Tuesday Reads: September Heat Wave


Good Morning!!

It’s September, but it feels like July here in Boston. We’re having another heat wave, and the same is true in many other parts of the country. Fortunately, most of us will get some relief later in the week.

From Weather.com: Pattern Change to Bring Heat Relief to Midwest, Plains, East; West Coast Heats Up.

Hot temperatures have dominated parts of the Midwest, Plains and East during the first week of September, with highs topping out well into the 80s and 90s at times. While some might be enjoying this late-summer heat and humidity, others are probably ready for the air to have more of a fall feel east of the Rockies. For those in the latterI’ camp, we do have some good news on the horizon thanks to a rearrangement of the jet stream pattern.

For the Midwest and parts of the East, temperatures will drop to near-average or even below-average levels as the week progresses. In fact, some cities in the Midwest may see high temperatures fall 20 degrees or more from early week into mid or late week. Even more impressive is the temperature drop from highs early this week to lows later in the week. For example, Chicago had a high of 92 degrees on Sunday but will see lows in the 50s late in the week, a drop of more than 30 degrees.

Before the cooler air arrives in the Northeast, daily record high temperatures will be threatened in multiple locations, including New York City, Philadelphia, Hartford and Boston on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, the West Coast will see the opposite impact from this pattern change with temperatures soaring above average all the way into the Pacific Northwest.

Read all the details at the link.

People cool off at fountains on Rose Kennedy Greenway, Boston

People cool off at fountains on Rose Kennedy Greenway, Boston

From the Weather Wisdom column at The Boston Globe: September heat wave begins today and continues through Wednesday.

Back in 1881, the mercury rose to a stifling 102 degrees in Boston for the hottest temperature in the record books during the month of September. This was also one of the hottest days ever in Boston.

Typically our highs would be in the 70s closing out the first week of September, during a cool year we might stay in the 60s while other warmer years would reach the 80s. Today marks only the 5th time since records began in Boston we have reached 90 degrees on September 7th.

Heat Wave Number 2
Having already eclipsed the 90 mark, it’s almost a sure bet we are beginning a 3 day heat wave. Remember, heat waves are 3 days or more in a row when the high temperature reaches at least 90 degrees. Tomorrow and Wednesday are even hotter and as the humidity slowly climbs the heat indices could get near 100 degrees for a few hours either or both days.

The map below shows highs in the mid-90s tomorrow. This would be the 9th time Boston has reached 90 on the 8th of September. The record for tomorrow is 95 and there is a chance would could tie that record.

Another 90 degree day on Wednesday will make it an official heat wave. There are only 3 days where it’s reached 90 on the 9th and this year should make 4. The record Wednesday is 91 and we would likely set a new record.


On days like this, I can’t help thinking about our changing climate and how it will affect future generations. This is another reason why we must elect a Democratic president next year. President Obama has been able to make some progress on this issue through executive orders; to build on his efforts, we desperately need to elect Hillary Clinton president and hope that she can bring along enough Democrats to regain the Senate.

From The Hill: Democrats pin hopes on Hillary for winning back the Senate.

The battle for control of the Senate rests on the outcome of the presidential race, strategists in both parties say.

Since 1860, no party has been able to climb out of the minority to capture the Senate during a presidential election year without also winning the White House….

Democrats appear well positioned to knock off two Republican incumbents, but whether they can stretch the number of Senate pick-ups to the necessary four or five while defending two of their own vulnerable seats remains to be seen.

The election map favors Democrats. They are defending only 10 Senate seats, while Republicans are protecting 24, including seven in states carried by President Obama in 2012.

But Democrats are running against the grain of history by trying to keep the White House for three consecutive terms — a feat last accomplished by Republicans in 1988, when Ronald Reagan left office with a 53-percent approval rating. Obama’s approval rating, by comparison, stands at 45 percent, according to Gallup.


Just one more reason why we need to support Hillary. “The article quotes “Steve Elmendorf, a Democratic strategist, lobbyist and fundraiser.”

“Ted Strickland can beat Rob Portman if Hillary Clinton is winning Ohio. Pat Toomey, no matter how good he looks on paper and the problems we’re having with the primary, I think if you get to November and Democrats are winning Pennsylvania by a huge number, Toomey’s in a lot of trouble,” he said

“If Democrats don’t win the presidential race, I don’t think we’ll win the Senate,” he added.

The map of key Senate races largely matches up with the map of presidential battlegrounds.

Aside from Wisconsin and Illinois, where Republican incumbent Sens. Ron Johnson (Wis.) and Mark Kirk (Ill.) are fighting for their political lives in blue states, the most competitive Senate contests are in presidential swing states.

Johnson trails former Democratic Sen. Russ Feingold in Wisconsin by five points, according to a mid-August Marquette Law School poll, and Democrats predict Feingold will raise more money.

Kirk, meanwhile, lagged six points behind Rep. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) in a late-July survey by Public Policy Polling, a Democratic firm.

More details at the link.


Getting back to climate change, The Washington Post had an important article yesterday: New studies deepen concerns about a climate-change ‘wild card.’

Two new studies are adding to concerns about one of the most troubling scenarios for future climate change: the possibility that global warming could slow or shut down the Atlantic’s great ocean circulation systems, with dramatic implications for North America and Europe.

The research, by separate teams of scientists, bolsters predictions of disruptions to global ocean currents — such as the Gulf Stream — that transfer tropical warmth from the equator to northern latitudes, as well as a larger conveyor system that cycles colder water into the ocean’s depths. Both systems help ensure relatively mild conditions in parts of Northern Europe that would otherwise be much colder.

The papers offer new insight into how rapidly melting Arctic ice could slow or even temporarily halt the ocean’s normal circulation, with possible effects ranging from plunging temperatures in northern latitudes to centuries-long droughts in Southeast Asia….

One study, by three scientists from Germany’s Alfred Wegener Institute, uses computers to model how Greenland’s rapid thawing could affect the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation, the system that pushes cold, dense saltwater into the deep ocean and helps transport warm water northward, helping to warm Europe’s climate.

Their report, in the journal Geophysical Research Letters, says previous research may have underestimated changes to the ocean from the huge influx of fresh, cold water from melting ice sheets. Using new methods, the German scientists were able to estimate more precisely how much ice would melt and how all that added freshwater would affect ocean circulation. In the ocean, colder water normally tends to sink, but cold freshwater — less dense than saltwater — stays near the surface, disrupting the normal flow.


The researchers concluded that we’ve already gone pretty far down the road on climate change, but there are still things society can do the prevent the worst scenarios from coming to pass.

A second paper, by a team of Texas scientists, sheds new light on how the Earth’s climate responded during a similar thaw from the planet’s geological past. About 12,000 years ago, rising temperatures at the end of the last ice age released huge volumes of cold freshwater, disrupting the ocean’s circulation systems and sending parts of the Northern Hemisphere back in to the freezer. Scientists refer to the era as the Younger Dryas period.

The study in the journal Nature Climate found a wide range of impacts, some of which lingered for centuries. While the far-northern latitudes experienced rapid changes — including an 18-degree Fahrenheit temperature drop in Greenland in less than a decade — droughts and other weather anomalies in the southern Pacific persisted for 1,000 years.

Read the rest at the WaPo.

Is it possible we’ve reached a turning point? Jonathan Chait thinks so: This is the year humans finally got serious about saving themselves from themselves.

Here on planet Earth, things could be going better. The rise in atmospheric temperatures from greenhouse gases poses the most dire threat to humanity, measured on a scale of potential suffering, since Imperial Japan and Nazi Germany launched near-simultaneous wars of conquest. And the problem has turned out to be much harder to solve. It’s not the money. The cost of transitioning away from fossil fuels, measured as a share of the economy, may amount to a fraction of the cost of defeating the Axis powers. Rather, it is the politics that have proved so fiendish. Fighting a war is relatively straightforward: You spend all the money you can to build a giant military and send it off to do battle. Climate change is a problem that politics is almost designed not to solve. Its costs lie mostly in the distant future, whereas politics is built to respond to immediate conditions. (And of the wonders the internet has brought us, a lengthening of mental time horizons is not among them.) Its solution requires coordination not of a handful of allies but of scores of countries with wildly disparate economies and political structures. There has not yet been a galvanizing Pearl Harbor moment, when the urgency of action becomes instantly clear and isolationists melt away. Instead, it breeds counterproductive mental reactions: denial, fatalism, and depression.


It’s a long read. Chait covers the history of efforts to reverse climate change and then offers hope.

For human to wean ourselves off carbon-emitting fossil fuel, we will have to use some combination of edict and invention — there is no other plausible way around it. The task before the world is best envisioned not as a singular event but as two distinct but interrelated revolutions, one in political willpower and the other in technological innovation. It has taken a long time for each to materialize, in part because the absence of one has compounded the difficulty of the other. It is extremely hard to force a shift to clean energy when dirty energy is much cheaper, and it is extremely hard to achieve economies of scale in new energy technologies when the political system has not yet nudged you to do so.

And yet, if you formed a viewpoint about the cost effectiveness of green energy a generation ago (when, for instance, Ronald Reagan tore the costly solar panels installed by his predecessor off the White House roof), or even just a few years ago, your beliefs are out of date. That technological revolution is well under way.

For one thing, the price of solar is falling, and rapidly. In a March 2011post for Scientific American’s website, Ramez Naam, a computer scientist and technological enthusiast, compared the rapid progress of solar power to Moore’s Law, the famous dictum that described the process by which microchips grew steadily more useful over time, doubling in efficiency every two years. The price of solar power had fallen in two decades from nearly $10 a watt to about $3. By 2030, he predicted, the price could drop to just 50 cents a watt.

Read the whole thing at New York Magazine.

Those are my offerings for today. I’m going to turn was feeling sick on Sunday and Monday and I’m still a little wobbly today. Take, care, Sky Dancers and I hope the floor over to you now, because I’m recovering from a nasty stomach virus. I hope you have an enjoyable day.


45 Comments on “Tuesday Reads: September Heat Wave”

  1. Sweet Sue says:

    I hope you feel better soon, BB.
    That was a great post!

    • NW Luna says:

      BB, I hope you get back to good health soon!

    • bostonboomer says:

      Thanks Sue and Luna. I’m better today. I slept almost all day yesterday and still slept through the night.

      • Beata says:

        BB, thank you for this post. I hope you are able to continue to rest and keep cool. As I recall, you don’t have air conditioning. xoxo

        It is very hot here. I hope your mother is doing okay. I have air conditioning so I’m mostly staying inside reading and wishing for Fall to come. We seem to be a two season state now: Winter and Summer. Our beautiful Springs and Falls are not what they used to be.

  2. Fannie says:

    I am always so grateful for all the post here, appreciate you all. I hope you recover quickly from your stomach virus BB.

  3. NW Luna says:

    We’ve had unusual heat for most of the summer; it was awful, and I sympathize with you East Coasters. Finally a couple of weeks ago our weather turned back to normal, cooler, temps which is a relief. But in the mountains there was so much less snow than usual; familiar areas looked strange. Our increased temps were a regional outlier, but the summer conditions gave us a look at what we could see 70, 80 years from now if overall global temps inch upward.

    ‘Disastrous’: Low snow, heat eat away at Northwest glaciers

    In more than three decades of field work, Mauri Pelto has taken the measure of Washington’s glaciers during seasons of record-breaking snow and years that broke skiers’ hearts. But he’s never seen anything like this summer.

    “The best word for it is disastrous,” said Pelto, who recently wrapped up his annual survey in the North Cascades. On mountain after mountain, he and his team encountered bare ice and gushing meltwater on glaciers that would normally be blanketed with snow. On average, Pelto estimates glaciers across the rugged mountain range will lose 5 to 10 percent of their volume before the summer is over.

    “This is the single biggest volume loss in the last 50 years,” said Pelto, a Nichols College glaciologist. One year is just a blip in the life of glaciers. But 2015’s dramatic melt comes on top of an ongoing retreat that has seen glaciers across the Northwest — and most of the world — shrink by 25 to 40 percent since the mid-1980s.

  4. NW Luna says:

    Some good environmental news:

    Baby boom continues for Puget Sound orcas

    Puget Sound’s orcas have added another baby girl to their ranks, bringing to five the number of whales born this year to the Sound’s three resident pods.

    The calf was spotted Monday, swimming with L-Pod and her mother, L91, a 20-year-old orca. The pod is one of three in Puget Sound’s endangered Southern Resident Community, according to the Pacific Whale Watch Association (PWWA), which spotted the calf. The baby — named L122 — is the fifth calf born since Dec. 30 into “the Class of 2015,” according to Michael Harris, the association’s executive director. In a news release, he said the resident orca population stands at 82. ….

    Although about half of all orca calves die within the first year, Harris said the association remains optimistic, citing the health of the four other orcas born this year.

  5. William says:

    It is beyond imperative that HillarY Clinton be elected president. The Republicans will do absolutely nothing about climate change. Four more years of doing nothing is unthinkable. The Republicans would just as soon have the planet burn up than lose any coal or oil company profits. They are literally insane, ready to drag the whole planet down with them.

    Most unfortunately, we cannot change the minds of those people; they are impervious to logic. But the Democrats and Independents are the ones who can do something. If some Democrats would stop making a game out of the election, and wasting precious time on Sanders and Biden, we would all be better off. The only person who is smart and experienced enough to deal with the Republicans in Congress is Hillary. The only person who can possibly bring in a Democratic majority, as evidenced by the article above, is Hillary. The only person who can actually do something about climate change, not just talk about it, is Hillary. This is not a game of “American Idol,” this is deadly serious business. I know that everyone here is well aware of that, but can those self-indulgent people who wrinkle up their noses at Hillary as if they were in a five-star restaurant, but the asparagus was not steamed for precisely five minutes,, grow up for just one election cycle? It is not about them having a fun time chasing projective fantasies, it is about all of us. You would think that they would have perhaps learned that over the last eight years, during which virtually nothing has been done to arrest climate change.

    • Beata says:

      William, you know I support Hillary 100%. I will do whatever I can to help get her elected. But if she is not the nominee, I pledge to vote in the general election for whomever the Democratic candidate is, whether that is Biden, Sanders, or someone else. To say Hillary is the only Democrat who can work with Republicans in Congress or get anything accomplished as President is creating a narrative that could encourage Hillary supporters to vote third party or just stay home in the general election. That is dangerous. As much as I want Hillary to be President, I believe the most important outcome of the 2016 presidential election is to defeat the GOP candidate.

      • William says:

        Beata, that is certainly a fair point. But I am just expressing my opinion here. I am virtually 100% certain that Sanders cannot get elected, he is a Socialist who will not even identify as a Democrat in the Senate. And he evinces no negotiating capacity whatsoever. Biden might possibly win, but it is doubtful. He would at best be a continuation of the Obama term,with a worse Congress. We cannot afford that. This is almost all-or-nothing time as regards climate change, at least in my view.

        And as far as the Democratic Party goes, we know that on the statewide level, it is in as bad a shape as it has ever been, post-New Deal. Republicans have overrun the state legislatures in most of the MIdwest, and of course they dominate the South, and most of the Rocky Mountains. They’ve got districts so gerrymandered, that the Democrats may never win a majority in those statehouses or in the Congress. So yes, any Democrat at this point is better than the alternative, and I would never advise anyone to stay home or to vote for a third party candidate. But if Obama were somehow right now by fiat made a third-term president, thus avoiding the entire election, I would not be happy. I don’t think we can afford more of this getting run over by the Republicans in Congress, and getting crushed in every midterm election. We need a sea change in tactics and leadership, or we inevitably sink, albeit more slowly.

        • List of X says:

          I doubt we’ll be gridlock-free if Hillary’s elected. From what I see right now in the campaign, I predict another inauguration day GOP meeting that would once again agree to oppose anything Clinton would support. So I have very little expectation that much of significance would be accomplished if Hillary is elected, but that’s my expectation more or less for any Democratic president after 2008. I’d say Obama is at least as good negotiator as Clinton is, but you can only accomplish anything by negotiating if the other side is willing to negotiate, and I just don’t see that in the GOP. My hope is that Clinton (or, preferably, Sanders) gets elected, and (a) prevents GOP majorities in the Senate and House from dragging us back to 19th century, and (b) nominates liberal Supreme Court justices when Ginsburg or (hopefully, and) Scalia retire.

          • bostonboomer says:

            Could you please describe the specific scenarios by which Sanders gets the Democratic nomination and then wins the general election?

          • List of X says:

            The specific scenario, obviously, would be Sanders somehow winning more delegates than Hillary Clinton – or do you want me to list vote/delegate counts in each state? 🙂 But given that he’s leading in New Hampshire today, he could plausibly win the primary there, at which point he would no longer be a nobody, but seen as a more or less a viable candidate and could win additional states after that. Still, Sanders victory is unlikely, but not impossible. I think Clinton’s chances are about 80-90% in the primary.
            And in general election, as things stand today, he would probably face Trump. I’ve seen polls that put both Trump or Sanders as a winner of that contest – but current numbers rely on much better name recognition for Trump. And once (assuming, for argument’s sake) Sanders wins the primary, his name recognition would obviously be on par with Trump’s. And Sanders doesn’t have nearly the kind of baggage that Trump has, so I’d give Sanders about 60-70% chance in the general election.

    • dakinikat says:

      Hey William! Are you still interested in posting? If so, send me an email at dakinikat@gmail.com and we can get you set up.

  6. Beata says:

    This evening, Hillary will be interviewed on ABC World News Tonight by anchorman David Muir.


  7. bostonboomer says:

    Carl Hiaasen at The National Memo:

    Revealed: Hillary Emails Are Scandalously Mundane

    For those Americans who haven’t dived into the 7,121 pages of Hillary Clinton emails that were made public last week, here’s a summary based on a modest sampling:


    I mean throw-away-your-Ambiens boring.

    The dreaded chore of slogging through every one of these messages falls to the staff of congressional Republicans who are trying to bust Hillary for leaking or hiding sensitive information while she was secretary of state.

    • Beata says:

      From the Hillary campaign: “Hillary’s Emails in Four Sentences”


      • Beata says:

        From the above link:

        “Here are the four things you need to know about Hillary Clinton’s email use during her time at the State Department.

        1. Hillary takes responsibility for her decision to use a personal account, and the challenges it has created.

        2. Her use of a private email account was allowed under State Department rules.

        3. Nothing she sent or received was marked classified.

        4. She provided all of her work-related emails to the State Department.”

  8. dakinikat says:

    Not sure if any of you are interested or will be available but I will be asking Joy Ann Reid a question on HuffPostLive tmwr at 12pmET … yes, it will be webcam so you can see me and hear my voice if ya want.

  9. bostonboomer says:

    Wow. I’ve watched the entire Joy Reid interview, and the focus seems to be on defeating Hillary. There has been no mention of the women who feel left out of the process and who would like to have a president who looks like them.

    Reid says a lot of the people who worked with Obama want Biden to run. There was also a lengthy discussion of how Bernie Sanders could get support from black voters.

    I have to admit I’m shocked that two women talked for 30 minutes and said nothing positive about Hillary or about the need for a woman president.

    • Beata says:

      It was disappointing. Joy Reid did say that she rarely gets comments from voters in Iowa or New Hampshire about Hillary’s emails. Reid believes it is a story the media are interested in but not the general public. She thinks the only voters who care about it are people who already hate the Clintons. So I thought she did play down the emails’ importance and that was a positive for Hillary. But a lot of the program was devoted to Obama rather than the 2016 election.

      I wish Dak had been able to ask a few more questions. She did a great job though!

      The program is archived on the HuffPost Live site so anyone who missed can watch it later.

      • bostonboomer says:

        I can’t believe Reid thinks Biden or Sanders would do a better job on race issues than Hillary.

        • NW Luna says:

          But-but-but–they’re men!

          Reid merely needs to look at Hillary’s history compared to Sanders or Biden. The lack of reasoning by these people is mind-boggling.

    • I feel ill just reading that BB. What the hell? That is so depressing.

    • Fannie says:

      You might have read my above comment: Joe Biden running will not create a major challenge to Hillary. Sanders doesn’t either. There is no pathway for either to win, unless Hillary drops out.

      I too was disappointed, because Bill Clinton left the biggest surplus ever, and maybe that money should have gone to fund other programs, but Hillary was not in his cabinet, or in congress. When Obama ran the second time, it was Bill Clinton, who saved his ass. Why, because the democrats went against Obama, believing in all the bullshit the republicans were dishing out on the news.

  10. NW Luna says:

    Healthy food doesn’t have to be expensive:

    ‘Good and Cheap’: the cookbook phenomenon changing budget eating

    Leanne Brown thought small at first when writing her cookbook “Good and Cheap.” An avid cook, she wanted the free downloadable collection of recipes, tips and techniques — a thesis project for her master’s degree in food studies — to help people on super-tight budgets eat great meals at home. Targeting people on food-stamp budgets around $4 per day, “I thought it would be a little project that would be useful to a few people,” she said.

    Instead, it went viral. Brown’s crowdsourced campaign to donate printed copies of the book to people in need became the most funded cookbook in Kickstarter history. The book received a prestigious International Association of Culinary Professionals award, and printed copies are now being distributed by Workman Publishing, which donates a copy for each one that’s purchased. It hit The New York Times best-seller list last month. Free or heavily discounted copies are available at nearly 800 food banks and other nonprofits in 49 states (Wyoming is the only one missing) and in Canada. For Brown, who worked in politics in her native Canada before specializing in food policy, it’s been an uplifting and rewarding stab at a massive issue: More than 46 million people in the U.S. receive monthly Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program benefits.

    Brown: ‘I’ve always been attracted to issues of justice … In graduate school, we were having these big conversations about huge issues, sticky difficult problems, and so often at the end of it you find yourself saying “We don’t have the solution that will fix everything, so what are we going to do?” Knowing what I know about cooking, I felt there was a little bit of hope and a little bit of help in trying to share some foods that actually can be had for very little. One amazing thing about living in America is, unless you live in a particularly food-poor place, a place without grocery stores, the availability of food is pretty amazing and food is incredibly cheap … It’s the cooking that adds the value.’

  11. Sweet Sue says:

    ” Reid believes it is a story the media are interested in but not the general public. She thinks the only voters who care about it are people who already hate the Clintons”

    Yes, than everybody at CNN must already hate the Clintons because when it comes to Hillary, emails is all they want to talk about.
    One guest on Brooke Baldwin’s show tried to change the subject to Hillary’s foreign policy ideas, a look of panic spread over Baldwin’s face and she quickly let it be known that they were GOING to talk about the emails and only the emails.

  12. Fannie says:

    You know that in 2008, Hillary and Bill both were being smeared as racist. What was that all about when the DNC took her delegates and gave it Obama. Who exactly was manipulating who? We remember when Rev. Jackson said she didn’t care about Katrina. When Rev. Jackson said Obama wasn’t black enough. Joy also brought up the Obama supporters saying she wanted his to be assassinated. Let’s not forget when Michelle said she has look over her shoulders at a gas station. And let’s not forget when Obama called his Granny out as a typical white woman. I remember when they slammed Hillary for her comment on Lyndon Johnson signing the civil rights act, and that Martin Luther King advocated for it. I remember the three civil rights workers who went to Neshoba Co. Ms. Two of them white, and one black, and how they got cut down, and murdered. And remember when Johnson went to Ms. to tell them to knock the shit, and that the civil rights was a done deal, and he was making sure the south knew it, and all the crap with Vietnam at the same time. Yea, Hillary got called a lot of thing, racist bitch was just one of many. She also got blamed for her husband’s administrative policy making, which she had nothing to do with it. Yeah, Joy, should have titled her both “something about the Clintons.” Roseannadanna said it’s always something………if it ain’t one thing it’s another.

    My point is no democrats seem to step up to say knock the crap off, just like today. Do you see Bernie telling the media to knock it off about the emails? Do you see him offering to release 4 years worth of his emails? Hell no. The dems lack spine when it comes to Hillary, you know she’s held to a different standard than the boys. Just like the boys didn’t want a black president in the club, they sure as hell don’t want a woman in the club house either.