Readers may recall my investigation over the weekend of an announcement by the Danish Meteorological Institute (DMI) about a new all-time high temperature record set in Greenland that was subsequently picked up by the Capital Weather Gang at the Washington Post.
Over the weekend, I had advised Jason Samenow of the WaPoCWG that he should probably issue some sort of retraction. Not getting any response to my initial email and tweet, I followed up with additional tweet yesterday and today. I’m happy to say that he responded with an update on the original article, and to his credit has written a new article on the subject:
Update, August 12, 12:15 p.m.: This record may not be legitimate and is under review. See related post: Greenland may not have recorded its highest summer temperature
What I find most interesting is this communication from DMI to Samenow:
[Samenow] “…according to a response from John Cappelen, data management specialist and senior climatologist.
Here’s Cappelen’s response, in full:”
The reading was valid….but the temperature sensor at the airport station Maniitsoq is not placed according to the WMO [World Meteorological Organization] standards…
It is generally very hard to follow the WMO standards in all details in arctic areas, but this sensor is placed so influence from the surroundings can have affected the reading in a way, so the reading maybe will have to be rejected.
Quality control procedures is ongoing like all ways, where we among other procedures used station data from another station in the area and look into the weather situation in more details.
Whether or not the temperature reading will be rejected and for that reason not included in the extreme records will be announced later.
So, the event is still under review.
The takeaway here is:
- They think station siting is an issue here
- Station siting quality seems to be a common problem in the Arctic
- The Maniitsoq station is not WMO compliant and thus likely not suitable for climate monitoring, but fine for aviation monitoring as I pointed out.
The other takeaway is that when there is a rush to judgement (and announcement) of significant new temperature records, the devil is always in the details, and reporting of such events should have appropriate caveats in place.
I don’t blame Samenow for this, he was reporting what DMI said, and one could generally assume their reporting can be taken as solid. But, as we see, that may not be the case.
In the current mindset of warmer world, it is easy to brush aside such concerns, only to find later they come back as legitimate concerns that may make the report a non-event.
It should be noted that any new temperature record is subject to review, all-time high ones, even more so. A rush to trumpet a new temperature record before it is certified doesn’t help the credibility of climate science.
- Greenland may not have reached highest recorded summer temperature in late July (washingtonpost.com)
- Greenland soars to its highest temperature ever recorded, almost 80 degrees F. (washingtonpost.com)