The climate is ruined?
Back in the '80s and early '90s, CNN appeared to have promise. Today, not so much.
An article at CNN now professes that "the climate is ruined. So can civilization even survive?" Well, if CNN's current quality is any indication, civilization may have already died.
This statement from the CNN piece is worthy of some discussion:
The burning of coal, oil, and natural gas has made the planet warmer than it had been since the rise of civilization 10,000 years ago. Civilization was made possible by the emergence about 12,000 years ago of the 'Holocene' epoch, which turned out to be the Goldilocks zone -- not too hot, not too cold. But now, says physicist Stefan Rahmstorf, 'We are catapulting ourselves way out of the Holocene.'
This catapult is dangerous, because we have no evidence civilization can long survive with significantly higher temperatures. And yet, the world is on a trajectory that would lead to an increase of 4C (7F) in this century. In the opinion of many scientists and the World Bank, this could happen as early as the 2060s.
What would 'a 4C world' be like? According to Kevin Anderson of the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research (at the University of East Anglia), 'during New York's summer heat waves the warmest days would be around 10-12C (18-21.6F) hotter [than today's].' Moreover, he has said, above an increase of 4C only about 10% of the human population will survive.
Believe it or not, some scientists consider Anderson overly optimistic.
Let's get this straight. The hottest days during a New York summer are headed towards a 22º F increase by as early as the 2060s, and this projection is "overly optimistic" (i.e., the actual increase could be much higher)?
Here are New York's average maximum July and August temperatures since records began in 1895.
After increasing slightly from the late 1800s to the 1930s, the temperatures have not increased whatsoever. The non-parametric correlation since 1930 is almost a perfect non-correlation (p=0.96). This isn't cherry-picking. There are simply no significant increasing trends since 1920, 1930, 1940, 1950, 1960, 1970, 1980, or 1990. In fact, starting in 1950 – and continuing for each decade since – the correlation has turned negative toward cooling, not warming.
The hottest ever day in New York was during July 1936, when the temperature reached 106º F. As a result, a 22º F increase by the 2060s means annual maximum temperatures reaching 128º F.
For comparison, here is the annual maximum temperature in the Big Apple since 1895.
There has been no significant trend in New York's annual maximum temperature (aka "hottest days during a New York summer") since 1895, 1900, 1910, etc., all the way up to the present. During the past several decades, the correlation is negative – toward lower summertime extreme maximum temperatures, not higher.
Summertime maximum temperatures in New York predicted to increase by up to 22º F by the 2060s due to climate change, and yet trends are headed in the opposite direction. Perhaps it is the climate models that are ruined?