Thursday, July 1, 2021

Where to from here?

Sou | 12:37 AM Go to the first of 30 comments. Add a comment

I spent a lot of time in western Canada in the early 1970s. That's 50 years ago for all you young ones. The world was very different then. Edmonton was experiencing it's longest winter since, almost, forever. It was a long cold winter. In the summer in British Columbia they kidnapped whoever happened to be in the local pubs to fight the annual forest fires, but the temperatures rarely exceeded 80F. It was what people thought of as a bit unusual but not completely abnormal.

Today the world is different. Hard to believe this week, but this is what we should have expected. 

Western Canada is wondering if it has been relocated to Death Valley. 

There was famine somewhere in the world back then as there is now, but today, all of a sudden we need to find food for three times as many people. 

We're trying to get on top of a global pandemic that everyone says was anticipated but that no-one prepared for.

We've accepted and supported and elected leaders who aren't game to read the writing on the wall, aren't able to act, and keep pointing the finger at someone else for their inadequacies - anyone else will do.

Alright - it's not all gloom and doom. There are some elected leaders in various countries around the world who are realists and who are keen to make sure the human race survives until at least 2100.

There are journos and communicators who are still quite sure, or at least hopeful, the message coming from the harbingers of knowledge and science will make its way through to political leaders, if not the general population. And that we'll act on it.

For even more good news - I'm coming back, soon, with some analysis and information about where we are today and what's in store. It won't be pretty.

Are you up for it?


  1. Need you ask? Of course we're (royal plural) up for it! Without sounding funereal, you've been sadly missed in the Montgomery household.

  2. "For even more good news - I'm coming back, soon".

  3. "For even more good news - I'm coming back"

    I assume it is irony. Isn't it?

  4. Great to read you again Sou! Glad your back. I've been updating the blog quite a lot lately. The future through 2100 looks exceedingly doubtful.

    I'm about 100 miles from Canada, the heat wave here was intense, it's still 95F outside, sun went down an hour ago. We saw 111F temperatures here, a record for us.

    Fire danger is extreme, yet 'officials' have refused to cancel fireworks. Can only hope that the fire departments stay on to of the forthcoming stupidity. I know I can't trust to common sense, not many people have this and certainly not here (Trump country).

    Definitely looking forward to more - don't hold back! ~Survival Acres~

    1. Feeling your pain, SA. Heat waves are horrid, especially when it doesn't cool down overnight.

  5. I look forward to it.

    Will you have a different emphasis? Now certain denier sites sink into obscurity there is not much to gain from bothering with them.

    1. Agree. The emphasis will probably be different but I won't make any promises, Jammy. I'm not sufficiently disciplined :)

    2. No, not looking for promises. It is just some time ago I felt you were looking to reset your blog and you were weary of the denier crowd that were getting more and more irrelevant
      Do what you enjoy! A bit of snark injects a bit of sanity for me to hold onto.

    3. Thanks, Jammy. I thought with all this time off I'd have a brainwave or get my head around a lot of new material. It didn't happen, so I'll just keep muddling along - ha ha ;)

  6. "Without human-induced climate change, it would have been almost impossible ...as the chances of natural occurrence is once every tens of thousands of years,"

    Reliable temperature records for the PNW and Western Canada only go back to the very late 1800’s at best, so what evidence does the Metoffice scientist have to support his claim?

    1. There are lots of things that indicate past temperature and climate, Snape. Do a Google search for the word "paleoclimatology".

      You'll no doubt be very surprised at what the more educated, knowledgeable and cleverer humans among us can and have discovered.

    2. Sou,
      Paleo records aren’t going to give the likelihood of a specific daily maximum being reached at a specific location in British Columbia.

      The statement was likely based on results from his computer simulations, then reported to the press as fact.

      Or maybe he had never actually modeled temperature extremes in the Fraser River Valley, and just made it up on the fly?

    3. Maybe, but what's much more likely is the experts at the Met Office and elsewhere have some experience and knowledge to offer on this subject.


      Of course, if you're arguing this is normal, well, that would be quite silly and wrong. In fact, if we don't stop emissions we'll be seeing a lot more frequent and worse heat waves.

      But you know that already, or you should. (I think you've been hanging around climate blogs for long enough to have picked up some climate science.)

    4. I experienced the event first hand. Salem, Oregon reached 117 F on June 28, beating the old record by 9 degrees, and matching the all-time highs of both Las Vegas and Tucson, AZ. Unprecedented is an understatement.

      But how much was natural variation and how much was anthropogenic? Nobody knows for sure, and guesses shouldn’t be presented as fact.

    5. Snape, I understand there remain a small number of people who want to believe global warming isn't happening. Some of them even try to deny it while they personally experience some of its worst effects so far. It's like the sad stories of COVID19 deniers who didn't believe it was real right up to and including the point they died from it.

      It's not a good look for you to accuse scientists of doing what you're effectively doing, misrepresenting things. In other words, you look rather silly coming to a science blog and trying to present expert assessments, based on evidence and analysis, as "guesses".

      That's enough of that. I'll have no more of your nonsense. (Go to your room and do some homework.)

    6. Snape

      Why do you call them guesses? Of course we cannot know for "sure". The conclusions presented by scientists are based on a lot of data and theory. So rather less of a guess than your rather forlorn hope and guess they have got it wrong.

      Try a bit of study instead of randomly making comments with no foundation. At least you might then be able to offer some sort of argument that makes some sense.

    7. Jammy,
      I call them guesses because we cannot know for sure. Having this opinion, a matter of semantics, you and Sou apparently think this proves I’m a climate change denier….. ??

  7. Snape
    You are just repeating yourself and not adding any clarification.
    No, it is not matter of semantics. Or your opinion. The scientists are working intelligently on the information they have and proposing answers. You ... you are guessing.

    We cannot prove you are a climate denier. Nobody knows for sure. But your guesses sure sound like a duck.

    1. Jammy, Sou,

      I wish I had your faith in the climate attribution study. They give the likelihood of the heat wave I experienced, given our current climate (1.2 C above preindustrial), as a one in a thousand year event. My hunch was that this was just a rough ballpark. Confirmed here,

      “It is important to highlight that, because the temperature records of June 2021 were very far outside all historical observations, determining the likelihood of this event in today’s climate is highly uncertain. All numbers shown assume that the heatwave was a very low probability event (about 1 in 1000 years) that was not caused by new nonlinearities.”


      My worry is that the event was actually much more likely than the models are showing, a concern shared by Dr. Michael Mann,

      "The report underscores why these attribution analyses are ultimately limited in terms of what conclusions can be drawn. They acknowledge that the models used don't capture the jet stream phenomenon (resonant planetary amplification) that WE KNOW played an important role in this event, in favoring the intensity and persistence of the heat dome”


    2. That's known as "shifting the goal posts", Snape.

      You started claiming scientists were merely "guessing" that this massive heat wave event wouldn't have occurred if not for global warming.

      Now you've shifted to discussing something that couldn't have happened if they were merely 'guessing' - the methods and analysis underpinning some of the details of the scientific assessment of the heat wave.

    3. Sou
      OK, I can see how my original comment wasn’t clear. Sorry for the confusion.

      Nikos, “Without human-induced climate change, it would have been almost impossible ...as the chances of natural occurrence is once every tens of thousands of years,"

      What caught my eye was the second part of the sentence, not the first. How could he be so confident about the “Once in every tens of thousands of years” claim, given the record high in Lytton had been set just a day earlier?

      While unclear, my intent was consistent throughout. Definition of the word “guess”, from Oxford Languages,

      “to estimate or suppose (something) without sufficient information to be sure of being correct."

      “she guessed the child's age to be 14 or 15”

      This is how I view the weather attribution study. It’s a quick estimate that could easily turn out to be off the mark. An informed guess not to be taken as fact.

      As mentioned, my hunch was confirmed by the study itself, which acknowledged uncertainty in the “one in a thousand” value for current probability, a value that other probabilities in the study are based on (ie, the event would have been 150 times less likely given preindustrial temperatures).

    4. If you're going to quote, at least you should provide the full quote from the article the tweet above linked to:

      "Nikos Christidis is a climate scientist with the UK’s Met Office. He said: “Without human-induced climate change, it would have been almost impossible to hit such record-breaking mean June temperatures in the Western United States as the chances of natural occurrence is once every tens of thousands of years. In the present-day climate getting an extremely hot June is common and is likely to occur twice in three decades. However, an analysis from many computer models suggests that by the end of the century these extreme temperatures are more likely than not. Human influence is estimated to have increased the likelihood of a new record several thousand times,” he said."

      That's not a guess. That's a statement based on analysis and knowledge, and includes the requisite caveats.

      I'm guessing you regard all scientific knowledge as nothing more than a guess. That would be profoundly wrong :(

    5. I should have reviewed his quote. Not exactly sure what he means here, “In the present-day climate getting an extremely hot June is common and is likely to occur twice in three decades.” June, 2015 was just as hot as this June in the Portland area, as an overall average, but minus the extreme record highs.

      If he means that what happened last month is already a twice in three decade event, then his opinion is at odds with the findings in the attribution study, which only adds support to my point that the study should not be taken as fact. A quote from the studies’ website. - Main Findings -

      “The observed temperatures were so extreme that they lie far outside the range of historically observed temperatures. This makes it hard to quantify with confidence how rare the event was. In the most realistic statistical analysis the event is estimated to be about a 1 in 1000 year event in today’s climate.”


      Your guess about my view of science is way off,

    6. I hope you've learnt something in the last couple of days, Snape. First, don't equate scientific explanations with mere "guesses". Second, avoid thinking in black and white, all or nothing terms. Rather, look at the context, the evidence provided, the constraints and caveats explained, and the fact the future will be hugely affected by what we've done, what we do now and what we do in the future.

      Finally, avoid coming onto a science blog with a half-baked and wrong protest. Think first, do your research. Since you're obviously not a scientist or very knowledgeable about climate science, try a humble approach rather than a brazen and foolish attack along the lines of "scientists don't know nuffin'".

    7. "Your guess about my view of science is way off"

      Guess? Do we have to go round the loop again?



  8. Snape

    Well, I have to give it to you. You have at last offered some material, however weak it is, to consider instead of your vague and nebulous opinions.

    What you get wrong, about me anyway, is your unrooted allegation that I have "faith" in climate attribution. Wrong, I do not know enough about it. I just have more trust in climate scientists than some blowhard off the internet who cannot put a discussion point together competently.

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    1. You're not comparing like with like, Snape. Plus you're comparing a short quote with a later analysis and omitting important context. (I urged you previously to stop viewing the science in binary terms. You've taken no notice.)

      Although it might give you a warm glow to keep seeing your name come up in the comments at HW, it's time to do your musing elsewhere. You're making a lot of noise to little purpose. You don't understand what you're reading (or writing).