Two days ago I highlighted a news story from the Washington Post Arctic Ocean Getting Warm; Seals Vanish and Icebergs Melt dated from November 2nd 1922. That brought a flood of interest and some other interesting finds along with it as other readers contributed what they found on the story.
One of the most interesting finds was a study published in the Monthly Weather Review in September 1933 Titled: IS OUR CLIMATE CHANGING? A STUDY OF LONG-TIME TEMPERATURE TRENDS.
The first page of the original article is below:
Click this link for the full PDF of the article.
What is most interesting about this article is that it stems from a realization that the regular weather patterns they used to know were now acting differently. For example this form the article:
The phase of weather, or climate, that is attracting attention at the present time is not these short-period changes from warm to cool, and vice versa, for they are always present, but rather an apparent longer-time change to cool periods that seem to be less frequent and of shorter duration, and warm periods that are more pronounced and persistent.
And when you look at some of the city temperature graphs presented in the article, such as the one below, the parallels between them and some graphs presented in the present day are striking:
There is even the familiar argument and rebuttal about the Urban Heat Island effect:
It has been suggested that these tendencies to abnormally high-temperature records in recent years may be more apparent than real, in that data cited are nearly always from large cities where the thermometers may have been unduly affected by artificial influences that do not obtain in the open country. We have examined this phase of the matter and find that the suggestion is not well taken.
In the concluding remarks, the is the recognition of climate change to a warmer regime:
All of these confirm the general statement that we are in the midst of a period of abnormal warmth, which has come on more less gradually for many years.
Of course we all know what happened next, 1934 became the hottest year on record, the dust bowl and great depression occurred, followed by World War II. The climate changes again, a return to a colder phase lasting all the way until about 1978 when the “new ice age” was being discussed. Then the great PDO shift occurred and warming has been the norm since then.
There wasn’t any push then to accept blame for the change or to take action to change the climate. Many people look to the graph below though and see something other than natural variations.
The difference today is that during this warming phase, much like what led up to 1934, had a significant El Nino year of 1998, and it set off alarm bells. Because unlike in the 30’s, when this paper was written, somebody was ready to step in with a cause that they believed could be modified by action- man made CO2.
Yet as this graph recently published on ICECAP by Joe D’Aleo shows, it appears that the Pacfic Decadal Oscillation (PDO), combined with the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO) is a good fit to the instrumental surface temperature record of the last 100 years:
We could all learn a little bit from our weather history. We could all step back a bit and look at what previously happened in our climate changes before we make a rush to judgement to try to “fix” a problem that is very likely just another natural variance on the upswing, soon to be followed by a downturn.
There are quite a number of articles on “climate change” in the past, for further reading, try looking at some of these article links submitted by readers of this forum from the New York Times newspaper archives. Just click on the date. Thanks to Tim Blair for compiling the list below from our reader submitted links as well as his own research.
Glaciers have disappeared and land once covered with field ice is bare.
Glaciers are moving from their age-old beds, pouring greater quantities of ice into the sea than recorded history has known. Broad areas of land are sinking to new levels. A number of islands have disappeared.
The Alpine glaciers are in full retreat. Out of 102 glaciers observed by Professor P.L. Mercanton of the University of Lausanne and his associates more than twothirds have been found to be shrinking.
The great glaciers of the West, last remnants of the Ice Age on continental United States, have been retreating from their strongholds in the mountains at double time since last year.
A mysterious warming of the climate is slowly manifesting itself in the Arctic, engendering a “serious international problem,” Dr. Hans Ahlmann, noted Swedish geophysicist, said today.
There are also many reports of the climate turning colder:
The question is again being discussed whether recent and long-continued observations do not point to the advent of a second glacial period, when the countries now basking in the fostering warmth of a tropical sun will ultimately give way to the perennial frost and snow of the polar regions.
Winters Since ‘40 Found Colder In Studies by Weather Bureau; Data Indicate, a Reversal of a Warming Trend That Began in 1881
After a week of discussions on the causes of climate change, an assembly of specialists from several continents seems to have reached unanimous agreement on only one point: it is getting colder.
Scientists Ponder Why World’s Climate Is Changing; a Major Cooling Widely Considered to Be Inevitable
An international team of specialists has concluded from eight indexes of climate that there is no end in sight to the cooling trend of the last 30 years, at least in the Northern Hemisphere.
Thus nature, and the NYT, balances itself. The paper really should return to the Grandfather Index of climate judgment:
America is believed by Weather Bureau scientists to be on the verge of a change of climate, with a return to increasing rains and deeper snows and the colder Winters of grandfather’s day.
The recent severely cold weather, following, in the main, many mild Winters, has caused people throughout the country to ask: “Does this portend a return to the reputed cold Winters of ‘granddad’s day’ years ago?”
Yep; all over the US, that’s exactly what people were asking. But listen to folks from the actual Granddad’s Day era and they’ll tell you the real cold was earlier still:
Is our climate changing? … The older inhabitants tell us that the Winters are not as cold now as when they were young …
Also, there are fewer mastodons. Last word to the ominously-named, but perfectly sensible, Mr Scarr:
Some People Always Think the Climate Is Changing, But Mr. Scarr Says There Is Nothing in His Records to Justify the Notion