Updated: see below
Additional reading: John Nairn and Robert Fawcett (2013), Defining heatwaves: heatwave defined as a heat impact event servicing all community and business sectors in Australia, The Centre for Australian Weather and Climate Research, Technical Report No. 060 (Click here)
Jim Steele who is a keen bird watcher, has posted an article on WUWT. He has decided that "CO2 has nothing to do with heat waves whether the record is ever broken or not". He bases this notion on the fact that heat waves are typically associated with high pressure systems, which typically are dry.
I'm not sure if what he's arguing is that heat waves shouldn't happen with global warming, or whether it's that weather doesn't happen with global warming. Or maybe he's arguing that if there is global warming earth shouldn't get hotter therefore if the heat waves are hotter now than they used to be, then it's nothing to do with global warming.
And anyway, he says, Death Valley proves it, because Death Valley is the entire world, didn't you know?
Bit weird really. I wonder how Jim explains this?
I doubt anyone disputes the fact that there have been heat waves in the past. It's just that in a warmer world there will be more and hotter heat waves than there used to be.
PS I drafted this a few hours ago, but it was such an empty article I shelved it, figuring I must have missed something obvious that Jim wrote. Then I read a comment by noodlyappendage6 who had the same impression as me. If anyone has understood or even seen Jim's reasoning for this statement of his: "However, the mechanisms of every heat wave contradict nearly every aspect of the global warming theory. ", I hope you'll let us in on it.
UPDATE: Global warming means more extreme heat waves more often
Ryan writes that the adiabatic heating parts looks okay, but that it doesn't disprove the greenhouse effect.
July 1, 2013 at 9:10 am While the post is correct that adiabatic heating is involved in heat waves, this in no way invalidates the greenhouse effect. That’s like saying that has gas pedals disprove combustion. They are different but related events in a system.Which gets this rather odd response and mini-lecture from Anthony (my bold for emphasis).
REPLY: actually, note that most of the greenhouse effect has to do with CO2 molecules slowing heat transfer to the Top of the Atmosphere, a feature most strong at night due to slowing of LWIR radiating from Earth’s surface to TOA, not daytime when lots of solar shortwave, surface heating, and Tmax occurs.
The four fundamental heat transfer processes are:
Conduction or diffusion - The transfer of energy between objects that are in physical contact.
Convection - The transfer of energy between an object and its environment, due to fluid motion.
Radiation - The transfer of energy to or from a body by means of the emission or absorption of electromagnetic radiation.
Advection - The transfer of energy from one location to another as a side effect of physically moving an object containing that energy
Explain how CO2 works in reaching even higher Tmax when advection and convection (far more powerful forms of heat transport in our atmosphere) are muted by that blocking high pattern. Blocking high patterns reduce advection (atmospheric circulation), and vertical convection from thunderstorms which also help transport heat to TOA. CO2 radiative forcing doesn’t even operate in the same orders of magnitude when advection and convection (atmospheric mass transport) are in action or muted. Those that want to equate CO2 as the cause probably don’t understand the difference. -AnthonyIf I read him correctly, Anthony's trying to argue that carbon dioxide doesn't have much effect on the total energy balance because the heat wave has a great effect on local temperature. In other words, Anthony is comparing apples to oranges. It's like saying we shouldn't get winter weather any more if CO2 is causing the earth to heat up.
July 1, 2013 at 9:47 am Nobody is arguing that the direct warming of CO2 caused that heat, Anthony. I can’t even imagine what you think climatologists think for that reply to make sense.And Anthony's claws come out, together with the straw man:
REPLY: I never thought of you as a climatologist, just an activist. So of course the reply wouldn’t make sense to you. Many activists (and some scientists that are activists) blame CO2 induced AGW for increasing heat waves. -Anthony
Yes, that's right. AGW will bring more frequent and more severe heat waves.
What scientists are finding is that in our warmer world heat waves are more severe than before. Hansen talks of a climate on steroids. Lewis et al showed that there is a five-fold increase in risk of extreme heat waves in Australia now, and that Australia's heatwave was so extreme because of human-induced global warming (putting their science-language into normal-speak.) Different researchers have come to different conclusions in regard to, say, the Russian heatwave that killed 50,000 people or more. One study found that global warming almost certainly contributed to it. Another study came to a similar conclusion but with the probability marginally lower. What most scientists will agree on is that events like that will occur much more often in future years. Probably every other year by the end of this century.
I think Anthony is caught between a rock and a hard place. He wants to deny global warming because he doesn't want to pay for the consequences. On the other hand he wants desperately to be considered "reasonable" not just another denier crank. Thing is, he can't have it both ways. At the moment the balance has shifted to the "just another denier crank" end of the scale.
Finally Anthony has enough of proper science talk and decides to let the deniers run rampant over WUWT. He snips Ryan's comment altogether:
July 1, 2013 at 11:13 am
[snip - not interested - Anthony]
To get more insight into the mind of a denier, read this next extract, in which Dirk confuses "mechanics of a heat wave" with the fact that a hotter world means more frequent and more severe heat waves:
July 1, 2013 at 12:49 pm Nick Stokes says: July 1, 2013 at 12:01 pm
“But who to teach? Ryan’s right. No-one is saying that CO2 is involved in the mechanics of a heat wave event.”
Warmunists are only on the record predicting more extreme heat waves, caused by increased CO2. Now you say, yes, but it is not CAUSED by CO2? That’s what I call a flexible brain.
That's what I call a fossilised brain, DirkH.