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The Usual Arctic Hype

March 8, 2018

By Paul Homewood


The Guardian regurgitates the latest Arctic alarmism from NSIDC and DMI:



The Arctic winter has ended with more news that is worrying even the scientists who watch the effects of climate change closely.

The region experienced its warmest winter on record. Sea ice hit record lows for the time of year, new US weather data revealed on Tuesday.

“It’s just crazy, crazy stuff,” said Mark Serreze, director of the National Snow and Ice Data Center in Boulder, Colorado, who has been studying the Arctic since 1982. “These heat waves – I’ve never seen anything like this.”

Experts say what’s happening is unprecedented, part of a global warming-driven cycle that probably played a role in the recent strong, icy storms in Europe and the north-eastern US.

The land weather station closest to the North Pole, at the tip of Greenland, spent more than 60 hours above freezing in February. Before this year, scientists had seen the temperature there rise above freezing in February only twice before, and then extremely briefly. Last month’s record-high temperatures have been more like those typical of May, said Ruth Mottram, a climate scientist at the Danish Meteorological Institute.

Of nearly three dozen different Arctic weather stations, 15 of them were at least 10F (5.6C) above normal for the winter.

“The extended warmth really has staggered all of us,” Mottram said.

In February, Arctic sea ice covered 5.4m sq miles, about 62,000 sq miles smaller than last year’s record low, the ice data center reported, and it was 521,000 square miles below the 30-year normal.

Sea ice is frozen ocean water that, in contrast to icebergs and glaciers, forms, grows and melts on the ocean. It is still growing, but “whatever we grow now is going to be thin stuff” that easily melts in the summer, Serreze said.

Something similar has been noted in the Pacific with open water on the normally iced-up Bering Sea, said the data center senior scientist Walt Meier. To be happening on opposite sides of the Arctic at the same time was unusual, he added.

“Climate change is the overriding thing,” Meier said.


So, let’s take a close look at the claims:

1) The region experienced its warmest winter on record

In reality, there is little or no data for most of the Arctic:



Most of the stations, which they do have, don’t have proper long term records, such as Cape Morris Jesup, (that red blotch in NE Greenland), which only has data since 1980.


DMI calculate Arctic temperatures, but these are not actual but the results of reanalysis.

This winter shows that temperatures have been above average, with that spike a week or so ago that drove ridiculous “unprecedented” headlines.


However, above average temperatures of this sort of proportion are not unusual in Arctic winter, For instance, we saw similar weather in 1972 and 1976:





But what the alarmists never tell us is that the DMI record only begins after 1954, and consequently does not reflect the much warmer climate in the 1930s and 40s.

If we look at the SW Greenland Temperature Series, one of the few long running datasets for the Arctic, we find that winter temperatures were just as high in the 1920s to 40s.



Although the Series ends in 2013, GISS data confirms that winters since have actually gotten colder.

Greenland, of course, is one of the regions supposedly hit by the “Arctic Heatwave” this winter.


2) Experts say what’s happening is unprecedented, part of a global warming-driven cycle that probably played a role in the recent strong, icy storms in Europe and the north-eastern US

There is zero evidence that “global warming” has played any role at all Arctic temperatures or recent cold weather in Europe and the US.

Indeed, there is no evidence at all that recent cold weather has been in any way unusual, for instance in the UK. And in the US, NOAA’s heavily adjusted database maintains that temperatures in the Northeast in January were average:




3) The land weather station closest to the North Pole, at the tip of Greenland, spent more than 60 hours above freezing in February. Before this year, scientists had seen the temperature there rise above freezing in February only twice before, and then extremely briefly. Last month’s record-high temperatures have been more like those typical of May, said Ruth Mottram, a climate scientist at the Danish Meteorological Institute.

What Mottram forgets to mention is that they only started collecting data at this station, Cape Morris, in 1980.

Claims of “record highs” are meaningless, as she must know. Such claims, designed purely as headline material for gullible journalists, shame the integrity of climate science.


4) In February, Arctic sea ice covered 5.4m sq miles, about 62,000 sq miles smaller than last year’s record low, the ice data center reported, and it was 521,000 square miles below the 30-year normal


According to DMI, sea ice extent in the Arctic has barely changed in the last decade. Sea ice in most of the basin is also much thicker now.







All of these alarmist claims are centred around the fact that Arctic temperatures have risen since the late 1970s, some of the coldest years of the 20thC.



It’s time to end the scam.

  1. quaesoveritas permalink
    March 8, 2018 12:57 pm

    “These heat waves – I’ve never seen anything like this.”
    Its amazing how people use their own experience as the measure of “climate change”.

    • dave permalink
      March 8, 2018 1:37 pm

      It will take many years before this particular “dead donkey story” is dropped!

      One wonders vaguely what will replace the whole nonsense.
      Witch-doctors of one sort or another now rule the mind in Western society. It is unfortunate that we lost our peasant suspicion, when uprooting to the big cities. Few people twig.

      What new breed of men with bones through their noses will be lolling around in the studios of the BBC, when I am gone?

      • dave permalink
        March 8, 2018 1:43 pm

        “…new breed of men with bones through their noses…”

        My wife has reminded me they will all be women. It is International Womens day soon or some’ink.

      • March 8, 2018 2:38 pm

        CAGW will have to be replaced by a scare of similar grandeur if it is to go. And bearing in mind that CO2 seems to have a worsening impact on nearly every bad thing in the world, if we are to believe what we are told – well, in that case there are few possible things that could displace it.

        It’s gonna have to be a world war (+nukes a bonus point), a pandemic, a global depression, the end of money, a VEI 8 eruption, a solar flare affecting the Interwebs for 0.12 secs, contact with aliens, the rapture, or a plague of zombies for the replacement to get any traction.

        CO2 has an innate advantage over more concrete threats, ‘cos it’s a diffuse, almost ghostly presence, with vaporous tendrils that reach everywhere but whose influence large grant monies are needed to detect. Whether its effects are immeasurable, unmeasurable, or something between, that’s another story.

      • Paddy permalink
        March 9, 2018 8:55 am

        Dave – has anybody done a study (is there a grant?) to see what the gender bias of these doomsters is? I think we should be told.

    • Gerry, England permalink
      March 8, 2018 1:47 pm

      And even if they go back to the data series, they don’t extend very much further than their own limited knowledge.

      • dave permalink
        March 8, 2018 2:04 pm

        One is reminded of the line from The Little Rascals:

        “All right men, let’s talk about the pride of our club, the Blur. The Blur has never been beaten… since the beginning of time, five years ago.”

    • John of Cloverdale, WA, Australia permalink
      March 9, 2018 12:15 am

      Indeed, case in point, Mark (just crazy, crazy stuff) Serreze, director of the National Snow and Ice Data Center in Boulder, Colorado, who has been studying the Arctic since 1982. Obviously he was too young to notice the 1972 and 1976 years as shown in the DMI graphs above.

  2. Emrys Jones permalink
    March 8, 2018 1:01 pm

    They are allowing no comments on the article. That is a sure sign with the Guardian that they know they are on thin ice.

  3. Bloke down the pub permalink
    March 8, 2018 1:18 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 the 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 known glaciers have entirely disappeared.

    Very few seals and no white fish 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 coast cities uninhabitable.

    * * ** * * * * *

    My apologies.

    I neglected to mention, This report was from November 2, 1922, as reported and published in The Washington Post 95 years ago

    This must have been caused by the Model T Ford’s emissions or possibly from horse and cattle flatulence.

    • Ian Magness permalink
      March 8, 2018 1:55 pm

      Great post Bloke!

    • Nigel S permalink
      March 8, 2018 2:26 pm

      Another good one from 1817, perhaps it influenced Franklin’s fate.

      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

  4. Rowland H permalink
    March 8, 2018 1:47 pm

    One needs reminding about the submarines surfacing at the North Pole.

    • catweazle666 permalink
      March 11, 2018 10:03 pm

      Concerning the US submarines surfacing at the North Pole, there was a wonderful thread on the Moonbat’s blog over at the Guardian ten years or so ago, one of the swamp creatures started a discussion as to whether the Evil Oil Orcs had managed to persuade some miscreant to falsify the US Navy records by fabricating the photos and reports in an attempt to discredit the Warmies because as was well known there never had been clear water at the North Pole before the advent of CAGW so it was impossible for a submarine to have surfaced there..

  5. March 8, 2018 1:52 pm

    Reblogged this on WeatherAction News and commented:
    I started my temperature records yesterday, the cold today is unprecedented!! 😒

  6. Broadlands permalink
    March 8, 2018 2:06 pm

    With respect to sea ice. Mark Serreze is the same scientist who said 10 years ago that we could be “passing a tipping point…It’s tipping now. We’re seeing it happen now.” And NASA scientist Jay Zwally predicted that within five to less than 10 years, “the Arctic could be free of sea ice in the summer.” Of course Al Gore picked up on all that to make his own prediction.

    Apparently the models were faulty?

    • March 9, 2018 8:59 pm

      Serreze was also quick off the blocks in 2016 when the ice extent curve at DMI was falling faster than usual. This as it turned out was due to an error of some sort; when fixed the curve was no different than the others shown. (That, some of you may recall, happened just after DMI disappeared its 30% ice extent curve because it wasn’t following the prescribed narrative.)

  7. Phoenix44 permalink
    March 8, 2018 2:18 pm

    Way below average in one place, way above average in another. That’s how it works when the amount of “heat” is fixed and all you can do is distribute it in different ways.

    Whining about the distribution is absurd – we are supposed to be concerned about the amount of “heat”, not where it is in any given 24 hour period.

    • dave permalink
      March 8, 2018 5:12 pm

      Part of the problem – as so often with manipulations in third-rate science – is ignorance of etymology. A feel for “the genius of the language” is exceedingly rare nowadays, and, so, people do not often realize that their thinking is clothed in sloppy rags.*

      The word “climate” meant “slope” in Ancient Greek. The slope of any part of the Earth with respect to incoming sun-shine, and the variation of this slope during the year, were part of their explanation for weather. It was never the intent of the old geographers to use the word as meaning “average weather.” The practical Greeks did not care about averages.

      *As one solicitor a long time ago said in reply to an innocent query ,”Shall I endorse the bottom of the page?” “No, that is impossible, since ‘endorse’ means in Latin literally ‘put on the back.’ If you care to ‘subscribe’ – ‘under write’ – that will do.”

      The point is not that one word is right and one word is wrong, but that they are two different words, so long as the distinction is remembered. And it is easily remembered when you think, on the one hand of old-time merchants scribbling their names on the back of commercial bills in a legal succession, and on the other hand of insurers putting their names down together to show union of purpose. Use the words indifferently, and the communal mind has lost a little bit of its firepower.

  8. March 8, 2018 4:47 pm

    One thing I notice time and again is the use of the word “normal” which means average in maths, and used in the media to mean ‘what it should be be but isnt ‘

    • dave permalink
      March 8, 2018 5:29 pm

      “…’normal’ which means average in maths…”

      And means many other things as well. But the media use you mention is actually close to an original meaning, namely a fairly good representative of a group of things. That begs the question of whether there IS such a representative. If you have a class of ten school boys you could probably find one who is just sort-of-average and present him instead of the whole class. Would you, however, be able to choose one animal in the zoo and pretend there was no need to look at the rest, because once you have seen a gibbon you have seen an elephant?

    • bob nielsen permalink
      March 9, 2018 1:34 am

      Average?? Is that median, mean or modal average? There is no such thing as average in maths (or elsewhere) withouit further definition.

  9. Francis permalink
    March 8, 2018 4:50 pm

    A small but interesting and, perhaps, important discrepancy in the original article which states: “The land weather station closest to the North Pole, at the tip of Greenland,…”. Given that the original article does not name the station or provide a location, the question arises, is it the most northerly land-based weather station? (And is the observing done by humans or is it an automatic station?)

    The following was copied from Wikipedia:
    “Alert, in the Qikiqtaaluk Region, Nunavut, Canada, is the northernmost permanently inhabited place in the world,[4] at latitude 82°30’05” north, 817 kilometres (508 mi) from the North Pole.[5]”

    Alert is a Canadian military site which was jointly constructed (U.S. and Canada) in 1950 as one of several Joint Arctic Weather Stations established across the Canadian archipelago.

    Also of interest in this context is that weather observations have been made at Alert from around the time os its construction. I have been unable to locate a means of viewing those observations online but I do know they exist. Would be interesting to “contrast and compare”.

  10. AZ1971 permalink
    March 8, 2018 4:54 pm

    62,000 sq km less areal extent versus last year, but the same sea ice volume as 10 years ago. They forget that the sustained winds which drove the ice away from the northern shore of Greenland and spiked North Pole temperatures didn’t make all that ice disappear. It instead compacted it, which is what is “required” for it to survive the summer melt season.

    There’s more to the Arctic sea ice extent due to winds than atmospheric temperatures, and this just goes to prove it. Same event happened in 2012 with sustained SE winds which drove large amounts of old, thick sea ice through the Fram Strait.

    • dave permalink
      March 8, 2018 5:43 pm

      “…less areal extent…”

      They also do not know that extent is defined as ocean having at least 15% ice cover. You can “lose” 62,000 sq km on the edge by actually losing a mere few thousand sq km of actual ice cover. Imagine a wind blowing a skim of ice away so that there is 12% cover instead of 18%

      I seem to remember the Norwegians calculate extent both with the 15% rule and with a deduction for areas of open-water within the ice. It never makes any difference in the long run.

  11. Ben Vorlich permalink
    March 8, 2018 6:10 pm

    I think it’s true to say that for the last four summers, that is the point at which the temperature rises above 0’C to the point at which it normally falls below 0’C, have been below average for virtually the whole time. The summer of 2013 was particularly interesting in that the temperature remained below 0’C for about 3 weeks longer than normal, the return to sub-zero temperatures occurred at the normal time.

  12. Dave Ward permalink
    March 8, 2018 7:53 pm

    3 nights ago I saw the following in the letters page of the Eastern Daily Press (published in Norwich). I have used an OCR programme to extract the text (and then verified it) , and hope that it displays O.K. in this comment:

    On February 28 our group,
    Climate Hope Action In
    Norfolk, was due to hold a small
    demonstration outside the
    planned East of England
    Energy Group conference at the
    Norfolk Showground. We
    wanted to express opposition to
    the planned “resurgence” in
    production of North Sea oil and
    gas, a key theme of the conference.
    The weather unfortunately
    beat both us. There was indeed a
    certain irony: climate change
    has almost been the primary
    cause of a heatwave in the
    Arctic with temperatures
    recording a terrifying 200c
    above historical averages,
    shocking scientists. This has
    pushed colder weather further
    south. In short, what’s
    happening here is what should
    be happening in the Arctic.
    Surely this sort of weather
    disruption highlights the
    urgency to swiftly reduce our
    dependence on fossil fuels. In
    2012 it was calculated that, to
    limit temperature increase to a
    still dangerous 20c, we could
    only burn 20pc of proven coal,
    oil and gas reserves. They
    estimated then we would do this
    by 2028 — just 10 years away.
    This government’s objective to
    maximise oil production makes
    fighting climate change
    impossible. Instead, fully
    realising the amazing potential
    of clean offshore renewable
    energy would help us transform
    to a low carbon economy. The
    North Sea can be our future,
    let’s not make it our ruin.

    Climate Hope Action In Norfolk,
    Arnold Miller Road,

    Like me, you will doubtless be shouting at the screen when you read the “terrifying 200c
    above historical averages”
    part, but looking a little further down it seems likely that the second “0” should have been a small one, and the terrifying value is actually only a slightly less scary 20°c! But this absurd bit of scaremongering (and the lack of any proofreading on the part of the paper) shows we are still surrounded by idiots…

    • bob nielsen permalink
      March 9, 2018 1:46 am

      There’s hope. Article says ‘weather beat both us,…’ Seems there are only two idiots in this Climate Hope action Lunacy group!

  13. Svend Ferdinandsen permalink
    March 8, 2018 9:11 pm

    The northern part of Greenland was warm at some time, but i followed the temperature around Greenland, and it was not especially warm.
    At the same time we had a freezing cold february i Denmark like most of Europe, but no one mentioned it or talked about a fimbulvinter.
    February ended almost 1 degrees below the normal from 1961 to 90.

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