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BBC’s Bogus Antarctic Heatwave Scare

May 1, 2022
tags: ,

By Paul Homewood



This month’s BBC Climate Check focusses on Antarctica:


The first claim by Sarah Keith-Lucas that Antarctica is warming at three times the global average is totally fallacious. As satellites show, temperatures there have barely changed at all in the last two decades, and are lower than they were in the 1980s:

Time series plot

It is true that satellite coverage does not extend beyond 70S, but there are very few land stations further south either, so we simply don’t know what the average temperatures have been.

However a study last year, which was based on both station data and reanalysis, confirmed a cooling trend in Eastern and Western Antarctica. Even the warming trend  in the Peninsula had stopped in 1998:



This confirms what other studies have confirmed, for instance:



She then moves onto that “heatwave” which struck in March. She says that “scientists agree” that global warming is making Antarctic heatwaves more common and severe. However she then goes on to explain that this one was due to a weather event, an “atmospheric river”, which drew in warm, moisture laden air from Australia:


In other words, it had nothing to do with climate change at all.

As for these heatwaves getting worse, there is no evidence for that at all in the daily temperature data at the South Pole:

time series


Despite that “heatwave”, temperatures for the whole of March at Amundsen-Scott were much lower than usual:




Neither is there any evidence of rising monthly temperatures or temperature anomalies there all year round:


 time series




All in all, the BBC’s attempt to claim that Antarctica is melting down, based on one day’s weather, is totally bogus.

  1. May 1, 2022 1:38 pm

    How does the BBC get away with this, time after time? It I useless congratulating ourselves on how wrong they are when Boris, Kwasi et al don’t hear us. Every school child and university student be,IEEE’s the BBC Dostoyevsky and sees the other side as childish deniers. Prosecute the BBC for lying

  2. Jack Broughton permalink
    May 1, 2022 1:43 pm

    So, should Sarah Keith-Lewis be on the “little-list” of people responsible for the global fear campaign or is she merely an unthinking tool of the powerful people?

    A second question for those knowledgeable about satellites: Why do they not fly over the poles when the climate at the poles is so important?

    • Philip Mulholland permalink
      May 1, 2022 2:32 pm

      It’s all about the annual seasons. The Earth has an axial tilt of 23°26’10.9″ so during the annual course of the year, as the Earth orbits the Sun, a polar orbiting satellite which does not follow the annual wobble of the Earth will vary in its track over the ground and so not always be able to pass over the poles.
      Have a look at these seasonal examples of the polar coverage on the NASA WorldView website.

      WorldView 21 JUN 2021
      WorldView 21 Sep 2021
      WorldView 21 DEC 2021
      WorldView 21 Mar 2022

      To exactly follow the annual wobble of the Earth a polar orbiting satellite would be required to make a daily orbit correction. The rocket propellant requirements to do this cannot be met on a small free orbiting satellite.

      • Stuart Hamish permalink
        May 2, 2022 11:18 am

        No it is not confined to ‘annual seasons ” and orbital variation ….
        On the basis of paleo -proxy research ,Antarctic temperatures were considerably warmer in the late Roman Warming Period [ circa AD 450 ] and have been falling ever since the Medieval Climatic Optimum circa AD 1100 …The Antarctic warm air currents are natural Foehn winds not unlike the Chinook’ gusts that sweep over Canada and the north west United States

      • Philip Mulholland permalink
        May 3, 2022 12:10 am

        I was addressing Jack’s second question.
        “A second question for those knowledgeable about satellites: Why do they not fly over the poles when the climate at the poles is so important?”

      • Stuart Hamish permalink
        May 4, 2022 5:18 am

        Yes I belatedly noticed that Philip …The salient point though is that Antarctica has gradually cooled for 1600 years …In the modern era ,.It is interesting that the warming slowdown and cessation in the outermost Antarctic peninsula is concurrent with the satellite temperature pause

    • sid permalink
      May 1, 2022 2:46 pm

      I would think she is a “talking head” repeating whatever the producers want. Just like Dimblebugs. I doubt he writes his own scripts

  3. Martin Brumby permalink
    May 1, 2022 1:52 pm

    “….when the climate at the poles is so important?”

    IF the climate at the poles is so important?

    Over the last 20+ years, whenever these mendacious pseudo-scientist have been challenged by a DECADE of cooling, they have pointed out that climate is a long term (30 years most often quoted) consideration.

    Another warm (or rather, trivially less bitterly cold) DAY in Antarctica?

    So what?

  4. May 1, 2022 2:09 pm

    The atmospheric river of the recent Antarctic so-called heatwave (MAX temp -11.5C) brought with it a vast amount of snow. The BBC is on a mission to deceive.

  5. bobn permalink
    May 1, 2022 2:58 pm

    Has a formal complaint been filed with the BBC yet? I think Sarah K-L deserves to start accumulating slaps like Rowlett and Harabin.

  6. May 1, 2022 3:27 pm

    The old maxim “Is that true or did you hear it on the BBC?” gets ever stronger.

  7. May 1, 2022 3:46 pm

    The suggestion that the BBC reports news is itself a fallacious claim. The rotten establishment does nothing but tarradiddle at the whims of extremists.

  8. 2hmp permalink
    May 1, 2022 4:25 pm

    When i send such information to my MP he simply ignores it. Of course I assume he is intelligent enough to understand it but I wonder.

  9. David V permalink
    May 1, 2022 5:16 pm

    I seem to remember from an earlier post that the so called warm day was all in a computer algorithm with no actual data to support it, moreover a rerun of the algorithm failed to repeat the apparent heatwave – was that another day or was the whole thing all in the imagination of an overheated computer?

    • catweazle666 permalink
      May 1, 2022 5:39 pm

      “was that another day or was the whole thing all in the imagination of an overheated computer?”

      A feature of non-linear systems such as climate and weather is extreme sensitivity to initial conditions, one of many such features that makes them unsuitable subjects for computer games – er, sorry – “models”.

      Hence, unless you can specify the process starting parameters to an infinite number of decimal places, you are unlikely to get the same result twice.

      • May 1, 2022 6:41 pm

        Yes, indeedy – those of us who have spent a large part of a lifetime studying the behaviour of non-linear systems know that. That is real non-linear systems, not algorithmic simulations. As I have frequently pointed out, the French mathematicians at the end of the 18th C, rather than tackle the obvious problems raised by Newton in his ‘Principia’ instead plumped for a system in which they thought the problems were less likely to exist. This system of ‘closed’ algorithms, linear algebra, can only approximate the behaviour of the real world and if expanded as a time series, soon diverges from reality. Thus, the whole of linear algebra is merely ‘software’ and prone to all the ills such systems are bound to display.

  10. M E permalink
    May 1, 2022 9:00 pm

    New Zealand tilts and sinks. Sea level rises because the prediction of global warming is “baked” in. to the theory.

  11. Gamecock permalink
    May 1, 2022 10:46 pm

    ‘It is true that satellite coverage does not extend beyond 70S, but there are very few land stations further south either, so we simply don’t know what the average temperatures have been.’

    This is quite a revelation to me!

    Can I assume it’s the same situation at the Arctic – which would have even fewer land stations?

    • C Lynch permalink
      May 2, 2022 11:00 am

      True of the Arctic too. The start year is 1979 I believe even though there was satellite data for approximately 10 years at that stage. Interestingly ice extent was very low in the early 1970s in the Arctic whereas 1979 had the highest ice extent in decades. Draw your own conclusions!!!

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