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Who Is Lying? John Holdren, Jennifer Francis, Or NOAA?

July 6, 2016

By Paul Homewood




We doubtlessly all remember John Holdren’s claim, a couple of years ago, that a warming Arctic was responsible for creating a “wavy” polar jet stream (by which he means meridional, as opposed to zonal). This in turn was leading to more extreme weather in mid latitudes, in particular, extremely cold winters in the US.

It’s perhaps time then to run an up to date check on what has actually been happening.



Below are the charts of winter temperatures for the Northeast and Upper Midwest, as provided by NOAA. These are the two regions where John Holdren’s “extreme cold” would most obviously appear:





Now I should start by pointing out that these graphs are based on NOAA’s heavily doctored data. But as they stand, it is plain to see that in neither region have recent winters been in any way unusually cold. Even the winter of 2013/14, which Holdren specifically refers to in his video, turns out to be far from unprecedented.


We can also see that North American snow extent in winter has been running at similar levels to the past.




Now, of course, it may that Holdren is right in claiming that US winters are getting colder, in which case NOAA’s adjusted figures are wrong. If this is so, he would no doubt feel it appropriate to admit this to the public, and institute an immediate inquiry into NOAA’s malfeasance.

But I would not hold my breath!



Holdren’s claims are based on work by Dr Jennifer Francis, which has been repeatedly discredited, for instance here and here.

Francis’ paper, Evidence linking Arctic amplification to extreme weather in mid-latitudes, gave one particular example of this “extreme weather”, “freezing conditions in Florida during winter 2010–11”.






As we can see, the winter of 2010/11 was not unusually cold in Florida, and many winters had been as cold or colder in the past.


OK, average winter temperatures don’t necessarily tell you everything about the extremes within the season, but USHCN have a tool which shows the number of daily record temperatures, both highs and lows, and including ties, that have occurred each decade across the US.

If we look at the long running USHCN station at  St Leo in Florida, we find that there were many more record winter lows set in earlier decades, particularly the 1950s through 1980s. It is also noticeable that the last decade is not dissimilar to the 1910s and 20s, and also that the 1940s appear to be the mildest.




Whichever way we look at it, we are being conned. Either NOAA’s figures are correct and Holdren and Francis are lying through their teeth, or NOAA’s figures are fraudulently adjusted.

Or maybe both!

  1. July 6, 2016 8:02 pm

    Definitely both.

  2. Wrusssr permalink
    July 6, 2016 8:32 pm

    Who’s lying?

    Who isn’t might be the better question.

  3. July 6, 2016 9:16 pm

    I’ll go with not lying, just wrong. Judah Cohen is right.

  4. sean2829 permalink
    July 6, 2016 9:18 pm

    Holdren sees catastrophe in everything he looks at and the news media, being more about headlines than accuracy, get plenty of copy from him. Politicians have taken advantage of the “if it bleeds it leads” mentality to turn science into a club (as in hammer) to circumvent regular democratic processes. For an administration that seems like it would prefer a parliamentary system to the checks and balances of the American 2 party system, Holdren catastrophism is a perfect fit.

  5. July 6, 2016 9:36 pm

    Great short fact laden post, Paul. Another terrific soundbite. Either Holdren and Francis are lying, or NOAA is. Which do you think it is, Warmunist? (Such folks would never think both, and will get factually shot down when they venture neither. Just give them this now bookmarked post’s coordinates.) Hung on the horns of a succinct dilemma.

  6. July 7, 2016 1:23 am


  7. Broadlands permalink
    July 7, 2016 1:55 am

    According to NOAA (this year, at least?) In 2016, six contiguous Northeast states in the US made record high winter temperatures (DJF). But, ALL six had colder trends, from 1998-2016, as did the NE Region and the entire US 48 states. Of course 1998 and the record El-Nino was “cherry-picked”….by ENSO not NOAA, so ignore it?

  8. Broadlands permalink
    July 7, 2016 1:59 am

    John Holdren stood by as Barack Obama told him (us)…

    “The truth is that promoting science isn’t just about providing resources—it’s about protecting free and open inquiry, It’s about ensuring that facts and evidence are never twisted or obscured by politics or ideology. It’s about listening to what our scientists have to say, even when it’s inconvenient—especially when it’s inconvenient. Because the highest purpose of science is the search for knowledge, truth and a greater understanding of the world around us.” “That will be my goal as President of the United States…..”
    Candidate Barack Obama, December 20, 2008

    It doesn’t seem to have worked out?

  9. July 7, 2016 12:05 pm

    Anyone connected with the Obama administration is lying, no matter the subject.

    • July 7, 2016 1:52 pm

      The track record of a complete lack of honesty has been apparent from day one.
      There has never been any transparency … none.
      If promising transparency is your number one lie, everything else is easy to lie about.
      Let’s see if Hillary promises a transparent administration.

  10. July 7, 2016 1:57 pm

    Oh yeah botanyjrg, lack of faith in my government’s honesty was my starting position for my CAGW skepticism … and many other government/media induced mass scares.

  11. Russ Wood permalink
    July 8, 2016 12:52 pm

    I remember reading, as a kid (further back than I CARE to remember) about Florida citrus farmers having to light ‘smudge pots’ in their orchards whenever they got a bad frost, to try to prevent frost damage of the fruit. Now, if this was going on in the 40’s…

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