Oh My God! — Climate change is going to fry California’s Seniors

Russ Steele

According to a study funded by CARB, California can expect more frequent and more dangerous heat waves in the coming decades, the result of global warming and the state’s aging population.  I am a member of this aging population and according to a new climate-modeling study commissioned by the California Air Resources Board I am toast.  Study is here.

The KQED Climate Watch warmers have this quote from CARB’s Warmer-in-Chief Mary Nichols along with the scary stats in the second sentence:

“Along with reducing our climate-warming emissions, we need to prepare for longer and hotter heat waves,” Board Chairman Mary Nichols said. “Raising public awareness of the risks and having safety nets such as community cooling centers can greatly reduce those risks.

 Currently, an average of about 500 elderly people die from excessive heat each year in the nine major urban areas studied: Fresno, Los Angeles, Oakland, Santa Ana, Riverside, Sacramento, San Diego, San Francisco and San Jose. By the 2090s, the death toll within this population group could rise more than nine-fold – to a range of roughly 4,700 to 8,800 – depending on the climate scenario, according to the study.

 How did this CARB funded team arrive at this conclusion? From the study:

 This project developed consistent and robust estimates of changes in heat-related mortality through the 2090s for nine major urban regions in California. Future projections of shifts of weather patterns affecting California were developed from general circulation models. Using a new technique, these weather patterns were then used to derive the surface weather type. To do this, first the historical connections between surface weather type and atmospheric circulation patterns were derived, and then through logistic regression models, future weather type were inferred for each day. To assess future heat related mortality, for each metropolitan area we developed historical relationships between weather type and mortality in the past, accounting for additional factors such as seasonality and the length of a heat wave. These relationships can then be used to drive future projections of heat-related mortality by utilizing future weather type predictions. [My emphasis added.]

According to a post by Roger Piekle Sr. on his blog when commenting on the skill, or lack of skill, of general circulations models used in regional studies: Mote et al. 2011: Guidelines for Constructing Climate Scenarios. Volume 92. Number 312.  August 2011

“There is an astonishing new article in the August 2 2011 issue of EOS which lays open the serious flaws in the use of multi-decadal global climate models, even when downscaled to regions, to provide value-added information to the impacts community.”

“The Mote et al 2011 EOS article provides documentation in their own words that illustrates why the creation of climate scenarios using multi-decadal global (and downscaled regional) model predictions do not add value for use by the impacts community [the research and policy communities who assess risks to key societal and environmental resources]. Even worse, they are misleading policymakers on what is achievable in terms of climate forecast skill. [My emphasis added]

I guess that the CARB team did not get a copy of this study, or they would not have been so sure that heat waves are going to be killing senior citizens in California.  This CARB funded study is yet again another example if how science is being distorted to convince citizens that CARB needs a cap and trade program to extort carbon taxes from California business.

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Author: Russ Steele

Freelance writer and climate change blogger. Russ spent twenty years in the Air Force as a navigator specializing in electronics warfare and digital systems. After his service he was employed for sixteen years as concept developer for TRW, an aerospace and automotive company, and then was CEO of a non-profit Internet provider for 18 months. Russ's articles have appeared in Comstock's Business, Capitol Journal, Trailer Life, Monitoring Times, and Idaho Magazine.

2 thoughts on “Oh My God! — Climate change is going to fry California’s Seniors”

  1. Were their computer models able to predict the number of heat related deaths in phoenix due to higher Temps relative to Califonia cities?

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