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BBC Worried That Svalbard Is As Hot As In 1922

October 28, 2022

By Paul Homewood

h/t Ian Magness


Deep inside the Arctic Circle, the Norwegian archipelago of Svalbard is home to the world’s northernmost permanent settlement, Longyearbyen, which is estimated to be heating at six times the global average. So what is being done to save it?

Svalbard’s church is a blood-red wooden building with bright white trim – the most northerly place of worship in the world.

Its priest, Siv Limstrand, has been here for only three years but is shocked by the impact of climate change she has witnessed in that time.

"Every Sunday when we gather for worship, a part of our intercessions is always about climate change and its threats," explains Limstrand. "We know that the clock is ticking."


Experts from the Norwegian Polar Institute are among those who calculate it is heating six times faster than the global average.

The consensus is that the temperature in Svalbard has jumped 4C in the past 50 years

Ah! Another “fastest warming place in the world”!

But as this is the BBC, they only tell you half the story. Are you surprised?

As most of us probably know, many places in the Arctic were nearly as warm as now in the 1930s and 40s, and lo and behold Svalbard is no exception! Indeed summer temperatures, which are most relevant there, were almost as high then:



In between of course Svalbard went through a drastic cooling episode in the 1960s and 70s. And it is from this unusually cold base period that the BBC claim their 4C of warming.

Only charlatans would play this trick.

  1. that man permalink
    October 28, 2022 5:17 pm

    Climate invariably warms prior to a forthcoming COP.

    • October 29, 2022 7:29 am

      Somebody should see what increase there is in the number of articles about “climate change” at the BBC just before each COP. Last evening was the last in this year’s episodes of Gardeners World. Monty Don must have got his big BBC bonus because he finished off by saying we must adapt our gardens to cope with “climate change”.

      • mikewaite permalink
        October 29, 2022 8:36 am

        The plants in my garden have adapted to climate change without any help from me. They gave me more pears in one year than in all previous years together, still giving me outdoor raspberries at the beginning of November . Roses still blooming , “baby” beets the size of footballs and broadbeans germinating in just 2 weeks. The plants love this climate change , and so do I.

      • October 29, 2022 8:49 am

        It is the same with me Mike. My freezers are bursting with soft fruit and I am busy wrapping and storing over 200 cooking apples – more than I have ever seen. I am eating them as fast as I can, but I will have to cook and freeze most of them before they go off. Bring on more of that warmth!

      • that man permalink
        October 29, 2022 10:30 am

        One would hope that viewers are becoming turned off by this constant drivel; but, sadly, opinion polls indicate otherwise.
        However, as you and Mike observe, your gardens are blooming.

        The increase in atmospheric plant food could also be a factor….

  2. Martin Brumby permalink
    October 28, 2022 5:27 pm

    Again no surprises.

    But you need to be aware that Jan Mayen is I believe administered by Norway as Jan Mayen & Svalbard but Jan Mayen Island is 1,061 km South West (roughly, bearing actually 233º) from Longyearbyen (according to Google Earth Professional). Where exactly are these readings taken?

    If I don’t point this out, someone else will!

  3. Nigel Sherratt permalink
    October 28, 2022 5:27 pm

    The tropics (most sun) warm slowly and the poles (least sun) more rapidly. If the Thermageddonistas weren’t so stupid they would spot that this is embarrassing for their cult. As for Sim Limstrand ‘Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:’.

  4. alexei permalink
    October 28, 2022 5:29 pm

    I listened to it on the BBC World Service yesterday (part of NPR in the US) to a captive audience, who seem to lap up any and all BBC climate scare stories. Later in the day, one could read this rather contradictory news on The Daily Sceptic –
    Massive Increase in Greenland Surface Ice Sheet Suggests Possible Overall Gain in 2022

  5. John Hultquist permalink
    October 28, 2022 5:30 pm

    Is it true that writers for the BBC have to memorize Darrel Huff’s “How to Lie With Statistics”?

  6. Gamecock permalink
    October 28, 2022 5:51 pm

    ‘the world’s northernmost permanent settlement, Longyearbyen’

    Ny-Ålesund just called . . . .

    ‘”Every Sunday when we gather for worship, a part of our intercessions is always about climate change and its threats,” explains Limstrand. “We know that the clock is ticking.”‘

    People in Longyearbyen are TERRIFIED that their temperature may get above SINGLE DIGITS !!!

    • Colin permalink
      October 28, 2022 10:28 pm

      Yes, it always amazes me that the BBC seeks out the coldest places on Earth to draw attention to the hazards of global warming. Greenland is particularly popular. I think they’re attracted to Polar Bears.

  7. Cheshire Red permalink
    October 28, 2022 6:03 pm

    BBC lie by omission on climate matters so often it has become normalised. It’s institutional deception.

    It’s a shame someone can’t sue them for multiple breaches.

  8. Broadlands permalink
    October 28, 2022 6:40 pm

    “Experts from the Norwegian Polar Institute are among those who calculate it is heating six times faster than the global average. The consensus is that the temperature in Svalbard has jumped 4C in the past 50 years.”

    Where are the raw data on these temperatures…among those who calculate them to be six times faster than the global average? Still less than one degree C. above the 20th century average… plus 0.84°C (NOAA, 2021).

  9. Broadlands permalink
    October 28, 2022 6:48 pm

    Kenneth F. Drinkwater, 
    Institute of Marine Research and Bjerknes Center for Climate Research, P.O. Box 1870 Nordnes, N-5817 Bergen, Norway

    “During the 1920s and 1930s, there was a dramatic warming of the northern North Atlantic Ocean. Warmer-than-normal sea temperatures, reduced sea ice conditions and enhanced Atlantic inflow in northern regions continued through to the 1950s and 1960s, with the timing of the decline to colder temperatures varying with location. Ecosystem changes associated with the warm period included a general northward movement of fish. Boreal species of fish such as cod, haddock and herring expanded farther north while colder-water species such as capelin and polar cod retreated northward. The maximum recorded movement involved cod, which spread approximately 1200 km northward along West Greenland. Migration patterns of “warmer water” species also changed with earlier arrivals and later departures. New spawning sites were observed farther north for several species or stocks while for others the relative contribution from northern spawning sites increased. Some southern species of fish that were unknown in northern areas prior to the warming event became occasional, and in some cases, frequent visitors. Higher recruitment and growth led to increased biomass of important commercial species such as cod and herring in many regions of the northern North Atlantic. Benthos associated with Atlantic waters spread northward off Western Svalbard and eastward into the eastern Barents Sea. Based on increased phytoplankton and zooplankton production in several areas, it is argued that bottom-up processes were the primary cause of these changes. The warming in the 1920s and 1930s is considered to constitute the most significant regime shift experienced in the North Atlantic in the 20th century.”

    • Dave Andrews permalink
      October 29, 2022 4:07 pm

      A physical manifestation of the warming from the 1920s and 30s is the fact that “In Spitsbergen ” (Svalbard) “the open season for shipping at the coal port lengthened from three months in the years before 1920 to over seven months of the year by the late 1930s”

      Lamb: Climate, History and the Modern World 2nd edition, p260

  10. Ben Vorlich permalink
    October 28, 2022 6:51 pm

    Interesting that both Arctic and Antarctic are warming 4 to 7 times faster than the rest of the world depending on which IPCC report you read, Europe also faster than average, Lake Tahoe, Russia (2.5x), Latin America and the Caribbean, China, Africa are all warming faster than average.
    Unlucky Back Of Beyond which has cooled to close to -273’C in the same time to maintain the average.

  11. Harry Passfield permalink
    October 28, 2022 7:53 pm

    Paging Elon Musk!!! Care to make a bid for the BBC????!!! Please!!!

    • Gamecock permalink
      October 28, 2022 10:15 pm

      Gamecock thinks that in the next week, Musk may do more for America than the Republican Party has done in 20 years.

  12. October 29, 2022 7:12 am

    It is relevant that the BBC reporter relied on the short-term memories and observations of locals. As we all know climate is a long-term thing and short-term observations (say 50-60 years) can be completely misleading.
    In the case of Svalbard there have been temperature data measured there since 1899. My analysis (see below) identifies annual mean temperatures at Longyearbyen as increasing at an average rate of +0.32 degC/decade since 1899, but a massive +1.02 since 1970. A cyclical trend pattern, typical of the Arctic, has peaks around 1930 and 2010(?) and a trough around 1970. Summer (JJA) temperatures at present are about 1.5 degC higher than in the 1930s while winter are about +4 degC higher.

    Arctic & Sub-Arctic Temperature Trends – 1

    • AC Osborn permalink
      October 29, 2022 9:28 am

      Very interesting information, especially about the temperature record of Svalbard itself.
      “The data used for Svalbard is a composite record derived by the Norwegian Meteorological Institute of data observed at 12 locations on Spitsbergen Island and the adjacent Edgeoya Island. Particularly used were the data from Green Harbour (1911-1930), Isfjord Radio (1934-1976), Longyearbyen (1899-1977) and Longyearbyen Airport (1977-2019). The composite record was adjusted to represent the temperature at Longyearbyen (Svalbard) Airport.”

      Comparing coastal records with those for an AIRPORT.t
      Where have we seen that kind of thing before?

      • October 29, 2022 10:07 am

        All of the 14 stations used by NMI are at coastal locations and, especially since 1911, have good correlations over several years of overlapping record. Have a read of the reference that I quoted on the amalgamation method. It looks okay to me, and certainly better than adopting only Svalbard Airport data since 1977!

      • October 29, 2022 10:12 am

        12 stations, not 14!

    • October 29, 2022 2:30 pm

      Thank you for your work.

  13. Phoenix44 permalink
    October 29, 2022 8:15 am

    It is surely extremely unlikely that one area is warming that much faster than anywhere else solely because of climate change? Why would it?

    • Gamecock permalink
      October 29, 2022 8:16 pm

      “Climate change” is meaningless. It is a result; not a cause.

      Gamecock’s weather in South Carolina is very much a function of air masses.

      Svalbard, being fairly small islands, is probably affected as much or more by ocean currents than air masses.

  14. avro607 permalink
    October 29, 2022 2:45 pm

    Referring back to Pauls blog Mar 10 2018 “The Changing Arctic-Nov 1922,we can see that the water temp. off Spitzbergen,normally 3 deg. C, were measured at 15 deg C by Dr. Hoel.

  15. Eddie P permalink
    October 29, 2022 7:15 pm

    “Per another new study, a site in north Svalbard was 2-5°C warmer with much less sea ice cover than today throughout the first half of the Holocene, or from about 10,000 to 5000 years ago.
    For the last 200 years (1800s to present) there has been no significant change in the temperature, increased sea ice, and glaciomarine conditions.”
    A quote with reference to this study –

  16. October 31, 2022 1:06 am

    link not working

  17. PaulK permalink
    October 31, 2022 5:29 pm

    Makes you wonder how on earth did that coal get there in the first place, so far North and so cold in the past?
    Could trees have possibly grown there eons ago.
    We all know it’s so much warmer now……. Mmmmmm

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