Skip to content

Still The BBC Gives Air Time To Peter Wadhams

August 31, 2016

By Paul Homewood 




I gather that the embarrassment to science, Peter Wadhams, was on BBC News again this week, and was naturally treated with due deference and reverence.

Wadhams has, of course, made a living out of forecasting that the Arctic would be ice free for the last decade now. Neither he, nor the BBC, ever seem to learn from the way that his predictions repeatedly turn out to be such humiliating failures.

Only in June this year, he was at it again:


The Arctic is on track to be free of sea ice this year or next for the first time in more than 100,000 years, a leading scientist has claimed.

Provisional satellite data produced by the US National Snow & Ice Data Centre shows there were just over 11.1 million square kilometres of sea ice on 1 June this year, compared to the average for the last 30 years of nearly 12.7 million square kilometres.

This difference – more than 1.5 million square kilometres – is about the same size as about six United Kingdoms.

Professor Peter Wadhams, head of the Polar Ocean Physics Group at Cambridge University, told The Independent that the latest figures largely bore out a controversial prediction he made four years ago.

“My prediction remains that the Arctic ice may well disappear, that is, have an area of less than one million square kilometres for September of this year,” he said.

“Even if the ice doesn’t completely disappear, it is very likely that this will be a record low year. I’m convinced it will be less than 3.4 million square kilometres [the current record low].

“I think there’s a reasonable chance it could get down to a million this year and if it doesn’t do it this year, it will do it next year.


Yes, of course, there is always next year!


Well, with just a couple of weeks or so left before the Arctic ice hits its minimum, this is what Wadhams’ “ice free Arctic” is looking like:





Back in 2007, when Wadhams began to run his peddle his scare stories, the Arctic looked much different. Not only was ice extent much lower then, it was also much thinner in that area.




Meanwhile, average ice thickness is currently running much higher than it was from 2010-13. (Average thickness is lower than 2007 because much of the new ice is, naturally, fairly new and therefore thin).





Final word goes to that BBC report from 2012:




The loss of Arctic ice is massively compounding the effects of greenhouse gas emissions, ice scientist Professor Peter Wadhams has told BBC Newsnight…….


The melting ice could have knock-on effects in the UK. Adam Scaife, from the Met Office Hadley Centre told Newsnight it could help explain this year’s miserable wet summer, by altering the course of the jet stream.

"Some studies suggest that there is increased risk of wet, low pressure summers over the UK as the ice melts."

There may be an effect for our winters too: "Winter weather could become more easterly cold and snowy as the ice declines," Mr Scaife said.


Or, to put it another way, summers could become warmer and drier, and winters mild and wet! (Which just so happens to be, very conveniently, the latest Met Office thinking).



There is only one certainty in climate science these days – the BBC will continue to give broadcasting time to these charlatans, without a glimmer of critical journalism, and certainly no thought of offering time to those scientists who don’t agree wholeheartedly with the alarmist narrative.

  1. Joe Public permalink
    August 31, 2016 7:43 pm

    This Peter Wadhams?

  2. John Palmer permalink
    August 31, 2016 7:44 pm

    The soft response given to this old waffler by Mishal Husain was cringe-making. She (very gently) pointed-out his many previous failed scare-predictions but then allowed him to bumble on about how things will be different in future. It was as if she were interviewing (and leading) a reluctant teenager, not trying to discover why this one-trick pony keeps hitting the jumps.
    Quite simply, a pathetic interview.
    … but what can we expect now from our so-called National Broadcaster?

    • Steve Crook permalink
      August 31, 2016 8:23 pm

      Probably a bit hard on Mishal I think.

      She did have two attempts to get him to admit he was a scare monger and he just brushed them aside. Did think it was fun that she quoted Ed Hawkins (on alarmism) at him. Bet Wadham’s face went purple at the mention of his name.

      Shame she didn’t finish with a few questions on the tragic deaths of Laxton, Boyd and Giles and Wadhams assertion they’d been assassinated…

  3. August 31, 2016 7:48 pm

    Even a psychic knows when to give up and move on. That trait is apparently absent in global warming prophets.

  4. markl permalink
    August 31, 2016 7:56 pm

    “The Arctic Ocean is warming up,icebergs are growing scarcer, and in some places the seals
    are finding the water too hot, according to a report to the Commerce Department yesterday from Consulate, at Bergen, Norway Reports from fishermen, seal hunters, and explorers all point to a radical change in climate conditions and hitherto unheard-of temperatures in the
    Arctic zone. Exploration expeditions report that scarcely any ice has been met as far north as 81 degrees 29 minutes. Soundings to a depth of 3,100 meters showed the Gulf Stream still very warm. Great masses of ice have been replaced by moraines of earth and stones,
    the report continued, while at many points well-knownglaciers have entirely disappeared. Very few seals and no whitefish are found in the eastern Arctic, while vast shoals of herring
    and smelts, which have never before ventured so far north, are being encountered in the old seal fishing grounds. Within a few years it is predicted that due to the ice melt the sea will rise and make most coastal cities uninhabitable. This is believed to have been caused by
    the emissions from Ford’s Model T automobile.”

    November 2, 1922, as reported by the AP and published in The Washington Post – 93 years

    • September 1, 2016 9:37 am

      Going back further (200 years)…

      “It will without doubt have come to your Lordship’s knowledge that a considerable change of climate, inexplicable at present to us, must have taken place in the Circumpolar Regions, by which the severity of the cold that has for centuries past enclosed the seas in the high northern latitudes in an impenetrable barrier of ice has been during the last two years, greatly abated.

      (This) affords ample proof that new sources of warmth have been opened and give us leave to hope that the Arctic Seas may at this time be more accessible than they have been for centuries past, and that discoveries may now be made in them not only interesting to the advancement of science but also to the future intercourse of mankind and the commerce of distant nations.”
      President of the Royal Society, London, to the Admiralty, 20th November, 1817

      From: ‘The Top of the World: Is the North Pole Turning to Water?’
      by John L. Daly

      Doom merchants always wrongly claim Arctic melt is a one-way street.

    • dennisambler permalink
      September 2, 2016 9:51 am

      Check out Cliscep, here:

      and here:

      The 1922 report original can be found in the NOAA archives:

  5. August 31, 2016 8:00 pm

    Alex Cull covered it with a transcript at Cli-scep here
    – There was actually challenging by the BBC presenter, but his answers were quickly just mild progress

  6. Green Sand permalink
    August 31, 2016 8:12 pm

    “Still The BBC Gives Air Time To Peter Wadhams”

    Good! Excellent! On the record. ‘Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds’ was written neigh on 200 years ago. Homo sapiens still way short on self-awareness.

  7. August 31, 2016 8:16 pm

    Wadhams is an outlier who will soon be proven wrong, but what remains is an almost universal acceptance in the MSM of a fake hockey-stick picture of arctic sea ice, supposedly steadily “healthy” until around 1980, then rapid decline due to CO2. But the historical record of exploration over the last 150 years suggests a simple cyclic picture, current sea ice similar to what allowed the first traverses around 130 years ago (1878 and 1903), not unlike the cyclic variation of the AMO:

  8. Mr GrimNasty permalink
    August 31, 2016 8:41 pm

    Wadhams was given a free advert for his latest book on BBC radio early one morning this week. He was hand fed questions, the answers accepted without doubt and reinforced by the interviewer. They covered all sorts of nuttiness – climate change caused Syria – Arctic methane should be fracked and flared off to avoid the ‘bomb’ (why waste it?) – every month has been a record ice low this season in the Arctic (may have meant just the Barents Sea, but misspoke deliberately I think) – Arctic ice models (and other scientists) are wrong for delaying an ice free Arctic prediction, his measurements (and projections) ‘prove’ – he actually said that when (Arctic ice) models are wrong. they should be discarded, why doesn’t that apply to all climate models then?

  9. August 31, 2016 8:44 pm

    I would disagree with only one part of this report. In the opening sentence for “due” read “undue”.

    Some years ago somebody invented the “Ardnassac” Effect, Ardnassac being a reverse of Cassandra, the Trojan prophetess who was doomed to be always right but never believed unlike such as Wadhams and the founder of the Effect, Paul Ehrlich, who are always wrong but always believed nonetheless.

    Truly it beggars belief (or as somebody said, probably accidentally, in a comment in The Times recently “buggers belief”!)

  10. BLACK PEARL permalink
    August 31, 2016 10:05 pm

    Was this the guy who was on Radio 4 around 8:45am on Tues ?

    Just turned on the car radio to get presented with yet another BBC climate change statement about the Arctic ice this time & he’s got a new book on it
    I must be fated, as I rarely listen to the radio on the way to work, but it seems nearly ever time I do there is some climate related article on this channel
    He claimed Its all CO2 etc etc and what seemed astonishing & contradictory, was that he quoted the models predicting ice cover etc (didnt know they had them for that) were no good and it was observations that mattered ….. wish they’ed make their minds up !

    Oh just read Mr GrimNasty comment above same stuff

    Wouldn’t you think in this 21st cent open society this old Soviet style one sided brain washing would not be allowed
    What ever happened to investigative Journalism ?
    They must be all scared in case they get sacked

    • markl permalink
      September 1, 2016 1:09 am

      BLACK PEARL commented: “…What ever happened to investigative Journalism ? They must be all scared in case they get sacked”

      Your comment has truth to it. The Progressives/Socialists own the majority of the MSM as well as control the vast majority of the education institutions. Many have been removed from their jobs or minimized in these places for questioning the AGW orthodoxy. Many. And many have been rewarded for concocting scare monger stories that support the AGW narrative. Professors, journalists, scientists, and reporters must tow the line or else. No conspiracy….. the list is long.

      • Tom O permalink
        September 1, 2016 4:49 pm

        An investigative reporter will investigate, basically, things they do NOT believe. They rarely, now at least, investigate things that they have been taught to be the truth. Most journalists now are “believers” to start with, thus there is no point in looking into what they believe, only those things that they find that contest their belief sets. they will dig forever trying to find the falseness of a truth if it doesn’t agree with their beliefs, and will continue regardless of how long it takes while consistently refusing to see that which implies their own beliefs to be falsely based.

  11. John F. Hultquist permalink
    August 31, 2016 11:23 pm

    … a leading scientist has claimed.” [my bold]

    There is no one behind him!

    • AlecM permalink
      September 1, 2016 8:36 am

      Going up a Gum Tree, mate….

  12. September 1, 2016 7:05 am

    Reblogged this on ajmarciniak.

  13. roger permalink
    September 1, 2016 7:49 am

    Neanwhile on Sky news yesterday evening, a scientist from Southampton Uni gravely informed us that the fatalities at Camber Sands were without doubt caused by global warming which has caused the riptides to become less predictable than before.
    Not only a football team of scummers, but also a Uni much given to alarmist oceanographic pronouncements, closely following the tradition!
    Prince Charles seems to be keeping quiet on the subject of arctic ice recently.
    Has even he been brought to his senses, or has he been muzzled by his advisors?

  14. September 1, 2016 8:29 am

    Paul is this why Wadhams continues to promote his ideology?

    ‘2016 has seen unprecedented levels of climate disruption across the globe, with record-breaking temperatures and the smallest Arctic sea ice since records began. The UK is taking the lead in activities supporting the move to a low carbon economy, and international collaboration will play a critical role in this. 2015-16 has seen SIN Europe at the forefront of facilitating UK-European collaboration across a variety of these challenges’.

    The document was issued by the new BEIS government department.. Maybe you/we all need to respond…

  15. September 1, 2016 8:36 am

    Wadhams is a charlatan- the pompous old fool wouldn’t even back his own prediction when I made a public bet with him.

  16. AlecM permalink
    September 1, 2016 8:39 am

    Leave the poor bu**er alone. Wadhams is setting the benchmark for Climate Crazies in the same way that Jezzer Corbyn is setting the benchmark for Political Crazies.

    Both think they’re absolutely right and have created an all-encompassing envelope of self-delusion. In the past, such people would be tolerated in their villages. All we have to do is to redefine the meaning of ‘village’. It’s the Christian way, but don’t give ’em any executive power.

  17. AndyG55 permalink
    September 1, 2016 9:24 am

    Wadhams must have NEVER done any research on Arctic sea ice levels of the first 3/4 of the Holocene.

  18. richard verney permalink
    September 1, 2016 9:24 am

    What about the Holocene Optimum

    What about the Greenland ice Cores?

  19. September 1, 2016 9:27 am

    ‘Average thickness is lower than 2007’

    What about the average thickness of BBC bosses, if they believe this stuff is impressing the public?

  20. September 1, 2016 9:48 am


    Climate Science is NOT Settled

    A Statement by Viv Forbes, Founding Secretary of “Clexit” (Climate Exit).
    31 August 2016

    ‘For at least a decade we have been told by the UN/IPCC, by most government media
    and officials, by many politicians, and by the Green “charities” and their media friends
    that “the science is settled”. We are lectured by Hollywood stars, failed politicians and
    billionaire speculators that anyone who opposes the World War on Carbon Dioxide is
    ignorant, mischievous or supporting some hidden vested interest. We endure calls for
    an end to free speech for climate sceptics, smearing with derogatory terms like
    “denier”, and even aggressive punishments like dismissal and legal action against
    sceptics for speaking out. The new low is the use of anti-racketeer legislation against


  21. September 1, 2016 10:49 am

    Right on cue:
    ‘How predictable is the timing of a summer ice-free Arctic?’ – 29/8/16
    [US Climate Variability and Predictability Program]

    ‘…even the best climate models cannot narrow down the exact year or even the exact decade when researchers expect to see an ice-free Arctic for the first time, as the timing depends on the exact trajectory of the weather and climate variability between now and then, which can’t be predicted. ‘

    Who needs climate models when there’s a nutty professor on the radio making unopposed predictions to promote his scare-mongering book?

  22. CheshireRed permalink
    September 1, 2016 10:50 am

    I’m with Green Sand on this. Let Wadhams – and the BBC, put his ‘predictions’ on record. His error here is to give a falsifiable short-term date, which ‘they’ usually studiously avoid. It’ll be just one more to add to the long list of AGW failures.

  23. NeilC permalink
    September 1, 2016 12:19 pm

    The main outcome of Wadham’s cr@p predictions is that via the BBC, our government official believe it, without ever taking time to investigate the facts themselves.

  24. Don B permalink
    September 1, 2016 12:26 pm

    Matt Ridley had a nice article in the London Times:


    Would it matter if it did all melt one year? Here’s the point everybody seems to be missing: the Arctic Ocean’s ice has indeed disappeared during summer in the past, routinely. The evidence comes from various sources, such as beach ridges in northern Greenland, never unfrozen today, which show evidence of wave action in the past. One Danish team concluded in 2012 that 8,500 years ago the ice extent was “less than half of the record low 2007 level”. A Swedish team, in a paper published in 2014, went further: between 10,000 years ago and 6,000 years ago, the Arctic experienced a “regime dominated by seasonal ice, ie, ice-free summers”.

  25. tom0mason permalink
    September 2, 2016 5:34 am

    OT …
    … but PAUL you might like this BBC piece by Roger Harrabin, apparently we don’t have to worry about the grid problems and blackout as renewables plus the ‘smart grid’ will save the day.

    A “smart energy” revolution could help ensure that the UK does not suffer blackouts, according to National Grid’s new UK chief.

    Nicola Shaw, its executive director, said technological advances will reduce the need to build new conventional power stations in the UK.

    An “internet of energy” will allow fridges, washers and dishwashers to help balance energy demand.

    Some commentators say the UK needs more gas-fired power to prevent blackouts.

    Ms Shaw agreed that more investment in gas-fired power was needed, but argued that between 30% and 50% of fluctuations on the electricity grid could be smoothed by households and businesses adjusting their demand at peak times.

    So there we are, no panic as super-dooper yet to be proved technology will save the day.


  26. dennisambler permalink
    September 2, 2016 10:30 am

    Wadhams for some reason has always been the BBC’s “go to guy” on the Arctic. Susan Watts always gave him a lot of Newsnight time and it seems he is still friends with the right people.

    He features in a 2008 doom book from New Scientist’s Fred Pearce, (Susan Watts also used to be a NS journalist), “With Speed and Violence”, why scientists fear tipping points in the climate system”. Here are a few quotes, (I didn’t buy it, it was online at some point!)

    You can see that Wadhams has been flogging this particular dead horse for a lot longer than most people imagine, back in the 1990’s and yet he keeps resurrecting it, year on year. Maybe because the ice is still there, the dead horse hasn’t gone off yet…….

    A quote from the book:

    “It’s called “the chimney.” Only a handful of people have ever seen it. It is a giant whirlpool in the ocean, 6 miles in diameter, constantly circling counterclockwise and siphoning water from the surface to the seabed 2 miles below.

    That water will not return to the surface for a thousand years. The chimney, once one of a family, pursues its lonely task in the middle of one of the coldest and most remote seas on Earth.

    And its swirling waters may be the switch that can turn the heat engine of the world’s climate system on and off. If anything could trigger the climatic conflagration shown in the Hollywood movie The Day After Tomorrow, it would be the chimney.

    The existence of a series of these chimneys was discovered by a second British adventurer, Cambridge ocean physicist Peter Wadhams. In the 1990s, he began hitching rides in Royal Navy submarines beneath the Arctic ice.

    The chimneys were, Wadhams realized, the critical starting point of a global ocean circulation system that oceanographers had long hypothesized but had never seen in action. It traveled the world’s oceans, passing south of Africa, around Antarctica, and through the Indian and Pacific Oceans, before gradually resurfacing and sniffing the air again as it returned to the Atlantic, joined the Gulf Stream, and moved north once again to complete a circulation dubbed by oceanographers the “ocean conveyor.”

    But even as he gazed on these dynamos of ocean circulation, Wadhams knew that they were in trouble. For the Arctic ice was disappearing. Sonar data he had collected from the naval submarines revealed that the entire ice sheet that once covered the Arctic was thinning and breaking up.

    By the end of the 1990s, the Odden tongue was gone. The Gulf Stream water still came north, but it never again got cold enough to form ice. The ice tongue has not returned.”

    In 2007, Pearce had written a defensive article for Wadhams in the Telegraph. It wasn’t so much Wadhams, as Diddums.

    “I was expecting to die,” Britain’s top oceanographer Peter Wadhams told me back in March. He had just emerged unscathed from an explosion aboard a naval submarine beneath the Arctic ice.

    He lived, but he has now fled the country after suffering academic death by a thousand cuts at the hands of a research council charged with keeping British environmental research afloat. In my humble view, it is a disgrace.

    Wadhams is most famous among scientists as the man whose researches aboard a British sub in 1996 revealed that Arctic ice had thinned by 40 per cent since the 1970s

    NERC has turned down his last TEN grant applications – including critical studies into mysterious giant whirlpools off Greenland that may drive the Gulf Stream, another topic on which he is a world authority. “I am the most experienced Arctic researcher in Britain. So I have to conclude that it is personal,” he says.”

    They didn’t believe him about the chimneys then……

    “Arctic’s big melt challenged” Friday, 4 May, 2001,

    “Is Arctic Sea Ice Rapidly Thinning?” Greg Holloway, and Tessa Sou, Institute of Ocean Sciences, Sidney BC, Canada

    The Arctic Climate System Study: Climate and Cryosphere Project Newsletter, Number 1, September 2001 Ice and Climate News

    “In the case of submarine-inferred rapid loss of Arctic sea ice, combined modelling and data argue that a more physically plausible inference is that the ice was not “lost” but only shifted within the Arctic. The pattern of submarine sampling happened to miss the shift. Observations to date, together with model physics, imply only that the loss of sea ice volume is not inconsistent with the 3% per decade loss of ice area, a modest rate, itself not inconsistent with multi-decadal natural variability.”

    20 years of failed predictions and he still gets air time.

  27. September 2, 2016 2:58 pm

    So called leading scientist seems unaware that just a few thousand years it was indeed ice free in the Summer early in the Holocene,NOT 100,000 year as he incredibly stated.

    • dave permalink
      September 2, 2016 4:43 pm

      “I’m convinced it will [be a record low]”

      On August 14 the National Snow and Ice Data Center said:

      “A new record low this September is highly unlikely.”

  28. September 2, 2016 9:29 pm

    I see the Trackbacks below are to a Sept 1st Delingpole article covering GreenBlob’s recent Ice-scapades
    ..and mentions Paul Homewood


  1. Ship of Fools II: Green Arctic Expedition Frustrated by Large Quantities of Ice
  2. Ship of Fools II: Green Arctic Expedition Frustrated by Large Quantities of Ice | ValuBit
  3. Ship of Fools II: Green Arctic Expedition Frustrated by Large Quantities of Ice – Sharrit!
  4. Ship of Fools II: Green Arctic Expedition Frustrated by Large Quantities of Ice - #RedNationRising

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: