• Climate

Washington Post article accurately discusses warm Arctic weather event

Posted on:  2019-01-14

Reviewed content

Headline: "North Pole surges above freezing in the dead of winter, stunning scientists"

Published in The Washington Post, by Jason Samenow, on 2018-02-26.

2 scientific credibility
"2" verdict chart image

Scientists’ Feedback


This article in The Washington Post describes a pattern of unusually warm weather in February 2018, during which the North Pole saw above-freezing air temperatures. The article also places this event in context of past weather variability, explaining that there is an increasing trend of warm temperature extremes.

Scientists who reviewed the story found that it covered both of these points accurately. The trends are correctly identified without exaggeration, giving readers an accurate understanding of what the data show.

This is part of a series of reviews of 2018’s most popular climate stories on social media.

You can read the article here.


These comments are the overall assessment of scientists on the article, they are substantiated by their knowledge in the field and by the content of the analysis in the annotations on the article.

Robert Graham member picture

Robert Graham

Postdoc, Norwegian Polar Institute

The article presents and discusses this weather event in the article accurately, and provides figures to show this. The journalist has contacted several scientists from different research institutes to comment on the event and quotes these scientists accurately, with references. I do not identify anything in the article that is incorrect/flawed.

Kelly McCusker member picture

Kelly McCusker

Research Associate, Rhodium Group and Climate Impact Lab

This article accurately describes the Arctic warming event and associated surprise by scientists, includes multiple explanations for possible causes, and does not overstate any connections to climate change, pointing out that more data is needed to know if these above-freezing events will be a new Arctic normal.

[1] See the rating guidelines used for article evaluations.
[2] Each evaluation is independent. Scientists’ comments are all published at the same time.

Science Feedback is a non-partisan, non-profit organization dedicated to science education. Our reviews are crowdsourced directly from a community of scientists with relevant expertise. We strive to explain whether and why information is or is not consistent with the science and to help readers know which news to trust.
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