It’s been a hot summer in Philadelphia so far this year. I started wondering in the global warming has anything to do with our recent spate of 90+ days.
First, lets look at the global warming situation. NASA has announced that July, 2016 is the warmest month on record (here, here). We are well on our way to the 3rd year of record breaking global temperatures.
NASA’s GISS Temperature Anomaly Trend
Is there a connection between global temperature increases and our 90+ summer? To find out, I first downloaded temperature data from the Weather Underground for Philadelphia’s NE Airport. I then plotted the daily maximum and minimum temperatures for the summer months of May through yesterday.
On first glance at the chart, I was sure that I found proof that our 33 90+ days was proof that global warming has hit Philadelphia. As I dug deeper I found that the number of 90+ days varies from a low of 6 in 1978, to 41 in 2010 and a high of 43 in 1988. We are in the high end of the 6 – 43 day ranges of 90+ temperatures range of the number of 90+ days we have had in the 1975 – 2015 period.
We need to dig deeper to find links between the number of Philadelphia’s dog days of summer and global warming. I’ll be writing on this more in the comming months.
Ken Burns gave the commencement address at Stanford’s 2016 graduation. Here is the portion of the talk where Burns talks about the 2016 election, specifically the lack of qualifications and dangers of Donald Trump.
Houston, Texas area has seen major rainfall and flooding. This gif animation shows LandSat images of the Brazos River on May 4, 2013 and May 28, 2016 after the recent Texas storms. (NASA link)
Brazos River: normal and May 28, 2016 flood
The Colorado Basin has been suffering a drought for 15 years. Here’s a look at how the drought has caused water levels in Lake Powell to drop to today’s low levels.
Donald Trump has brought the Western US drought to the 2016 presidential election with his 5/27 statement to Californians that he will is “.. open up ..” water to drought stricken California (video).
Water management in the Western US is incredibly challenging, not as easily fixed as Trump claims. The combination of increasing water demand and shrinking water supply brought about by climate change has put us to the limits of water resources in the West.
This Blue Legacy International video does a good job showing the challenges we face trying to provide water for our urban center and agricultural needs in a water short part of our country.
(Click image to launch video)
We are facing incredibly challenging climate change problems. We need serious, thoughtful evaluations of our options, not just one liners from our presidential candidates.
The DRBC’s Monitoring Advisory Coordinating Committee (MACC) and the Partnership for the Delaware Estuary held their annual joint meeting on Tuesday, March 8.
I presented this slide show at the meeting to encourage DRBC and the Partnership for the Delaware Estuary to begin to address plastic trash as a serious water quality challenge for the Delaware Estuary.
The presentation pdf is here