Some Responsible Press Coverage of Record Temperatures

The Phoenix New Times blog had a fairly remarkable story on a record-hot Phoenix summer.  The core of the article is a chart from the NOAA.  There are three things to notice in it:

  • The article actually acknowledges that higher temperatures were due to higher night-time lows rather than higher daytime highs  Any mention of this is exceedingly rare in media stories on temperatures, perhaps because the idea of a higher low is confusing to communicate
  • It actually attributes urban warming to the urban heat island effect
  • It makes no mention of global warming

Here is the graphic:

hottest-summer

 

This puts me in the odd role of switching sides, so to speak, and observing that greenhouse warming could very likely manifest itself as rising nighttime lows (rather than rising daytime highs).  I can only assume the surrounding area of Arizona did not see the same sort of records, which would support the theory that this is a UHI effect.

Phoenix has a huge urban heat island effect, which my son actually measured.  At 9-10 in the evening, we measured a temperature differential of 8-12F from city center to rural areas outside the city.  By the way, this is a fabulous science fair project if you know a junior high or high school student trying to do something different than growing bean plants under different color lights.

  • Eric Wilner

    Nighttime lows are, as you note, exactly where the greenhouse effect would manifest itself... which is why those "simple experiments" to demonstrate it (including the one Mythbusters did) are utterly nonsensical, in that they don't include a simulated night, with a properly cold SimSky for the SimEarth to radiate to.
    You can't pass heat from the cooler to the hotter:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VtEqn-5XHpU

  • Russ R.

    It is amazing how often people fail to consider the regularly occurring phenomenon known as "nighttime".

  • norse

    Ah, something approaching actual journalism. I only realized how badly I was missing it when I was vacationing in Denmark, where, to my utter delight and astonishment, multiple-page treatments of topics going into a lot of detail and providing at least commentary by two authors of opposing viewpoints are the norm. Also, fantastic smoked salmon, but I can get that at home...

  • jimbeaux

    I do take issue with the claim that "The average Min T of 83.7 is the highest of all time!" - um, no. Perhaps the highest in recorded history, but the highest of all time? I think not.

  • mesocyclone

    Phoenix has probably the best measured UHI effect of any city. ASU folks have been working on this for a long time.

  • obloodyhell

    }}} By the way, this is a fabulous science fair project if you know a junior high or high school student trying to do something different than growing bean plants under different color lights.

    If you want to WIN the science fair, though, do something on how AGW is real and important and must be Addressed Right Now!!

  • obloodyhell

    The first thing that has to heat up is the ocean, though. Until they find the missing 67 kajillion joules that have to be heating up the oceans (there's nowhere else for it to go except space, in which case it's not warming the earth, is it?), there's no case for AGW. The fact that we are now in the longest span of no class 3+ Hurricane hitting the gulf coast/eastern seaboard since we've been able to get/keep decent records on it says how little the ocean is freaking warming.

    }}} You can't pass heat from the cooler to the hotter:

    Actually, it CAN happen, but it's not very likely to. I'd rather bet on lightning striking my solo-winning powerball lottery ticket...while I'm standing on one leg at the north pole.

  • kidmugsy

    "greenhouse warming could very likely manifest itself as rising nighttime lows": that was part of the gist of the early predictions - GW would show up as night-time warming, in winter, at high latitudes. I suspect that away back then global warmists were more a bunch of hubristic incompetents than the simple gang of crooks they are now. It would be very droll if said hubristic incompetents had got a little bit of their story right.