Energy

US ‘Heat Dome’ Is Weather, Not Global Warming, Scientist Says

REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz

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Michael Bastasch Energy Editor

Americans are feeling the summer heat as a “heat dome” boils most much of the eastern U.S., but some are blaming sweltering temperatures on man-made global warming.

Singer Bette Midler blamed “climate deniers” for the heat wave, and The Washington Post tied the U.S. heat wave to other hot flashes around the world. The Post argued “collectively, these heat records are consistent with the kind of extremes we expect to see increase in a warming world.”

However, climatologist Roy Spencer called out attempts to link the current heat wave to man-made warming. It’s weather, not climate, Spencer wrote on his blog.

“[T]he excessive heat is (again) regionally isolated, which is exactly what we expect for weather,” Spencer wrote, “not for climate change.”

“What we see is that there were unseasonably cool temperatures in the western U.S., again an indication of a temporary and localized weather pattern … not ‘global warming,’  which would be warm everywhere.”

Sweltering weather set in over the weekend, bringing near-record temperatures to parts of the country. However, like Spencer noted, the heat is regional and parts of the northern Rockies saw snow while the east heated up.

The D.C. area, for example, was expected to see temperatures of more than 100 degrees Fahrenheit, according to the National Weather Service. The Service warned of “oppressive” heat around Boston due to high humidity.

The “heat dome” is expected to move west and bring near-record heat to Southern California, according to forecasts. (RELATED: ‘Far From Settled’: Another Analysis Shows The ‘Godfather’ Of Global Warming Was Wrong)

Climate scientists predict global warming will cause heat waves to become more frequent and intense, and some scientists claim heat waves are on the rise in the U.S., Spencer pointed to data showing no trend in days of 100 degrees and higher in the last century or so.

“We see no trend in the number of days with excessive heat,” Spencer wrote.

“If there was no natural year-to-year variability, and the temperature was increasing at 0.01 or 0.02 [degrees Fahrenheit] every year, then every successive year would be a record warm year … but who would care?” Spencer wrote. “The rate of ‘global warming’ is too weak for any one person to notice in their lifetime.”

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