"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.

http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2009/04/21/article-0-045A7F52000005DC-33_634x422_popup.jpg

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.

http://en.academic.ru/pictures/enwiki/83/Spitsbergen.png

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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Kath

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

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.

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.

zefal

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.
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2008/09/21/nsidc-s-dr-walt-meier-answers-10-questions/

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,
Convenor,
Climate Conversation Group.

Hockeystickler

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.

pft

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

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.

ES

They blamed WW1 for the warming before:
http://climate-ocean.com/05_13-Dateien/05_13.html

geo

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

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.

rbateman

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.

Amino Acids in Meteorites

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.
http://www.latimes.com/features/home/la-hm-hotprop-gore-20100428,0,4103538.story

jorgekafkazar

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?

Amino Acids in Meteorites

“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.”

Andrew30

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

Dr A Burns

Even Jones now admits that it has all happened before:
http://www.co2science.org/articles/V13/N16/C2.php
… 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.

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

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

kwik
pat

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

Now explain this:
http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/seasonal.extent.1900-2007.jpg
Official record stubbornly claims the ice was steady until the CO2-induced death spiral started.

HR

Nice work from our soviet comrades.

old44

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

Bob_FJ

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

” Dr A Burns says:
May 2, 2010 at 10:53 pm
Even Jones now admits that it has all happened before:
http://www.co2science.org/articles/V13/N16/C2.php
… 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

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

Konrad

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

David

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?

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.
http://geology.com/articles/northwest-passage.shtml
Link 2 This also shows the same;
http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/current.area.jpg
Link 3 The IPCC report confirms this p351/2 figures 4.8 4.9 4.10
http://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/assessment-report/ar4/wg1/ar4-wg1-chapter4.pdf
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.
http://www.greenworldtrust.org.uk/Science/Scientific/Arctic.htm
Link 5 From the CIA further confirmation of the cold period during this time.
http://www.climatemonitor.it/wp-content/uploads/2009/12/1974.pdf
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.
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/06/20/historic-variation-in-arctic-ice/#comments
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).
http://meteo.lcd.lu/globalwarming/Chylek/greenland_warming.html
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.
http://www.nlpubliclibraries.ca/nlcollection/pdf/guides/NL_Collection_Guide_11.pdf
Link 10 Bernaerts, A. (2007). Can the “Big Warming” at Spitsbergen from 1918 to 1940 be explained? PACON 2007 Proceedings 325-337.
http://www.arctic-heats-up.com/pdf/Submitted_conference_paper.pdf
Link 11 This shows a variety of arctic warming events over the last 150 years
http://www.examiner.com/x-32936-Seminole-County-Environmental-News-Examiner~y2010m3d2-Arctic-Ocean-is-warming-icebergs-growing-scarcer-reports-Washington-Post
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
http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerender.fcgi?artid=1078291
Link 13 This from the late John Daly has numerous references to previous periods of arctic warming.
http://www.john-daly.com/polar/arctic.htm
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)
http://www.nymapsociety.org/FEATURES/TRAGER.HTM
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
http://www.archive.org/stream/arcticgeographye00roya#page/28/mode/2up
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.
tonyb

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

David

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.

Anthony
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.
Tonyb

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.

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.

It’s worse than we thought. Again.

Manfred

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.
http://www.igsoc.org/annals/46/a46a251.pdf

Baa Humbug

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.

sandyinderby

Andrew30 says:
May 2, 2010 at 10:47 pm
Do you have a current protograph of the islands?
There some fairly recent (2006) here.
http://www.thu.no/spitsbergen_01.htm

AlanG

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.

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601110&sid=aW5YTcDgqGLc
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.

UK Sceptic

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

Bob Highland

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.

Tenuc

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?

Kate

There is an interesting review of “The Great Global Warming Blunder” by former senior NASA climate scientist Dr Roy Spencer in the Express today:
http://www.dailyexpress.co.uk/posts/view/172845
***************************************************************************
“GLOBAL WARMING IS A LOAD OF HOT AIR
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.

toby

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.
http://www.greenpeace.org/international/news/glaciers-melt-before-our-eyes
“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.”

rbateman

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

‘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!’

Oldjim

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.
Abstract
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

Related:
Bernaerts, A. (2010). Did the North Atlantic play a role in the tumultuous weather conditions and the Indian drought in 1918?
http://www.arctic-warming.com/hottopics/20100130/PDF_version_NAtlanChennai_WEB_Jan30_2010.pdf
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.
http://caos.iisc.ernet.in/faculty/bng/bng_etal_GRL_2005.pdf
For reference:
http://www.sfu.ca/~plv/CumuSumCombo.png
[ Definitions can be found here:
http://www.sfu.ca/~plv/60yearCycles.htm
Or here:
http://www.sfu.ca/~plv/VolcanoStratosphereSLAM.htm ]

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.