Hot-feeling sunshine near mid-day Monday here in California’s Central Valley as we join a big, really, really big chuck of humanity baking under numerous heat domes and various weather phenomena created to highly influence the air to become drop-dead blistering as shit.
In this flat-anvil-like valley under these circumstances, the before-mentioned ‘air‘ becomes near-about heavy, and syrupy, like a Salvador Dalí painting coming alive and melting in the heat. Not quite as artistic as it freaking sounds.
Summer is fully here. NWS meteorologist Bryan Jackson noted: ‘“By this weekend there is a risk for record high temperatures exceeding 100 degrees … close to 110 degrees in the Central Valley of California … Then some of the more typical midsummer heat of getting above 115 degrees in the hottest areas of the Desert Southwest.”‘
Still short of the noon hour, we’re in the low 90s with the local NWS station forecast for our area’s chances to hit our high mark for today’s temperature — mine is 41 percent, but I’d call it at least double that due to the outside being hot as shit right now:
Afternoon highs over 102*F across the San Joaquin Valley are forecast today. Here are the odds that afternoon highs for select locations across the SJ Valley today reach or exceed 102*F. #cawx pic.twitter.com/kCqnPQvliu
— NWS Hanford (@NWSHanford) July 3, 2023
Of course, the key factor in all this is climate change and it’s looming acceleration — via The New York Times last Friday:
In most parts of the country, temperatures must be above the historical average in an area for two or more days before the label “heat wave” is applied to a hot spell, according to the National Weather Service. But the definition can vary by region; in the Northeast, it is defined as three straight days in the 90s or above.
Heat waves begin when high pressure in the atmosphere moves in and pushes warm air toward the ground. That air warms up further as it is compressed, and we begin to feel a lot hotter.
The high-pressure system pressing down on the ground expands vertically, forcing other weather systems to change course. It even minimizes wind and cloud cover, making the air more stifling. This is also why a heat wave parks itself over an area for several days or longer.
The main culprit of global warming today is humans burning fossil fuels. Thousands of scientists, who have studied the causes across decades, have reached this overwhelming consensus. Globally in 2022, humans emitted roughly 36.8 billion metric tons of planet-warming carbon dioxide by burning coal, natural gas and oil for energy.
The warmer baseline contributes to extreme-weather events and helps make periods of extreme heat more frequent, longer and more intense. The return this summer of the natural climate pattern known as El Niño brings increased chances for hotter-than-normal temperatures later this year and in 2024.
All part of the horror of a heating-way-quickly planet — we’re in a pedal-to-the-metal mode:
Looks a lot like what you would get if you pasted 1998 (another big El Nino year) at the end of the trend line: https://t.co/2ZOAnHBn8k
— Prof Michael E. Mann (@MichaelEMann) July 3, 2023
Prof. Mann takes a hard look at the speed of climate change actually taking place on our one-and-only planet — from the Guardian this morning:
“Very unusual,” “worrying,” “terrifying,” and “bonkers;” the reactions of veteran scientists to the sharp increase in north Atlantic surface temperatures over the past three months raises the question of whether the world’s climate has entered a more erratic and dangerous phase with the onset of an El Niño event on top of human-made global heating.
Since April, the warming appears to have entered a new trajectory. Meanwhile the area of global sea ice has dropped by more than 1 million sq km below the previous low.
“If a few decades ago, some people might have thought climate change was a relatively slow-moving phenomenon, we are now witnessing our climate changing at a terrifying rate,” said Prof Peter Stott, who leads the UK Met Office’s climate monitoring and attribution team. “As the El Niño builds through the rest of this year, adding an extra oomph to the damaging effects of human-induced global heating, many millions of people across the planet and many diverse ecosystems are going to face extraordinary challenges and unfortunately suffer great damage.”
And the bottom line:
Michael Mann, the presidential distinguished professor at the University of Pennsylvania, warned against “cherry picking” one set of data from one region over a relatively short period of time. It was more important, he said, to focus on the bigger picture: that burning fossil fuels was leading to more powerful and destructive hurricanes as well as providing the energy in the atmosphere to fuel extreme weather events, such as droughts, heatwaves, wildfires, and floods. “We need to step back and look at the big picture. And it is alarming. The truth,” Mann said, “is bad enough.”
Katharine Hayhoe, the chief scientist with the Nature Conservancy and distinguished professor at Texas Tech University, said the north Atlantic temperature anomaly was the result of long-term loading of the climate system by 380 zeta joules of extra heat from human emissions of heat-trapping gases. “Nearly 90% of it has been going into the ocean; and it’s that gradual but inexorable increase in ocean heat content over time scales of decades rather than years that most worries climate scientists,” she said.
Go read the whole piece. A bit frightening.
Closing out this hot post is another version of “Heat Wave” — in Linda Ronstadt style:
Hotter-than-shit, or not, yet once again here we are…
(Illustration out front: Salvador Dali’s ‘Soft Watch at the Moment of First Explosion,’ found here.)