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Coldest Winter in 1000 Years Cometh. Not.

Filed under: — stefan @ 4 December 2010

This claim circulates in the internet and in many mainstream media as well: Scientists have allegedly predicted the coldest winter in 1,000 years for Europe. What is behind it? Nothing – no scientist has predicted anything like it. A Polish tabloid made up the story. An interesting lesson about today´s media.

By Stefan Rahmstorf and Olivia Serdeczny

We had read about it a few times and last Wednesday even were asked by German TV about the allegedly coldest winter in 1000 years, predicted by (depending on the source) Polish or Russian climatologists or meteorologists. Reason enough for us to take a closer look at the story behind the story.

It did not take much googling to find the source: various articles on the internet name the Polish scientist Michał Kowalewski, sometimes in the Russian spelling version of Mikhail Kovalevski. A few clicks later we arrive at the original article with Kowalewski´s quotes. Except that Kowalewski does not predict a record winter there – the “millennium winter” merely appears in the headline. A closer reading of the article quickly reveals: the quotes were answers to questions concerning the role of the Gulf Stream for Europe´s climate. The frosty temperatures are hypothetical effects of a breakdown of the Gulf Stream – which, as Kowalewski points out, can be pretty much ruled out.

We asked Kowalewski for his comments on the media coverage and promptly got his answer in an email from Warsaw:

The reports in some media are absolutely unbelievable. A journalist who interviewed me for radio had asked me about the theoretical climatic effects of a breakdown of the Gulf Stream. I answered that this purely hypothetic scenario would lead to much colder winters in Poland. A few days later I found on the internet the article of a journalist who mixed his own words with some of my quotes without their context so well that a completely new meaning came out. An absolutely absurd thesis. My quotes as such are correct, so I was not able to demand a correction.


Winter has Europe in its grip: the Süring-building of the Potsdam Institute.

It’s an interesting and insightful tale how this story spread. Here is a brief chronology:

September, 10. Michał Kowalewski is interviewed by the Polish radio station tok.fm. The same day the website of a Polish tabloid, Gazeta.pl, publishes an article with the headline of a „millennium record winter“ („once-in-a-millennium winter“). A certain Gianluigi Zangari is being quoted at the outset. He has apparently claimed to have found a slow-down of the Gulf Stream in satellite data, which he attributes to the BP oil spill (we did not follow this bizarre claim to the source). Subsequently Kowalewski´s radio interview is brought in – in order to explain the Gulf Stream and its effects on climate in general.

September, 12. „Fakt“, a Polish tabloid, writes „Millennium Winter is Coming!“ Again the BP oil spill is blamed. This time, however, without any reference to Zangari, so readers could easily be left with the impression that this is Kowalewski´s idea.

September, 22. The Voice of Russia reports that the Polish scientist „Mikhail Kovalevski“ is worried about the Gulf Stream breaking down, which Russian scientists counter as being an exaggeration.

Oktober, 4. The Russian RT News Service predicts „The coldest winter in 1.000 years“. Which is explained by the Gulf Stream having slowed down by half. RT refers to Polish scientists: “Polish scientists say that it means the stream will not be able to compensate for the cold from the Arctic winds. According to them, when the stream is completely stopped, a new Ice Age will begin in Europe”. This is where the Russian Vadim Zavotschenkow enters the scene. However, he mentions merely a cold winter: “Although the forecast for the next month is only 70 percent accurate, I find the cold winter scenario quite likely”.

Oktober, 4. The “climate sceptics” website wattsupwiththat, noted for their false reports, takes up the RT piece, presents it together with The Voice of Russia and mentions „Mikhail Kovalevski“. Watts seems to be the bridge for the story´s crossing into the western media. Is it just coincidence that the „record cold winter“ story nicely suits the political agenda of the climate sceptics?

From then on, the story is repeated on many other European media, including serious newspapers and television.

It is staggering how one journalist just copied another, sometimes even embellishing the story, without ever bothering to check the source or ask Kowalewski himself. It took us less than ten minutes of googling to get serious doubts about whether this story was real. The familiar pattern of „Chinese whispers“ emerges here once again – the same that widely spread the false whatevergate-stories.

But the often self-righteous free western press can actually learn a lesson from its Chinese counterpart in this case. The Chinese news agency Xinhua checked the story and issued the following on October, 20.:

A forecast attributed to Polish scientists of the coldest European winter in 1,000 years has drawn plenty of media attention recently but investigations by Xinhua reporters have cast doubts on its veracity.

p.s. There are, by the way, scientifically well-founded attempts to explain the currently cold weather in Europe. The basic check for seriousness: a peer-reviewed journal source is provided, and according to Google Scholar the author has a decent publication record. A millennium-record-winter, however, is not being predicted there.

p.p.s. Should your newspaper have also reported this turkey, feel free to write a polite letter to the to editors asking for a correction. It is only if readers demand published information to be verified (or if needed corrected) that something will change to the better.

This article is adapted from the German original at KlimaLounge.


Olivia Serdeczny is a scientist with the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research in Germany.


114 Responses to “Coldest Winter in 1000 Years Cometh. Not.”

  1. 1

    Journalism fails dramatically once again.

    I’m starting to wonder when people will wake up and check things out further themselves, since journalists (see Fox News the $200 million a day Obama trip) refuse to do so. How long can this go on in an educated, advanced civilization? I’m also wondering when people are going to start punishing media outlets for propagating lies, by taking their information-consumption business elsewhere, to more trustworthy sources.

    It’s really reached utterly silly, embarrassing proportions in recent months.

    I also wonder why a media war hasn’t started. Why don’t some media outlets embarrass their competition by highlighting their biggest missteps? The only one I see doing this is Jon Stewart on The Daily Show.

    At the same time, why am I not surprised that once again Watts is at the forefront of misinformation. I wonder when the cheerleaders over there are going to get a clue? Except that they’re the ones that will still be repeating and recycling this tidbit five years from now.

  2. 2
    Edward Greisch says:

    If you watch the news on PBS TV you see news programs from Russia, the BBC, Al Jazera, France, Germany, Europe [Belgium], Japan, India, the US and “the world.” At least one of them branches out to someplace else. You can supplement that with news from 4 different American commercial networks. If they each tell their own lie, the lies should wash out.

  3. 3
    Derecho64 says:

    Is it any surprise at all that WUWT is the promulgator of this nonsense? If that is news to anyone, you don’t know Watts and his agenda very well.

  4. 4

    The truly desperate will grasp at any straw. Countless examples. Here is another.

    http://climatesafety.org/watts-up-with-that-sppi-promoting-the-bnp/

  5. 5
    The Elf says:

    The Zangari story can be found here. A friend sent it along for a laugh a while ago. Some of what shows up on the internet can be amusing, except when it gets taken seriously. http://pesn.com/2010/08/01/9501682_Gull_Loop_Current_Stalls_from_BP_Spill/

  6. 6
    urban leprechaun says:

    Last year when my toes were unexpectedly frozen, here in Devon, England, a kind person pointed me to a link to a graphic showing, among other things, the temp in the middle of Greenland was 8C above the average (or whatever you call it). Could some kind person point to the link again.

    BTW. I recall last year the Greenland polar bears were sitting by the pool side wearing shades and sipping pina coladas.

  7. 7
    Ed Davies says:

    In the first PS, why the need for Google Scholar when Petoukhov and Serdeczny work for the same institute?

    [Response: Vladimir Petoukhov works in my department so obviously I know this is serious. It was meant to be a gentle hint how any journalist could quickly find out whether some science news should be taken seriously. -stefan

  8. 8

    Why don’t some media outlets embarrass their competition by highlighting their biggest missteps?

    Because it wouldn’t make any difference, that’s why. The birdbrains who want to swallow this sort of (dis)misinformation will go right on swallowing it.
    Can you force them to watch your hypothetical Truth Squad cable channel or go to your theoretical Truth In Action website?
    Admittedly I do fantasize about strapping some of these dopes in dentist’s chairs, peeling back their eyelids and forcing them to watch the truth–think Malcolm McDowell in A Clockwork Orange. But somehow I don’t think that would work and even at this late date there might be Magna Carta-type issues involved.

  9. 9
    CM says:

    So I’ll add Petoukhov and Semenov (2010), mentioned in the linked article, to my reading list on top of Cattiaux et al. (2010), and hoping for some enlightening discussion of these here. Better to light a candle, etc.

  10. 10
    stephen says:

    Isn’t this process of rumors, opinions, and mistakes amplifying themselves in a positive feedback loop, akin to the IPPC report of Himalayan glaciers disappearing by 2035?

    [Response: Somewhat I guess, but this one involves the screw up of just one issue by a handful of people, whereas the glacier melt mistake initialized an attempt to discredit as many IPCC AR4 statements, on a range of topics, as could be fabricated.--Jim]

    [Response: The only connection I see is that the Himalayan glacier snafu also to some extent involved some woefully bad numbers originating in media reports (rather than scientific publications), which, through a number of unfortunate mis-steps, found their way into the IPCC Working Group II report. I don't see that happening with the bogus millennial winter claim that is the subject of this post. --raypierre]

  11. 11
    Martin Vermeer says:

    Yeah, ten minutes is what it took me too to establish that this was a ‘canard’. The usual giveaways. I didn’t dig further; life’s too short. Great detective job Stefan and Olivia!

    I’ve given up on newspapers. My wife still believes in them… well, in the crossword puzzles to be precise.

    [Response: And the comics of course, especially the unintentional ones like this.--Jim]

    And they are good for lighting the fireplace. Except Iltalehti, which carried this canard in Finland: too much colour dye in the pics of sportsmen and scantily clad ladies :-(

  12. 12

    Lack of sea ice over much of the Eastern North American Arctic is very dramatic, all while the opposite weather is happening on each side of Greenland. The High pressure unusually hanging between Greenland and Iceland
    exacerbates North Atlantic advection making Baffin Bay a very warm area, which has more often than not a Low pressure system much strengthened by all this open water, It is correct to attribute this European early winter to a lack of sea ice, not only North of Russia, but over much of the Arctic, but since the Arctic populations are so small, you would never know that a huge area opposite to NW Europe is facing a great warming. I also suggest that the traditional oscillation effects are somewhat different since the seascape is not the same. This favors a steadier positioning of Cyclones and Anti-cyclones alike. I made a sketch on my website. I find the news about this “cold spell” interesting but nothing new. Its up to sites such as this one to dispel the usual exaggerations, but Hudson Bay nearly devoid of ice at this time of the year, is truly freakish, and proves the main theories on Climate science astonishingly correct. A glimpse of the near future unfolds.

  13. 13
    Snapple says:

    You mentioned Russia Today. RT is the Kremlin-financed international English-language satellite TV. They put English speakers on–Monckton and that guy from the Cato named Something-or-other Michaels.

    RT is a propaganda mouthpiece of the Kremlin for English-speaking audiences. The other day they had Putin on Larry King. Putin is the head of the ruling Russia United Party, and he seems to be running the show.

    I think Putin is nervous about Wikileaks because a bit is revealed about how the gas companies corrupt politicians. It wasn’t anything that surprised me, but it is “secret” so people read it.

    Here is how the BBC describes RT:

    “An English-language satellite channel, Russia Today, was launched in late 2005. The news-based station is funded by the Kremlin and aims to present ‘global news from a Russian perspective.’”—BBC, Russia Country Profile–Media

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/country_profiles/1102275.stm#media

    You scientists might want to keep that link so you can refer to it again. A lot of media are characterized. See how many are owned by Gazprom?

    See RIA Novosti? State owned. Cuccinelli cited an article in that newspaper in his brief to the EPA as “proof” that the British scientists were fudging Russia’s temperatures.

    That was an English version of a Russian article in Kommersant (Gazprom/steel mogul Alisher Usmanov owns that).

    Cuccinelli had to “fix” the very obvious errors before he “cited” the Russian article in his brief.

    Nothing secret about that, so nobody writes about it.

    Nobody asks Cuccinelli why he thinks the EPA should give any credence to Alisher Usmanov’s “respected” Kommersant.

  14. 14
    Snapple says:

    Jim writes that this story is the result of a “screw up of just one issue by a handful of people.”

    I doubt very much that this is a “screw up.” The Russians have a lot of people who specialize in placing stories and manipulating media.

    Stories don’t make it into RT by accident.

    The AIDS campaign–”Operation Infektion”—is a really good example of how it works.

    https://www.cia.gov/library/center-for-the-study-of-intelligence/csi-publications/csi-studies/studies/vol53no4/pdf/U-%20Boghardt-AIDS-Made%20in%20the%20USA-17Dec.pdf

  15. 15
    Adam R. says:

    @1 Sphaerica (Bob)At the same time, why am I not surprised that once again Watts is at the forefront of misinformation. I wonder when the cheerleaders over there are going to get a clue?

    The next glaciation of Hell would be my guess.

  16. 16
    Radge Havers says:

    Thank you for shining some light on media group think. Perhaps with enough exposure through examinations like this, a sense of shame can be instilled in mass journalism.

    Well anyway, one can hope… There needs to be some cost forced to accrue on bad reporting and punditry.

  17. 17
    William Jackson says:

    “Isn’t this process of rumors, opinions, and mistakes amplifying themselves in a positive feedback loop, akin to the IPPC report of Himalayan glaciers disappearing by 2035?”

    No, the story referenced here is only regards opinion-based journalism whereas the Glaciergate “mistake” was passed off as peer-reviewed science by a powerful political lobby disguised as an unbiased scientific body (IPCC) in an attempt to force the US to accede to ridiculous cap and tax demands.

    I leave it to the reader to judge which is worse.

    [Response: Really? How is it then that the WG1 report--which came out before the WG2 report that contains the error, and has the prime responsibility for summarizing the state of the cryosphere--does not contain the error, and describes the glacial melt situation accurately and in more detail. I mean, it's a nice effort they're making to impose taxes on US citizens and all, but they really do need to get their "team" on the same page.---Jim]

  18. 18
    JiminMpls says:

    #6 Urban Leprechaun – Last winter was a very strange one indeed. On at least one day in early January, it was actually colder in Florida than in coastal Alaska and southern Greenland.

    http://www.wunderground.com/blog/JeffMasters/comment.html?entrynum=1409

  19. 19
    Esop says:

    Very interesting indeed. The researchers at the Norwegian Bjerknes Center in Bergen have published articles on the sea ice extent vs. NAO topic as well. See for example Seiersted & Bader (2008).
    There is little doubt that the connection is real. The problem is that this weather pattern is a dream come true not only for skiers, but for our “skeptic” friends as well. The global average temperature doesn’t seem to care though, as the troposphere temperature anomalies are on the way up again, just like they were when smashing records back in January when large parts of the NH were in the deep freeze.

  20. 20
    Prokaryotes says:

    Is there a connection with “Accelerated Arctic land warming and permafrost degradation during rapid sea ice loss”? http://www.cgd.ucar.edu/ccr/dlawren/publications/lawrence.grl.submit.2008.pdf

    We find that simulated western Arctic land warming trends during rapid sea ice loss are 3.5 times greater than secular 21st century climate-change trends. The accelerated warming signal penetrates up to 1500 km inland….
    From August to October last year, air temperatures over land in the western Arctic were also unusually warm, reaching more than 2 degrees Celsius (4 degrees Fahrenheit) above the 1978–2006 average….

    The decade during which a rapid sea-ice loss event occurs could see autumn temperatures warm by as much as 5 degrees C (9 degrees F) along the Arctic coasts of Russia, Alaska, and Canada.

    Needless to say, such warming would have a huge impact on the permafrost:

    “An important unresolved question is how the delicate balance of life in the Arctic will respond to such a rapid warming,” Lawrence says. “Will we see, for example, accelerated coastal erosion, or increased methane emissions, or faster shrub encroachment into tundra regions if sea ice continues to retreat rapidly?”

    Faster shrub encroachment would, of course, also accelerate warming (see “Tundra 3: Forests and fires foster feedbacks“). http://climateprogress.org/2008/06/12/breaking-news-tundra-4-permafrost-loss-linked-to-arctic-sea-ice-loss/

  21. 21
    Prokaryotes says:

    In connection with these findings

    Global warming may be contributing to the current heavy snow and subzero temperatures across Europe

    Cold weather in Europe is often associated with a weather system known as the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) but there is also a significant impact from current low levels of sea ice in the Barents-Kara Sea, according to a leading climate scientist. Low levels of sea ice in the Barents-Kara Sea are currently close to the record lows seen in the harsh winter of 2005 and 2006.
    http://www.reportingclimatescience.com/news-stories/article/global-warming-shares-blame-for-europes-cold-weather-says-climate-scientist.html

  22. 22
    Jacob Mack says:

    Global heating causes cooling. It is cold in NY and it was cold in the summer in CA and the last winter in South America was seeing record cold as well…the burden of proof seems to lie on the climate scientists still making the claim for global warming.

  23. 23
    phil263 says:

    I just would like to make a comment about your link to the article “sharing the blame for Europe’s cold weather”. This article attributes the current cold weather in Europe to very low levels of sea ice in the Barents and Kara Sea. In actual fact, as repoted on the Cryosphere Today website, the level of sea ice in the Barents Sea is much higher than at this time last year. The Arctic Sea ice extent overall is lower than in 2009, particularly near the Bering Strait, but it is higher North of Scandinavia and European Russia.

  24. 24
    Walter Pearce says:

    #22 “Heating causes cooling.” Ah, very profound, grasshopper. Yet — consider the link provided in comment 18, and ponder the meaning of the word “global.”

  25. 25

    #22 Jacob, I rely (amongst other ways) on Global Temperature averages confirmed by shrinking Arctic sea ice volumes. One confirms the other. GT’s are robust measurements, but it doesn’t mean that the warming will be uniform, consistent nor overwhelming at most locations. I am from the Arctic, I need no proof other than to go outside. Most of we in the Arctic
    are convinced, but the rest of the world languishes in silly arguments. All while we witness real events once thought improbable, unthinkable and the stuff of fiction or fantasies.

    1980

    http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/ARCHIVE/19801202.png

    1990

    http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/ARCHIVE/19901202.png

    2000

    http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/ARCHIVE/20001202.png

    Very warm 1998

    http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/ARCHIVE/19981202.png

    and 2010

    http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/NEWIMAGES/arctic.seaice.color.000.png

    The ice vanishes as the world sleeps…

  26. 26
    Bill DeMott says:

    Jacob at 22: We’re talking about global mean temperatures. Large parts of the world were exceptionally warm, so it’s easy to show that 2010 is one of the warmest, if not the warmest year since records have been kept (something like 1850). Yes even with climate warming, some regions experience periods of cold weather.

  27. 27
    Killian says:

    Jacob Mack,

    The burden of proof, since there is no science to back up your snide drive-by comment, is on you. All evidence to date supports what we all know to be fact, even if not strictly scientifically “provable.” do keep in mind that, if memory serves, E=MC2 was proven only a few years ago. Ah, yes: http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5iYftcP0kR2mf032kK3WFVR9k_O2A

    Only a fool need stand in the rain to prove it is raining when he can see the rain, hear the rain falling, hear others commenting on the rain and see others using their umbrellas outside.

  28. 28

    #6–urban leprechaun, the polar bears are again “around the pool”–at least around Hudson Bay–because there is no ice yet to speak of for them to venture out upon. (As Wayne pointed out.)

    Sure, they’re great swimmers, but the point would be to find a seal for dinner, and good though swimmers though the bears may be, they’re not going to swim down a seal! They need the ice to stage their ambush predation.

    Local biologists say they don’t look too bad so far–luckily. But survival and reproduction rates further into 2011 will tell the tale.

  29. 29

    #17–

    “ridiculous cap and tax demands. . .”

    Who’s supposed to be ‘demanding?’

    And if the demands are ‘ridiculous,’ how about some actual ridicule–or would that involve learning how cap and trade is supposed to work? (Mockery being funnier in proportion to the accuracy of the observations made.)

    I don’t suppose we could have that!

  30. 30
    flxible says:

    JacobMack – Welcome back from the denialosphere. You don’t seem to have picked up anything new out there in your cold corner. Regardless of the fact it’s also quite cold in parts of Canada at the moment and we have a LaNina in progress, we are on track for 2010 to be the warmest year on record for Canada. Cure the myopia and pay attention, climate science has offered the proof.

  31. 31
    Spiff says:

    He might not have said it, but that doesn’t mean it is untrue!

  32. 32
    Sou says:

    I stopped being ‘staggered’ by the laziness of many journalists a long time ago. Now that newspapers are going broke and can’t afford decent journalism, they rely on press releases from whoever has a yarn to spin, articles from two or three syndicated media firms and copying articles from other newspapers. There are very few real journalists left any more – ie those who sense a story, do the research, and then publish.

    Television and radio mostly only have time for soundbites, opinions or occasional investigative ‘journalism’ into feuds between neighbours.

    There are some good current affairs programs around, but mostly it’s just talking heads. There are a few good newspapers around the world. A couple in the USA, UK and Australia that I know of (although the standards here in Australia have dropped a lot). Very little simple fact-checking, let alone old style research and investigation these days.

  33. 33

    Predicting an imminent ice age is a denial meme that won’t go away. For example, The Australian ran a completely bogus article making that claim in 2008, as I outline here. It’s all part of the denial industry: make it looks as if there’s a plethora of competing claims, and hence the science is a mess, a tactic invented by the tobacco industry.

  34. 34
    Martin Vermeer says:

    William Jackson #17, from the unintentionally humoristic department, when trying to manipulate a US audience, why bother with the Himalayan glaciers? “A faraway country of which we know little“. Why not use the closer to home Glacier National Park?

    Ah, I see…

  35. 35
    Kevin C says:

    Urban leprechaun #6:
    I’m guessing you mean the figures from the GISTEMP people. The monthly ones from last year are gone – don’t know if they are archived – but you can still see the seasonal maps. Bottom left panel on this figure:
    http://www.columbia.edu/~mhs119/Temperature/T_moreFigs/4seasons.pdf

    To find this image, I google gistemp and select the first hit, click ‘Graphs’ on the right, scroll to the bottom and hit the second ‘More graphs’ link. It’s the third figure on this page at Columbia:
    http://www.columbia.edu/~mhs119/Temperature/T_moreFigs/

  36. 36
    Chris says:

    CM #9,

    Timewasting deniaist tripe aside.

    I too will be following this thread for more enlightened discussion of the reasons for the cold weather.

    I’m prepared to wait some years for the answer, but what’s been interesting me is the cause of last winter, bearing in mind that this winter seems again to be shaping up to be unusually cold (here in the UK).

    I’m interested in 2 (non mutually exclusive) explanations implied by:

    1) Lockwood et al 2010, “Are Cold Winters in Europe associated with low solar activity.” And othe rstudies such as Shindell et al’s 2001 paper on solar forcing during the Maunder Minimum. Could low solar activity be connected with this cooling? On the face of it given the SST related mechanism described in the Shindell paper I suspect not (due to ocean warming). However I lack the skills & data to answer that.

    2) Zhang et al’s 2008 paper, “Recent radical shifts of atmospheric circulations and rapid changes in Arctic climate system.” And the related subsequent resaerch into the Arctic Dipole Anomaly, including the recent NOAA Arctic Report Card section on Atmosphere: http://www.arctic.noaa.gov/reportcard/atmosphere.html

    Is the cold weather being caused by (1)low solar activity or (2)lower than normal Arctic sea-ice cover?

    On the BBC recently on of their Weather staff stated that the early onset of a hard winter in the UK was due to the La Nina, so we may have 2 effects currently – early onset due to La Nina, with a low AO due to cause 1 and/or 2.

    Last February the AO index was -4.2, the lowest monthy index since 1950, the start of the series. I’ll be watching the coming years’ AO index to see if we have any more unusually low AO index figures. http://www.cpc.noaa.gov/products/precip/CWlink/daily_ao_index/ao.shtml

    If the Arctic Dipole Anomaly (reduced sea ice) is playing a significant role in last winter (and possibly this one), then it’ll be amazing to follow. We may actually be seeing an ongoing shift in climate – I stress the “may”.

  37. 37
    Esop says:

    #22(Jakob): 2010 looks like it will be the warmest globally in at least one of the datasets. This despite the record solar low, strong La Nina in the second half of the year, and of course the old “skeptic” favorite, a negative PDO. I seem to remember Dr. Hansen predicting this back in 2008 while all the alarmist “skeptics” were screaming about their predicted Maunder Minimum.
    One single country set an all time low temperature record in 2010, while in comparison, 19 countries set all time high records. Some old records were completely smashed, like Finland. The rapid Arctic warming has changed the circulation patterns, resulting in typical London weather in Greenland and vice versa, all while the average temperature is steadily climbing, skewing the energy balance even more and causing more and more anomalies and strange weather patterns all over the globe.

  38. 38
    The Ville says:

    Erm, Chinese whispers anyone?

  39. 39

    JM 22: Global heating causes cooling. It is cold in NY and it was cold in the summer in CA and the last winter in South America was seeing record cold as well…the burden of proof seems to lie on the climate scientists still making the claim for global warming.

    BPL: They made it a long time ago. AGW doesn’t mean winters won’t still be cold. Duh.

  40. 40
    Mike says:

    Urban leprechaun

    Perhaps this is what you seek:
    http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/psd/map/clim/glbcir_rnl.shtml

    Click on “surface temperatures” and you get a global picture of raw temps and anomalies over different timespans. Its a reanalysis, but still useful. And yes, Greenland has been looking exceptionally “warm” this past week or so.

  41. 41
    Snapple says:

    Pravda is constantly publishing denialist arguments about how we are about to go into an ice age. These articles are even recycled by the “conservative” sites.

    Here is one example from Newsbusters. The conservative author even conceeds that the Pravda scribbler he is citing as an authority is a 9-11 Truther who hates America. (Some Truthers have now become “experts” on climate.)

    Even the fact that Pravda publishes a Truther doesn’t faze the conservative author:

    “How delicious that an America-hating Truther who contributes to Pravda has a firmer grasp of climatology than Nobel Laureate Al Gore, James Hansen, Gavin Schmidt, and most of the folks at the IPCC.”

    http://newsbusters.org/blogs/noel-sheppard/2009/01/11/global-warming-update-earth-brink-ice-age

    Really, this is just like the kind of craziness that used to be published in Stalin’s time.

    Scientists need to understand the arrogance and mendacity of the powerful billionaires who are out to get you. They can hire a lot of hack writers to recycle the Russian media, and amazingly the conservatives aren’t ashamed to quote Pravda and Kommersant as “science.”

    I hope you will keep fighting for us, but don’t underestimate the opposition. They are getting in power.

    Remember:

    Moscow is skillfully advancing its interests in the West, not through intelligence but business, often supported by crafty industrial espionage, influence-buying, and under-the-table deal-making…

    In Western Europe, Moscow has operated by making lucrative arrangements with foreign energy companies that become de facto lobbyists for the Kremlin within their own countries.”—”Why The Russia Spy Story Really Matters” (RFE/RL, 7-9-10)

    This is already happening in America, too.
    Congressman Weldon got in trouble because his daughter got 500,000 from the Russian gas company Itera while Weldon became their lobbyist. Itera is in Florida. It was a spin-off from Gazprom.

  42. 42
    Hank Roberts says:

    Jacob’s post attempted irony. Irony doesn’t travel well on the Intertubes.

  43. 43
    Same Ordinary Fool says:

    WUWT’s series of colder-and-snowier articles is intended to counteract the reality of increasing global temperatures. There’s a real irony that these extreme winter stories are currently bookends to one of the hottest years.
    This November/December there’s cold and snow in the NE and in England. Last January/February there was cold and record snow in the NE and in England.

    As the snowfall statistics accumulate, it becomes increasingly harder to deny that what goes up (evaporation) must come down (as snow in winter).

    That northern cold can be partly a consequence of a warmer Arctic (Barent’s Sea) will take more explaining. How do weatherman tell it?

  44. 44
    Michael T. says:

    Kevin C #35
    “I’m guessing you mean the figures from the GISTEMP people. The monthly ones from last year are gone – don’t know if they are archived”

    All the maps are still available for 2010 and all the way back to 1880. You can change the Time Interval for any year you want. Ex. If you want to see December 1998 choose Begin: 1998 and End: 1998 and choose Mean Period: December and then click “Make Map”. Click on “Projection type” and change to Polar to see a polar view of Earth. You can do this for any year and time period in the record.
    http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/maps/

  45. 45
    deconvoluter says:

    Why 1000 years?

    It is always possible to create anti-matter given sufficient energy from a particle physics machine. In just the same way it is possible to create
    anti-knowledge given sufficient promotion from the energy industry, of the fossil fuel variety. That is the reason for the special choice of 1000.

    (with apologies for mangling Dirac)

  46. 46
    Peter317 says:

    Judging by your comments about it, you evidently didn’t read the WUWT article you linked to.

  47. 47
    matt says:

    Frustrated with the media? Read up on media theory.

    Understanding Media by Marshall McLuhan establishes a framework for how different types of communication technology project a value system into the minds of public. I suggest the science community get wise to how people consume information from the television and print media. Doing so will help you expertly craft arguments that cut through the noise. It will also help you poke the inflatable monsters that the opposition puffs up.

    Both McLuhan and John Culkin are very good resources for understanding how media works.

  48. 48
    Pete Dunkelberg says:

    Jacob # 22 “Global heating causes cooling.” Well, you might look at it that way. The extra energy in the climate system blows weather around in ways we are not accustomed to. Some areas have temperatures well above average ( the Arctic and probably some areas in the forgotten Southern hemisphere). Ergo other areas have to be below average to compensate. You might call it “the law of averages.” ;)

  49. 49

    #17 William Jackson

    The IPCC was set up to issue summaries of the science. How is that a political lobby precisely?

    Unfortunately, the IPCC does not have enough budget to sustain a secret organization of climate lobbyists to infiltrate the United States with cloak and dagger schemes to destroy America and rule the world with European influence, socia-lism, communism and other scary ideas that live in the mind of some.

    Or do you have inside information you wish to leak that proves your opinion?

    Economics: Balancing Economies
    October Leading Edge: The Cuccinelli ‘Witch Hunt”

    Fee & Dividend: Our best chanceLearn the IssueSign the Petition
    A Climate Minute: Natural CycleGreenhouse EffectClimate Science HistoryArctic Ice Melt

  50. 50
    SecularAnimist says:

    William Jackson wrote: “… a powerful political lobby disguised as an unbiased scientific body (IPCC) in an attempt to force the US to accede to ridiculous cap and tax demands.”

    Right. And people who unquestioningly believe every crackpot conspiracy theory that they hear from some blow-hard on the radio are “skeptics”.


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