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Met Office’s Fake Arctic Ice Claims Mislead Public

September 27, 2021

By Paul Homewood




The Met Office’s website describes the work they do, rambling on about forecasting the weather and world leading science. Nowhere can I find any reference to publishing fake news or disseminating misleading propaganda.


According to the Cambridge Dictionary:

Decline = change to a lower amount

Continues = keeps happening

So the meaning of that headline is crystal clear:

Arctic sea ice keeps getting less.

One look at their graph shows this is patently not true, despite grossly misleading linear fit, intended to fool people.

It is very easy to show that Arctic sea ice has stabilised. As their graph itself shows, there have only been three years since 2007 with lower ice extent than that year, and eleven have had higher extents.

Also the average of the last ten years is higher than 2007’s extent.

In itself, this is too short a period to make any meaningful judgements. But that is no excuse for the Met Office to publish such a manifest falsehood.

I have left a comment on their blog, but as is usual it is blocked. Maybe Richard Betts would care to comment!

Are the Met Office so afraid of the truth?

  1. ThinkingScientist permalink
    September 27, 2021 6:48 pm

    Firstly, because we know there are cycles (evident in temps, sea level and glacial retreat data) only presenting a linear trend is misleading. It presumes that this is the correct model to fit and, if its wrong, this is a classic Type 1 error – wrong model with too high a confidence.

    In terms of percentiles, 12th lowest in 43 years of observations means it ranks as P28, hardly anything to get excited about.

    We can also say that arctic sea ice is currently 38% higher than its minimum in 2012.

    if we had the actual data, we could compare the current deviation from the mean to the standard deviation and see how that looked too.

    The problem is that the Met Office, like everyone else, has become completely blinkered and never stops to think the model might be wrong.

    • Broadlands permalink
      September 27, 2021 7:29 pm

      “We can also say that arctic sea ice is currently 38% higher than its minimum in 2012.”

      What about to where it was in the warm 1920s?

      • Duker permalink
        September 27, 2021 8:54 pm

        Isnt there also an issue over what area of arctic ice they are talking about as I understand it extends into areas ‘adjacent’ like Bering Sea.

      • Graeme No.3 permalink
        September 27, 2021 11:09 pm

        In 1924 the sea around Spitzbergen (now Svalbard) was ICE-FREE for the whole year, including winter.

      • ThinkingScientist permalink
        September 27, 2021 11:20 pm

        That would be a different dataset, not the satellite data since 1979 which is the subject of PH article.

      • Graeme No.3 permalink
        September 28, 2021 2:24 am

        Reply to Broadlands.

  2. Up2snuff permalink
    September 27, 2021 6:52 pm

    As COP26 approaches, the desperation to prove Global Warming and Climate Change will reach fever pitch. Then, hopefully, it will be forgotten for a while as we cope with whatever winter brings.

  3. Mack permalink
    September 27, 2021 7:18 pm

    So, current Arctic ice coverage is, give a take a ‘Wadham’, around about where it was in the 1950s. 70 years of ‘man made global warming’ has made diddly squat’s difference to the North Pole whilst Antarctic ice has grown. Starting their graph at the 1979 modern Arctic ice ‘peak’ demonstrates the Met Office’s inherent dishonesty. The fact that they fail to mention the simultaneous cooling in Antarctica merely confirms the fact that the orginization is not fit for purpose as they are now been hijacked by activists not honest scientists.

    • Mack permalink
      September 27, 2021 7:36 pm

      ‘have now been’ not ‘are’ hijacked by activists!

    • September 27, 2021 7:47 pm

      Mack, have you got a link to an equivalent graph covering a much longer time period? This graph seems to start at the start of the satellite era – 1979 – so I appreciate that there are consistency issues here.

      • Mack permalink
        September 27, 2021 10:14 pm

        Vinnikov et al’s seminal peer reviewed paper from 1980 clearly showed the pre 1979 troughs in Arctic sea ice coverage. Naturally, the conclusions have been latterly trashed by climate alarmists, although the paper’s graphs were regarded as authoritative by such loopy outfits as NASA, NOAA, the US Dept of Energy and even the IPCC when they first arrived on the scene. And, as for satellite coverage, the US had good coverage of ice coverage from the late 60s long before the peak of Arctic sea ice in 1979/80. I think the US navy even had some very nice photographs of the cat ice at the North Pole in 1958 when their subs first popped through the roof of the world, a feat I doubt they will try and repeat this year!

      • Sandy McClintock permalink
        September 29, 2021 5:21 am

        1974 was 2 million square Km LESS than 1979. Thus we may conclude the present ice area around the north pole is now back to where it was in 1974!

        US Navy do have records prior to 1979. They had an interest in whether missiles could be launched! IPCC were given this data and they showed it their 1990 report (“Climate Change”: page 224). For some strange reason it is no longer being shown.

    • Nigel Hill permalink
      September 27, 2021 8:36 pm

      The graph above shows September 21 sea ice extent at 4.6 million square km. The Norwegian met office have it at 5.6 Who is right?

      • September 27, 2021 9:25 pm

        NSIDC count the area with a minimum of 30% ice concentration, but DMI (danish, not Norwegian) use 15% as the benchmark, so consequently get a bigger figure

    • dennisambler permalink
      September 27, 2021 10:57 pm

      They now report to BEIS, their new political masters. In 2007, a Defra communication said:

      “The Climate Prediction Programme was not an academic research programme; its work plan and deliverables was driven by Defra’s requirements for science to inform UK government policy on climate change mitigation and adaptation. As the policy requirements changed, so did the research programme objectives.

      The Met Office will focus on research that contributes to UK government policy objectives and will communicate the results to government and the public.”

      They are following their brief.

    • T Walker permalink
      September 28, 2021 7:52 am

      Mack, I would call it just bias. It is what you get when you recruit in your own image for 30 years. It’s a form of cancelling “deniers”.

  4. Coeur de Lion permalink
    September 27, 2021 7:22 pm

    The Met Office has been a lefty climate crisis promoter for some time now. Read their ‘climate change’ website pages. Btw my lovely daughter,a successful novelist, whisks past all these queuing cars in her Nissan Leaf!! Ho ho ho

    • September 28, 2021 1:08 pm

      But what happens when there are 30 million Nissan Leafs? According to stats, if they partially charge at 5kW for only 2 hours to travel 37 miles a day [ without wipers and heater on], we will need 150,000MW in the National Grid. Yet wind energy only averaged 6000MW in the UK in 2020, and can drop to 200MW. So what would power your ” Ho!Ho!Ho Nissan Leafs” then?

  5. Michael permalink
    September 27, 2021 8:28 pm

    Off topic, but on the BBC’s Look North programme this evening Paul Hudson, who is a weather presenter and NOT a meteorologist, presented an unashamed propaganda piece in support of AGW. I had to turn the telly off before I threw a brick through the screen!

    • 1saveenergy permalink
      September 27, 2021 10:59 pm

      Michael, maybe you should move any lose bricks from rooms with a TV !!

      • JBW permalink
        September 28, 2021 7:56 am

        Stock up with loo rolls. It kinder on the tv than bricks:-)

    • T Walker permalink
      September 28, 2021 7:55 am

      Paul Hudson is very much a Meteorologist though Michael but not a climatologist.

    • September 28, 2021 5:07 pm

      Cancel your TV licence.
      You don’t need one If you “don’t watch or record live television”

      Google it.

      You’ll feel sooo much better

  6. Gerry O Reilly permalink
    September 27, 2021 8:39 pm

    According to the IPCC 1990 AR1 technical report satellite observations had been used to map sea ice extent routinely sine the early 1970s. Furthermore the report claimed that since about 1976 the areal extent of the sea ice in the northern Hemisphere had varied about a constant climatological level but in 1972-1975 sea ice extent was significantly less than today, i.e in 1990..

    Since then the IPCC, NOAA, etc have claimed that satellite monitoring of the sea ice did not begin until 1979. Does anyone know what happened to the six years from 1973 to 1979? Perhaps the significantly less ice from 1972-1975 is a clue?

    The literature indicates that warming and sea ice loss in the Arctic did not begin until around 1996.This is consistent with the observations from the MET office chart above. A horizontal line can easily be drawn through the data from 1979 to 1996 where the decline begins.

    The most recent minimum late summer ice of 4.78 million sq kms is consistent with cyclical behaviour of Arctic sea extent, controlled by the AMO and not the catastrophic model the climate alarmists are addicted to.

  7. September 27, 2021 9:53 pm

    Look this is serious, you have all got it wrong, what the Met Office are telling you is that the success of net zero policy can already be seen in the recovery of the Artic sea ice extent.

    So net zero is a very powerful tool in our efforts to persuade the planet everything will be OK.

  8. September 27, 2021 10:05 pm

    At present 2021 Arctic Sea Ice extent is a ‘Wadham’ greater than last year and has been so for over a month. Solar cycle 25 just getting underway, El Nino in place and predicted to last out the coming NH winter it will be interesting to see what March next year brings. Only time will tell

  9. Harry Davidson permalink
    September 27, 2021 10:26 pm

    When will the AMO turn negative? That will really put make a mess of things.

  10. It doesn't add up... permalink
    September 27, 2021 11:36 pm

    For those of you now transferred to Octopus

  11. dennisambler permalink
    September 27, 2021 11:40 pm

    There was less Arctic ice than now at the beginning of the last century:

    Click to access G6501903A71908v1.pdf

    “We encountered no ice with the exception of a few narrow strips of old sound ice, carried by the wash. Of large Polar ice we saw absolutely nothing. Between the ice and the land, on either side, there were large and perfectly clear channels, through which we passed easily and unimpeded.

    The entire accumulation of ice was not very extensive. We were soon out again in open water. Outside the promontories, some pieces of ice had accumulated; otherwise the sea was free from ice. The water to the south was open, the impenetrable wall of ice was not there.

    At 5.30 P.M. we met a quantity of ice off Cape Maguire,a fairly broad strip of loose ice. Beyond this we could see clear water.

    Captain Knowles reports the season the most open he has ever known. He entered the Arctic on the day we left San Francisco, May 22, and thinks the straits were open even earlier than that.”

    Climate variation in the European Arctic during the last 100 years Hanssen-Bauer, Inger, Norwegian Meteorological Institute, Co-Author Førland, Eirik J. (CliC International Project Office (CIPO) 21 June 2004)

    “Analyses of climate series from the European Arctic show major inter-annual and inter-decadal variability, but no statistically significant long-term trend in annual mean temperature during the 20th century in this region. The temperature was generally increasing up to the 1930s, decreasing from the 1930s to the 1960s, and increasing from the 1960s to 2000. The temperature level in the 1990s was still lower than it was during the 1930s.”

  12. Ben Vorlich permalink
    September 28, 2021 7:39 am

    If the current situation of stable Arctic sea ice continues the gradient of the Met Office straight line will reduce becoming less scary- unless they make some adjustments

  13. September 28, 2021 7:48 am

    I’ve left a very polite comment suggesting their heading is rather disingenuous and suggesting, in the name of accuracy, a new one. Let’s see if it makes it past moderation.

  14. Phoenix44 permalink
    September 28, 2021 8:42 am

    Why would a decline in sea ice have a linear fit?

    That’s just poor science straight off the bat.

  15. September 28, 2021 8:42 am

    I left a comment on their blog 4 days ago, still ‘awaiting moderation’ – meaning they haven’t got round to deleting it yet?

    Comment: ‘If the graph line is going up, how is that a continuing decline?’

    • dave permalink
      September 28, 2021 8:56 am

      “Twelfth-lowest” be blowed! I miss the old “LOWEST EVAH!!!”

    • September 28, 2021 11:30 am

      I suspect that their moderation is simply slow, rather than censorious.

      • dave permalink
        September 28, 2021 5:46 pm

        Paul goes to the Dictionary for clarification and finds the Met Office to be ignorant and confused when it comes to simple English terminology and, therefore, to be scarcely more reliable than actual liars.

        In all seriousness, does one expect a graduate of our modern, degraded education system to know when or how to use reference books?

  16. Cheshire Red permalink
    September 28, 2021 10:08 am

    There’s also the small matter of who decided that more sea ice is somehow ‘good’ and less sea ice is somehow ‘bad’?

    Based on what evidence is a larger ice cap a desirable thing? Or indeed any ‘thing’ at all? How is it relevant and does it even matter?

    What are the advantages and disadvantages of each scenario? Are they weighted in one way so as to favour a particular scenario?

    And do these opinions apply only at the Arctic, rather than down at Antarctica too? I ask as Antarctica seems to be bang on the long-term average. Strangely I don’t notice any talk of that at all.

    While we’re at it, what about global sea ice? Maybe that only applies if the results can be spun into a scary outcome that sounds bad for the planet?

    So much uncertainty, so few answers. I think they’re making it up as they go along.

  17. September 28, 2021 11:31 am

    Note too they only speak of ‘extent’, never thickness.

    • Cheshire Red permalink
      September 28, 2021 2:49 pm

      They’ll speak about thickness when extent is down but thickness is up!

      • dave permalink
        September 28, 2021 5:26 pm


        when extent is up but thickness is down…I think.

        The Beaufort Gyre retained more ice this year, and as this is sometimes referred to as the ‘nursery’ for multi-year ice it could be the beginning of the rebuilding of that commodity:

  18. Richard Greene permalink
    September 28, 2021 4:20 pm

    This article presents too much criticism
    of a minor exaggeration (minor compared with
    the usual hysterical Climate Alarmist
    statements and predictions)

    There definitely is a long term
    Arctic sea ice extent downtrend.
    So what?

    It night take up to 20 years
    to find out that down trend has ended.

    We should not
    jump to conclusions
    about a long term trend
    change based on
    just few years of data.

    It’s not like a lot of people live on the ice,
    and will fall into the ocean as the ice melts !
    And the polar bears are great swimmers.

    If the Climate Alarmists can not get exited
    about the REAL long term warming of the Arctic,
    what else can they complain about?

    The only thing left is
    the usual IMAGINARY
    coming climate crisis,
    allegedly coming for the past
    64 years, since 1957
    (Roger Revelle in 1957)
    … but no climate crisis
    ever shows up.

    It’s ALWAYS coming
    in 10 to 20 years !

    Due Diligence:
    We love global warming
    here in Michigan USA

  19. September 28, 2021 8:07 pm

    “It is very easy to show that Arctic sea ice has stabilised”
    So Paul reasonably argues the MetO’s best line is mis-leading

    Maybe some stats experts here could comment on the rules for using best fit lines on graphs ?

    Not that I trust the regional data 100%

    • David V permalink
      September 30, 2021 2:42 pm

      A 5 year moving average would seem likely to give a much better picture.

  20. September 29, 2021 10:18 am

    Between 1903-1906 Amunsden successfully navigated the North-West Passage in a wooden boat, a feat not repeated again if I am correct until the late 2000’s using a state of the art ice breaker.

    What does this tell us? It tells us that there is a lot more going on than short time series data can possibly tell us for one thing.

    Partial datasets are being deliberately used by the subsidy farmers, schemers, liars and outright fraudsters pushing this political motivated fraud motivated by greed and personal gain. How often do we see homogenised temperature for example show conveniently starting at the end of the “Little Ice Age” when credible albeit limited mercury thermometer data exists from before that point? How is it that the end of the Little Ice Age temperature is being promoted as a temperature to aspire to? How truly absurd!

    We have been treated to manipulated data from the get go. Where are the real damming data showing the worthlessness of windfarms and even more absurd solar farms in the UK? Scientists are not allowed to select data. This is not how science works. Gregor Mendel, the father of genetics did that even though he got the right answer(not a defence). That data selection is taking place is for a reason.

    If this lot are so sure of themselves then why the need for this continuous sleight of hand on the increasingly rare occasions data regardless of quality is presented (yes data is that stuff without which no claims about science can be made)?

    Notice how the time period varies depending on the lie that is being promoted be it about rain or storms or temperature. Never ever will we hear “good news”. never ever will we hear that for most of Geological History the Earth has had no ice at the poles and the significance of it being there is that the Planet is in an interglacial. Never ever will we hear about the year on year records in world food production related to the greening of the planet. It is only ever their cherry picked time series to show something bad.

    These lunatics cannot wait for the onset of the second part of the current ice age and all the storms famine and human misery that will entail.

  21. September 29, 2021 6:32 pm

    Reblogged this on Gds44's Blog.

  22. September 29, 2021 7:39 pm

    Reblogged this on and commented:
    H/T gds44

  23. Danlor permalink
    September 30, 2021 7:00 am

    And they have no way of confirming that less ice is causes by anything humans do. Could be sunspots, could be normal part of the cycles of planetary temperature changes. Who knows. Definitely not them.

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