"Catastrophic" retreat of glaciers in Spitsbergen

I’ve been given a report on glaciers and sea ice in the Arctic that I want to share with readers. There’s some compelling evidence of glacier melting and open water in the Arctic sea in this report that I haven’t seen before.

The lake at Borebukta on the Norwegian island of Spitzbergen emerged after a glacier melted. Image: Daily Mail

There are also worrisome reports of significant temperature increases, with anomalies of several degrees. Also in the report is the mention of ice free open sea of almost 2 million square kilometers, which is termed as “unprecendented in the history of the Arctic”.

It is shocking to read. I urge readers to have a look at some of the excerpts I’ve posted.

First a map. Spitsbergen is part of Svalbard, which is part of Norway.


From the page 471 above, except for the date, this language seems familiar:

Well, we all know what a warm year 1934 was.

Here’s a mention of some strong temperature anomalies, as much as 10 degrees.

Here we see some significant reduction in Arctic sea ice across broad areas:

Wind seems to be a factor in flushing out the Arctic basin.

Signs that the “warming is not terminating”. Oh, that has to be bad.

Here’s the book:

All of these reports about sea ice and melt seems familiar, except the date, which is 1943.

There’s also a fascinating discussion about linkages between sunspots and precipitation on pages starting on page 460.

You can view the entire book here at archive.org

Oh and here’s that mention of “unprecendented in the history of the Arctic” open water from page 470:

The more things change, the more they stay the same. It seems from history that the Arctic ice is always going up or down. We can’t assume that our recent 2007 record sea ice minimum is something unique in the history of the Arctic ice.

And of course we’ve heard historical reports of a melting Arctic before, such as this one:

November 2nd, 1922. Arctic Ocean Getting Warm; Seals Vanish and Icebergs Melt.

Big hat tip to Richard North of the E.U. Referendum, who alerted me to this book.

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May 2, 2010 9:41 pm

Plus ca change, plus c’est la meme chose.

May 2, 2010 9:45 pm

This is great! If we can say it is attributed to “wind” then we should stop the insanity of building “wind” farms, right? (just kidding) I want my tax dollars back that are going to big wind AWEA because of the “scare” of global warming. We are looking at energy choices based on Gore and special interest groups, instead of SCIENCE.
Thanks for a great heads up.

May 2, 2010 9:52 pm

Excellent work. Of course, if the geological record was referred to, and ice core histories were to be taken into account, it would be shown that Arctic/Antarctic ice sheets have been waxing and waning for millions of years. All without the help of anthropegenic generation of carbon dioxide.

May 2, 2010 9:55 pm

The resulting increase in sea levels from this Glacier’s melting is believed to be what caused Rolling Stones’ Brian Jones’ drowning.
Remember the warmenists claim the melting is “unprecedented” then you do some research show them that this has occurred in the past and then they move the goal posts again.
Remember Dr Meier discounted this melting:
Dr. Walt Meier: No. Analysis of the temperatures does not support a cyclic explanation for the recent warming. The warming during the 1920s and 1930s was more regional in nature and focused on the Atlantic side of the Arctic (though there was warming in some other regions as well) and was most pronounced during winter. In contrast, the current warming is observed over almost the entire Arctic and is seen in all seasons. Another thing that is clear is that, the warming during the 1920s and 1930s was limited to the Arctic and lower latitude temperatures were not unusually warm. The recent warming in the Arctic, though amplified there, is part of a global trend where temperatures are rising in most regions of the earth. There are always natural variations in climate but the current warming in the Arctic is not explained by such variations.

May 2, 2010 9:56 pm

Yes, what’s the context? What’s missing in the alarmist utterances is usually simple context. Has it happened before? If we’re given a percentage, what is the quantity; if a quantity, what is the percentage?
Above all, when we’re shouted at breathlessly about the effects, we should ask quietly but persistently for evidence of the cause.
Richard Treadgold,
Climate Conversation Group.

May 2, 2010 9:59 pm

too bad that they didn’t have satellite photos in 1934, then we would know if the last three years were unprecedented. of course, R. Gates would claim that the ice was much thicker in the good old days.

May 2, 2010 10:01 pm

Nice catch. There is a lot of very interesting things in old books from 1940’s and earlier, not just in regard to climate, but would lead people to question much of what they believe to be true today. See how long this one stays archived.

John Egan
May 2, 2010 10:05 pm

It is hard to argue with the information presented by Zubov. He was a highly trained scientist in the Soviet Arctic Research Institute. One reason we have this detailed information was because of sharing by the Allies in WWII. It is compelling evidence of extensive Arctic sea ice melt in the 1930s.
The hubris of some climate scientists is to presume that a mere 30 years of Arctic satellite data is conclusive when it may only show half of a seventy-year cycle. The relative influences of AGW vs LIA rebound and long cycles is never even entertained.

May 2, 2010 10:07 pm

They blamed WW1 for the warming before:

May 2, 2010 10:08 pm

Good stuff.
The comment about amplitude of tides being increased by decreased ice resonated with me. I’m of the opinion that the “wind and tide” explanation for 2007, while genuine, stops short of recognizing that thin, rotten ice is more susceptible to that kind of thing than thicker, more concentrated ice. Call it a “positive feedback”, I guess. Look at the 2007 Cryosphere images for late spring and early summer for how that ice looked. . .

Pamela Gray
May 2, 2010 10:11 pm

See tips and notes for an article I found on what I think is a reference to what is being called “rotten ice” now and that these occurrences are normal.

May 2, 2010 10:22 pm

Accounts of the ice and icebergs are given in the AMA Monthly Weather Reviews for the cold period preceeding the ‘unprecedented’ melting of the 20’s – 40’s.
I have to believe that the meltists know all about the previous episode. Then, as now, they still don’t have an explanation as to the global nature of warming, long before CO2 made it’s rise.
No one will ever know.
I can hear the snickering and bellicose laughter in Moscow as they watch Western Climatology run itself onto the rocks.

May 2, 2010 10:22 pm

You can always find someone to tell you the sky is falling.
Then one goes and buys a $8,875,000.00 ocean-view villa, I guess to watch sea level rise, after riding in his Gulf Stream.

May 2, 2010 10:33 pm

But I thought the 30’s were only warm in the US, that the rest of the world was a veritable ice box. Warmists have assured me of this. Would they lie?

May 2, 2010 10:36 pm

“We’re turning normal variations into the ancient notion of an omen. We’re scanning this small residue for small changes and speaking of them as though they were ominous signs of something or other.”

May 2, 2010 10:47 pm

Do you have a current protograph of the islands?
Nice shape for a lake, it is popular in mid February?

Dr A Burns
May 2, 2010 10:53 pm

Even Jones now admits that it has all happened before:
… that together with his admission that there has been no significant warming in 15 years seems to imply he has seen the light after being stood down and looking up.

May 2, 2010 11:16 pm

Well, I too want my greenbacks back …. but the object of climate change is not about climate. It’s about greenbacks and greenbacks only.
They need our attention headed one direction while trying to cope with another major problem. How to do it, use the law to rob us. Legalised robbery, that’s Cap and Trade. So why, ever thought of what caused the economies to tremble ?
Every government, has in all the ages, robbed all people.
One more as the election is comming up and it’s getting actuality, and I have seen the symptoms in the Swedish debate last week.
Every election is like an auction on stolen goods to come.

Keith Minto
May 2, 2010 11:17 pm

Re the first image, the lake at Borebukta, must be same cookie cutter ! http://www.pajamadeen.com/images/australia-australian-heart-reef.jpg

May 2, 2010 11:19 pm
May 2, 2010 11:35 pm

Ah shucks. Can’t we just panic without history or facts?

May 2, 2010 11:43 pm

Now explain this:
Official record stubbornly claims the ice was steady until the CO2-induced death spiral started.

May 2, 2010 11:44 pm

Nice work from our soviet comrades.

May 2, 2010 11:44 pm

It’s a pity we are not in the 1960’s, everything was blamed on the bomb.

May 2, 2010 11:52 pm

One of my big niggles about IPCC WG1 AR4 Chapter 4, is the lengthy discussion about poor Greenland melting away, without any mention that it was known that it was in a similar state of catastrophic warming in the early 1900’s. (for instance, Polyakov et al.)
Jason Box was one of the contributors for Chapter 4, and he at least was well aware of the earlier catastrophe.

John Peter
May 2, 2010 11:54 pm

” Dr A Burns says:
May 2, 2010 at 10:53 pm
Even Jones now admits that it has all happened before:
… that together with his admission that there has been no significant warming in 15 years seems to imply he has seen the light after being stood down and looking up.”
Full article behind pay wall. I wonder if somebody could write an article here on WUWT about this paper and its implications.

Graeme From Melbourne
May 2, 2010 11:55 pm

The roaring 20s… lots of economic expansion, the model T ford, industrialisation pushing out CO2… surely it’s man made???
(just kidding…)

May 3, 2010 12:05 am

Citizen Watts appears to have gained access to a prohibited text. Guy Montag and the Fire Brigade will visit shortly…

May 3, 2010 12:12 am

Dang good blog entry. Arctic ice has been going up and down since at least 1943, er 1922. Could it be that this has happened even further in the past?
Given the state of AGW “climate science” as practiced by Mann, Hansen, Jones, and as evaluated by the IPCC, who woulda thunk?

May 3, 2010 12:16 am

The NSIDC amongst others, seem reluctant to accept the concept of natural cycles of cooling and warming. The start of Satellite measuring in 1979 coincided with peak ice, following a extemded cooling period, which is why they always speak of subsequent decline; History suggests you should look at a much longer time scale than thirty years which will put the modern era into its proper context..
Link 1 Ice extent maximum- Depends if you are talking winter or summer but ‘decline’ starts around 1979 from a high point.
Link 2 This also shows the same;
Link 3 The IPCC report confirms this p351/2 figures 4.8 4.9 4.10
Link 4 The concerns over global cooling in the 70’s did have some basis in fact. There were a series of low temperatures in many arctic areas during the 1960’s and 70’s which ice would have corresponded to by growing.
Link 5 From the CIA further confirmation of the cold period during this time.
As the IPCC show, the start of the satellite period therefore roughly coincided with a period of peak ice-so it is not at all surprising that as part of its natural cycle it should subsequently decline.
Link 6: The IPCC are not very good at their historic reconstructions and generally view actual observations as ‘anecdotal.’ They seem to believe that history did not start before 1979. My article examines the arctic melting in the period 1810-1860 -see notes at bottom of article with additional references.
Link 7: The next two links are good studies showing the arctic melting from the 1920’s to 1940’s; The first shows a warm period during the 1930s and 1940s with temperatures as high as those of today ftp://ftp.whoi.edu/pub/users/mtimmermans/ArcticSymposiumTalks/Smolyanitsky.pdf
Link 8: The second link illustrates reduced sea ice extent during this period, which only later returned to the high levels measured at the start of the latest retreating cycle in 1979 (when satellite measurements started).
Link 9: The melting in the period 1920-1940 is very well documented.
Expeditions to the arctic to view the melting ice became the equivalent of todays celebrity jaunts to the area. The most famous were those mounted by Bob Bartlett on the Morrissey. I have carried extracts from his diary before-amongst the observation are a description of a mile wide face of a glacier falling in to the sea. There are pathe news reels of his voyages dating from the era, as well as books on the subject. Here is a bibliography of material relating to him. The diaries are of particlar interest.
Link 10 Bernaerts, A. (2007). Can the “Big Warming” at Spitsbergen from 1918 to 1940 be explained? PACON 2007 Proceedings 325-337.
Link 11 This shows a variety of arctic warming events over the last 150 years
Link 12: We have got this far citing instances of warming and not even mentioned the Vikings 1000 years ago…instead let’s look at another Arctic culture that thrived 1000 years before the Vikings;
From the Eskimo Times Monday, Mar. 17, 1941
“The corner of Alaska nearest Siberia was probably man’s first threshold to the Western Hemisphere. So for years archeologists have dug there for a clue to America’s prehistoric past. Until last year, all the finds were obviously Eskimo. Then Anthropologists Froelich G. Rainey of the University of Alaska and two collaborators struck the remains of a town, of inciedible size and mysterious culture. Last week in Natural History Professor Rainey, still somewhat amazed, described this lost Arctic city.
It lies at Ipiutak on Point Hope, a bleak sandspit in the Arctic Ocean, where no trees and little grass survive endless gales at 30° below zero. But where houses lay more than 2,000 years ago, underlying refuse makes grass and moss grow greener. The scientists could easily discern traces of long avenues and hundreds of dwelling sites. A mile long, a quarter-mile wide, this ruined city was perhaps as big as any in Alaska today (biggest: Juneau, pop. 5,700).
On the Arctic coast today an Eskimo village of even 250 folk can catch scarcely enough seals, whales, caribou to live on. What these ancient Alaskans ate is all the more puzzling because they seem to have lacked such Arctic weapons as the Eskimo harpoon.
Yet they had enough leisure to make many purely artistic objects, some of no recognizable use. Their carvings are vaguely akin to Eskimo work but so sophisticated and elaborate as to indicate a relation with some centre of advanced culture — perhaps Japan or southern Siberia —certainly older than the Aztec or Mayan.
This link leads to the Academy of science report of the same year regarding the Ipiutak culture described above
Link 13 This from the late John Daly has numerous references to previous periods of arctic warming.
Link 14: This link shows various historic maps which again show that modern ice melt is the norm, not the exception. One of Greenland shows it as two separated islands and was cited by a polar French expedition which asserted that there is an ice cap joining what it is actually two islands. This extraordinary claim is backed up by observations from an 1820 Greenland expedition whereby locals remarked on folk lore which said the same thing. (see reference in Link 6)
Link 15
We seem to have known more about dispersal of ice by wind and currents 150 years ago than we do now, factors which have a profound efect on extent, area, and melting. Many books date from the scientific expeditions mounted since 1820 that examined the ‘unprecdented ice melt in the arctic reported to the Royal Sociery. This book dates from 1870
Certain of us seem reluctant to learn the lessons of history-in this case that there are periods of melting and refreeze of the Arctic area that appear to follow a roughly 60/70 year cycle. The satellite record coincided with one of the High spots of Arctic ice following a long cool period and we may or may not be at the low point in the cycle-that will become clearer over the next five years.
Whatever the alarmists may believe, at present our modern era is not displaying any climate characteristics that have not been experienced in past ages of humanity.

May 3, 2010 12:18 am

It’s worse than we thought — it was catastrophic sixty-five years before it went non-catastrophic and then got catastrophic again!

May 3, 2010 12:22 am

Oops, I forgot that Mann recently discovered the Medieval Warm Period and, as Dr. Burns notes, evidently Jones has too.
Maybe climate science is actually improving by tiny steps. When the bombast finally suffocates under its own weight, will we miss it? Not me.

May 3, 2010 12:30 am

That was a great book and a great post.
We seem to have fallen into the habit of looking at climate events in isolation rather than view them in their proper context. I -and others- try to provide this with historical references.
I long ago came to the conclusion that the powers that be have no knowledge of History or deliberately ignore it. If the former we need to educate them, if the latter we need to ensure that others are aware of this.

May 3, 2010 12:31 am

It might be worth adding on the “catastrophic retreat” statement that since that statement was made it is now known that most of the Svalbard glaciers are of the low frequency surge kind. Once or twice in a century they advance dramatically. The rest of the time they retreat, so retreat is the normal behaviour. So most of the time people will find that any glacier has retreated comparing with reports a couple of decades ago. The machinics are not precisely understood.
Nevertheless, most glaciers in Svalbard today have decreased even since the 1930’s. So there is a decrease in the longer timescale as well. On the other hand, it’s known that some of the glaciers are much larger today than in mediaeval times. That’s known from dating plants found beneath glaciers.

May 3, 2010 12:41 am

From my essay History Lessons: “I thought I would begin this essay with an insightful quote or two, from some dead person(s), being dead they cary more weight….
“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” George Santayana”
Those that ignore the past are condemned to make themselves look foolish. It would seem to me that any researcher publishing on the climate of the arctic would have done enough homework to have tripped across this and I am sure other references to past conditions. To not have looked is poor practice. To have looked and ignored or willfully discarded those references is unprofessional. A goodly number of these climate guys have shown they are that on other matters. I guess it should not be a surprise. These people are like teenagers, who having discovered sex somehow think they invented it. The truth is, we, their parents did, when we were teens.
This geologist and many I work with, have always believed this whole climate thing is driven by natural cycles. Those of us working in the Alberta Sedimentary Basin encounter vast rock sequences that display a strong cyclic nature.
For what it is worth, the arctic has been essentially ice free in the geologic past, granted in the Cretaceous. That knowledge and $2.00 will get you a cup of coffee, except in my office, here it is on the house.
I guess I need to revise my essay with this fresh example. I believe I used the 1922 reference before.

May 3, 2010 12:42 am

It’s worse than we thought. Again.

May 3, 2010 12:44 am

Would be interesting to hear what Walt Meier has to say about that.
It would also be very interesting to make the raw data public, which he has used for his own pre 1953 reconstructions.
Also intersting what he can say about an apparent downward step function of approx. 0.5 *10E6 km2 in figure 3 of his own reconstruction, occuring just when the satellite record started.

Baa Humbug
May 3, 2010 12:46 am

So predictable isn’t it? As Meier said, “it was only regional yada yada yada”
No matter how many times we slap these alarmists in the face with evidence, peer reviewed or observational, they keep raising their ugly heads un deterred.
What do we call those blow-up knock-em down thingies? Knockem down dolls i think.

May 3, 2010 12:58 am

Andrew30 says:
May 2, 2010 at 10:47 pm
Do you have a current protograph of the islands?
There some fairly recent (2006) here.

May 3, 2010 1:01 am

The IPCC/Mann/CRU rewrite of the Earth’s temperature history was never going to stand up to scrutiny. There’s just too much evidence of natural climate variability from multiple sources. This one is in the same line as the [not] rising sea levels. The IPCC defines climate change as that part which is caused by man’s activities. So when the next ice age starts, that’s OK because it’s natural variability.
OT, but ‘Spain Pricks Solar Power Bubble as Greek Fate Looms’:
April 30 (Bloomberg) — Spain is lancing an 18 billion-euro ($24 billion) investment bubble in solar energy that has boosted public liabilities, choking off new projects as it works to cut power prices and insulate itself from Greece’s debt crisis.
…“This is necessary,” said Leon Benelbas, chairman of Atlas Capital Close Brothers investment bank in Madrid. “It’s an excessive subsidy at a time Spain has to gain competitiveness, and the cost of energy is a determining factor.”
…Spain’s fixed-price system for renewable power, which attracted more investment in solar panels in 2008 than the rest of the world put together, boosts the state’s liabilities even though they don’t show up on its balance sheet.

I’m a real fan of solar energy as it produces some energy even if it’s raining, unlike those environmentally barbaric wind turbines which produce nothing for days on end when high pressure moves in. The problem was the subsidies which raised demand too fast and created a bubble in the price of polysilicon pushing it to nearly $500 per kilogram. Spot market pricing is expected to decline to as low as $100 per kilogram in 2010. When solar gets cheap the demand will explode. We need to get some real capitalism in here and kick out the subsidy queens and rent seekers.

May 3, 2010 1:01 am

That report is obviously bunkum. Where’s the Hockey Stick graph to back any of it up?

Bob Highland
May 3, 2010 1:02 am

Ah, but Anthony, this doesn’t count.
It has been robustly established by climatologists that anything that happened in the past is suspect, because our forebears were obviously all idiots who didn’t know how to use their eyes and read a thermometer. The current crop of model mavens, who are so busy huddling around their supercomputers in comfy offices that they simply don’t have the time to make any on-the-spot observations, are now uniquely qualified to claim a monopoly on the truth.
The history of the last five minutes is clearly what counts, and we can expect that any evidence of climate change in the past will gradually be expunged from the records.
It has been unkindly suggested that these people are the real deniers, but I would never level such a hurtful accusation against these true professionals.

May 3, 2010 1:07 am

Seem like N. N. Zubovof the Soviet Arctic Research Institute had a better understanding about Arctic sea ice than the current breed of IPCC climate cabal scientist have, despite the trillions spent on satellites and computer models.
This is yet another truth about how our climate oscillates that has been hidden by the IPCC and what we see today is nothing beyond normal – Zubovofgate anyone?

May 3, 2010 1:18 am

There is an interesting review of “The Great Global Warming Blunder” by former senior NASA climate scientist Dr Roy Spencer in the Express today:
A scientist has come up with proof that man is not to blame for climate change
May 3, 2010
By James Delingpole
CLIMATE change has been the biggest concern for a whole generation. Now, however, a brilliant scientist has come up with proof that man is not to blame – and no problem exists.
Fill your tank with petrol, book another holiday, turn that patio heater up to 11 and breathe a deep sigh of relief: the theory that humans are responsible for global warming is as good as dead, thanks to an amazing new discovery by one of America’s top meteorologists.
In his new bestseller “The Great Global Warming Blunder”, former senior NASA climate scientist Dr Roy Spencer demonstrates that all those scary computer-modeled predictions of man-made eco-doom have been based on a fundamental misconception of how climate works. Climate change, he shows, is an almost entirely natural process on which human influence is negligible.
Of course, sceptics have been making this point for years, arguing that the quantities of carbon dioxide (CO2) produced by man are so tiny that even if they were to double there would still be no dangerous Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW).
What they have been unable to answer convincingly until now, though, is the alarmists’ counterargument that CO2 emissions are exaggerated by “positive feedbacks”.
One type of positive feedback often cited by alarmists is cloud cover. When CO2 causes the world to warm, they argue, it reduces the number of clouds. Clouds are what help protect our planet from the burning heat of the sun, by reflecting solar radiation. So even if the effect on climate of CO2 is relatively small, the potential knock-on effect is vast. This is why the predictions of temperature rises made by the Intergovernmental Panel On Climate Change (IPCC) assessment reports are so large and terrifying.
But according to Spencer, these alarmists have got completely the wrong end of the stick. The mistake they have made is to confuse cause with effect. It’s not man-made global warming that is causing cloud cover to grow thinner, leading to a spiral of ever-rising temperatures. Rather, it’s natural variations in cloud cover that are helping to cause global warming.
The implications of this are enormous. Not only does it mean that the billions of pounds of taxpayers’ money which have been pumped into proving the connection between CO2 and climate change have been utterly wasted but it also means that the climate policy of most of the world’s leading industrial nations is based on a total lie.
According to estimates by the International Energy Agency it will cost the world at least $45trillion to deal with AGW. Under the Climate Act, Britain is committed to spending a whopping £18billion a year combatting the effects of Climate Change. Most of this will go on attempting to reduce our output of CO2 – a gas which Spencer points out is not merely harmless but positively beneficial.
“The public debate over carbon dioxide needs to be reframed. Instead of asking “By how much should we cut back our CO2 emissions?” we should ask “Is there any compelling reason to reduce CO2 emissions at all?” says Spencer, who believes, “More atmospheric carbon dioxide might be good for life on Earth.”
This doesn’t mean that Spencer is a global warming “denier”. In fact all the evidence tells him that temperatures in the past 100 years or so have risen. Where he differs from alarmists such as US environmental activist Al Gore and NASA’s fear-monger-in-chief Dr James Hansen is in his understanding of the cause. They want to blame man; Spencer says it’s down to Mother Nature.
As the world’s greatest expert on satellite temperature monitoring, Spencer has access to the most accurate climate data yet collected.What his observations have shown him is that, yes, there has definitely been 0.7ºC of global warming since the beginning of the 20th century, but that three quarters of this was caused by an entirely natural process called the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO).
The PDO is a shift in weather patterns over the North Pacific Ocean. It moves in cycles of around 30 years which, funnily enough, is about the length of the various periods of warming and cooling which got alarmists so worked up in the 20th century.
From the Forties to the late Seventies there was the stretch of cooling that persuaded some to believe we were on the verge of a new Ice Age. Then from the late Seventies came the heat spell which set the whole AGW bandwagon rolling.
Now we’re beginning a new PDO phase in which temperatures are set for another 30-year cooling period. This looks particularly unfortunate in the light of all the intrusive and expensive legislation – higher taxes, CO2 emissions reductions, massive wind farm building programmes – being inflicted on us in the misguided principle that we’re all in imminent danger being fried to a frazzle.
How we’ll all chuckle at the irony as we shiver to death in homes we can’t afford to heat because of the way our fuel bills have been made unaffordable by carbon emissions levies brought in to prevent global warming!
Spencer describes the junk science that has led to these policy disasters as “the greatest scientific blunder in history”. He adds: “I don’t know whether it will take two years or 20 but I predict that at some point in the future we will realise that the fear of catastrophic climate change was the worst case of mass hysteria the world has ever known.”
It is a point well made. What kind of topsy turvy world do we live in where America’s Environmental Protection Agency can declare CO2 – the naturally occurring gas on which all life depends – a pollutant?
What manner of insanity drives environmentalists, in the name of saving the planet, to want to carpet some of the most beautiful stretches of Britain’s countryside with ugly, bird-mangling, outrageously expensive and almost entirely ineffective wind turbines, such as those pictured above?
Yet if the blunder that the alarmist scientists made over the cause of “global warming” was so basic, how come nobody spotted it before? Spencer suspects some scientists did but kept quiet because AGW is “driven more by quasi-religious beliefs and financial and political motives than by an objective assessment of the science”. To keep getting funding, scientists need to support Al Gore’s “consensus” that CO2 is evil.
D oes this mean the debate is now over? Unfortunately not. Like all sceptical scientists, Spencer has had great difficulty getting any media coverage for his research because most newspapers – this one being a rare and honorable exception – are so heavily in thrall to the man-made global warming myth.
And instead of attempting to explode his theory scientifically, climate alarmists have resorted to their usual tactics of smears and personal attack. As Spencer points out, this debate has always had more to do with politics and vested interests than it does with science.
So next time you’re sitting by your patio heater and some dreary eco-bore tries to tick you off, you can now confidently reply that your “carbon footprint” makes no more difference to global warming than the Tooth Fairy.
That’s the good news. The bad news is that your Government – as do all three main parties – still believes in that Tooth Fairy. And no amount of science, however solid, looks likely to persuade them otherwise.”
This assessment is probably correct. For example, David Cameron’s father-in-law has made millions in the wind turbine racket.
David Cameron’s father-in-law is among rich landowners cashing in on Labour’s green subsidies, with a wind farm generating an estimated £3.5million a year on his country estate. Sir Reginald Sheffield, 63, who is worth at least £20million, splits the profits with the project’s developers. Around half of the income comes from a government scheme to make power companies use more renewable energy, much of it bought from private generators. It is subsidised by every household, via their electricity bills.
Sir Reginald’s eight 400ft turbines were switched on last August at Bagmoor, part of the 3,000-acre Normanby Hall estate near Scunthorpe that has been in his family since the 16th century. He plans a second development at nearby Flixborough Grange, despite fierce opposition from locals.

May 3, 2010 1:40 am

Dr. A. Burns,
If you bothered to check, Professor Jones never made the statement you ascribed to him. He was speaking about the assessment of a trend as statistically significant, or not.
Re: This Post
This is a fascinating early glimpse of global warming. What would be really interesting is a comparison with those glaciers today. Where this book talks about retreat of glaciers in terms of metres, current descriptions are about retreat in terms of kilometres or more.
“The glaciers in the Kongsfjorden area, where we documented the landscape during our voyage, began an almost continuous retreat around 1900. Blomstrandbreen has retreated around two kilometres in the last 80 years. Since 1960, the average retreat of the glacier has been about 35 metres per year, and even higher in the last decade.”

May 3, 2010 1:51 am

jorgekafkazar says:
May 2, 2010 at 10:33 pm
The provenance of the paper being in US hands since 1963 is telling.
Learned circles had to have known. Follow that paper.

Rhys Jaggar
May 3, 2010 2:12 am

‘My wife’s been getting fatter for the past 6 months. It’s not happened in our lifetimes before.
Does she need an enormous dose of antibiotics or anticancer drugs to get rid of the growth inside her belly? I sure don’t want her to die before Christmas!’

May 3, 2010 2:31 am

The abstract from ScienceDirect shows that this is a relatively old paper and may well explain Jones statement about the Medieval Warm Period

Received 8 April 2008;
revised 21 October 2009;
accepted 3 November 2009.
Available online 25 November 2009.
Twenty ice cores drilled in medium to high accumulation areas of the Greenland ice sheet have been used to extract seasonally resolved stable isotope records. Relationships between the seasonal stable isotope data and Greenland and Icelandic temperatures as well as atmospheric flow are investigated for the past 150–200 years. The winter season stable isotope data are found to be influenced by the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) and very closely related to SW Greenland temperatures. The linear correlation between the first principal component of the winter season stable isotope data and Greenland winter temperatures is 0.71 for seasonally resolved data and 0.83 for decadally filtered data. The summer season stable isotope data display higher correlations with Stykkisholmur summer temperatures and North Atlantic SST conditions than with SW Greenland temperatures. The linear correlation between Stykkisholmur summer temperatures and the first principal component of the summer season stable isotope data is 0.56, increasing to 0.66 for decadally filtered data.
Winter season stable isotope data from ice core records that reach more than 1400 years back in time suggest that the warm period that began in the 1920s raised southern Greenland temperatures to the same level as those that prevailed during the warmest intervals of the Medieval Warm Period some 900–1300 years ago. This observation is supported by a southern Greenland ice core borehole temperature inversion. As Greenland borehole temperature inversions are found to correspond better with winter stable isotope data than with summer or annual average stable isotope data it is suggested that a strong local Greenland temperature signal can be extracted from the winter stable isotope data even on centennial to millennial time scales.

Paul Vaughan
May 3, 2010 2:33 am

Bernaerts, A. (2010). Did the North Atlantic play a role in the tumultuous weather conditions and the Indian drought in 1918?
Goswami, B. N.; Madhusoodanan, M.S.; Neema, C.P.; & Sengupta, D. (2006). A physical mechanism for North Atlantic SST influence on the Indian summer monsoon. Geophysical Research Letters 33, L02706. doi:10.1029/2005GL024803.
For reference:
[ Definitions can be found here:
Or here:
http://www.sfu.ca/~plv/VolcanoStratosphereSLAM.htm ]

May 3, 2010 2:38 am

Spitsbergen (part of Svalbard ) is in direct path of the warm waters of the Gulf stream. Any changes in the equatorial Atlantic will be eventually reflected in the Arctic, and vice versa. http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/LFC16.htm It is a feedback loop.

Rocket Science
May 3, 2010 3:20 am

I really fancy skinny dipping in that beutifull heart shaped bathing pool in the photo, I`d better hurry before it ices over again.

May 3, 2010 3:33 am

So, one important question is how the Spitzbergen of the 1920-30s compares with today’s temperatures and ice levels.

May 3, 2010 4:00 am

OT but SM’s defense of Mann might puzzle some at CA posting. However it makes life harder for an AGW re propriety of SM.

May 3, 2010 4:28 am

Al Gore’s Weather (AGW) :
O’s Katrina: Quagmire/Disaster/Abyssmal ignOrance.
“Oil rigs today generally don’t cause spills,” Mr. Obama insisted on April 2, two days after he announced he would allow drilling in the Atlantic Ocean from Virginia to Florida and in the eastern Gulf of Mexico. “They are technologically very advanced. Even during Katrina, the spills didn’t come from the oil rigs; they came from the refineries on shore.”
“Oil spill threatens to sink Obama’s energy plan”
“Political damage will be hard to contain, not least because the slick could shatter the President’s shaky compromise on offshore drilling”

May 3, 2010 4:41 am

I think the “m” stands for miles not metres.

May 3, 2010 4:52 am

mountainprotector says:
May 2, 2010 at 9:45 pm
This is great! If we can say it is attributed to “wind” then we should stop the insanity of building “wind” farms, right?
If anything, it means we must start harnessing the wind – and taking steps to make sure it can’t escape and run amok in the Arctic! I know people say that free-range wind is happier wind, but I think you’ll find that you can’t tell the difference between farmed wind and “wild” wind. 🙂

Ulric Lyons
May 3, 2010 5:02 am

The AO is a 90yr cycle. With a low pressure Arctic vortex, warmer saltier Atlantic water moves up to 20deg further north, thining ice thickness by as much as 4 feet. The positive phase continues till around 2035.
Strong exceptions to this pattern will occur between 2014 and 2020, when colder N.H winters will restore seasonal ice extent. http://jisao.washington.edu/ao/

May 3, 2010 5:06 am

Well done – we can look forward to seeing this sitting at the bottom of piles of grey literature underpinning AR5.

May 3, 2010 5:15 am

In the 2nd paragraph of the imaged text, it says “According to the testimony of Wegener….” I think that’s the same crackpot who was advocating that ill-considered theory of “Continental Drift.” “Utter, damned rot!” said the president of the prestigious American Philosophical Society. Come on Anthony, that science was settled long ago. At least it was until it became unsettled. 🙂
I did not know that Wegener spent time “rocking” the glaciers, that’s something we all should know as he died, possibly of a heart attack, on the Greenland ice cap at age 50. See http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Features/Wegener/wegener_7.php

May 3, 2010 5:17 am

Go Adolescent Ice, Go.

May 3, 2010 5:19 am

One of the key tools of the AGW movement is historical illiteracy.

Henry chance
May 3, 2010 5:27 am

Looks like the Ford Model had warming impact 80 years ago. The proof was there and we didn’t see it.
Most of the warmist claims come from the fact that everything that was not shown on tv didn’t happen.

May 3, 2010 5:29 am

Excellent post !!!

May 3, 2010 5:32 am

vukcevic says:
May 3, 2010 at 2:38 am

It seems that things work like this: Sun-Ionosphere-Winds-Currents
The sunlight not only makes the air conduct, it also heats it causing thermo-tidal winds. These winds combine with the tidal winds caused by the gravitational pull of the Sun and Moon and drive the ionospheric dynamo. This dynamo generates currents as the conducting ionosphere is driven through the Earth’s magnetic field. These current systems form two closed loops: an anti-clockwise vortex in the northern hemisphere and a clockwise vortex ..
Then, “follow the electromagnetic fields”, there is a relation:

May 3, 2010 5:33 am

However now the gulf is cold, so…

May 3, 2010 5:38 am

1938 — after 50 years of apparent warming Callendar attributes it to CO2 and says its a good thing. Most folks say you cant show that, and anyway its probably just the up cycle.
(50s, 60s & 70s — the warming stalls)
1988 – After 1o years of apparent warming, Hansen wins the day with his sweety Congress testimony.
(Early 1990s — the warming stalls)
1998, – After 5 years of apparent warming, the 2nd (doctored) IPCC assessment decaring AGW ‘fingerprint’ and Kyoto protocol, warmists are on a high during the el nino of the century
(Early 2000s — warming stalls again)
2011 – After 3 years of apparent warming….[what next]?
Actally, I am starting to think that if 2010 is a new warmest year on record (with no La Nina expected, thats must be on the cards, yes?) it will be really interesting to see if the alarmists start talking temperature records again. It might be too dangerous for them because it will draw attention to all those years that weren’t records.

David, UK
May 3, 2010 5:46 am

@ Toby, who said: “Where this book talks about retreat of glaciers in terms of metres, current descriptions are about retreat in terms of kilometres or more.”
Come on Toby-baby. You actually believe that scientists all those years ago were wasting time worrying over fluctuations in ice of a few METRES? Use some common sense or go back to your Greenpeace.org site (as per your link) where common sense isn’t a requirement.

May 3, 2010 5:52 am

“Catastrophic retreat” of Al Gore’s Weather (AGW) :
Lost in the “operational architecture on climate change”.
“UN: No comprehensive climate deal this year
(AP) – 1 hour ago
KOENIGSWINTER, Germany — The United Nations chief negotiator on climate change says there will not be a comprehensive deal to fight global warming this year.
Yvo de Boer told reporters in Germany on Monday the next U.N. climate change conference in Cancun, Mexico, in December will provide a “first answer” on greenhouse gases “but it will not provide an answer that is good enough.”
The U.N. climate chief says a good outcome of Cancun would be decisions on an “operational architecture on climate change” with an actual treaty coming later.
He says he expects such an international climate treaty before the end of 2012, but even that will “not be the definitive answer to the climate change challenge.”
De Boer said earlier this year he will resign July 1.”

May 3, 2010 5:53 am

Wattsupwiththat heart shaped lake? Have you noticed it? It seems Spitzbergen is in love, that is why the heat is on…

Bruce Cobb
May 3, 2010 5:57 am

toby says:
May 3, 2010 at 1:40 am
“The glaciers in the Kongsfjorden area, where we documented the landscape during our voyage, began an almost continuous retreat around 1900. Blomstrandbreen has retreated around two kilometres in the last 80 years. Since 1960, the average retreat of the glacier has been about 35 metres per year, and even higher in the last decade.”

toby, you can’t simply use one glacier as a proxy for what is going on. Some glaciers are, in fact expanding. The point is, there is nothing at all unusual happening there.
Try this
“Blomstrandbreen might now be retreating, but on the west side of Svalbard is Friddjovbreen glacier which has advanced more than a mile in the past seven years – one of dozens of glaciers to do so.”
“Wider studies published in the Journal of Paleolimnology show that large sudden swings in temperature appear to be a consistent feature of the climate in this region, with temperatures rising and falling by as much as 2 degrees C in only a decade. Professor Humlum’s records on Svalbard show that the biggest changes took place in the 1920s, well before even the IPCC believe that man-made global warming influences could have been felt. More importantly, records show that since mild warming in the 1950s and 1960s, temperatures have been falling. Remember that the Polar Regions should see early and rapid warming since these times if man-made global warming theory is correct. They don’t, and it isn’t.”

May 3, 2010 5:58 am

berniel says:
We had too long a minimum, so chances are…as K.Abdusamatov predicts:
it will be just the contrary.

May 3, 2010 6:13 am

The ClK ion washout ratio from the Lomonosovfonna ice core in Svalbard (the island group that includes Spitsbergen) reported in JGR (2006) by Aslak Grinsted et al indicates that ice melt during the period 1130-1200 was comparable to that of the 1930s, while the NaMg ratio indicates that 1130-1200 had much more melt than even the 20th c. See discussion on CA thread “Svalbaard’s Lost Decades”, at http://climateaudit.org/2009/08/17/svalbards-lost-decades/
Grinsted comments that the dating is less certain for the first century of this core, and hence it was not used in his 2009 Climate Dynamics paper “Unprecedented low twentieth century winter ice extent in the western Nordic seas since AD 1200”. However, he is looking for a precision of 5 years in order to synchronize with a treering series in the second paper, so that it still could be plenty accurate for most purposes.

May 3, 2010 6:16 am

Anthony, you sly devil, you. And excellent work from a Soviet scientist? Nah, only those in the U.S. will be faithful to the scientific method, right. FWIW, I think all those “scientists” who have published knowlingly inaccurate or purposefully misleading scientific data or scientific history ought to be fired. The next administration should look very carefully at those who have received grant money and who have been performing (and continue to perform) like our stereotype of Soviet government-controlled (communist-controlled) scientists. Many heads should roll, I think. Plus they should be required to refund the grants — that action might take care of their generous retirement income.
Also, Tonyb (May 3, 2010 at 12:16 am), always the detailed and accurate historian. Many thanks.

May 3, 2010 6:29 am

Jacobshavn Glacier from 1850.

May 3, 2010 6:34 am

Plus ça change isn’t really right. There’s a big difference: Back then the scientists were in touch with reality and logic while the ordinary people were ignorant and superstitious. Today the scientists are ignorant and superstitious while the ordinary people are in touch with reality.

Beth Cooper
May 3, 2010 6:44 am

A moment of shock , Anthony, until I read on…. My thoughts on the article:
It is sometimes myopic
To examine a topic
Without studying context.
This may be a pretext
To reach some conclusion
That supports your illusions,
…(or in some cases, delusions.)

May 3, 2010 6:51 am

As I read, I kept thinking to myself, I said: “Self, when did the copyright on this expire?” Then I started to wonder how many other real scientific articles and books from ages past have been copied word for word and published as original and “new” in the past 20 years? I must confess with some trepidation that I never really thought Fat Albert had the brains to blow his own nose, let alone ‘write’ something referred to in this day and age as a book. I’m sorry if I’ve offended anyone, I’m only human, I think.

Doug in Seattle
May 3, 2010 6:54 am

I am not at all surprised by this 1943 translation. The Soviet Russians were very much into arctic research during the 1920’s and 30’s. They saw the arctic sea route to Vladivostok as an important strategic asset in defending and supplying their Pacific territories, particularly during the 1930’s when their only land link to Vladivostok was threatened (and often severed) by Japanese expansion into Manchuria through which their rail line traveled.
In fact their development of arctic commerce was such that just before the outbreak of war with Germany, the Russians were escorting German merchant ships to Japan via the NE passage.

jack morrow
May 3, 2010 7:00 am

All of this post and remarks are great for those who can read and write. How about the other half? How do you get them to understand? They are the ones who vote for idiots.

May 3, 2010 7:04 am

The NOAA weekly SST departures report is out this morning. The 50 – 200 meter subsurface temperatures charts are very interesting. Notice the change that has taken place between 9 March and 28 April. This should portend cooler surface temperatures across much of the Pacific.
See page 11 of the report.

Gail Combs
May 3, 2010 7:04 am

pft says:
May 2, 2010 at 10:01 pm
Nice catch. There is a lot of very interesting things in old books from 1940′s and earlier, not just in regard to climate, but would lead people to question much of what they believe to be true today. See how long this one stays archived.
Someone with the storage space needs to also archive it. I wish I had the computer space and talent

May 3, 2010 7:15 am

Agent J: Let’s put it on.
Kevin Brown/K: What?
Agent J: The last suit you’ll ever wear… again.

Don Easterbrook
May 3, 2010 7:25 am

Nothing unusual here–it’s what any glaciologist would expect. Global temperatures during the period from 1880 to about 1915 were quite cool and glaciers, including Greenland and the Arctic, expanded and many North American temperature records were established (this was a cool pulse, one among several that define the Little Ice Age). The warming period from ~1915 to ~1945 peaked in the mid-1930s, so comparing glacier recession during that time with the preceding warm period will show maximum recession–pretty much what this report describes and just what would be expected.

Ian L. McQueen
May 3, 2010 7:25 am

Toby -May 3, 2010 at 1:40 am
WRT retreating glaciers, the highway between Banff and Jasper (Alberta) was built close to the nose of Athabaska Glacier in the early 1900s. Now the glacier begins close to a mile away. It’s been retreating since the mid-1800s, at least.

Micky C
May 3, 2010 7:31 am

Interesting, Anthony, but not surprising. It never ceases to amaze me how the old theorists versus empiricists schism keeps cropping up. It must be human nature. That or the belief in the principle of induction (which only applies to logical systems). Yet there are so many more people who rely on theory rather than the hard ugly facts. AGW in particular is built on a whole concoction of models and extrapolations without measurements. I guess it will self-correct when someone gets the funding to do actual measurements of the basics but I don’t hold my breath. I think it must be that there is a false sense of power in theory rather than the humility of experiment. And people like that feeling of power and pretending to know stuff rather than the sense of having to plod along in the dark finding stuff out painfully. So we get all these grands proclamations and hubris. And it doesn’t change over time.

May 3, 2010 7:36 am

The AGW people will just change the date from 1943 to 2043 and claim it was sent back by an eco-time-traveler!
Problem solved!!!

R. Gates
May 3, 2010 7:36 am

You guys don’t get it…it was the elusive Higgs Boson, travelling back in time from the warm future to the 1930’s, warming up the arctic as a warning to the future, but because that Higgs was able to travel back in time, it means the warning was not listened to… 🙂
Meanwhile, back in reality, arctic sea ice has now fallen below the level for the same date in 2009, heading for a summer low that I project will be about 4.5 million sq. km, just slightly more than the low set in 2007, and tropospheric temps are well above 20 year record level…but of course, as I’ve been told, tropospheric temps mean nothing (despite the fact that the troposphere is exactly where CO2 does its greenhouse magic…

May 3, 2010 7:38 am

BTW: Earthquake along the fault north of Spitzbergen : M 4.6, Greenland Sea
Date: Sunday, May 2, 2010 09:17:27 UTC
Sunday, May 2, 2010 10:17:27 AM at epicenter
Depth: 10.00 km (6.21 mi)

Lazarus Long
May 3, 2010 7:39 am

Does that mena that Disko is dead?

a dood
May 3, 2010 7:46 am

Digging the typography! Two spaces after a period. LOL

May 3, 2010 7:51 am

The period 1900 to 1920 also encompassed the deepest solar minimums of the century. And 1920 to 1933, when there was 12% less ice than the previous decades, encompassed a solar maximum.
But of course correlation does not imply causation.

May 3, 2010 7:51 am

TonyB – this is extraordinary. Any other referenence to the Ipiutak people. This is mind-blowing stuff!!
Link 12: We have got this far citing instances of warming and not even mentioned the Vikings 1000 years ago…instead let’s look at another Arctic culture that thrived 1000 years before the Vikings;
From the Eskimo Times Monday, Mar. 17, 1941

May 3, 2010 7:54 am

David, UK says:
May 3, 2010 at 5:46 am
Come on Toby-baby. You actually believe that scientists all those years ago were wasting time worrying over fluctuations in ice of a few METRES? Use some common sense or go back to your Greenpeace.org site (as per your link) where common sense isn’t a requirement.

Rather than a rude brush-off, you might have looked into the actual facts of the matter, which are interesting. Toby was wrong – it is not meters, it is miles. But it is 2 miles, not 20, which means the Russian/English translator might have gotten other things wrong in this book:
In particular the Jakobshavn glacier receded about 20 m during the period 1880 to 1902.
NASA has information on this Jakobshavn Glacier back to 1850:
If you go to maps.google.com and type in Ilulissat, Greenland you will get the little town north of the glacier. The entire ice-covered inlet is barely 30 miles long – the glacier retreat of 1880-1902 as shown on the NASA image is 2 miles.
Note that the entire book is translated by a “Morskie vody i l’dy” – huh ?
The Soviets were close US Allies in 1943, so I’m sure any mistakes were unintentional.

May 3, 2010 7:57 am

Richard North comes up with great stuff so much of the time,maybe because he mistrusts the establishment. I think his blog Eureferendumblogspot.com must reading.
He knows his politics and he knows his science.

Don B
May 3, 2010 7:57 am

Somewhat OT:
Nigel Calder has a nice article on Svensmark’s cloud/climate theory and confirmational evidence.

May 3, 2010 7:58 am

This article talks about ice conditions in the eastern Arctic. What about the western Arctic? Does anyone have any data/information about ice conditions there? Also this paper is about winter temperatures. What about the other seasons? How do their observations compare with what is happening today?

May 3, 2010 8:01 am

This is for the phrase of the week:
Back then the scientists were in touch with reality and logic while the ordinary people were ignorant and superstitious. Today the scientists are ignorant and superstitious while the ordinary people are in touch with reality.

John F. Hultquist
May 3, 2010 8:22 am

Ulric Lyons says:
May 3, 2010 at 5:02 am
20deg further north
In the figure for Warm Phase, top right of the document you link to the amount is stated as 20 % — not ‘deg’ —
This makes me wonder about what was meant as 20% seems undefined while 20 degrees of latitude is easily understood.

May 3, 2010 8:27 am

RAE North comes up with the most interesting things.His blog is very worthwhile-he knows his science and his politics ,too.

May 3, 2010 8:31 am

a dood says:
May 3, 2010 at 7:46 am
Digging the typography! Two spaces after a period. LOL
Standard practise back then. I can still hear the double-thunk of the secretaries in the typing pool double spacing at the end of a sentence even now, over fifteen years after we switched to computer based word processing. Don’t you think it makes the text easier to read? Sentences don’t run into each other, which is a real problem with some less helpful fonts and with dimming eyesight.

David Ball
May 3, 2010 8:33 am

R. Gates says:
May 3, 2010 at 7:36 am: Response: Really? C’mon, really?

May 3, 2010 8:40 am

A paper by Mahoney et al. (2008) discuss the ice retreat between the 1930s and the 1950s. The decline was in the Russian Arctic and afterwards the ice recovered between the 1950s to the mid-1980s. The most recent retreat since the 1980s is Arctic wide and occurs in all seasons, whereas the 1930s retreat was confined to the overall Russian Arctic during the summer months.
Recent ice loss has been attributed in a number of papers to natural variability in the large-scale atmospheric circulation, rising air temperatures from GHGs and the ice-ocean feedback (see Overland et al., 2008). Between 1980 and 1999, the trends in surface warming and the retreat of sea ice from the Arctic were largely attributed to the state of the large-scale atmospheric circulation marked by the positive phase of the Arctic Oscillation and the Pacific North American-like (PNA). Since 2000 the large-scale atmospheric circulation pattern shifted to meridional blowing towards the central Arctic. Overland and Wang (2005) point to a similar pattern in the late 1930s that coincided with anomalous winter surface warming of +4C at Spitzbergen.
The current continued retreat of the Arctic ice cover testifies to the presence of alternative mechanisms. Some studies have argued for the dipole pattern (high pressures over the Canadian Arctic and low over Siberia), and a central Arctic pattern marked by low pressure over the Arctic basin. Both patterns continue to be present since the late 1980s and have contributed to the observed sea ice reduction in the western and central Arctic.

CRS, Dr.P.H.
May 3, 2010 8:40 am

If anyone wishes to make a backup copy of Zubov’s book, simply download the .pdf to your hard-drive and save it to http://www.scribd.com
Scribd is a great site for personal archiving, and results are searchable if you provide accurate tags. There are other archive sites popping up as well.

May 3, 2010 8:48 am

This is easy: KNMI is our friend
1930-40ties in Spitsbergen were warmer than present years.

May 3, 2010 8:53 am

mountainprotector said: This is great! If we can say it is attributed to “wind” then we should stop the insanity of building “wind” farms, right? (just kidding)
You could put wind turbines around the Arctic basin. The increased surface drag would slow the winds and lessen the flushing effect.

May 3, 2010 9:28 am

Enneagram says:
May 3, 2010 at 8:01 am
Yes, but it is appearing that they are not ignorant and superstitious completely. Add sly and crafty to that, and I’ll buy it.

May 3, 2010 9:29 am

According to the post-glacial rebound graph ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Post-glacial_rebound ) the ice mass has been melting for quite some time now. There was an ice age… since it ended things have been melting. Anything different would be a return to ice age conditions. And this is a much scarier situation that a mild warming from an already warming condition.

May 3, 2010 9:33 am

If people think retreating glaciers are catastrophic, then their little pinheads will just pop a the problems caused by advancing glaciers.
Just think of New York City 20,000 years ago under 5,000++ feet of ice.
Now that’s a problem.
Glaciers, like climate are in a perpetual state of change, either advancing or retreating.
I much prefer the retreating state.

May 3, 2010 9:40 am

This is not warming! May mean temperatures, records, averages Budapest 1780-2009 (hungarian)

Theo Goodwin
May 3, 2010 9:41 am

Baa Humbug says:
May 3, 2010 at 12:46 am
‘So predictable isn’t it? As Meier said, “it was only regional yada yada yada” No matter how many times we slap these alarmists in the face with evidence, peer reviewed or observational, they keep raising their ugly heads un deterred. What do we call those blow-up knock-em down thingies? Knockem down dolls i think.’
What about “Tar Babies?” Warmists will accept no observational evidence that might not be consistent with their “views.” I say “views” because they have no theories, no hypotheses, and they have done no interesting research and no experiments. To quote Gertrude Stein, “There is no there there.” The science of Warmism is exactly what you would get if you saw carbon trading coming down the pike and you hired a bunch of undistinguished scientists to claim that their science, which is nonexistent, PROVES that man-made CO2 is the main culprit in a planetary ecology that is rapidly approaching a tipping point.

David Segesta
May 3, 2010 9:43 am

The heart shaped lake is nice.

May 3, 2010 9:48 am

Is Watts the English translation for Zubov?
REPLY: I dunno, is “kernels” the English equivalent of “nuts”?

May 3, 2010 9:52 am

On recurring theme which is always interesting to me is how perceptually inept we human beings are.
Take quantum theory, for instance. (Bear with me – I’m going somewhere with this). Intuitive visualisation of the universe as described within quantum theory is largely beyond our capacity. Events and laws which the mathematics describe seem to us to be paradoxical in many ways; things have momentum but no defined position, or vice versa, for example.
Similarly, relativity is not easily visualised. Consider the “rubber sheet” description of space-time warping. Now try to visualise it in 3D. Not easy, nor is the fundamental idea very intuitive. Following on, a universe in which we can only gain information from the volume of it within our relativistic “light-cone” seems at odds with everyday experience and we can never be certain of what may be going on in the unobserved region.
I recal with a wry smile the writing of the late Douglas Adams who captured some of these limits to what we can perceive or even understand;
“Light… travels so fast that many civilisations take eons to realise it’s even travelling at all…”
Both of the above examples deal with, on the one hand, very short distances and timeframes and on the other vear large distances. The above article, and many more contemporary ones, seem to suffer from the same intuitive visualisation as I’ve outlined above only the failing is remarkable in its starkness. The author’s inability to apply reason beyond the immediate and to consider what his or her observations mean on timescales of generations or even many generations is striking. One has to wonder if this is a (possibly sub-conscious) ploy used to inflate the importance of the message and therefore render the articles with unwarranted meaning and importance. Of course, we all know that the data in these works are important in an of themselves. They are the records on which we can advance our knowledge and our science.
It is fundamental to the study of systems, in which we are subjectively involved, to make the assumption they we exist in a period and/or a location which is not unique. The repeated failure of some in climate science to observe this assumption leads to an inevitable conclusion that short trends are the harbinger of apocalypse when, in actual fact, we cannot know how extraordinary those trends really are.
We would be wiser to widen our perspective, widen our perception and derive our intuition from much-longer-term historical data ranges rather than jumping at every new anomaly which we were not expecting. This is especially true in a science based on a proxy historical record and one which has been under close study for only 40 or so years.

richcar 1225
May 3, 2010 9:55 am

The Pope is to intervene to restart glacier advance in Switzerland.

May 3, 2010 10:06 am

a dood says:
May 3, 2010 at 7:46 am
> Digging the typography! Two spaces after a period. LOL
I do that.   Why do you find it laughable?  I even do it in text at the end of sentences that I know browsers are going to collapse to a single space.
A lot of proportional fonts have a fairly small space character, and I find an extra space helps sets sentences apart.   Also, it helps associate abbreviations in the middle of a sentence as part of a sentence instead of the ending.
Perhaps you can explain your spelling of “dude.”

May 3, 2010 10:08 am

Glaciers are made of ice, and ice is made of water. No one mentioned air humidity. What about it?

May 3, 2010 10:12 am

Glaciers – About 60% of Svalbard is glacier-covered, with many outlet glaciers terminating in the sea. In central Spitsbergen, most glaciers are comparatively small due to the dry climate

Ed Moran
May 3, 2010 10:13 am

Ok! I admit it! I bought it hook line and sinker. Top posting, Mr Watts.

May 3, 2010 10:15 am

So….if the hideous prophet wishes come true, and there is Global Warming, the increased air humidity would increase glaciers, not the other way.

Steve Oregon
May 3, 2010 10:22 am

How typical
One day there’s this rare commentary.
Yesterday’s Sunday Oregonian had this well written skeptic’s commentary by Dr. Gordon Fulks.
Followed the next day an asinine lead editorial.

May 3, 2010 10:28 am

maybe you will this:

May 3, 2010 10:31 am

Is the big heart-shaped pond shown in your photo clear evidence that Spitzbergen loves the loss of its frigid glacier embrace?

May 3, 2010 10:41 am

Ric Weme, Andrew WH and Dude: Standard word processing format was and still is in many companies for two spaces after a period – some systems are set to do this automatically. I have been retired for a few years but up to 7 years ago, our engineering reports always had double spaces after the periods. For example, you can set Microsoft Office to always put two spaces after a period and do document checks for double spaces in the grammar section. Other programs have similar options.
Well, off to fix fences before the next spring snow storm.
Wayne Delbeke in (sometimes) sunny Alberta.

May 3, 2010 10:53 am

I propose to re-present it as a new press release with recent dates, and then issue to The Guardian and Independent newspapers(in UK). They are usually pretty good at basing stories on alarmist press releases without double checking credibility (because it must be right of course).
Both of these papers have gone very quiet on global warming stories recently, so I’m sure they would really appreciate a ‘fresh’ study.

R. Gates
May 3, 2010 11:32 am

No one knows how regional or not regional certain conditions were during any given time. My suspicion is that, for example, the MWP might have been more widespread than some experts admit, but not aas widespread as some AGW skeptics try to paint it. It terms of regional periods of melting in the arctic– who can say? Smokey keeps talking about the N. Pole being ice free at some point in the past, to which I answer– who cares? Tell me what the rest of the arctic was like at that time, and then I might care, especially if you have data covering the 10 years before and after that time. Greenland and parts of NE Canada saw record high temps this winter because of the negative AO index, but we know that record warmth was not spread out over the whole N. Hemisphere (i.e. the snow we had in Florida). Drawing any conclusions about global climate change from old, localized, anectdotal evidence is pointless at best, and deceptive at worst.
I will be most interested in seeing how Steve Goddard spins this weeks sharper downturn in arctic sea ice. In truth, it means very little that arctic sea ice is now below 2009 for the same date, other than being a statistical point of interest, much like the March-April “bump up”. Of more interest will be where we end up in September…

May 3, 2010 11:32 am

It would be much more interesting to see a comparison between what they were measuring, and current conditions.

Paul Vaughan
May 3, 2010 11:42 am

When ice is thick, water under it is insulated from the atmosphere, so the Arctic Ocean is essentially continental (from an atmospheric perspective).
The most damage can be done if the timing of blasts is right. The following plot features -SOI (-Southern Oscillation Index) for AUGUST:
Red represents interannual -SOI (so + indicates El Nino dominance).
Black is the cumulative effect.

Robert of Ottawa
May 3, 2010 11:43 am

There are a number of these internet archives now, often at universities. It’s great to be able to see old rae books, even if you can’t afford to buy them.

a reader
May 3, 2010 11:51 am

If you are interested in Ipiutak, have you ever seen the the article by Froelich Rainey in the September 1942 National Geographic? It has very fine pictures of the skulls with jet-studded ivory eyes and aerial views of the town site with the mile long “avenues” with house ruins. Froelich seemed to think the population had been bigger than modern Fairbanks (which in 1942 was 3,455). I was amazed when I read this article, never having heard of this archeological site before. Do you know if this site has ever been debunked as not authentic?

Bill Parsons
May 3, 2010 11:53 am

Ric Werme says:
May 3, 2010 at 10:06 am
a dood says:
May 3, 2010 at 7:46 am
> Digging the typography! Two spaces after a period. LOL

Perhaps Mr. Dood is a twitterer, and therefore accustomed to the need to shorten messages for the small screen of a cell phone or blackberry. I will resist the temptation to abbreviate this noun for the same reasons.

Bill Parsons
May 3, 2010 11:57 am

Bill Parsons says:
Your comment is awaiting moderation.
May 3, 2010 at 11:53 am
Delete this (my) comment, will you? It was unnecessary and stupid.

Bill Sticker
May 3, 2010 12:22 pm

Theo Goodwin: May 3, 2010 at 9:41 am
Baa Humbug :May 3, 2010 at 12:46 am
Re the knock-em-down toy. In the early 70’s They were called ‘Weebles’ and marketed with the slogan “Weebles wobble but they don’t fall down.”
Hmm. ‘Climate weebles’ has quite a ring to it.

Ulric Lyons
May 3, 2010 12:25 pm

John F. Hultquist says:
May 3, 2010 at 8:22 am
Well spotted thanks. The AO would seem to be the major factor in longer term variations of Arctic ice. Its 90yr period maps the warmer and colder episodes over the last few centuries well. It also makes sense that the Arctic is probably a good place to investigate longer cycles as the region will exagerate any so called global temperature changes. I get the feeling that the proposed 60yr cycle that is so popular, is a misinterpration of temperature history, due to distractions from years that are so evidently exceptions in the AO record, And that the 90yr cycle is not only more repeatable than the 60yr cycle historically, but will be more successfull for forecasting.

May 3, 2010 1:04 pm

And please take a summer cruise to Spitsbergen to see what it looks like today:
Do remember that ice condition still determines the itinerary.

May 3, 2010 1:15 pm

Tres enjoyable!

George E. Smith
May 3, 2010 1:27 pm

“”” AlanG says:
May 3, 2010 at 1:01 am
I’m a real fan of solar energy as it produces some energy even if it’s raining, unlike those environmentally barbaric wind turbines which produce nothing for days on end when high pressure moves in. The problem was the subsidies which raised demand too fast and created a bubble in the price of polysilicon pushing it to nearly $500 per kilogram. Spot market pricing is expected to decline to as low as $100 per kilogram in 2010. When solar gets cheap the demand will explode. We need to get some real capitalism in here and kick out the subsidy queens and rent seekers. “””
So what makes you think that solar will get real cheap. I can remember when oil was $2 per barrel and oil shale was going to make a killing if oil ever went to $6 per barrel. Well oil did that; and oil shale was all set to make a killing if oil ever went to $11.
Well the same thing has been happening to PV solar. If silicon just gets cheaper, solar will make a killing.
Well the price of poly silicon is irrelevent when it comes to the cost of producing PV electricity.
PV solar is both area and efficiency constrained. You could give the polysilicon away; and it won’t impact the cost of PV electricity.
It takes a whole lot of energy; a whole lot, to get from polysilicon to a 22% + Efficiency Solar electric output; which is what the news media trumpet Sunpower as being able to achieve.
Well first off; I doubt very much that 22% is the total system efficiency; from say Air Mass 1.5 solar energy at ground level; through a glass cover that can protect the cells from a 100 year storm, and convert to DC, which then needs to be converted to Grid ready synchronised AC power. If Sunpower is indeed claiming that; then my hat is off to them. I rather suspect they are talking about lab level simulated sun on bare silicon cells.
Don’t forget the huge costs of cleanup after all the environmental pollution generated by the Silicon industry, in the growth of single crystal silicon; and the conversion to practical PV systems.
And the bandgap of silicon is such that the peak energy portion of the solar spectrum is not efficiently converted by silicon.
Don’t even mention multigap; multimaterial solar cells which have achieved about 40% conversion efficiency; but that is at air mass zero extra-terrestrial sun; where NASA can afford to put such devices, because of the high launch costs of payload.
The test is easy; put a fence around your favorite solar energy plant; and then try to use its output energy; plus all the raw materials in the universe in their natural state, to replicate your amazing energy plant.
Good luck on that with Silicon PV solar.

Magnus Olert
May 3, 2010 2:27 pm

So, in 1933 the permafrost boundary was at Semzha. It would be interesting to know where it is now.

May 3, 2010 2:45 pm

Soviet Science, especially when Stalin was running things was always a little dodgy. However, with the Arctic convoys running, they didn’t piss around during 1942-1945.

Bill Parsons
May 3, 2010 2:49 pm

Of the state of the weather throughout the whole year.
This year was on the whole tolerably abundant in crops of fruit and corn ; but from the feast of the Annunciation of
the Blessed Virgin till that of the apostles Simon and Jude, a continued drought and intolerable heat dried up deep lake?
and extensive marshes, drained many rivers, parched up the warrens and suspended the working of mills; hence the
pastures withered away, herbage died, and consequently the flocks and herds pined away with hunger and thirst. In
the winter, too, namely about the Advent of our Lord, ice and snow, attended by intolerably severe cold, covered the
394 earth, and hardened it to such a degree, at the same time freezing the rivers, that such great numbers of birds died, that the like was never remembered to have occurred before.

Matthew Paris was a monk historian in the 13th Century. He depicts dozens of storms and extreme weather events, usually accompanied by the phrase “never have such events been seen.” Of course, in those times, the implicit assumption is that they were the hand of God.

Paul Vaughan
May 3, 2010 4:15 pm

Glad to see someone else considering the same possibilities:
Ulric Lyons May 3, 2010 12:25pm
See the following:
1) http://www.sfu.ca/~plv/SAOT_Lunar_aa_SOI.png
[for details: http://www.sfu.ca/~plv/VolcanoStratosphereSLAM.htm ]
2) http://www.sfu.ca/~plv/SAOT,DVI,VEI,MSI_SOI,L90,SOI+L90.png
[for details: http://www.sfu.ca/~plv/VolcanoStratosphereSLAM.htm ]
3) Figures 7 & 8 (& Section 3 more generally):
Sidorenkov, N.S. (2005). Physics of the Earth’s rotation instabilities. Astronomical and Astrophysical Transactions 24(5), 425-439.
4) Figure 1:
Sidorenkov, N.S. (2003). Changes in the Antarctic ice sheet mass and the instability of the Earth’s rotation over the last 110 years. International Association of Geodesy Symposia 127, 339-346.
“The purpose of this paper is to call attention to a close correlation of the decade variations in the Earth rotation with the mass changes in the Antarctic ice sheets.”
“The redistribution of water masses on the Earth entails changes in the components of the Earth’s inertia tensor and causes the motion of poles and changes of the Earth’s rotation speed.”
“Apart from all other reasons, the parameters of the geoid depend on the distribution of water over the planetary surface.”
5) Figures 2 & 3:
Sidorenkov, N.S. (2005). The decade fluctuations of the Earth rotation velocity and of the secular polar motion. In: Journees 2004 – systemes de reference spatio-temporels. Fundamental astronomy: new concepts and models for high accuracy observations, Paris, 20-22 September 2004, edited by N. Capitaine, Paris: Observatoire de Paris, ISBN 2-901057-51-9, 2005, p.153-154.
“The initial cause of the decade oscillations of the atmospheric and oceanic circulations are, probably, the gravitational interaction between the Earth’s non-spherical and eccentrical envelopes and the Moon, Sun, and planets (J.V.Barkin, 2002).”
6) Figures 9, 10, & 11:
Carvalho, L.M.V.; Tsonis, A.A.; Jones, C.; Rocha, H.R.; & Polito, P.S. (2007). Anti-persistence in the global temperature anomaly field. Nonlinear Processes in Geophysics 14, 723-733.
7) Notes on Southern Ocean / Antarctica: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/08/22/spencer-something%E2%80%99s-fishy-with-global-ocean-temperature-measurements/#comment-177986
Bear in mind:
a) north-south terrestrial asymmetry.
b) uniqueness of Atlantic connection to Arctic (keeping in mind that since it’s smaller than Pacific it’s more responsive)
c) Antarctic Bottom Water (ABW), Antarctic Circumpolar Current (ACC), Antartic Circumpolar Wave (ACW), & related phenomena.
d) There’s a LOT more water stored as ice in Antarctica (than in Greenland/NH).
e) Arctic acts continental for much of year (since ocean frozen over), whereas SH oscillations are maritime (& thus damped).
When studying the influence of polar patterns on global integrations, it is not the equator that divides “NH” from “SH”. It’s more like somewhere between 45S & 60S (varying with longitude) for temperature. This is most intuitively understood in terms of continental vs. maritime dynamics (wild oscillations vs. damped oscillations). When studying precipitation, try a dividing line around 45N (loosely suggesting Arctic vs. non-Arctic drainage).
North Polar Region:
Ocean pond with limited outside-ocean-connections, receiving freshwater runoff from surrounding ring of land and insulated from the atmosphere by a cap of ice for much of the year.
South Polar Region:
Island holding TONS of ice, surrounded by SPINNING HUB of salt water that is WELL-CONNECTED to ALL other oceans.
Some of us need to be thinking about how spatial phase-variations integrate over interannual-to-decadal timescales.
Due to maritime/continental south/north and small-Atlantic vs. big-Pacific (very loosely speaking) spatial contrasts, global integrations mask important signals: http://www.sfu.ca/~plv/CumuSumCombo.png [for details: http://www.sfu.ca/~plv/60yearCycles.htm or http://www.sfu.ca/~plv/VolcanoStratosphereSLAM.htm ]

jack morrow
May 3, 2010 4:40 pm

Steve Oregon says 10:22 am
You are living in a most beautiful place. I first visited there briefly in 1956. Later, I learned to ski at Timberline, Mt Hood. What a state–Too bad most voters there are people I call idiots for voting the way they do. No wonder the news there is so biased.

F. Ross
May 3, 2010 4:42 pm

Amino Acids in Meteorites says:
Then one goes and buys a $8,875,000.00 ocean-view villa, I guess to watch sea level rise, after riding in his Gulf Stream.

Dang! There goes the neighborhood.

Mark Gordon
May 4, 2010 8:05 am

I have been reading “The Last Explorer” by Simon Nasht. It is the story of Sir Hubert Wilkins the great forgotten polar explorer who was the first man to fly over the North Pole and the first to explore Antarctica by air. I quote:
“…they sailed south in search of potential landing strips on the Antarctic coast, but were continually frustrated by storms. Wilkins was amazed to record that the floating ice field had receded by almost 1000 kilometers from the previous year. Looking back on these conditions later, he told journalist Lowell Thomas, with some prescience, that he believed this ice warming to have had a long-range effect on climatic conditions throughout the world. The ice melt that southern summer year was followed by an extensive drought in the United States. Decades before the world became aware of ozone holes and global warming, Wilkins was recognizing the links between Antarctic conditions and climate change.”
The year of the expedition was 1929. Comments please.

May 4, 2010 9:16 am

The book was published in 1943 but Table 121 that you show has an entry for Average Temperatures of Surface Water in the English Channel from 1920 to 1947. How can that be?

perhaps it is a second edition. It appears this book was published via an informal translation, and was used withing scientific and oceanographic circles, but maybe did not make it to popular press. My citation from the front of the book is the only date I saw. -A

Gary Pearse
May 4, 2010 12:04 pm

I have said in earlier posts that the nouveau climate scientists like Dr. Hansen (an astronomer) and others jumped into what they, at the time, thought was untilled soil.
Based on Hansen’s observations that Venus is engulfed in GHG and is 800C or so he recklessly extrapolated that extreme situation to our planet and Climatology was essentially born (again) without much thought that paleoclimatologists have been studying earth’s climate from the distant past.
Being a new science, proponents wouldn’t think that a good literature search would be worthwhile. And here, sitting in the US Navy library is a book on Arctic Ice that describes and era of warming that is relatively recent and even more extreme. Since the publication of this book we have even had an alarmist scare about the impending ice age of the early 1970s.
Since knowledgeable people on the subject entered the debate, revealing such things as the MWP and the LIA, etc., the nouveau practitioners have spent all their time digging up what they could to bury these earlier studies and observations and doing “repair” research that required manipulations and emendments and amendments to sustain their early fledgling offerings. The lengths they went to and the enlisting of a gulible public all fell apart in the Climategate revelations. Now with the tide turning, only a few are sticking stubornly to their guns.
The others are engaged in revisions ever so gradually – reflating the MWP and the Roman WP and deflating the LIA slowly back to their rightful places. The 1930s have been rebounding to become the warmest decade of the last century again and more glaciers seem to be bouncing back along with arctic ice.

Ulric Lyons
May 4, 2010 12:14 pm

Paul Vaughan says:
May 3, 2010 at 4:15 pm
“Some of us need to be thinking about how spatial phase-variations integrate over interannual-to-decadal timescales.”
Hi Paul, as you know, I am rather more focussed on seasonal/monthly/weekly detail, and forecasting it.
Cycles can be useful for climatic outlooks, but the seasonal exceptions are actually more important. This determines whether we have a cold winter or not, or if India gets a drought for example.

Roger Knights
May 4, 2010 5:25 pm

Style guides I’m familiar with recommend using a single space after a period. For instance, here’s a quote from The NY Public Library Writer’s Guide to Style and Usage, p. 699:

“Do not put two spaces after periods. Only one space should be used when the final copy will be printed in a proportionately spaced typeface or will be converted to desktop publishing.”

Questio, N. Authority.
May 5, 2010 9:01 am

When are we going to start charging, these H I C K s of CIVILIZATION: GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES
with their
government-trough FED
without a MODICUM of PROOF?
{I’m just passing through one of the upper slow-talking farmlands of the United States and even out HERE if someone yelled FIRE, and kept pointing, around a corner,
THAT’S ILLEGAL of there’s no FIRE.
A.L.A.R.M.I.S.M. has been a C R I M E since the age of GREECE & ROME .
F. R. A. U. D.
Terror & alamism as G.O.V.E.R.N.M.E.N.T-S.A.N.C.T.I.O.N.E.D.
P.O.L.I.C.Y. S.H.I.F.T.I.N.G.

Paul Vaughan
May 5, 2010 3:40 pm

Re: Ulric Lyons May 4, 2010 12:14pm
My primary interest is in the integrals of the things that attract your attention. I say “some of us” acknowledging that “others of us” will place focus elsewhere within the puzzle that is certainly sizable enough to warrant variation in individual focus.
I appreciated your notes on the role of seasonality. The adjustments I’ve started making to my algorithms have already paid dividends (in terms of insight – money is another matter!)
Perhaps I should clarify that my perspective is that of an ecologist. Example: A tree might survive a summer drought or a winter cold snap in one year, but if pounded with the same scenario for a decade, the hierarchies of competitive-edge are restructured. There are a wide variety of factors constraining dominance. For any given species, there may generally be only one or a few factors that are critical in maintaining competitive-edge. That species’ opponents may be constrained in part by a different few critical factors. All of this varies over time & space. For example, a species may be restricted by different factors in different parts of its range.
All of the complexity of life on top of climate & everything else (soils, genetics, pollen & seed dispersal, migration, etc.) Landscape ecologists have had to invent deeply (& technically) philosophical frameworks for conceptualizing the extraordinarily complex multi-scale patterns found in nature. In my experience, the conceptual frameworks are not at all intuitive to new students. They struggle to get a handle on the technicalities of the different frameworks. As for the mainstream, they haven’t even heard of this stuff. But like I say: multidisciplinary, so we all have our unique combination of pieces of the overall most-fascinating puzzle. Cheers – & thanks for the notes Ulric.

Ulric Lyons
May 6, 2010 4:27 am

Paul Vaughan says:
May 5, 2010 at 3:40 pm
With deterministic short term temperature forecasts, we can prepare for, or mitigate our own circumstances in terms of agriculture, water supply, energy needs, and natural disasters such as floods or volcanoes. The likelyhood of damaging solar storms is also a very important issue with our current dependance on grid based power transmission, and satellite sysems for our communication, we need to know when these events will occur. I for one would not like to see any collapse of modern civilisation, not even one continent. As for the ecological impact of drought or cold, I would have thought that is largely in the hands of nature (leaving aside the impact of pollutants), we cannot do much about that unless we control the Sun.

Paul Vaughan
May 6, 2010 11:33 am

Ulric Lyons wrote: “[…] we cannot do much about that […]”
Studying & understanding nature is tremendously interesting. (Engineering it is not necessarily the goal! Nonetheless, if we pave the whole planet and wreck patch-connectivity, we do impact [sometimes fatally] dispersal & migration, which are necessary for survival during sustained climate change, whether natural or not.)

Ulric Lyons
May 7, 2010 5:34 pm

Paul Vaughan says:
May 6, 2010 at 11:33 am
Give it x00yrs, we`ll control the solar wind input at Earth, decide when we want it rain, what kind of summer or winter we want, even if we want a tropical cyclone,
and source all our power from the ionospheric current generators!
Sorry about all the engineering, its my upbringing!

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