Comparing apples with oranges in climate denialism

World Climate Report is one of those blogs that is dedicated to global warming denialism. Here is a recent entry there:

There is a bit of press covering a just-published paper that concludes that the current climate and ecological conditions in a remote lake along the north shore of Canada’s Baffin Island are unique within the past 200,000 years—and anthropogenic global warming is the root cause. Which of course, spells t-r-o-u-b-l-e.

Somehow, that temperatures there were several degrees higher than present for a good third of the past 10,000 years and that there has been virtually no temperature trend in the area during past 50 years—the time usually associated with the greatest amount of human-caused “global warming”—was conveniently downplayed or ignored.

Go figure.

Some denialists have suggested that the loss of insect life in the lake referred to was caused by DDT. This is extemely unlikely for three reasons:

  1. There are hardly any farmlands on Baffin Island, so there would be little reason to spray DDT there to kill insect pests.
  2. DDT has been largely banned since the 1970s.
  3. Insects exposed to low levels of pesticide tend to evolve resistance to it over time.

In their zeal to discredit the research at the Baffin Island lake, the writers of World Climate Report appear to commit fraud.

Figure 1 shows the summer (June, July August) average temperature from the weather station located at Clyde, Northwest Territory, which is located on Baffin Island very near the site of the lake. There is no trend here from 1943 to 2008, the period of available data. The most remarkable events are a couple of very cold summers and one very warm summer—all in the 1970s. Summers in the most recent decade are little different than summers in the 1950s—hardly a sign that human-caused “global warming” has made environmental conditions there particularly unique.

Figure 1. Summer (JJA) average temperature from Clyde, N.W.T. from 1953-2008 (data source:

But when you actually go to the original source, you find:

Surface Temperature Analysis – Station Data


Even more rediculous is comparing the temperatures of a TOWN (air that moves freely) with those of a LAKE (water in a confined location). That’s truly like comparing apples with oranges. The physics involved would be very different. with heat accumulating in the lake but not the town.
Why did the climate of Baffin Island appear to change so little, despite global warming?

Baffin Island lies in the path of a generally northerly airflow all year round, so like much of eastern Canada, has an unusually cold climate. This brings very long, cold winters and foggy, cloudy summers, which have helped to add to the remoteness of the island. Spring thaw arrives much later than normal for a position straddling the Arctic Circle; around early June at Iqaluit in the south-east to early/mid July on the north coast where glaciers run right down to sea level. Snow, even heavy snow occurs at any time of the year, although is least likely in July and early August. Average annual temperatures at Iqaluit are around −8.5 °C (17 °F), compared with Reykjavík,[maps 10] around 5 °C (41 °F), which is at a similar latitude.[7]

Sea ice surrounds the island for most of the year, and until recently, only disappeared completely from the north coast for short unpredictable periods in August, if at all. At present, the sea is only clear of ice off Iqaluit from mid to late June until the end of September.

Most of Baffin Island lies above the Arctic Circle and all the communities from Pangnirtung northwards are subject to Polar night and the midnight sun. For example, the eastern community of Clyde River experiences continuous sunlight from May 14 to July 28, a period of 2½ months. In addition the long period from April 26 until May 13 and from July 29 until August 16 when twilight is the darkest part of the day means the community has just over 3½ months of light. In the winter the sun sets November 22 and does not rise again until January 19 of the next year. However, unlike places such as Alert, twilight occurs for at least 4 hours a day.

So World Climate Report has disgraced itself beyond any credibility!

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