Skip to content

Arctic Alarmists Hit New Records Of Hysteria

February 28, 2018

By Paul Homewood



The climate morons have hit new levels of hysteria about a day’s weather in the Arctic:

From the Guardian:


An alarming heatwave in the sunless winter Arctic is causing blizzards in Europe and forcing scientists to reconsider even their most pessimistic forecasts of climate change.

Although it could yet prove to be a freak event, the primary concern is that global warming is eroding the polar vortex, the powerful winds that once insulated the frozen north.

The north pole gets no sunlight until March, but an influx of warm air has pushed temperatures in Siberia up by as much as 35C above historical averages this month. Greenland has already experienced 61 hours above freezing in 2018 – more than three times as many hours as in any previous year.

Seasoned observers have described what is happening as “crazy,” “weird,” and “simply shocking”.

“This is an anomaly among anomalies. It is far enough outside the historical range that it is worrying – it is a suggestion that there are further surprises in store as we continue to poke the angry beast that is our climate,” said Michael Mann, director of the Earth System Science Center at Pennsylvania State University. “The Arctic has always been regarded as a bellwether because of the vicious circle that amplify human-caused warming in that particular region. And it is sending out a clear warning.”

Although most of the media headlines in recent days have focused on Europe’s unusually cold weather in a jolly tone, the concern is that this is not so much a reassuring return to winters as normal, but rather a displacement of what ought to be happening farther north.

At the world’s most northerly land weather station – Cape Morris Jesup at the northern tip of Greenland – recent temperatures have been, at times, warmer than London and Zurich, which are thousands of miles to the south. Although the recent peak of 6.1C on Sunday was not quite a record, but on the previous two occasions (2011 and 2017) the highs lasted just a few hours before returning closer to the historical average. Last week there were 10 days above freezing for at least part of the day at this weather station, just 440 miles from the north pole.

“Spikes in temperature are part of the normal weather patterns – what has been unusual about this event is that it has persisted for so long and that it has been so warm,” said Ruth Mottram of the Danish Meteorological Institute. “Going back to the late 1950s at least we have never seen such high temperatures in the high Arctic.”

The cause and significance of this sharp uptick are now under scrutiny. Temperatures often fluctuate in the Arctic due to the strength or weakness of the polar vortex, the circle of winds – including the jetstream – that help to deflect warmer air masses and keep the region cool. As this natural force field fluctuates, there have been many previous temperature spikes, which make historical charts of Arctic winter weather resemble an electrocardiogram.

But the heat peaks are becoming more frequent and lasting longer – never more so than this year. “In 50 years of Arctic reconstructions, the current warming event is both the most intense and one of the longest-lived warming events ever observed during winter,” said Robert Rohde, lead scientist of Berkeley Earth, a non-profit organisation dedicated to climate science.

The question now is whether this signals a weakening or collapse of the polar vortex, the circle of strong winds that keep the Arctic cold by deflecting other air masses. The vortex depends on the temperature difference between the Arctic and mid-latitudes, but that gap is shrinking because the pole is warming faster than anywhere on Earth. While average temperatures have increased by about 1C, the warming at the pole – closer to 3C – is melting the ice mass. According to Nasa, Arctic sea ice is now declining at a rate of 13.2% per decade, leaving more open water and higher temperatures.

Some scientists speak of a hypothesis known as “warm Arctic, cold continents” as the polar vortex becomes less stable – sucking in more warm air and expelling more cold fronts, such as those currently being experienced in the UK and northern Europe. Rohde notes that this theory remains controversial and is not evident in all climate models, but this year’s temperature patterns have been consistent with that forecast.

Longer term, Rohde expects more variation. “As we rapidly warm the Arctic, we can expect that future years will bring us even more examples of unprecedented weather.”

Etc etc etc!!


As DMI show, the spike did not last long.

And where did that “heat” go? Straight into space. Anyone who has slept out in the desert at night will appreciate how quickly temperatures plummet when the atmosphere is so dry.




As we also know, this spike is due to the recent Sudden Stratospheric Warming (SSW), which has disrupted the jet stream. As the Met Office explain, this is a perfectly natural weather event.

In fact, the SSW has been known about since 1952, when Richard Scherhag observed one for the first time. It no doubt has been occurring since time immemorial.

As for claims that this spike was somehow unprecedented, we know that there was a very similar event in March 1976.


It is claimed:

The heat peaks are becoming more frequent and lasting longer – never more so than this year. “In 50 years of Arctic reconstructions, the current warming event is both the most intense and one of the longest-lived warming events ever observed during winter.

It is certainly true that warm anomalies in the Arctic winter have been more common in recent years. (Though significantly summers have remained close to average – eg last year)

The DMI data goes back to 1954, but the world did not start then.

What about beforehand?

Bo Vinther, the experienced climatologist with Copenhagen University, has compiled the SW Greenland temperature series, with some data going back as far as pre 1800, and finishing in 2006.

We see the familiar pattern of annual temperatures, which were as high is the 1930s and 40s as now.

But looking at seasonality, while summer temperatures have been pretty stable, there is considerable volatility in winter and spring:




During the 1930s and 40s, and in earlier parts of the cycle, winters and spring were much warmer than, for instance, the 1960s and 70s. And, again, we see that those warmer decades were just as warm as recently.

It is these two seasons that have largely driven the annual changes.

In other words, the warmer winters we now commonly see in the Arctic are nothing new at all. They only appear unusual because we have started looking at data since 1954.



There is also an inconsistency about the logic used by Rohde and others. They claim that warmer Arctic temperatures are having an effect on the polar vortex.

In fact, they are putting the horse before the cart. It is the SSW/polar vortex which affects the jet stream, thus pulling in warmer air from lower latitudes.

The Guardian does at least quote Zeke, who points out that these events are almost certainly mostly due to natural variability, and that climate models predict the opposite, that Arctic winters will be less variable.

I have one final comment.

The Guardian quotes near record temperatures at Cape Morris Jesup, which is at the northern tip of Greenland.




The DMI’s Ruth Mottram, who has been caught out before disseminating misleading information. says this about Cape Morris Jesup:

Spikes in temperature are part of the normal weather patterns – what has been unusual about this event is that it has persisted for so long and that it has been so warm. Going back to the late 1950s at least we have never seen such high temperatures in the high Arctic.

I’m not sure where she gets “late 1950s from”!

Although there is no official temperature published for that site, (not that I can find anyway), we do know some of the history about the place:

During a 1900 attempt to become the first person to reach the North Pole Robert Peary traversed the north coast of Greenland before starting north across the sea ice. This brought him to Cape Morris Jesup which he proclaimed the northernmost point of land in the world, and for the next sixty-nine years it was an accepted fact that Cape Morris Jesup was the northern edge of the world.

Between 1900 and 1969 several expeditions visited Cape Morris Jesup all believing that it was indeed the world’s most northern extent of land.  Most significant of these perhaps was that of Lauge Koch and his Danish Bicentenary Jubilee Expedition in 1921. Koch thus became the first Dane to reach Cape Morris Jesup. In 1953 two Swiss scientists became the next persons to reach the Cape, and the first to reach it overland from the south.  In 1960 an American team from the U. S. Geological Survey became the first persons to fly to Cape Morris Jesup, reaching it by helicopter.  In 1965 the Danish Sledge Patrol Sirius first reached the Cape, the first to do so by dog sledge since Koch in 1921.

In 1968 the Humphrey’s Arctic Expedition attempted to fly to Cape Morris Jesup after an aborted attempt to reach the North Pole.  The flight landed some twenty miles beyond Cape Morris Jesup at another cape.  The confusion created by Humphrey’s misidentification of his location and the follow up expeditions that attempted answer the map ambiguities became the inspiration for my book which is a history of mapping and exploration in northern Greenland.


Cape Morris was never more than a spot on the map for much of the time, only ever visited by a handful of Arctic expeditions. The idea that scientists have been collecting winter daily temperatures there since the 1950s is the sort of dishonest twaddle that only gullible Guardian readers could fall for.

But apparently it’s good enough for climate scientists.

  1. Broadlands permalink
    February 28, 2018 1:50 pm

    “Although it could yet prove to be a freak event, the primary concern is that global warming is eroding the polar vortex, the powerful winds that once insulated the frozen north.”

    Yet another scary statement? Ok… so what are we supposed to do about it? Cool the vortex?

    Constant scare-mongering but no realistic, plausible solutions are offered… except “act now”?

    • Robin Guenier permalink
      February 28, 2018 4:29 pm

      We’re continually told that the only way to end these horrors is the urgent and substantial reduction of CO2 emissions. Yet the Paris Agreement exempts the developing economies (responsible for 65% of emissions) from any obligation, moral or legal, to do that. Therefore, the only “realistic, plausible” solution is the renegotiation of that agreement. Yet, when Trump proposed just that, he was howled down – by the very people who are saying we must “act now”.

    • Curious George permalink
      February 28, 2018 5:08 pm

      There is a much better researched vortex (actually, several of them) in Sedona, Arizona.

  2. February 28, 2018 1:53 pm

    More fear mongering……The concern really is that its a cycle, which it likely is based on rotation of the planets and the sun that will see us getting colder. I like warm better than cold, its really much better for everyone. A colder 3+ decades will make for more energy needs, less food, discomfort and death from cold. Some believe its about a 70 year cycle (1979+35=2016, so we are due for a change…sun spots also very low)

  3. February 28, 2018 1:54 pm

    That is not my idea of a “heatwave”. Surely not even the most gullible Grauniad reader could believe it is a heatwave or that it is warm in the north of Greenland – could they?

    • Bill Berry permalink
      February 28, 2018 3:28 pm

      They will believe anything St George tells them to believe

    • rapscallion permalink
      February 28, 2018 3:29 pm

      I don’t think gullibility is the issue here Philip. They have drunk the Kool Aid and they believe!
      It has little to do with science and more to do with religion.

  4. February 28, 2018 2:01 pm

    Reblogged this on Climatism and commented:
    IT’S been hard enough reconciling Moonbats opinion piece headline in the Guarduan – “That snow outside is what global warming looks like.”

    NOW this Guardian double-down 🤦‍♂️


    NICE reality check here…

  5. Phoenix44 permalink
    February 28, 2018 2:06 pm

    It’s happened before, a few years when it happens don’t make it “more common” and the cold has just elsewhere – looking out my window in London at a fair bit of snow at the moment.

    Are these people just conditioned to respond in this way, or do they decide to utterly exaggerate everything that they see?

  6. February 28, 2018 2:08 pm

    They ought to consider what effect the current very low solar cycle may be having on jet stream patterns.

  7. Mike Jackson permalink
    February 28, 2018 2:38 pm

    If there is increased heat in the Arctic that must be coming from further south (because that is how earth’s weather works, yes?). And when it gets to the Arctic it “vents” to space (am I still talking sense?).

    So “unprecedented” increased heat leaving the planet …. should I be stocking up wood for the boiler for next autumn already?

  8. Chris, Leeds permalink
    February 28, 2018 2:53 pm

    But this is a classic weather pattern that has happened before. Even the Victorians knew that cold winters in western Europe often coincided with warmth in Iceland and Greenland and certainly by the winter of 1962/3, by which time the Jet Stream was pretty well understood, it was known that a buckling of the jet stream, leading to winter ‘blocking’ with a belt of high pressure from NW Russia through Scandinavia to Iceland was what brought frigid conditions to Europe and led to milder winters in the Arctic. So what’s new…. Even this spell, at this time of year, is pretty similar to the situation in February/ early March 1962. I

    • rapscallion permalink
      February 28, 2018 3:31 pm

      Wouldn’t it be amusing to see the reactions of the “Believers” if we were to experience another 1962/63 soon. I’d just love to see them talk their way out of that one!

  9. February 28, 2018 3:05 pm

    Reblogged this on WeatherAction News and commented:

    Not forgetting the milder moist air allowed a lot of snow to fall in Greenland;

  10. February 28, 2018 3:27 pm

    ““As we rapidly warm the Arctic,”!!!

    What substances are they on ? (I want some)

    We all know its Father Xmas & those bloody elves leaving the door of his workshop open 97% of the time.

  11. February 28, 2018 4:05 pm

    Re SSWs warming the Arctic: not seeing anything here about man-made effects – maybe the Wiki editors haven’t got to it yet 😉

    In a usual northern-hemisphere winter, several minor warming events occur, with a major event occurring roughly every two years. One reason for major stratospheric warmings to occur in the Northern hemisphere is because orography and land-sea temperature contrasts are responsible for the generation of long (wavenumber 1 or 2) Rossby waves in the troposphere. These waves travel upward to the stratosphere and are dissipated there, decelerating the winds and warming the Arctic. This is the reason that major warmings are only observed in the northern-hemisphere, with one exception.

  12. John permalink
    February 28, 2018 4:05 pm

    CNN has been pumping this stuff out over the last couple of weeks as if dooms day is upon us. Also stating “never before”, “unheard of”, and similar drivel. They even fired up the ole polar bears are dying off by showing a picture of a dead starved polar bear (seen before as usual). Their answer is to provide food for polar bears (kibble in essence) and transplant polar bear cubs to grizzly mothers. I am continuously flabbergasted at the lack of science in scientists of the green econut persuasion.

    • A C Osborn permalink
      February 28, 2018 6:24 pm

      Too many Polar Bears now and not enough easy food for them.

  13. February 28, 2018 4:13 pm

    The event might not be a record breaker, but it’s possible that the level of alarm is. A quick read of the article allowed me to pick out:
    Record warmth
    Freak occurrence
    Warming event
    Simply shocking
    Anomaly among anomalies
    Outside historical range
    Further surprises
    Angry beast
    Vicious circle
    Clear warning
    So warm
    High temperatures
    More frequent
    Lasting longer
    Sea ice declining
    Higher temperatures
    Unprecedented weather

    • Athelstan permalink
      February 28, 2018 4:32 pm

      Let me emphasize one word in your listed hyperbole,


      Yes indeed, the crazies of climate alarmunism, among many, the graun is noted for the lett wing weasels and unthinking advocates of extreme Marixist dogma, crying wolf about natural phenomena is central to their Alinskyite credo – keep the lies coming, thick, fast and layer them up.and who borrowed from Goebbels “if you tell a lie often enough………….”

      It is an accepted concept associated with cognitive error within Social Psychology, analogous to:

      Incompetence feeds overconfidence and inhibits recognition of deficiencies;

      Memories and perception are incomplete and are subject to being fleshed out in the subconscious mind (confabulation);

      Before-the-fact judgments bias perceptions and interpretations;

      After-the-fact judgments bias recall;

      Belief perseverance, clinging to reasons a faulty belief may be true, even if discredited;

      Counterfactual thinking, imagining false scenarios and outcomes;

      Cognitive dissonance, when an attitude, belief, or behavior produce a feeling of discomfort forcing alteration of that attitude, belief, or behavior to reduce discomfort and restore balance;

      Confirmation bias, confirming information is over-weighted and disconfirming information under-weighted or ignored;

      Fundamental attribution error, attributing behavior to personal traits rather than the situation;

      Halo effect, perceiving admirable qualities in another based on oversimplification or generalization from one trait to others;

      Illusory thinking, consisting of perception of a relationship where none exists, or perceiving a stronger relationship than is true;

      Self-fulfilling prophesy, believing leads to behaviors facilitating the expected result (good or bad); and,

      Illusory optimism, believing leads to overconfidence, under-preparation, and increased vulnerability to defeat.

      Myers, D. G. (2012). Social psychology (11th ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill.

      Graun haddith – it is written.

  14. February 28, 2018 4:23 pm

    Paul, your first DMI graph is a copy from Feb 25 that WordPress has cached because the website is http and not https. The only way to work around it is for you to save a copy of the latest image and upload it to the blog. This problem does not occur when linking to graphics on https web pages. For those of us viewing the blog, the quick work around is to click on the link to see the latest copy at the originating website, which does indeed show a sharp drop recently, unlike the Feb 25 graph.

  15. MrGrimNasty permalink
    February 28, 2018 5:08 pm

    The alarmists ran the same ‘Arctic Heatwave’ themed articles last winter too, in response to a transient 0C at the North Pole. They are desperate after the Winter Olympics failed to live up to the expected melting hype they had all prepared to issue to the credulous/biased BBC and Guardian!

  16. John Fuller permalink
    February 28, 2018 5:43 pm

    Yet another observation and argument based on the usual recipe: data bounded with carefully selected end points; use of terms such as “historical range” to misleadingly imply something unprecedented; discard any data that don’t fit the proposition; try to claim credibility by quoting leading scientists (make your own judgement) from academic and non-profit making organisations – as if this is somehow inviolable, unlike nasty profit making organisations. But, as we know, this isn’t about science, it’s about ideology and in ideology facts can be anything you want them to be.

    p.s. Almost forgot; photo of drowning polar bear also necessary prerequisite.

  17. February 28, 2018 6:09 pm

    Reblogged this on Roald J. Larsen.

  18. Pete Mclaughlin permalink
    February 28, 2018 7:29 pm

    If you look at a map of the extent of the glaciers you see that Canada and Europe were covered with growing glaciers and permanent ice. The Jet Stream during ice ages drives warm air over the North Pole and cold air from the North Pole down over Canada and Europe. This warm temp at the North Pole may mean we are headed back into Ice Age conditions.

  19. February 28, 2018 7:48 pm

    “The Guardian does at least quote Zeke, who points out that these events are almost certainly mostly due to natural variability, and that climate models predict the opposite, that Arctic winters will be less variable.”

    Maybe Zeke is finally coming to his senses and recognizing that the climate models are not doing a good job representing reality? Probably wishful thinking on my part.

  20. February 28, 2018 8:37 pm

    The polar bear issue, noted in some comments. The New Scientist ran a piece explaining the whole thing. There are 4 main groupings of polar bears, two groups are vaguely stable, there’s a loss of members in one group (ice pack loss) and an increase in another group that have gravitated toward human settlements. This isn’t projected to last long, as human/bear conflicts will increase. Overall, numbers projected to decrease. So there is truth in the pictures of starving bears, but the mainstream media pretty much explain nothing at all of the detail.

  21. February 28, 2018 10:35 pm

    As far as Arctic ice is concerned, there is only one place slow to refreeze, namely Bering Sea, but Okhotsk next door has already hit last year’s max

    This year’s volatile vortex will resolve soon after splitting into two parts.

  22. AZ1971 permalink
    February 28, 2018 11:22 pm

    “In 50 years of Arctic reconstructions, the current warming event is both the most intense and one of the longest-lived warming events ever observed during winter,” said Robert Rohde…

    Reconstructions? What about real data!

  23. Geoff Sherrington permalink
    March 1, 2018 8:25 am

    You good people must put data with your assertions that not all is so.

    Here, for example, is a graph from a paper in progress that refutes this assertion by our BOM
    that — “The number of days per year over 35 °C has increased in recent decades, except in parts of northern Australia.” Note that it is not needed to ruminate about past weather when the data are there and you should not ruminate when it is not. Geoff

  24. Europeanonion permalink
    March 1, 2018 10:03 am

    There is so much of Brexit here. Dudgeon fuelled by a undue haste and belligerence.

    The association of weather events with political allegiance has made for a toxic brew. Like Canute, some are promising that they can stand in front of weather events “and by so doing end them (where have I heard that before?). The idea that omnipotence is all that is needed is a sad reflection on a public that still believes in signs and portents, is willing to follow the ranting of high priests that proclaim issues as merely good against evil, regaling themselves in questionable ideals in bizarre evocations of certainty, returning to simplistic tribal concoction despite the opposition of study, conjecture, open minds that believe in scrutiny and method. If the one answer to all that ails us is in the hands of the proselytiser then we might as well submit now for history records the actions of manic preachers that have led their people to intimidation and even self-immolation. The certainty of comfort is a sly and poisonous concoction almost impossible to refute.

    Any religion that deals in set texts alone, contextualised admonition, rule, conditional responses and the appeal to certainty of outcome, is more suited to ages past, will deny that individual’s exercising of his own faculties, free will and lead him to entrust in expected stock responses, gives life over to the practised regurgitator so often identified in the mob, no matter how many times denied. When there is an allegiance with a strand of politics that says it cares for vulnerable sensibilities, sets itself as the sole arbiter, uses single identity examples as the personification of the general malaise, purveys certainty, something that will prove impossible to deny, it is easy to leak towards that release, that cosy affirmation of one’s prejudice.

    This is what is happening in a broad swathe of our daily discourse and its grim determinants, a sad reflection. Oration, the glib personifications dealt in a million and one threads, the dramatic encapsulations, are but marketing gone wild. Snake oil is far easier to access and consume than complexity and application.

  25. March 2, 2018 6:02 am

    Reblogged this on Climate Collections.

  26. March 3, 2018 1:37 am

    “An alarming heatwave in the sunless winter Arctic is causing blizzards in Europe and forcing scientists to reconsider even their most pessimistic forecasts of climate change.”

    Or, put another way:

    ‘Alarming cold outbreaks and blizzards in Europe are causing a heatwave in the sunless winter Arctic and forcing scientists to reconsider even their most pessimistic forecasts of climate change.’

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: