July was coldest month in four years

by William Yeatman on September 5, 2004

in Science

The global temperature report for July 2004 from the University of Alabama in Huntsville (USA) Earth System Science Center found that July 2004 was the planet’s coolest month in four and a half years and the coolest July in a dozen years.
The data show that the global temperature was 0.21C (about 0.38F) below the 20-year average for July.  This followed on from a June temperature about 0.02C below the average.  Only 3 months in the last 41 had been below this norm.
Dr. John Christy of UAH said, This was the coolest July since 1992, when global temperatures were cooled by dust thrown into the atmosphere by the Mount Pinatubo volcano.  A color map of temperature anomalies will be available at http://climate.uah.edu/ .
Regardless, new studies purportedly supporting alarmist, regional claims in the U.S. and Europe have been based on outputs from two models, including the Hadley Center Model, which reviewers admitted during the course of the National Assessment on Climate Change performed no better than a table of random numbers in predicting past climate.
One such study, Emissions pathways, climate change, and impacts on California, published in the August 24 issue of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences garnered considerable press coverage in California and the rest of the nation on August 17.  The Associated Press coverage was typical:
Global warming could cause dramatically hotter summers and a depleted snow pack in California, leading to a sharp increase in heat-related deaths and jeopardizing the water supply, according to a study released Monday.
Under the most optimistic computer model, periods of extreme heat would quadruple in Los Angeles by the end of the century, killing two to three times more people than in heat waves today; the Sierra Nevada snow pack would decline by 30% to 70%; and alpine forests would shrink 50% to 75%.
The most pessimistic model projects five to seven times as many heat-related deaths in Los Angeles, with six to eight times as many heat waves.  Snow pack and high altitude forests would shrink up to 90%.  The scientists’ temperature projections are higher than previous estimates, particularly in summer. Their predictions of an extreme decline in snow pack, alpine forests and the spread of desert areas all exceed earlier projections.
In addition to its “random numbers problem”, the model was run on the basis of data from the discredited SRES scenarios of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change that predict countries such as Zimbabwe, Vanuatu and North Korea overtaking the USA in per capita income by 2100.  There was no discussion of the appropriateness or robustness of these data choices in the published paper.

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