Too Hot to pump

January 9, 2013

dryCOLORDrizzling rain this Wednesday morning along California’s northern coast with more rain expected later today and maybe even into tomorrow.
The weather’s not too bad up here, and has a kind of sameness about it just about year round — a June day can be found in January and vice versa.
Not way-so for the rest of the country. We’re one of the coolest spots around!

In the heat below us, there’s much discouragement: It’s a shame though that human ingenuity is so lacking. We just aren’t resourceful and never have been. We lack the technology, political will and ability to compromise. Maybe deniers are right, humans are doomed.

(Illustration found here).

The above quote comes from Minda Berbeco at her ScienceBlog — she looks into the future after climate change takes a big, huge bite out of humanity.
A kind of dream post, if you will.

Climate change is no sweet figment of sleep, but a freakin’ nightmare on Main Street.
And denying it makes one a dream slayer of the worse kind — in a survey of nearly 14,000 peer-reviewed climate articles between 1991 and 2012, only 24 reject global warming.
Phil Plait in no uncertain terms at Slate last month:

So let this be clear: There is no scientific controversy over this.
Climate change denial is purely, 100 percent made-up political and corporate-sponsored crap.
When the loudest voices are fossil-fuel funded think tanks, when they don’t publish in journals but instead write error-laden op-eds in partisan venues, when they have to manipulate the data to support their point, then what they’re doing isn’t science.
It’s nonsense.
And worse, it’s dangerous nonsense.
Because they’re fiddling with the data while the world burns.

And burning indeed. Last year marked the 15th consecutive year of above-normal average annual temperatures for the continental US.
Via the Washington Post yesterday:

Temperatures in the contiguous United States last year were the hottest in more than a century of record-keeping, shattering the mark set in 1998 by a wide margin, the federal government announced Tuesday.
The average temperature in 2012 was 55.3 degrees, one degree above the previous record and 3.2 degrees higher than the 20th-century average, scientists at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said.
They described the data as part of a longer-term trend of hotter, drier and potentially more extreme weather.
The higher temperatures are due in part to cyclical weather patterns, according to the scientists. But the researchers also said the data provided further compelling evidence that human activity — especially the burning of fossil fuels, which produces greenhouse gases — is contributing to changes in the U.S. climate.
The new report has broad ramifications for policy — and everyday life. Americans who might have thought climate change was a problem for the distant future are experiencing warmer temperatures in their own lifetimes…

From Thomas R. Karl, director of NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center: “We’ve entered a stage now, where [the warming trend] is going to be pretty obvious to the man on the street,” Karl said. “[This year’s warmth] doesn’t mean every season and every year will be this warm, but you’re going to see this with increasing frequency.”

And down under, the scenario is worse:

“Off the charts” is a phrase that gets thrown around liberally when it comes to temperature.
But in the case of Australia’s current heat wave and raging wildfires, temperatures are literally higher than the government’s charts were designed to go.
The Australian Bureau of Meteorology has had to introduce a new color — deep purple — to account for the record-breaking heat.
The bureau’s interactive weather forecasting chart previously capped at 50 degrees Celsius (122 Fahrenheit.)
The model now goes all the way to 54 degrees (129 degrees F), higher than Australia’s all-time record temperature of 50.7 degrees (123 degrees F) from 1960.
“The scale has just been increased today and I would anticipate it is because the forecast coming from the bureau’s model is showing temperatures in excess of 50 degrees,” David Jones, head of the bureau’s monitoring and prediction unit, told Australian newspaper The Age.
The scorching heat over central Australia has yet to cross the 50 degree barrier, but Dr. Jones believes it is only a matter of time.
“The air mass over the inland is still heating up — it hasn’t peaked.”
Monday saw the highest average temperatures ever recorded in the country at 104.59 degrees Fahrenheit.
Six of the twenty hottest days ever recorded in Australia have been in 2013, with that number expected to rise.
“The heat over central Australia is not going to go anywhere,” Dr. Jones said.

A first I’ve heard of in climate-crazy change — at 119-degrees Fahrenheit unleaded fuel vaporizes and becomes too hot to pump: “The ground, the building, everything is so hot, you walk outside and you feel it’s going to burn you,” Pink Roadhouse owner Lynnie Plate said.
Mrs Plate said the Roadhouse couldn’t serve unleaded fuel after midday because it was vapourising and wouldn’t pump in the extreme heat.

Meanwhile, winter is being winter in a cold, nasty way in the Middle East, where ‘rare’ storms have lashed the region the last few days:

The storm dumped at least a foot of snow on many parts of Jordan, shutting schools, stranding motorists and delaying international flights, Jordanian weatherman Mohammed Samawi said.
He called it the “fiercest storm to hit the Mideast in the month of January in at least 30 years.”
The rare, heavy snowfall blocked all streets in Jordan’s capital, Amman, and isolated remote villages, prompting warnings from authorities for people to stay home as snow ploughs tried to reopen clogged roads.
The country’s Meteorology Department said the storm, accompanied by lashing wind, lightning and thunder, dumped the most snow in northern regions and some parts of usually arid southern Jordan.
The snowstorm followed four days of torrential rain, which caused flooding in many areas across the country.
In Egypt, torrential rains, strong winds and low visibility disrupted Suez Canal operations over the past three days and also closed down several ports.
The number of ships moving through the Suez Canal dropped by half because of poor visibility, the official MENA news agency reported.
A canal official said that by Wednesday, operations had returned to normal. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to brief reporters.

And there’s no getting out alive — even for a winner.
Fun to ‘play’ the lottery?
Winning can kill ya: Cook County Medical Examiner Stephen Cina said Tuesday that paperwork is being prepared for a judge to approve and he hopes to exhume Urooj Khan’s body in the next few weeks.
Khan’s death on July 20 was initially ruled a result of natural causes. But the relative’s request for a deeper look resulted in the startling conclusion months later that Kahn was killed with the highly toxic poison as he was about to collect $425,000 in winnings.

A fine example of pitch-black humor — too hot to handle.

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