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Why Were US Heatwaves Worse In The Past, Roger?

June 29, 2021

By Paul Homewood





Roger Harrabin thinks the latest heatwave in the Pacific Northwest has been caused by climate change. Maybe he might care to explain why heatwaves in the US used to be far, far worse in the past?





Observed changes in heat waves in the contiguous United States

  1. June 29, 2021 2:58 pm

    Roger Harebrain and “analysis”. The ultimate oxymoron

    • Thomas Carr permalink
      June 29, 2021 3:20 pm

      I’m surprised that R.H’s. publisher is willing to be complicit in his claim to be an analyst. Never been much evidence of analysis when conditional statements are varnished to confer certainty. The approach of ‘extreme’ scientists and some BBC journalists would appear to be analysis+research = near certainty.

  2. John Hultquist permalink
    June 29, 2021 3:00 pm

    The charts show a spike – maybe 1953 ?? –
    I’m old enough to remember a summer about then, living in Western Pennsylvania. I’ve not been able to find the records for a place near home; about 80 miles north of Pittsburgh.
    I am not old enough to remember the 1930s, and regret not asking my parents and relatives. Further, as far as I know, no one in the family kept records or a diary.
    Now I live in Central Washington State. It is summer and it is hot.
    This should not be news here, but the Climate Cult has made it so. It seems the pattern will move or break down this coming Wednesday night or early Thursday. Wind is expected to gust to over 20 mph. I’ll guess Eastern Washington will see dust and Dust Devils.

    • alexei permalink
      June 29, 2021 5:17 pm

      Well, here in Seattle, I would say that without a/c or at least a fan, the stifling 103 degrees yesterday would have been unbearable, and was actually made worse by numerous power outages across the region. Not sure what part renewables such as wind and solar played in this since our power mostly derives from hydro. Heaven knows how the thousands of homeless in their tents lining pitched on city streets fared.

      • alexei permalink
        June 29, 2021 5:22 pm

        Apologies – If there were an edit function, “lining” would have been removed!!

      • John Hultquist permalink
        June 29, 2021 6:37 pm

        I read that the underground rooms caused problems; require longer times to find, and restrict the time workers can stay down.
        When my ice cream goes soft, I look for someone to blame.
        Here — 100 miles east of Seattle — this isn’t an issue, but keep your freezer loaded with unused space filled with bottles of water (aka ice).

  3. Broadlands permalink
    June 29, 2021 3:35 pm

    “…such as the heatwave that scorched Europe in 2019”. “100 times more likely due to CO2”.

    But Roger…have you forgotten about the heatwave that scorched Europe in July of 1921? 100 years ago next month.

    BRITISH ISLES: London, July 10. England is sweltering and suffering the worst drought in a century. Today was the seventy-eighth virtually rainless day. For the third successive day temperatures have exceeded 100. The rainfall for the year is less than one-third normal to date.

    FRANCE: Paris July 12. The Senate yesterday… cancelled the usual July 14 military review in Longchamps owing to the extreme heat.

    GERMANY: Berlin, July 27. The potato crop has been the hardest hit of any in Germany by the prolonged dry weather..

    RUSSIA: July 17. Twenty million persons are on the verge of starvation in drought-stricken sections of Russia, subsisting mainly on moss, grass and the bark of trees, according to the Vossische Zeitung, which quotes information from “reliable Russian sources.” The parched earth, it is asserted, is opening up great crevices, and wells and rivers are drying up. Foliage is asserted to have withered on the trees, and a number of villages are reported on fire

    Carbon dioxide was pre-industrial Roger.

    • Beagle permalink
      June 29, 2021 4:37 pm

      Could it have been caused by the local transport of the time, horses and farting?

    • AC Osborn permalink
      June 30, 2021 9:25 am

      There is also 1911 as well, see Tony Heller for all the details.

  4. June 29, 2021 3:41 pm

    Well, the problem is, he’s only been on the planet for fifteen years, so he wouldn’t remember the earlier ones.

  5. Gerry, England permalink
    June 29, 2021 3:55 pm

    No drought in my corner of Surrey. Hammering down and I think we have only had a couple of days recently when there hasn’t been rain some time.

    As always with these people, history only seems to be a few years back, not decades or centuries. Nearly as annoying as starting football records with the ‘premier league’.

  6. MrGrimNasty permalink
    June 29, 2021 3:55 pm

    You can’t trust the data (even the raw) and especially not the motives of the people curating it.

    Add in the fact that there are many different ways to define increasing heat by crunching numbers – mean, highest min, highest max, longest sequence above 90, number of days per year over 90……. it’s endless.

    Like I said on the other thread, the data for Portland Airport goes back to 1938, but if you were to define the worst ‘heat storm’ as the longest sequence of days over 100F, then 1941 wins. If that had happened this year and the 112F set on Monday had happened in 1941, Harrabin would still be calling it the worst ever and blaming climate change.

    Then there’s UHI, the airport and environs in 1940 are totally different to today (hope the 1940 photo shows the right site!).

  7. Broadlands permalink
    June 29, 2021 4:29 pm

    “It’s certainly looking like a climate emergency” says Roger Harrabin.

    Just 1.1°C above pre-industrial is a crisis??? Well, ok Roger. What should be done to prevent it from getting worse? Urgent and dramatic lowering of fuel emissions to zero takes no CO2 from the atmosphere that we have already added. Neither does any of the “renewables”. And, NET-zero requires taking huge amounts out and storing them geologically. None of that will happen in the next 30 years to amount to anything that could possibly affect the climate. So Roger…what’s the next move other than more complaining. More scary stories to ramp up concern?

    • Chaswarnertoo permalink
      June 30, 2021 6:52 am

      Does Harebrain want another LIA? Does he not want a greener planet?

  8. George Lawson permalink
    June 29, 2021 4:50 pm

    There is sure to be drought in certain areas of the world during every summer period, but cannot you see Mr Harrabin that this has happened every year since time began. Anyone of us could find hot, wet or fire areas somewhere across the world any year, but the weather always goes back to normal afterwards Mr Harrabin, it never remains abnormal weather for ever in the same place. And Mr Harrabin, If their is too much carbon dioxide in the atmosphere right across the whole world, then why is there not drought, floods or fire across the whole world rather than in one isolated pocket in the US?

    • Ben Vorlich permalink
      June 29, 2021 5:09 pm

      My questions about “Climate Change” are
      Has it been warmer during the Quaternary?
      Has it been colder during the Quaternary?
      Have been more storms in the Quaternary?
      Have there been fewer storms in the Quaternary?
      Has it been wetter in the Quaternary?
      Has it been drier in the Quaternary?
      Has there been a larger area of desert in the Quaternary?
      Has there been a smaller area of desert in the Quaternary?

      and so on for all weather/climatic condiitions. If the answer is yes to all of these questions, and I think it is, then why are we worried?

  9. Douglas Dragonfly permalink
    June 29, 2021 4:58 pm

    Who is Harrabin’s boss ? It was Producer Marie Kelly.
    Kelly has been around for some time. She has been an assistant director on the following :-
    Beyond Fake News: why the World Service is putting a spotlight on distortion and manipulation.
    Was Kelly taking notes ? Global warming is reported as fact. No other points of few are ever reported.

  10. Phil Beckley permalink
    June 29, 2021 4:59 pm

    Localised extreme heat events are predicted as part of a cooling world under Grand Solar Minimum theory. A glance at the overall temperature map of the US shows large parts cooler than average. Harrabin cherry picks data to push his narrative.

  11. Ben Dussan permalink
    June 29, 2021 5:14 pm

    The graphs appear to show that R Harrabin appears to be on steroids with his prognostications….

  12. Mad MIke permalink
    June 29, 2021 5:40 pm

    I read that article but it allowed no room to leave a comment. In fact very few climate articles on the BBC allow comment. What are they afraid of?

    • devonblueboy permalink
      June 29, 2021 5:41 pm

      The truth?

  13. Diogenese10 permalink
    June 29, 2021 5:44 pm

    Wonder what Mr Harabin thinks of the frosts in South America and snow in South Africa ?

  14. Harry Passfield permalink
    June 29, 2021 6:12 pm

    Here’s a thought experiment for you, Roger.
    Transport yourself back in time to the Roman Warm Period and imagine yourself reporting from Lincolnshire vineyards.
    How would you explain the warming climate that enabled grapes to be grown so far north?
    Would you be advocating that Romans banned hypercausts; double-insulated their villas and restricted chariot movements on the Fosse Way?
    Do you think the Romans were desperate to feel colder?
    You’re a failure, Roger: so, Roger and out!

    • June 29, 2021 10:11 pm

      Yes, Harry and no sign of a decent crop of grapes here in Lincoln in the Bishop’s Palace recently although quality wines were produced here during the Medieval Warm Period – an attempt to introduce vines a few years ago was an abject failure…. In the Medieval Warm Period, vinyards prospered as far north as Sunderland. My late friend and colleague, Dr Ted Brain, hypothesised from the data that there was a 800-900 year period between cooler and hotter periods and that the primary driver was the sun. But he was a qualified physicist, not an arts graduate….

      • Chaswarnertoo permalink
        June 30, 2021 6:54 am

        Most of the idiocy appears to be propagated by Arts grads. See Mr Nut Nut PM’s wife.

      • June 30, 2021 7:47 am

        That’s because the Arts grads; “we sort of y’know ‘get’ science because we can spend all our time seeing the ‘big picture’ and like, y’know really understanding stuff. Unlike those nerds in science who spend all day working away at experimenting, writing up their findings, examining, analysing and interpreting data & repeating the work to ensure consistency. Boring.”

  15. A man of no rank permalink
    June 29, 2021 8:08 pm

    It all seems a bit vague to me Rog. Let me suggest a way you can quantify your comments and convince you number-savvy followers.
    How many degrees C are saved, globally, by our use of wood-chips instead of coal at Drax. How many for the billions of subsidies for solar/wind/electric cars/hydrogen boilers/electric house pumps.
    Then, if you can find the most efficient green policy perhaps we can all give it some priority.

  16. dennisambler permalink
    June 29, 2021 11:09 pm

    How does “Intergovernmental” equate to “Science Body”?

  17. Matt Dalby permalink
    June 30, 2021 12:35 am

    According to Roger “scientists have got much better at linking some extreme events to climate change”.
    Translation “scientists have got much better at producing computer models that show what they want them to show”.

  18. June 30, 2021 7:56 am

    “researchers say made 100 times more likely due to CO2”

    That doesn’t sound like a scientific assessement?

    Why CO2 is blamed is rather odd given that John Tyndal who researched and found the radiation trapping properties in some gases said then (1887 ish ?) that as the concentration level rises the effect diminishes on a logarithmic scale and current science has determined that at our present CO2 levels, any increase will be of negligeable effect. Are we not now in another temperature hiatus for the last six years?

    While the above makes the whole AGW hypothesis null, it does not seem to be accepted in general despite many research papers. What I don’t think is disputed that water vapour (20,000 ppm) is very much more effective as a greenhouse gas. It traps more of and on a far broader radiation frequency spectrum than CO2 which is now said to be saturated and can re radiate no more energy.

    Real science seems to have been swamped by all the various bodies and governments when, in view of the cost and disruption of reducing CO2 emissions,, futher research and verification, if possible, of this aspect of climate should be a priority and not ignored.

    Real science is challenge and debate not suppression.


  19. ThinkingScientist permalink
    June 30, 2021 12:48 pm

    Those graphics PH shows are pretty devastating really.

    Note how Harrabin begins with a sort of verbose equivalent of Betteridges Law. If I re-worded his opening paragraph as a headline thus:

    “Was brutal heatstorm caused by emissions from industrial society?”

    Then applying Betteridge’s Law the answer is clearly “No!”

    This is the bias that Harrabin puts on everything, “we can’t say for sure….” but then uses the opening gambit as the entire premise of the analysis, even though its bollocks and lacks any evidential foundation. Harrabin just listens to the same old nonsense from the same old “experts” and lacks the scientific training to be able to call BS. Harrabin seems to be completely devoid of BS filters of any kind – but then that seems to be a key qualification of naive, gullible BBC science journalists.

    As for these attribution of extreme events to climate change, that’s double bollocks. And PH’s graphics demonstrate clearly why those computer models are completely bogus.

    • June 30, 2021 1:34 pm

      Is there ANY qualification for the job of a BBC science journalist, other than being a close personal friend of the recruitment interviewer?
      How else does an English graduate get the job?

  20. Ulric Lyons permalink
    July 2, 2021 3:15 am

    The brief Saharan plumes in the summer of 2019 were completely dependent on negative North Atlantic Oscillation conditions, so they are unrelated to rising CO2 forcing, and are more likely during centennial solar minima. There were similar 3-5 day hot events in the 1880-1890’s.

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