Arctic Temperatures: Not So Hot

A new study claims that Arctic temperatures have risen 2.2 degrees Fahrenheit over the last decade, bringing to an end a 2000-year cooling trend. The study authors claims thathuman CO2 emissionsare the cause.


The authors claim: “Our reconstruction shows that the last half-century was the warmest of the last 2,000 years. Not only was it the warmest, but it reversed the long-term, millennial-scale trend toward cooler temperatures. The cooling coincided with the slow and well-known cycle in Earth’s orbit around the sun, and it should have continued through the 20th century.” “The evidence was found by generating a 2,000-year-long reconstruction of Arctic summer temperature using natural archives of climate change from tree rings, glacier ice and mostly from lake sediments from across the Arctic, a region that responds sensitively to global changes.”

Why did they use proxy data for the last 100 years when they could have just looked at thermometer records? Oh, but thermometry shows that is was warmer in the 1930s and 1940s.

The new study presents a curve which is reminiscent of the thoroughly debunked “Hockey Stick” of Michael Mann. The new proxy reconstruction fails to show the well-documented Medieval Warm period of 1,200 yeas ago when temperatures were higher than now. It appears that authors of the new study are using the same statistical malfeasance and cherry-picking of data that were used for the old hockey stick.

Steve McIntyre of Climate Audit discusses the new study. “The problem with these sorts of studies is that no class of proxy (tree ring, ice core isotopes) is unambiguously correlated to temperature and, over and over again, authors pick proxies that confirm their bias and discard proxies that do not.”

Records from the Danish Meteorological Institute show no warming since 1958 and that the 2009 temperature variation is almost identical to 1958. DMI says that the Arctic was warmer in the 1940s than now.

A Duke University-led analysis of available records shows that while the North Atlantic Ocean’s surface waters warmed in the 50 years between 1950 and 2000, the sub-polar regions cooled at the same time that subtropical and tropical waters warmed. This pattern can be explained largely by the influence of a natural and cyclical wind circulation pattern called the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO)

A 2008 study by Håkan Grudd of Stockholm University’s Department of Physical Geography and Quaternary Geology, found that “The late-twentieth century is not exceptionally warm in the new Torneträsk record: On decadal-to-century timescales, periods around AD 750, 1000, 1400, and 1750 were all equally warm, or warmer. The warmest summers in this new reconstruction occur in a 200-year period centred on AD 1000. A ‘Medieval Warm Period’ is supported by other paleoclimate evidence from northern Fennoscandia.”

Besides the controversy over temperatures, there is also media attention given to Arctic sea ice extent. For instance, news media made much of the fact that during the summer of 2007, Northern Hemisphere sea ice area was at a historic minimum (2.92 million sq. km). What was little reported, however, was that in 2007, Southern Hemisphere sea ice extent broke the previous maximum record of 16.03 million sq. km and reached 16.26 million sq. km. (August, 2007). [Source: The Cryosphere Today, a publication of The Polar Research Group, University of Illinois]

To put things in further perspective, consider these reports:

“A considerable change of climate inexplicable at present to us must have taken place in the Circumpolar Regions, by which the severity of the cold that has for centuries past enclosed the seas in the high northern latitudes in an impenetrable barrier of ice has been, during the last two years, greatly abated.”

“2000 square leagues [approximately 14,000 square miles] of ice with which the Greenland Seas between the latitudes of 74 and 80 N have been hitherto covered, has in the last two years entirely disappeared.”

These paragraphs, however, are not the latest scare story from the greenhouse industry, but extracts from a letter by the President of the Royal Society addressed to the British Admiralty, written in 1817 (Royal Society, London. Nov. 20, 1817. Minutes of Council, Vol. 8. pp.149-153).

 When this report was written, 192 years ago, the planet was in the midst of the Little Ice Age. How could the ice disappear in a Little Ice Age?

There is also the following story:


“The Arctic ocean is warming up, icebergs are growing scarcer and in some places the seals are finding the waters too hot, according to a report to the Commerce Department yesterday from Consul Ifft, at Bergen , Norway .
Reports from fishermen, seal hunters and explorers, he declared, all point to a radical change in climatic conditions and hitherto unheard-of temperatures in the Arctic zone. Exploration expeditions report that scarcely any ice has been met with as far north as 81 degrees 29 minutes. Soundings to a depth of 3,100 meters showed the gulf stream still very warm.
Great masses of ice have been replaced by moraines of earth and stones, while at many points well known glaciers have entirely disappeared. Very few seals and no white fish are being found in the eastern Arctic, while vast shoals of herring and smelts, which have never before ventured so far north, are being encountered in the old seal fishing grounds.”
 This is from an AP story which appeared in the Washington Post, November 2, 1922.

Could it be that carbon dioxide and global warming have nothing to do with it? Well, yes.

A study conducted by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, says unusual winds caused the 2007 Arctic minimum. Their press release says:

“Unusual atmospheric conditions set up wind patterns that compressed the sea ice, loaded it into the Transpolar Drift Stream and then sped its flow out of the Arctic. When that sea ice reached lower latitudes, it rapidly melted in the warmer waters.”

“The winds causing this trend in ice reduction were set up by an unusual pattern of atmospheric pressure that began at the beginning of this century.”

The fact that a 192-year-old report on Arctic ice is very similar to one today lends credence to the contention that changes in ice cover are natural cyclic phenomena and not due to the increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide.  AccuWeather says the changes in wind may be due to changes in the Arctic Oscillation (AO) and the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) which are large atmospheric circulations that have major impacts on the weather in certain parts of the world.

Perhaps reporters should do some investigation so they can report all of the news and put things in perspective. Ah, but only sensational headlines sell papers.


  1. global warming ………. global crap ……… global lie.

    but it sure can make a few people a lot of money, huh?

    money behind the global warming/ggreen movement? naw. tell me it ain’t so.

  2. But you just can’t get the same amount of attention if your report says nothing has changed. You certainly won’t get more grant money to continue your “research”.

    1. Economic geologists explore for and develop mineral deposits, and do research into theories of mineral deposit formation.  Therefore, economic geologists are employed in the mining and petroleum industries, at universities, and by government scientific agencies.

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