August 15 News: Phoenix Faces Nine Straight Days Of Temperatures 110 Degrees Or Higher

Hot is a relative term for people used to the scorching summer weather in this city built on land better suited for cactus than lawns. But nine straight days of excessive heat seem to have stretched even the most elastic tolerance levels to their limits. [New York Times]

The National Weather Service issued an excessive heat warning on Aug. 6 and has extended it all the way through 8 p.m. on Wednesday. Ken Waters, the agency’s warning-coordination meteorologist in Phoenix, spoke cautiously, though, saying there is “a little bit of relief” in sight, but “not much, really,” just “a bit of a drop in temperatures.”

Another sign it is hot? The tone of resignation in a meteorologist’s forecast.

The proof is in the numbers.

The last time the temperature dipped below 90 degrees in Phoenix was at 6 a.m. on Aug. 6. Two days later came the hottest day of the current heat wave — “I guess we can call it that,” Mr. Waters conceded — and the hottest Aug. 8 ever in Phoenix, when the high reached 116. (The record of 122 degrees was reached on June 26, 1990.)

Rep. Cliff Stearns was refusing to concede late Tuesday night to a veterinarian who has never held elected office. But by all appearances, Florida voters had delivered a stunning defeat to the Republican subcommittee chairman who put the White House on the hot seat over Solyndra and helped trigger this year’s Komen-Planned Parenthood blowup. [Politico]

President Obama and Mitt Romney traded blows over energy policy in separate campaign appearances Tuesday, as the campaigns settled into a new phase of trying to gain the upper hand on key issues. [Washington Post]

Danish wind turbine manufacturer Vestas has announced that due to uncertainty surrounding the extension of the wind energy production tax credit (PTC), it has laid off an undisclosed number of workers at its Pueblo, Colo., manufacturing facility. [North American Windpower]

According to a paper just published in Nature Climate Change, the combination of global warming and urbanization could drive local temperatures up by a whopping 7°F by 2050 in some parts of the U.S. — some two or three times higher than the effects of global warming alone. [Climate Central]

A fast-moving wildfire stoked by triple-digit temperatures burned 3,000 acres Tuesday in the foothills of the San Jacinto Mountains, creeping perilously close to tinder-dry areas of the San Bernardino National Forest, officials said. [Los Angeles Times]

Only two per cent of Canadians who responded to a new opinion poll believe climate change is not occurring. [CTV News]

Earnest, well-meaning environmental messages are supposed to be ineffective relics of a bygone age, when bumper stickers still worked and treehuggers hadn’t realised that self-interest speaks louder than Mother Earth ever could. [Wired]

35 Responses to August 15 News: Phoenix Faces Nine Straight Days Of Temperatures 110 Degrees Or Higher

  1. prokaryotes says:

    Record decrease in Arctic Sea Ice Volume

    on Wednesday, 15 August 2012. Posted in Climate Science, Sea Ice, News

    Rate of 2012 Arctic summer sea ice loss is 50% higher than predicted

  2. squidboy6 says:

    I drove past the San Jacinto Mountains just a few weeks ago and had been thinking about them recently. There’s a large number of people who drive from the woodlands near the peaks to Los Angeles for work. It’s a pretty drive for a few miles then there’s Banning to LA corridor which is miserable and crowded. It’s a long drive as well.

    On the other side of the mountains, the south and east sides, are the Palm Desert and Borrego Desert areas. It’s gotten a lot drier in the last three decades although there was smattering of snow on the North side of the San Jacinto Peaks.

    It’s like the commute from Malibu to LA, once it was a beautiful place where nature held sway and now it’s covered with roads, housing compounds, and cars. The commute is miserable. It starts very early and it’s bumper to bumper (bummer to bummer as KUSC calls it) for much of the day. The desire to live in a beautiful place killed it off.

  3. Spike says:

    “Only two per cent of Canadians who responded to a new opinion poll believe climate change is not occurring.”

    Shame they are over represented in government there.

  4. Mike Roddy says:

    I took my son to the Grand Canyon about 8 years ago in May, and we spent a couple of days in Phoenix on the way back. It was like an oven.

    A 2C increase means roughly 5F over land. Repeated temps in the 115-120 range will mean that Phoenix will be abandoned by those who can afford to leave. Its people will colonize Detroit, bringing its rusting hulk back to life.

    Those remaining in Phoenix will crack up even more than they have been lately, with all of the gun nuts and immigrant haters. We will see the first dystopic evidence of climate disintegration there. Phoenix’s people are not very bright, and will still be deniers. The dissonance will make them dangerous. Any progressive people need to avoid the whole state, and leave it to the warlords and lunatics.

    Phoenix’s future? Yemen.

  5. Paul Magnus says:

    Hunger Games… Hunger Wars….

  6. Jim says:

    I’m a veterinarian and I consider myself a scientist. Dr. Yoho’s win in Florida does not sound like it’s going to do much for science however. Apparently his right wing ideology has laid to rest his level headed science training. Keystone – Check. Drill here, drill there – Check. Alternative energy – as long as the government has nothing to do with it – Check.
    Meet the new Rep. Same as the old Rep.

  7. prokaryotes says:

    Video: Vapor cloud before Calif. refinery fire

    RICHMOND, Calif. (AP) — Investigators trying to get close enough to a pipe blamed for a fire at Chevron’s refinery that sent thousands of people to the hospital and contributed to higher gasoline prices have been hampered by damage to structural beams and ongoing hydrocarbon leaks, federal officials said.

    U.S. Chemical Safety Board officials plan to meet with Chevron Corp. representatives on Wednesday to determine how those leaks can be stopped. Currently, the company is spraying water on them to ensure they don’t catch fire.

    I know a fix…

  8. prokaryotes says:

    The irony is that large parts of Florida are destined to be inundated.

  9. Joan Savage says:

    Regarding Phoenix, the average lows for August are around 79F (Maricopa County Cooperative Extension) so having a streak of weather where the daily lows didn’t get below 90F is relevant to a climate change conversation, as in general “higher lows” mark a diminished ability of the earth to cool off at night.
    Stunningly, the recent highs are more in line with Phoenix history, so they are not the real news!

    Not being able to cool off at night is the real news story that the NYT barely touched on, with the anecdote about the protester who leaves his spot after 5 pm.

    Average High: 103.7 degrees
    Lowest High: 73 degrees (1951)
    Record High: 116 degrees (1972, 1975)

    Average Low: 79.2 degrees
    Highest Low: 92 degrees (1995)
    Record Low: 58 degrees (1917)

  10. Sasparilla says:

    “China’s coal expansion may spark water crisis, warns Greenpeace”

    Ahhh, more news that China is expanding their production and coal powered electricity production….humanity, choosing to floor it right over the cliff they know is coming.

  11. Paul Magnus says:

    And that is why its not a good idea to have them…

    “At the Calvert Cliffs Nuclear Power Plant in southern Maryland, operators shut down one of the site’s two reactors because a control rod unexpectedly dropped into the reactor core on Sunday.”

  12. John McCormick says:

    Jim, Yoho is a teabagger. Yes, the krock brothers bagged another one. Quietly the republican party is being overhauled by a few ultra-rich guys playing their own kind of Monopoly. We dems are mostly a placid bunch of aging despondents watching our democratic process being emulsified by money, greed, ans psychopathy. I fear for our future in America and it is not only regarding climate change. These creeps are far more dangerous, in the near future. It all hangs on the youth vote and they are more pessimistic and disillusioned than I am.

  13. Paul Klinkman says:

    You have a point.

    One useful thing is that raw, hard cash didn’t force the outcome of this election.

    Also, Climate Progress got mentioned by Politico in the article.

  14. Jack Burton says:

    That’s were the phrase “Karma is a bitch” comes into play. Those most likely to feel the increased hurricane strength, most likely to be washed away in storm surge and lose land to sea level rise, continue to elect the anti science element of the right wing, “no nothings”.
    How fitting is it they they will get hit first and hardest??

  15. Jack Burton says:

    I agree, it is the lows that are stunning. How simple can it be, more CO2 prevents more heat radiation escaping upwards and out to space.
    When it comes to heat waves, it is the inability to cool off at night that kill humans and animals.
    These 90 degree lows are stunning warnings!

  16. scarecities says:

    when I was a kid, I always enjoyed geography lessons, I still do.
    I used to pore over maps of the United States, a country that fascinated me. It still does, moreso as the years roll on, now that I’m grown up and interested in loonytoon politics as well.
    I remember looking at a state called Arizona, and even at the age of 8 or 10, I figured out that it was called that because it was an ‘arid zone’ (clever kid huh?) and
    because it was an arid zone, I also figured out that not many people would want to live there.
    Not so clever.
    Because now the collective genius of Arizona deludes itself that 6 million people can live in a desert, one and a half million in Phoenix.
    Deserts are just not intended to carry millions of people, coming to the truth of that geography lesson is going to be very unpleasant indeed. It won’t just a matter of closing an atlas and forgetting about it.

  17. Jack Burton says:

    Yes indeed! The more evidence of looming disaster, the more the economic and political powers try desperately to squeeze more and more economic growth out of the planet.
    The worse the scientific evidence, the more they step down on the accelerator taking earth and all of us over the cliff!
    I talked much about China back in the late 80’s, it was there I saw the ultimate push over the cliff, I have been proved right in that regard. They out emit the USA now and continue to grasp as dirty fossil fuels to keep their new growth machine in high gear.
    It is all about a quick reward today that will poison the well a few decades, or less, down the road.

  18. John McCormick says:

    Mike, Phoenix has no future.

    The all-time high was June 26, 1990.

    Here are the maximum temps before and after that record setting date:

    June 23 113
    June 24 113
    June 25 119
    June 26 122
    June 27 122
    June 28 118
    June 29 118
    June 30 112
    July 1 113

    A high pressure dome, no doubt settled over that part of the Southwest.

    As the jet stream is repeatedly influenced by a summer ice-free Arctic, the Southwest high will become a summer fixture and Phoenix will become uninhabitable. Inevitable.

  19. Jim Dunlap says:

    Regarding the recent Hansen paper on extreme events.

    This ought to be worth a main post.

    World record hottest rain storm yesterday in Needles, CA at 118 F. The 3 hottest rain storms in history in the last 2 years and the previous record from just 2 months ago was at 109 F a full 9 deg F cooler than yesterday. Ouch!

  20. prokaryotes says:

    Florida has also one of the bigger US economies. Economic downturn to a lack of preparedness and climate action will become a burden for the rest of the United States.

  21. Zimzone says:

    I hope Sheriff Joe Arapio melts.

  22. BillD says:

    China now emits more green house gases than the US and this is used as an excuse by some in the US. A few points need to be kept in mind. First, the per capita emissions are by far the highest in the US. Second, China played only a minor role in the build up of CO2 over the past 60 years, while the US and other developed countries are the cause of the current, high levels of atmospheric CO2. It’s also worth noting that the Chinese have been investing very heavily in renewable energy and the people and the government understand the threat of climate change. They are fortunate that they don’t have powerful groups of anti-science climate deniers. There is little doubt that if the US were to offer real international leadership on the climate issue, it would make a difference in China’s energy policies.

  23. prokaryotes says:

    Decrease in biomass burning after year 500 is similar in duration and timing to Little Ice Age

  24. prokaryotes says:

    Audio Book – Our Angry Earth: A Ticking Ecological Bomb, (1991) is a non-fiction book and polemic against the effects humankind is having on the environment by the science fiction writers Isaac Asimov and Frederik Pohl.

  25. Peter M says:

    The only way Phoenix will survive in the future is to build UP- like they do in hot places like Yemen. The height of the buildings with narrow streets gives off shade and breeze corridors, even when 115 degrees.

    Phoenix like most other western cities is simply unsustainable sprawl. In years to come most of Phoenix will be deserted and will become covered by sand. The same can true for Las Vegas, & Tucson. Cities like SLC. Albuquerque, El Paso will suffer the same fate.

  26. Mulga Mumblebrain says:

    ‘…each man kills the thing he loves,’.

  27. Mulga Mumblebrain says:

    A figure that encapsulates the truth about ‘free market democracy’.

  28. Mulga Mumblebrain says:

    Karmageddon. Not ‘Instant Karmageddon’ but ‘Bad Karmageddon’. Hubris invites Nemesis.

  29. Mulga Mumblebrain says:

    It’s been coming since the Pilgrim Fathers and the Shining City on a Hill. When Messianic belief in one’s Divine Mission meets systemic senescence and decay, there must be a period of ferocious reaction. Reality must be intimidated into following the Elect’s wishes. The Greek playwrights would be gobbling this period up. The Tea Party chorus wailing away, to impress the Kochtopus Gods, the ‘shining city’ a crumbling Kochtopolis like Detroit or a slowly baking one like Phoenix and Kochtopia’s ‘best days’ receding ever further into the past. However, the Greeks weren’t armed to the teeth, high on numerous medicaments and possessed of several thousand thermo-nuclear weapons. America’s Madness is the world’s nightmare.

  30. Mulga Mumblebrain says:

    That comes later.

  31. Mulga Mumblebrain says:

    Good points, and one could add that many of China’s emissions are created producing goods for consumption in Western countries. Making China the scapegoat for everything bad is, in my opinion, madness. Not only is China, with its meritocratic system of governance, not bedevilled by the insane oppositionalism of Western democracies (where the parties are almost identical and their arguments are akin to the famous bald men fighting over a comb)which makes even the most vital actions hostage to brutish partisanship, but it is also planning to do something, not leaving it all to the spurious ‘magic of the Market’ ie the money power of the rich. Until the Western world comes to its senses (if it ever does) the non-Western world, led by China, is our best hope of overcoming the looming disaster.

  32. Spike says:

    “Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!”
    Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
    Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
    The lone and level sands stretch far away