by A. Watts, July 1, 2021 in ClimateChangeDispatch
The headline in E&E News, WOWT-TV, Scientific American, WorldNewsNetwork, and other media outlets this week, “Unprecedented Heat Wave in Pacific Northwest Driven by Climate Change” couldn’t possibly be more unscientific.
With absolutely no analysis, no historical context, and nothing but conjecture, author Anne. C. Mulkern eschewed science for advocacy in her reporting of the brief Pacific Northwest (PNW) heatwave this week.
Yes, the heatwave set all-time high-temperature records in Washington, Oregon, and Canada. But consider this: At best, we have about 150 years of reliable weather records for the PNW, so a “black swan” outlier eventlike this isn’t surprising.
It’s happened before, most certainly. We just weren’t around to observe it. After all, Native Americans did not keep written weather records.
High- (and low-) temperature records are nothing new. But it is important to look at the past because data shows us that more high-temperature records were set during the first half of the twentieth century than during the past 50 years.
Even the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) confirms this.