgina Cutler, or possibly the editors who determined the headline, fail to understand that room temperature is what the majority of people find comfortable.”

Then he showed a graphic from Science Notes that:

“shows the range of comfortable room temperatures as defined by three different organizations. They say: ‘Room temperature is the temperature or range of temperatures comfortable to people. It may be defined in science, but in practice it’s 20 to 22 degrees Celsius or 68 to 72 degrees Fahrenheit.’”

So the only thing baking is the goose of their credibility. But climate alarmism frequently robs people of common sense. For instance ITV said that, as Spain narrowly topped its 12-year-old April heat record by a full tenth of a degree, “The conditions will be at their most intense in the Guadalquivir Valley near Seville, a region that is often referred to as the ‘Iberian oven’” for some reason clearly unconnected with it always having been hot. Must be the CO2.

Also, not to nitpick, Cordoba, where the April record of 38.7 was just set, hit 45.4°C in July 1978 and nearby Badajoz incomprehensibly reached 47°C in June 1864. And yes, of course, they measured the latest temperature in Cordoba at the international airport because nothing says Urban Heat Island like a tarmac with jet engines roaring.

And another thing. Weirdly, the BBC’s version of the Spain-in-flames story was that “While parts of Britain are cooler than average right now, the opposite is the case in many regions of Spain.” Even though that map had Britain red.

Oh, and for bad measure the Beeb quoted some professor of climate alarmism that “Europe is warming at twice the global rate”. Who saw that one coming?

Now this map used by the BBC would certainly have you thinking everywhere is warming faster than the average and is dreadfully hot.

Like deep red, man. But of course if you set the computer to code even 20°C as red, or everything as red, you get a misleading picture. As you do if you say “Climate change is very likely playing a role in this heatwave, according to experts in the field.” Which they did.

Unfortunately, as Steve Milloy noted, if you use a map that for some reason uses red to show temperatures above the recent average and some weird thing like blue for colder ones, what you get is that France, along with Britain, the Netherlands, Germany and on were actually colder than normal during the Spanish heat wave. And the thing about global warming is that it shouldn’t be local. Because then it would be local warming and nobody would be afraid.

On the other hand, if climate change was making Spain hot, why did it skip France? Was it afraid of rude waiters? (Also, Milloy shared a news story about “Spain braces for a week of scorching summer temperatures in spring” showing people in beach chairs looking about as unbraced as is consistent with consciousness.)

P.S. As for heat killing, a National Post story about the surprising longevity of Israelis despite few doctors, heavy smoking, eating lots of fat and having chronic stress suggested that “Mediterranean weather – sunny, warm, no extremes” might contribute, along with “religiosity, mandatory military service and optimism despite decades of near-constant conflicts.” And here we thought warmth was bad. Well no. We didn’t. But the alarmists sure did.

One comment on “Colour us skeptical”

  1. To be fair, GB News is the only UK news channel (as far as I'm aware) where several of the presenters are actually questioning and debating ''Global warming/climate change''! You certainly won't hear a whisper from the BBC!

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