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Global Warming Heat Records X 5

January 14th, 2013 · 1 Comment · Climate Change, Environment

s-CLIMATE-CHANGE-REPORT-large300Press release by the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research

01/14/2013

Global warming has increased monthly heat records by a factor of five

Monthly temperature extremes have become much more frequent, as measurements from around the world indicate. On average, there are now five times as many record-breaking hot months worldwide than could be expected without long-term global warming, shows a study now published in Climatic Change. In parts of Europe, Africa and southern Asia the number of monthly records has increased even by a factor of ten. 80 percent of observed monthly records would not have occurred without human influence on climate, concludes the authors-team of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) and the Complutense University of Madrid.

“The last decade brought unprecedented heat waves; for instance in the US in 2012, in Russia in 2010, in Australia in 2009, and in Europe in 2003,” lead-author Dim Coumou says. “Heat extremes are causing many deaths, major forest fires, and harvest losses – societies and ecosystems are not adapted to ever new record-breaking temperatures.” The new study relies on 131 years of monthly temperature data for more than 12.000 grid points around the world, provided by NASA. Comprehensive analysis reveals the increase in records.

The researchers developed a robust statistical model that explains the surge in the number of records to be a consequence of the long-term global warming trend. That surge has been particularly steep over the last 40 years, due to a steep global-warming trend over this period. Superimposed on this long-term rise, the data show the effect of natural variability, with especially high numbers of heat records during years with El Niño events. This natural variability, however, does not explain the overall development of record events, found the researchers.

Natural variability does not explain the overall development of record event

If global warming continues, the study projects that the number of new monthly records will be 12 times as high in 30 years as it would be without climate change. “Now this doesn’t mean there will be 12 times more hot summers in Europe than today – it actually is worse,“ Coumou points out. For the new records set in the 2040s will not just be hot by today’s standards. “To count as new records, they actually have to beat heat records set in the 2020s and 2030s, which will already be hotter than anything we have experienced to date,” explains Coumou. “And this is just the global average – in some continental regions, the increase in new records will be even greater.”

“Statistics alone cannot tell us what the cause of any single heat wave is, but they show a large and systematic increase in the number of heat records due to global warming,” says Stefan Rahmstorf, a co-author of the study and co-chair of PIK’s research domain Earth System Analysis. “Today this increase is already so large that by far most monthly heat records are due to climate change. The science is clear that only a small fraction would have occurred naturally.”

Article: Coumou, D., Robinson, A., Rahmstorf, S. (2013): Global increase in record-breaking monthly-mean temperatures . Climatic Change (online) [doi:10.1007/s10584-012-0668-1]

Weblink to the article: http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10584-012-0668-1

For further information please contact:
PIK press office
Phone: +49 331 288 25 07
E-Mail: press@pik-potsdam.de

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One Comment so far ↓

  • Poo

    I’m convinced the researchers and scientists at the aptly named Institute are all under 20. How else to explain their never ending conviction that it all started with them. Nothing ever happened before they arrived on the scene. I remember as a boy thinking that my parents knew absolutely nothing about sex. Where I came from never occurred to me. Maybe I believed in the stork. Later, when I found out, to my horror, that my parents actually had sex I was aghast and a little disgusted. These sorts of lads now work at the Institute but are, unlike wee me, more than capable of putting an acceptable spin on any new fact they uncover. These people can even spin science. But that’s okay; in the debate about climate change, which in reality should be to all of our benefit, the truth simply doesn’t matter.

    Like most people who have lived a few years and are capable of reading a book, I do believe in man-made global warming particularly if one includes humans, livestock and pets as emitters. The world has added over 5 Billion people since I came screaming onto the scene. I have no idea how many livestock and pets have been added in that time. I do know that collectively we have put out a lot of CO2 all by ourselves never mind our cars, factories and power plants. I do not, however, believe disaster is right around the corner anymore than I believe that we will crash into the sun anytime soon. I can wait the 2 Billion years or so for that one. Well, maybe not but I’ll try, I really will.

    Potsdam, like many others, continues to prove if you look for something long enough and hard enough you are bound to find it. You want hot? We got hot? You want drought? We got drought.

    Of course, in the 1930s and the 1950s drought covered more of the U.S. (National Climatic Data Center, Asheville, North Carolina) than what has been recently experienced. You want to see drought? Look up the Dirty 30s. Entire towns were covered. You didn’t sweep it; you shoveled it!

    Droughts are unfortunately cyclical and have ravaged the northern Great Plains of the U.S. and the Prairie Provinces of Western Canada for thousands of years. Scientists expect these devastating events to continue.

    “These drought cycles have gone on pretty consistently throughout the last 4,500 years,” said Jim Clark (ecologist at Duke University’s Nicholas School of the Environment and Earth Sciences, Durham, North Carolina). “They are pretty severe, so they have a large impact on the full set of ecosystem processes.”

    Why doesn’t anyone talk about cold? It’s weather. Its part of climate too, isn’t it?

    Europe, England and others have experienced exceptionally cold winters these last three years. Records were broken in some areas and many deaths occurred. Winter temperatures in Russia also went to the extreme. The air in some regions of the republic of Yakutia (Siberia) reportedly cooled down to -50 degrees Centigrade at their worst. The European part of Russia braved temperatures that were ten degrees below the norm. The Ukraine also endured extreme cold. These severely low temperatures were also seen over large parts of Europe. There has been considerable snowfall over various parts of the continent as well as the British Isles. Frost became an ongoing problem in eastern, southeastern, central and large parts of western Europe. Eastern European countries (Latvia, Belarus, northeastern Poland, Ukraine) experienced minimum temperatures of around -30°C while northern Russia went down to -37°C. In eastern Germany, minimum temperatures below -20°C were common place in many areas. Not all temperatures were new records, of course, but the long duration of the cold period is noteworthy. Cold air even extended over the Balkan Peninsula. Frost was recorded in northern Greece.

    Temperatures have also been extremely low from the northern part of East Asia to Central Asia (in and around Mongolia and Kazakhstan). In Makhachkala, which is in the North-Caucasus district, the minus 13.6 degrees Celsius temperature was the coldest registered since 1889!

    Global warming has stalled and will not raise world temperatures over the next five years, according to a new prediction from the British National Weather Service. Sure we’ll have hot days, cold days, rainy days and snow. There will even be hurricanes. That’s weather.

    I am not a huge fan of computer models other than as a source of employment for students but the latest updated computer model of the planet’s future climate lowers earlier temperature predictions by about 20%. This is based on the long-term average since 1971. (Everyone else quotes models, why can’t I?) The new prediction “does not necessarily tell us anything about long-term predictions of climate change,” the Met Office said in a statement, and it is “actively researching potential causes of the recent slowdown in global warming, including natural variability.”

    I just bet they are.

    “I suspect a lot of modeling groups are going to have to start revising their forecasts down, because most of them are running too hot,” said Ross McKitrick, a University of Guelph economist who was instrumental in debunking the famous “hockey stick” graph of rising global temperatures. “There are so many models that are now so far off that it suggests a wider problem with the technique.”

    Guess I’d better stop quoting models. You’d think a Canadian would have found comfort in the hockey stick model.

    Bruce Pardy, (professor of environmental law, Queen’s University) said such predictions are especially dangerous because the general understanding of climate change remains simplistic. He cited the impulse to blame Hurricane Sandy on global warming as an example of wrong-headed thinking. Me, I like the phrase “climate porn.”

    “In an ideal world, the policy that’s put in place should not be designed to change what’s going to happen in the short term. But the game that everybody is playing is to emphasize short-term things so as to produce pressure in the direction they prefer,” he said. “If the impetus required for a universal, binding, international commitment is to have the sky falling, this [new report] doesn’t say the sky is falling, at least not tomorrow. It doesn’t change the idea that the sky might fall, or be in the process of falling, further out. But if what is missing in these international negotiations is a crisis, this doesn’t help paint it as a crisis, or at least an immediate crisis,” Prof. Pardy said. “It all depends upon your policy preference, and frankly a lot of policy preferences exist before the data.”

    That’s kind of my point.

    Even the much discredited UN has leaked a draft of the next five-year assessment report which appears to show that CO2 has less of an effect on global temperatures than previously thought, that the sun is a bigger “driver” of climate change and that global temperatures have not risen appreciably in the past 16 years.

    It is no surprise that the corrupt, bureaucratic and expensive Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has overestimated the effect of CO2 on global temperatures, underestimated the effects of the sun and incorrectly predicted how much the Earth will warm over the next 100 years or so. It suits their agenda.

    The IPCC is noted for creating two reports, one for scientists and another for political leaders and the media, where the money and manipulation really is. The UN climate change agencies are more about the politics of global warming and far less about the science. The science only figures in when it suits the political ends of alarmist scientists and UN bureaucrats. It’s about the money, stupid. There is just so much of it around the UN. From the enviro-alarmists and their lobbies the issue has become a political exercise.

    Climate negotiations, like the rigged and failed Kyoto Agreement, have always really been about global wealth redistribution. Developed nations are being asked/ordered to contribute $100 billion annually by 2020 to developing nations. This is supposedly to help them reduce their reliance on fossil fuels. In fact, the UN’s “global” emissions treaty covers only 15% of global emissions, which have gone up more than 50% under Kyoto. They were supposed to have fallen by 5%. Ah well, the idea isn’t to de-industrialize the developed world while at the same time prevent the developing world from industrializing. But then again, aren’t all protests and interest groups about money in the end?
    Where’s the truth in that? I’ll tell you. It’s lost.

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