It was of course nothing of the sort, simply the usual mix of hot and cold weather we see every year. Spot the difference, for instance, between this month and July 1998:
A week on, let’s take a good look at what actually happened.
How hot was Europe last week?
Much of the media coverage of the European heatwave appears to have been based more on forecast temperatures, interspersed with ‘record-breaking’ headlines, rather than factual reporting of what happened.
A hysterical article in the Telegraph on July 18 typified this. Indeed the stories in the press and on TV were all so similar that they must have been highly co-ordinated. We have already seen how outfits such as the Trusted News Initiative and Covering Climate Now have sought to control the way that climate change is reported. The Telegraph made several claims which were not borne out by events. For instance:
1) They claimed that 41.8C in Rome was a record. However in 2005 temperatures there hit 42C.
2) They said temperatures in Sicily might reach 48C. They got to 45C, well below the record of 48.8C.
3) They said temperatures in Madrid and Rome could reach ‘mid to high 40s’ – in the event, Madrid got to 39C and Rome to 41C.
4) They stated: ‘In drought-stricken Spain, temperatures were set to reach highs of 44C in Catalonia’, yet temperatures in Barcelona, the region’s capital, did not get above 30C. Temperatures in the city peak in the mid-30s most years.
Let’s be clear – it was hot last week across much of southern Europe, exceptionally so in places. But I have found no evidence that the heatwave was in any way unprecedented, never mind the inferno implied.
Meanwhile, let’s not forget that most of Europe has been much cooler than usual recently:
July 24th, 2023
Justin flies to Spain to tell us it’s hot there
The BBC thought it would be a good idea to fly their Climate Editor, Justin Rowlatt, to Alicante last week, so that he could tell us all it’s hot in Spain.
With his shirt buttons undone, he self-importantly intoned that temperatures there were ‘expected to hit the late thirties over the next few days’; and it was, of course, all because of global warming.
Maybe he should learn not to trust the BBC’s propaganda, because in the event temperatures peaked at 36C before quickly declining:
And as anybody who has been to that part of the world in summer knows, temperatures of 36C are far from remarkable:
Maybe Justin might fly to Iceland next winter and tell us all how cold it is there. Or maybe that’s not newsworthy.
US heatwaves were much worse in the past
The climate change lobby like to claim that record high temperatures are evidence of global warming, even though they are frequently measured next to airport runways or in the middle of big cities, where temperatures are boosted by urbanisation.
A record of 52.2C in China excited the media last week: on the face of it, an unbelievably high figure. Further investigation, however, reveals that it was recorded in a place called Sanbao, 130ft below sea level in the Turpan Depression, a desert region historically referred to as one of the Furnaces of China. Below sea level, temperatures are inflated in the same way as air becomes cooler with altitude. On top of that, the Turpan acts as a giant heat trap. Sanbao is not listed as an official weather station, nor has it any historical data, so there is no way of knowing whether it has been hotter in the past, or whether it is appropriately sited. To claim this as a genuine record is as meaningless as using the temperature on the Centre Court at Wimbledon.
The whole ‘record temperature = global warming’ argument falls flat on its face in the US, where nearly all the State records were set many decades ago:
Note that it is not only the dustbowl years of the 1930s that we are looking at: many records were set before then.
Before a state record is validated, it is examined by meteorological experts. It is approved only if the thermometer is properly sited and not biased by micro-climatological or anthropogenic factors. This is in stark contrast to our own Met Office, who are happy to use totally unsuitable sites for propaganda purposes.
More evidence that heatwaves used to be much worse in the past in the US comes from their Environmental Protection Agency. As the chart below shows, most of the country has experienced a downward trend in unusually hot weather since 1948:
It’s hot in Arizona!
The recent catastrophising of normal summer weather in the US has focused around Phoenix, Arizona, where temperatures peaked at 118F (48C).
That’s hot, but not as hot as the 122F recorded in 1990!
As one of the US’s leading meteorologists, Cliff Mass, points out, Phoenix is nowadays typically 4F warmer than neighbouring rural sites, purely because of the Urban Heat Island effect.
Cliff Mass is scathing of claims that all these heatwaves have been driven by climate change. As he comments, there have always been heatwaves in summer, and they are the result of meteorological conditions, viz ridges of high pressure, not global warming.
He states: ‘It is important to understand that current heatwaves are localised, with substantial portions of the planet experiencing cooler-than-normal conditions as well. Most of the planet is NOT experiencing unusual warmth.’
Given that I am writing this with my heater on, I can only concur!