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BBC’s July Climate Check

July 31, 2020

By Paul Homewood





The BBC’s Climate Check focusses on the Arctic this month. I did not even have to watch it to know exactly what they would say:

  • Fastest warming
  • Arctic heatwaves
  • Wildfires
  • Permafrost
  • Sea ice melt
  • Albedo

She begins by talking about “Unprecedented temperatures in the world’s fastest warming region at the poles”  homing in on the heatwave in Siberia, with the record temperature of 38C set at Verhojansk, and eleven days above 30C there.

In fact temperatures above 30C there are perfectly common events, and June 2020 was not even as hot as June 1912. As we also know, the new record temperature was only 0.7C higher than the previous record set in 1988, hardly a cause for alarm.

time series


The hot weather last month in Siberia was to the set up of the jet stream, not climate change. The same meteorological factors have brought one of Greenland’s coldest Junes for years, something the BBC are not so keen for people to know:




And when they claim that the Arctic is one of the “fastest warming regions on earth”, they don’t tell you that it was just as warm there back in the 1930s:


Neither are wildfires anything new in Arctic regions. In fact they are vital for the spread of larches and other trees which benefit from fire suppression of monolithic pine and fir.

As for summer sea ice, it has been stable since 2007:


The BBC refer to the albedo effect, whereby sunlight reflects away from sea ice, claiming that reduced sea ice extent allows sunlight to warm the seas. However, it is equally true that by September loss of heat from open seas more than outweighs the rapidly declining effect of the sun.

Finally she also refers to the South Pole, curiously claiming temperatures are rising at three times the global rate. There is no evidence for this whatsoever, with HADCRUT4 showing little increase at all since the 1970s:



The BBC also claim that the ice sheet is losing mass, but this is disputed by NASA, who insist that the ice cap is actually growing.

As with every other so-called Climate Check, this one has more to do with fiction than fact.

  1. Spencer Lee permalink
    July 31, 2020 12:54 pm

    Presumably the BBC will be informed of their errrors?

  2. Broadlands permalink
    July 31, 2020 1:07 pm

    The four types of climate denier, and why you should ignore them all.
    Damian Carrington, The Guardian.

    “The science is clear, the severity understood at the highest levels everywhere, and serious debates about what to do are turning into action. The deniers have nothing to contribute to this.”

    A criticism of Michael Schellenberger. How does anyone deal with this sort of nonsense.

  3. July 31, 2020 1:20 pm

    ‘claiming that reduced sea ice extent allows sunlight to warm the seas’

    But forgetting that the angle of sun to sea is low in the Arctic, meaning higher reflectance and lower absorption of solar rays than at non-polar latitudes. If they think the Arctic seas have warmed much, let them try jumping in.

    • A C Osborn permalink
      July 31, 2020 4:21 pm

      Anyone with a pond knows that a layer of Ice keeps the water warmer, until the sun is warm enough to melt it.

  4. Harry Davidson permalink
    July 31, 2020 1:21 pm

    These days I never known whether to laugh or feel annoyed when the BBC offer to ‘fact check’ anything. They are not liars, they are ignorant and arrogant; they believe what they say is true, and it must be true because they say it, they are the BBC.

    • July 31, 2020 3:15 pm

      When there is empirical data which says the opposite of what they are claiming not only on this subject but a range of other nonsense to do with the identity marxism I think the lying epithet is the only correct term to use, More, what do you think about the following…”a minority of activists exploiting the position of the BBC to wilfully tell lies with the intention to mislead in support of a marxist agenda

      • Harry Davidson permalink
        July 31, 2020 3:56 pm

        It’s worse than that. They published a ‘Fact check’ on Covid-19 which was simply wrong in every important detail. Memorably, it included the astonishing statement that inability hold your breathe is not a symptom of viral pneumonia.

  5. Coeur de Lion permalink
    July 31, 2020 1:25 pm

    Fun website has North Pole at 0.9degsC, top of Greenland minus 18, central Antarctica minus 65. Brrr.

  6. Broadlands permalink
    July 31, 2020 1:32 pm

    “Similarly, in the field of climate science, it’s overwhelmingly well-understood that: the Earth is warming, and local climate patterns are changing, caused by changes in the concentration of gases in our atmosphere, driven by human-caused emission of greenhouse gases from fossil fuels, and that this is having a number of adverse consequences: causing changes in food supplies, water availability, and land use all across the world.”

    “This has been scientifically known and accepted by the consensus of active climate scientists for more than 30 years, and yet a sustained misinformation campaign — as well as a few contrarian scientists — has sown sufficient doubt that anyone who is determined to “do their own research” can find boatloads of websites and documents confirming whatever conspiratorial line of thought they prefer. It doesn’t change the scientific truth, but it has led to unprecedented inaction in the face of a problem with long-term, negative, planet-wide consequences.”

    More nonsense with massive hubris. This from Ethan Siegel in FORBES magazine.

    You Must Not ‘Do Your Own Research’ When It Comes To Science

    • July 31, 2020 3:04 pm

      I had to comment on this Forbes piece…that well known scientific journal. Scientific Truth? Whoever wrote those weasel words is not a scientist. There is no truth only weight of empirical evidence supporting a hypothesis. Also I just love the total certainty with which the believer journo says . “Earth is warming, and local climate patterns are changing, caused by changes in the concentration of gases in our atmosphere, driven by human-caused emission of greenhouse gases from fossil fuels, and that this is having a number of adverse consequences: causing changes in food supplies, water availability, and land use all across the world.” Also the glib nonsense about “This has been scientifically known and accepted by the consensus of active climate scientists for more than 30 years”. Actually for 35 years an assertion has failed to find the weight of evidence to support it.
      There is no empirical data to support what is a claimed and very unscientific linkage. Changes in food supply..YES…we are producing more each year! Celebrate your good fortune to be alive with all the toys at your disposal during what is the best time for man kind ever!

    • Curious George permalink
      July 31, 2020 3:37 pm

      100 German scientists against Einstein, again.

      • Chaswarnertoo permalink
        July 31, 2020 5:41 pm

        Were I wrong, one would be enough.

  7. It doesn't add up... permalink
    July 31, 2020 1:32 pm

    Several hundred years ago we had preachers pronouncing hellfire and brimstone. Plus ça change…

    • July 31, 2020 3:06 pm

      In 1903-1906 Roald Amunsden sailed the full extent of the North West passage… a wooden boat, something not possible again until 2009 and then with an ice breaker leading the way.

  8. Up2snuff permalink
    July 31, 2020 1:47 pm

    That the BBC no longer do geography – along with a lot of other stuff – is evidenced by the conflation of the North Pole with arctic northern Europe ie. Scandinavia and Siberia. Are the BBC one of the greatest sources of misinformation that so worries Damian Carrington of the Guardian newspaper?

  9. Gamecock permalink
    July 31, 2020 1:56 pm

    HadCRUT4 chart showing arctic temperatures back to 1920. Cirrusly? Like we had some way of knowing. Arctic ocean is 5.5 million sq mi. What weather stations were there in 1920? Or even 1960?

    We know nothing.

    • July 31, 2020 2:07 pm

      Most of the reliable data centres around Greenland and Iceland, which show the same trends.

  10. fretslider permalink
    July 31, 2020 2:18 pm

    The BBC’s Climate Check focusses on the Arctic this month. I did not even have to watch it to know exactly what they would say:

    Read more

    After the Willie Soon Hatchet job (How they made us doubt everything @copy; N Oreskes) and the latest wave of propaganda on climate and virus I can no longer tolerate what should be honestly called

    The Propaganda Bureau

  11. July 31, 2020 2:40 pm

    What they now and always steer well away from is the lack of proof for a cause of all the handwringing furrowed brow catastrophes they are claiming. No proven cause means no proven effect. We are on the planet at a time to ENJOY the benefits of a warming planet, just as were the Minoans and the Romans and the Medieval Folks. Surely it is not beyond them to realize only good happened during those previous THREE warm periods and NONE of the catastrophes being modelled shmoddled. We have hard data. Why ignore it, unless….So what actually do they actually want because other than having no proven cause for their claimed effects what is it that they actually want and the “impartial BBC” in particular is promoting at every opportunity it can? A clue to this comes from scale of the climate nonsense the UK has inflicted upon it with no pushback from cowardly politicians which has activists yelling and screaming at the 1% contributor to the global man returned to the Carbon Cycle CO2, yelling and screaming to embrace at us to hobble and hamstring our industry and lives and ….embrace socialism while being totally silent about the worlds larger AND GROWING contributors. I may be daft but I am not stupid!

  12. Broadlands permalink
    July 31, 2020 2:46 pm

    “Unprecedented temperatures in the world’s fastest warming region at the poles”

    This is the so-called “arctic amplification” but the increase in the temperatures of either of the hemispheres are not available to confirm how fast. At last count (20th century means) the NH was 14.6°C, the SH was 13.4°C and the globe was 14.0°C. The globe today is 14.8°C. So, the NH should be well above 14.6°C…Where are these data?

  13. MrGrimNasty permalink
    July 31, 2020 4:38 pm

    They’ll need an update after they missed today’s 3rd hottest day ‘ever’ in the UK.

    37.8C Heathrow, also 37.3C Kew Gardens.

    All we need now is Cambridge Bot. Gardens to come in late and smash that for a trifecta of unreliable weather stations – why do the same places always get the record – it’s proof it is not random and that they are compromised locations UHI or otherwise boosted.

    Tomasz Schafernaker BBC climate propagandist/weatherman was keeping his paymasters happy with his remarks pushing the climate message.

    • MrGrimNasty permalink
      July 31, 2020 5:08 pm

      Looking around at other places not too adversely affected by conurbation, I’d say those readings are at least 2-3C top heavy.

      The question is why in the prolonged heat of 1976 was Heathrow not the hottest place and why did it not exceed 33/34C?

      An interesting analysis for a competent statistician would be some sort of investigation into how many times each weather station in the country has recorded the hottest daily value since, say, 1950, and how that frequency has changed with time, that should expose the ‘dodgy’ stations with excessive relative warming.

  14. Devoncamel permalink
    July 31, 2020 5:22 pm

    Classic BBC. Should it be renamed as the British Bias Confirmation service?

  15. Ben Vorlich permalink
    July 31, 2020 6:35 pm

    Can someone explain how albedo works when there’s no solar radiation to reflect? Open water radiating energy into space is how sea freezes in winter is it not?

    Genuine questions

  16. jack broughton permalink
    July 31, 2020 7:02 pm

    The arctic ice graph shows how “Wadders” came to his ice-free arctic by 2014 belief. He joined the dots at 1997 and 2007. That gives the ice-free date as 2103; so he was right all along as proved by two dots of history. Who cares about the actual numbers when experts and scientists can be found to tell lies with apparent sincerity and straight faces?

  17. July 31, 2020 10:51 pm

    Talk Radio 9:50am Friday the Met Office have sent Clare out to push the Global Warming message across the media.
    JHB wasn’t able to push back strong enough

    later she tweeted
    Clare Nasir @clarenasir
    Thrilled to be asked by @timesradio
    to talk about today’s peak heat, London could reach 36C…

    #1 How would the Met O know a hotter day is not coming later in the year ?
    isn’t it being over confident ?
    #2 She said the consensus is 99.9% across the world
    How did she measure that ?

    She tweeted they have a new podcast
    “Dr Mark McCarthy on the latest State of the UK Climate report released today”

  18. Gary C permalink
    August 1, 2020 11:27 am

    Total bias. No mention of;

    Record July cold in Norway and Sweden –

    Record Cold Deliver Dismal Grain Harvest for the Ukraine and Russia –

    Sugarcane Frozen Solid in South Africa –

    Record Cold Hits Southern Brazil –

    Greenland Ice melt bang on average –

    BBC Climate Check should check out these stories!

  19. rtj1211 permalink
    August 6, 2020 1:46 pm

    These climate change non-scientists need to be told about how general trends can be accompanied by subsets of data travelling in the opposite direction. You know, like birth rates in Europe declining but increasing in certain catholic populations and amongst immigrant populations also.

    Every day of the year we will find an ‘extreme’ temperature or two somewhere on earth, be it hot or cold. I am sure the same can be said of rainfall, snowfall, windiness, drought conditions, flood conditions etc etc. It is the nature of having tens of thousands of daily data points for each variable. So saying that ‘Siberia is hot, so the world is hot’ is like saying ‘my wife is pregnant, you had sex with your wife so she must be pregnant too’.

    Siberia’s climate is relevant solely to Siberia.

    You will find plenty of data pairs where weather patterns move in opposite directions. Try the northern Austrian Alps and the Italian alps for a start. Look at the UK and Ukraine. Try the US mid West and the Eastern Seaboard.

    So when Siberia is hot, you should always ask: ‘where in the world was it cold at the same time?’

    Until proven otherwise, that should be the assumption made.

    Mr Homewood has highlighted Greenland in this instance.

    I well remember summer 1976 in Britain being the hottest and driest for decades. We went on holiday in what is now Croatia and they said they had had the worst summer they could remember and everywhere was lush and green, in direct contrast to the brown parched fields of NW London. Of course, their standards of ‘bad’ still meant that playing tennis was only bearable the first hour of daylight and the last before nightfall. But it was August in the Adriatic I guess….

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