Monday, May 7, 2012

Second Hottest (Temperature-wise) Jazzfest Ever! (Even a Broken Clock is Right Twice a Day)

Today, for the fourth annual JazzFest Global Warming Update, there is fodder for the alarmists: 2012 was the second hottest JazzFest on record. To review from past years, in 2006, Professor Oliver Houck of Tulane School of Law wrote Can We Save New Orleans?, 19 Tul. Envtl L. Rev 1 (2006) (PDF), which, among the many possible effects of global warming climate change on New Orleans, included:
Here in Louisiana we will be warmer in summer (think, maybe, 103 degrees at Jazz Fest) .... Houck, 19 Tul. Envtl. L. Rev 1, at 27. (PDF)
But the source he gave for that sentence:
Envtl. Prot. Agency, Climate Change and Louisiana 3 (1997) available at http://$File/la_ impct.pdf
Said only that:
[It] is projected that by 2100, temperatures in Louisiana could increase about 3°F (with a range of 1-5°F) in spring and summer, slightly less in winter, and slightly more in fall. Envtl. Prot. Agency, Climate Change and Louisiana 2 (1997).
(Yes, its at page 2, not three like he specified, and since the site has link-rotted away, I put the report on Google Docs.)

Long story short, even though he gave himself plenty of wiggle room by not including a time line for when it might be 103° at JazzFest, I wondered just what were the hottest years, whether the average JazzFest temperatures are trending up, etc., etc.

Bottom line, the hottest year was 2002, when it was an average of 89.7°F, but we’ve since then also had a few of the coolest JazzFest ever, and the maximum 5°F increase predicted by the EPA report above on top of that maximum would still leave us far short of the 103° mark that Prof. Houck predicted.

Here are my updated charts for the past 42 years of Jazzfest. First, average temperatures in chronological order:
New Orleans JazzFest - average temperatures in chronological order

Ranked hottest to "coolest":
New Orleans JazzFest - average temperatures from hottest to coolest
And from "coolest" to hottest:

New Orleans JazzFest - average temperatures from coolest to hottest
As the alarmists like to say when there’s a bad winter storm, an event does not make a trend. And, as a recent paper said:
A fairly uniform distribution of hydroclimatic extremes throughout the Medieval Climate Anomaly, Little Ice Age and Recent Global Warming may question the common belief that frequency and severity of such events closely relates to climate mean stages.
Buntgen, al., 2011. Combined dendro-documentary evidence of Central European hydroclimatic springtime extremes over the last millennium. Quaternary Science Reviews 30: 3947-3959 (2011).

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