Guardian: Climate Change Causing Reindeer to Starve

Strolling reindeer (Rangifer tarandus) in the Kebnekaise valley, Lappland, Sweden.
Strolling reindeer (Rangifer tarandus) in the Kebnekaise valley, Lappland, Sweden. By Alexandre Buisse (Nattfodd) – self-made (, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

According to The Guardian, climate change caused 200 reindeer to starve to death in Svalbard, though the scientists conducting the study think overpopulation might have been a factor.

Starvation deaths of 200 reindeer in Arctic caused by climate crisis, say researchers

Comparable death toll has been recorded only once before, says Norwegian Polar Institute

About 200 reindeer have been found dead from starvation in the Arctic archipelago Svalbard, an unusually high number, the Norwegian Polar Institute has said, pointing the finger at climate crisis.

Ashild Onvik Pedersen, the head of the census, said the high degree of mortality was a consequence of climate crisis, which according to climate scientists, is happening twice as fast in the Arctic as the rest of the world.

Climate change is making it rain much more. The rain falls on the snow and forms a layer of ice on the tundra, making grazing conditions very poor for animals,” she said.

The increased mortality is also due in part to a significant increase in the number of reindeer in the Norwegian archipelago. That is partly thanks to climate crisis and the warmer summers, meaning more individuals compete in the same grazing areas.

Read more:

I’m starting to see this more and more, scientists genuflect to the alleged climate crisis, but they seem to qualify their statement, to let the truth about what is really causing the problem peek through what they are saying about climate change.

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Bob boder
July 31, 2019 11:02 am

“Climate change is making it rain much more. The rain falls on the snow and forms a layer of ice on the tundra, making grazing conditions very poor for animals,” she said.

The increased mortality is also due in part to a significant increase in the number of reindeer in the Norwegian archipelago. That is partly thanks to climate crisis and the warmer summers, meaning more individuals compete in the same grazing areas.”

So they are starving because there is too much food and because there is too little food!
I feel so enlightened.

Robert W Turner
Reply to  Bob boder
July 31, 2019 12:06 pm

Come on now, what’s so hard to understand about a layer of ice forming on top of snow and killing all the snow-grass?

Michael H Anderson
Reply to  Bob boder
July 31, 2019 12:24 pm

Beat me to it. 🙂

Alan Robertson
Reply to  Bob boder
July 31, 2019 3:10 pm

This starvation issue is nothing that controlled hunting wouldn’t cure.

Reply to  Alan Robertson
August 1, 2019 5:28 am

Exactly – they need to cull the herds every once in a while.

Reply to  Alan Robertson
August 1, 2019 6:37 am

A valid concern is that the same will happen with the polar bears as they outstrip their food sources. Unfortunately when nature resets the balance it is most often a major reset, not just an upper limit.

Gerald Machnee
Reply to  Bob boder
July 31, 2019 4:55 pm

**That is partly thanks to climate crisis and the warmer summers, meaning more individuals compete in the same grazing areas.”**
So why do we have more individuals? Is it because of the climate crisis?
Is it due to the warmer summers?
They make up everything as they go along.

Reply to  Bob boder
July 31, 2019 5:30 pm

We don’t have to do anything they will all be dead in 12 years when the world ends with the great climate crisis anyhow 🙂

Reply to  LdB
August 1, 2019 1:00 pm

Ain,t gonna be here anyways president?bye golly you 2 make sure at every turn.take space x out with your full load of doubts .
I trust in our single creator .amen

Mark H
Reply to  Bob boder
July 31, 2019 5:57 pm

It’s almost pure Orwellian doublethink. They can simultaneously believe that there is too much food for the reindeer and too little food for the reindeer.

Some of these people seem to have missunderstood Orwell, 1984 was a WARNING, not an instruction manual.

Reply to  Bob boder
August 1, 2019 9:03 am

Bob, the article from the Guardian was quite skimpy on the details:

“During an annual census of the wild reindeer population on the group of islands about 1,200km (746 miles) from the north pole, three researchers from the institute identified the carcasses of about 200 deer believed to have starved to death last winter.”

Believed is the word, no actual empirical research is mentioned.

Meanwhile here is this news worth reading:

Lightning Kills More Than 300 Reindeer in Rare Mass Death


The national park, the largest in Norway with wild reindeer populations, spans some 8,000 square kilometers (3,088 square miles) and is home to 10,000 to 11,000 wild reindeer.
My article post the actual photos of dead Reindeer and state exactly where this tragedy occurred. While the article Eric posted in vague on exactly WHERE the alleged starved Reindeer was found, they state an archipelago region, but there a number of such regions in Norway. No photos of numerous dead Reindeers laying around.

The one statement they made which doesn’t support their silly “blame it on climate change”,

“Since the 1980s, the number of reindeer has doubled in Svalbard, and now stands at about 22,000, according to the Norwegian Polar Institute.”

Maybe that is the true cause of their poorly documented mass starvation cause, NOT global warming.


Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Sunsettommy
August 1, 2019 1:58 pm

If it is true that there are 22,000, and they live a max of about ten years, it stands to reason that an average of 2200 die every year.
The way it usually works is, harsh conditions are when it happens for many of the old and weak individuals, and on an island with limited food and insufficient predation to keep numbers in check, it is almost certainly the case that mass die offs will happen, on an episodic basis.
I saw nothing scientific about the way the information was gathered or written up, whatsoever.
It read like at emotional reaction someone had to seeing a bunch of dead animals, followed by the usual jackassery blaming everything bad on the boogey man of “climate change”.
I doubt the people who have taken to referring to weather events as “climate change” know how idiotic they are being, or how truly unscientific and doltish they prove themselves to be with their inane emoting.

Randy Wester
Reply to  Bob boder
August 1, 2019 5:57 pm

There was a few years so good the wolves and hunters couldn’t keep up, now there’s a more normal year.

Adrian E.
July 31, 2019 11:04 am

So there a) more reindeer in general and b) more starving reindeer.

b) is a plausible consequence of a) because resources are limited.

Let‘s imagine we had the opposite situation, fewer reindeer than there used to be and also fewer starving ones. It is easy to imagine headlines like „climate emergency leads to dwindling numbers of reindeer“.

So, whether X or the opposite of X happens, if there is a way to present X as bad, a way to present it as a consequence of the „climate crisis“ will be found anyway. They seem to be aware that they have lost people who value sound rational reasoning, anyway, so they don’t seem to have many inhibitions any more.

Dennis Sandberg
Reply to  Adrian E.
July 31, 2019 2:51 pm

Adrian E. thanks you covered it very well.

David Hutchings
July 31, 2019 11:06 am

This comment from the “Norwegian Polar Institute”

The Svalbard reindeer often occurs in small groups of three to five individuals, except during the rut in late autumn when males gather harems and in winters with ice-locked pastures when animals can gather in larger groups on good feeding grounds.

The Svalbard reindeer is adapted to survive the variable climatic conditions and the high degree of seasonality in Svalbard. They are very sedentary and thus have low energy demands, and they have an outstanding ability to use their own body reserves (both fat and muscle tissue) when access to food is limited in the winter. The thick fur contributes to insulation against low temperatures and wind.

Starvation is the most common cause of mortality. This occurs due to worn out teeth from grazing on sparse vegetation among stones and gravel or due to lack of food when ice locks pastures – caused by ‘rain-on-snow’ events in winter.

The population dynamics of the Svalbard reindeer is regulated by a combination of density dependent processes and climatic variability causing high mortality and low reproduction.

July 31, 2019 11:06 am

So the climate crisis increased the deer population leading to a die off of the excess population — AND climate crisis caused the dear to starve because of frost on the grazing area?! How can both of those claims be true?

Doesn’t the whole “climate crisis” thing mean that there would be less frost on the grass because of the impending climate eschaton? How did the grass grow in the first place if it was under constant state of frost?

Eric H
July 31, 2019 11:09 am

So the climate crisis is not only causing it to rain on the snow causing ice…which also necessitates the air being colder after it rains to form the ice, BUT it is also causing it to be warmer so there is more foliage to graze on increasing the population…


July 31, 2019 11:09 am

Absolutely, weather caused this die-off. The improved weather and living conditions allowed the (INSERT ANIMAL NAME HERE) to become very prolific and outstrip their food supply. Typically this expansion in one species is damped by naturally occurring factors. Equilibrium will be reestablished, but not always gently. This happens and has been happening ever since life began on planet Earth regardless of the environment.

Reply to  Rocketscientist
July 31, 2019 11:25 pm

Will this apply to humans?

Reply to  StephenP
August 1, 2019 3:49 am

Only the stupid ones, with luck…….

Randy Wester
Reply to  chaswarnertoo
August 1, 2019 9:28 pm

And the ones unlucky enough to be led by the stupid.

July 31, 2019 11:13 am

how many can the island sustain-

“Since the 1980s, the number of reindeer has doubled in Svalbard, and now stands at around 22,000, according to the Norwegian Polar Institute”

It is well known that- “It is in this difficult period, right before the summer, that many reindeer die of starvation”

Reindeer on Iceland are at an all time high.

Reply to  richard
August 1, 2019 2:30 am

and if the jerks monitoring them were well aware of overpopulation and the ice events then why the hell??? didnt they drop a few bales of fodder in to save them?
its the old n young that mainly died so really its natural culling,,but that wont make a headline they can use,inappropriately ,for their agenda

Jack Roth
Reply to  ozspeaksup
August 6, 2019 4:16 pm

Why don’t they allow controlled hunting and keep the herd healthy? Managing healthy ungulate populations is hardly rocket science, and my understanding is that everyone in Svalbard walks around with rifles anyway, due to the polar bears. Just seems both cruel and a waste to allow this to happen,

Global Cooling
July 31, 2019 11:13 am
Hokey Schtick
July 31, 2019 11:17 am

Climate change, the infinitely flexible answer to every modern problem.

Reply to  Hokey Schtick
August 1, 2019 5:03 am

f(x) = Qx
Where Q is whatever is needed to get the preferred answer

Linda Goodman
July 31, 2019 11:20 am

If only WUWT and others would hit back hard and expose the REAL motive for the climate change fraud – centralized, eco-fascist, techno-totalitarian world government. if you did it would unravel FAST as it totally explains the relentless insanity. Instead, the fraud marches on as most remain ignorant and Donald Trump alone tries to hold back this monster threat.

“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” – Edmund Burke

Michael H Anderson
Reply to  Linda Goodman
July 31, 2019 12:54 pm

I think I’m pretty good at seeing the big picture as are most of the non-troll people here, as well as for example Jordan Peterson and many other reasonably well-publicized individuals. The problem is that most people never bothered to learn to think for themselves, certainly weren’t taught to in public school, and grew up very much in tune with a great deal of the cultural legacy of the 1960s (you know: drugs, promiscuity, lifelong suspended-adolescent self-indulgence), so that even if they somehow get to hear about the big picture, they reject it out of hand because it just doesn’t provide them with the kind of feedback they’re looking for. Feedback that tells them they’re morally superior to us and that even without altering their lifestyle one iota, they are “saving the planet” just by accepting the narrative.

Stupid? Hell yes. Can anything be done about it? Each of us individually may have the power to convince a few people who already trust us, but beyond that? Every passing day gives me less and less hope I’m sorry to say. If you hammer people from earliest childhood with the message that civilization is unnatural and that we are destroying the planet just by the fact of our existence, you are knowingly causing a lot of kids not only to become depressed and to despair for their future, but to actually make it more unlikely they’ll have anything like a future, because nobody is hiring for the position of social justice warrior. Multitudes of angry puppets to work gratis for the cause and then if (God help us) successful, accept a lifestyle reminiscent of the citizens in “1984.”

This problem has very deep roots. I lived in Vancouver for many years, and in the early 1990s was already meeting plenty of people who were absolutely certain that being an activist was their proper employment, to be funded off the taxpayer’s back by welfare. It’s deliciously ironic in retrospect that anarchist punks and hippies used to hate each other’s guts; their goals and philosophy turned out to be exactly the same, the only difference was their stupid asinine costumes.

I’m going to go walk the dog and forget about this for the rest of the day. This might seem weird, but finding out about Harrison Ford was kind of the last straw for me. There was a palpable sense of betrayal like nothing I’ve ever experienced before. What really needs to happen is for scum like Michael Mann to let go of their self importance and publicly admit that they’ve let things go much too far. Don’t hold your breath. 🙁

Reply to  Michael H Anderson
July 31, 2019 3:33 pm

“Tekkin’ the dug fer a walk, Pet.”

Andy Capp

Michael H Anderson
Reply to  brians356
July 31, 2019 5:40 pm

A walk and six pints of porter. 😀

Reply to  Michael H Anderson
July 31, 2019 4:49 pm

I’ve said this before but in my opinion we (the skeptics) need a charismatic spokesman who is well versed in countering the pseudoscientific crap that the climate crisis folks keep pushing in the media. He/she needs to be a well educated and calm, a no nonsense presenter who uses common sense, someone who has thick skin and has nothing to lose, financially or otherwise. There are proponents out there who are doing a good job and can carry the counter argument extremely well, but who are not perceived to be charismatic by the public (Christopher Monckton, Marc Morano, etc.). So, we need a Bizarro World Al Gore type to get the message out and deliver it in a totally believable manner, using charm, trust, and common sense to convince the public that this is anything but a climate crisis.

Harrison Ford is nothing but an actor who believes in his own hype. Like most celebrities, he thinks that he is so important to the world public that we will clamor to listen to him & invest in his opinion. Actors are hypocrites by definition (they pretend to be someone they are not). They are generally emotional insecure creatures and they react accordingly (I once worked in the Royal Shakespeare Theatre so this is a first hand observation).

WUWT does a great job with this site. The comprehensive scientific opinions and knowledge presented on this site never ceases to amaze me. Now let’s approach someone like Anthony Robbins and start to change the narrative.

Linda Goodman
Reply to  Robert
August 1, 2019 6:32 am

Robert: I think the solution is much simpler, a respected, widely read media source MUST expose the hidden climate change agenda: eco-fascist, techno-totalitarian world government. Just ONE respected source to spark the flame and it will spread like wildfire. Is everyone waiting for someone else to do it first? Is it fear? Self-censorship is the most insidious. There’s been NOTHING to alert the public, certainly no mention of the nefarious ‘smart meters’ that millions are rejecting. I don’t want to repeat myself after responding to two other comments, so I’ll leave it at that.

john harmsworth
Reply to  Linda Goodman
August 1, 2019 10:25 am

I think the level of ignorance and delusional thinking on the Left is too much for most people to really grasp. The Left is loaded with people who want to believe simple solutions to problems that are actually caused by people who aren’t accountable for their actions. The want to avoid responsibility and be free to do whatever stupid stuff feels good in the moment. What they don’t really think about is that other people have to be productive in order to cover off the liabilities of those selfish actions.
It’s way too much to ask that such people grasp the complexities of an inter-connected society wherein selfish acts impact the welfare of everybody else.
I think we just need to focus on selfishness as the great evil and make people accountable again. Deal hard drugs? Death penalty. Why not? You’re killing people. Regular crimes? Hard labour. Why not? Give something back to society instead of just consuming more of its output.

Randy Wester
Reply to  Linda Goodman
August 1, 2019 9:38 pm

Or plant a garden and cancel the cable TV.
Why feed the idiot box if all it does is annoy you?

Linda Goodman
Reply to  Michael H Anderson
August 1, 2019 5:51 am

Michael H Anderson: I agree that our education system has conditioned people to obey Authority, but it can’t override the stark truth, which fascists know damn well and are trying hard to censor. As long as the true reason for demonizing carbon dioxide is not revealed it can re-assert HARD in a Trumpless America; it already controls Europe and much the world. Climate Change is the proverbial naked emperor and once it’s publicly identified as the foundation of eco-fascist world government, it’s OVER.

I was one of millions who woke up with Climategate, thanks to a subversive news aggregator hot on its trail, and I finally learned that democrats [and some republicans] are eco-fascist globalists; for decades I had NO clue, since the entire media has done a great job of suppressing it and continues to – left, right and center. Even the President avoids addressing the ‘false song of globalism’ directly. Yet once it’s widely known that the ‘new world order’ is an eco-fascist, techno-totalitarian dystopia where only the ‘elite’ are free, everything will make sense to everyone, in particular the ‘elites” loathing of Trump and their obsession with ‘climate change’ and open borders. Their recent Google gathering is a hypocritical laughingstock, but imagine the FURY once everyone knows their TRUE intentions and their frightening, pathological contempt for the rest of humanity! The Hunger Games is truly not far off, psychologically.

Omission is the most effective form of censorship and the Monster of Big Lies is hiding in plain sight and depends entirely on the silence of the entire media to reach horrible fruition, and as the saying goes, silence = consent. But once the simple truth is out it will spread like wildfire. [only cowardice can prevent wildfires?]

And I’m no bible thumper and I thought prophecy was silly until I learned the unnerving fact that carbon is 6 protons, 6 neutrons & 6 electrons, the human body is mostly carbon and globalists intend to replace cash with a carbon chip, presumably in the hand. Is prophecy staring us in the face as Science to free us from the deadly junk science holding us captive? The Creator does have a sense of Humor. But free will reigns supreme and so it seems only Truth shall make us free.

Reply to  Linda Goodman
July 31, 2019 12:55 pm

Wuwt DOES hit back hard. But you didn’t explain how to spread the word far and wide. Each of us does that in our groups but that is still limited. But I have high hopes, so I’m gloing to keep doing what I can.

Michael H Anderson
Reply to  F.LEGHORN
July 31, 2019 2:43 pm

Yeah, thanks for that lift and sorry for being a Debbie Downer. Here is just one of many documents that could be helpful to people when trying to convince the uninformed:

Linda Goodman
Reply to  F.LEGHORN
August 1, 2019 6:13 am

F.LEGHORN: Only the media can create critical mass awareness, including respected WUWT, and the more urgent the truth the faster it will spread. So omission is obviously the key tactic to hide globalism’s eco-fascist foundation in plain sight – the breath of life is the gas of death. It’s the Monster of Big Lies.

“[I]n the big lie there is always a certain force of credibility; because the broad masses of a nation are always more easily corrupted in the deeper strata of their emotional nature than consciously or voluntarily; and thus in the primitive simplicity of their minds they more readily fall victims to the big lie than the small lie, since they themselves often tell small lies in little matters but would be ashamed to resort to large-scale falsehoods.
It would never come into their heads to fabricate colossal untruths, and they would not believe that others could have the impudence to distort the truth so infamously. Even though the facts which prove this to be so may be brought clearly to their minds, they will still doubt and waver and will continue to think that there may be some other explanation. For the grossly impudent lie always leaves traces behind it, even after it has been nailed down, a fact which is known to all expert liars in this world and to all who conspire together in the art of lying.” — Socialist/fascist/environmentalist Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf

“If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the state can shield the people from the political, economic, and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the state to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the state.” – Goebbels paraphrase

Michael H Anderson
Reply to  Linda Goodman
August 7, 2019 1:02 pm

Thank you Linda for these amazing and ultra-relevant quotes, as well as all your other good thoughts. You’re definitely an asset to WUWT!

Reply to  Linda Goodman
August 1, 2019 1:20 pm

Ain,t gonna be here anyways president?bye golly you 2 make sure at every turn.take space x out with your full load of doubts .
I trust in our single creator .amen facts would be verfied like the sun light. And oil nuclear profits increase casting dought because .no money in the free wind free currents free solar or cleaning the skys waters lands polluted.

old engineer
Reply to  Linda Goodman
August 1, 2019 8:05 pm


I sense in your comments a frustration that many of us feel. If it were only a matter of a few people taking a leadership role. More than a few people are working hard to fight, as you say, “the climate change fraud.” Just look at the list of websites to the right of the page.

While they have access to the internet they do not have access to the print media. The public print media has declared that they will not publish anything critical of the climate change meme. They also don’t have access to the schools. Schools for which at least 25 years have taught C02 caused global warming as the only truth.

And don’t think that the average person who believes the global warming stuff they have been told at every turn is a bad person. They are good people who are concerned about their future, but they literally don’t regularly see challenges to global warming that might start them to think.

And THEY have been told that those that would have them question global warming are evil people.
The literature they read has the same Edmund Burke quote your referenced. Only for them the evil is the evil oil companies and their stooges who don’t care is the world fries as long as they make a profit.

What’s the answer? I wish I knew.

July 31, 2019 11:24 am

Thank goodness, if true, we will finally reduce the growing incidence of Lyme disease.

Sweet Old Bob
July 31, 2019 11:25 am

Dang ! Now the Magic Molecule is a murderer again !

David S
July 31, 2019 11:26 am

So how many years have they been tracking reindeer deaths? The Holocene era is 10,000 years old. For what percentage of that time have reindeer deaths been recorded? How many died 100 years ago, or 1000 years ago or 9000 years ago? Most likely they don’t have a clue, but declare this to be an “unusually high number” even though they say it has happened once before during the time they’ve been tracking it.
Who does the autopsy to determine that the deer starved to death as opposed to dying of disease, or animal attack or bullet holes?

Nicholas McGinley
July 31, 2019 11:29 am

So climate change caused more reindeer, and also now less reindeer.
What is the long term population trend?
What % is 200 animals?
On the plus side, I bet polar bears do not mind eating dead reindeer.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
July 31, 2019 12:38 pm

Nicholas McGinley
You asked, “What % is 200 animals?” Less than 1%!

July 31, 2019 11:31 am

What? 200 dead reindeer in Svalbard?

We have no choice – we simply must destroy all of western civilisation, immediately!

Steven Fraser
Reply to  SM
July 31, 2019 4:22 pm

Sounds like a case of ‘Survival of the Fattest’


The term ‘Reindeer’ is used for domesticated Caribou. Its use is inappropriate for this article. If these are wild animals, Caribou is the correct term.

I think it is used to make you think they are cuddly, friendly helpers if Santa…. or something.

john harmsworth
Reply to  SM
August 1, 2019 10:30 am

The school system has to be seen as part of the problem. A big part. In some other countries the kids participate in cleaning and maintaining their schools and acquire a sense of pride in their schools as a result. Schools have become consequence free zones and the product is irresponsible kids growing up to be irresponsible adults.

July 31, 2019 11:36 am

I hope you saw the fraudulent photo one news outlet used yesterday on this story. It was a photo from two years ago when a bunch of reindeer were killed by a lightning strike.
This new reindeer story makes one recall the walruses who were supposedly “committing suicide” last year because of climate change. And of course the perennial polar bear starvation stories.
Science has been turned on its head by the alarmists.

July 31, 2019 11:37 am

Rhetorical question: where was the earlier story about the “climate crisis” causing the population of reindeer to increase? I seem to have missed it.

July 31, 2019 11:38 am

Same situation can occur with range cattle trying to forage on too thick, too hard crust, too snowy grazing land. Ask any rancher. Result of freak weather conditions, ice storm, blizzard, about every decade or two you’ll have to work hard getting enough hay to them to survive….

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  DMacKenzie
July 31, 2019 12:40 pm

Twice in 12 years sounds like weather to me, rather than “Climate Change.”

Crispin in Waterloo
Reply to  DMacKenzie
August 1, 2019 2:48 am


In Mongolia this happened a few years ago and an enormous number of animals died because they couldn’t get through the ice. All it takes is a few days of warm weather to melt snow on top of more snow, followed the the rest of the winter. When the winter is extremely cold (called a “suud”) the animals freeze to death from heat loss and an inability to eat fast enough. That happened in 2005.

Generally speaking cold is bad.

Curious George
July 31, 2019 11:40 am

Also a record number of yaks died of starvation in Bhutan last winter. The valley where they were grazing was cut off by unusually deep snow.

As The Grauniad correctly observes, “thanks to climate crisis and the warmer summers, … more individuals compete in the same grazing areas.” Can’t you get it in your heads, that Climate Crisis means more offspring?

July 31, 2019 11:43 am

Yet another article taken from “The Guardian”.
What was once “The world’s most viewed site on global warming and climate change” is now nothing more than a mirror site for a cheap, trashy English tabloid.

Reply to  TonyL
July 31, 2019 1:39 pm

Actually, the Grauniad is (was) the Bible of the chattering intelligentsia classes – the superior liberal-left variety who revere the working man, as long as they don’t have to meet them or have to work themselves.

That, is the Grauniad….


Reply to  TonyL
July 31, 2019 1:43 pm

The Grauniad….


July 31, 2019 11:44 am

1. Amazing how quickly the term climate crisis has been adopted. I think this supports your hypothesis regarding genuflection.

Reply to  RDuncan
July 31, 2019 12:39 pm

Who has adopted it apart from the Guardian? The consistently and persistently misquote and misreport what “scientists” say by substituting their favourite new term when paraphrasing what a scientist says. Note all the direct quotations use “climate change” NOT crisis.

Eco-warriors at the Guardian have made a policy decision only to use the terms “global heating” and “climate crisis”. This is the new orthodoxy which all writers are expected to adhere to.

Reply to  RDuncan
July 31, 2019 6:59 pm

“Climate crisis” has already overused……Coming soon is “climate catastrophe”…not sure what it can be named after that….maybe “climate cataclysm”….sooner or later somebody will notice whether or not it’s really happening.

July 31, 2019 11:45 am

So, “climate change” is causing more reindeers and “climate change” is causing less reindeers.

Those guys really get paid to produce this nonsense?

Reply to  Tom van Leeuwen
July 31, 2019 12:39 pm

It’s not climate “change” any more, because “change” implies losers AND winners. It’s “climate crisis,” implying that every effect it has is bad.

Jay Willis
Reply to  Tom van Leeuwen
July 31, 2019 1:10 pm

For heaven’s sake tom, try to get it right. It’s “climate crisis” – it used to be climate change after the rather comforting “global warming”. It’ll soon be climate cooling catastrophe, and then it will be bad.

Reply to  Jay Willis
July 31, 2019 5:31 pm

Yep the authors are not following the narrative properly, definitely should be climate crisis this year. I hear climate cataclysm is the next term up for vote.

Mumbles McGuirck
July 31, 2019 11:48 am

So climate change is increasing reindeer populations so more of them die of starvation in the winter. Kill Animals So They Won’t Die.

R Taylor
July 31, 2019 11:54 am

Thanks for the little laugh, courtesy of the Guardian’s left-wing logic. Climate change is both killing reindeer in unprecedented numbers AND increasing their population. Squealer couldn’t have done better.

Robert W Turner
July 31, 2019 12:02 pm

Surely more caribou deaths, caused by an increase in their population in the first place, is a sign of the 6th mass extinction.

Reply to  Robert W Turner
August 1, 2019 2:44 am

i DO hope you just forgot the sarc tag?

Charles U. Farley
July 31, 2019 12:10 pm

When the guardian finally closes down for good ( soon one hopes) I wonder if theyll say climate change caused that too?
I canot understand how any sensible, rational human would subscribe to their vapid, hyperfaked nonsense.

July 31, 2019 12:10 pm

So, the climate crisis caused :
– more reindeer,
– less reindeer,
– a warmer weather,
– more ice.

Nothing seems to be impossible in a chicken little’s brain.

Joel O'Bryan
July 31, 2019 12:14 pm

Reminds me of a story I read a few days ago on news. The are running an on-going series on Mongolia.
This story:
The Deadly Winters That Have Transformed Life For Herders In Mongolia

starts out trying to give the impression that “deadly winters” called dzuds.
Blockquote>”a dzud — the deterioration of winter weather conditions leading to a mass death of livestock from lack of food and/or water. Dzud winters vary, characterized by harsh cold, too much snow or not enough, ice and other factors.

There are five types of “dzuds” (in Mongolia culture), and Oyutan’s animals were claimed by the deadliest — a tsagaan dzud, meaning “white death.” That’s when snow covers the pastureland, blocking animals’ access to food.”

But as you get into the article the writer opens up to what the real cuae was herd overgrazing due to an exploding Yak herds numbers.
“In 1990, Mongolia rapidly transitioned to a free market democracy. The livestock count exploded. In the communist era, from 1924 to 1992, it was 23 million. Today, the National Statistics Office of Mongolia puts the livestock count above 66 million.

So the Yak numbers tripled. The grounds became stripped bare in many high, cold landscape grazing pastures. Mining/mineral extraction has also lead to extensive ground water pumping, drying up seasonal streams. All this has led to a drying of the Mongolian pastoral climate. The writer did admit this:

“We are an inland country, so we don’t have an ocean. The exchange of moisture between the atmosphere and the biosphere are very important for us,” says Gomboluudev Purevjav, head of climate research at the institute. If rangeland is degraded, he says, transpiration — the process that carries moisture and nutrients from a plant’s roots — will be reduced.

A drier Mongolia is a death knell for animals. Drought weakens livestock, making a dzud winter all the more deadly.

Dzuds are caused by multiple factors — some climate related and others human made. Drought is a major culprit. Overgrazing is another.”

The real culprit is not the increase of a trace gas. What kills the the Yak herds is bitter cold and snow covering what little remains of grazing food for the Yaks. A warmer winter under any climate change scenario would do the opposite.
The dishonesty is so rampant now on Climate Change, that this NPR reporter (Emily Kwong) resorts to using multiple instances of DoubleThink, that is holding two incongruent ideas together at the same time, and believing both to be true to support her “Climate Change” dishonest journalism.

Here’s DoubleThink in action with a Liberal mind (remember “dzuds” are bitter cold winter spells) in the final sentence of Ms Kwong’s “jornalism” (sic intended) article:

“With all these factors in play, dzuds — as well as mass livestock loss — have become a new norm in a warming nation.”

So bitter cold winter spells (dzuds) that bring “mass livestock loss” are the “new norm in a warming nation”.

You simply can’t get any more stupid DoubleThink than that.

Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
August 1, 2019 2:48 am

and add the not insignificant detail that most families now dont live in tents with their herd
they get in their 4wd and go and stay in houses in townships so the animals are left alone, where once someone would be keeping a close eye on them

July 31, 2019 12:26 pm

200 reindeer on an island and some bristlecones- ample proof of climate change.

July 31, 2019 12:29 pm

I’m starting to see this more and more, scientists genuflect to the alleged climate crisis,

The scientists do not even mention a “climate crisis” , that is the Guardian’s spin misreporting by rewording what scientists actually said. The quoted text says climate change.

So what we have here is allegedly “climate crisis” leads to warmer summers and an increased population. Presumably good news if you are a reindeer farmer or like looking at reindeer. But no, this is “over population” a bad thing. They then attribute the increased deaths to increased numbers.

So if there were less reindeer it would be polar bears all over again. Reindeer going extinct because of climate crisis. More reindeer is bad too: “over population” and starvation, also a result of climate crisis. So as per usual with the pathological liars at the Guardian , it’s head I win : tail you loose. Whatever happens to reindeer population they will spin it a catastrophe and cite it as yet more evidence of their beloved “climate crisis”.

climate crisis, which according to climate scientists, is happening twice as fast in the Arctic as the rest of the world.

Crisis , what crisis? So Arctic is a bit warmer. Most life there is a constant battle against freezing to death. So a little warmth is a good thing, producing a boom in seal population which is feeding polar bears and helping reindeer populations.

Scientists do say it is warming quicker they do NOT say a climate crisis is happening twice as fast.

Reindeer population has doubled since 1980, to available evidence they seem to adhere to the ” never waste a good crisis” school.

Reply to  Greg
August 7, 2019 4:18 pm

Why do you post such erroneous comments

surely its fewer not less reindeer!

Coeur de Lion
July 31, 2019 12:36 pm

I hope the Guardian goes bust soon. It’s a harmful lying rag

Reply to  Coeur de Lion
July 31, 2019 2:01 pm

I took a looooong time for MAD magazine to go bust.
“Nobody ever went broke underestimating the crassness of the general public.”

Mods: what’s with format issues?

Joel O'Bryan
July 31, 2019 12:43 pm

mods: My long comment lost to “moderation.” I used the banned “k” word. Sigh.

July 31, 2019 1:00 pm

I went to McDonald’s today because of climate change. Otherwise I would have cooked at home, because of climate change.

Jan Erik
July 31, 2019 1:11 pm

A report from the Governor on Spitsbergen from 2009 “Managment of the reindeers on Spitsbergen” inform of a variation in growth rate of the population from -47 to +68 %. From the beginning of the 19th century the population was down to 1000 individuals and increased to about 10000 in 2009. The population is now close to 20000 individuals. 200 dead animals during a winter is no crisis, just a natural variation!

July 31, 2019 1:32 pm

In summary – Global Warming is causing so much ice, the animals cannot feed.
Did I get that right?


Reply to  ralfellis
August 1, 2019 2:07 am


July 31, 2019 1:59 pm

200 sounds like a lot until you realize (as noted above, stated at the end of the Guardian article), that 200 is only 2% of the entire Svalbard population.

What I noticed is that other articles about this event (LiveScience, Smithsonian) failed to state the total population size. A winter die-off event of 2% is absolutely nothing to get excited about, biologically speaking.

Note that this story is not a report of peer reviewed research – it’s the same kind of emotionally-charged tragedy porn about isolated incidents of natural mortality the public has been hit with regarding polar bears and walrus. But clearly, the strategy works: media outlets lap it up and a researcher or oganizations gets international attention.

In my opinion, any researcher who makes a statement like this is attention-seeking, not transmitting information:

“It is scary to find so many dead animals,” researcher Ønvik Pedersen told the Norwegian state broadcaster NRK. “This is a terrifying example of how climate change affects nature. It’s just sad.”

Steven Fraser
Reply to  Susan Crockford
July 31, 2019 4:35 pm

And, Reindeer lifespan is short… males ~10 years, and females ~18.

So, in any given year, if the ages were evenly distribited, 1/10th of the males, and 1/18th of the females would die. Put another way, males born 10 years ago, and females born 18 years ago are now reaching end-of-life, a natural increase due to the upswing in births those years.

john harmsworth
Reply to  Susan Crockford
August 1, 2019 10:42 am

I live in Western Canada. Lots of deer here. White tail and Mule deer as well as antelope and moose. Some winters are mild and some are hellacious. The big factor for mortality is snow. Deer are mainly browsers which requires them to move around in winter to find edible brush. When the winters are cold and snowy they need more sustenance for the cold and can’t get to it very easily due to the snow. Then they starve. Even if people drop hay for them, many starve. In subsequent years less brush is browsed and more grows. Then the deer population grows until the next tough year with high populations.
This is how nature works. For all species.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Susan Crockford
August 2, 2019 11:13 am

200/22,000 = 0.009 = 0.9%

Reply to  Clyde Spencer
August 7, 2019 4:21 pm

Less than 1%so they had a low death rate this year

July 31, 2019 2:25 pm

“…but they seem to qualify their statement, to let the truth about what is really causing the problem…”

Yep, two common tactics:-

(1) The evil-twins.

“Ocean acidification and hypoxia”

Fling a bogus climate change problem together with a real (albeit in this example a localised) issue.

(2) Snake-head listing.

“Species ‘X’ is threatened by climate change, over hunting, habitat loss, introduced predatory animals….”

Tack on climate change at the top, implying it’s the most deadly factor, when it’s negligible/nil/unstudied.

Nicholas McGinley
July 31, 2019 2:30 pm

Looks like dozens of people all had the exact same reaction to this story, and said so.
But because of the long delay somewhere in the process of posting comments, no one had seen that others had made the same comment.
When I made my initial comment above, there were zero other comments posted.
Now I see that I was way down the line of commenters who had already posted, some almost 30 minutes before I hit send (I am assuming the comments get tagged with the send time and not the time they appear.
Well, at least now I know I am not the only one being delayed on virtually every comment.
It has made conversing pretty much impossible.
Few have the patience to sit around refreshing the page for the time it takes for a comment to post and someone to respond.
We can see it this reflected in every comment thread now.
Can nothing be done?

July 31, 2019 2:31 pm

Anyway, I thought they all died from anthrax in last year’s reindeer-doom climate story.

Nicholas McGinley
July 31, 2019 2:33 pm

So far there are no replies that have been made to any comment in less than about 45 minutes to an hour.
I think this is likely the delay time between when a person hits send and their comment appears on the board.

Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
July 31, 2019 4:18 pm

The website now updates comments once per hour, a few minutes past the hour. As you see, having a conversation is now practically impossible.
We used to have other features as well including:
1) The ability to include graphs and charts in a comment.
2) The ability to include videos in a comment
3) Comment like/dislike voting
4) Comment editing for the first few minutes.

The posting of charts and graphs was particularly important. Whatever the topic, some knowledgeable people would post their own take on the data. A lively and informative discussion would develop. That was back when comments posted promptly and you could have a discussion. Anyway, these discussions were fun and informative, often covering the topic at hand in much greater detail and depth than the original post. I know that I learned a lot. WUWT was a great site back then.
Those days seem to be gone for good.
I did ask Anthony, Mods about it on a very recent thread, but they did not reply.

Reply: Not simple on this platform. It’s on the list ~ctm

Tom Abbott
Reply to  TonyL
July 31, 2019 6:12 pm

The “old” comment software also had a feature where new posts would be highlighted in a different color, which made finding them very easy and eliminated the necessity of rereading the entire thread.

I saw your earlier comment to the moderators, Tony. Lots of other people have asked the same questions over many months now but for some reason there is complete silence on this subject from the powers that be at WUWT. Not one reply to all those questions.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Tom Abbott
August 1, 2019 4:53 am

At least this time Charles The Moderator did offer a terse reply.
Thank you Charles.
I was beginning to wonder if I was the only one who cared.
I figured there was some reason it had not been fixed, and have said as much in previous inquiries.
It is nice to get a word or two acknowledging the issue.
The only reason people ask is because they care.
I recall that the site had been upgraded to include edit feature and some like button options, and shortly thereafter some sort of hacker attack knocked it all down, but I do not recall getting any details.
I do appreciate the reply, and I understand that it is not a simple thing.
Also, this is not the only site where the same thing has occurred.
Several other climate blogs have had the same thing happen.

Scott W Bennett
Reply to  TonyL
July 31, 2019 6:38 pm

Yes, and why is there a deafening silence from the moderators when ever these important issues are raised? I immediately suspect outside pressure to reduce the impact of WUWT. The loss of the power of images, particularly their use as memes and the destruction of real time interaction with its potential to build bridges through the reasoned arguments of the more thoughtful contributors to these “conversations.” I notice more frequently that some interesting exchanges go private (via email) because of the limitations of the blog; which is a loss to the public.

[To be clear, “the moderators” have access to approve, edit, and delete comments. That is all. So inquiries to the mods are not effective. If one were to piece this together based on all available information, the reasons for whatever inattention you believe you’re seeing should be obvious. Recall, Anthony turned over day-to-day to Charles due to increased demands on his time. But we can assume this isn’t Charles’ day job either, so changes and upgrades may take a while to implement. Personally, I would advise you to avoid silly speculations regarding outside influences and etc. They really do make you seem overly inclined to “conspiracy ideation”. -mod]

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
August 1, 2019 5:08 am

Tony L,
You are right on the money regarding the ability to post graphs and pictures and videos that would show up as such.
It allowed a type of response packed with info, and gave us the ability to get across complex points and issues in a way which was very clear and easy to follow.
IOW…it allowed us to communicate effectively.
The delay is another thing entirely, as it is damaging to our ability to communicate in a completely different but just as devastating way.
The combined effect has been to achieve exactly what whoever did it was intending: Effectively wreck the ability of using one of the most means of communicating this incredibly important issue, disarming a huge number of people with the ability to do so.
I wonder how many people were in a position to do so?
Had the motivation, and the skills?
Which sites were effected?
I can think of a few likely candidates.
Personally, I would call the FBI.

[Your big-brother overlords do not appreciate your questioning of them. You have been warned. 🙂 Seriously though, the vast majority of comments pass through the filters sans-problem. Some get caught in the moderator queue for various reasons, OR, due to problems with their originating IP address, they get thrown into the trash or spam folder. Those comments have to be manually retrieved by moderators who are willing to go through the internet equivalent of dumpster diving. That’s it. Nothing sinister. Just the realities of online life in world filled with hackers, crazies, and personas-non-grata. (Meaning, the site has to maintain filters to keep the quality of discussions high.) -mod]

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
August 1, 2019 1:49 pm

Well, I am pretty sure there was some sort of hacking event that knocked out the site, causing Anthony to have to use a backup to restore it.
And in the process, the new functions that had been added to edit and “like” and such, were lost.
This was at the same time, IIRC, that the other issues began, with long delays for every post, and no way to have photos and graphs and such appear except as links.
Is this not the case?
I do not think the delay in posting comment has anything to do with comments being sent to moderation, except for a few here and there.
We are referring to the fact that EVERY comment is delayed, by a very long time.
Close to zero comments show up any time soon after posting.
I appreciate your taking the time to offer these explanations, but I am finding myself a little puzzled by what you are saying here.
In this instance yesterday, it was plainly obvious that no one was seeing anything posted on the comment thread until 45 minutes or so after posting, which is why a whole bunch of people made the exact same observation up top (BTW proving once again that great minds do think alike), and no one can have a real time conversation anymore…ever.
Perhaps you are unaware of the issue?
IDK…but I think we are not talking about the same thing.

Thanks again for responding.
Gonna say “mods” so this gets seen. Does that really help?

PS…I actually do hesitate to antagonize people who are hackers, but somethings need to be said 🙂

July 31, 2019 3:12 pm

overpopulation “might” have been a factor?

Those aren’t scientists. Overpopulation is always the first thing you check in a wild land starvation scenario.

Ancillary you also check whether they’re under-predated.

Reply to  Prjindigo
July 31, 2019 5:36 pm

No they aren’t scientists and never claimed to be … it’s an article from Griff number 1 reference the Grauniad (AKA the Church of Climatastrophy).

Maggy Wassilieff
July 31, 2019 9:04 pm

I was in Svalbard a couple of weeks ago on a National Geographic Cruise… There were healthy-looking herds of reindeer on most of the islands we visited (calves and adults).

Death by starvation is a regular occurrence nowadays for the burgeoning Svalbard subspecies.
A century back they were hunted ruthlessly.

Johann Wundersamer
July 31, 2019 9:56 pm

The Guardian people shall wipe their tears – in Lappland they can learn how to feed caribous with the sami folks:

July 31, 2019 11:36 pm

So Santa won’t be coming to town?

August 1, 2019 1:00 am

Take a look at the recent temp record for Svalbard… massive warming.

Here’s a podcast:

Reply to  griff
August 1, 2019 2:37 am

Ah yes, the old “recent”…you don’t seem to be aware that temperatures in lots of places fluctuate widely over a large number of different timescales.

Last week here in the UK it was 40 degrees, a few days ago we underwent “unprecedented cooling” and it was 19 degrees. Quick, declare a climate cooling emergency. Recent temperatures are much, much lower than they were. Right?

Reply to  griff
August 1, 2019 9:18 am

Griff, the Svalbard airport temperature series clearly demonstrates that the warming from 1915 to 1935 was far more severe that the latest warming. That earlier warming was followed by decades of cooling. The average annual temperatures experienced in the mid 1930s were not surpassed until about 2000.

Please supply your proof that the latest warming was caused by CO2 when the earlier more severe warming clearly was not. Models don’t count (they merely regurgitate the programmed CO2 presumption).

August 1, 2019 1:31 am

This happens whenever there is a mild period in winter causing an ice crust to form. It is not too common, but happens occasionally everywhere there are reindeer. For example it happened around 1900 in NW Greenland, totally wiping out the local reindeer herd and causing considerable hardship for the inuits (ref. Peter Freuchen: Min grønlandske ungdom (1936))

August 1, 2019 1:45 am

By the way that reindeer image is way off – the Svalbard reindeer belong to the platyrhynchus subspecies, also known as “dachshund reindeer”, which are very small and short-legged, there being no predators on Svalbard (Polar Bears don’t hunt reindeer). Incidentally this means that virtually all Svalbard reindeer ultimately die from starvation.

comment image

Svalbard is rather marginal habitat for reindeer, particularly in winter. Once there were reindeer on Franz Josephs land as well, but they died out about 3,000 years ago as climate cooled. The Svalbard reindeer probably originally came from Novaya Zemlya by way of Franz Josephs land.

Ed Zuiderwijk
August 1, 2019 2:29 am

It appears that the polar bears of Svalbard have missed a trick or two. Or have they?

Reply to  Ed Zuiderwijk
August 1, 2019 9:44 am

No, ice bears on land in summer don’t hunt actively. They scavenge, eat bird’s eggs and young and berries and similar, but they don’t chase animals, not even Svalbard reindeer. The reason is supposedly that any heavy effort out of cold water can cause heat stroke. Polar Bears are very well insulated. Remember we are talking about animals that can swim in freezing water for several days without ill effect.

August 1, 2019 2:33 am

So climate change caused more reindeer and then also killed of the more reindeer.

Wow, it’s almost as if there are seasons…

August 1, 2019 3:53 am

I recall the words from way back, “”A species expands to the limit of its
food supply, therm it dies””.

This applies to all life forms including us humans.


Jan Erik
August 1, 2019 4:24 am

Regarding the temperature change on Spitsbergen, how much has it really changed? This link shows the average of the observations made at the observation post close to the airport from 1899. For me it looks like the observation during the two last decades has happened before.

Reply to  Jan Erik
August 1, 2019 9:55 am

“For me it looks like the observation during the two last decades has happened before”

It has, particularly in the 1930’s, what is unusual is that there hasn’t been any really cold year since 2011, which is probably the main reason there are so many reindeer.

Also that temperature curve may be a bit iffy. The early part is cobbled together from a variety of sites around the Icefjord area, the 1946-1975 part is from Isfjord Radio at the mouth of the fjord while the section from 1975 is from Svalbard Airport near Longyearbyen.

August 1, 2019 9:43 am

The reindeer of Svalbard are the smallest species. They weigh about half as much as other reindeer species and are thus much shorter in length.
Reindeer can see ultraviolet light which allows them to see urine — a sign of predators or competitors; lichens — a major food source in winter; and fur, making predators such as wolves very easy to see despite being camouflaged to other animals that can’t see UV.”

10 things you never knew about reindeer

August 1, 2019 10:01 am

Moreover CDW is now infecting reindeer herds with culls taking place.

August 1, 2019 11:08 am

No, ice bears on land in summer don’t hunt actively. They scavenge, eat bird’s eggs and young and berries and similar, but they don’t chase animals, not even Svalbard reindeer. The reason is supposedly that any heavy effort out of cold water can cause heat stroke. Polar Bears are very well insulated. Remember we are talking about animals that can swim in freezing water for several days without ill effect.

August 1, 2019 1:30 pm

The Guardian article does underline one strange aspect of the climate change issue.
While the theory of global warming can be argued, it seems to me that the theory of “climate change” is a mess.
Climate Change causes Reindeer deaths while at the same time ( or in the same year) causing Reindeer numbers to proliferate.
Climate Change, aka Climate Disruption, is a theory that cannot be falsified, contrary to the traditional scientific method explained by Popper and indeed, Richard Feynman.
It certainly can’t be disproved on the ‘evidence’ of this article.

August 5, 2019 5:22 am

Hilarious. I see reigndeer quite often and they’d only be happier if the alarmists predictions were correct. It would give the Sami a break as well because there wouldn’t be a need to migrate them from the mountains into the lowlands for winter in order for them to feed. Clearly the first thought is a large population eating everything or a disease that has affected them. Alarmists aren’t so good at forensics. They’re libel to send the innocent to prison in order to justify their belief.

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