It’s Been a Hot July …

… As noted by NBC News, but it’s absolutely, positively, definitely got nothing to do with global climate change (!!!).

Here is a longer term depiction of rising temperatures.

Source: NOAAAnd that’s just data for May. Given the duration of the high temperatures, I’m guessing July average temperatures will be above norm.

For those unable to detect sarcasm, here’s a discussion of the scientific consensus regarding anthropogenic climate change. From “Expert credibility in climate change,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (2010):

… we use an extensive dataset of 1,372 climate researchers and their publication and citation data to show that (i) 97-98% of the climate researchers most actively publishing in the field support the tenets of ACC outlined by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, and (ii) the relative climate expertise and scientific prominence of the researchers unconvinced of ACC are substantially below that of the convinced researchers.


Two key graphs (shown in this post highlight that fact that among published (in peer reviewed journals) climate scientist, the overwhelming consensus is on that anthropogenic climate change (ACC) is occurring.


qa_agw2.gifNote that UE denotes unconvinced; CE denotes convinced (by the thesis of anthropogenic climate change).

So if your local power grid fails, I want you to remember all the individuals who said how easy it will be to “adjust” to warmer temperatures.

Update, 9:30PM Pacific: Bruce Carman’s mention of droughts reminded me of the collision between global climate change and spending cuts (this is for all of you who relish the reductions in nominal government spending). Even with small increments in temperatures, wildfires are worse, and colliding with development, even as fiscal pressures on USDA are increased.

Source: NPR.From :

The deaths of 19 firefighters near Yarnell, Ariz., this summer have focused a lot of attention on just how bad wildfire has become in the West. And research predicts the situation is going to get worse.

Over the past decade, the region has seen some of the worst fire seasons on record. In addition to lives lost, the fires have cost billions in terms of lost property and in taxpayer money spent fighting the blazes.

Ray Rasker, an economist who lives in the fire country of southwestern Montana, tracks fire records the way other economists study business cycles or commodity prices. He’s seen a disturbing trend.

First, he says, “the fires are twice as large, they’re burning twice as long, and the season is starting earlier and ending later.” Second: More homes are being built right next to national forests, and when those forests burn, firefighters have to defend those homes.

Already, the firefighting portion of the Forest Service’s budget is higher than ever. “In 2012 [the share of budget] was over 47 percent,” says David Cleaves, the service’s climate and fire expert. That’s tripled over the past decade or so.

Cleaves says it’s not a crisis now, but “economically, and in a policy sense, you could call it a crisis in the future.” That’s because more money that goes to firefighting means there’s less money available for prevention.

Perhaps the invisible hand will solve this problem.

This piece is cross-posted from Econbrowser with permission.

3 Responses to "It’s Been a Hot July …"

  1. Andrew_M_Garland   July 21, 2013 at 1:17 am

    Roger Pielke Jr. on Weather [edited]
    === ===
    The most indefensible claim regarding climate change is that severe weather has increased. Meteorologists like me have long known that public perception of weather is skewed by short memories and increasing media sensationalizing of weather disasters.

    During globally cool conditions in 1970 a tropical cyclone (hurricane) killed 500,000 people in Bangladesh. Records of such storms killing hundreds of thousands of people extend back to 1582. In contrast, as of this writing, it has been a record 7+ years since a major (Cat 3 or stronger) hurricane has hit the U.S. mainland. New research from northwest Florida, based upon coastal sediments, suggest that the past 600 years has been a period of weaker hurricane activity compared to the 1,000 years before that (Brandon et al., 2013). All of these facts indicate the huge amount of natural variability in tropical cyclones which exists and confounds attempts to determine whether tiny global energy imbalances caused by humans have any noticeable effect.

    There is little or no observational evidence that severe weather of any type has worsened over the last 30, 50, or 100 years, irrespective of whether any such changes could be blamed on human activities, anyway. Long-term measurements of droughts, floods, strong tornadoes, hurricanes, severe thunderstorms etc. all show no obvious trends, but do show large variability from one decade to the next, or even one year to the next.
    === ===

  2. Pecos Banker   July 23, 2013 at 3:54 am

    Thanks to the commenter above. We do need to keep an open mind. I wonder if, epistomologically speaking, we can even know if AGW is a fact. There seem to be convincing arguments on both sides. Many years ago Exxon-Mobil used to put there blurbs in the NY Times pooh-poohing AGW and that was enough to convince me that AGW is true. Now I have some doubts, at least. The majority of physicists is convinced that string theory is true, but there are also some very fine theories competing with it, including quantum loop theory and work by Penrose.

  3. evodevo   July 24, 2013 at 7:49 am

    Well, the insurance companies and the DOD beg to differ. Both entities have taken global warming seriously for the last decade, and began preparing coping/business strategies to counter the effects.
    Sorry. Reality bites.