Wednesday, May 29, 2024


That's 126.1°F. From Agence France-Presse (AFP) 

Temperatures in India's capital soared to a national record-high of 52.3 degrees Celsius (126.1 Fahrenheit) on Wednesday, the government's weather bureau said.


Neighbouring Pakistan has also sweltered through a week-long heatwave, which peaked at 53C (127.4F) on Sunday in Mohenjo Daro in rural Sindh province.

An online calculator for wet bulb temperatures only allows values up to 50°C. Needless to say that's above the critical value of 35°C where humans can't cool off by sweating: the wet bulb temperature for 50°C at 5% humidity is 33°C, and at 99% humidity it's 49.7°C. So 53°C is trouble no matter how dry the air is.

Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Surging Heat Deaths in America's Hottest City

Phoenix, Arizona. 

Maricopa County in Arizona includes Phoenix and Tempe, and holds 62% of the state's population. From an interesting article from Politico:

This represents a 1000% increase in 9 years. An average increase of about 20% per year (slope/average). From the article:
Almost half of the victims last year were homeless — 290 people. Twenty died at bus stops, others were in tents, and an unrecorded number of people were found on the pavement, prone as if on a baking stone. More than 250 other people — who tended to be older, ill or unlucky — died in uncooled homes, on bikes or just going for a walk.
I lived in Tempe, Arizona for a year and a half in the '90s. Winters were perfect. Summers were tough. Summer temperatures routinely hit 110°F (43°C), and often approached 115°F (46°C). One day it hit 122°F (50°C). As I think I've written before, they had to close down the airport because airlines did not have performance charts on their aircraft above 120°F. Just as bad were nights, when it could be 100°F (38°C) at 10 pm. Air conditioning everywhere. (I don't like living in air conditioning; I feel too cloistered. By the end of summer I'd have cabin fever.) But in the middle of the day in the summer I would ride my bike to the university to attend classes or work at a part-time job, because my girlfriend used my car to go to her job in Phoenix. No way I could ever do that today, or would risk doing it.

It would be brutal for someone who is homeless and try to sleep at night at these temperatures, and be unable to escape such temperatures 24/7. 
Last summer, there were about 117 cooling centers at libraries, community centers and churches throughout Maricopa County. But none of the centers in Phoenix were open overnight, when temperatures often remained above 90 degrees. Of the 17 centers operated by the city, just one was open Sundays — and only from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Many private and public centers don’t allow pets, a rule that pushed some people to stay in the stifling heat with their dogs, according to surveys conducted by the county.
The County Medical Examiner recorded 645 heat-related deaths last summer. Nearly 400 of them occurred in Phoenix, where half of all deaths were among the unhoused. One-third of all heat-related 911 calls in the city occurred outside of “regular business hours,” when cooling centers were closed.
Cooling centers closed during the hottest part of the day. That's just insane. Blame it on funding that the city, state and federal governments don't want to spend. All because these people are homeless and don't matter to them. There is some hope:
Phoenix will operate two overnight cooling centers in the downtown area. In addition, three libraries will have respite centers with 50 beds each that will be open until 10 p.m. All the sites will be open seven days a week from May through September. Visitors will be steered toward services such as energy assistance, mental health, homeless shelters and substance abuse treatment programs.

“We are surging resources to these locations in the hopes that it helps people get out of the heat, but also get out of unsheltered homelessness,” Hondula said. “We are trying to solve the upstream challenges in addition to the immediate lifesaving mission.”
Or maybe not:
Not everyone in city leadership appreciates that plan. Though the City Council recognizes heat as a danger to residents, some members have questioned using city resources to protect the homeless.

At a February meeting, multiple councilors noted that libraries and senior centers have seen budget cuts, and said it wasn’t fair to open them to homeless people.

Councilman Jim Waring expressed disbelief that the program would lead to homeless people getting treatment for addiction or mental heath issues. The cooling initiative was taking resources away from tax-paying families, he said.
Jim Waring, perspiration-free:

Monday, May 27, 2024

Copernicus's Pulse

Copernicus Climate Change Service now has a page that is essentially a real-time snapshot of global climate: 

Looks like this:

Edit, next day;

Only thing is, is that frankly, rather than the temperature I'd much rather see the anomaly.

Same for the Maine Climate Reanalyzer. No one thinks in terms of the nominal temperature, they think in terms of an anomaly. And show the latest number, not just a graph. 

I completely missed the big button at the top of the graph, on its right, that lets you see anomalies instead! Duh. My bad.

Saturday, May 25, 2024

Global Warming Over Land Now up to 3°F

According to NOAA

Anomalies relative to 1850-1879.
(But the amount of warming doesn't depend on what baseline is chosen.)
This includes 2024's anomaly through April.
(3.0°F = 1.7°C)

You can play games with trends and find that the maximum linear trend (ending in 2024) is the period 1964-2024, equal to 0.58°F/decade, with a corresponding change of 3.46°F (1.92°C).

Thursday, May 23, 2024

Falcon compared to Stealth Bomber

Probably an old picture, but new to me, and cool.

Falcons can fly up to 390 km/hour (240 mi/hr). Fastest animals in the world. 

Tuesday, May 14, 2024

Interesting Paper (on the Greenhouse Effect)

Here's an interesting paper on longwave (infrared) radiation in the Earth's atmosphere:

Does Surface Temperature Respond to or Determine Downwelling Longwave Radiation? L. R. Vargas Zeppetello, A. Donohoe, D. S. Battisti, 19 February 2019.

It's open access. 

Here's the abstract:

Downward longwave radiation (DLR) is often assumed to be an independent forcing on the surface energy budget in analyses of Arctic warming and land-atmosphere interaction. We use radiative kernels to show that the DLR response to forcing is largely determined by surface temperature perturbations. We develop a method by which vertically integrated versions of the radiative kernels are combined with surface temperature and specific humidity to estimate the surface DLR response to greenhouse forcing. Through a decomposition of the DLR response, we estimate that changes in surface temperature produce at least 63% of the clear-sky DLR response in greenhouse forcing, while the changes associated with clouds account for only 11% of the full-sky DLR response. Our results suggest that surface DLR is tightly coupled to surface temperature; therefore, it cannot be considered an independent component of the surface energy budget.

What this means, I think, is that you can't calculate forcings just from greenhouse gas concentrations with something do simple like this for temperature change. 

ΔF ∝ ln(C/C0) and then ΔT ∝ ΔF 

where C is atmospheric CO2 concentration and C0 is some baseline value. 

I know I've done this in the past.

Anyway I just discovered this paper so I haven't read it yet. I'm looking forward to it. I don't know how or if this affects climate models. I'm guessing not, since they deal with radiation physics (etc.) from first principles. 

Thursday, May 09, 2024

Cost of Wildfires (USA)

Maybe this doesn't matter because the numbers are so low, but the real per capita cost of wildfire suppression in the US has increased by a factor of over 4 in 40 years:

That's only 4% per year, in real (inflation-adjusted) money. Probably not enough that anyone will care.


I hoped for more meaningful results. Sorry.

Saturday, May 04, 2024

"Why does it matter for healthcare?"

"Imagine if you paid for an airplane ticket and then got separate and inscrutable bills from the airline, the pilot, the copilot, and the flight attendants. That’s how the healthcare market works. In no other industry do prices for a product vary by a factor of ten depending on where it is purchased, as is the case for bills I’ve seen for echocardiograms, MRI scans, and blood tests to gauge thyroid function or vitamin D levels. The price of a Prius at a dealership in Princeton, New Jersey, is not five times higher than what you would pay for a Prius in Hackensack and a Prius in New Jersey is not twice as expensive as one in New Mexico. The price of that car at the very same dealer doesn’t depend on your employer, or if you’re self-employed or unemployed. Why does it matter for healthcare?"

Elisabeth Rosenthal, An American Sickness: How Healthcare Became Big Business and How You Can Take It Back (book)

Personally, I don't think there is any "taking back" of the American healthcare system. Too many people are making too much money off of it the way it is, several trillions of dollars a year, and they have great lobbyists. I'm thankful for Obamacare, which is the best insurance I've ever had. I've purposely kept my income below its limits in order to get free healthcare. That's much more valuable to me than earning more, even though it's kept me in mild poverty. But forces are starting to catch up, and I'll never, ever be able to retire. I'll have to work until the day I die. Or, at least, the day before I die. Don't say healthcare doesn't matter. I went about 12 years without it in the '00s to the '10s, only later discovered I had a tumor that had been growing the entire time. I was able to have surgery once I got on Obamacare. Fortunately, it was benign, but still affected my bloodstream and my bones. Had two cares of surgical charity care during that interval worth about $150,000, one of which kept me from imminent paralysis from the neck down. And I don't think politicians from either party give a fuck at all. They're too busy soliciting campaign donations from the insurance industry and the pharmaceutical industry and the medical industry, all of whom have many billions with which to bribe congresspeople. And that's exactly what it is.

Thursday, May 02, 2024

Playoff Hockey Is the Best

Here's awesome article about controversies in NHL playoffs. It might be paywalled, and I apologize if it is. 

My Pittsburgh Penguins didn't make the playoffs this year, again, so I'm rooting for the Boston Bruins against the Toronto Maple Leafs (sorry Canadian readers), because I watched them a little when I lived in New Hampshire, went to a game once, and they're a storied and classy organization. And because I'm fond of their captain, Brad Marchand, aka "The Rat." He's calmed down a little since he became captain this year. A little. He's very good and makes a pest of himself to the other team. He's only 5'9", 182 lbs and the kind of guy you definitely want on your team and the kind of guy you don't want to face if you're playing against him.

UAH: Warmest Month Ever in their Records

UAH just measured April to be the warmest month in the lower troposphere in their record, which begins in Dec 1978: 1.05°C relative to Jan 1991-Dec 2020:

Every decade UAH changes their baseline to be the latest three decades; I don't know why, maybe so the anomalies look smaller. Relative to their first decade, 1980-2009, this month's anomaly is 1.18°C. 

The linear trend of their entire dataset is now 0.15°C/decade, making their total warming 0.68°C. That's far below RSS's measurement of lower troposphere temperature change for the same period, which is 0.22°C/decade for a total warming of 0.99°C. 

Wednesday, May 01, 2024

Warmest April on Record least according to the ERA5 reanalysis. On Substack Zeke Hausfather gives some graphs:

But it's getting cooler as the El Nino declines:

2024 already looks probable to be the warmest year on record, after 2023 was already the warmest year in the records. 

There are more graphs on his post (their substack is called "The Climate Brink," written with Andrew Dessler), mostly about ocean temperatures.