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I cringe every time I see stories like the one being pushed in the Associated Press today by AP science writer Seth Borenstein.
My Way News – This US summer is ‘what global warming looks like’ http://apnews.myway.com/article/20120703/D9VP9J681.html
Even Drudge picked it up.
The amount of unsupported speculation trying to be passed of as science is nothing more than the classic appeal to authority. In this case, the “authority” is Dr. Kevin Trenberth, a man with so much hatred for alternate viewpoints that he refused to remove the holocaust word “denier” from his keynote address to the American Meteorological Society.
This reminds me of the Russian heat wave of 2010.
The same people made essentially the same comments, then months later the peer reviewed literature (published by NOAA researchers no less) said that it was caused by natural variation…a blocking high pressure pattern. http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/03/09/noaa-findsclimate-change-blameless-in-2010-russian-heat-wave/
That was followed up by another paper saying the same thing: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/03/29/another-paper-shows-that-the-russian-heatwave-of-2010-was-due-to-natural-variability/
We have essentially the same thing happening here, a persistent quasi-stationary weather pattern, part of the normal natural variation.
As for the derecho, it is hardly new. The word was first used in the American Meteorological Journal in 1888 by Gustavus Detlef Hinrichs in a paper describing the phenomenon and based on a significant derecho event that crossed Iowa on 31 July 1877. Further, NOAA’s Storm Prediction Center has catalogued them through the years.