Was last week’s record heatwave in the Pacific Northwest caused by a climate-altering buildup of human greenhouse gases? The once-august Scientific American claimed it was, declaring, “Unprecedented Heat Wave in Pacific Northwest Driven by Climate Change.” Other outlets like the Washington Post echoed this narrative.
It’s helpful to remember climate change commentators live by two rules: First, everything is linked to climate change. Second, when in doubt, see rule number one. This simple, two-rule test shows up in any of the activist corporate media’s coverage of climate “related” events. It’s what makes them both boring and predictable.
Yet what happened in the Pacific Northwest the week before Independence Day was caused by the weather, not the climate. Simply put, a high-pressure dome built up over southern British Columbia. This caused strong downslope winds from the north.
Those winds curved right, flowing up and over the Cascade Range. As the winds picked up speed going downhill towards Seattle, Portland, and other cities closer to the coast, the air rapidly compressed and heated up. Gases do that when they get compressed. It’s simple physics (as compared to the almost infinitely complex physics of climate change).
Proponents of climate concern suggest the Earth has warmed about two degrees Fahrenheit over the past century. But only in the fantasy land of complex and unproven attribution models would this change be directly responsible for the recent heatwave.
The spate of broken high-temperature records is likewise completely unsurprising. Accurate and regular temperature records for Seattle only began in February 1870. It wasn’t until 1894 that the U.S. Weather Bureau finally had its statewide network in place in Washington.
With 151 years of data for Seattle, then, any given day represents 0.7 percent of the record for that particular date, meaning that every day there’s a one-in-151 chance of setting a new record high or low for that date, and every year will see a 0.7 percent likelihood of setting new record highs or lows.
According to the University of Washington, the hottest temperature recorded in the state was 118 degrees Fahrenheit. Wahluke reached this temperature on
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