June 27: Massive Heat Wave In Western U.S. Could Set Record Global Temperature

Heat forecast graphic from NWS forecast office in Phoenix

Already suffering from widespread drought and wildfires, the Western U.S. could face a record heat wave next week. [Climate Central]

A brutal and potentially historic heat wave is in store for the West as parts of Nevada, Arizona and California may get dangerously hot temperatures this weekend and into next week. In fact, by the end of the heat wave, we may see a record tied or broken for the hottest temperature ever recorded on Earth.

The furnace-like heat is coming courtesy of a “stuck” weather pattern that is setting up across the U.S. and Canada. By early next week, the jet stream — a fast-moving river of air at airliner altitudes that is responsible for steering weather systems — will form the shape of a massive, slithering snake with what meteorologists refer to as a deep “ridge” across the Western states, and an equally deep trough seting up across the Central and Eastern states.

All-time records are likely to be threatened in normally hot places — including Death Valley, Calif., which holds the record for the highest reliably recorded air temperature on earth at 134°F … set on July 10, 1913.

… Heat waves are one of the most well-understood consequences of manmade global warming, since as global average surface temperatures increase, the probability of extreme heat events increases by a greater amount.

One study, published in the Proceedings of the American Academy of Sciences in 2012, found that the odds of extremely hot summers have significantly increased in tandem with global temperatures. Those odds, the study found, were about 1-in-300 during the 1951-1980 timeframe, but that had increased to nearly 1-in-10 by 1981-2010.

An IEA report released yesterday found that renewables could supply the world with more energy than natural gas by 2016 as costs drop and demand spikes. [Businessweek]

The World Bank will be scaling back its coal financing, according to the organization’s draft energy strategy. [Bloomberg]

The coal industry is a small piece of the economy, and Coral Davenport has a long look at its future given planned carbon regulations. [National Journal]

White House climate adviser Heather Zichal rebuts three common myths about President Obama’s climate plan. [White House blog]

The day after President Obama released his plan to combat climate change, Republicans in the House plugged their own bill to expand oil and gas drilling. [National Journal]

The Sierra Club announced yesterday that National Coal will effectively stop surface mining in Appalachia following Clean Water Act violations. [Sierra Club]

Canadian oil companies are looking at ways to use waste heat to fuel algae-based biofuels and cut emissions… even as they extract a product that must be burned to be used. [New York Times]

Uganda’s Murchison Falls National Park, one of the country’s last major wilderness areas, could soon become a site for oil drilling. [Reuters]

Leasing batteries for electric vehicles, rather than buying them outright with the car, is a big success in Europe and is making in-roads in America. [Gas2]

A new study from Switzerland says that half the carbon emissions from the average town come from just 21 percent of the households. [MoJo]

Australia’s Labor Party implemented a carbon tax in 2011, but recent shakeups in the government — like Kevin Rudd’s defeat of Julia Gillard to run the Labor Party — and an impending September election could put the legislation at risk. [Washington Post]

Toyota is diving deeper into its exploration of hydrogen fuel cell technology, and by 2015 will be producing a new, hydrogen-fueled $50,000 sedan. [LA Times]

Those tiny plastic microbeads (a petroleum product) in exfoliating body washes are ending up in the Great Lakes, where they’re getting lodged in the stomachs of fish and birds. [Grist]


30 Responses to June 27: Massive Heat Wave In Western U.S. Could Set Record Global Temperature

  1. Sasparilla says:

    Gotta love those automakers and their fossil fuel friend the oil industry:

    “Toyota is diving deeper into its exploration of hydrogen fuel cell technology, and by 2015 will be producing a new, hydrogen-fueled $50,000 sedan.”

    $50k and the fuel costs more than gasoline (without massive subsidies). Electricity for a plug in vehicle is ~$1.25 per gallon in equivalency using average U.S. electricity rates and the plug in vehicles already cost much less.

  2. Superman1 says:

    So, what’s new here? We know with climate change, and the ‘climate warming commitment’ from decades-past emissions, that we will see increasing temperature records being set. Let’s see some real proposals with-gasp-real numbers that will show us how to avoid the ultimate catastrophe, irrespective of how draconian these required measures turn out to be.

  3. SecularAnimist says:

    Superman1 wrote: “Let’s see some real proposals with-gasp-real numbers …”

    Well, go ahead. Post some.

    You’ve been posting fact-free rants here for going on a year, and we have yet to see even ONE “real proposal” with “real numbers” from you to back up your hand-waving at unspecified “draconian” impacts.

    We’re waiting.

  4. Mike Roddy says:

    There is suppression of this kind of information, too. I was in a parking lot in Palm Springs one August afternoon that felt like an oven. Local readings are made out in a field, but even there the summer high can be 122 degrees. Point temps can be in the mid 120’s- Watts in reverse.

    Humidity in Palm Springs is also high, due to the 125 golf courses and constant sprinkling. There is a special wing for pneumonia victims in Eisenhower Hospital in Rancho Mirage. It’s epidemic, because atmospheric microorganisms get out of control in artificially humid areas. This information is suppressed in the local media, since it’s all about the tourists and the retirees. The rich ones are gone in the summer, leaving the suffering to the proles, as usual.

    The Death Valley 134 degree record will be tough to break, but it will happen this century for sure, if not in the current heat wave.

  5. Lou Grinzo says:

    I strongly recommend people read the Coral Davenport piece linked in the post. It’s an interesting look into coal lobbyists and how they’re struggling to get the coal companies to recognize reality.

  6. Colorado Bob says:

    Superman1 wrote: “Let’s see some real proposals with-gasp-real numbers …”

    Take the bit in your teeth , Copernicus.

  7. Colorado Bob says:

    Start with the “Solutions” tab here, and work your out.

  8. Colorado Bob says:

    The all time record at Vegas is up for grabs.
    This Tucson record is even more impressive-

    Tucson is poised to sizzle its way to a heat record: a month in which every single day tops out at 100 degrees or higher.

    “It’s almost certain that every day in June will be 100 degrees or above,” said Jim Meyer, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service. “We have never had a month like that before – when every day reached 100 degrees or above.”

  9. Colorado Bob says:

    MOSCOW, June 27 (RIA Novosti) – Sweltering temperatures in Moscow on Thursday broke a more than century-old record for the city’s hottest June 27, and the mercury is still rising.

    The temperature in Moscow hit 31.4 degrees Celsius (88.5 Fahrenheit) on Thursday, the highest for that day since 1911, the Fobos weather center reported.

    Even hotter weather is expected Friday. Russia’s capital has been in a heat wave since Monday, with temperatures higher than normal by as much as 8 degrees Celsius.

  10. Colorado Bob says:

    June 26, 2013 — Further evidence of climate change shifting atmospheric circulation in the southern Australian-New Zealand region has been identified in a new study.

    The study, in the Nature journal Scientific Reports, demonstrates that mid-latitude high pressure zones (30oS-45oS) are being pushed further into the Southern Ocean by rising global temperatures associated with greenhouse warming. This is despite more frequent occurrences of strong El Niños in recent decades, which should have drawn the high pressure zones in the opposite direction toward the equator.

  11. Superman1 says:

    I prefer Diogenes, not Copernicus; more accurate. For 2 C, reduce GLOBAL CO2 emissions 10%/annum, starting NOW. Necessary, but not sufficient, condition. That probably means 20%/annum for USA. But, 2 C places us in Extremely Dangerous territory, meaning we will go over the cliff.

  12. Ominous Clouds Overhead says:

    Valley Fever is connected to heat and winds and is becoming more and more common across the SW U.S. In 2000, a group of archaeologists digging in NW Colorado, came down with it (at Dinosaur Nat’l Monument). I personally know a guy who died from it and a Canadian snowbird who is suffering from it as I write this. It’s also common in southern Utah and Nevada (Las Vegas).

    The disease is not new to residents in the desert areas of Arizona and California, particularly those who work outside and are exposed to desert dust. But according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, valley fever cases in endemic areas are dramatically on the rise — from 2,265 in 1998 to 22,401 in 2011. Since 1990, more than 3,000 people have died.

  13. Superman1 says:

    For 1 C, which places us at edge of Dangerous regime, and should be the MAX target, we probably can’t get there. To get to this target as close as possible, we need a global mandate to eliminate all non-essential uses of fossil fuels starting NOW. Necessary, but not sufficient, condition. This is the only necessary measure that can be done ‘virtually overnight’. Anything else puts us over the cliff, with no guarantees we haven’t gone over the cliff already.

  14. fj says:

    Accelerating affirmation that fossil fuels are a huge drain on the economy, the environment, and a major threat to our future.

  15. Peter Sergienko says:

    In a word, “Geoengineering.” It is becoming increasingly clear that our scientific and political elite see this as inevitable. No one is saying it will replace mitigation in the form of greenhouse gas emissions reductions, but it seems everyone among the elite is tacitly admitting that greenhouse gas emissions alone won’t be enough. Interesting article in the most recent Harvard magazine here:

  16. Ominous Clouds Overhead says:

    There goes the RV industry.

  17. Ominous Clouds Overhead says:

    As well as tourism. I can see the Chamber of Commerce kicking and screaming. We all know they’re already BIG in the camp to push forward denialism. They spend a LOT of money on denial camps and have a vested interest, as do all the tourist industries. I live in a town that proports to be green and concerned about clmate change and yet promotes its only industry relentlessly – toursim. (Moab, Utah) It seems half the U.S> now depends on tourism.

  18. Jack Burton says:

    The US media has dropped most extreme weather stories from their reporting the last few years. A massive tornado is good for ratings, so something like that is covered. But most stories are not.
    Yellow Knife Canada, way up north hit 40C just a couple days ago. I read about it on a local facebook page!
    Expect little media coverage of this western heatwave.
    Media gets it’s money from corporate advertizing, media is owned by the biggest of corporations. WHY would they report the rapid climate flip?
    Extreme weather is every where now. The UK has had unbelievable weather events. Moscow has baked in heat domes for several years now.
    Alaska is roasting in heat and fires are huge, absolutely HUGE!
    Where is the media? Counting their bottom line profits. They are not independent media, they serve a corporate elite. The sooner people realize this, the sooner the lack of coverage will make sense to you.

  19. Superman1 says:

    OCO, Both your postings are correct; one of the fallouts in making the cutbacks required to save the biosphere is that economic activity based on fossil fuel waste will decrease substantially, as Anderson and Garrett point out so clearly. That’s why all these posts that talk about growth and jobs and prosperity in the same breath as working to prevent climate change are pure fiction.

  20. As several cementers here have noted, we need to look to local media to be the real news. The following if from the Contra Costa Times regarding Canadian Tar Sands. “While politicians, environmentalists and Big Oil fight over the Keystone XL pipeline, the Bay Area’s five refineries have quietly moved toward transporting controversial Canadian tar sands crude oil via another means: rail.”

    Details by refinery here:

    Now, who wrote that it was too costly to move all that crude by rail?

  21. Mulga Mumblebrain says:

    The Western MSM, entirely business-owned, entirely Right or deranged Right, is, as Chomsky and Herman pointed out, a propaganda system. Its primary responsibility is not profits. It is the indoctrination of the public, to ‘take the risk out of democracy’, as some worthy once observed. Hence the near 100% Groupthink, the uniformity of Rightwing agit-prop ‘Opinion’ singing the praises of ‘growth’ and ‘economic freedom’ and the increasingly active suppression of news that does not suit the Bosses’ agenda. 40 degrees C at Yellow Knife is not the type of ‘fact’ that our Masters want widely disseminated.

  22. kermit says:

    80°F here in Eastern Washington State; nice day for gardening if I were home. They are forecasting 110°F by Tuesday. I work in IT in a lumber mill. My server room and the offices are air conditioned, but I don’t know how the workers on the floor will handle it.

  23. Colorado Bob says:

    Climate change may transform the community of microbes that forms the crucial top layer of soil, known as a biocrust, in deserts throughout the United States, new research suggests.

    The study, published today (June 27) in the journal Science, found that one type of bacteria dominates in warm climates, whereas another is more prevalent in cooler areas. Combined with climate models, the findings suggest that the cold-loving bacteria could completely disappear from their current habitats as the climate warms.

  24. catman306 says:

    I found a extreme weather site for immediate weather news from the entire world:

    Extreme & Weird Weather of the World – Global extremes
    This web page displays world cities having the most unique weather during the past three hours.
    Change the weather category through the links to the left.

  25. Colorado Bob says:

    The Alaska high has slid east into Canada, Shingle Point, station on the Beaufort Sea is 82F degrees , Dawson in the Northwest Territories is 93F.

  26. Ken Barrows says:

    Here’s the goal: 5-10% annual reductions in global emissions immediately. Can the tech only solution get there? Probably not. Agree on a goal in reductions emission and then devise the solutions, not just technological.

  27. Jim Speiser says:

    Very cool. Thanks for the link.

  28. Jim Speiser says:

    110 in Washington State? I assume that would be some kind of record, yes?

  29. wili says:

    “Shingle Point, station on the Beaufort Sea is 82F degrees”

    I imagine that this will soon be having quite a dramatic effect on the sea ice (really, more like sea slush) in the region!