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Scandinavian Heatwave–The Real Facts

September 13, 2018

By Paul Homewood


Back in July, Carbon Brief reported on the “European heatwave” this summer:



A rapid assessment by scientists of the ongoing heatwave across northern Europe this summer has found that human-caused climate change made it as much as five times more likely to have occurred.

The preliminary analysis, by a team of scientists at the World Weather Attribution network, uses data from seven weather stations in Ireland, the Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Finland. The team were not able to get sufficient data at short notice to include a UK station.

The findings suggest that rising global temperatures have increased the likelihood of such hot temperatures by five times in Denmark, three times in the Netherlands and two times in Ireland.

The sizeable year-to-year fluctuations in summer weather in Scandinavia makes it harder to pin down a specific change in likelihood for the heatwaves in Norway, Sweden and Finland, the researchers say. However, “we can state that, yes, heatwaves have increased – and are increasing – in Scandinavia as in the rest of Europe”, says one of the scientists involved.


In fact, as the report by World Weather Attribution admits, the heatwave was far from being a Europe wide phenomenon:


The summer of 2018 has been remarkable in northern Europe. A very persistent high-pressure anomaly over Scandinavia caused high temperature anomalies and drought there from May to (at least) July.

Southern Europe was unusually wet, with damaging thunderstorms in France in the first half of June. In this analysis we investigate the connection between one aspect, the highest temperatures so far in Northern Europe, and climate change….

Key findings

  • The heat (based on observations and forecast) is very extreme near the Arctic circle, but less extreme further south: return periods are about 10 years in southern Scandinavia and Ireland, five years in the Netherlands


This is neatly expressed by their map:



As we can see, the hottest days were actually cooler than average in southern Europe.

But what about the north, particularly northern Scandinavia? Talk of the Scandinavian heatwave has been widespread this summer, with temperature of 32C close to the Arctic Circle in Sweden, Finland and Norway.

To the general public, such temperatures must seem incredible, simply out of this world. But, as we shall see, they are not.

The study analysed these sites:


So let’s check out the KNMI data (used in the study), which plots daily max temps. The data is up to date to the end of Aug 2018:






As we can see, temperatures of 30C and more are not uncommon in these high latitude sites in Finland. Sodankyla, which is the most northerly, and at 67N inside the Arctic Circle, peaked at 32.1C this summer.

While this is a record, KNMI tell us that temperatures reached 31.7C in 1914, and 31.5C in 1934.

Maybe heatwaves are half a degree hotter these days than a century ago, but the idea that AGW is making the Arctic burn up is fraudulent nonsense.

  1. September 13, 2018 3:04 pm

    Reblogged this on Climate Collections.

  2. Phoenix44 permalink
    September 13, 2018 3:16 pm

    “The findings suggest that rising global temperatures have increased the likelihood of such hot temperatures by five times in Denmark, three times in the Netherlands and two times in Ireland.”

    This is utter drivel. The idea you can differentiate between the Netherlands and Denmark in such a study just shows that they are playing with numbers, not doing real statistics or analysis.

    It is frankly absurd to believe that you can work out how likely a heatwave in Europe is with and without additional CO2. There must be billions (at least) of unique combinations of weather that could be had – these studies just make groups of those billions of unique events and claim they are the same, when they are fundamentally not. It is like have a twenty sided dice and saying that in fact there are only five number – 1-4, 5-10, 11-15 and 16-20.

    Just wrong.

    • Up2snuff permalink
      September 14, 2018 11:19 am

      Phoenix, I agree, but this – “The findings suggest that rising global temperatures have increased the likelihood of such hot temperatures by five times…. ” – did at least give me a good laugh!

    • George Lawson permalink
      September 14, 2018 12:10 pm

      And why do they state that equivalent UK temperatures “where not available at short notice” ? Why short notice? why couldn’t they have waited for them?

      • Up2snuff permalink
        September 15, 2018 3:25 pm

        Because they were in a hurry, George. Leave it too long and people will have forgotten what a good summer they had had once the September chills kick in. Memory is not what it used to be. John Humphrys had completely forgotten last winter’s snows on the BBC R4 ‘TODAY’ Programme recently.

        To make the most of a ‘Fear the Future’ moment the WWAN (what an unfortunate acronym!) had to strike while the iron is hot (pun sort of intended, so make the most of it) and help to spin the new ‘Hothouse Future’ thing.

        Comments on ‘Weather Channel’ Thread on this site appropriately & helpfully refer. The news cycle & Depts of broadcasters (esp. at the BBC) have appallingly bad and notoriously short memories.

  3. Ian Magness permalink
    September 13, 2018 3:23 pm

    Heatwaves in sub-Arctic regions occur most years – always have. I visited central Alaska in July 2016 and found temperatures over 30C for several days. Fairbanks – Alaska’s second city – is only 150 miles or so from the Arctic circle yet rarely fails to exceed 30C in July, and I believe the maximum temperature ever recorded there (100 years or so ago – what were “carbon emissions” then?) was 99F – pretty much on a par with England.
    So, cutting through the hysteria, no great surprise in the 2018 summer stats for Northern Europe.

  4. John189 permalink
    September 13, 2018 3:24 pm

    As Paul points out, there is a real problem of perception here. Whatever the quality of the World Weather Attribution Network report, the highlighting in the media of temperatures of over 30 Celsius in the Arctic, where surely everyone knows that it is cold all year round, is likely to reinforce the general conviction that “climate change is real and it’s happening now”.

    But heat in the high arctic is a normal phenomenon. Kiruna in Sweden at 67degrees 5′ north recorded its highest maximum of 31.6 Celsius in July
    1940, but this is positively balmy compared to stations further east. Vorkuta near the western base of Russia’s Yamal Peninsula at 67 degrees 3′ north has a record of 33.8 Celsius and Khatanga near the eastern base of the Taymyr Peninsula at 71 degrees 58′ north has recorded 36.7 Celsius – clearly the Brogdale of Siberia!

  5. September 13, 2018 3:37 pm

    I wonder if they will use the same argument this winter when it gets so cold that the Baltic Sea freezes.

    • Gerry, England permalink
      September 14, 2018 1:59 pm

      The Baltic Sea freezes every winter. They actually have ice roads that go out to some of the islands during the winter.

  6. saparonia permalink
    September 13, 2018 4:12 pm

    “A rapid assessment by scientists” -I can imagine how rapid that was: “Shall we say climate change?” “Absolutely”

    Why don’t these people put their names to it instead of authoring such a statement as “scientists” ?

    The word “scientist” is meaningless but we are conditioned to believe it’s a holy word of superiority of the religion of “Science”

  7. September 13, 2018 4:15 pm

    In the UK the likelihood of ‘hot’ days increased in the (also) natural early 20th century warming period, according to CET daily maximum data set.

  8. Broadlands permalink
    September 13, 2018 4:37 pm

    Up to five times? That means from zero to five. Just like automobile mileage? Up to X per mile or per km?? Or headache relief… up to X hours. Meaningless rapid assessment… but a headache anyhow?

  9. Athelstan permalink
    September 13, 2018 4:43 pm

    carbon briefs, but no knickers and no control.

    I rate it ‘carbon brief’ with septic pscience, the graun and the UNIPCC all are advocates of the boxxocks of man made warming. Musing on, .no doubt mrs maybot is an avid reader of all the above – claire ‘vacant’ perry will be and that’s just such a depressing thought..

  10. MrGrimNasty permalink
    September 13, 2018 5:45 pm

    As I suggested before, the WWA network is just the embodiment of the proposed Obama era ‘climate SWAT team’, just another part of the enormous CAGW propaganda machine.
    Just regard any output as junk science to be filed in the bin, and you won’t go far wrong.

  11. Harry Passfield permalink
    September 13, 2018 6:16 pm

    I’ve just come from a wake where the eulogy was given by an Oxford Don(?). At the afters I was sitting at his table and we were all discussing ideal places to live. NZ came pretty much top, with Oz second.
    Oh no, says the Don, pretty soon, Australia will soon become an uninhabited wasteland because of global warming.
    I couldn’t help myself and challenged him. OK, says he, maybe not in our lifetime. That, says I, defines it as a scam.
    He didn’t speak to me for the rest of the meal. I guess he wasn’t used to someone questioning his belief structure.
    Did enjoy it.

  12. September 13, 2018 7:24 pm

    The lands of the midnight sun are prone to high temperatures in summer for that very reason:

  13. Immune to propaganda permalink
    September 13, 2018 8:37 pm

    Paul, thirty or so years ago I would have trusted reported temperatures but not anymore. You just can’t trust most sources now as many have been infiltrated by political and environmental activists; just look at the MET!

  14. September 13, 2018 10:49 pm

    Iceland is quite near the Arctic circle. How did the ‘heatwave’ summer of 2018 go? Ohhh…

    Why is Iceland Experiencing the Worst Summer in 100 Years?
    16 July 2018

    This summer, the island is having a particularly grey and wet summer. In fact, it is the greyest and wettest summer since 1914. Not only that, but this summer weather was preceded by a month of rain that lasted the entirety of May.

  15. Gerry, England permalink
    September 14, 2018 2:00 pm

    It is always the same. Actually look at the data and find they are talking rubbish.

  16. Charlie Moncur permalink
    September 17, 2018 6:44 am

    “The findings suggest that rising global temperatures have increased the likelihood of such hot temperatures by five times in Denmark, three times in the Netherlands and two times in Ireland.” All the data I see on various blogs and websites indicate that global average temperature (whatever that means) is falling back and has been flat for the last 19 years. How can we stop the repeated fraud and miss information? I think only in court? Preferably the BBC!!! CrowdJustice funding?

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