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U.S. Sees Most Extreme July Climate, Oklahoma Sees Hottest Average Temperature of Any State on Record

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"U.S. Sees Most Extreme July Climate, Oklahoma Sees Hottest Average Temperature of Any State on Record"

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The July Climate Extremes Index for the CONUS was 37 percent. This is the highest July value in the CEI record (since 1910). The culprits were, in order of impact: Extreme warm minimum temperatures (60 percent of the country, easily the largest on record), extreme wet PDSI (soaked northern plains & western great lakes), extreme warm maximum temperatures, and extreme dry PDSI (south-central U.S. through Gulf Coast). According to the Regional CEI, the South and Southeast had their 1st- and 2nd-most extreme July’s on record, respectively

That’s from the July “State of the Climate” by NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center.

Didn’t know that our government kept a Climate Extremes Index? Why would you? The media hardly ever write about it.

The U.S. Climate Extremes Index was explicitly created to take a complicated subject (“multivariate and multidimensional climate changes in the United States“) and make it more easily understood by American citizens and policy makers.

As far back as 1995, analysis by the National Climatic Data Center showed that over the course of the 20th century, the United States had suffered a statistically significant increase in a variety of extreme weather events, the very ones you would expect from global warming, such as more — and more intense — precipitation. That analysis concluded the chances were only “5 to 10 percent” this increase was due to factors other than global warming, such as “natural climate variability.” And since 1995, the climate has gotten much more extreme.

But still the media has little to say on the subject:

As for Oklahoma, Jason Samenow of the Capital Weather Gang notes:

In Oklahoma, the heat and drought were a punishing double whammy. In a vicious cycle, the dry soil intensified the heat and the heat dried out the soil. The result: heat unprecendented in any state at any time.

He directs us to The Oklahoma Climatological Survey, which reported this news:

Grover Cleveland was serving his second term as President in 1895. Victoria was
the Queen of England and Will Rogers was still a teenager. It is also the year
that statewide average temperature records begin for the United States. There
have been 1399 months pass by since 1895. Multiply that number by 48 and you
have 67,152 months of temperature records for the contiguous states. How hot
was it in Oklahoma last month? Of those statewide average temperature records
for the 48 states, none has been hotter than July 2011 in Oklahoma.

That’s hot — but not hot enough to move the state’s top deniers (see “Oklahoma, Where the Governor Tells Residents To Pray For Rain; Oklahoma, Where the Senator Mocks the Deadly Heat Wave“).

And so in a few decades, this will just be a typical July and eventually a relatively cool one for the state, assuming we keep following the deniers’ do-nothing strategy.  In a terrific 2010 presentation, Climate scientist Katherine Hayhoe has a figure of what the future holds (derived from the 2009 NOAA-led impacts report):

Mother Nature is just warming up.

 

Below are old comments from the earlier Facebook commenting system:

Off topic, but Margot Roosevelt of the LA Times just got canned. She was the best MSM reporter in the country on global warming related issues, and got it right just about every time.

You are just about the last person standing, Joe. I hope you do a piece on Margot, and show some other examples of journalist intimidation, too. The muting of even the words “global warming” in the media is borderline criminal.

Media company editors and publishers are little better than thugs now. We will have to depend on blogs like this one, and nontraditional outlets.

6 · Like · Reply · Subscribe · August 11 at 12:08am

Caroline Cramer Coopersmith

This is so ironic-Oklahoma has the staunchest climate change deniers in the Senate, James Inhofe and Tom Coburn.

3 · Like · Reply · Subscribe · August 10 at 10:14pm

George Ennis · Top Commenter · University of Toronto

What this extreme weather shows is how formidable the cognitive dissonance is between what people are actually experiencing and their belief/values system. This is the frightening part, the simple intransigence and willingness to cling to a political/religious belief system to make sense of the world, even if that means trying to block out the facts like Rush Limbaugh.

Exactly how much worse does it have to get in these places? I suspect that a large number of people will cling to their denial of climate change even as their communities are destroyed.

The only hope I have is that hopefully most people are not like those in Texas or Oklahoma because if they are, then I am afraid you can put me firmly in Lovelock’s column as to the future of the human race.

2 · Like · Reply · Subscribe · August 11 at 11:07am

John Borstelmann · Stanford University

Denying climate change not only denies the science of 2500+ professional scientists (multiple IPCC reviews, which are conservative) and many govt’s., it also delays doing anything to actually deal with the causes — human emissions of carbon pollution principally electricity production and transportation. If we (all humans) don’t start doing some serious carbon emission reductions soon, we are in deep doodoo.

2 · Like · Reply · Subscribe · August 10 at 10:39pm

Paul Magnus · Top Commenter

we are in deep doodoo.
If we dont do anything its going to get deeper…

1 · Like · Reply · August 11 at 1:45am

Peter S. Mizla · Top Commenter · Vernon, Connecticut

yes, we are in very deep trouble, and what is now a weather & climate discomfort will spread into societal chaos.

Like · Reply · August 11 at 5:21am

Paul Magnus · Top Commenter

MIT study says Arctic ice thinning 4x faster than predicted | Bostinnovation: Boston Start-ups, Inno…
http://bostinnovation.com/2011/08/10/mit
Arctic ice might be thinning four times faster than predicted, this according to a new study out of MIT’s Department of Earth, Atmosphere, and Planetary.

2 · Like · Reply · Subscribe · August 10 at 10:55pm

Paul Magnus · Top Commenter

Rampal best explains this complexity himself: “It’s hard to predict the future of Arctic sea ice.”

I dont think so…. its going to melt before 2020 (barring volcanoes). Thats not hard to predict!…

1 · Like · Reply · August 10 at 10:58pm

  • Prokaryotes – · Top Commenter (signed in using Hotmail)

It’s hard to predict sudden non-linear progression

1 · Like · Reply · August 11 at 12:36am

Paul Magnus · Top Commenter

well i think these scientist need to get the right most important aspect of the message across first…. then refine it.

Like · Reply · August 11 at 1:41am

Prokaryotes – · Top Commenter (signed in using Hotmail)

This is Not Cool. Heatwave 2011. http://climatecrocks.com/2011/08/10/this-is-not-cool-heatwave-2011-2/#comments

2 · Like · Reply · Subscribe · August 10 at 10:34pm

Cameron Shumay · Raleigh, North Carolina

I wonder if Sponge Bob has any comments on this?

2 · Like · Reply · Subscribe · August 11 at 8:55am

Paul Magnus · Top Commenter

GW arrives in America with a vengeance….

2 · Like · Reply · Subscribe · August 10 at 9:38pm

Anthony Gilbreath · Principal at Caelus Consulting

Hot summer indeed.

2 · Like · Reply · Subscribe · August 10 at 9:57pm

Peter S. Mizla · Top Commenter · Vernon, Connecticut

The temperatures this summer certainly look identical to the climate models of 2020 and beyond. An increasingly warmer climate everywhere. The heat in OK and the Texas Plains- which spreads into KA, most of western MO and western AR, which is an exact mirror of the 30s dust bowl & what climate models predict.

The longer we do nothing- the worst these conditions become- and spread throughout the entire Great Plans and Mississippi valley.

1 · Like · Reply · Subscribe · August 11 at 5:20am

Paul Magnus · Top Commenter

ouch…peak oil and peak Climate Crisis meeting somewhere over US….

http://www.nytimes.com/cwire/2011/08/09/09climatewire-debt-deal-reopens-debate-on-climate-catastro-86997.html

The nation has struggled for years to find an effective way to help communities rebuild homes, businesses and infrastructure after natural disasters. Now, in a collision between downward federal spending and an upward presence of catastrophes, Congress is moving to pre-fund disasters.

Like · Reply · Subscribe · August 10 at 10:51pm

Prokaryotes – · Top Commenter (signed in using Hotmail)

NASA data shed light on the persistent heat over Texas and Oklahoma.
http://disc.sci.gsfc.nasa.gov/featured-items/Heat_wave_in_Texas

Like · Reply · Subscribe · August 11 at 1:33pm

Prokaryotes – · Top Commenter (signed in using Hotmail)

Texas Governor Says He’s A ‘Prophet’ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oZG3LnEtvqQ&feature=related.

Like · Reply · Subscribe · August 11 at 1:34pm

Philip Erwin · Chief arborist at City Of Dallas

In Oklahoma, the heat and drought were a punishing double whammy. In a vicious cycle, the dry soil intensified the heat and the heat dried out the soil. The result: heat unprecendented in any state at any time.

Like · Reply · Subscribe · August 10 at 9:57pm

Philip Erwin · Chief arborist at City Of Dallas

Now… imagine when you’re an old coot in a couple of decades when it’s hotter than this as an average typical summer in the Southwest.

Like · Reply · August 10 at 10:02pm

John Poteet · Top Commenter · Chico, California

They’ll have to live underground like they do in the Sahara or Alice Springs Australia.

Like · Reply · August 11 at 2:59am

Richard Brenne · Top Commenter · UCLA

Philip – As Chief Arborist at City of Dallas, how are Dallas’ trees holding up? If they’re sadly doing poorly as I suspect, how would you order these possible culprits: Heat, drought, local ozone, global ozone, inability because of above to fight off diease, inability because of above to fight off pests, inability of above to withstand wind damage (that could come in the months or years ahead)?

Can they recover, or do you feel the health of many of Dallas’ trees will be impaired and their lifespans shortened permanently?

And how is the understanding and acceptance of global warming in your department and the city, if you’re in a position to share?

2 · Like · Reply · August 11 at 4:26am

Roger Anderson · Top Commenter · University of Nha Trang

I wonder if inhofe and the koch brothers have access to this data. Maybe they figure they’ll be dead before it’s to late anyway.

Like · Reply · Subscribe · August 11 at 1:10pm

Paul Magnus · Top Commenter

How closely correlated is the DOW and global temp?

Like · Reply · Subscribe · August 11 at 2:57am

Peter S. Mizla · Top Commenter · Vernon, Connecticut

closer then you think- and that correlation will become far stronger.

1 · Like · Reply · August 11 at 5:26am

John Poteet · Top Commenter · Chico, California

So that’s why they call them the red states ;~p.

Like · Reply · Subscribe · August 11 at 2:56am

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