During the 1930s, when the atmospheric CO2 concentration was about 100 ppm lower than today (310 ppm vs. 410 ppm), United States heat waves were just as if not more common than recent decades.
Recently there has been much ado about heat waves and the hottest-ever-recorded-temperatures making their rounds in Northern Hemisphere summer.
Yet scientists have determined that heat waves are largely driven by natural variability, not anthropogenic CO2 emissions.
Dole et al., 2011
Was there a basis for anticipating
the 2010 Russian heat wave?
“The 2010 summer heat wave in western Russia was extraordinary, with the region experiencing the warmest July since at least 1880 and numerous locations setting all‐time maximum temperature records. This study explores whether early warning could have been provided through knowledge of natural and human‐caused climate forcings.
“The July surface temperatures for the region impacted by the 2010 Russian heat wave shows no significant warming trend over the prior 130‐year period from 1880 to 2009. A linear trend calculation yields a total temperature change over the 130 years of −0.1oC.”
“Model simulations and observational data are used to determine the impact of observed sea surface temperatures (SSTs), sea ice conditions and greenhouse gas concentrations. Analysis of forced model simulations indicates that neither human influences nor other slowly evolving ocean boundary conditions contributed substantially to the magnitude of this heat wave. They also provide evidence that such an intense event could be produced through natural variability alone. Analysis of observations indicate that this heat wave was mainly due to internal atmospheric dynamical processes that produced and maintained a strong and long‐lived blocking event, and that similar atmospheric patterns have occurred with prior heat waves in this region. We conclude that the intense 2010 Russian heat wave was mainly due to natural internal atmospheric variability. Slowly varying boundary conditions that could have provided predictability and the potential for early warning did not appear to play an appreciable role in this event.”
Shiogama et al., 2013
Attribution of the June–July 2013 Heat
Wave in the Southwestern United States
“A severe heat wave occurred in the southwestern United States (US) during June and July 2013. To investigate the effects of natural variability and anthropogenic climate change on this event, we generated large ensemble simulations of possible weather using the MIROC5A climate model forced by “historical external forcing agents, sea surface temperature (SST) observations and sea ice (SIC) observations” both with and without human influence. It was suggested that both the anthropogenic warming and an atmospheric circulation regime related to the natural variability of SST and SIC made the heat wave event more likely. On the other hand, no significant human influence was found in atmospheric circulation patterns. These results were robust for two different estimates of anthropogenic signals on SST and SIC.”
These conclusions are consistent with the observation that heat wave events have not been increasing in tandem with the dramatic rise in CO2 emissions over the last century, further rendering the link between human activity and heat waves dubious.
In the United States, for example, where the most extensive long-term instrumental temperature data reside, there has been no significant trends in heat wave frequency since the 1880s, and there has been an overall decline in the number of decadal-scale heat waves since the 1930s.
Peterson et al., 2013
Monitoring and understanding changes in
heat waves, cold waves … in the United States
“For the conterminous United States, the highest number of heat waves occurred in the 1930s, with the fewest in the 1960s. The 2001–10 decade was the second highest but well below the 1930s. Regionally, the western regions (including Alaska) had their highest number of heat waves in the 2000s, while the 1930s were dominant in the rest of the country.”
Image Source: (Peterson et al., 2013)
Ruprich-Robert et al., 2018
Impacts of the Atlantic Multidecadal Variability on
North American Summer Climate and Heat Waves
“Heat waves are primarily driven by internal atmospheric variability (Schubert et al. 2011, Dole et al. 2011), but their frequency of occurrence and severity can be modulated by atmospheric boundary forcing. Soil moisture deficits have been shown to play an important role in intensifying heat wave severity (Huang and Van den Dool 1993, Fischer et al. 2007, Jia et al. 2016, Donat et al. 2016).”
“Radiative forcing variations, such as those driven by anthropogenic emissions, can also modulate the occurrence of heat waves (e.g., Hansen et al. 2012). Previous studies, based on Coupled Global Climate Models (CGCMs) integrated under different anthropogenic forcing scenarios, concluded that over the US, the number of heat waves would increase during the 21st century (Meehl and Tebaldi 2004, Diffenbough et al. 2005, Lau and Nath 2012). However, this increasing trend may be modulated by the impacts on land of low frequency sea surface temperature (SST) variability (e.g., Schubert et al. 2016, Seager and Ting 2017), such as that associated with the internally-driven component of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO; Newman et al. 2016) or the Atlantic Multidecadal Variability (AMV; Schlesinger and Ramankutty 1994, Knight et al. 2005). These low frequency SST variations may explain why there has not been any long-term trend of heat waves detected over the US during the 20th century, despite the increase of radiative forcing (Kunkel et al. 1999, Easterling et al. 2000).”
Depietri and McPhearson, 2018
Changing urban risk: 140 years of
climatic hazards in New York City
“The trends based on the NOAA meteorological data show that changes in the length of the heat wave events equal or beyond 3 days of duration are not significant. The mean maximum temperature of the heat wave is also close to stable over the 140-year period of study with no significant increase. … Results obtained from the in-depth analysis of the NYT articles, corresponding to the dates of longer lasting heat wave events (i.e., equal or more than 6 days in duration), show that the number of deaths and people affected in New York City significantly declined. … The change in coping strategies mentioned in the newspapers articles and divided before and after the 1960s illustrates how the advent of air conditioning can be most likely contributed to the significant reduction in mortality due to extreme heat. … Also not significant are the trends in extreme precipitation (beyond 1.75 in. and beyond 3.5 in.) with significant inter-annual and interdecadal variability.”
28 responses to “US Instrumental Records Indicate More Heat Waves Occurred In the 1930s Than Today”
Here is a graph of the heatwave index for the US. Nothing is close to the 1930s.
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Why would the occurrence of a heat wave in a certain region be driven by CO2 emissions? Why do you think that this is what climate science or AGW proponents are saying?
Agreed, no heat wave is ever driven by CO2.
There is no reason to imagine any CO2 warming at all, anywhere, anytime.
.. Unless you are heavily into science fantasy like seb is.
CO2 level and heat waves in the 1930’s is BEFORE 1950, therefore mostly natural.
Can you figure out why 1950 is the dividing line?
Because that is what the News Media tell us.
I see that you don’t listen watch or read the news in either Hemispheres.
“…that is what the News Media tell us.” – M E
But where does the news media get that from, M E?
“CO2: The Thermostat that Controls Earth’s Temperature”
So, why would an activist want to distance himself from the very nonsense that underpins the whole warming scam? Why does he tell us these “scientists” know what they are talking about, but not want to be associated with the “science” he claims we don’t understand? On the one hand he tells us to believe them, and on the other that he doesn’t. It makes no sense. But then, making sense isn’t a very high priority with warmist activists, is it?
what is so difficult to understand when I write that CO2 isn’t causing a particular heatwave in a particular region? That’s not how it works and (I hope) is not what the news/media is telling U.S. citizens is happening.
ACTIVIST DOUBLESPEAK EXPOSED
What is so difficult for the activists to understand about a lying pseudo-scientist shill for AGW using a heat wave to sell his faulty merchandise?
“The US experienced a severe heatwave and drought during the summer of 1988, the Mississippi River nearly dried up, one-third of Yellowstone Park burned up, and it was the perfect time for James Hansen to start the global warming scam. He told Congress that he was 99% certain the heatwave was due to CO2, and that heatwaves would get much worse starting in the 1990’s.
Not saying CO2 causing a PARTICULAR heat wave, but saying that ALL heat waves are made worse by CO2 is a distinction without a difference.
It’s not just the MSM and the activists, but the climate “scientists” who feed them their “news,” who want us to think that CO2 is responsible. Then they tell us they didn’t mean it, and that they have no clue where we could have gotten such a stupid idea.
The collective dishonesty of warmists knows no bounds.
On a closely related note…
Richard Lindzen says (as reported by Judith Curry) that…
But it’s what we are being asked to believe, Seb.
If we don’t cut our CO2 emissions we will get runaway global warming, according to “scientists” just today.
And day in, day out we are told this or that heatwave “is what we must expect …” or “has been made more severe by …”
Yet we find 1930s heatwaves every bit as severe as today’s.
You’re right, Seb, why would the occurrence of a heat wave … be driven by CO2 emissions?
But, at least by implication, that is what we are being told, isn’t it?
I see. So you don’t think that listening to what climate scientists say is better? Instead you cherry pick the few instances where “scientists” say that everything is alright and nothing changed from back then?
Yes, why would it be? CO2 also doesn’t let it rain and doesn’t warm the surface (the typical skeptic nonsense argument: “how can cold CO2 warm the warmer surface?”). It’s important to understand the mechanisms involved.
What scientists tell us is that more CO2 will cause more warming in the form of a higher heat content (among other things). How that heat gets distributed is another story and not what CO2 is causing. Is that too hard to understand?
A higher heat content implies generally higher surface temperatures and thus more heat waves. But could also result in just warmer winters or warmer nights. That’s where the science isn’t settled … or at least it doesn’t look settled to me. When it comes to the physics of CO2, it’s pretty much settled … not matter how often you guys scream at the experts that it’s not and present weird arguments to support your beliefs 😉
I understand the mechanisms involved, Seb, but I’m not sure you do.The physics of CO2 is pretty well settled. It does not influence temperature. Variations in atmospheric CO2 lag variations in temperature by anything up to 800 years. If anything temperature dictates CO2 levels.
You have not provided any evidence (but then you don’t do evidence, do you) that this warm summer is anything other than an unusually warm summer any more than the cold winter in eastern Europe was anything other than an unusually cold winter.
CO2 has nothing to do with either of those things and there is nothing any of us can do about either except turn up the aircon/central heating as appropriate!
“It’s important to understand the mechanisms involved.”
Ah, seb’s MYTHICAL MECHANISM…
That he can’t explain with any back-up from empirical science. His little fantasy fairy-tale.
ZERO EVIDENCE of CO2 effecting climate.. anywhere, anytime, anyhow
“When it comes to the physics of CO2, it’s pretty much settled …”
Yep, there is NO scientifically supportable, measured, physical mechanism by which CO2 can cause warming in out atmosphere.
We are well aware of that.
Always the same with him, isn’t it spike.
“SebastianH 2. February 2018 at 8:36 AM | Permalink
If only you guys would be able to properly look at anything instead of only re-enforcing what you already are convinced to be the truth.”
My response to him then still stands along with spike’s and Kenneth’s and many others’, as unanswered now as it was then and before.
“yonason (from my cell phone) 5. February 2018 at 9:45 AM | Permalink
We’ll be happy to consider anything that the data support.
So the ball is in your court. SHOW US THE DATA!
I.e., PUT UP, OR SHUT UP!”
He tells us to look at something else, but won’t tell us what that is, other than the incoherent nonsense he spews. So sad. Such a waste.
“present … arguments to support your beliefs”
Something you have been TOTALLY UNABLE TO DO.
Whenever asked to PRESENT THE EVIDENCE, you flap around like a headless chook.
Let’s see this measured, empirical science to back up your “belief” in the mythical warming properties of enhanced atmospheric CO2.
We have been waiting a LONG, LONG time.
PUT UP, or stop your mindless attention-seeking TROLLING
Oh, and about climate change and heatwaves:
So, it’s great that you guys look at the U.S. only (2% of the Earth’s surface?) and conclude that heat waves were hot in the past too …
A paper with records that don’t extend further back than 1980…that then makes a prediction for what will happen by 2100?
“We reviewed papers published between 1980 and 2014, and found 783 cases of excess human mortality associated with heat from 164 cities in 36 countries. Based on the climatic conditions of those lethal heat events, we identified a global threshold beyond which daily mean surface air temperature and relative humidity become deadly. Around 30% of the world’s population is currently exposed to climatic conditions exceeding this deadly threshold for at least 20 days a year. By 2100, this percentage is projected to increase to ∼48% under a scenario with drastic reductions of greenhouse gas emissions and ∼74% under a scenario of growing emissions.”
A link to a climate model image projecting more heat waves??
A link about the US that says the same thing the title of this article says?
“Over the past decade, daily record high temperatures have occurred twice as often as record lows across the continental United States, up from a near 1:1 ratio in the 1950s. Heat waves are becoming more common, especially in the U.S. West, although in many parts of the country the 1930s still holds the record for number of heat waves (caused by the Dust Bowl and other factors).”
How did you help yourself here?
Ehm … sometimes I doubt if you can even read whole sentences or just focus on the numbers contained in them: ““We reviewed papers published between 1980 and 2014″
A simple illustration what general warming means. Not based on just the U.S. (2% of the surface) …
Hmm, I must apologize. I overlooked that you’ve written that this is only about the U.S. Nevertheless, you still don’t seem to understand the concept of distribution of heat vs. warming caused by more CO2 as this paragraph makes pretty clear:
Imagine if the gulf stream would suddenly stop. Europe would experience cooling and you would probably write something about cooling despite rising CO2 levels. But, the heat must go somewhere … and that’s what you don’t seem to realize when you write about cooling or “stable” places despite global warming.
“But, the heat must go somewhere “
You mean the energy coming in from the sun.
Certainly CO2 doesn’t create heat, and the TOA OGLWR has increased , so its obvious where that extra solar energy is going.
There is NO EVIDENCE that any is being blocked or that CO2 causes any warming anywhere, anytime.
There is no sign of any effect from the beneficial elevation of atmospheric CO2 in any temperatures, anywhere. Not on land nor in the oceans.
I notice you are asking people to “imagine”.. yet again.. Why should anyone join you in your rancid fantasies.
Assuming you haven’t read the full paper:
“Results are grouped by latitude and are based on the multimodel medians for the historical experiment, which runs from 1950 to 2005, and RCP 8.5, which runs from 2006 to 2100.”
So they don’t use any data before 1950. How convenient, as there were more deadly heat waves before 1950 than since. After all, global cooling — which kills 20 times as many people as heat does — occurred during the 1950s to 1970s, giving the false impression there was a linear rise in heat-related mortality from the start of the study.
And yet this is not a simple illustration of the observed heat waves increasing/decreasing relative to the 1920s to 1940s, which is what this article is about. In other words, it effectively has nothing to do with what is stated here. It’s just an intentional distraction.
Your links didn’t contain anything about global-scale heat waves prior to 1950. So you don’t have global information to present for that more-heat-waves-than-recent decades period either…but you pretended like you did.
Is this the same sort of thought experiment as your “the ocean temperatures increased by 1 degree” imaginings? Why not stick to observational evidence?
[…] Posted on August 6, 2018 by Hifast From WUWT: Anthony Watts / August 6, 2018 Original story from No Tricks Zone […]
Weather is variable, during a cold period more so —
Of note is that in year 1666 there was a months heatwave/drought that affected most of Europe. At that time in England, London had lain under an exceptional drought since November 1665, and the wooden buildings were tinder-dry after the long hot summer of 1666. After such an unusually hot and dry spring, temperatures in the summer of 1666 rose l.5°C above normal (estimated), and a precipitation shortfall of 6 inches turned London’s mostly wooden dwellings into large tinderboxes. The same conditions prevailed in much of northwestern Europe, giving rise to fires in a score of German cities. However the diary writing of Samuel Pepys and others who survived the confligration, such as the child Daniel Defoe (he would later write about the plagues and diseases of that time, and a first hand account of the ‘Great Storm’ of 1703), ensured the spectacular destruction of London were well documented, and it’s infamy was not overshadowed other urban fires elsewhere at the time.
London however was not the only capital city where unusual drought in the mid seventeenth century produced a ‘Great Fire’ —
Moscow in 1648, after several months without rain, ‘within a few hours more than half the city inside the White Wall, and about half the city outside the wall, went up in flames’.
Large part of the new Mughal capital Shahjahanabad, now Delhi, burnt down after a prolonged drought in 1662.
Istanbul suffered more (and more devastating fires) in the seventeenth century than in any other period of its history: one in 1660, once again after a prolonged drought, burned down 280,000 houses and several public buildings.
Major blazes also regularly devastated Edo, the largest city in Japan, notably the Meireki fire of 1657 – which, like those in Moscow in 1648, Istanbul in 1660, Shahjahanabad in 1662, and London in 1666, broke out after an abnormal drought
[Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Fire_of_London and http://www.eyewitnesstohistory.com/londonfire.htm
and Global Crisis: War, Climate Change and Catastrophe in the Seventeenth Century. Geoffrey Parker.]
All these happened during the LIA.
And yes by December 1666, London like much of Europe was in the grip of a very cold winter, with severe frosts and ice over many European rivers including much of London’s Thames.
LOL – tom0, harshing the warmunista narrative fact by inconvenient fact.
Because that is what the NewsMedia tell us.
I take it you do not derive your information from the news. They are available on the internet.In both hemispheres .
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