A Report on the State of the Arctic in 2017

Our title for today is borrowed then modified from the title of a Global Warming Policy Foundation report entitled “The State of the Climate in 2016”. The associated GWPF press release assures us that:

A report on the State of the Climate in 2016 which is based exclusively on observations rather than climate models is published today.

Compiled by Dr Ole Humlum, Professor of Physical Geography at the University Centre in Svalbard (Norway), the new climate survey is in sharp contrast to the habitual alarmism of other reports that are mainly based on computer modelling and climate predictions.

Prof Humlum said: “There is little doubt that we are living in a warm period. However, there is also little doubt that current climate change is not abnormal and not outside the range of natural variations that might be expected.

However it seems as though the sharp contrast to other reports is that the GWPF’s effort is evidently hot off their porky pie production line. By way of example, Prof. Humlum’s “white paper” is not “based exclusively on observations rather than climate models” nor is it “The World’s first” such “State of the Climate Survey”. As Dr. Roy Spencer of the University of Alabama in Huntsville pointed out on Watts Up With That of all places:

Ummm… I believe the Bulletin of the AMS (BAMS) annual State of the Climate report is also observation-based…been around many years.

Meanwhile on Twitter Victor Venema of the University of Bonn pointed out that:

and Mark McCarthy of the UK Met Office added that:

All in all there are several “alternative facts” in just the headline and opening paragraph of the GWPF’s press release, which doesn’t augur well for the contents of the report itself!

It’s no coincidence (IMHO!) that a day later the United States’ House Committee on Science, Space and Technology announced their planned hearing “show trial” on March 29th entitled “Climate Science: Assumptions, Policy Implications, and the Scientific Method“:

Date: Wednesday, March 29, 2017 – 10:00am
Location: 2318 Rayburn House Office Building

Dr. Judith Curry

President, Climate Forecast Applications Network; Professor Emeritus, Georgia Institute of Technology

Dr. John Christy

Professor and Director, Earth System Science Center, NSSTC, University of Alabama at Huntsville; State Climatologist, Alabama

Dr. Michael Mann

Professor, Department of Meteorology and Atmospheric Science, Pennsylvania State University

Dr. Roger Pielke Jr.

Professor, Environmental Studies Department, University of Colorado

John Christy doesn’t seem to have a Twitter account, but the other three “expert witnesses” announced there involvement, as revealed in this slideshow of learned (and not so learned!) comments on Twitter:


You may have noticed that in response to the GWPF’s propaganda I pointed them at a “State of the Arctic in 2017” report of my own devising which is in actual fact “based exclusively on observations rather than climate models” and looks like this:


NASA Worldview “false-color” image of the Bering Sea on March  22nd 2017, derived from the MODIS sensor on the Terra satellite
NASA Worldview “false-color” image of the Bering Sea on March 22nd 2017, derived from the MODIS sensor on the Terra satellite
NASA Worldview “false-color” image of the Kara Sea on March  22nd 2017, derived from the MODIS sensor on the Terra satellite
NASA Worldview “false-color” image of the Kara Sea on March 22nd 2017, derived from the MODIS sensor on the Terra satellite
Synthetic aperture radar image of the Wandel Sea on March 21st 2017, from the ESA Sentinel 1B satellite
Synthetic aperture radar image of the Wandel Sea on March 21st 2017, from the ESA Sentinel 1B satellite

We feel sure that Lamar Smith and the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology won’t comprehend the significance of those observations, but will nonetheless be pleased to see the GWPF’s report become public knowledge shortly before their planned hearing next week.

We also feel sure they were pleased to view the contents of another recent “white paper” published under the GWPF banner. The author was ex Professor Judith Curry, and the title was “Climate Models for the Layman“. Lamar Smith et al. certainly seem to qualify as laymen, and Judith’s conclusion that:

There is growing evidence that climate models are running too hot and that climate sensitivity to carbon dioxide is at the lower end of the range provided by the IPCC.

will no doubt be grist to their climate science bashing mill next Wednesday. Unfortunately that conclusion is yet another “alternative fact” according to the non laymen.

This report, however, does little to help public understanding; well, unless the goal is to confuse public understanding of climate models so as to undermine our ability to make informed decisions. If this is the goal, this report might be quite effective.

That certainly seems to be the goal of the assorted parties involved, and consequently we cannot help but wonder if the David and Judy Show will put on another performance this coming Sunday morning? Paraphrasing William Shakespeare:

Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears;
Lamar Smith comes to bury Michael Mann, not to praise him

7 thoughts on “A Report on the State of the Arctic in 2017

  1. What gets me is that the GWPF prof is from Svalbard, apparently.

    You’d have thought the local weather and ice conditions would have given him a clue!

    1. But that’s obviously just “the local weather”!

      More seriously perhaps, and to take just one example, Prof. Humlum states in his “Executive Summary” that:

      The northern hemisphere snow-cover extent has important local and regional variations from year to year. The overall tendency (since 1972), however, is a stable overall snow extent.

      For some strange reason he neglects to mention the temporal variations. Does this look “stable overall” to you?


  2. Even the fake conservatives in Australia know the game is up for Arctic MYI and they were the last bastion for ‘low emission coal’.

    The battery guy has made his mark and renewables have won the marketplace- all that awaits is disaster from pause button politics played by Mr and Mrs Brad Pitt who had kids for superficial reason…COULD THAT BE ANY OF US?

    1. SML – I’m not sure that I’m following your argument! Overpopulation is part of the problem?

      Do you have a link to support your “the fake conservatives in Australia know the game is up for Arctic MYI”? Are they planning on drilling in the Arctic? Have they announced this publicly?!

      1. No, I’m not saying overpopulation is part of the problem: I’m saying superficiality is the whole problem! Jevons paradox is the warehouse being on the road… the human doesn’t like endless products in the supermarket to choose from but the banks and investors do. Hey- I know- let’s all fly to Paris and get really really bored with our white trash lifestyles again.

        Mother nature subsidises all this but it isn’t even called efficiency that we sacrifice it for- it’s called infinite dreams of greed because we love our own reflection so much we want our lives to be told in the third person. We are lucky to lose, apparently


        Australia used to be called the clever country but it just sells rocks and lives on paper profits whilst smiling it’s schadenfreude grin at nothing to write home about.

        Newspapers sell false profits: people have people because they have lost their identity- visual creatures that have become superficial… I don’t think so… It’s schadenfreude!

        Banks and mining own 40 % of everything: standing armies with proper fire power back these interests and it was no coincidence passenger planes were aimed at the world trade centre on global live tv to kick off the 21st century.

        They all know the ice is melting: it’s all just pause button politics until the forcing move… which started in 2001!

  3. Hi Drew,

    I’m afraid I’ve never heard of Alex Tsakiris before, but I see what you mean:

    Alex Tsakiris: Judith Curry who was extremely highly regarded, is really clearly level-headed, middle of the road, and is someone, if you listen to her says, “Look, I was on the side of the consensus, more or less, until Climategate happened in 2009 and I really looked at the data and I looked at the manipulation of it and it caused me to take another look at that.

    Daniel Pinchbeck: You’re bringing up, like people always do, with one or two renegade scientists, you know, I mean…

    Alex Tsakiris: She’s not a renegade scientist, she was called to testify in Congress.

    Alex cannot be serious?

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