Category Archives: Politics

China’s Arctic Ambitions

Back in 2013 I sat around a table with the Chinese delegation during lunch at the Economist’s Arctic Summit in Oslo. In the evening there was a reception with the British Ambassador to Norway, where amongst other people I met Kevin Vallely.

Fast forwarding to July 2021, the Chinese icebreaker Xue Long 2 (which translates to Snow Dragon 2) set sail from Shanghai to do some research in the Central Arctic Basin:

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The Strange Tale of The Mail and The Snow Dragon

This article is reposted from, originally published on March 18th 2013, as historical background to a new article on the so called Polar Silk Road.

As I’ve recently been reporting over on the Arctic Sea Ice Forum, I inadvertently found myself having lunch with the Chinese delegation to the Economist’s Arctic Summit in Norway last week. Amongst other things I learned about the voyage of the Chinese research vessel Xue Long (Snow Dragon in English) right across the Arctic Basin last summer:

The summer 2012 voyage of The Snow Dragon, courtesy of the Arctic Portal
The summer 2012 voyage of The Snow Dragon, courtesy of the Arctic Portal

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The 2021 G7 Summit in Cornwall

Our regular reader(s) will no doubt recall the good old days when several times each month an opportunity would present itself to debunk some “skeptical” nonsense from one or more of the usual suspects?

That all changed when Donald Trump was elected President of the United States. He was of course much more amenable to lobbying from fossil fuel interests than Barack Obama, and everything went (comparatively!) quiet.

Now that The Don has sailed off into the proverbial sunset and Joe Biden is top dog all that has changed. A return to the (not so) good old days comes as no surprise, and the porky pies have started coming off the denialospheric production line once again.

There have already been a few contrarian ripples on the surface of the climate science seas, which we may well come to in due course. However a set of substantial waves are now visible on the horizon. The proximate cause is the forthcoming summit of the G7 nations, which as luck would have it is taking place just down the road from the Great White Con winter holiday residence in North Cornwall. Then in November the COP26 conference is being held in Glasgow.

According to the G7 UK web site:

In June, Prime Minister Boris Johnson will welcome fellow G7 leaders to one of the most beautiful parts of the UK: Carbis Bay in Cornwall.

Other parts of the region will also play a key role in the Summit, including neighbouring St Ives, Falmouth and Newquay airport.

With over 400 miles of coastline, Cornwall’s stunning landscape provides a perfect setting for world leaders to come together and discuss how to respond to global challenges like coronavirus and climate change.

Here’s one of my recent pictures of some of that coastline, including part of Cornwall’s industrial heritage and some large waves!

Climate change is top of the G7 agenda along with Covid-19, and you can rest assured that vested interests will not miss any opportunity to promote those interests over the next two months and beyond. By way of example, one of our long standing “usual suspects”, Judith Curry, “tweeted” the following message to her followers on April 17th:

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What Opening Arctic Sea Routes Mean for the UK

The United Kingdom Government has just published details of its Foresight “Future of the sea” project’s investigation into the implications of declining Arctic sea ice. According to the overview:

The Arctic is losing sea ice at a dramatic rate and this decline is expected to continue. This is creating opportunities for shorter global trade links between East Asia and the UK, via the Arctic.

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The House Science Climate Model Show Trial

The show is over, and it went pretty much as Alice F. predicted it would. Lamar Smith has passed his verdict on the morning’s proceedings in strangely untheatrical style:

My own mileage certainly varied from Lamar’s! Here’s a hasty summary of events via the distorting lens of Twitter:

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Should Climate Scientists Boycott Congressional Hearings?

In answer to the question posed in our title for today, retired Rear Admiral David Titley certainly seems to think so. According to his article for the Washington Post‘s “Capital Weather Gang”:

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Professor Peter Wadhams’ Complaint to IPSO

Professor Peter Wadhams of Cambridge University has just written to the UK’s Independent Press Standards Organisation about recent articles that “ha[ve] substantially damaged my reputation for scientific integrity, and I believe that this was the deliberate intention”. Here is the text of his complaint.

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Some Statistics for the 2015 Economist Arctic Summit

Professor Jason Box was good enough to add some expert commentary to our recent story about a large calving of the Jakobshavn Glacier last month. Consequently we have just watched his presentation to the 2015 Economist Arctic Summit at the Hotel Bristol in Oslo with much interest. Here are our edited highlights from the conference’s Twitter feed:

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The Greatest Scandal in the History of Science!

Christopher Booker has raised the stakes in the “ClimateGate 2.0” edition of ClimateBall™ in his article in this morning’s edition of the Sunday Telegraph:

It was only the adjusted surface records which showed 2014 to have been “the hottest year on record”. The other two official records, based on satellite measurements, which only go back to 1979, show nothing of the kind.

The international fallout from my two articles has been huge. The second, headed “The fiddling of temperature data has been the biggest science scandal ever”, scored a record 30,000 comments on The Telegraph website. But what is particularly telling has been the silence of GHCN and the compilers of the other surface records in response to requests from Homewood and others for a proper explanation of how and why they had needed to make so many adjustments to the original data.

What is now needed is a meticulous analysis of all the data, to establish just how far these adjustments have distorted the picture the world has been given. Although I cannot yet reveal any details, I gather that a responsible foundation is gathering an expert team to do just that. If the results confirm what has already been unearthed by Homewood and other analysts, from the US to New Zealand, this may indeed turn out to have been the greatest scandal in the history of science.

He is apparently being aided and abetted in his latest outlandish bid by BBC Radio 4 News, who reported on his article as follows in their 07:07:25 review of the Sunday newspapers this morning:

Christopher Booker in the Sunday Telegraph demands a meticulous analysis of the data used to justify the claim that last year was the warmest on record, something he suggests could turn out to be one of the greatest scandals in science. He says a growing number of experts around the world have found that the raw data originally gathered by weather stations was comprehensively adjusted to justify the claim.

This is of course all spectacularly shoddy science (SSS for short) by Homewood, Booker et. al. , as we informed Ian Marsden at the Telegraph Group after Booker’s previous climate bluff was trumped by a long list of climate scientists, who have in fact been anything but “particularly silent” this time around. By way of example, since Ian Marsden evidently hasn’t watched this video yet, here once again is a video by a scientist who has studied such matters, which explains the truth:

Once more unto the breach, dear friends!


not to mention:


Next I called the Beeb’s complaints number (03700 100 222 – 24 hours, charged as 01/02 geographic numbers) and told Rachel that I wished to register a complaint. I manfully resisted the temptation to emit any expletives, and informed her that the BBC’s apparent belief that Mr. Booker’s article provides some sort of “scientific balance” to Ed Milibands remarks about the need for UK plc to up its “climate change” game is so utterly ludicrous that words had totally failed me.

Rachel wondered if I was talking about this morning’s edition of “Broadcasting House“. I assured her I was not, but it sounds as though I now ought to go away and listen to that from cover to cover!

It’s now the morning of Monday February 23rd 2013. I haven’t received the email confirmation from the BBC that Rachel promised me yet, so…..

BBC Radio 4 Swallows Booker’s Bait

I’ve also just spoken to Ian Marsden of the Telegraph Group once again. He assures me that my complaint about a previous article by Christopher Booker is being dealt with, and suggests that I file another one to ensure that I have “a proper audit trail” in this instance as well.

An IPSO complaints officer suggests following up our previous complaint via said complaints form, so….


We’ll keep you posted!