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Cape Morris Jesup

March 1, 2018

By Paul Homewood

In yesterday’s post, Arctic Alarmists Hit New Records Of Hysteria, I noted the claim of record temperatures at Cape Morris Jesup, a station at the far north of Greenland.

This is what the DMI’s Ruth Mottram claimed:

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.

As I pointed out, even as late as 1968, there was no settlement of any sort there, and it had only been visited a handful of times by Arctic explorers.

Climatologist John Cappelen of the DMI has written up a summary of the recent spike, and points out that the station only has data since 1980:



DMI’s measurement station at Kap Morris Jesup is the world’s northernmost weather station located on land, and usually the temperature is well below the freezing point of this season. On Tuesday, however, the thermometer pointed in the opposite direction, and the station measured plus degrees virtually 24 hours.

Tuesday measured the world’s northernmost land-based weather station, DMI’s station at Kap Morris Jesup in North Greenland, exceptionally high temperatures for the season and even plus degrees.


Temperature course at DMI’s weather station at Kap Morris Jesup in February 2018. The light blue line marks 0 ° C. Graphics John Cappelen.

"The reason for the exceptionally high temperature is probably the combination of relative hot air in the Arctic and the fohn around Cape Morris Jesup," he says.

Føhn is a special wind that occurs in Greenland when the air blows up over the ice ice, so the moisture spills out. When the wind blows down from the ice again, the temperature rises sharply in the now dry air.

DMI has measurements from Kap Morris Jesup back to 1980, and reveals that in February, absolute degrees are definitely not everyday at the world’s northernmost land-based measurement station. In fact, DMI has only twice previously measured similar high temperatures. The first time was in 2011. Second time last year; ie in 2017. Both times, føhn-winning may have contributed to the high temperatures.

The figures from 1980 onwards show that the average temperature at Kap Morris Jesup is cool minus 32.9 ° C in February. The figures also show that 2005 was the year with the hottest February – the whole minus 23.4 ° C could make it. The contradiction is in February 1985, which had average and record low minus 37.4 ° C on average.

Right now, the average for February is at Kap Morris Jesup at minus 21.2 ° C. In other words, it is hotter than the hitherto warmest February. However, that does not mean that the month ends with a record. Føhnen comes and goes and can quickly be below 30 ° C in the area.


To draw any conclusions from data that only dates back to 1980 is little more than junk science.

But it is also worth pointing out the role that fohn winds played, both this month and in the similar episode in 2005.

  1. Bloke down the pub permalink
    March 1, 2018 12:19 pm

    Good to see there are still scientists working at DMI and they haven’t all been replaced by activists.

    • Adam Gallon permalink
      March 1, 2018 1:10 pm

      Ah, but some bloke in Facebook group, told me that they’re Shills for fossil fuels as they’re funded by the Danish Ministry of Energy, Utilities and Climate!

  2. A C Osborn permalink
    March 1, 2018 12:24 pm

    They like to try and make it sound as if the the Arctic is so hot because the whole world is so hot.
    Just total bullshit, the planet according to thier own adjusted data is a good degree colder than 2 years ago, so why wasn’t the arctic “steaming” then?

  3. JasG permalink
    March 1, 2018 1:19 pm

    I take it that it was still warmer in the Arctic in the 1930’s as reported even by the IPCC.

  4. Phoenix44 permalink
    March 1, 2018 2:09 pm

    I’m struggling to understand how a spike that lasted less than 24 could be anything other than a rare and short term event?

    If weather isn’t climate, then it’s pretty clear that weather on just one day definitely isn’t climate.

  5. D. Copleston permalink
    March 1, 2018 4:47 pm

    It’s -21C at Alert Nunavut right now. Environment Canada’s most northerly weather station.

  6. March 1, 2018 7:26 pm

    Oddly this year, there are no drifting buoys reporting air temperature within 7 degrees of the North Pole. That leaves Kap Morris Jesup at 83 degrees 39 minutes north latitude as the closest temperature measurement location at present and for this winter.

    In most recent years, there have been several drifting buoys withing 7 degrees of the North Pole during the winter. I am also seeing fewer Arctic drifting buoys reporting temperature this year than in recent years. A map of the Arctic drifting buoys can be seen be seen here (click the “Atmospheric Temperature” button to see the buoys reporting air temperature):
    All of the Arctic buoy data can be accessed here:

    I have also found that very few of the IABP listed buoys are reporting data to the global synoptic weather data network for ingestion to weather models. And among the few with synoptic weather reports, I found that in most cases the synoptic data is reporting the buoy hull ice temperature as if it were the air temperature, which causes a substantial high bias for air temperature in the winter. I don’t know if data from the other buoys reporting on IABP but not to the synoptic weather network are somehow collected and ingested into the real-time global weather forecast models like GFS and ECMWF. I also don’t know if the other data are ingested in the reanalyses like CFSV2 and ERAI.

    Regardless, Arctic temperature measurement coverage seems to have decreased this year compared to last year. That won’t affect the traditional GMST estimates, which don’t use the drifting buoys for air temperature, but could decrease the accuracy of reanalysis temperature estimates for GMST and especially for the Arctic.

    You’d think with all the hysteria about Arctic warming there would be more Arctic buoys and not less. But then, who needs data when the narrative has already been decided?

  7. Brett Keane permalink
    March 2, 2018 3:10 am

    ‘Fraid they stopped maintaining the numbers of buoys a few years ago. Seems they gave answers not expected – no meltdown, much frigidity, no propaganda value.
    But watchers and we hope scientists learnt a lot. Including you oz, I bet. Caleb noted the demise of the last one transmitting pictures last year on ‘Sunrise’s Swansong’ blog. We rode ol’ Obuoy4 ’til she expired.

  8. bob permalink
    March 3, 2018 12:57 am

    The transitory (and thus insignificant) spike in north Greenland temps is due to the splitting of the jetstream as the main force plunges south over spain, but a breakoff current of the jet temporarily swirls north around Greenland. Watching the Jet shows how the weather is being driven. A good view of the Jet flow is at

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