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Well, I think it reached 39.4°C at 4pm, here. But remember, I'm down in a dip so it's a little colder than elsewhere.
Were records broken? Honestly, I don't care. It was just stupidly hot.
I drove home at a nice sedate ~36kph (about 22mph). I was expecting to annoy loads of people, but actually only two white vans passed, at speed. There were maybe five or six cars on the other side of the road. They appeared to be going more slowly than normal. Perhaps for the same reason as me. The white vans? Work vehicles, they didn't care...
I drove with the windows open, as keeping them closed would have been insufferable. What I wasn't expecting was how quickly the hot dry air (I'm measuring 19% humidity) would dry my eyeball.
Finally, I made it home, about five or six minutes later than normal.
My first job was to put some cold water in the bath, then just sit on the edge with my feet in the water. To cool myself down a little faster, I decided to give my hair a quick wash in the cold water (things one never does in winter!). It was then that I realised that I hadn't brought the towel along. Oops.
I then slowly drank two glasses of nice cold ice cold milk (has gotta... come on, d'you remember what comes next?).
I then went down to check on Anna, and take her an extra meal. Now, she's a creature covered in fur. So imagine my surprise when I see her up on top of the breezeblock wall stuffed under the corrugated metal roof. In other words, the hottest part of that place.
I don't understand cat. I opened the door and she bolted out and rolled around in the sunshine. Until she noticed that I had food, upon which she returned faster than she left.
Now, outside is a lot like the feeling you get when opening the oven door, only it is constant and relentless. Worse yet, as the air has heated up, going into the shade, such as under trees, offers no respite. It's a harsh breeze. Extremely hot, and extremely dry.
I'm back now, with some yoghurt and the fan. It's warmer in the living room, so I'll soon head into my bedroom. I can't have the window open tonight, it's expected to still be around 32°C at midnight.
The article in The Guardian about the many wildfires burning in France, Spain, Portugal, etc concludes saying:
and temperatures will keep rising unless carbon emissions fall sharply.
Cannot help but wonder the carbon emission impact of tens of thousands of hectares of forest burning out of control...
Of course, I have always said that "climate change" will resemble a bathtub/bell curve. We won't slide into pleasantly warmer summers and milder winters. It will get bad in a hurry, and then it'll get exponentially worse.
Which leads on to...
I also can't help but feel that ideas such as "stop carbon emissions and we'll be okay" is little more than hubris. Yes, I'm quite sure that mankind has influenced the climate, but we've really just given a kick to a process that has been going on for billions of years. The earth has been much warmer, such as an average of 29°C in the Phanerozoic era / Cambrian period (around 485 million years ago).
It has also been much colder, such as -46°C in the Proterozoic era / Cryogenian period (around 700 million years ago). All of which, incidentally, were times of extinction events of unknown cause.
It was also pretty hot in the Devonian period (around 28°C) around 400 million years ago, which lead to a runaway climate and mass extinction. It happened again in the Permian period (~252 mya), and again in the Triassic (~201 mya). It also happened again in the Cretaceous (~66 mya) but we can excuse that as it was the result of a bloody great lump of rock smashing into the planet.
Anyway, if one looks, the average global temperature is about 16°C in the Anthropocene period (now). That's a little on the cool side. It has been colder, the snowballs in the Neogene (14°C, -5mya), Permian and Carboniferous (13°C, -260-300mya), Ordovician (12°C, -444mya), and of course the Cryogenian mentioned above.
If one thinks about the dates, it seems as if the climate yo-yos between scorching heat (and high CO2) and ice ages. There is a natural inhibitor (the oceans?) that stops the climate going gonzo and turning Earth into Venus. But it does get hotter and colder all by itself, we can't blame Jurassic crypto-mining.
So I do not believe that we have caused climate change. What I think we have done is simply speed up the process that causes it to happen. Climate change is real, so don't call me a "denier".
Now, this distinction may sound subtle, but it actually has a massive outcome on what happens next. What we ought to be doing is making proper serious plans for what to do to cope with the effects of climate change.
For example, we need nuclear. Sorry, but as much as invisible rays of doom might frighten people, there simply is no alternative to meet the energy demands of modern civilisations. Solar and wind has its uses, but they're only effective when there's sun or wind.
We must immediately cease all carbon offsetting that involves rich polluting countries trading emissions points with those countries that do not pollute. Such a thing is so spectacularly missing the point. And, besides, doesn't it seem like a complete scam to assign a pollution quota to a non-polluting country in order that it may be exchanged for use by a polluting country? This is a political wheeze designed to make it look like some hellhole is "so much greener" without actually doing anything whatsoever.
How's it coming along, the concepts of what to do when the sea level rises, say, three metres? You do know many capital/major cities are on the sea front or tidal rivers?
What about when a storm toddles along and dumps a month worth of rain in half an hour? Is anybody properly dredging rivers yet?
In case it hasn't quite been noticed... wildfires. Proper land management, fire breaks, and whatever other ideas may be useful to help try to reduce the spread of fires.
Here, for example, the wheat was brought in and the straw rolled into bales. Which now sit there. Would it not have been an idea to move the bales to the side of the field (in groups, not all together) and then rough-plough the field in order that it isn't a massive flat area of decomposing combustible material?
The climate is changing. Rather than trying to devise magical ways to stop it, we should be doing tasks to help slow it down (so, yes, less carbon), but more than that we should be looking at how to deal with the outcomes.
I just saw a weird looking prop plane skim overhead. Too low and fast to be able to get my camera. It was white and red and had a big bulge midsection.
Flightradar24 showed that it was a "Securite Civile" aircraft, specifically a De Havilland Canada Dash 8-400 with the callsign "MILAN73". The big bulge is the part that can be filled with water, which is then dumped from the plane.
It appears to be heading towards Brest, having taken off from Angers.
Shame I didn't get a photo. I normally would, but kind of don't want to hang around outside on a day like this. From the noise, I wondered if my neighbour had completely lost his marbles and had come for the bales. But no, it was a plane.
Uh-oh. I'm watching on Flightradar24, and it's just done a circle in the northeast side of the Parc naturel régional d'Armorique. Is there a fire there, too?
Sadly... yes. It's called Les Monts d'Arrée.
The moment when we all baked
And to end on a lighter note... thanks to met.ie and the infrared imagery from EUMETSAT, we can see the exact moment when we all baked.
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|J.G.Harston, 19th July 2022, 12:25
Yes, exactly! You don't complain about the rain and try and stop it, you invent the umberella and the storm drain.
mutter mutter normal Hong Kong weather mutter....
|C Ferris, 19th July 2022, 15:34
Hong Kong - Rain at 1600 every day!
|David Pilling, 19th July 2022, 18:34
Be interesting to see how it spins out. A hydrogen world where solar and wind generate it and it is stored is possible. A world of cheap nuclear fusion is possible. A mix of both maybe.
In the UK politicians have avoided nuclear, perhaps even Thatcher did. Different in France, lots of nuclear power stations, but still in trouble with energy.
Short term politicians who don't understand. Vagaries of tech. fusion is always 10 years off.
No one has said, fuel is going to be permanently more expensive, you can't inflate the cost away with wage rises, what cost 10% of your income will now cost 20%, and you are in effect going to be poorer - and this is to pay for net zero.
The generation of Physicists I belonged to got jobs working in nuclear power and 10 years later lost their careers.
Round here protests against fracking were very effective, day after day they closed the main roads. Politicians gave in. Now we're funding Putin's war machine.
The dash for nuclear is still going to be old fission based with waste that needs a sect of guardians to watch over it for 1000s of years.
Make it through the next 1000 years and the earth starts to move away from the Sun and someone will have the problem of keeping it warm. Maybe they'll have got fusion working by then.
|Rick, 19th July 2022, 18:50
I don't think the earth will move noticeably in humanity's life span.
Of course, if it did, that could be a solution to the global warming... ;)
|J.G.Harston, 19th July 2022, 19:49
Chap being interviewed on the local news about "what should we do to our homes to cope?"
Everything he's said is what we used to build houses as. Windows with adjustable ventalation (sash windows), outside shading (shutters) underground heat sinks (cellars) roof-space ventilation (attics).
We've spent the last 100 years destroying the built knowledge of making homes deal with the climate, and sealing up the extant systems in the existing housing stock.
eg: Sheffield Town Hall was built in 1897 with passive ventilation, ducts were built into the walls that ran up into the roof to "wind catchers" that sucked warm air out of the building and replaced it with cold air from the basements. In the 1950s these were all sealed up as old hat and covered over with radiators.
|David Pilling, 19th July 2022, 22:54
"On timescales of tens of millennia, the dominant radiative forcing of Earth’s climate is associated with slow variations in the geometry of Earth’s orbit about the Sun. These variations include the precession of the equinoxes (that is, changes in the timing of summer and winter), occurring on a roughly 26,000-year timescale; changes in the tilt angle of Earth’s rotational axis relative to the plane of Earth’s orbit around the Sun, occurring on a roughly 41,000-year timescale; and changes in the eccentricity (the departure from a perfect circle) of Earth’s orbit around the Sun, occurring on a roughly 100,000-year timescale."
Human race about 200,000 years old.
BTW round here people sit in their cars engines running in car parks, windows wound up, taking advantage of the air con.
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