Greenland’s ‘Record Temperature’ denied – the data was wrong

From the “But, but, wait! Our algorithms can adjust for that!” department comes this tale of alarmist woe. Greenland’s all-time record temperature wasn’t a record at all, and it never got above freezing there.


First, the wailing from news media:

NYT: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/08/02/climate/european-heatwave-climate-change.html

WAPO: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/capital-weather-gang/wp/2016/06/10/greenland-witnessed-its-highest-june-temperature-ever-recorded-on-thursday/

Climate Progress: https://thinkprogress.org/greenland-hits-record-75-f-sets-melt-record-as-globe-aims-at-hottest-year-e34e534e533e/

Polar Portal: http://polarportal.dk/en/news/news/record-high-temperature-for-june-in-greenland/


Now from the Danish Meteorological Institute (DMI), via the news website The Local, the cooler reality:

Danish climate body wrongly reported Greenland heat record

The Danish Meteorological Institute, which has a key role in monitoring Greenland’s climate, last week reported a shocking August temperature of between 2.7C and 4.7C at the Summit weather station, which is located 3,202m above sea level at the the centre of the Greenland ice sheet, generating a spate of global headlines.  

But on Wednesday it posted a tweet saying that a closer look had shown that monitoring equipment had been giving erroneous results.  

“Was there record-level warmth on the inland ice on Friday?” it said. “No! A quality check has confirmed out suspicion that the measurement was too high.” 

By combining measurements with observations from other weather stations, the DMI has now estimated that the temperature was closer to -2C.

The record temperature ever recorded at Summit is 2.2C, which was reached in both 2012 and 2017. But -2C is still unusual at the station.   

Shoot out the headlines first, ask questions later.

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111 thoughts on “Greenland’s ‘Record Temperature’ denied – the data was wrong

  1. oh dear.
    Climate is measured in 30 year lumps, just to iron out the wobbles.
    Climate hysteria is measured in milliseconds, just to extract the most propaganda.

    poor old climate does not stand a chance

    • Climate is not measured in 30 years lumps. Someone might have arbitrarily suggested 30 years as “climate”, despite the fact that there is no physical difference between climate and weather which just merge into each other.

      Personally the only serious divide is caused by the annual cycle, so that climate is logically anything longer than ONE year and weather anything shorter.

      • Climate is not “average weather” as some claim. It is more accurately a pattern of weather: Cold, snowy winters, hot, humid summers for example. And it’s not just annual patterns but long term as well like: long droughts interrupted by years of heavy rainfall. These patterns can take centuries to recognize and aren’t much affected by a few degrees temperature difference.

        • Sorry, I like my definition best – climate is the SUM of all weather. I haven’t figured out yet just how to sum stuff with different units and basis’ but there it is. And it makes just a much sense as any other definition!

    • Swamped by weather I’m afraid and doesn’t get a look in. Needs to lift its game or be resigned to the bench. A solid performer in the past but lacks that certain star quality to pull the punters nowadays. Age is the biggest problem.

    • 30 years was chosen because of the period of relatively good within the US. This number worked relatively well east of the Mississippi where most of the weathermen lived and worked. 30 years is much too short for the Southwest where trends are more like long periods (30 to 100 years) of dry conditions interspersed with shorter periods (10 to 15 years) of wetter conditions. Weather is what impacts your plans for the day. Climate is what drives how you build your home and what plants can survive without human intervention.

    • Climate does not exist – it is not real, only weather is real. Climate is an appearance arising from the consistency of weather.

  2. “First, the wailing from news media:”
    None of those media seem to mention the reading at Summit Camp, which doesn’t seem to be part of a weather network, and which was reported in error. I see no retraction of any of the Greenland temperatures they did report, which were well above freezing.

    • including a day in June that set an early-season record — it is less than the record 2012 melt season, when warm temperatures persisted for much of the summer and at one point nearly 100 percent of the ice sheet was melting.
      UNREPRESENTED!

      • Oh no it’s climate UNREPRESENTED which is normal peoples hom hum that and has about the same interest of what celebrity has broken up with another.

      • There was a major SME event in July of 2012. We didn’t take a direct hit, but the radiation was still partly channeled down to earth. I appreciate your answer! There are many parts to the issue.

    • unusually high ? What do imagine unusually low might look like in the middle of the world’s second largest ice sheet?

      Actually I don’t see where the -2 is supposed to come from: the snip of Danish quoted says “ikke over 0 grader ” which in case you can’t work it out with your personal babel fish it translates to :

      The temperature at Summit was not above 0 degrees neither Thursday, August 1st. or Friday, Aug. 2.

      I don’t see any mention of -2, if that comes from somewhere else our host forget to include the source of that info.

      Mind you the Guardian are now trying to spin this into a mental health crisis for Inuit pop. in Greenland.
      https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/aug/12/greenland-residents-traumatised-by-climate-emergency

      Most mental health problems are provoked by the inane alarmist of claims of the Guardian and their co-conspirators

      • For sure, you are right. July, in Portland OR (metro), was 2.55°F below yhe 82°F average – @ 79.45°F. August is showing the same signs.

        July: Hottest month ever?

        Not in the Pacific NW.

        Also, not for August.

        & you? 🤔

        Again, NOT out here in the NW (Hillsboro OR), where we’ve had a recent 2.55°F (Avg.) below the normal 82°F average-high (based on 1985 – 2015), for July – @ 79.45°F.

        Compare these links (be sure to scroll):

        Link #1.
        https://www.timeanddate.com/weather/usa/hillsboro/climate

        Link #2
        https://www.accuweather.com/en/us/hillsboro-or/97124/july-weather/335258

        • For the traditionally cold spot in the metro area yes, the highs were significantly cooler. I don’t consider the 0.3º below normal at PDX and TTD (Troutdale airport) significant. KUVO (Vancouver airport) whose official recording site is almost exactly three miles from PDX (and both less than a half mile from the Columbia River) was another cold spot with the mean high 1.1℉ below normal. All in all it has been a wonderfully boring average summer in Portland.

  3. The damage or should I say propaganda victory orgasmed over by the nincompoops of the PC BBC among others who orgasmed over this news will stand. No errata will be issued. The climate charlatans will clam a quitep
    victory in their subversion of Western society otherwise known as the majority of the output from continuously dumbed down and indoctrinated output of out deliberately failing education system.

    • Even if they do acknowledge the error, future articles and opinions will ignore it and report the original article as factual. The NYT has done this for years on all kinds of topics and it’s my #2 way of identifying “fake” news. (#1 is personal experience).

  4. Odds the fake news will issue breathless front-page corrections and apologies…

    Difficult to imagine, impossible to calculate.

  5. Almost doesn’t matter anymore. None of those sited will print a retraction. Heck Greta probably already did a TED talk explaining why she never puts ice cubes in her drinks because when they melt it should remind everyone what is happening to Greenland, sniff, sniff.

    • …or only 18 months according to Charles, Prince of Wales, heir to quite a lot more than the ~$100M he already purportedly has.

      Workers of the world harrumph! (extends pinky, sips) unite, dontchew know? Rather.

  6. But…but…but… (LOL)

    I think a closer look would reveal MOST record temperatures are in fact bogus, due to equipment failure or just UHI pollution. It’s funny how rarely a new record is high is set at a well situated site.

  7. A similar thing happened in the Netherlands during the heat wave in the end of July. A record high of 41.7 was measures in the town of Deelen, but the KNMI (Dutch weather service) later declared this record invalid because of a malfunction of the measurement station.

    https://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=nl&tl=en&u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.rtlnieuws.nl%2Fnieuws%2Fnederland%2Fartikel%2F4792866%2Fknmi-hitterecord-deelen-warmte-temperatuur-graden-graad-veertig

    How can we trust the measurement system? If these malfunctions appear duringrecord high temperature, I am sure that they will also happen when the temperature is in a “normal” range. However, then no-one notices.

    • The data is likely wrong, or at least has substantially higher error margins than they imagine, all the time. It is only noticed when an extraordinary figure is recorded.

      Their response is to discount the one extraordinary figure as some sort of transient malfunction. However, it is probable that the malfunction is systematic and effects the other readings as well. But, looking at them might come up with answers that they would rather not see, so they don’t, and if YOU do, you’re a SCIENCE DENIER! [sarc]

      • In this particular case there is little doubt that the error is systematic since it was due to insufficient ventilation of the sensor because of snow accumulation. That did not happen overnight, particularly not in summer.

    • “How can we trust the measurement system?” We can’t, we shouldn’t, and I won’t. The most serious failures of “modern” methods is to “trust” things that are untrustworthy from the outset. The work of Demming has been lost for these blithering idiots, which is a description I use with great precision. The Red Bead Experiment came to mind as I was reading this account.

  8. They always start with the headline first.

    How many people read the corrections and retractions? 1% of readers? less?

    They trot out the alarming story, then (maybe) issue a correction later. Probably keeping the same headline with a small print correction along the lines of…. “a previous version of this story incorrectly stated that the temperature recorded was the highestest everer!”

    Their goal is to cause alarm and panic in the population. People in fear are less able to think clearly and easier to herd. They are also more dangerous, but that appears a risk they are willing to take.

    • “Their goal is to cause alarm and panic in the population.”

      Which seems to be working.

      “People in fear are less able to think clearly and easier to herd.”

      Check.

      “They are also more dangerous, but that appears a risk they are willing to take.”

      The word is “manage”; That appears a risk they are willing to manage.

    • For the traditionally cold spot in the metro area yes, the highs were significantly cooler. I don’t consider the 0.3º below normal at PDX and TTD (Troutdale airport) significant. KUVO (Vancouver airport) whose official recording site is almost exactly three miles from PDX (and both less than a half mile from the Columbia River) was another cold spot with the mean high 1.1℉ below normal. All in all it has been a wonderfully boring average summer in Portland.

      • Newspapers always have had a problem with retractions. A retraction/correction is always buried in a small paragraph on the inside, if the corrections are minor enough to put there. Major corrections don’t happen. This isn’t just recently, I have been noticing this since I was able to read (over 60 years ago)

  9. Is there a way to use satellite data to confirm ground based temperature measurements?

    During melt season, the temperature sticks very close to the long term average. link Announcements of big temperature records in the arctic in the summer should be taken with a whole sack of salt, never mind just a pinch.

    • The chinese can but no other nation can, the best NASA can do is probably AIRS but you get into a lot of discussion and argument over it’s accuracy. The problem is from space you can only get specific frequencies to ground and clouds and ocean areas don’t help. Classical temperature is a mixture of all the frequencies and so you have to try and model and blend data together.

      China with it’s quantum radar can do what you are asking. There are test results for ground target sites around Tibet and mainland china. Lots of the work the became heavily classified as it has become part of the China Quantum Radar plan (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quantum_radar)

      First real world tests were in 2016, in 2018 the first plane mounted system was reported and in April this year a release from China Military seems to confirm they have a test system in space.

    • Surface (“skin”) temperatures are easy to measure from satellites in clear weather. But they are always very close to zero during melt season.

      They can also measure temperatures right through the atmosphere, though only as averages in rather thick layers.

      What satellites can’t do is measure the temperature 1.5 m above the ground, which is the traditional definition of “surface temperature”

  10. Get used to it. It will get warmer and it will all melt, with or without humans.
    A quick check of geology since the Cambrian explosion (of species) 600 million years ago will reveal:
    1. The global average temp has been over 10 C hotter than it is today, for more than 50% of that time.
    2. On some definitions of “ice age” (simultaneous sea ice at the poles) the ice age of the holocene hasn’t yet ended.
    3. Ice ages have occurred for approximately 10% of that time.
    How can we not expect warming of 10 C at least?
    The scam of our life time is the “2 C warming = catastrophe” BS. it’s normal and expected.

  11. Have you ever thought that if we hadn’t invented thermometers, the world would not have to now be obsessing over a poofteenth change in whether we were experiencing just freezing / cold / cool / nice / warm / hot conditions?

    But then a again what would the media have to obsess about every day?

  12. What a fuss to make over a little six degree error. So it was -2, for how long? What’s the night time reading? Is there even any night at this time of year?

    I hope the entire ice sheet melts. It will add far more land than will be lost to sea level rise, as the whole of northern Canada and Siberia will be a moderate instead of an Arctic clime.

    I don’t see any benefit in “rooting for the place to freeze” (sorry Aussies – I know the expression means something else down there). That ice sheet isn’t all that old in the first place.

    Send the tree line to the north end of Ellesmere Island. Imagine the endless (literally) summer nights sitting by the pool as the birds pick off the last of the mosquitoes amid the Alpine forest shimmering in the breeze.

    In one hundred thousand years they will still be laughing at the catastrophists of the 21st Century.

    • I wonder what happens now. Will BEST adjust other Greenland temperatures to accommodate the wrong measurement, or will it guess a correct temperature there? Waiting for official August data …

  13. For nearly 500 years, the Vikings lived and thrived in Greenland. Taking advantage of the Medieval Warm Period, they established outposts in the North Atlantic where they farmed and ranched. But quite suddenly, at the mid-point of the 15th century, they abandoned their settlements

    Almost everyone knows the Vikings lived in Greenland from about 1000 to 1500. Why do the alarmist shrills ignore this universally accepted fact when the post their rubbish about fossil fuels are melting Greenland? Biden, recently summed it up. They’re more interested in (their version of) the truth then the facts. You have to get your arms around that statement before you can understand a liberal. (I struggled with it for 40 years). Thanks Joe….but I’m still not going to vote for you.

  14. For nearly 500 years, the Vikings lived and thrived in Greenland. Taking advantage of the Medieval Warm Period, they established outposts in the North Atlantic where they farmed and ranched. But quite suddenly, at the mid-point of the 15th century, they abandoned their settlements

    Almost everyone knows the Vikings lived in Greenland from about 1000 to 1500. Why do the alarmist shrills ignore this universally accepted fact when they post their rubbish about fossil fuels are melting Greenland? Biden, recently summed it up. They’re more interested in (their version of) the truth then the facts. You have to get your arms around that statement before you can understand a liberal. (I struggled with it for 40 years). Thanks Joe….but I’m still not going to vote for you.

  15. The Australian Bureau of Meteorology is renowned for homogenising weather temperature data, or getting their predictions just plainly wrong, It is hoped that they weren’t involved in Greenland’s erroneous temp readings.

    • Or using the most appalling sites, while not directly using their measurements they are used to correct official sites. Jo Nova has been showing some of these.

    • BOM predicted a dry and warm winter but we have had one of the coldest I can remember.

      They are indeed masters of temperature homogenization and a recently started survey of temperature measuring stations are turning out to be as bad the many I the US. Would love to have Anthony come down and audit BOM.

  16. Slightly OT.
    But maybe not.
    Did you see the recent mpegs of kangaroos bouncing around in the Australian snow?
    Several sequences at the usual sites. Not the Beeb.
    I mention it because it is an amusing couple of minutes.
    I don’t think it has much to do with climate.
    But no doubt Nick Stokes will explain that it is all caused by human CO2, anyway.

    • “But no doubt Nick Stokes will explain that it is all caused by human CO2”
      No, it is caused by winter. We have ski resorts here, you know. There are parts of the country (with kangaroos) where snow is frequent.

      • Gosh!
        Thanks for enlightening me! Be difficult skiing where this troop of kangaroos was filmed.
        But, actually, I do have a fair understanding of Australian fauna and of Australian weather.

        Note, I didn’t claim this event was ‘unprecedented’ or even unusual. I even doubted that it was much to do with climate. I said it was amusing. Which it is.

        But I must take issue with your outlandish claim that it was caused by win-ter.
        Sooo C.20th, Nick.

        Didn’t you even get the memo about the “Climate Emergency”?

        Why, even here in the UK, we have one unusually warm day (as confirmed by a reading from a very poorly sited thermometer in Cambridge) and it is certainly stated to be ‘Unprecedented’. Your mate Bob ‘fast fingers’ Ward, (the failed paleopiezometrist and stooge for Jeremy Grantham’s Carbon Trading Hedge Fund operation) was quick to demand names for future ‘hot weather events’.
        It was suggested that “Sum-mer” might be a good idea, but the BBC & the rest of the Climate Cult didn’t think that would be scary enough.

        Meanwhile, the politically motivated and venal Climate Psyentists keep remarkably shtum.

  17. CBS radio reported today that Greenlanders were euthanizing their sled dogs because winters were too short to use them. The message was that one should ask populations impacted by climate change rather than just report data.

    • Yes, the study was conducted with Greenlanders living north of the Arctic Circle (there are not a lot of them), and the report stated that Greenland was a North American country, which should be some surprise to the Greenlanders and the Danes.

    • Don’t know about Greenland, but communities in northern Canada that I visited in the last 15 years had conspicuously fewer sled dogs than when I first saw them in the 1970s. Basically, almost everyone now has a snowmobile. Or two, or three. They don’t need feeding or watering, or any kind of attention. Just mixed gasoline.

      There’s also a conspicuous absence of what used to be large populations of stray dogs around the same communities, because they have these dog days, when any dog that doesn’t belong to someone (i.e. isn’t tied up outside their house) is shot. That policy derives from the same sorts of animal protection policies that have essentially eliminated stray-dog populations in urbanized countries. I don’t know if they have the same thing in Greenland, but it would be surprising if they didn’t. I seem to recall that they do it in Alaska too.

      Any visitor witnessing a dog-shooting day, and conflating that with the progressive replacement of sled dogs by snowmobiles would have no trouble in fabricating a climate-change scare story, if such was their mission in life. And, just like the extreme-temperature story, once it’s out there, no one (almost no one) notices the debunking by people who study the facts.

      • Too bad there isn’t a Fake News Shooting Day, when all unsubstantiated social media circulated blogs, stories, legends, and myths would be rounded up, and if unclaimed in 24 hours by someone with facts, taken out and shot. (Or overwritten with all ‘1’s, and made absolutely ‘true’, in the purest boolean sense.)

  18. Faulty or mislocated monitoring equipment giving erroneous results is the bread and butter of Climate Alarmism and Global Warming and it is ably backed up by homogenised or ‘adjusted’ weather temperature data to give the desired headline.

  19. DMI have checked the monitoring equipment (ME). The error was caused by too much snow around the ME. The distance between the ME and the ground was too small which reduces air circulation and results in too high temperature readings.

    https://www.dr.dk/nyheder/indland/dmi-afviser-varmerekord-i-gronland

    quote:
    “Observationer fra andre vejrstationer har vist, at temperaturen i stedet lå på minus to grader.

    Ifølge meteorologen skyldes fejlmålingen, at der ikke har været den korrekte afstand mellem måler og overflade på grund af sne.

    – Den manglende afstand til isen har givet en dårlig ventilation, og det er også afgørende for, hvad en måler viser, siger Herdis Damberg.*”

  20. The cool thing is that DMI checked the instrument.

    you cannot do that with past records.
    you cannot do that with newspaper clippings.

    so for past records the best we can do is check for CONSISTENCY with other stations.

    of course, daily records are not that important.

    except for rhetoric;; Hottest day, coldest day.

    miss me with that.

    • “you cannot do that with newspaper clippings.”

      Lefties hate those old newspaper clippings. Wouldn’t be at all surprised if that is why Google made it much harder to search those old newspaper clippings that they digitized.

      • Tony Heller does a great job on YouTube of ridiculing CAGW with old newspaper reports showing modern temperatures are nothing out of the ordinary.

        • Graeme: Yes he does, which is undoubtedly why Mosher included that remark. Mosh and Mr. Stokes are great fans of adjusted “data”, and Heller takes their lunch money whenever. So Mosher takes a potshot is my take. They can’t have the global temp warmer in the ’30s, so they keep busy telling us our eyes are lying, especially when we visit Heller’s site.

    • The problem with checking with other stations is you have to make a leap of faith the other stations were right. You may be making the problem worse … there can be procedural errors, training errors and instrument manufacture errors and the reading you are throwing out was the only correct one. You are playing science on a wing and a prayer which is probably okay for an English Lit grad but not a scientist.

      If you can’t specifically identify and check an error then leave the data alone .. it is what it is.

      • No, but probably for a fairly long time, that snow certainly didn’t accumulate in July which has been clear and sunny in Greenland.

    • Correct Mr Mosher,
      You can’t check the veracity of instruments on prior measurement records. You also can’t check the veracity of neighboring instruents which may have delivered warmer measurement records. You can only make adjustments to prior data to induce an artificial warming signal by adjusting prior data of colder measurements to match neighboring sites with warmer prior measurements.

    • Steven,

      Are you the Steven Mosher who wrote on the atrocities of the one child policy of China while a graduate student at Stanford?

      I read an article that mentioned the name recently and recognized the name from climate sites.

      If you are not that Steven Mosher, my apologies. If you are that Steven Mosher, I applaud you. Recent writings completely vindicate your works.

  21. I bet if the opposite had happened (record cold temperatures), the DMI would have spent considerable time investigating why the temperature isn’t meeting expectations.

  22. To be fair to BBC, they showed the roos in NSW in the snowy fields … BBC World : The presenter though said it was “wild” weather …??? If Johannesburg gets snow every winter, it’s wild climate????? (Yes I mean the biggest city in South Africa…)

  23. Record temperatures would be meaningful if we had accurate records before 1950 anywhere to compare current temperatures with. We still don’t have an accurate and credible ground based global temperature monitoring system.

    In fact, weather stations are being decommissioned all over the world at a significant rate. Many pathetically bad stations are left in operation.

    It’s very curious that there is no effort to establish and maintain a credible global monitoring system. What with global temperatures being the existential threat to all living creatures and all.

    If there really was a serious problem, real scientists would push for the acquisition of good solid data going forward at far higher resolution than a 1 degree grid provides. Going on 30 years of CAGW…and ground data is still inaccurate and unreliable.

  24. This kind of error is untypical for DMI which is normally one of the most reliable and objective weather agencies. ‘Though it is significant that they did correct the error.

  25. So much for the “Greenland will melt” scare. But wait, this false information along with a lot of other disproven gunk served as the basis for billions of dollars in expenses that have been made in order to remediate a problem that does not exist. Should we keep those who have produced the fake data in the first place liable? Seeing some taking some real-world consequences for the junk they produce would likely lit up standards.

  26. Ok, if Greenland melts then we can tell future generations that they are welcome for all of the new land we opened up. 🙂

  27. Why are two of the linked articles from 2016 when the data in question is from August 2019?

    The NYT article is from August 2nd 2019 but doesn’t mention the erroneous data. It mentions rate of ice melt which doesn’t use the erroneous data in it’s calculation (according to your linked article from the DMI). And that’s not because the article was changed, I checked the archive.

    The last article doesn’t seem relevant at all.

    Let me know what I’m missing!

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