Cooling the climate alarmist hype re. the Pakistan and Northern India heatwave

Pakistan experienced a heatwave in late April. It’s cooled off a bit now, but due to return in May. Northern India is also experiencing heatwave conditions. Cue the hyperventilative climate alarmist fraternity who just cannot contain themselves whenever it gets extremely hot anywhere on earth:

You get the idea. There’s plenty more where they came from.

It was only to be expected from all the usual suspects. But even Met Office scientists who have in the past staked their professional reputation upon resisting such hyperbole in favour of sober facts and verifiable science, have joined in:

There’s no science in that tweet, it’s just a meaningless, unevidenced jumble of words and phrases conveying the notion that an extreme weather event in Pakistan is basically ‘our’ fault, that it’s dangerous and that we had better stop it by stopping ‘dumping greenhouse gases’ in the atmosphere. It’s a ‘cease and desist’ order by a senior scientist at Britain’s Met Office to stop burning fossil fuels (i.e. stop living, basically) ‘or else the weather will get much worse’. I took him to task over it but of course received no reply:

So, I thought I would delve a bit deeper into the climatological and extreme weather history of this region of the Indian subcontinent in order to try to get a more balanced perspective of this allegedly ‘unprecedented’ heatwave and perhaps offer some explanation of what’s going on, other than ‘!!Arrggghhh, Climate Breakdown, Run For the Hills(TM)!!’.

The heat started building in March, which is unusual, but not unprecedented. If it was truly without precedent it would not have been just as hot, if not hotter, 61 years ago, when few media outlets, if any, were daily ejaculating superlatives re. alleged ‘climate changed’ extreme weather.

Pakistan issued a heat warning after the hottest March in 61 years while in parts of neighbouring India schools were shut and streets deserted as an intense heave wave on Friday showed no signs of abating.

In 1961, when March in Pakistan was just as hot as today, such events generally just happened, they were part of the rich natural variability of our atmosphere and climate. They were nobody’s ‘fault’, least of all your fault, you inconsiderate, SUV driving, gas guzzling, meat eating, gas-fired boiler and cooker owning climate criminal.

In actual fact, in 1961, the world was cooling, so they couldn’t have blamed Pakistan’s very warm spring on man-made global Thermageddon even if they’d wanted to. Therefore, shame upon you for not being around then to blame for the planet’s woes, or, if you were, for hiding in the shadows of a highly inconvenient global cooling which modern ‘scientists’ have almost succeeded in completely erasing from history.

What’s really been happening to the climate in Pakistan since 1961, when the world was deep in the throes of a post-1940s cooling? The actual truth is a lot more interesting and far less alarming than the simplistic narrative we’re being spoon-fed today. Scientists today don’t bother to do science and the press just assume that we are all as moronic, scientifically illiterate and factually challenged as they are. Not all and now, more than ever, is the time to challenge their misinformation and disinformation with science and data, as they push for the hell that is Net Zero.

This study, Rise in Summer Heat Index over Pakistan, was published in the Pakistan Journal of Meteorology. Heat index is how hot it feels and is a vital measure of the impact of heatwaves on the human body. It’s a combination of the relative humidity and actual temperature. As we all know, high temperatures are far more tolerable when humidity is low, much less so when it is high. This is due to the basic physiology of how the human body cools itself, i.e. perspiration. You can perspire much more effectively when humidity is low. To put it coarsely, you sweat like a pig during hot humid conditions, but very little moisture can evaporate and thus cool the skin.

This is what the authors found for the period 1961-2006 for the summer season (May-Sept):

Notice something? Relative humidity has increased significantly. Absolute temperature has not. The maximum temperature has gone up and down over the years but shows very little trend. Humidity, on the other hand, has increased significantly and this appears to be related to a shift in the climate zones over the country:

What seems to have happened is that the extreme heat index region in the south has expanded, whilst the comfort zone in the north has receded. This is largely due to an increase in relative humidity and not absolute temperature. Most of the country remains unchanged though. This is what they’re calling the ‘climate crisis’ in Pakistan and if you believe that the cause is a slight increase in trace gases in the atmosphere due to human industry and transport, you haven’t been paying attention. There could be a number of explanations for this, notably increasing urbanisation, land use and changes in atmospheric dynamics not caused by generalised global warming. So let’s try and get some numbers on this change in Pakistan’s climate.

If alleged man-made global warming was affecting the Pakistan climate, then we would expect to see it showing up as a gradual increase in annual mean temperatures. Here is what we find:

Very little trend from 1901 to the late 90s, then a significant shift upwards in the 21st century. That’s not what we would expect from long term secular climate forcing due to GHGs. It is what we might expect from a sudden shift in climate patterns. What happened in 1998 I wonder? Oh yes, I remember, a very powerful (super) El Nino, which dramatically warmed the globe (entirely naturally), followed by a series of other powerful El Ninos, culminating in the truly dramatic El Nino of 2015-16. Since then, crickets. Note that annual mean temperature in Pakistan has started trending downwards. Even at the height of 21st century warming in 2018 though, the mean annual temperature in Pakistan was 21.82C, just 0.48C hotter than the peak of 21.34C in 1941. This, we are supposed to believe, is driving extreme high temperatures in spring and summer, so extreme in fact that they constitute an existential climate catastrophe which is apparently all our fault. If we don’t start eating bugs, stop travelling, stop heating our homes and preferably stop breathing and breeding by this time next Friday, we’re all doomed, especially the Pakistanis! Hmm, not entirely convinced, I must admit.

The average rise in daily maximum temperatures has increased slightly more than the average annual temperature, most of that since the late 1990s, but even so it still stretches the imagination to believe that this is responsible for ‘dangerous’ heatwaves in this region.

  • Warming in Pakistan was estimated at 0.57°C over the 20th century, but has accelerated more recently, with 0.47°C of warming measured between 1961–2007.
  • Increases in temperature is strongly biased towards the winter and post-monsoon months (November–February). On a sub-national level, warming is also strongly biased towards the more southerly regions, with Punjab, Sind, and Baluchistan all experiencing winter warming in the region of 0.91°C–1.12°C between 1961–2007, and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in the north experiencing only 0.52°C.
  • The rise in average daily maximum temperatures (0.87°C between 1961–2007) has been slightly stronger than the rise in average temperatures. A concurrent increase in the frequency of heat wave days has been documented, particularly in Sindh Province.

Finally, let’s take a look at the Asian Development Bank’s Climate Change Profile of Pakistan. It’s a very long document but for our purposes we need only concern ourselves with past and present observed changes in climate:

B. Climate Change Trends in Pakistan

11 1. Observed Past Climate Trends

Here is what the authors say:

A significant warming trend of about 0.57°C in the annual mean temperature was observed in the past century from 1901 to 2000 in Pakistan. This increase is less than the mean annual temperature increase of 0.75°C in the past century in the South Asia region.21 A more accelerated trend of warming, with the rise of 0.47°C, was observed from 1961 to 2007 in the country. The warmest year recorded until 2007 was 2004, and the highest increase is observed during winter when the temperature ranges from 0.52°C to 1.12°C (Figure 3). This is in agreement with the pronounced rate of warming observed over the South Asia region in the decade 1998–2007, which was attributed to increase in winter temperature and post-monsoon changes (footnote 21). On a regional basis, the highest increase in winter temperature was observed for Balochistan province, while the northwestern parts of the country showed negative temperature trends in the summer. The annual temperatures in Pakistan increased by 0.87°C (maximum) and 0.48°C (minimum) from 1960 to 2007.

Does that sound scary, even ‘catastrophic’ to you? Moreover, most of the warming occurred in the winter months, when heatwaves are not a thing, and there was even a decrease in summer temperatures in the northwestern region.

In the hyper arid plains, arid coastal areas, and mountain regions of Pakistan, an increase of 0.6°C–1.0°C in the mean temperature was observed, whereas an increase of 0.5%–0.7% in solar radiation was noted over the southern half of the country. In central Pakistan, the cloud cover decreased by 3%–5% with a consequent increase of 0.9°C in temperature. The northern parts of the country outside the monsoon region suffered from expanding aridity during the study period.

Decreases in cloud cover and consequent increases in temperature. Does that sound like demonic anthropogenic carbon dioxide to you? It sure as hell doesn’t to me. But, if all you hyperventilating climate activists and rabid greenies are still desperate to find CO2 responsible for Pakistan’s alleged climate woes, please point out where in this summary the climate doom molecule is implicated:

1. During the last century, Pakistan’s average annual temperature increased by 0.57°C compared to 0.75°C for South Asia, and average annual precipitation increased by 25%. The warming is mainly due to increase in winter temperature.

2. Heat wave days per year increased by 31 days in the period 1980 to 2007. Cold waves decreased in northeastern and southern parts, and increased in western and northwestern parts of the country.

3. Observed sea level rise along the Karachi coast was 1.1 millimeters per year in the past century.

4. During 1960–2007, the following changes were noted:

• An increase of 0.6°C to 1.0°C in the mean temperature over the hyper arid plains, arid coastal areas, and mountains regions of Pakistan;

• A decrease of 10%–15% in winter and summer rainfall in the arid plains and coastal areas;

• A rise of 18%–32% in the summer rainfall over the core monsoon region of Pakistan;

• A decrease of 5% in relative humidity over Balochistan province;

• An increase of 0.5%-0.7% in solar radiation over the southern half of the country;

• A decrease of 3%–5% cloud cover over central parts of Pakistan, and a consequent increase of 0.9°C in temperature;

• The northern parts of the country outside monsoon region have suffered from expanding aridity; • A decrease of 17% to 64% in rainfall observed during the seven strong El Niño events in the last 100 years;

• The minimum temperature in summer over central parts of Pakistan has shown a pronounced warming trend while in the extreme north and south have shown a slight cooling trend in some climatic zones; and

• The coastal belt in general and the Indus delta in particular have not shown any significant warming or cooling trends

Note the mention of those pesky El Ninos again. Climate fanatics hate them because they are natural events which even the tenured ‘experts’ who form the inner circle of the institutionalised and highly consensual climate priesthood cannot link definitively to generalised global warming. Most annoying for them, I’m sure you will agree.

Finally, finally, more for amusement than anything, here is chart of maximum temperatures in Karachi from 1931 until 2018. Spot the extreme high temperature climate crisis? No, me neither.

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