Monday, August 09, 2010

Moscow's "Worst Heat" in 1,000 Years (BS Warning)

I don't know why Drudge, a conservative, always pushes stories that seem to support "global warming," but he has another one up today:  "Muscovites Flee Worst Heat in 1,000 Years;  Death Rate Doubles."  Thousands of Muscovites are fleeing the city "to beat the heat."

The story's title is not supported by the news story itself.  There is no mention of how anyone determined this is the "worst heat in 1,000 years," a pretty neat trick since the mercury thermometer wasn't even invented until 1714, though there are complicated ways to estimate prior temperatures, e.g. boring trees and analyzing tree rings, taking ice core samples, etc.

And what is this terrible heat?  35.5° C, which translates to 95.9° F.  That's a fairly normal temperature for summertime across the USA, especially in August, so what's the big deal?  On July 29, Moscow experienced its "highest temperature ever" ("ever" is not defined, but records go back to 1879), 38.2° C, or 101° F.  Again, 101 isn't an extraordinary temperature, though it is higher than Moscow's usual summer temperatures, which often top 86 °F.  Of course, usual temperatures are not affected by extensive wild fires as is the case today.

The real reason the death rate has doubled in Moscow, to 700 per day, is that the city's air pollution is horrible, with high levels of carbon monoxide and smoke from extensive wild fires.  That is also the real reason so many are fleeing the city:  smoke is hard to breathe.

These dramatic headlines are part of the global warming agenda of big, liberal newspaper chains:  to insinuate into the public mind that earth temperatures are soaring, so people can remember man-made global warming hysteria, put 2 and 2 together and get 5.  We are being programmed.


Stogie said...

Russian summers seem to be pretty hot usually...German accounts of the Second World War there almost uniformly note the unpleasant summers. For that matter, you can construct a good argument that the heat of July/August 1812 did more to ruin Napoleon's invasion than did the later winter, primarly because of its effect on the horses and the grain crop.

Stogie said...

The Wikipedia page you linked to helps put the 100-degree Moscow heat wave in perspective -- it shows the average high for that city at this time of year is 70 degrees.

Moscow is located farther north than all the major cities of Canada, so "fairly normal temperature for summertime across the USA" is not an apt comparison. For a better North American reference point, drive to the Canadian border, then continue north for another 500 miles -- that's the latitude of Moscow. 

<p>Heat is the leading weather-related cause of death in the United States -- especially among the elderly. Heat kills Russians just as readily as it does Americans, I imagine. Probably more so in Moscow, given that millions of Muscovites live without air conditioning in concrete apartment buildings that retain heat overnight.

I'm not trying to make any point about global warming with these observations.


Stogie said...

My point about the Moscow temperature is that it is not extraordinary to the health of humans, using the US as an example.  When I lived in Phoenix, we often had 110 degree days; they were uncomfortable, but not deadly unless one was caught out in the open without water for an extended period of time.

Most articles on the Moscow heat wave mention smog as an equal factor affecting the death rate.  See

Stogie said...

People do die of heat in Phoenix. In fact, the heat mortality rate for Arizona is several times greater than the national average. That's why the Phoenix office of the National Weather Service has a heat-health watch/warning system. People who study heat mortality in Phoenix have flagged evaporative coolers as a potential contributing factor, because such coolers lose their effectiveness in high humidity. 

Our personal perceptions are often at odds with reality. That's what makes science such a useful thing. Unfortunately, as demonstrated by the popularity of things like tobacco and sharia, to grab two easy examples, large segments of the human race can be remarkably uninterested in what science has to offer.

"The essence of science is that it is always willing to abandon a given idea for a better one."
-- H. L. Mencken

Stogie said...

Sven, the problem why science has lost a lot of its credibility is because of such shenanigans as those of the AGW crowd.  Science has become politicized and is now being used for money-making schemes.  I do not believe that scientists are the final arbiter of what is "reality."  I think it is dangerous to follow them blindly and assume that their perceptions are 100% unbiased and 100% accurate, especially in light of AGW and its various scandals.  Scientists too have their biases and blind spots and some of their beliefs are faith-based or politics-based more than fact-based.  Look at that quack who claimed that millions would starve in the 1970's (he wrote "The Population Bomb") -- they didn't.  Or Rachel Carson whose politics persuaded her to originate a ban on DDT (she wrote "The Silent Spring"), with tens of millions dead of Malaria in the decades since.

I had an evaporative cooler in Phoenix, and you are right about its limited effectiveness.  When it got too hot it no longer worked, and then we had to turn on the more expensive air conditioning.

Stogie said...

Do you agree with Mencken that astronomers and physicists make things up? 

Stogie said...

Sven, I only think that some scientists go beyond what is precise and measurable into the realm of speculation, as Mencken apparently did from the above quote.  Speculation is okay too if the scientists admit it as such, and do not claim it is "settled science."  Speculating about the nature of black holes, worm holes and parallel universes can be useful in developing new theories, for instance, and I don't have a problem with that.  I enjoy the television series on the universe and these kinds of theories.  Theories can open the mind to new possibilities.