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There’s Joe Romm – And Then There’s The Facts

June 17, 2016

By Paul Homewood




Joe Romm has been up to his tricks again:


Last Thursday, Greenland’s capital hit 75°F, which was hotter than New York City. This was the highest temperature ever recorded there in June — in a country covered with enough ice to raise sea levels more than 20 feet.

It comes hot on the heels of the hottest May on record for the entire globe, according to NASA. As the map above shows, May temperature anomalies in parts of the Arctic and Antarctic were as high as 17°F (9.4°C) above the 1951-1980 average for the month.

Greenland in particular has been shockingly warm this spring. Here, for instance, is “land surface temperatures for April 2016 compared to the 2001–2010 average for the same month” from NASA:



NASA reports that some parts of Greenland were 36°F (20°C) warmer than “normal” — and remember, in this map, the new “normal” is the 2001–2010 average, which means it already includes a century of human-caused warming.


Romm’s ploy is straightforward:

  • Temperatures of 75F must be unheard of in a place like Greenland.
  • Ice sheets will surely melt quickly in such temperatures.

He reinforces his message like this:


Some might note a worrisome pattern, driven by ever-rising levels of heat-trapping carbon dioxide.



Joe gets his “record temperature” from the highly reliable Weather Underground. However, their weather records show maximum temperatures bouncing up and down during that day. Somehow, we are expected to believe that the temperature jumped up several degrees at ten to every hour! 





It is evident that there are two recording stations at Nuuk. No serious meteorologist would declare a record  just based on one, when the other was so much different.   

In any event, 75C (23.9C) is not even a record. According to DMI, the highest temperature recorded at Nuuk was 24.2C, back in July 1908. 


As for his ridiculous map, supposedly showing Greenland temperatures 20C warmer than normal in April, it presumably has not occurred to him that there ARE NO WEATHER STATIONS IN THE INTERIOR OF GREENLAND.

The map comes from satellite observations from NASA, who comment:


This temperature anomaly map is based on data from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite. Observed by satellites uniformly around the world, land surface temperatures (LSTs) are not the same as air temperatures. Instead, they reflect the heating of the surface by sunlight, and they can sometimes be significantly hotter or cooler than air temperatures.

“The most remarkable aspect here is the incredible departure from 2001-2010 average, especially deep in the ice sheet interior,” said Santiago de la Peña, a research scientist at Ohio State University. “This is accentuated by the fact that the northern regions of the United States and Canada actually experienced cooler than usual temperatures.”

According to de la Peña, a high-pressure weather system sat over the ice sheet through most of April. The system caused temperatures across Greenland to spike, reaching or matching record temperatures in many places. “There have been occasional warming events in the past during spring over Greenland,” he noted, “but they affected only local areas and were not as intense.”

Still, warming events in Greenland are not entirely without precedent. Research by Dorothy Hall, an emeritus scientist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, has showed that major melt events like those in 2012 and 2002 are not uncommon.


As NASA themselves admit, in 2012, for example, the surface of the ice sheet started melting early and then experienced the most extensive melting since the start of the satellite record in 1978.

In other words, it has happened before, it has nothing to do with with global warming and everything to do with the sun, and they have no means of knowing whether similar weather event occurred prior to 1978. So, hardly unprecedented then, Joe?


In any event , the whole idea that a day’s weather proves “climate change” is preposterous.

So let’s examine some of Joe’s other propositions. For instance, the shockingly warm spring.

Using the official DMI data, April 2016 was indeed the warmest April on record at Nuuk, at a boiling hot 0.6C. However, this was only 0.2C warmer than the next warmest April, set in 1953. Joe ignores the fact that April 2015 and 2014 were two of the coldest on record, or the fact that Aprils in the 1930s and 40s were just as warm as in recent years.





And what about May? Again we find that many many Mays in the 1930s were just as warm as this year. Again. May 2015 was exceptionally cold.




These are mean temperatures, but what about maximum temperatures, which will have the most impact on ice melt?

DMI have not yet published detailed data for 2015, but summer maximums up to 2014 show just the same pattern, which we have already identified. Temperatures were just as warm as now back in the 1930s, and even into the 1950s. As we well know, temperatures then plunged in the 1960s and 70s.




Greenland’s Climate

Romm gets away with this sort of nonsense because people don’t appreciate to what extent weather can change in a place like Greenland.

The DMI, who are responsible for collating climate data for Greenland, have this to say in their Historical Climate Data Collection (No 15-04) for Greenland (page 19-21):





In other words, when it is dank and foggy in coastal locations like Nuuk, summer temperatures barely get above zero. But when winds and weather patterns conjoin to disperse the fog and provide sunshine, temperatures soar.

The impact of the sun is also made clear in the first sentence of this paragraph from the same DMI report: 





Does Joe Romm know any of this? Highly unlikely, because he is not interested in facts.

Does he care? No, his only concern is to peddle his propaganda.





Temperature is all from DMI up to 2014.

Figures for 2015 and 2016 are from GISS, except for May 2016, which is taken from Weather Underground.

  1. June 17, 2016 10:39 am

    Terrific expose of junk science, as usual.

    The tragedy is that this sort of junk is taken in by many educated people and adds to the belief that “The end is nigh” and we must all don sack-cloth and ashes.

  2. June 17, 2016 11:07 am

    Tip : National Grid Should Be Broken Up, MPs Say Sky News 17 June 2016

  3. dennisambler permalink
    June 17, 2016 11:22 am

    Romm’s Climate Progress is an offshoot of the Center for American Progress, founded by John Podesta. Romm is on the staff:

    He was presumably involved in writing EPA’s press feeds on climate regs.

    John Podesta is the Chairman of the 2016 Hillary Clinton presidential campaign. He previously served as Chief of Staff to President Bill Clinton and Advisor to President Barack Obama as part of the Obama transition team:

    Carol Browner, Bill Clinton’s EPA chief, has intermittently over the last few years been a “Distinguished Senior Fellow” and Board Director at CAP. She left to become Obama’s “Climate Czar”, as Director of the White House Office of Energy and Climate Change Policy from 2008 to 2010. She is a former vice-president of Socialist International, and a former member of the Board of Directors of Al Gore’s Alliance for Climate Protection

    She is now back on the Board of Directors at CAP:

    As Clinton’s EPA chief, brought in by Al Gore, whom she had previously worked for, she did the spade work for the EPA Endangerment Finding on CO2 as a pollutant, ultimately brought in by EPA chief Lisa Jackson, under Obama. She schooled Jackson whilst she was in the White House in Obama’s first term. Jackson now works as vice president of Environment, Policy and Social Initiatives at Apple, where Al Gore is a member of the board. He looks after his own.

    • Edmonotn Al permalink
      June 17, 2016 1:06 pm

      Thanks for that. Very enlightening.

    • 4TimesAYear permalink
      June 21, 2016 1:32 am

      Must be newspeak – their idea of progress would set us back a century or two.

  4. Broadlands permalink
    June 17, 2016 12:08 pm

    A very rapid change…According to the Weather Underground’s daily forecast it was 75°F at Nuuk, Greenland and 55°F the next day. Global cooling again?

  5. Edmonotn Al permalink
    June 17, 2016 12:48 pm

    Why is there not some internal revolt at NASA to stop this clown?

    • catweazle666 permalink
      June 17, 2016 1:12 pm

      Cui bono.

  6. RAH permalink
    June 17, 2016 12:55 pm

    This worthless crap from the same cretin that claimed in July, 2011 that the South West of the United States was going into a “permanent drought”.

    Why anyone would give any credence to what this guy says based on his track record is beyond me. Guess I’m just not educated enough to comprehend how it is scientifically productive to run around hyping and exaggerating transient weather events, no matter how extreme, in order to claim they are evidence of long term climate change.

  7. Bitter& Twisted permalink
    June 17, 2016 1:39 pm

    Climate alarmists never let the facts get in the way of a fear story.

  8. June 17, 2016 1:48 pm

    In terms of the theory of AGW, what matters are trends and not records. Also as far as trends go, the surface temperature time series is known to violate OLS assumptions and so OLS trends are spurious and unreliable.

  9. June 17, 2016 4:58 pm

    Even in northern Greenland, in some places, the snow melts and ice melts on lakes. For example, the attempted rescue of a B29 north of Thule shows how much it melts.

    NOVA: B-29 Frozen in Time

    Warning: There are some things that happened in the end that are sad.

    • ralfellis permalink
      June 17, 2016 5:32 pm

      Indeed, sadest film ever, for an aviation buff. I was increadulous that they just sat in deck-chairs and watched. I know they could not do anything, but I would have been beside myself.

      • 4TimesAYear permalink
        June 21, 2016 1:46 am

        May have been easier to dismantle it and bring her home piece by piece…so very sad

    • RAH permalink
      June 17, 2016 7:28 pm

      The B-29 was at the time the most complex machine ever mass produced. The Wright R-3350 engine alone had over 48,500 tooling and engineering changes before it went into service. The program to develop the B-29 was far more expensive than the Manhattan project which developed the fissile materials and produced the atomic weapons the B-29 would become famous for delivering. But in the end it was all worth it. The raids, including the deadliest air raid in history on March 9th, 1945 by the B-29s forced Japan to surrender before an invasion that would have cost many more lives had to me carried out.

  10. ralfellis permalink
    June 17, 2016 5:30 pm

    In addition, the Greenland ice dome is 3,000 m thick. Which means that the surface temperature in the center of Greenland is 20oc lower than at sea level.

  11. lapogus permalink
    June 17, 2016 6:01 pm

    There is a weather station inland on the Greenland Ice Sheet, at Summit Camp. Granted it is about 10,000 feet above sea level and colder than the average for the ice sheet, but I check the webcam regularly and average temperatures in May were no where near 20C above the long tern average as Romm suggests. The data from the last week of May is still online – which shows average temps were about -25C.

  12. mojomojo permalink
    June 19, 2016 8:34 pm

    “Cappelen, a senior climatologist at the DMI, told The Washington Post that the warm weather was brought on by winds from the east that set up between high pressure over northeast Greenland and low pressure south of Greenland. When winds come from the east over Nuuk, they blow downhill, which leads to an increase in temperature. This is the result of adiabatic warming, where air is compressed from low pressure (at the top of a mountain) to high pressure (at sea level). It’s the same kind of dry warmth that occurs as a result of Santa Ana winds in Southern California.”

    Obviously this has nothing to do with CO2,a fact that Joe Romm intentionally neglected to convey.

  13. 4TimesAYear permalink
    June 21, 2016 1:28 am

    Reblogged this on 4timesayear's Blog.


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