Skip to content

The WMO’s Dubious Omissions…Arctic Of The 1930s And 1940s Just As Warm As Today!

April 6, 2017

By Paul Homewood




I have long been showing the current relative warmth in the Arctic is not unprecedented, and that conditions were very similar there in the 1930s and 40s. Both events are directly linked to the AMO.

Dr Luning and Prof Vahrenholt have now written on the subject, as Pierre Gosselin reports:



Climate alarm at the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) was reported on 21 March 2017 at the German online

Heat waves in the Arctic – climate scientists sound the alarm
[…] During the winter in the Arctic temperatures reached near the melting point. It wasn’t the only weather extreme that climate scientists reported on. Such a heat wave occurred in the Arctic at least three times at the start of 2017, so reported the World Weather Organisation (WMO) in Geneva. Mighty Atlantic currents had delivered warm, moist air to the Arctic. At the peak of winter in the period when it should be freezing, temperatures reached near freezing on some days. The polar jet stream – a wind current that circles the planet at high altitudes – thus impacts the global weather.”

Do we really find ourselves on the verge of disaster? Is it getting hotter and hotter in the Arctic?

Let’s look at the HadCRUT4 temperatures in Arctic (Fig. 1). One clearly sees the warming phase of 1990-2005. Before and after that there were a bit wavy temperature plateaus. There hasn’t been any significant warming in the Arctic in 10 years.

Fig. 1: Arctic temperature since 1957. Data: HadCRUT4, Chart: Climate4You.

Now let’s extend the time scale and look back 100 years. What a surprise: In the 1930s and 1940s there were two heat decades in the Arctic which were almost as warm as today (Fig. 2). This is just a small fact that went missing in the WMO press release and in the article.

Fig. 2: Arctic temperature since 1920. Data: HadCRUT4, Chart: Climate4You.

The earlier Arctic heat years are impressive when we look at the temperature plot of the Iceland city of Akureyri (Fig. 3):

Fig. 3: Temperature plot of the Arctic location of Akureyri since 1880. Source: NASA/GISS.

Now what could have caused it to warm up in the 1930s and 1940s? Here it is enough to look back at the 60-year Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO). This is easily done at the NOAA website (Fig. 4).

Figure 4: AMO

The curves at Wikipedia or elsewhere are perhaps more colorful, but they often don’t include the last years. The main drive behind the Arctic warming of the 1990s and 2000s was the simultaneously strong rise in the AMO.

The heat waves reported by the WMO happen to fit very well with the current high plateau of the AMO (Fig. 4). You don’t need to be a fortune teller to realistically estimate what remains ahead: the AMO plateau could continue for a few more years. A continued massive warming is not expected because the AMO peak has already been reached.

Eventually sometime in the coming years the drop in the AMO will begin. And correspondingly so will the Arctic temperatures . A look back at the climate history really pays off.

Winston Churchill long knew:

The further one looks back in the past, the further one sees into the future.

Some day the ladies and gentlemen at the news media will realize this. The art of fact-checking seems to have been left on the wayside since the invention of the copy-and-paste function.

  1. April 6, 2017 11:11 am

    Let’s see….Michael Mann left out the Medieval Warming and the Little Ice Age in order to make his hockey stick flat for 1000 years. Never mind the written accounts, ocean sedement coring, the ice coring and dendrochronology. Now we have to slice and dice the 20th century. Arrogance reigns.

  2. April 6, 2017 11:22 am

    Researchers found that ice conditions in the 19th century were remarkably similar to today’s, observations falling within normal variability. The study is Accounts from 19th-century Canadian Arctic Explorers’ Logs Reflect Present Climate Conditions (here) by James E. Overland, Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory/NOAA, Seattle,Wash., and Kevin Wood, Arctic Research Office/NOAA, Silver Spring, Md.

  3. Gerry, England permalink
    April 6, 2017 12:33 pm

    Fact checking in the legacy media? Proper journalism? Long gone and unlikely to return any time soon. Just this week we had Sky News waiting until it could interview May in Saudi Arabia to run a story the facts of which were published in written form by the European Council last Friday. But then that would require reading and effort – not a media thing, dahling.

  4. April 6, 2017 2:19 pm

    Reblogged this on Climate Collections.

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: