Yes, the World Is Getting Warmer
Another all-time temperature record:
Jeff Masters: Weather Underground: At 4pm local time today in Moscow, Russia, the temperature surpassed 100°F for the first time in recorded history. The high temperature of 100.8°F (37.8°C) recorded at the Moscow Observatory, the official weather location for Moscow, beat Moscow\’s previous record of 99.5°F (37.5°C), set just three days ago, on July 26. Prior to 2010, Moscow\’s hottest temperature of all-time was 36.6°C (98.2°F), set in August, 1920. Records in Moscow go back to 1879. Baltschug, another official downtown Moscow weather site, hit an astonishing 102.2°F (39.0°C) today. Finland also recorded its hottest temperature in its history today, when the mercury hit 99°F (37.2°C) at Joensuu. The old (undisputed) record was 95°F (35°C) at Jvaskyla on July 9, 1914. There is little relief in sight, as the latest forecast for Moscow predicts continued highs in the 90s for most of the coming week.
The recording of record temperatures does not show that the world is warming*. The longer you measure a variable the larger the variations you measure will become. If you measured annual GDP change (just to get on track with Professor DeLong\’s thought processes) from 1950 ish to 2007 you\’d see at most a few percent either way. Extend that to 1920 to 2009 and you\’d see a couple of 10%, 15% even annual changes. Extend it to a few centuries and you\’d still not really see anything larger than 15% or so. Extend it to a couple of millenia and you\’d see much larger than 15%….the Black Death or the Sack of Rome (well, various of them perhaps) might qualify.
So, the recording of record temperatures in Moscow after 131 years is something we would expect….we\’ve near 50,000 daily measurements and as our measurements of the variable increase in number from 1 to 500 to 5,000 to 50,000 we would expect to see greater highs and lows being recorded.
* That the world is warming is true, but this isn\’t proof of it. What we want to know is what is the trend, not what are the occasional extremes. For example, as the Professor\’s own work shows us, while capitalism/free markets have increased annual variability over the centuries, the general trend has been upwards.