U.S. bakes under extreme heat, half of population under heat advisory or warning
Temperature at 6 feet above the surface for July 12, 2011 at 5 p.m. ET
The media loves to report on stories about how public concern about global warming is waning — even if the polling data doesn’t support that view.
Ahh, but when it comes to actually connecting the dots between extreme weather we’re now experiencing and global warming, well, that story is apparently too hot to handle — even when the data does support that view.
The southwest is in an uber-hot drought, but the NY Times says no dots to connect to global warming — a story Climate Central’s Andrew Freedman also criticized. Similarly, no dots for the Arizona wildfire story or the Dust Bowl story. And TP Green’s Brad Johnson noted that last week’s “CBS News piece on 2011′s extreme weather ignored global warming.”
Now I don’t think that every story on extreme weather needs to mention climate change. But it’s different if that story is on one or more record-smashing extreme events that scientists have linked to global warming AND if that story explicitly asks the question why are these events all happening at once. Then yes, as NCAR’s Kevin Trenberth explained, “It is irresponsible not to mention climate change in stories that presume to say something about why all these storms” are happening.
Of course, monster heat waves are at the top of the list of extreme weather events that scientists have already documented have become longer and stronger thanks to global warming.
The PBS News Hour did a long story Tuesday night on “Sweltering Heat Wave Roasts 24 States, Feeds Wildfires,” but the only explanation they would offer up is “Meteorologists say the immediate culprit is a high-pressure system stalled over much of the country’s midsection.”
The NBC Evening News also did a long story on the “massive and dangerous heat wave” that has “half of the US population … under a heat advisory.” Then NBC’s Ann Curry mentions the superstorms and floods the nation has experienced, along with the heat wave, and asks a “Weather Channel meteorologist” just “What Explains This?”
What follows is one of the great tautological non-answers ever seen on a major network:
Well, Ann, during the spring time we were stuck in a very active spring pattern. Now that it’s summer, we’re stuck in a very active and persistent summer pattern.
Seriously. With media reporting like this, we’re soon gonna be stuck in a very active and very persistent summer pattern (see Mother Nature is Just Getting Warmed Up: “Stanford climate scientists forecast permanently hotter summers“).
Here is NBC’s must-see ‘explanation’ for the extreme heat and superstorms of 2011: