Quote of the day – Peter Stott

I just love this quote I found about the recent heatwave in the Independent from Peter Stott who is apparently an expert in analysing the role of climate change (shouldn’t that be climate heating these days?) in extreme weather at the Met Office. He must be aware that if a similar heatwave had occurred in 1919 which had been 4°C cooler then it would have been either much shorter in duration or not occurred at all depending on which definition for heatwave you use. I believe in Germany they still use the old definition of five days or more with maximum temperatures of at least 28°C, unlike in the UK, where the Met Office have just decreed that the threshold is now only 25°C for just three days. For instance the thermograph for somewhere like Frankfurt looked like this for the last week of June 2019 with a heatwave of at least seven days.

But if according to Peter temperatures were 4°C lower back in 1919 there would have been no heatwave in Frankfurt at all. Perhaps that’s his point, but it’s a bit of an odd way of making it.

I was under the impression that the Earth was now a full one degree warmer than it was in pre-industrial times and not four? Why would a rise in temperature of one degree in global temperatures produce a resulting rise in four degrees in day time maxima? Heatwaves have always occurred across the world, and although this was one was quite severe particularly in parts of southeast France, they always will. I don’t deny that heatwaves are on the increase, how can they not when threshold temperatures are fixed and the globe is now a full one degree warmer?

I can see extreme event climate attribution is the place to be if you want to make a name for yourself in the world of AGW. I wonder if Peter will have a go at attributing the cool and changeable weather we’ve experienced so far this summer in the north of Scotland to climate change, or explain why June’s in central England haven’t show any sign of warming since 1772, I very much doubt it.

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