Facts Throw Cold Water on Left’s “Heat Wave” Claims

by Steven F. Hayward, originally published by the NY Post
A heat wave this week in the Northern Hemisphere has set off the “climate crisis” cabal telling us that the end is nigh unless we hand over our car keys to Al Gore and John Kerry.
“Record-breaking heat,” say the headlines, with eye-popping temperatures reported for specific locales in Europe and some parts of the American Southwest.
It is “one of the most intense [heat waves] of all time,” according to the Italian health ministry in a typical claim being reported this week.
This current flurry of weather hype comes hard on the heels of the recent claim that June was the hottest on record, and the “unofficial” finding that the Earth “could be” experiencing its hottest year in the last 125,000 years.
A closer look at the data shows that most of these headlines are false or grossly misleading.
But the headlines will be published anyway, because keeping the underlying cause of climate panic at full boil is the prime cause of the climate campaign.
For evidence of this bold charge, look no further than Paul Krugman’s latest New York Times column, which bears the title, “Why We Should Politicize the Weather.”
While undeniably hot this week in some regions, in most instances temperatures this month are falling short of records set many decades ago, before climate change is said to have begun in earnest.
Joliet, Illinois, was reported to have reached 113 degrees in July 1887, with Chicago at 106 the same day.
In 1928, Lake Balaton, Hungary, reported a high of 131 degrees — perhaps an instrument error, but Budapest recorded 116 degrees the same day.
Most record high temperatures in the United States date back to the 1930s.
The all time US high temperature record, set in 1913 in Death Valley, is 134 degrees.
This week has reached 128 in Death Valley.
The 1913 record might be broken in the coming weeks, but there is yet no indication of a dramatic breakout from long-term history.
There is no one alive today with personal experience of these long-ago record temps, and thus we lack perspective and are easy prey for politicized climate claims.
Likewise claims that the last month was the world’s “hottest on record” omit that our reliable average global temperature record only goes back 44 years, when we began systematic satellite monitoring of our atmosphere.
The global temperature for decades prior to 1979 are estimated and modeled on computers from various “proxy” measurements, and only go back to about 1850 in any case — hardly an adequate time series to make conclusions about geologic age-length climate change.
In any case, the scientific community is constantly “adjusting” the “official” global temperature record as new data sets are generated and computer models are refined.
Somehow most of the recent revisions conveniently support the latest “climate crisis” narrative.
Several of these adjusted records now report that the Earth was cooler than previously thought between 1970 and 2003, this making the temperature trend from 2003 to the present seem more ominous.
But after our experience with how politicized public health “experts” lied to us about so many aspects of COVID, does anyone trust the rigidly conformist climate science community when it “revises” the official temperature record that supports the politicized panic of the climate campaign?
Even our National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration, one of the principal government scientific research bodies in the US, has backed away from the claim that this year is the hottest in 125,000 years, acknowledging problems with the validity of the computer models that generated the headline.
Extreme heat waves certainly carry health risks for the elderly and others with health challenges.
Yet mortality from winter cold is nearly 10 times as high as mortality from heat waves.
Somehow this never makes headlines like heat waves in the summer.
It doesn’t support the political agenda of environmental activists and headline writers in the media.
Climate skeptics take a heavy pounding from our political class, but this is an instance where skepticism is justified.
Steven F. Hayward is a resident scholar at the Institute of Governmental Studies at UC Berkeley.

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