Scientist Exposes Grossly Deceptive Science Communication By Germany’s Alfred Wegener Institute

What follows is an e-mail sent by geologist Dr. Sebastian Lüning to Dr. Roland Neuber of the Alfred Wegener Institute in Potsdam. Dr. Lüning wishes to know why a report issued by the AWI left out more than 80% of the Spitzbergen temperature record.

To: Dr. Roland Neuber, science coordinator of the research team AWIPEV, Alfred-Wegener-Institute Potsdam
From: Dr. Sebastian Lüning

Sent: 15 May 2015
Reply: still unanswered

Dear Dr. Neuber,

On April 9, 2015, at the web platform “Entwicklungspolitik Online” (epo online) there appeared an article: “Climate change: Arctic air temperature climbs 1.3°C per decade”, which was about a recent visit to Spitzbergen by the German Federal Minister for Education and Research, Prof. Dr. Johanna Wanka. The article quoted the AWIPEV research team which you yourself coordinate as follows:

Since the regular data recording in 1993, the mean annual air temperature at Spitzbergen has increased an annual average of 1.3°C per decade.”

Of course this is true. However in my view it absolutely should have been pointed out that between 1940 and 1970 a cooling of the exact same amount as the warming that followed over the past 40 years occurred at Spitzbergen. Here I cite the GISS temperature dataset for Spitzbergen, see

Overall today’s temperatures are at the level of 1930, after having gone through a complete warm-cold-warm cycle.

My question to you: Did the AWIPEV delegation advise the Minister and the accompanying media of this important context? How is it possible that this omission was allowed in the epo-online article, which as a result suddenly makes the climate situation at Spitzbergen look completely different?

To be transparent I would very much like to publish your answer at

Kindest regards

Dr. habil. Sebastian Lüning

Today, almost two weeks later, Dr. Lüning’s inquiry remains unanswered. This leaves us to wonder if AWI is too embarrassed to face the issue.

2 responses to “Scientist Exposes Grossly Deceptive Science Communication By Germany’s Alfred Wegener Institute”

  1. DirkH

    Alfred Wegener Institute needs the dough. Keep the panic running at all costs! Nobody gives you a dime for scientific honesty.

  2. yonason

    Go to the Wolfram Alpha website, and enter the following into their search bar…
    Temperature, Spitzbergen, Germany
    It will bring up the current temperature information. Using the drop-down menu that displays “Current Day” select “All.” Note that while recently the temps have gone up, they haven’t yet risen to as high as they were when recording apparently began in the late 50’s. Also, there’s a stretch of about 15 years where there is no data, shortly after recording was begun.

    OK, so temps have steadily been going up, and especially recently, right? Now use the drop down menu to bring up just the past 10 years. Note that the rising trend has completely disappeared. The peaks remain virtually the same, at about 45 Deg F.

    So how then can we explain a steady and apparently significant rise in the temperature, when there now doesn’t appear to be any? There must be more warm days than cold (the warming trend is based on averages, not absolute numbers). BUT, if the max temps remain constant, there can be NO ACCUMULATION OF HEAT, which is what we are supposed to be worried about.

    For some more fun, now do a search on Temperature Center Of Greenland, select “all” from the drop down menu, and then ask how exactly Greenland is going to melt.

    I really detest their dishonesty.

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