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Russian Meteorological Center: “There was nothing similar to this on the territory of Russia during the last one thousand years in regard to the heat.”

By Joe Romm  

"Russian Meteorological Center: “There was nothing similar to this on the territory of Russia during the last one thousand years in regard to the heat.”"

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Masters: Over 15,000 likely dead in Russia, 17 nations comprising 19% of Earth’s total land area set extreme heat records this year, July was “sixth straight record warm month in the tropical Atlantic”

Caption:  “A comparison of August temperatures, the peak of the great European heat wave of 2003 (left) with July temperatures from the Great Russian Heat Wave of 2010 (right) reveals that this year’s heat wave is more intense and covers a wider area of Europe. Image credit: NOAA/ESRL” — Jeff Masters.

Ria Novisti reports:

Russia has recently seen the longest unprecedented heat wave for at least one thousand years, the head of the Russian Meteorological Center said on Monday….

“We have an ‘archive’ of abnormal weather situations stretching over a thousand years. It is possible to say there was nothing similar to this on the territory of Russia during the last one thousand years in regard to the heat,” Alexander Frolov said.

He said scientists received information on ancient weather conditions by exploring lake deposits.

Frolov also said Russia’s grain crop may decrease by at least 30% compared to last year.

Once-in-a-thousand-year weather events ain’t what they used to be (see “Stunning NOAA map of Tennessee’s 1000-year deluge“).  And we’ve only warmed about 1.5°F in the past century.  We’re  projected to warm some 6 times that (!)  on our current emissions path.  So we ain’t seen nothing yet!

The BBC reports, “Moscow’s health chief has confirmed the mortality rate has doubled as a heatwave and wildfire smog continue to grip the Russian capital.”  The BBC repeats the “worst in 1,000 years of recorded Russian history” line, and quotes Frolov also saying, “It’s an absolutely unique phenomenon – nothing like it can be seen in the archives.”  But the BBC  is mum on global warming or climate change or greenhouse gas emissions.

At least  Russian leaders are starting to get (see Medvedev: “What is happening now in our central regions is evidence of this global climate change, because we have never in our history faced such weather conditions in the past”).

Meteorologist Jeff Masters has the full story on just what Russia and the rest of the planet is going through:

The Great Russian Heat Wave of 2010 brought temperatures of 37°C (99°F) to Moscow today, and smog and smoke from wildfires blanketed the city for a sixth straight day. Air pollution levels were 2 – 3 times the maximum safe level today, and peaked on Saturday, when when carbon monoxide hit 6.5 times the safe level. The death toll from heat and air pollution increased to approximately 330 people per day in Moscow in recent days, according to the head of the Moscow health department. Yevgenia Smirnova, an official from the Moscow registry office, said excess deaths in Moscow in July averaged 155 per day, compared to 2009. The heat wave began on June 27. These grim statistics suggest that in Moscow alone, the Great Russian Heat Wave of 2010 has likely killed at least 7,000 people so far. A plot of the departure of July 2010 temperatures from average (Figure 1) shows that the area of Russia experiencing incredible heat is vast, and that regions southeast of Moscow have the hottest, relative to average. Moscow is the largest city in Russia, with a population just over ten million, but there are several other major cities in the heat wave region. These include Saint Petersburg, Russia’s 2nd most populous city (4.6 million), and Nizhny Novgorod, Russia’s 5th most populous city (1.3 million people.) Thus, the Russian population affected by extreme heat is at least double the population of Moscow, and the death toll in Russia from the 2010 heat wave is probably at least 15,000, and may be much higher.

The only comparable heat wave in European history occurred in 2003, and killed an estimated 40,000 – 50,000 people, mostly in France and Italy. While the temperatures in that heat wave were not as extreme as the Russian heat wave, the nighttime low temperatures in the 2003 heat wave were considerably higher. This tends to add to heat stress and causes a higher death toll. I expect that by the time the Great Russian Heat Wave of 2010 is over, it may rival the 2003 European heat wave as the deadliest heat wave in world history.

Belarus records its hottest temperature in history for the second day in a row
The Russian heat wave has also affected the neighboring nations of Ukraine and Belarus. All three nations have recorded their hottest temperatures in history over the past few weeks. Belarus, on the western border of Russia, recorded its hottest temperature in history on Saturday, August 7, when the mercury hit 38.9°C (102°F) in Gomel. This broke the all-time record for extreme heat set just one day before, the 38.7°C (101.7°F) recorded in Gorky. Prior to 2010, the hottest temperature ever recorded in Belarus was the 38.0°C (100.4°F) in Vasiliyevichy on Aug. 20, 1946. As I described in detail in Saturday’s post, Belarus’ new all-time extreme heat record gives the year 2010 the most national extreme heat records for a single year–seventeen. These nations comprise 19% of the total land area of Earth. This is the largest area of Earth’s surface to experience all-time record high temperatures in any single year in the historical record. Looking back at the past decade, which was the hottest decade in the historical record, Seventy-five countries set extreme hottest temperature records (33% of all countries.) For comparison, fifteen countries set extreme coldest temperature records over the past ten years (6% of all countries).

Earth has now seen four consecutive months with its warmest temperature on record, and the first half of 2010 was the warmest such 6-month period in the planet’s history. It is not a surprise that many all-time extreme heat records are being shattered when the planet as a whole is so warm. Global warming “loads the dice” to favor extreme heat events unprecedented in recorded history.

July SSTs in the tropical Atlantic set a new record
Sea Surface Temperatures (SSTs) in the Atlantic’s Main Development Region for hurricanes had their warmest July on record, according to an analysis I did of historical SST data from the UK Hadley Center. SST data goes back to 1850, though there is much missing data before 1910 and during WWI and WWII. SSTs in the Main Development Region (10°N to 20°N and 20°W to 80°W) were 1.33°C above average during July, beating the previous record of 1.19°C set in July 2005. July 2010 was the sixth straight record warm month in the tropical Atlantic, and had the third warmest anomaly of any month in history. The five warmest months in history for the tropical Atlantic have all occurred this year. As I explained in detail in a post on record February SSTs in the Atlantic, the Arctic Oscillation (AO) and its close cousin, the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO), are largely to blame for the record SSTs, though global warming and Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO) also play a role.

The magnitude of the anomaly has increased slightly since June, because trade winds over the tropical Atlantic were at below-normal speeds during July. These lower trade wind speeds were due to the fact that the Bermuda-Azores High had below-normal surface pressures over the past month. The Bermuda-Azores High and its associated trade winds are forecast to remain at below-average strength during the next two weeks, according to the latest runs of the GFS model. This means that Atlantic SST anomalies will continue to stay at record warm levels during the remainder of August, and probably during September as well. This should significantly increase the odds of getting major hurricanes in the Atlantic during the peak part of hurricane season, mid-August through mid-October.

Still not much  coverage in the status quo media of any link between the extreme whether they are mostly reporting and the  human-caused global warming that they mostly are not.

If you see any good stories in the media,  please post them in the comments.

While  it doesn’t really count as the MSM, the NYT’s Green blog does have a good piece, “Has a Warming Russia Outpaced the World?

Better known for long, bitterly cold winters, Russia is well on the way to becoming the poster child for the perils of global warming this summer….

Proof of warming is widespread across Russia. Glaciers and Arctic sea ice have dwindled, and as many as 385,000 square miles of Siberian tundra are thawing.

Wildfires have also been on the rise for decades, a trend that scientists expect to accelerate as temperatures continue to rise in coming decades.

‹ Rebutting climate science disinformer talking points in a single line

CO Tea Party Candidate Struggles To Explain UN-Bicycle Conspiracy ›

65 Responses to Russian Meteorological Center: “There was nothing similar to this on the territory of Russia during the last one thousand years in regard to the heat.”

  1. Deborah Stark says:

    Definitely no connections being made here…

    8/9/10
    Muscovites Flee Worst Heat `in 1,000 Years’; Death Rate Doubles
    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2010-08-09/muscovites-flee-russian-capital-as-smog-from-wildfires-doubles-death-rate.html

    Muscovites fled the Russian capital in record numbers as extreme heat combined with acrid smoke from wildfires, slowing trading on the city’s main stock exchange and emptying restaurants….. (continued)

  2. Ricardo Smith says:

    It has been much hotter in Baghdad for many weeks. It could be worse in Bolivia and Peru.

  3. Phil says:

    But the BBC is mum on global warming or climate change or greenhouse gas emissions

    Even though Radio 4′s main news report tonight had Moscow’s health chief clearly blaming the heat for the excess mortality, their 6pm brief news summary blamed it on the smog, not the heat. One could get very paranoid about the Beeb’s aversion to honest and accurate climate change reporting…

  4. Dean says:

    ABC evening news last night reported something to the effect that (paraphrasing) scientists say that the series of extreme floods and heat waves this summer is consistent with what we expect from global warming, specifically mentioning “extreme weather events”. And they had a global warming banner up behind them while they said it. It was the first case I’ve seen recently of a national news network making the connection.

  5. Sasparilla says:

    Thanks for putting that up Dean (#4), its almost amazing to hear of a mainline US media outlet making the connection in their broadcast/news – good for them.

  6. PSU Grad says:

    I shouldn’t do this, but…..

    August high temperatures:

    Baghdad: Average – 109F August 8 – 118F ( 9F degrees above average)
    Moscow: Average – 72F August 8 – 99F (27F degrees above average)

    Get the difference?

  7. Wit'sEnd says:

    http://www.apocadocs.com/docs/2010/aug/record-heat-forces-northwest-territories-folks-to-adapt.html

    In the Northwest Territories this year, spring temperatures were almost six degrees warmer than average, surpassing the previous record set in 1998 by half a degree. Climatologist Dave Phillips said in his 40 years with Environment Canada, he’s never seen such a rapid change in temperature. “In my business, you break records by a tenth or a hundredth of a degree, not by a full half-degree or a degree,” he said. “This is unprecedented, this kind of warming that we’ve seen in the last six months.”… The Yukon government is already spending millions fixing roads affected by landslides, erosion, and washouts caused by extreme weather such as heavy rainstorms, Ritchie said.

  8. Jeff Huggins says:

    Getting Ready

    As direct experiences, the communication of scientific understanding, and so forth ultimately provide ever more physical evidence of our problem, comprehendible by growing numbers of people, we also need to have valid, clear, and effective ways to address the “mind bottlenecks”, incorrect paradigms, and ideological hangups that cause people confusion and tend to make them insistent, even in the face of evidence, that there is no problem or that nothin’ can be done about it anyway.

    In other words, views like this …

    Recognizing the reality of global warming is un-patriotic.

    Recognizing the reality of global warming is for sissies.

    Completely free markets are magic. They will take care of us automatically, fix the climate problem, and tuck us in at night with milk and cookies. They’ll do this (somehow) even if it’s free to contribute to the very problem that we expect markets to solve. They’ll do this even if they know that they can make messes without cleaning them up, and pocket the profit along the way. Markets will even tell us bedtime stories with happy endings!

    It is smart and cool to be entirely scientifically ignorant and even to develop policies and plans according to that ignorance.

    And so forth.

    Of course, there are direct, deeply grounded, valid rebuttals to all of those silly views. But, we need to confront those views directly, more and more, in ways that are EFFECTIVE and that SHIFT PARADIGMS.

    This might seem silly, but it’s not. Many, many, many people cling to sheer nonsense (regarding their views associated with climate change or policies to address it) because they have one or more of these paradigms built rather deeply into their minds or senses of self-identity.

    Cheers,

    Jeff

  9. John Mason says:

    Jeff, is that a real one harvested from somewhere on the net?

    I’d like to know because I have a growing collection of the best, added to almost daily.

    This has for some time remained the favourite of me, Ray Ladbury and others who still manage to keep a sense of humour in these dark times:

    “Please stop resorting to the “evidence”. It’s now completely irrelevant.”

    They were getting a bit excited back then of course as the “climategate” pseudo-scandal was a novel item!

    Cheers – John

  10. Doug Bostrom says:

    Might also add to Jeff’s remarks that we need as well to be cognizant of research indicating that as the distance to personal costs of mitigation decreases, so do our proclivities for avoidance of confronting those costs increase. This seems to apply to nearly all of us to a greater or lesser extent.

    Everything I’ve read in the way of social science research findings says that in an ideal world we’d be turning to a refunding carbon tax. As Jeff alludes to, we’re not rational. What we’ve learned of our behavior is that getting a check in the mail will override our grumbling about small increases in the price of various things.

  11. Michael Tucker says:

    An interesting article by Peter Stott, Met Office head of climate monitoring and attribution.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/aug/09/climate-change-flooding

    “I and colleagues from Oxford University showed, in a paper we published in Nature, that the probability of the hot European temperatures in 2003 had very likely doubled as a result of human influence. While still relatively rare, the odds of such extreme events are rapidly shortening and could become considered the norm by the middle of this century.”

    “Better understanding of which extreme weather events are part of normal variations rather than of a developing pattern of climate change effects will help societies adapt to the challenges of ongoing climate change. Next week in Colorado, experts from the UK and US forecasting centres at the Met Office and NOAA will meet to consider how we can provide better information on the causes of extreme weather in near-real time.”

  12. Andy says:

    I could be off base here but I’m frustrated with the reticence of many climate scientists to acknowledge the (future? ongoing?) horrible humanitarian crises caused by global warming and the even worse crisis in store for our natural world (which try as we might, us humans are still totally dependent upon). As one who has lived through and been affected by some horrible natural disasters; I’m unable to look through the various photos of the flooding in Pakistan.

    For example, this frustrates me: the brilliant climate scientist Dr. Kerry Emanual writes this in his book on global warming (as excerpted in the review by the Boston Globe):

    http://bostonreview.net/BR32.1/emanuel.php

    “All these projections depend, of course, on how much greenhouse gas is added to the atmosphere over the next century, and even if we could be certain about the changes, estimating their net effect on humanity is an enormously complex undertaking, pitting uncertain estimates of costs and benefits against the costs of curtailing greenhouse-gas emissions. But we are by no means certain about what kind of changes are in store, and we must be wary of climate surprises. Even if we believed that the projected climate changes would be mostly beneficial, we might be inclined to make sacrifices as an insurance policy against potentially harmful surprises.”

    It really depends upon whether or not you’re the one being affected.

    Global “…net effect…” calculations are meaningless in my opinion and I believe they are inhumane.

    Does it matter that most of the world’s leading climate scientists are from those parts of the world with cool, temperate climates (Coastal California, the NE US, Europe, Britain) where cold is often more of a problem than heat?

    For what it’s worth, I support those scientists like Dr. Romm who are willing to proclaim that global warming is going to be hell.

    I very much like the world the way it was. I’m sure there are millions in Russia and Pakistan that would agree.

  13. The economic impacts will be huge… and there could even be food shortages

  14. Uosdwis says:

    One of our pathetic local TV weathermen actually said “yeah, it has seemed a little warm this year..”

  15. Deborah Stark says:

    Re: Doug Bostrom #9

    “…..As Jeff alludes to, we’re not rational. What we’ve learned of our behavior is that getting a check in the mail will override our grumbling about small increases in the price of various things…..”

    ***
    Very good point.

    Keyword: Incentive.

    Carbon fee at source point and dividend distribution to the public is the way to go and as soon as possible.

  16. Mark says:

    I can’t imagine what it must be like to have to breathe smoke non-stop for 5 or 6 days while suffering through 100 degree heat. It would be like being trapped in a burning building with the flames one or two rooms away, for 5 days… That experience would almost certainly change you in fundamental ways, if you survive.

    Climate change induced PTSD for an entire city.

  17. Bob Doublin says:

    tick,tick,tick,(slam),tick,tick,tick,tick,(SLAM!!! SLAM!!!SLAM!!!),tick(slAM!),tick,tick (slam!),tick,tick,tick(slam,SLAM!!,SLAM)tick,tick,tick,tick,(SLAM!)tick,tick,tick,………

  18. Bob Doublin says:

    I’ve decided not to say to denier morAns anything other than the following: “Why do you hate your grandchildren so much??”

    I wish a member of Congress would have the guts to stand up in front of a full session,look around the room in silence at every member he or she can,calmly and loudly and clearly ask this question and then silently walk out of the chamber. And repeat it as often as they could.

  19. Steve Bloom says:

    Ha, so now even the Russians are dropping the claim that the Medieval Warm Period was warmer than the present. Can we begin to imagine that such a thing will one day be possible for the U.S. Congress?

  20. Doug Bostrom says:

    Reuters…

    Analysis: Pakistan floods, Russia heat fit climate trend

    (Reuters) – Devastating floods in Pakistan and Russia’s heatwave match predictions of extremes caused by global warming even though it is impossible to blame mankind for single severe weather events, scientists say.

    This year is on track to be the warmest since reliable temperature records began in the mid-19th century, beating 1998, mainly due to a build-up of greenhouse gases from fossil fuels, according to the U.N. World Meteorological Organization (WMO).

    “We will always have climate extremes. But it looks like climate change is exacerbating the intensity of the extremes,” said Omar Baddour, chief of climate data management applications at WMO headquarters in Geneva.

    “It is too early to point to a human fingerprint” behind individual weather events, he said.

    Recent extremes include mudslides in China and heat records from Finland to Kuwait — adding to evidence of a changing climate even as U.N. negotiations on a new global treaty for costly cuts in greenhouse gas emissions have stalled.

    Reinsurer Munich Re said a natural catastrophe database it runs “shows that the number of extreme weather events like windstorm and floods has tripled since 1980, and the trend is expected to persist.”

    More:

    Analysis: Pakistan floods, Russia heat fit climate trend

    Not to pick on ‘em but MIT’s Knight Science Journalism Tracker provides us with a general-purpose metaphor for media’s general state of awareness:

    One wonders if there is a more proximate connection, than vague climate change, between Russia’s heat and the flooding in eastern and south Asia. Is there some sort of oscillation or regional scale index far out of whack? Could the heat of Russia have evapotranspired enough moisture to explain part of the heavy rains, or are they mostly an unrelated monsoon event…or what?

    Washington Post, Reuters: Russia roasts (and Asia floods). What’s with the weather?

    Like, dude, wow, you know? Pass me another beer, I’m roasting here…

  21. norris hall says:

    Russian President Medvedev 2009

    “(global warming is) some kind of tricky campaign made up by some commercial structures to promote their business projects.”

    Russian President Medvedev after July 31, 2010

    “practically everything is burning. The weather is anomalously hot. What’s happening with the planet’s climate right now needs to be a wake-up call to all of us, …in order to take a more energetic approach to countering the global changes to the climate.”

  22. villabolo says:

    #18. Bob Doublin:

    I’ve decided not to say to denier morAns anything other than the following: “Why do you hate your grandchildren so much??”
    **************

    I try to water down my nastiness with a sense of humor. I would translate your question into: “So, when are you going to sterilize your grandchildren?” :D

  23. Esop says:

    A full two page article on the recent warmest 12 months on record in today’s issue of Aftenposten (Norway’s #1 newspaper). Huge graph of the global average temp since 1880, showing the data from NASA, Hadley, UAH and RSS. Discussion of tipping points for the Arctic, etc.
    Good stuff.

  24. Peter Mizla says:

    Rice yields falling under global warming

    see http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-10918591

  25. Mark says:

    ” could be off base here but I’m frustrated with the reticence of many climate scientists to acknowledge the (future? ongoing?) horrible humanitarian crises caused by global warming ”

    an astrophysicist can say this:

    “The Lambda-CDM concordance model describes the evolution of the universe from a very uniform, hot, dense primordial state to its present state over a span of about 13.73 billion years of cosmological time. This model is well understood theoretically and strongly supported by recent high-precision astronomical observations such as WMAP. ”

    so…… model for the evolution of the universe is……… “well understood , strongly supported”

    But for years, we’ve been waiting for climate scientists to say

    “yes, this heat wave is caused by people burning oil and coal”

    and we continue to get

    ““It is too early to point to a human fingerprint” behind individual weather events, he said.”

    climate scientists appear (with a few exceptions like Dr. James Hansen) to be pack of wimps.

  26. Rabid Doomsayer says:

    The West Australian reports it as the wost heatwave in decades. Initially they only reported the ban on wheat exports improving the price of wheat. No mention of global warming.

    Update http://au.news.yahoo.com/thewest/a/-/world/7735387/moscow-deaths-double-in-russias-worst-ever-heat/ still no mention of global warming

  27. Jeff Huggins says:

    To John Mason (Comment 9) …

    John, of the four silly views I used as examples:

    They are examples of views that people hold when you get to the “bottom” or “essence” of it. They aren’t direct quotes.

    In the case of the first two, as far as I know, people don’t express those views explicitly. Nobody would really want to hear those words coming from his own mouth, I think, even if the ideas they reflect are present inside. But, those paradigms are not make-believe. Some people genuinely seem to feel that admitting the existence and problem of climate change would, somehow, be unpatriotic. (Bizarre, I know.) And, certainly, a good number of people think that the “tough guy” attitude is to ignore all the worriers and scientists and so forth.

    In the case of the third example — about markets — many people actually state those sorts of views, not in those precise words of course. But, it’s a fact that many people do NOT understand what markets do and don’t do, can do and won’t do, and so forth. An amazing number of people think that they “know” what Adam Smith said, and meant, and “proved”, without ever having read The Wealth of Nations, at all, let alone carefully.

    Regarding the fourth example I gave, certainly, that’s a common attitude. Some people think it’s cool to be stupid, or rather they think it’s actually smart to be stupid . . . somehow.

    But, none of those are direct quotes.

    Cheers,

    Jeff

  28. S. Molnar says:

    I hate to criticize NOAA, who do very good work, but couldn’t they find a map of 2003 Europe that does not have nonexistent countries like Czechoslovakia and (greater) Yugoslavia?

  29. Doug Bostrom says:

    Rabid Doomsayer:
    The West Australian reports it as the wost heatwave in decades.

    Technically true, heh! Decades, all of them in the instrumental record.

  30. SqueakyRat says:

    Well, when the scientists say they can’t link individual weather events to global warming, they’re right. That is just a fact of life when it comes to system as complex and chaotic as weather/climate. Wimpiness has nothing to do with it.

  31. Lewis Cleverdon says:

    I’m coming to the conclusion that as far as possible western societies, and in particular Americans, are being treated as mushrooms by the media corporations-
    - kept in the dark and fed on any manure available.

    This is not primarily the work of the genocidal profiteers who fund the denialist propaganda, though it serves their interests very well.

    Consider the fact that to do otherwise than keep people ignorant would be to generate massive demand for radical change,
    which would make it impossible to maintain the long-established US climate policy of a “brinkmanship of inaction” with China, as the leading developing nation.

    The policy may be inherently futile, profoundly hazardous, and demonstrably genocidal, but none the less there are those in power who, like a novice poker player with a poor hand, will continue to up the stakes, believing that they’ve only to persevere and the other guy will fold pretty soon.

    That folly overlooks the salient fact that China has been practicing formal diplomacy for several thousand years, compared with America’s two centuries.

    The sooner Obama is made to review the strategy that he inherited from Bush, and to start negotiating a feasible, equitable and efficient treaty, the better the overall outcome will be for the US, as well as for the other 95% of the world’s people.

    I suggest that there is no more critical focus for political action than getting that dysfunctional inherited climate policy junked in favour of constructive engagement.

    Regards,

    Lewis

  32. From Peru says:

    If Tropical Atlantic Main Development zone SST are at record warmth, why there is not a super hurricane season like 2005?

    Only big difference is La Niña, but it should reduce wind shear, favoring hurricane development.

    So, why there are not yet big hurricanes? Any idea?

  33. Robert P. says:

    From Peru (#32): You are aware that the vast majority of tropical storms take place after August 9th, aren’t you? Why don’t you come back in December, and then we can have a meaningful discussion of the 2010 Atlantic Hurricane season. Until then, rumors of its death are greatly exaggerated.

  34. From Peru says:

    Robert P.(#33):
    In 2005 July was very active, with 5 tropical cyclones, with two major hurricanes:

    Hurricane Dennis (Category 4)
    Hurricane Emily (Category 5)

    A good summary is here:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_the_2005_Atlantic_hurricane_season

    Again, why July 2010 was so quiet? Any idea?

  35. Aaron Lewis says:

    Itis time for a paradigm change.

    Over the last ten years, the summer Arctic Ocean has changed. It was an icy cold, dry surface that condensed moisture out of the Northern Hemisphere’s atmosphere. Now, it is a source of moisture. Before, the surface of the sea ice reflected sun light, now the surface of the sea (with some sea ice on it) absorbs more sunlight than it reflects. Before, the Arctic radiated heat off through a dry atmosphere, now moisture from the open ocean acts as a greenhouse gas.

    Yes, in the last 5 years, all the rules for our summer weather have changed. The change is so fast and so dramatic that previous weather and climate records are no longer very meaningful or useful in predicting weather and climate. JR wrote of the record rain in Tennessee and Pakistan this summer, but not a word about the record rains in Iowa, Nebraska, Texas, Central Europe, China, Peru, Bolivia, New England, Arizona, Florida, South Dakota, Oregon, Australia, Ecuador, Alabama, California, Washington State, Spain, Brazil, Wisconsin, Ohio, Oklahoma, Germany, Saskatchewan, West Africa, South Africa, and of course, Greenland. While we do not know if they were records, or not, there were two cloud bursts in the Leh District of India that caused flooding and death. That leaves what, Antarctica? Yes. it also rained there. And, there were record rains in the Arctic.

    And, many of the rainfall records that were broken this year, were set within the last 10 years. For example, we have a long history of flood crests on the Mississippi, but the five highest flood crests have all been within the last 10 years. Given the ongoing changes in the Arctic, I expect to see another 5 new flood crest records on the Mississippi in the next decade.

    Say good-bye to “climate” as the average of past weather, and hello to “climate” as a trend where every year is, on average, hotter. And rain, when it comes, is too often — record rain. And droughts, when they come, are too often — record droughts.

    This is not some Science Fiction world of the future, this is the world we have built.

  36. Berbalang says:

    In late 2003, a denier I know blamed the heat related deaths in France on socialized medicine. By his reasoning socialized medicine made the healthcare workers unwilling to work during the heatwave, resulting in more deaths. When I see him I will ask him if the deaths in Russia are also due to socialized medicine. I suspect his answer will be yes.

    On one forum I asked a denier what would have to happen to make her believe that Global Warming was real. She said she would only believe it was happening if the temperatures only went up and never went down anywhere.

    I think the better statement to deniers is “We are going to go extinct.”

  37. villabolo says:

    #34. Aaron Lewis says:

    Before, the Arctic radiated heat off through a dry atmosphere, now moisture from the open ocean acts as a greenhouse gas.
    *********************************

    Thanks for that factoid.

    I already knew that the temperature of an open Arctic would increase by 6-9F but I never took the extra evaporation into consideration.

    Is there anyone who can direct me to any literature that makes predictions on what would happen to a post ice cap Arctic?

  38. paulm says:

    #3 Phil, I have noticed this bias on the BBC too. It actually seems to be getting worse since the elections. There is definitely something going on. There are active deniers in the BBC with some sort of agenda.

    It is unbelievable that the most catastrophic thing facing humanity is being systematically covered up by media like the BBC who’s mandate is to inform the public. What a sorry state.

  39. cyclonebuster says:

    What do you expect when so much Arctic Ice melts out during the summer as global SSTs rise a major snow event?

  40. paulm says:

    #32 Peru, There seems to be some sort of delay in the hurricane frequency depending on where the heating impulse is in the seasonal cycle. If you have a look at the analysis on this sight below, it puts some light on what might be going on….

    Essentially The Same Graph, Different Smoothing
    http://residualanalysis.blogspot.com/2010/03/essentially-same-graph-different.html

    Mann & Emanuel then compare the decadally smoothed series, and find a correlation coefficient R of 0.73 (p < 0.001 one-tailed.) Based on these results, the authors concluded that:
    There is a strong historical relationship between tropical Atlantic SST and tropical cyclone activity extending back through the late nineteenth century.

    The way I see correlation coefficients, 0.5 is "not bad," 0.75 is "pretty good," 0.9 is "very good," and 0.99+ is "law of physics."

    The confidence level is what really matters when it comes to causality, in my view. In my statistical analysis, where data had all the original noise, I found a detrended association with 99.993% confidence (equivalent to p < 0.00007) – allowing for a lag of 1 year.

  41. paulm says:

    #34 Aaron, Ah, we have arrived on Eaarth!

    It really seems like we have passed a threshold now with the precipitation and fires. This seems to have happened between 2005 and now. I just get this feeling that unless we have some massive volcanic activity we have moved on and the pace/frequency of things are now about to overwhelm us.

    This is one of the reasons I think that the 1C GW threshold (0.2C rise) is going to be game set and match.

  42. With talks in Bonn proving to be inconclusive one wonders for how long the world’s leaders will continue to ignore the rapidly changing climate.

    In some respects one is reminded of the slow, lock-step march European nations followed into the First World War. Once again it appears national interests will trump collective well being. It took two world wars for the nations of Europe to effectively work together. What will it take for our leaders to accept today’s challenge?

    Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has experienced his “Road to Damascus” moment, shifting his position from that of scepticism to acceptance of climate change. The horrific heat wave gripping Russia has clearly signalled the seriousness of AGW. Medvedev now pleads for action on global warming after previously doubting the science. How many more disasters of this magnitude will it take to convince other leaders to make the same call for action?

    Sadly, there will be “more Russia’s”.

    One wonders how far will we travel down this path before positive feedback loops – methane release, increased albedo from Arctic ice loss – come into play.

    Can we afford that gamble? No, we cannot. But our leaders seem unwilling or incapable of steering us away from what is the biggest gamble in history.

    Future generations will marvel at how our societies ignored the coming calamity. They will be dumfounded by our willingness to blinker ourselves to the obvious dangers:

    “But you knew, thirty years before it would happen? Why did you not act when you had time!!!”

    Those of us alive still alive will hang our heads in shame, mumbling our pathetic excuses for inaction:

    “Because some of us could not believe the science…” we will reply.

    “Because we placed a greater value on the profits of oil, coal and mining companies…” we will reply.

    “Because we feared the changes would be too disruptive to our lifestyles…” we will plead.

    “Because we could not trust the “other guy”…” we will complain.

    “Because we thought it would ruin our economies…” we will hope to explain.

    “Because we placed a greater value on iPods and cheap international flights to exotic locations…” we will say wistfully.

    We should not condemn all governments and politicians for failing to act: many have courageously acted and signalled their willingness to “do something”. And while their individual consciences may be clear, collectively our governments are failing us.

    Ultimately we are looking at a widespread, systemic failure of the international community and national governments. That nations would act in their own self interest is not surprising. That they would act in a manner that is ultimately harms their own citizens is the most concerning.

    As the tragic events in Russia demonstrate, it is the ordinary citizens who will pay the price. Failure to reach a consensus on mitigating climate change is the worst crime of our leaders: charged with safe guarding our economies, infrastructure and the quality of our lives they are in the process of failing.

    In twenty years time people will look at the failure of our leaders and society and cry: I accuse!

    Pumping increasing CO2/CO2e into the atmosphere is not simply an uncontrolled experiment: it is a gamble of the highest order.

    Its a bet we will lose, even though our collective hubris blinds us to the danger.

    The “house” always wins.

  43. dbmetzger says:

    The death toll in Moscow, has doubled recently as wildfires blanketed the capital with toxic smoke amid the country’s worst heat wave in over a century. A “smog relief” center has been opened recently to provide those affected with clean air to inhale. http://www.newslook.com/videos/238057-moscow-smog-killing-700-daily?autoplay=true

  44. Mark Shapiro says:

    Aaron Lewis @ 35

    where do you get accessible rainfall data?

  45. Charles Darwin Jr says:

    Any idea how much CO2 gets released in the russian peat fires?

  46. Kim says:

    Hey Romm, would you mind tackling the Kola tree ring data that WattsUpWithThat has been hawking in one of your next threads?

  47. Colorado Bob says:

    Aaron Lewis -

    I have seen 3″ per hour events . I would only add to your fine post that it’s also not only the total coming down , but how fast it seems to fall now.
    The event in India a few days back , and the one in China being suspected examples of this.

  48. Colorado Bob says:

    Moscow Fires Curb Bond Trading as Alfa, JPMorgan Bankers Escape

    Wildfires from Russia’s record heat wave are curbing bond trading as the smoke engulfing Moscow drives away bankers.

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2010-08-09/moscow-wildfires-curb-bond-trading-as-alfa-jpmorgan-bankers-escape-smoke.html

  49. Colorado Bob says:

    Rice yields falling under global warming
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-10918591

    The main culprit , rising night time temperatures.

  50. Virveli says:

    My country Finland also should need to be added to the global list of the countries that made a new all-time-high temperature record during this heatwave crisis:

    http://yle.fi/uutiset/news/2010/08/all-time_heat_records_broken_in_july_1873440.html?origin=rss

    The previous record from the year 1914 was 35.9C, the new one stands at 37.2C!

    Also a new all-time-high record for an August temp was broken on the 7th and 8th days of August (33.7C).

  51. jorleh says:

    Right, Virveli! And not to forget the record of continuous days (5-7) over 30 C in many areas, a kind of heat wave never before in our country.

  52. So it is a one-in-a-thousand-years event…

    I’ve written about Russia’s forest fires and how the MSM is loathe to associate it with AGW @:

    Russia Burning: not Apocalypse, but its Prelude

  53. John Mason says:

    Jeff – thanks for the response!

    Cheers – John

  54. re: #46

    Who gives a rat’s ass about What’s Up With Crap is hawking these days and at a time like this?

  55. Originally coming from Belarus I only have to add that my aging parents are now seriously considering to procure an air conditioning unit. In the days far gone by now this type of equipment was only considered a fad of conspicuous consumption fitted only by the ultra rich. The temperatures in Belarus regularly exceeded 31 C but only for a couple of separated days and mostly in July but that was in the 80′s and 90′s.
    I only hope that the heatwaves of the next couple of years it will take us to save for the AC-unit won’t bring the near death summer experience of the present summer.

    And yes the excellent map bits at the top (political border division) are still from the USSR times (:

  56. Prokaryotes says:

    Just the Prelude

    More than 700 die in landslides in China http://edition.cnn.com/2010/WORLD/asiapcf/08/10/china.landslides/?hpt=Sbin

  57. Prokaryotes says:

    The smell of decomposing bodys is nothing compared to people who got sick of cholera and other nasty mold which follows every flood. http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/6/65/Cholera.jpg

  58. Prokaryotes says:

    Climate change ‘partly to blame’ for sweltering Moscow

    “Some long-term records have been broken – for example the highest daily temperature in Moscow. We expect more extreme high temperatures as the climate changes. This means that when weather fluctuations promote high temperatures… there is more likelihood of records being broken.”

    “For example, we have never had as many regions in Russia affected by malaria, and the same goes for ticks carrying encephalitis. This is because winters are becoming much warmer, and less and less of these organisms die during the freezing periods.” http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-10919460

    So it’s happening in commiland and in terrorist strongholds, like afghanistan – nobody in the “developed world” cares, right?

  59. herb says:

    So what are we to make of this? Other South American countries are experiencing similar winters as I understand.

    From the the Guardian – http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/aug/01/peru-freezing-weather-emergency

    Peru has declared a state of emergency after hundreds of children died from freezing conditions that have seen temperatures across much of the South American country plummet to a 50-year low. In 16 of Peru’s 25 regions, temperatures have fallen below -24C.

    Reports from the country say 409 people, most of them children, have already died from the cold, with temperatures predicted to fall further in coming weeks.

    Worst hit are Peru’s poorest and most isolated communities, which are already living on the edge of survival in remote Andean mountain villages more than 3,000 metres above sea level.

    Although those living at such high-altitude would expect temperatures to drop below zero at this time of year, NGOs and government officials say many are unable to withstand the extreme cold which they are now experiencing.

    “Over the past three or four years we have seen temperatures during the winter months get lower, and people are unable to survive this,” said Silvia Noble, from Plan Peru, an NGO. “This cold weather is now extending into areas that never saw these low temperatures before and children and elderly people are especially at risk as they are not physically strong enough to last month after month of sub-zero conditions.”

  60. _Flin_ says:

    If i were a climate denier, I’d say: that proves that its all natural, because it has been this warm in Russia 1000 years ago in the MWP. *duck*

  61. Paulm says:

    #59herb so you already for got about this then….

    More Die In Russia Cold Snap jan 2010
    http://www.mn.ru/news/20100125/55405399.html

    Even though it was the warmest jan on record, i think….

  62. villabolo says:

    herb says:
    August 10, 2010 at 1:01 pm

    So what are we to make of this? Other South American countries are experiencing similar winters as I understand.
    ***********************************************************************

    What we’re to make of this, Herb, is that you don’t seem to have made a minimal effort to discern the difference between “the forest and the tree” or the WHOLE versus the PART.

    Let’s say that out of 100 situations of whatever, 9o are situation A and 10 are situation B. But you don’t bother to find out the proportion of one versus another. All you want is to ignore situation B. Therefore whenever someone tells you how situation A is overwhelming the WHOLE picture you create a false balance by bringing up an example or more of situation B.

    Please do the most elemental of research, Herb. There are thermal imaging maps of the Earth that show, on a month by month basis, the above average and below average temperatures. The Hots are winning. There used to be a 1 to 1 proportion of cold records versus hot records about 50 years ago. As of June, this year, it was 5 to 1.

    The bottom line is that some people have a perceptual disorder that exaggerates want they feel like emphasizing and minimizes or even eliminates want they don’t want to see.

    As I like to say, “It’s not about the factual or the logical, it’s about the psychological”.

  63. mattlant says:

    Here is a great example of why conservatives should be worried about global warming:

    “Heatwave hits Russian growth forecast

    Alexander Morozov, chief economist at HSBC, said the combined impact of the heatwave on agriculture and general economic activity could reduce Russia’s gross domestic product growth by about 1 per cent this year, a cost to the economy of about $15bn (€11bn, £9.5bn).”

    We hear all this talk about about the costs in the future, in the future. Well, the costs of no action are now. 1% GDP slowed is a big deal, and it will only get worse.

    Well, I guess though you need to get them beleive it first :( But stuff like this should at least make them see how it can hit their bank account and take the potential risk into account.

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