500 Days Of Summer: Get Used To It, Says ABC News, Thanks to Global Warming. But NBC Is Still Out In The Cold.

How hot is it? It is so hot that the low temperature for the normally frigid International Falls only hit 60°F yesterday, which tied the previous record high for the date!  meteorologist Dr. Jeff Masters wrote he’s never seen that happen station with a century-long data record. Monday was “the seventh consecutive day that International Falls broke or tied a daily record.”

How hot is it? Seasoned meteorologists have said of the current super-charged heat wave, “it’s surreal” and “this is not the atmosphere I grew up with” and it’s “not just breaking but obliterating records” and “OFF THE SCALE WEIRD; even for Minnesota.”

How hot is it? ABC ran a story on extreme weather that linked it to global warming for the second time in 12 days — see “ABC News (3/7/12) Explains Warm Winter, ‘Wild Swings In Weather’, Driven by Global Warming, Only Going to Get Worse.” Here is last night’s story, which quotes Masters and NOAA on global warming:

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Like a baseball player on steroids, our climate system is breaking records at an unnatural pace. As Weather Channel meteorologist Stu Ostro says of the current heat wave, “there is a high probability that global warming is having an influence upon its extremity.”

Of all the kinds of extreme weather linked to global warming, the most obvious — the extreme events that climate scientists and the scientific literature have said for decades is the most inevitable — are longer and stronger and geographically bigger heat waves.

But somehow this is lost on NBC.  Brian William opened the evening news with a 3:48-long story, noting this is “the strangest season many folks can remember,” which has set “thousands of new records.”

Williams says “it has confused plants and animals and a good many humans.” That apparently includes the folks at NBC, whose meteorologist asks “has the weather lost its cool?” and then asks “what is causing these extremes?” and answers, “it’s the jet stream”:

The really worrisome part is what ABC News hints at in its story. We’ve warmed only about a degree and a half Fahrenheit in the past century.  We are on track to warm five times times that or more this century (see M.I.T. doubles its 2095 warming projection to 10°F — with 866 ppm and Arctic warming of 20°F ).

In short, we ain’t seen nothing yet!

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27 Responses to 500 Days Of Summer: Get Used To It, Says ABC News, Thanks to Global Warming. But NBC Is Still Out In The Cold.

  1. SecularAnimist says:

    NBC says “it’s the jet stream”.

    This is somewhat like telling the lifelong chain smoker that the cause of the bloody sputum in his bathroom sink is “the cough”.

  2. David F. says:

    Point well taken. There’s lot of evidence that the jet stream has slowly been advancing poleward over time in response to global warming. There’s also increasing, at least anecdotal, evidence that these types of anomalous upper level ridges are becoming more prevalent over time. It’s not too hard to connect the dots, and come to the conclusion that climate change is going to not only cause a gradual warming trend but also greatly effect the weather patterns we have grown accustomed to resulting in unprecedented weather events.

  3. David F. says:

    I’d also like to call attention to a new Rutgers study that suggest sea levels will ultimately rise up to 70′ even if we do manage to halt additional warming to 2C, and also notes we’re on tap for 2-3′ of sea level rise by the end of this century. This is consistent with my personal beliefs that we’ve already passed the tipping point or dangerously close to doing so. I know geoengineering isn’t a popular idea here, but it’s looking like it may be the only chance we have to halt catastrophic climate change.

  4. Brooks Bridges says:

    Yes! They left the obvious question unanswered: “So what made the jet stream do something it’s never done before?”

    Kudo’s to ABC

  5. B Waterhouse says:

    And NBC bought the Weather Channel which USED to have climate scientists on the air.

  6. B Waterhouse says:

    Geoengineering means we give up on much of the life in the oceans because acidification keeps growing. Far better to reduce GHGs now.

  7. Lou Grinzo says:

    ABC clearly did a much better job with the story, but I thought they short-armed it a bit, as well by leaving the dreaded CC term until the closing seconds. NBC drove the story right into a ditch. I was practically yelling at my TV last night when I saw their report.

    Of course, with NBC being owned by GE and Comcast, one shouldn’t be too surprised. GE is, as I’m sure everyone here knows, pushing hard on their spiffy new natural gas generating plants. That gives them a huge incentive to ignore or lie about the truth of our situation, as well as favor NG fracking (cheap NG = better market for hardware that burns it).

  8. M Tucker says:

    Extreme is the new word of choice in weather circles. We see the weather extremes with each coming season. Climate zones and planting times have shifted. Rainfall is no longer dependable. Texas is still suffering from its massive drought from last year and the Texas farmers are doing what anyone would do when faced with a drastic drought situation, dig deeper water wells. I understand that is now a booming business in west Texas. That is only a temporary solution but, with world leaders unable to decide if climate change is significant enough to warrant urgent action, temporary is all we are left with. Enjoy your resources while you have them because world leaders are not interested in the future, they have no plans to ensure our future climate can support civilization as we have come to know it and they readily admit it.

    Meanwhile, in Texas:

    “The drought’s damage to the state’s underground water reservoirs has been severe. Groundwater maps produced by NASA show unusually low storage levels in Texas, with Central Texas aquifers hit particularly hard. According to NASA and the National Drought Mitigation Center, it could take months or longer to recharge these aquifers, and that’s only if Texas has a period of sustained and significant rainfall.

    For now, homeowners that want Bee Cave Drilling to dig them a private well will have to wait their turn: the company currently has a five-month waiting list for new drills. And as spring and summer loom on the horizon with little water in reserve, Barnard could be working a lot more weekends.

    “If we get another summer like last summer, we’re going to be in trouble,” Barnard said, “and there’s going to be a lot of people who are really going to freak out when they wake up one morning, and they turn on their faucet, and they’ve run out of water.””

    In Drought-Stricken Texas, Hunt for Water Heads Deeper Underground

  9. Mark Ziegler says:

    Have Hobby Website On Climate Change!

  10. prokaryotes says:

    Someone brief NBC that the Jet Stream is part of the climate and is undergoing profound alterations through human induced climate chaos.

  11. Robert In New Orleans says:

    I think ABC is a little more credible on climate change as they produced and aired the Earth 2100 docudrama which is appearing to come to fruition as time passes by.

  12. prokaryotes says:

    Probably 5 m + as Hansen suggests. New research points to sudden abrupt SLR episodes.

  13. Peter says:

    If we stopped burning fossil fuels today- and C02 levels remained at 395ppm- we would still see global temperatures rise 2-3 degrees C- sea levels would rise 12-20 meters. Vast parts of the American agricultural belt would become a dust bowl.

    At this point we are already in what I would call ‘beyond tipping points’ We are on track right now for a 3.8-4.2 C rise- which means we have a civilization that is probably going over a steep waterfall.

  14. prokaryotes says:

    Just imagine large ice shelfs drifting into the sea (Greenland and Antarctica). We will soon see Tsunamis in places not known for having them. The impact will be catastrophic of the highest order, the chance is there it can break – collapse the biggest nations.

  15. A.J. says:

    I don’t know if they pissed someone off, or are trying to avoid controversy, but unless I’ve missed something, NBC seems to have avoided discussion of possible global warming effects. I seem to recall them doing a pretty good story awhile back, but now we have generic commentary that doesn’t even hint that climate change might alter circulation patterns, and even a snippet of Pat Michaels in a recent piece. Interesting.

  16. wili says:

    How extremely bizarre do things have to get, in how many places, and for how long a time period, before we all wake up the the conclusion that GW has taken a sudden and dramatic turn for the worse.

    Could this be related to the “seas bubbling as if they were boiling” with methane reported by ships in the Arctic Ocean last fall and winter, a ‘dramatic increase’ in marine methane emissions that prompted an emergency team of scientists to be sent up there ‘on short notice’?

    Could we have unleashed something we don’t yet fully understand (and probably aren’t being fully informed about)?

  17. prokaryotes says:

    Trivia: How much did the Koch denial machine paid the NBC program manger to air bs?

  18. prokaryotes says:

    NASA graphic and article about the most pronounced anomaly in the US this year (so far).

    Historic Heat in North America Turns Winter to Summer
    March 21, 2012

  19. prokaryotes says:

    And the early tornado outbreak is possibly tied to thee weather swings.

  20. prokaryotes says:

    The intensity and scope of the heat wave is clearly visible in this map of land surface temperature anomalies. Based on data from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) instrument on the Terra satellite, the map depicts temperatures compared to the average of the same eight day period of March from 2000-2011. Areas with warmer than average temperatures are shown in red; near-normal temperatures are white; and areas that were cooler than the 2000-2011 base period are blue.

    Records are not only being broken across the country, they’re being broken in unusual ways. Chicago, for example, saw temperatures above 26.6°Celsius (80°Fahrenheit) every day between March 14-18, breaking records on all five days. For context, the National Weather Service noted that Chicago typically averages only one day in the eighties each in April. And only once in 140 years

    .. But hey there are people in the US government which allege that this is all a big hoax. So we have these people who hold us hostage to a situation which threatens us with total collapse – the extinction of the humans species. Someone make it more clear to them, that they threaten the national security of every single nation on this planet!

  21. The Wonderer says:

    It’s amazing to see the tortured explanations to avoid mentioning climate change. I do wonder if the jet stream pattern currently in place is unprecedented. Has anyone really been able to establish that alongside the existing temperature record?

  22. Tom C says:

    “It is so hot that the low temperature for the normally frigid International Falls only hit 60°F yesterday, which tied the previous record high for the date! meteorologist Dr. Jeff Masters wrote he’s never seen that happen station with a century-long data record.”

    October 10ht, 2009 the high temperature in Cheyenne, Wyoming was 17°F, two degrees lower than the previous record low for the date of 19°F. Period of record for Cheyenne dates back to 1871. It’s happened before but it is indeed rare.

  23. David Gould says:

    Imagine if this heat wave had occurred in August …

    In any case, I have severe doubts that events of this kind are going to push significant action any time soon. People have to come to realise that climate change is pretty much the only issue that should determine how they vote and how they act.

    And, given that we all have many things pulling at us at any given moment, getting to that point is going to take a lot of time.

  24. Raul M. says:

    well certainly if there was a good explanation of the warming of the planet besides GW a really smart politician would have thought of it.

  25. Lisa Boucher says:

    “I don’t know if they pissed someone off …”

    If the poor NBC reporting this month is due to a fossil-fueled backlash, perhaps that backlash was prompted by reports like this one last November:

    “Muller’s study … was funded in part by a foundation backed by Charles and David Koch.  They are oil billionaires and climate change deniers.”

  26. Provider_UNE says:

    Like a baseball player on steroids,

    Nice report on the unprecedented wave of weather, but can we please stay away from using dogwhistles to make our point, please?

  27. Joe Romm says:

    How is that a dog whistle? It is a widely used metaphor.