Philly to the Max

Guest post by Dr. Richard Alan Keen

Although I’ve lived in Colorado for 40+ years, Philadelphia is my ancestral home and I keep track of the weather there.  Of course, I’m excited about any event that sets records there, and last week’s heat wave set several.  Apparently Michael Mann is excited, too, and in his “Victory and Vindication” interview, he said:

“Record heat wave in the US that’s part of a larger picture

of early summer temperatures that are the warmest on record,

which is part of a larger picture of a globe that is running warmer than ever before…”

So is Philadelphia getting more heat waves?  Here’s a chart of annual maximum temperatures for Philadelphia since 1873, when the Weather Bureau installed self-registering max-min thermometers.

Earlier records are not comparable, since they are from hourly or 2 p.m. readings, which lead to lower extremes.

I think the graph speaks for itself – the trend line (plotted in red) is rather flat, with an upward trend of 0.2 degrees F per century.  If that continues for another century, the old town will heat up another 0.2 degrees and turn into an inferno.

As for the question of more heat waves, before 1942, the mid-point of the data, Philadelphia enjoyed 9 years in which the maximum temperature exceeded 100 degrees.  For the second half of the record, since 1942, there were, well, 9 years.  Not much of an increase.

If that trend continues, I would expect another 9 years with 100+ degree temperatures by 2080.

Dr. Richard Keen

Co-op observer, climatologist, author, and teacher.

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51 thoughts on “Philly to the Max

  1. “part of a larger picture of a globe that is running warmer than ever before”
    Is Mike Mann for real? The Earth has been warmer before, and he knows it. Also, the globe doesnt ‘run’ anywhere. It’s not even a globe, it’s an oblate spheriod. Pity he left science years ago.

  2. But, I thought we cannot connect localized weather event with “climate change.” As in, it’s weather, not climate.

  3. Colin. Since your from BC we can forgive your lack of climate expertise. Dr. Mann is an eminently qualified treemometer expert. If he says something it it must be true. He is, after all, a Doctor and you are are not.

  4. Here’s an anology I can’t stop thinking about. If an astronomer said he found a asteroid that was heading on a collision course for earth that would cause all sorts of calamity yet he would not share the asteroid’s coordinates because this represented the last ten years of his research, how would fellow scientist and politicians react? Would they strengthen his warnings to earth by constant predictions of what could happen or would they insist on the coordinates of the asteriod?

  5. Mann just can’t help himself can he? Being exonerated by your mates against all the evidence isn’t vindication – it’s fraud.
    Maybe he should take a leaf out of Phil Jones’ book. He’s been “exonerated” by his mates too but he’s found enough sense to keep a low profile. So far…

  6. Hey, Anthony,
    Have you seen this?
    [snip]
    Reply: funny, but take it to tips and notes please. RT-mod

  7. Dr. Keen,
    Big Thanks.
    I refer to your materials often. Your graphs on North America are an excellent example of the actual history for this part of the world.

  8. But but, Mike Mann is right! From your own graph you can see that in a mere 127 years the average max temp has increased from 97F to ….. 97.2F
    To the hills!

  9. Dr Keen (or Anthony),
    Any chance of sending this to Mr Mann and asking for his explanation regarding the disparity between it and his comments?

  10. If you send this to Dr Mann he’ll run it through his Mannometer, then send it to his pal Hansen to homogenize it, and by the time you get it back it’s the steepest hockey stick you’ve ever seen.

  11. Keepers of the historical records such as Dr Richard Allen Keen are a priceless resource that help to guard us from pseudo-scientist-hucksters such as Mann and his cohort. Observing Mann’s behaviour and mannerisms during the latest video of him, I see him as very strange and troubled individual. Digging the Warmist hole deeper by using examples of a short run of days of hot weather, which in the past they have been at considerable pains to inform us “is not climate”, one wonders at the state of their individual and collective mental health and how the eventual and final denouement that must come will effect Mann and his fellows.

  12. Dr. Keen, you got me thinking, there are 12 special locations in the U.S. that are placed within 1200 km of at least two other points. By Dr. Hansen’s 1200 km algorithm, points internal within these 1200 km circular areas are not even necessary to accurately portray the temperatures over that larger (U.S.) area. If 12 people who comment here were to volunteer and collaborate and take one point each and locate and document a group of rural sites near each these points where the maximum temperature records show similar traits as Philadelphia which you have shown, it seems this should, by ‘proper’ science as Hansen has used, to show there has be none or just a tiny rise in the last century anywhere in the United States.
    Since we are speaking of global temperatures, there is no way such one large mass of land (U.S.) can “hide” from the increased global energy within the global climate system over a century period as others have claimed.
    We would need a group of specialists in climate to verify that this “experiment” meets all conditions listed in Dr. Hansen’s paper to align to his hypothesis.
    Possibly some of the other climatologists and atmospheric scientist who frequent WUWT could stand in to peer review such a publication of this paper and properly put it on record.
    This might be impossible due to scientific standard procedures but if so I would like to know some of the reasons why this could not be done and finished.
    I know almost all for the rural stations in Oklahoma show the same no or tiny increase pattern over the last century and I bet the other 12 show a similar pattern.
    Anthony knows of the many reasons why the minimum readings have shown an increase, more irrigation, more ponds, any structures retaining daytime heat, roads, etc. and all are not related to any GHG gases.
    Seems we have to use current science itself as it stands to refute the other papers fogging this issue.
    What do you think since you are a climatologist yourself?

  13. The biggest mistake with “GLOBAL CLIMATE” is that it is regional. The shape and rotation of the planet does NOT allow clouds to cross over the equator. Ocean currents would NOT exist if the planet did not rotate. Rotation allows daytime heat to escape. Many other factors MUST be included to be more accurate such as land masses and the shape for the movement of ocean currents, sun activity, ocean chemistry changes, etc.
    We have contributed to the imbalance slightly with activities NEVER experienced by this planet before man and the massive population.
    CO2 being the cause? What a joke!

  14. I’m a native of South Jersey, and I love your points and agree. One thing I am curious about though, is that I have heard that KPHL now measures from across the Delaware River in the town of National Park, NJ. At least I know they measure their snow there. I’m wondering if they also are measuring temperature, etc. there, and if so, how long have they been doing it? In terms of sustained, consistent climo, that would almost no sense to me if that’s what they’re doing (like many other things that have been done…though I suppose you’d get a truer realistic temp there, but that’s awfully far away from Philly to be considered representative). Thanks for a solid post!

  15. Bird Stewart Lightfoot says:
    “Is 0.2 degrees F/century statistically significant?”
    Good question, which Prof Lindzen comments on:

    Future generations will wonder in bemused amazement that the early 21st century’s developed world went into hysterical panic over a globally averaged temperature increase of a few tenths of a degree, and, on the basis of gross exaggerations of highly uncertain computer projections combined into implausible chains of inference, proceeded to contemplate a roll-back of the industrial age”
    ~ Dr Richard Lindzen

    We don’t even know how much of this small fraction of a degree warming is due to the recovery from the LIA, and how much is due to the effect of CO2 — if any.
    The debate is still raging over the climate sensitivity number; the amount of warming putatively due to increases in carbon dioxide. Dr Lindzen states that it is ≤0.5°C. If so, then CO2 is a very minor player. Very minor. For all practical purposes, CO2 can be completely disregarded as inconsequential.
    Yet based upon the alarmism surrounding this minor trace gas, politicians are proposing a roll-back of the industrial age. That will not happen. Here is why:
    The AGW scam works like this: First, the public is alarmed regarding the effect of CO2.
    Next, Cap & Tax is passed, resulting in an immense rise in the cost of all goods and services. This expense is designed to occur over several years, in order to blur the cause and effect between the C&T legislation and its financial effects.
    What will eventually happen is that companies will be allowed to purchase “carbon offsets,” which will allow them to continue to emit the same amount of [harmless] CO2, once they pay the vigorish to the government.
    The increased costs will then be passed on to the consumer in the form of higher prices across the board. The difference will be collected by the government as a consumption tax.
    Cap & Trade is simply a tax; a tax so large that it would have no chance of passing as a tax. So it is dishonestly couched in the form of a “save the planet” solution.
    The problem is that it is based on the lie that CO2 is the cause of the fraction of a degree warming since the mid-1800’s. But to date, there is zero testable evidence that CO2 is the cause of any global warming. Thousands of scientists are working to show that CO2 drives the climate — and they have come up empty handed. But the gravy train keeps moving forward fueled by the prospect of all that taxpayer loot.
    Spreading the word of this scam at every opportunity is the best antidote.

  16. Smokey,
    Excellent points.
    Worse yet we are spending Billions trying to develop “alternative” green fuels chasing old worn out concepts that have zero chance of supplying our energy needs.
    “The Great Obamanomic Job Creation Machine rumbled into action again over the Fourth of July weekend, promising to spend as much as $2 billion to support creation of 1,585 “permanent” jobs by two solar energy companies. That comes to a potential cost of over $1.25 million per job.”
    http://weeklystandard.com/articles/one-job-forward-two-jobs-back
    and for windmills:
    “The wind blew at its best in Ontario yesterday between midnight and 1 am (the first column in the chart), producing 214 megawatt-hours (1000 kilowatts to one megawatt) that hour. If wind was operating in a free market electricity economy, it would have only earned $36.85 per megawatt that hour, or one-third to one-quarter the value of power during peak hours.
    Over the next few hours, its next best hours for the day, wind continued to fetch very low prices.
    Then, when power prices soared along with demand as society got to work, the wind turbines went to sleep. The peak production of 214 megawatts dropped to as little as 11 and never rose above 60. To put these numbers in perspective, when Ontario needed the wind most, wind was producing as little as one twentieth of 1% of Ontario’s needs –essentially nothing.”
    Read more: http://fullcomment.nationalpost.com/2010/07/08/lawrence-solomon-winds-bad-day/#ixzz0tKWQ8SpC

  17. I am from North Carolina. We are on pace to have the most 90+ F days ever. When you average the temperatures, this will likely be the hottest summer on record. However, this has not been the worst summer I’ve ever experienced. When I was a kid in the early or mid 1980’s, I remember a summer that had 5 straight days of 100+ F days. And very humid. This summer, while hot, is not as humid as North Carolina can be. This has been a very bad summer, but it has been worse. It gets worse when I know our winter will be warm too thanks to La Nina.
    I suggest “Dr.” Mann go learn what La Nina is and what the jet stream is. But, of course, Dr. Mann doesn’t care about such things. These things don’t allow him to gloat like a child and these things don’t attract funding. So he cares not for them, or for history. Michael Mann knows people have short memories. They don’t remember the hot years, so since he “studies” the climate then gosh, it must be true. That short memory will work against Michael Mann, Joe Bastardi keeps showing long-term predictions that show the earth is going to get real cold this winter, except the eastern part of the US. Where will “Dr.” Mann be then? Probably claiming that the warm winter in the eastern US is proof the world is warmer.

  18. Guess the year of these heat waves

    Time Magazine
    “Records were broken. Thermometers recorded 107° in Dallas, 98° in Chicago, 100° in Kansas City, 98° in Detroit, 103° in Cleveland, 101.2° in Philadelphia, 100.4° in Boston and 96° in Hell, Mich. In New York, Weather Bureau employees, who work without benefit of air conditioning, noted a temperature of 100.8°. The New York Telephone Co. answered more than 190,000 calls from people who said: “Hey, Mac—how hot?”
    In the big cities, as asphalt pavements softened to the consistency of taffy, hundreds of factories and offices began letting the help off early. When they didn’t, the help just stayed away. There were 20,000 absentees in Detroit automobile plants on the day after the heat wave began.”

    Source: Times Argus – Vermont
    “On the second day, the thermometers rose quickly, reaching 95 by 11:30 a.m., 101 at noon and a whopping 104 at 1:30 p.m. And the temperatures lingered, sticking at 98 at 7:30 p.m. The uncomfortable conditions shortened the meeting of the Rutland City Board of Alderman. The only blessing during the day was the light breeze present in the city. The 104 temperature established a city record.”

    Source: Sunday Times – UK
    “…..thousands of new WCs all over London were flushing waste into the River Thames. In June a heatwave cooked the foul mess into “the Great Stink”. “

    How Are New Yorkers Dealing With The Heat Wave (SLIDESHOW)

  19. Now the sceptics’ book is titled, “Not Evil, Just Wrong”. Going with that and giving Mann the benefit of the doubt, would deem him quite stupid, wouldn’t it? Either way, how on earth could this turkey be a scientist?

  20. Curiously, since about 1918 there is a clear downward trend of the max. of the maximum temperatures (about 2 degrees C/century). I know that global warming is supposed to manifest primarily as an increase in the minimum temperatures, so where does a decrease in the max. temperatures fit in? :>)

  21. If we get a volcanic eruption of VE-4 or better from Iceland-we all are going to feel it in the NH. I fear the cold more than the warm….

  22. And out here in California I look out the door of my office and see yet another gray, foggy morning…it hasn’t quite been a ‘year without a summer’ (yesterday was quite nice by afternoon) we’re definitely getting blanketed with low-level Gore Effect.
    Of course, weather isn’t climate, or so the Gavins have always harped, which makes it all the odder that Mann would jump on that bandwagon.

  23. Smokey says:
    July 11, 2010 at 4:54 am
    Smokey, yes, all true. But there is enough evidence…
    (such as the “climate reparations” of the Copenhagen “treaty”,
    …the comments of John Holdren (our new Science Czar) that a climate change agreement would: “allow wealth to be redistributed from the global north to the global south..”…….. and worse:
    http://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/69081
    ….and the revelations about ownership of the CCX –
    http://www.investors.com/NewsAndAnalysis/Article/531731/201004281911/The-10-Trillion-Climate-Fraud.aspx
    …. and I think we will find the same owners of carbon trading systems in Western Economies around the globe….
    …to see that this is a global conspiracy. Not just to raise taxes for governments, but to funnel wealth to specific individuals, and to cripple and weaken Western economies… to unspecified ends…. all of which are frightening.

  24. So, does this “vindication and victory” mean that the Hockeystick Mann will go down in history with the same fame as the Piltdown Man?

  25. Heat waves must not be calculated by the number of years they happened but by the lenght they are in each of those years. A heat wave does not necessary mean a record high, but temps that are above normal for x number of days.
    Pushing the idea that it is calculated in occurence per year is flawed.

  26. Wade says:
    July 11, 2010 at 5:25 am
    “[…]However, this has not been the worst summer I’ve ever experienced. When I was a kid in the early or mid 1980′s, I remember a summer that had 5 straight days of 100+ F days. And very humid.[…]”
    Water vapor feedback. Count yourself lucky you survived.

  27. “As for the question of more heat waves, before 1942, the mid-point of the data, Philadelphia enjoyed 9 years in which the maximum temperature exceeded 100 degrees. For the second half of the record, since 1942, there were, well, 9 years.”
    Without recourse to the raw data, it looks as if prior to 1942 there were only seven years when the maximum did not equal or exceed 95 degrees and after 1942 there were sixteen. More than twice as many cool summers in recent years than in the past?

  28. Regg said: “A heat wave does not necessary mean a record high, but temps that are above normal for x number of days.”
    Yeah, weather…

  29. I am wondering where Dr. Keen got his data from – it says “Dr. Richard Keen” at the bottom of the graphic. And is Philadelphia particularly noteworthy weather-wise?

  30. Dr. Keen:
    Since you have the actual numbers. Run a common statistical test for Normalcy.
    Then, if the data fits typical “normal” distributions, find the standard deviation.
    THEN, compare that with the 0.2 F.
    I think the significance of the 0.2 F on a “statistical basis” is about as close to ZERO as you can come!

  31. Regg says:
    July 11, 2010 at 8:33 am
    “[…] Pushing the idea that it is calculated in occurence per year is flawed.”
    According to whom?

  32. Does Mann’s ‘vindication’ mean that Penn State will now let him move on and up, say to NOAA, and won’t have to fire him? Whoopie!!!! (The Peter Principle is still valid;-(
    Philly does leave a little scar on your heart and dust in your lungs that you always carry around with you no matter where you are;-)

  33. BTW, we have a little heat wave here in Germany ATM so i checked whether the all time record has been topped. It’s from 2003, 40.4 deg C, about 104.72 deg. F.
    Answer: no, we’re at 38.8 deg C, that’s 101.84 deg F. And no way the record will be reached say the meteorologists as the days already get shorter.
    Which is funny, because we have more CO2 than in 2003…

  34. Zilla says: July 11, 2010 at 10:34 am
    I am wondering where Dr. Keen got his data from – it says “Dr. Richard Keen” at the bottom of the graphic. And is Philadelphia particularly noteworthy weather-wise?
    Zilla , I am wondering if Zilla is short for Godzilla and I am also wondering whether anywhere is particularly noteworthy weather-wise. So what’s your point babe?

  35. Zilla says:July 11, 2010 at 10:34 am
    I am wondering where Dr. Keen got his data from – it says “Dr. Richard Keen” at the bottom of the graphic. And is Philadelphia particularly noteworthy weather-wise?

    Congratulations Zilla on asking good questions. Curious that Anthony has not put a link to Dr Keen’s web pages here – an unusual omission. But there are hints here of Keen’s scientific competence and trustworthiness eg

    Layne Blanchard says: July 11, 2010 at 1:28 am
    I refer to your materials often. Your graphs on North America are an excellent example of the actual history for this part of the world.

    and when I googled Dr Richard Keen Climate Science I was tickled pink to find my own web page mentioning Dr Keen quite high up there. However what you need is Tom Nelson who says

    Climatologist Dr. Richard Keen is a lecturer in the Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences at the University of Colorado, a member of the American Meteorological Society and has worked with the National Center for Atmospheric Research.

    and gives a link to Keen there.

  36. Pascvaks says:
    July 11, 2010 at 11:45 am
    “Does Mann’s ‘vindication’ mean that Penn State will now let him move on and up, say to NOAA, and won’t have to fire him? Whoopie!!!! (The Peter Principle is still valid;-(

    Michael doesn’t need to move up to evoke the Peter Principle i fear.

  37. ‘Wade says:
    July 11, 2010 at 5:25 am
    “[…]However, this has not been the worst summer I’ve ever experienced. When I was a kid in the early or mid 1980′s, I remember a summer that had 5 straight days of 100+ F days. And very humid.[…]”
    Water vapor feedback. Count yourself lucky you survived.’
    Water vapor feedback. This is why swamp coolers are more efficient in AZ than NC.

  38. If I had one question to pose to Michael Mann, it would be:
    “Is your trend line capable of escape velocity?”.

  39. Del says:
    July 11, 2010 at 12:45 am
    Here’s an anology I can’t stop thinking about. If an astronomer said he found a asteroid that was heading on a collision course for earth that would cause all sorts of calamity yet he would not share the asteroid’s coordinates because this represented the last ten years of his research, how would fellow scientist and politicians react? Would they strengthen his warnings to earth by constant predictions of what could happen or would they insist on the coordinates of the asteriod?
    _____________________________________________________
    You forgot to add that his research was done with public funds. Therefore I would think he would find himself facing a court order and then jail for contempt of court. That is if he was not torn apart by the frantic crowds first.

  40. Wade says:
    July 11, 2010 at 5:25 am
    I am from North Carolina. We are on pace to have the most 90+ F days ever. When you average the temperatures, this will likely be the hottest summer on record. However, this has not been the worst summer I’ve ever experienced…
    _____________________________________________________________
    That does not tally with my perception of NC. We actually had a mild to cold April and May and did not really get hot until recently.
    In Sanford, the middle of the State, I count by July tenth 43 days over ninety F for 2004 vs 26 days for 2010, and four days of 98F in 2010 vs nine days of 98F in 2004
    Central North Carolina (Sanford)Monthly temps over 90F for.2004.&.2010
    April 2010 (1)………..April 2004 (6)
    1day – 91F……………..2 days – 91F
    …………………………….4 days – 93F
    May 2010 (4)………………May 2004 (17)
    4day – 91F……………..6 days – 91F
    …………………………….6 days – 93F
    …………………………… 2 days – 95F
    …………………………….1 days – 96F
    …………………………….2 days – 98F
    June 2010 (11)……June 2004 (18)
    5 day – 91F……………1 days – 91F
    5 days – 93F………….7 days – 93F
    2 days – 95F……………none
    2 days – 96F……………2 days – 96
    4 days – 98F…………..1 days – 98F
    July 2010 (3)…………..July 2004 (9)
    1 days – 91F………………2 day – 91F
    1 days – 93F…………….1 days – 93F
    1 days – 96F……………none
    none………………………6 days – 98F
    For the whole month of July 2004 (24)
    ……………4 day – 91F
    ……………11 days – 93F
    ……………1 days – 95F
    …………1days – 96F
    …………2days – 98F
    Even if we have over ninety for the rest of the month we will not match 2004 for July especially with the forecast for the low nineties and thunderstorms which may mean the temperature never get into the nineties. http://www.wunderground.com/history/airport/KTTA/2010/7/11/MonthlyHistory.html?req_city=NA&req_state=NA&req_statename=NA
    Where are you getting the high count of over ninety degree days from???

  41. With apologies to Damon Albarn, here’s a lyric of his that seems to fit:
    He thinks his educated airs those family shares
    Will protect him, that you will respect him
    He moves in circles of friends who just pretend that they like him
    He does the same to them and when you put it all together
    There’s the model of a charmless man(n)

  42. Isn’t a heat wave generally defined in the US as three straight days with a high temp of 90 deg F or greater? If that’s the case, the analysis in this posting doesn’t actually talk about heat waves at all! Heat waves and max temperatures are NOT the same thing.

  43. It would be interesting to see what the average of the yearly mean is doing there. If it’s increasing, then the min of the winter temps must be increasing. That is, less cold in the winter which is what is driving the average of the yearly mean upwards.
    This is what I’m seeing in my examination of Environment Canada station data. Except our summers are actually cooling. The 1920-1930’s were hotter in the summer than today, but also the winters are far colder. We have 1/3 fewer days above 30C now than in the 1930’s, and half the days below -20C today than then.
    And some how that more moderated temperatures are supposed to be bad? Going to some “tipping point”?

  44. Some of you may find this paper interesting:
    Temperature and Precipitation Trends in Canada During the 20th Century
    Xuebin Zhang, Lucie A. Vincent, W. D. Hogg, Ain Niitsoo
    AtmosphereOcean (2000)Volume: 38, Issue: 3, Pages: 395–429
    http://www.cmos.ca/Ao/articles/v380301.pdf
    “Like other parts of the world, Canada has not become hotter (no increase in higher quantiles of maximum temperature), but has become less cold.”
    and
    “More studies are needed before we can conclude that such changes are the manifestations of anthropogenic climate change.”

  45. I live in Philly too. Why didn’t Mr. Mann comment on the record cold and record snowfalls of this past winter? Because that’s weather? But heat is not weather: it’s climate! I’m getting tired of his and the rest of the AGW crowd’s rhetoric. Quite frankly, I prefer the heat over the cold. And so does my garden.

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