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]

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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]