Trying to get on the ‘top of the warming heap’, the Chinese pull a fast one in the Arctic – I catch them

This press release was in Eurekalert today, and it reads to be part of a larger warming trend in the Arctic. But, not so fast, these “Meteorologists” should know better.


Arctic Ny Alesund sees rapid warming, but not the warmest

INSTITUTE OF ATMOSPHERIC PHYSICS, CHINESE ACADEMY OF SCIENCES

Daily mean air temperature in 60 N on Feb 26, 2018. Red circle denotes Ny Alesund. CREDIT Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences

The Arctic plays an important role in the global climate system, and it warmups faster than the whole Earth. Scientists from the Institute of Atmospheric Physics(IAP), Chinese Academy of Sciences, analyze the in-situ air temperature at Ny Alesund (78°55’1.2N, 11°55’58.8E), where the Chinese Arctic station Yellow River locates and warns the fast warmup in the Arctic, but also points out this February isn’t the warmest there.

The IAP team finds this region has the fastest warmup in the Arctic, and highest temperature in the recent warm wave. The analysis shows the daily mean temperature (DMT) reached 3.3 degrees C, with a maximum temperature of 4.4 degrees C, on 26 February, 2018, much higher than the other regions of the Arctic and even the lower latitudes. According to the annual report of National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration of USA reported by the media, “The Arctic saw the warmest temperatures ever recorded in 2016”.

However, this is not the highest DMT in the historic February, according to the IAP team. The DMT at Ny Alesund has the record of 3.5 degrees C, and a maximum temperature of 4.9 degrees C on 5 February, 2017. The analysis warns a rapid warmup in February at Ny Alesund, and the highest DMT in February has increased 11.1 degrees C since 1998, with a trend of 3.2 degrees C in every 10 years. In recent 10 years, the highest DMT in February exceeded 0 degrees C 8 times, possibly related to the change of the north Atlantic current.

###


Ok that’s what the press release says, let’s look at some climatology and real-world data from Feb 26, 2018. First a little about the location from Wikipedia:

Ny-Ålesund (“New Ålesund”) is a research town in Oscar II Land on the island of Spitsbergen in Svalbard, Norway. It is situated on the Brøgger peninsula (Brøggerhalvøya) and on the shore of the bay of Kongsfjorden. The company town is owned and operated by Kings Bay, who provide facilities for permanent research institutes from ten countries. The town is ultimately owned by the Ministry of Trade and Industry and is not incorporated. Ny-Ålesund has an all-year permanent population of 30 to 35, with the summer population reaching 120.

Now, the climatology. From this paper: “Changes in Winter Warming Events in the Nordic Arctic Region” by the Norwegian Meteorological Institute, Journal of Climate, May 2016.

From the first line of the abstract:

In recent years extreme winter warming events have been reported in arctic areas. These events are characterized as extraordinarily warm weather episodes, occasionally combined with intense rainfall, causing ecological disturbance and challenges for arctic societies and infrastructure.

Later they mention:

“… we define warming events as extraordinarily warm weather episodes occurring during the winter season, occasionally combined with intense rainfall.”

Looking at the temperature climatology of Ny Alesund, we find this graph, figure 2B. Warmest temperatures occur in summer as would be expected. This event on Feb 26, 2018 clearly was an outlier weather event.

FIG. 2. Mean monthly temperature for the recent period 1985–2014 at (b) the arctic stations. Monthly values below 08C (gray line) are climatologically defined as winter.

And this table from the paper highlights the length of the records there. only going back to 1974, yellow highlight mine:

Now from Weather Underground archives, this graphical report for Feb 26, 2018:

Ny-Ålesund Week of February 25, 2018 through March 3, 2018, Weather Underground. Magenta arrows mine.

Source: https://www.wunderground.com/history/station/01007/2018/2/26/WeeklyHistory.html?&reqdb.zip=&reqdb.magic=&reqdb.wmo=

Ny-Ålesund February 26 2018 Weather Underground. Yellow highlights mine.

Source: https://www.wunderground.com/history/station/01007/2018/2/26/DailyHistory.html?&reqdb.zip=&reqdb.magic=&reqdb.wmo=

Note the magenta arrows in the graph above. The high temperature event occurs at the same time as the peak wind of 29 mph. Note also the wind direction at that time from the graph, SSW to SW in general. Note the very next day in the graph, Tuesday, the wind direction changes, the wind speed drops, and the barometric pressure drops – all indications of a frontal passage (which produced warm southwest winds ahead of the front). Note also the rain event in the table (another indication of a warm frontal passage ).

This was a winter weather weather event, pure and simple. Just as defined in the 2016 Journal of Climate paper I cite. Very likely it was a Foehn Wind, known to cause rapid heating from downslope winds.

A föhn or foehn (UK: /fɜːrn/, US: /feɪn/) is a type of dry, warm, down-slope wind that occurs in the lee (downwind side) of a mountain range.

The causes of the foehn effect in the lee of mountains.

Here is a Google Earth map showing the wind vector for that day overlaid on the satellite image for Ny Alesund. The path of winds would be upslop, over and down the slope on the mountain near the outpost.

Google Earth image of Ny Alesund – magenta wind vector by A. Watts

This picture from the harbor via Wikipedia clearly shows mountains close to Ny Alesund, and with the wind vector we see for Feb 26th, it was clearly a Foehn Wind.

Ny-Ålesund is one of the four permanent settlements on the island of Spitsbergen in the Svalbard archipelago. It is one of the world’s northernmost functional public settlement at 78°55′N 11°56′E inhabited by a permanent population of approximately 30–35 scientists and support staff

Even more important is the length of record there, very short, only back to 1974. You can’t conclude much from such a short record. There’s probably even warmer Foehn Wind events in the past that were never recorded becuase there was nobody there to measure and write about it.

Yet somehow this was a noteworthy event that needed a press release to feed some red meat to the climateers for “warmest ever”, even though it was actually second warmest is a very, very, short climatic record. And they make no mention of what caused that warm event, which is disingenuous and non-scientific.

I call bullshit.

Note: about 15 minutes after publications some additional clarifying words and sentences were added, along with some typo corrections – Anthony

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136 thoughts on “Trying to get on the ‘top of the warming heap’, the Chinese pull a fast one in the Arctic – I catch them

  1. The compressing of air off a mountain. In the Denver area, this is a very common event. We call them Chinook winds. Definitely a non event.

    • Yep. I clearly remember showing up one January in Calgary on our way to go skiing in the Rockies. It was shirt sleeve weather. Some of the guys at the airport even managed to get in a round of golf. A hundred miles west in the mountains it was just as cold as ever.

    • Yup; I got to experience a couple of really strong Chinook winds during my time at the Air Force Academy in the early 90’s. We even had most of the cadet wing outside during some of them, riding skateboards, roller blades, or even furniture carts (anything with wheels really), and using bed sheet as a sail. We could get going pretty fast because those winds were awfully strong.

    • Do you have rain or snow during Chinook winds in Denver (see weather report mentioned above from New Alesund)?

      • I use to live in the Denver metro area and, no, rain nor snow usually accompanies these winds. We could have 12 to 18 inches of snow on the ground, but after several hours of these winds, which are usually from the southwestern direction and steady at about 10 to 20 MPH, all the snow will disappear and the air temperature can be as high as 45 degrees Fahrenheit.

  2. Beautiful bit of detective work!!! I think you deserve to be re-named “Sherlock Watts,” Meteorological Sleuth!!!

  3. “There’s probably even warmer Foehn Wind events in the past that were never recorded becuase there was nobody there to measure and write about it.”

    There’s probably unicorns in the past that were never seen because nobody was there to see them.

      • Is this the same Anthony Watts who chided me about decorum without checking to see who first used the inferred vulgar reference?

        A better response would be suggesting that when there is no scientific evidence of a creature in old myths, then the creature did not exist.

      • Anthony, you used to be soooo polite.
        Still, as Dick Emery might have said:
        ‘Oooh…you are awful…but I like you!’

    • Steven, how disappointing. You know that foehn winds exist, unlike unicorns, and that therefore there could well have been events of greater magnitude before there were recording stations.

    • Steve,

      Did YOU or anyone else find Unicorns outside of Magic and Fantasy books?

      Snicker……..

    • Look up cognitive dissonance moshywoshy, you are the CD pin-up poster boy, and have just proven it here. We all think you are a sad little man in the grip of a Borg-like group-think paralysis, I guess you cant help it, but I’m damned if I know why you come here to be eviscerated on a daily basis? Are you in the pay of Barry Soetoro? AKA Mad Bazza, the organizer?
      Give it up for Moshy everyone, resistance is futile!

      • Why does Mosher show up here (WUWT)? Assuming he’s not being paid to do so, I suspect he feels he is bringing enlightenment to the great unwashed; Steve is treating us to his version of adult supervision and/or noblesse oblige.(Yea, I can’t keep a straight face either).

        On a slightly different topic: We’re now 18 years into the twenty-first century, on the way to Armagedon in 2100 (when the vast majority of us will have exceeded shelf life). I hope I live long enough (20-25 yrs?) to hear the never-ending explanation of how we’re going to cram all the required global warming & sea-level rises into the ever-decreasing time left until 2100.

      • This is what I love about WUWT. Science and sarcasm!

        Just for the record Bill, he who lives by by evisceration dies by evisceration.

    • No, no, the unicorns exist TODAY, but they’re so small that the human eye cannot detect them. It is the micro-unicorn that gives the CO2 molecule its magical powers professed by those who fear catastrophic consequences of our evil fossil-fuel burning ways.

    • You flunk statistics.

      My favorite statistics text’s first edition was in the 1920s, long before space travel. It gives this example (as best I can remember):
      If you don’t know the probability of an event, you are allowed to assume 50% but there’s a problem with that as we shall now demonstrate.
      Given that we don’t know the real probability of animals on Mars, we shall assume 50%.
      The probability of a cow on Mars is therefore 50%.
      The probability of a horse on Mars is therefore 50%.
      The probability of a goat on Mars is therefore 50%.
      The probability of a sheep on Mars is therefore 50%.
      The probability of a duck on Mars is therefore 50%.
      etc. etc. etc.
      The probability that there are no farm animals on Mars is 0.5 x 0.5 x 0.5 x 0.5 x 0.5 x 0.5 x 0.5 … = (a number as small as you want it to be)
      By that analysis it is virtually certain that there is at least one farm animal on Mars. :-)

      In light of the above, your comment is an insult to your own intelligence.

      • Bob flunks engineering.

        The last step when using assumptions, is to check that your results agree with your assumptions. For example, if you assume the liquid properties of water but your results show ice, you will need a lot of new pipe. It happens!

        Nuke plants safety systems are based on 200 year events. Your house heating is based on 90% of of the expected low temperature. We had an extreme weather event and could not keep the house warm but pipes did not freeze. Others were not so lucky.

        At my first nuke with a cooling lake, I asked about ice. I was told ‘it can’t happen here’. An extreme weather event created ‘frazzle ice’. Not a big deal, if you are prepared. This nuke plant was shutdown on the watch list because they has a habit of not checking assumptions.

      • 1) It was a class in statistics.
        2) In 1920, just how were they supposed to check their assumptions regarding life on Mars?

      • Kit.

        There are places where statistics provides useful answers. If I want to know how many trunks I need between two cities to get a certain level of service, the calculation is pretty straightforward and reliable. link Similarly, if I want to know what it will cost in repairs if I change to a component with a different reliability, the calculation is also fairly easy and useful. link No statistics will protect me from things that I didn’t, or could not, foresee. Recent experience shows us that folks who talk about ‘two hundred year storms’ are probably making unwarranted assumptions. Doing calculations based on that is certainly begging for trouble.

      • The diagramm shown from wunderground shows a warm front but not Foehn: The humidity usually sinks during a Foehn event. This is not displayed in the wunderground graph. And Foehn events do normally NOT trigger rain.
        Thus IMHO the poor analysis is on Anthonys side.

    • Mr. Mosher, you are suggesting unicorns don’t exist? We have very hard scientific evidence of the existence of unicorns. Yes we took data from every form of animal, and after filtering out the bad data that falsely indicated “no unicorns”, our computer model established (it’s settled) (wait for it…) unicorns! You, sir, are a unicorn deni*list.

  4. You seem to be missing the important detail. It is not the isolated event but rather
    the fact that there is a warming “trend of 3.2 degrees C in every 10 years”.

    In addition all weather events have some sort of cause so saying it was caused by a
    Foehn wind is irrelevant – after all the temperature is not going to suddenly increase for
    no reason what-so-ever in the middle of winter.

    • The warming trend barely covers one 30 year climatic period and can easily be expla5by other cyclic events such as the AMO, so your comment is enly more irrelevant.

      • I would also point out that a Foehn wind would appear to be unable to explain the magnitude of the heating. Looking on google earth the mountain behind Ny Alesund is
        only about 450m and so simple models of a Foehn wind would suggest that the maximum heating would be about 2 degrees K (see Fig. 6 in https://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/pdf/10.1175/BAMS-D-14-00194.1) whereas the maximum temperature recorded was about 12 degrees above average so there is still 10 degrees
        of warming left to explain.

      • Well if you read the whole article, you’ll see I point out a frontal passage, warm SW winds ahead of the front too. Clearly visible frontal line in the map the Chinese provide with the press realease. The two combined made the event.

    • Germ, temps didn’t “suddenly increase for no reason whatsoever,” temps increased due to the Foehn winds, which occur often, and under different names, and with differing frequencies, all over. Whatever caused the Foehn wind, it was not CO2.

      • Hi Germ,
        you misread my post. I agree that the temperature rise must have had a cause but that the case was irrelevant for the post about the unprecedented warmth. Whether or not the temperature spike was caused by a Foehn wind does not change the fact that it was the highest recorded temperature.

        And it would appear that there is a possible causal relationship between the wind direction and CO2 via the reduction in strength of the polar vortex. This causes the jet stream to meander and so the usual wind directions will change in the arctic and hence some regions will now experience Foehn winds whereas before they didn’t.

      • “it was the highest recorded temperature”

        Probably not. See below.

        “there is a possible causal relationship between the wind direction and CO2 via the reduction in strength of the polar vortex. This causes the jet stream to meander”

        I suggest you read H. H. Lamb’s classic “Climate History and the Modern World” (1982), particularily Chapter 4 “How climate comes to fluctuate and change”, where he discusses inter alii how the frequency of this type of “blocking patterns” has varied since the fourteenth century. The long-term changes are as he notes “impressive”.

      • “And it would appear that there is a possible causal relationship between the wind direction and CO2 via the reduction in strength of the polar vortex.”

        How does CO2 reduce the strength of the polar votex? How is the polar votex’s strength measured?

      • “…it was actually second warmest is a very, very, short climatic record…”

      • Highest recorded temperature.
        We’ve only been measuring for a few decades. That isn’t the killer claim that you wish it to be.

    • And please explain how global warming would have anything to do with a one off day event?

    • Last week it was +2C. This week it’s -10C. The cooling trend is over 600 degrees annually! We’re doomed!
      Get real.

  5. Just like the infamous Canterbury Nor’ Wester here in New Zealand’s South Island which makes the leeward side of the Southern Alps the hottest place in Oceania! Despite this austral summer being rated the hottest on record according to NIWA, going by mean temperature (just 0.3C warmer than the D-J-F of 1934-35 BTW) the hottest daily temperature record set in Feb 1973 is still intact, much to the chagrin of the warmistas!

    • Yes we have NIWA spouting that 2017- 2018 summer in New Zealand was .3 C warmer yes three tenths of a degree than 1934-35 .
      They have at least accepted that it has been as warm 85 tears ago and New Zealands population has doubled in that time and there were few if any black top roads and very small cities back then .
      If you take this into account CO2 has a very minimal influence on temperature and I would say zilch .
      Come on Nick Mosh Germ et al shoot this down .

      • surely the more meaningful statistic is that this summer in NZ it has been 2.1 degrees warmer than the long term average. Furthermore a 0.3 degree increase in record temperatures for a summer is a large rise.

      • Mo, why would an El Nino after-effect be more significant than the standing records? Co2 was not the cause of the El Nino, as it does not drive the Southern oscillation index and the geopotential height differentials which make the tradewind go or stop. Other parts of the world have been cold enough to offset this fragmentary area. In 2012, I could have cited the same type of statistic in my local region of the US, but then we had 2 cooler than normal summers in a row.
        Current weather doesn’t cut it if you want to forecast climate, you have to factor in history too.

      • According to the church of CO2, absent CO2, climate change would have stopped 70 years ago.

    • Ian Cooper
      You will also note that the South Island NW – Westerly winds have been significantly reduced this spring / summer period, compared to previous years.
      NIWA are driven by the IPCC dogma, they are a fully paid up member, a southern outpost. Unfortunately they have the governments ear.

      • Germinio .I said that Nick Mosh Germ et al would argue the toss ‘
        New Zealand’s latest summer was 2.1 degree C above the long term average but 85 years ago New Zealand’s summer was 1.8 degrees C above the long term average and this year is the first time it has been warmer than 1934-35 .
        The Tasman Sea and the water surrounding New Zealand was very warm with a warm blob moving across from Australia and south from the Coral Sea ,No proof that CO2 caused it as the 2016 -17 summer was almost non existent with cool sea surface temperatures.
        The point I am making is that a little warming in the Arctic is world news even when Europe is freezing but this has all happened before .
        The same thing in New Zealand Three tenths of a degree Celsius is well within the error bars considering the different landscape and the citing of thermometers .
        You warmists continue denying that natural variability has a huge influence on the worlds climate and you cannot explain past warming events except by denying that they ever happened .
        How much proof do you need that it has been warmer than present at least three times in the last ten thousand years .

  6. Winter thaw events have “always” occurred in Svalbard. Here is a whole dissertation devoted to the subject:

    https://www.duo.uio.no/bitstream/handle/10852/52107/Strand_THESIS-FINAL.pdf?sequence=1&isAllowed=y

    And 4.9 degrees is probably not even a February record for Nyålesund. My “Bradt Svalbard Travel Guide” printed in 2013 states that the record high for February there is 5.0 degrees.

    For anyone interested in how Nyålesund looks:

    The camera is south of the town in the airship mast built for the “Norge” airship expedition in 1926 (which was by the way the first verified visit to the North Pole).

      • There isn’t. The place was originally a coal-mining town, but the mine was not very rich and quite dangerous so it was abandoned. Now it is strictly a research center. It is the northernmost easily accessible place with a reasonable infrastructure (a good ice-free harbor and an airstrip) so there are quite a number of research stations. Some of them are more-or-less token efforts, e. g. the chinese and indian stations.

        In summer a lot of tourist cruises visit. The harbour is as I said good, there is a lot of nice scenery and quite a bit of wildlife around Kongsfjord (including polar foxes right in town) and you can go look at the airship mast.

  7. Good call about the mild weather affecting Ny-Ålesund. Earth Nullschool for 26Feb20181200Z shows a 17mph wind from the south west with rain.

    A similar Foehn event was reported by DMI for Kap Morris Jesup in northern Greenland on 20th Feb.

  8. Don’t be too tough on the Chinese. Dicaprio was just as ridiculous in citing a Calgary chinook as climate change.
    “The 41-year-old actor again highlighted his experience of a sudden change in temperature and loss of snow while filming The Revenant in southern Alberta as evidence of a warming globe.”
    https://goo.gl/YrEiTy

  9. Given the recent cold weather over much of the North , there is clearly a degree of pressure being felt on the ‘climate doom ‘ front’ This is one of a number of items or ‘research’ that come out very recently to counter peoples experience of reality.
    However it follows in the fine tradition of climate ‘science’ and what you need to remember is that its value comes not from its scientific validity but its ‘impact ‘ in the press.

  10. Out of curiosity I tried to find in the prevailing annual wind direction for Ny Alesund, Norway. I didn’t find any summaries indicating prevailing wind direction either on a monthly or annual basis; but, I did find daily/hourly data here:

    https://www.yr.no/place/Norway/Svalbard/Ny-%C3%85lesund/almanakk.html

    Slogging thru every day’s data for February 2018, I noticed the pervading winds appear to come from the South-South-East to South-East – at least for most days this February. From these directions mountainous terrain can also be observed. To this layman, it would appear that any appreciable winds present might be inducing a down-slope warming effect. This begs the following questions (Questions I’m not qualified to answer):

    Is it possible that the geography of the Ny Alesund site produces a built-in warming mechanism that diminishes the value of the site as a reliable indicator of Arctic temperature trends?

    If so, isn’t all of the temperature data at this site somewhat suspect?

    Knowledgeable comments appreciated

    • It’s all part of natural variation, if that’s the sole driving factor, and it wouldn’t matter to the temperature record; the grand mean wouldn’t change. There is natural geographic variation in the global temperature record. However, this is a regional stretch of warm days that is very uncommon, and that suggests it’s not just a effect of a geographic feature.

      • Reply to Kristi Silber March 5, 2018 at 8:29 pm

        Your comment:

        “However, this is a regional stretch of warm days that is very uncommon, and that suggests it’s not just a effect of a geographic feature.”

        Reply:

        I’m in no way trying to embarrass you. But if you look at the sites temperature record over the last 13 months you can see that the site commonly rises above zero in the winter months. (See chart below – I’m not sure the chart is going to show up, but, doing my best. Will enclose data source as a back-up).

        Data Source: https://www.yr.no/place/Norway/Svalbard/Ny-%C3%85lesund/statistics.html

        Placed in context there was: One similar event in February ’17, Two events in November ’17, Three events in December ’17, One lengthy event in January ’18; and Three events in February ’18 (including the one identified in this article).

        This suggests these sort of events are a common re-occurring phenomena. Possibly related to the surrounding geography? I really have no idea.

        Note: 1) I have not taken the time to pull prior year data from the site. So I have no idea if this is indeed a multi-year phenomena. 2) Nor am I expert enough to analyze this sort of data and so have no informed opinion regarding either what might have caused these “warming” events or wither the other events are common in this area of the Artic.

        Your comment:

        “It’s all part of natural variation, if that’s the sole driving factor, and it wouldn’t matter to the temperature record; the grand mean wouldn’t change.”

        Reply:

        In fairness to you I suppose my original question was too simplistic. I used to manager multi-disciplined research projects and learned over the years to it better to have my better informed counter-parts to educate me on issues I think may appear obvious to a layman but which may be explained by an expert… so forgive me if you’ve feel “baited” by reply below.

        I understand that the “grand mean wouldn’t change” or, for that matter, a temperature difference from a reference temperature point.

        The point I was originally attempting to make, and apparently not well, was that this site’s peculiar geographical position may produce periodic high temperature anomalies. Subsequent, trudging thru the data APPEARS to suggest this is true.

        This may be an illusion, as its entirely possible similar events are occurring in positions on the Island located seaside on the windward side, where one (as a layman) might suppose a down-slope heating effect is not present.

        However, if scientist at this site were to continue to point to these “high temperature” events as evidence of warming, then would be prudent to know if the temperature at this site is the likely product of the site’s geographic peculiarities. One would also prefer to be prepared to show, if possible, that the frequency of the events have or have not changed.

      • Dave, Sorry I only just now saw your comment.

        I’m afraid I didn’t put much effort into my last one, and I appreciate that which you took in yours.

        It seems to me that the number of warm days this winter was quite impressive, not only in the fact that they went above zero, but a few degrees C over. And there was a stretch of 61 hours above zero, that was particularly unusual. That said, a graph of historical February temps.shows quite a bit of red, but it does show that temps have changed over time. https://www.yr.no/place/Norway/Svalbard/Svalbard_Airport_observation_site/climate.html?spr=eng

        I don’t think the warmth was confined to Ny Alesund, which was one of the main reasons I had for questioning the hypothesis of the foehn winds. Did I not post the wind direction graphs I found? They were predominately from the SSE during Dec, Jan, Feb, which seems to be the same direction the mountains run.

        Here’s a little more detailed chart of weather. I count 9 separate periods, or 24 days, of above-zero weather, Nov 2017-Feb 2018. The warm periods seem to be associated with precipitation, another reason the foehn idea doesn’t seem to fit – and at least according to the little diagram, the sun has something to do with heating the air, which wouldn’t be much of a factor during winter up there.
        https://www.yr.no/place/Norway/Svalbard/Ny-%C3%85lesund/detailed_statistics.html

        Personally, I’m going with the breakdown in the polar vortex idea, maybe possible somehow related to a slowing of the AMO. But that’s just what I’ve heard.

        I’m no expert! You asked for a “knowledgeable” comment, and all you got was me!

  11. So now the “scientists” who don’t even understand how statistics actually work are confusing climate for weather…

    LOL

  12. Prof. Humlum who has been teaching at the UNIS university center in Svalbard for a while, was recently asked: “How exceptional was this sudden Arctic thaw in your opinion?”

    On his Facebook account, 5 days ago he answered thus:
    “It’s not unusual. According to the official daily weather record (since 1975) from the nearby Svalbard Airport these mid-winter (November-March) thaws typically occur 2-8 times each winter. The annual range is from zero to 14. The record belongs to the winter 2005-06 with 14 thaws. Until now, the winter 20917-18 have seen 6 thaws.

    Most of these sudden thaws are over in a couple of days, but the alarmist media usually goes bananas whenever they’re told about these events.

  13. Anthony, the first line of the second paragraph has
    “…it warmups faster than the whole Earth.” in it. Just in case you missed it.

  14. I would barely call this a thaw. Where I come from, you would need about 2-3 weeks of much warmer temps just to get the snow to settle, let alone see any snow melt and water run. If this is the best that the alarmists can come up with now is a ‘thaw’ for a few days above 0 C at some point in the far north in the dark, then they are on their last legs with their howls of protest of a warming planet. This has been going on for time immemorial that pockets of warmer air escape into the far north for whatever reason, just as pockets of cool air invade Florida or California from time to time, occasionally causing havoc with the orange crop. This is just weather in the far north, and barely at that. But hearing them stage a major ruckus as warmest ever recorded (and then turns out not to be) then it shows their preconceived bias. The shocking thing is though, is that when Science cannot be trusted to even honestly collect accurate weather data, then that is grounds enough to throw the whole global warming/climate change crap out the window and call all this CAGW bullshit.

    • the prob;em is they control all the university faculties and all the government agencies and thus the politicai the politicians and the media. Boys we have along hard fight on our hands. Truth always comes out in the end but im afraid this time the end is a long way off and after a lot of money will have been wasted.

      • Pop, do you know the difference between “published” and “reviewed?”

        I suggest you investigate “academia.edu” before you embarrass yourself citing garbage.

      • Kieth Sketchley…what really alarms me now is how some elements of climate science has become a defacto criminal enterprise, especially on the circular ‘peer reviewed’ by pals all with the same bias. It is a sad state of affairs when you can’t even trust raw data from already having been tampered with, or later adjusted and massaged to a preconceived conclusion so as to misinform an entire global populace. (just like the substance of this very post) Or just outright lies as the ‘peer reviewed’ paper about Dr. Susan Crockford was. This is very serious stuff, when some activist scientists set out to misinform an entire planet of people spending trillions of dollars on their supposed expertise of entrusting all of us with the latest scientific data. There will be consequences for this, and being remembered in the history books as an outright liar and manipulator of data and facts that was paid for by public funding is only one of them. We need a global Judicial Review of how science has gone off the rails.

        As for “academia.edu” this is what Wiki says… Academia.edu is a for-profit American social networking website for academics. The platform can be used to share papers, monitor their impact, and follow the research in a particular field. It was launched in September 2008, with 36 million unique visitors per month as of December 2017 and over 20 million uploaded texts.

        I am sure if it was a nefarious as you make it out to be, then Wikipedia would have already run it into the ground. Sounds like you Kieth, are part of the problem with climate science in general, although I can only make that assumption on your critique of Pop’s link, since you offered nothing of substance other than a drive by smear on Pop and an assault on academia.edu. From what I gather from a half hour research into academic.edu, is that while it is not accredited as an institution, it does serve a purpose in allowing the flow of information between peoples that cannot get their papers and/or research published. But I think I can tell from your ‘drive by attack’ attitude that you are the kind of problem that is destroying legitimate climate research. Please correct me if I am wrong.

  15. “Technology advancements in five major areas are necessary for an integrated weather-modification
    capability: (1) advanced nonlinear modeling techniques, (2) computational capability, (3) information
    gathering and transmission, (4) a global sensor array, and (5) weather intervention techniques. Some
    intervention tools exist today and others may be developed and refined in the future.”
    http://csat.au.af.mil/2025/volume3/vol3ch15.pdf

    “We presented experimental results of strong plasma modifications induced by X-mode powerful HF radio waves injected towards the magnetic zenith into the high latitude F region of the ionosphere. The experiments were conducted in 2009–2011 using the EISCAT Heating facility, UHF incoherent scatter radar and the EISCAT ionosonde at Tromsø, Norway; and the CUTLASS SuperDARN HF coherent radar at Hankasalmi, Finland. The results showed that the X-mode HF pump wave can generate strong small-scale artificial field aligned irregularities (AFAIs) in the F region of the high-latitude ionosphere. These irregularities, with spatial scales across the geomagnetic field of the order of 9–15 m, were excited when the heater frequency (fH) was above the ordinary-mode critical frequency (foF2) by 0.1–1.2 MHz. It was found that the X-mode AFAIs appeared between 10 s and 4 min after the heater is turned on. Their decay time varied over a wide range between 3 min and 30 min.”
    https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1364682612002490

    Ground-based observations and simulation of ionospheric VLF source in experiments on modification of the polar ionosphere

    https://link.springer.com/article/10.1134/S0016793217060068

  16. That’s pretty similar to the “Chinook” winds we have in southern Alberta, Canada, where the Canadian rockies abruptly meet the flat prairies. The topography here looks exactly the same as that photo. A few weeks ago they reported a 16 degree (Celsius) change in one hour, which is a lot but it’s usually like that, it’ll go from -20 Celsius to +10 just from the time you go to work to noon, when the chinook wind comes in. I can definitely see some climate alarmist scientist making this out to be some sort of extreme climate catastrophe. Leonardo di Caprio once was in Calgary shooting a movie and famously decided on camera that the sudden warmness of a Chinook wind was evidence of how fast the world was warming. Never heard of a chinook wind, of course, and it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see that it’s obviously a local weather phenomenon; The world would be uninhabitable in about 24 hours if the warming from the chinook wind didn’t stop.

  17. Anthony: “The high temperature event occurs at the same time as the peak wind of 29 mph.”

    –Looks to me like the peak wind, a brief storm? occurred during the high temperature event, .

    “This was a winter weather weather event, pure and simple. Just as defined in the 2016 Journal of Climate paper I cite. Very likely it was a Foehn Wind, known to cause rapid heating from downslope winds.”

    –Well, it’s winter, sure, so it’s a winter weather event. It is the sum of weather over time that makes up climate, is that fair enough to say? Weather is how it is on the scale of seconds to days, climate is weather averages and trends over the course of decades?. Regardless, it’s extraordinary to have such a run of warm weather in the Arctic in February, just as it is to have such cold weather in upper latitudes in N. America and Europe..

    –Foehn? While it’s raining? In the dark? Because of wind over a 400 m range and onto another coastal area? Is that likely to heat the region for days? If that peak wind event were significant, wouldn’t you see something in the temperature record?

    “You can’t conclude much from such a short record. There’s probably even warmer Foehn Wind events in the past that were never recorded becuase there was nobody there to measure and write about it.”

    –You can’t conclude much from a short record, but you can say what probably happened before then?

    “Yet somehow this was a noteworthy event that needed a press release to feed some red meat to the climateers for “warmest ever”, even though it was actually second warmest is a very, very, short climatic record.”

    –Personally, I think it rather interesting. You don’t, and that’s why you’re writing about it? Or are you writing about it because it’s noteworthy to the “climateers”? Is that so you can make sure they are dismissed and derided again, as they are at the end of so many articles? Is there a formula?

    “And they make no mention of what caused that warm event, which is disingenuous and non-scientific.”

    –The fact that they don’t say what caused it is far better than finding a way to rationalize what one believes and publish the idea with graphs and numbers to make it look professional..Then based on that, make a prediction. THAT is non-scientific.

    Anthony, I didn’t mean to come at you like this, but I’m afraid my frustration at these kinds of posts has been building up for a while, and you are getting the brunt of it. And you just said in another thread that the site posted articles to be criticized, not just to for accolades! ;- )

    • “–Personally, I think it rather interesting. You don’t, and that’s why you’re writing about it? Or are you writing about it because it’s noteworthy to the “climateers”? Is that so you can make sure they are dismissed and derided again, as they are at the end of so many articles? Is there a formula?”

      Indeed. Anthony is a climate ‘splainer.
      Cold things just prove stuff – need no ‘splanation. But warm things need ‘splainin or some folks might start to suspect CO2 is not just happy plant food.

      • One off incidents of unusual local weather prove nothing. That’s the point. In AGW land it’s a sign of the apocalypse if the cat moves out of the sunny spot.

      • In February we had 22 days below -20C. 7 below -30C. We had record snowfall the last two days and all the record highs were from the 1930’s. Please explain what that means.

      • John Harmsworth: “One off incidents of unusual local weather prove nothing. RIGHT. That’s the point. In AGW land it’s a sign of the apocalypse if the cat moves out of the sunny spot.”

        It depends on whom you talk to. If you get all your info from the alarmist media (or sites that seek out the most foolish articles, as this does), you will of course get the idea that people who subscribe to the AGW theory are all alarmists. WUWT is very happy to make you think “warmists” are all idiots, but look how often people here suggest weather (or the sun, the glacial stage or whatever else) is either indicative of an imminent cooling trend or disproves that the world is warming.

    • Can you explain what has caused these surface wind flowing north up the Atlantic? No thoughts of your own on this matter? Who are you to question anything about this post, no matter the value of the post itself.

    • From further upthread:

      “…Prof. Humlum who has been teaching at the UNIS university center in Svalbard for a while, was recently asked: “How exceptional was this sudden Arctic thaw in your opinion?”

      On his Facebook account, 5 days ago he answered thus:
      “It’s not unusual. According to the official daily weather record (since 1975) from the nearby Svalbard Airport these mid-winter (November-March) thaws typically occur 2-8 times each winter. The annual range is from zero to 14. The record belongs to the winter 2005-06 with 14 thaws. Until now, the winter 20917-18 have seen 6 thaws….”

      Which suggests, Kristi, that rather than it being “…extraordinary to have such a run of warm weather in the Arctic in February…” it’s actually pretty much business as usual.

      • They should have asked him how long the “thaws” typically lasted. That is one extraordinary aspect of this – one thaw has lasted more than 24 hours. And note the time frame he talks about: Nov-March. Mid February is very different from early November or late March. Although temps above freezing aren’t so rare, this event was apparently very unusual.

        ‘”On Feb. 20, the temperature in Greenland not only climbed above freezing — 32 degrees F (0 degrees C) — it stayed there for over 24 hours, according to data from the Danish Meteorological Institute. And on Saturday (Feb. 24) the temperature on Greenland’s northern tip reached 43 degrees F (6 degrees C), leading climate scientists to describe the phenomenon on Twitter as “crazy,” “weird,” “scary stuff” and “simply shocking.”

        ‘On Feb. 24, with reports of the temperature in northern Greenland reaching 43 degrees F (6 degrees C), it was warmer in the Arctic than it was in much of Europe, ‘
        https://www.livescience.com/61864-arctic-temperatures-record-high.html

        “‘There are other cases in the reanalysis record with greater than 20 degree Celsius departures’ from normal temperatures, said Zachary Labe, a sea-ice researcher at the University of California at Irvine, in an email. ‘However, it does appear this particular event featured one of the largest departures on record.’”
        https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2018/02/its-54-degrees-warmer-than-normal-in-the-arctic/554303/

  18. Ranchers in Alberta used to talk about being able to ride back and forth across deep winter chill into streams of mild air in a few minutes (the winds haven’t disappeared but ranchers routinely working from horseback has!). Usually a chinook could make it into Saskatchewan and on a rare occasion all the way to Manitoba briefly before we dipped back into frigid winter temperatures.

  19. I don’t think Föhn winds were a major factor in this case. It was simply an influx of warm air from the south. Svalbard usually has a few thaws every winter, and Svalbard is currently in a warm period which has lasted since the late 90’s, so these events are fairly common now (as they also were in the 30’s and 40’s). The top 50 February maximum temperatures in Ny-Ålesund are (since 1974):

    1 5.3 2005-02-17
    2 4.9 2017-02-05
    3 4.8 2015-02-16
    4 4.7 1975-02-18
    5 4.7 2014-02-12
    6 4.6 1975-02-17
    7 4.5 2017-02-06
    8 4.4 1994-02-13
    9 4.4 2018-02-26
    10 4.3 1976-02-09
    11 4.3 2011-02-26
    12 4.3 2017-02-07
    13 4.3 1994-02-12
    14 4.3 2017-02-08
    15 4.2 2009-02-18
    16 4.0 1984-02-24
    17 3.8 1976-02-21
    18 3.8 1980-02-21
    19 3.8 2012-02-04
    20 3.7 1983-02-28
    21 3.7 1985-02-28
    22 3.6 1976-02-22
    23 3.6 2017-02-11
    24 3.6 2017-02-10
    25 3.6 2012-02-08
    26 3.6 2014-02-13
    27 3.5 1991-02-03
    28 3.5 2017-02-09
    29 3.5 2012-02-07
    30 3.4 1990-02-05
    31 3.4 2005-02-10
    32 3.4 2006-02-22
    33 3.4 2018-02-25
    34 3.4 2015-02-17
    35 3.4 2012-02-05
    36 3.4 2005-02-11
    37 3.3 1980-02-24
    38 3.3 2012-02-01
    39 3.3 2005-02-09
    40 3.3 1991-02-04
    41 3.2 1985-02-22
    42 3.2 2018-02-27
    43 3.2 1991-02-27
    44 3.2 2018-02-04
    45 3.1 2003-02-14
    46 3.1 2005-02-08
    47 2.9 1984-02-21
    48 2.9 1990-02-04
    49 2.8 1985-02-20
    50 2.8 2018-02-05

    • Thank you Steinar Midtskogen.
      This list should shut up the Kristi Mosh Germ Zazove et al as it shows that this warming is nothing unusual and 1975 was warmer .They cant help themselves .
      No signature of CO2 here .

  20. Bullshit indeed, Anthony – as you’ve used the BS word, I’m free to do the same. What hope does anyone have up against your professional experience.

    You’ve neatly skewered the Chinese like an insect on a pin.

  21. Truly, this issue as discussed is way out of context. We are clearly at the plateau of an interstadial warm period. Given that context, the ONLY records worth discussing are record cold events. When heat records are broken the only course of action that is reasonable is to celebrate with a cold beverage, thanking God we live in this period.

    • Here! Here! I live in Canada., the second coldest country on the planet and my idiot leader is at the forefront on climate change. This has been quite a cold winter. The only warm place on the planet so far as I can tell is the Arctic and even the wildlife there seems to be doing fine.
      If only CO2 really could cause some warming!

  22. “There’s probably even warmer Foehn Wind events in the past that were never recorded because there was nobody there to measure and write about it.”

    Ya but there’s this old tree that talks.

    Kidding aside, the lack of prior recorded data never stops the alarmist academia.
    Oregon’s Lubchenco didn’t have any recorded history of seasonal ocean hypoxia events so she and her team seized the opportunity to claim Oregon was experiencing new Ocean Dead Zones caused by global warming.
    “The are new, bigger, lasting longer and we have crossed a tipping point.”
    Lubchenco did the same with her Ocean Acidification alarm.
    The rabid left then used these two invented crises to push for 5 marine reserves to be established.
    Naturally, once these areas of human prohibition were approved by the alarmed legislature money needed to be directed to monitoring them. Research ya know. I lets’ academics get out and enjoy their hobby.

    • And even when there are older records that disprove the alarmists point, they just ignore them.

  23. As Joe Bastardi often points out, Arctic temps have risen some in WINTER, but the summer temps continue to be avg or even slightly below avg in summer. This is the most benign kind of “warming” imaginable.

  24. If Climate Change is Really a Threat, Why Would China, Saudi Arabia, UAE and Abu Dhabi Invest Billions in the Maldives
    The Maldives has always been the poster child for Climate Alarmists. They have claimed that rising sea levels would wipe this island nation from the map. The problem is, the Maldives aren’t sinking, sea level isn’t rising in the Maldives. So right off the bat, something has a very bad odor. Now we find that … Continue reading
    https://co2islife.wordpress.com/2018/03/04/if-climate-change-is-really-a-threat-why-would-china-saudi-arabia-uae-and-abu-dhabi-invest-billions-in-the-maldives/

    • Youe info about sea level rise in the Maldives seems to be based mostly on the work by Morner, is that right? Or not? I first read his paper “The Maldives: A Measure of Sea Level Changes and Sea Level Ethics” in which he uses the presence of a tree on the beach as evidence of a lack of rise in sea level; that and the fact that 13 of the 19 papers cited are his own work are to me warning signs that this material is not scientifically thorough. I still wanted to give the data a chance, so I read his 2007 paper claiming there was no rise in sea level. To me it seems like a lot of it was based on argument: phrases like “must have,” “seems to have” and “implying” were abundant. He rattles off a bunch of observations that to his mind explain his findings. Usually I can decipher the original literature enough to figure out what they are getting at through statistical analyses, but this seems to build a case based on a bunch of disparate data not amenable to statistics.

      “We sampled the sand in several submarine caves with the intention of
      dating the sea level position at the time of the sea cave erosion. The biological
      content in the sand was carefully examined and classified (by
      Jacques Laborel) and divided up in ecological groups. Shallow water gastropods
      and corals were picked out for C14-dating. None of our dates refer to
      the sea level position in question. In this view, our efforts failed. ”

      This shows two things: evidently this evidence didn’t fit the hypothesis. Perhaps more importantly, “our efforts failed” is a sign that they were looking for something specific, not just sampling to see what evidence arose. This, combined with the obvious anti-IPCC bias of the author, leads me to skepticism about his research.

      “During our research in the Maldives, we were confronted with several
      ‘remarkable’ events, and we have to draw the conclusion that some proponents
      of IPCC take the liberty to act in a dark Medieval way where ‘the goal justifies
      the means’.”

      Assertions like these have no place in a scientific paper. This is such an obvious sign of bias that is detracts from the author’s credibility. It’s downright bizarre.

      Your statement, “What this evidence does prove is that the US is being played as a fool, and the Progressives are being used as useful idiots to promote the agenda of foreign nations.” is even more suggestive of the idea that you would be unlikely to see evidence without bias, and the “prove” shows you don’t see things from a scientific perspective. I could just as easily argue that US conservatives have been played for fools by the fossil fuel industry: through carefully planned and executed propaganda campaigns, conservatives have been misled into becoming political pawns to stymie any move toward reduction of FF use or increase in regulation. (See climatefiles.com for plenty of evidence in the form of original documents – if anyone wants help finding them, I’d be glad to assist.) It’s easy to make insulting assertions.
      ……………………………………….
      From another article about the Maldives which you apparently haven’t seen comes the answer to your question. After the previous president decided to buy land and actually moved much of the nation to higher ground, the new president has decided instead to build up some of the islands, paid for in part by leasing others to the Saudis.

      “The key to the new strategy is renting out islands and using the money to reclaim, fortify and even build new islands. People living on smaller lower-lying islands could then be relocated to more flood-resistant islands when needed.

      “City of Hope
      One of those is the City of Hope being built on an artificial island called Hulhumale, near the capital Male. To build it, a state-owned company is pumping sand from surrounding atolls and depositing it on shallow reefs that surround the original lagoon. It is being fortified with walls 3 metres above sea level — which is higher than the highest natural island at only 2.5 metres above the sea…..

      “…Eight such islands have already been built, and three more are planned.

      “In line with this grand scheme, the Maldives government is in the final stages of negotiation with Saudi Arabia to lease Faafu Atoll, consisting of 23 islands, for development for 99 years.

      “It could get about $10 billion – more than three times the GDP of the Maldives – from the deal, but will need to relocate about 4000 people…..

      “Nasheed thinks Saudi Arabia is seeking to secure its oil trade routes to China, which recently became dangerous due to widespread piracy, by establishing a big base en route in the Maldives. It is expected that the Saudis would also develop the atoll for projects in tourism and maritime commerce.

      “The Maldives government is also planning for 50 more tourist resorts to be opened by 2018. ‘Tourism with resorts acting as natural reserves can be the saviours of the Maldives,’ says Adam.

      https://www.newscientist.com/article/2125198-on-front-line-of-climate-change-as-maldives-fights-rising-seas/

      (I see that Morner retired in 2005. There seems to be a preponderance of retired scientists in the contrarian camp, but that’s just my impression.)
      …………………………………………
      Below is a summary of another assessment of sea level and related effects on the Maldives. I don’t know if this is any more factual; I didn’t read the original paper, but it offers a contrasting perspective.

      “Authors of the paper, published in the journal Natural Hazards, examined wave and sea level data around historic flood events and found that multiple factors contribute to flooding in the Indian Ocean island chain, which has an average land elevation of just one metre.

      “Wave ‘set up’ — the raising of water levels at the coast caused by breaking waves — was found to be the main cause of flooding. This effect was increased by prolonged swell wave conditions, where large, energetic waves are generated by wind storms thousands of miles away in the Southern Ocean. High astronomical tides, caused mainly by the gravitational pull of the Sun and the Moon, were also found to play a part.

      “In addition, sea levels in the region are rising at a rate of about 4mm a year.

      “At least 30 flood events have been recorded in the Maldives over the last 50 years, including major floods in the capital city, Malé.”
      https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/08/170807082332.htm

      I DON’T CLAIM TO NOW THE ANSWER about sea level in the Maldives. I would rather refrain from judgement in such cases rather than claim to have a monopoly on the truth.

  25. Check today’s Danish Met Office Daily Mean Temp for north of 80
    After a weird increase, the last few days have clocked a sharp decline.

    • All of that heat forever lost to space. It is hard to fathom how the alarmists have no understanding of the consequences of weather patterns.

  26. Somewhere in the article the term “upslope” was misspelled “upslop.” I think upslop is a very apt term, denoting (as it does) a rise in land and in temperature that makes a snowstorm into a rainstorm. “What happened to the snow that was forecast for this valley?” “Didn’t you notice the upslop? It just changed all that expected snow into rain!”

  27. “No statistics will protect me from things that I didn’t, or could not, foresee. Recent experience shows us that folks who talk about ‘two hundred year storms’ are probably making unwarranted assumptions. ”

    I certainly agree commie Bob. However the enemy of good is perfect. I do have 20/20 hindsight.

    I took an environmental geology class that discussed the importance of learning the lessons of geology. I had personal experience with 4 of the disasters.

    A 200 hundred year flood changes when a new flood sets a record.

  28. Excellent catch, but a quick check of Google Earth shows peaks of about 1200-2000 ft elevation immediately upwind. Is this enough of an elevation change to produce a significant chinook effect?

    • who knows, but an island surrounded by water warmer with than the winter air temp is not a valid place to be making any assumptions re arctic warming.

  29. One problem. This was a very poor explanation of the Foehn Effect. Cool moist air does not gain heat as it ascends the mountain. It cools at the saturated lapse rate which is why there is precipitation. On the lee side the air descends and warms at the dry lapse rate. The differential results in warmer air on the lee side. Schoolboy meteorology.

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