Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Climate Change Leading to Record-Setting Fatal Heat in Brazil

I, like many, am tired of idiot pundits, politicians, and quitters claiming that climate change (or, as they anachronistically call it, "global warming") is bunk just because there's a lot of snowfall. But for those who insist that a lot of snow in D.C. and Baltimore is proof that "Al Gore was wrong," there's this:

The worst heatwave to hit Rio de Janeiro in 50 years turned the city into a pre-Carnival furnace Wednesday, and killed 32 elderly people further south, officials said.

According to the Inmet national weather service, recorded temperatures in Rio were well above 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees) -- and felt more like above 50 degrees.

"The heatwave in Rio is seen as historic. February right now is the hottest month for the past 50 years," meteorologist Giovanni Dolif told the O Globo daily. [...]

The heatwave made Rio the hottest place on the planet on Tuesday, save for Ada, a town in eastern Ghana, according to data from the World Meteorological Organization.

Rio's recorded temperature that day was 46.3 degrees Celsius -- less than even the Sahara desert, which came in at a milder 33 degrees.

Dolif said being in Rio was worse than being in a dry desert because seaside humidity gave the temperature a suffocating boost, making it feel much higher.

That's right: Rio - hotter than the Sahara! For those who are wondering, 46.3 degrees Celsius is 115 degrees Fahrenheit. And that was just the thermometer temperature - it doesn't take into account the humidity and heat index, which is more practical in terms of knowing how it actually feels outside.

So for all those idiots shocked that there have been some heavy snowfalls in winter: climate change isn't bunk just because you're stupid and near-sighted. In parts of the world that are actually in the midst of summer, they're seeing record-setting, hellish heats, in just one more example of how climate change is real and happening.