Modern Iceland’s Climate Is Colder With More Ice Than Any Other Time In The Last 8000 Years Except The 1800s

Reposted from NoTricksZone

A wealth of new research in glacier and sea ice extent show modern Iceland is 2-4°C colder than all of the last 8000 years except for a slightly colder late 19th century. Even the 1700s were warmer with less ice than today in and around Iceland.

A new study (Geirsdóttir et al., 2020) now affirms peak Holocene warmth at  least “∼3–4 °C above modern in Iceland” prevailed throughout much of the last 8000 years. Data from tree growth, glacier-induced soil erosion, algae productivity, sea ice biomarker proxies (IP25), and other climate indices affirm these conclusions.

Harning et al., 2020 report an overall 7°C Holocene cooling trend In Iceland’s surrounding sea surface temperatures (SST).

“In terms of foraminifera-reconstructed SST there is an overall trend of cooling throughout the last 8 ka from ~10 °C to ~3 °C.”

It is only in the last few centuries of the modern era that temperatures sharply plummeted to their lowest values of the last 10,000 years (Geirsdóttir et al., 2020).

“The coolest climate of the last 10 ka occurred in the late 1800s CE.”

Consequent to the peak cooling, glaciers and sea ice reached their maximum extents of the Holocene just 150 years ago.

While Iceland’s glaciers and North Shelf sea ice extent did partially recover in the first half of the 20th century, the ice extents are still beyond what they were in the 1700s and earlier.

There is nothing to indicate modern warmth or ice recession in and around Iceland is unprecedented or even unusual.

Image(s) Source: Geirsdóttir et al., 2020
Images Source: Harning et al., 2020
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Dennis G Sandberg
December 16, 2020 10:19 pm

“Consequent to the peak cooling, glaciers and sea ice reached their maximum extents of the Holocene just 150 years ago..There is nothing to indicate modern warmth or ice recession in and around Iceland is unprecedented or even unusual. ”
Biden’s minions who want to prosecute “Deniers” need to get after these foreigners, clearly their findings are baseless and politically motivated/sarc

December 16, 2020 10:52 pm

Wow! I read through the study to see if it really says what this summary says. It does. Iceland was about 3.2° C warmer between 6 and 8 thousand years ago. Then this stunning statement:

The composite proxies suggest the coolest climate of last 10 ka occurred in the late 1800s CE

In other words, the modern area is cooler than much of the last 10,000 years, even after warming slightly from the significant cooling of the 1800’s. Once again we see that natural variation dominates climate and the roughly 1° C warming of the last century is neither unprecedented nor anomalous.

Reply to  stinkerp
December 16, 2020 11:10 pm

I have been making this point for a long long time.

This study is backed up by many other studies as well.

The ANOMALOUS period was the Little Ice Age, and we are only a degree or so of highly beneficial warming out of that COLDEST PERIOD IN 10,000 years.

If I have time later this evening after a little work “get-together”, I can post graphs from many different studies around the world, or you may be able to find the links on NTZ which contain many of those studies.

(last computer crash, I lost my list of links, but retained most of the graphics)

David Kamakaris
Reply to  fred250
December 17, 2020 3:46 am

Beat me to it, Fred. How long have we been hammering Griff and Loydo on this topic? And never one reply to our questions.

Alan Robertson
Reply to  David Kamakaris
December 17, 2020 7:58 am

The warmies have been pointing this out for a couple of decades, whenever they need to ‘splain away some data points.
Warming makes it colder.

Reply to  fred250
December 17, 2020 10:56 am

I keep a couple of thumb drives next to my computer, and I try to backup everything valuable to them at least once a week. This includes my list of links.

Reply to  fred250
December 17, 2020 11:35 am

Let’s add a couple of other graphs from other parts of the world

South America

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Swiss Alps

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I have a lot more of these types of graphs that show very clearly that the WHOLE WORLD has been much warmer than now for MOST of the last 10,000 years

Noel Clothier
Reply to  fred250
December 25, 2020 2:52 pm

Beware of Bill Gates! I think he’s entering the room! Nothing cold in the mid or low latitudes!

December 16, 2020 11:12 pm

Where’s griff?

Reply to  Ralph Dave Westfall
December 17, 2020 6:57 am

In his phantasy world 😀
looking for arguments against facts.
He will be occupied for a certain time, I hope 😀

Reply to  Ralph Dave Westfall
December 17, 2020 9:57 am

Right here. Busy with other stuff lately. and under the old format auto moderated, so not worth posting.

If you accept that there is historical evidence showing this temperature pattern in Iceland, then you also have to accept parallel research collating sea ice extent which has (so far) collated records back to the 1860s.

and that shows extent is currently LOWER than at any point since the 1860s…

The idea that 1980 was a cold point in the cycle and the current satellite record just shows low point in current cycle has to go right out of the window.

And if you look at Iceland, you need also to look at Svalbard – record warming in recent years… Alaska… definite warming trend in recent decades… Siberia – warming, record temps in 2020.

In short Iceland is not showing a switch to a cooling trend, but is an anomaly in a rapidly warming region/Arctic.

Reply to  griff
December 17, 2020 11:00 am

Griff, are you ok? The article says that the temperature was mostly higher than today except in 1800 and following years. Considering this, is perfeclty normal and online with the article that we are warming and its warmer today than it was in 1860. So if you start in 1860, all we expect to be warmer today. The problem is that, before 1800, there were periods warmer than today, since 8000 years ago, and there were no fossil fuels being burnt. Resuming, we are not experiencing any unprecedented warming at a historical scale. By the way, if you check that “data” you are using, you will also see that there were considerable retreats in sea ice around the 30’s, comparable to the ones we are experiencing today. Ice expanded again until the end of the 70’s, as well as a lot of glaciers, and have been retreating since then. What’s exactly your point? I’m confused.

Reply to  J N
December 17, 2020 8:33 pm

griff just can’t let go of his conviction that if it warming currently, then it MUST be CO2 that is doing it.

Pointing out that it’s been warming recently is his fall back answer to anything that refutes his belief that CO2 is going to kill us all.

The Medieval, Roman, Minoan and Egyptian warm periods were all warmer than it is today.
griff: So what, it has warmed up since 1979.

The Holocene Optimum was as much as 5C warmer than today.
griff: So what, it has warmed up since 1979.

The 1970’s were the coolest period of the last century.
griff: So what, it has warmed up since 1979,

Reply to  griff
December 17, 2020 11:18 am

<em>”so not worth posting.”</em>

And your comment still wasn’t worth posting.. so why did you bother.

Around 1860 was the COLDEST period in 10,000 years.

Be very glad for the RECOVERY from that anomalous COLD period

And no, If you look at Arctic temperatures, around 1930/40 the sea ice levels were probably similar to now.

And yes, look at Svalbard, which had NO SEA ICE EVEN IN WINTER, in 1922.

Canada COOLING, Alaska only warming in their rapidly expanding urban centers warming that gets smeared over vast areas that it doesn’t belong.

We can ignore surface temperatures because they are meaningless because they are hugely corrupted by urban effects and data manipulation

There has actually been no warming in the Arctic this century except from the large El Nino effect, Nearly gone now.

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Further more, in the period before the 1998 El nino, Arctic temperatures were actually COOLING

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We also need to remember that the natural warming from El Nino events and recovery from the extreme anomalous extents of sea ice from the LIA and late 1970s has been totally beneficial for Arctic life in general

Not only is the land surface GREENING, but the seas are also springing BACK to life after being TOO COLD and frozen over for much of the last 500 or so years (coldest period of the Holocene)

The drop in sea ice slightly toward the pre-LIA levels has opened up the food supply for the nearly extinct Bowhead Whale, and they are returning to the waters around Svalbard.–whale-food-returns/1401824

The Blue Mussel is also making a return, having been absent for a few thousand years, apart from a brief stint during the MWP.

Many other species of whale are also returning now that the sea ice extent has dropped from the extreme highs of the LIA. Whales cannot swim on ice. !

Great thing is, that because of fossil fuels and plastics, they will no longer be hunted for whale blubber for lamps and for whale bone.

Hopefully the Arctic doesn’t re-freeze too much in the next AMO cycle, and these glorious creatures get a chance to survive and multiply.

So griff, stop your childish attempts to DENY that the Arctic is STILL very much cooler than for most of the last 10,000 years

Reply to  griff
December 17, 2020 11:21 am

Also, Siberia “may” have ad a record temperature at one location by a tiny fraction of a degree

Reality is that Siberian temperatures as a whole are no warmer now than in the 1930/40s, probably slightly cooler

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Same applies to Iceland

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Reply to  fred250
December 17, 2020 11:28 am

These charts are back up by Hansen

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add about 0.8C warming at El Nino events to the 0.3 in 1980

And by Jones.

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And by HadCrud4.

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Reply to  fred250
December 17, 2020 11:40 am

Testing.. and typo correction

Also, Siberia “may” have had a record temperature at one location by a tiny fraction of a degree….

Reply to  griff
December 17, 2020 1:34 pm

There’s less ice today than there was in 1860’s, which was the coldest period seen in the last 8000 years.
And you still believe you have pointed out something scary?

Reply to  griff
December 17, 2020 2:31 pm

“The idea that 1980 was a cold point in the cycle and the current satellite record just shows a low HIGH point in current cycle “


No wonder you can’t accept it.

Your fantasy is based on LIES and MAL-INFORMATION

FACT is that around 1970-1980 was the COLDEST point in basically ALL DATA from the NH in the 20th century after the 1940s peak.

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So there are two COLDEST points relative to temperatures either side of them

  1. The LIA
  2. 1970 – 1980

These ARE NOT the points we should be using a our reference

Reply to  griff
December 17, 2020 6:29 pm

Griff, I know your not smart enough to figure this out for yourself, so I’ll give you a clue. For free.
The article points out that the 1800’s were the coldest period of the last 8000 years.
You point out that 1860 was colder than it is today. 1860 is part of the 1800’s and today is part of the last 8000 years. You didn’t contradict anything in the article.
You point out that it has warmed up a smidge over the last 40 years.
This article shows that the Little Ice Age was 2 to 4C colder than the average over the last 8000 years.
Since we have only warmed up about 1C from the 1800’s, that means we still have 1 to 3C to go before we can get back to the average of the last 8000 years. In other words, you once again have provided nothing that contradicts anything in the article.

It’s been proven over and over and over again, the current warmth is nothing unusual and is entirely beneficial. But you are stuck with your lies and ideology.

Reply to  griff
December 18, 2020 5:09 pm

Apparently in Solar Minimums Alaska does warm a bit. Don;\’t remember what I read about the science of it, but something to look into if you are interested.

December 16, 2020 11:30 pm

Not just Iceland. The Arctic as a whole has been warmer, and seasonally ice free for most of the Holocene. WUWT

If you do a web search for seasonally ice free arctic you get a bunch of alarmist hits. If you do a web search for seasonally ice free arctic holocene the hits are for the actual science. There’s plenty of evidence that the Arctic is now colder than it used to be within the last 10,000 years. How is it that most of the stuff on the internet ignores that fact? (Sadly, that’s a rhetorical question.)

Reply to  commieBob
December 17, 2020 4:57 am

Darn, missed a closing tag. It should be:
… a web search for seasonally ice free arctic holocene the hits are for the actual science.
That’s interesting. We don’t have to embed tags to change the html.

The formatting tools are just below the comment box. If I put enough text in here I can see if this is actually the way to do a block quote.

Ta Da! Is there a manual for this somewhere?

December 16, 2020 11:49 pm

This paper posted in Judy Curry’s week in review uses bivalve shell isotope analysis to show that in a fjord in Svalbard, sea temperatures were 6 degrees C warmer 10,000 years ago than now. Even 1k years ago the sea was a couple of degrees warmer than now.

Reply to  Phil Salmon
December 17, 2020 7:18 am

And just in case one of our pet trolls drives by with “Oh but it’s only local and the Atlantic is only a small part of the world…” – here is the same finding in the Indian Ocean – 5000 years ago it was 2 degrees warmer at 150m depth than now. Indeed current deep Indian ocean temperatures are characteristic of glacial, not interglacial, conditions:

So maybe Atlantic plus Indian ocean is still “local”?? (/sarc)

Reply to  Phil Salmon
December 17, 2020 6:34 pm

In the minds of an alarmist, any proxy that doesn’t point to the modern era being “unprecedented” in hot hot it is, only represents an area a few miles around where the proxy is located.

On the other hand, a single tree can be a proxy for the entire world, because it does support what they want to believe.

Phil Rae
December 16, 2020 11:55 pm

Anybody taking bets on whether reports of this study will show up on the BBC or CNN or ABC?
No…..I didn’t think so!

Peta of Newark
December 17, 2020 1:51 am

In recent millennia, persistent and severe soil erosion has also been linked to human impact on the environment following the settlement ~870 CE, rapid population growth, introduction of livestock and the poorly consolidated nature of tephra dominated soils

This one nails it, I states what I’ve been raving about since forever, on here and other places..
Apart the ‘lost in translation part’ = how can Recent Millennia have started 870 years ago :-/

People Did It. People Changed The Climate

500 years ago, Iceland was covered with Birch trees. Like, you know, *covered*
Somebody cut them down, to graze livestock. They still do. Hideous sheep, nearly as bad as goats for making deserts. They eat everything right down to the ground.

Then: Does *no-one else* find it odd that the peak of the Little Ice Age coincided with Henry VIII chopping down England’s forest, to make warships, cannons and ammo for same

They created a desert and insane tho it seems, deserts are Cold Places.
No water there to store the heat. Crazy innit, everybody thinks deserts are hot.
Just like what happened to the Fertile Crescent, Sahara, Australia and currently ongoing, the West Coast

And everybody thinks hell is hot. ha ha ha
Wrong, Hell is cold & dark and we are all going there. Bit like Planet Mars. Lot like Mars in fact

Emissions, GHGs, Ozone Holes, Diesel, Plastic Bags and folks of De-Nile are not leading the way.

Tillage is
Aided abetted by Blind Stupidity, Buck Passing, Political Correctness trying to disguise Panic & Paranoia and not least, Good Intentions

Reply to  Peta of Newark
December 17, 2020 4:48 am

Oh, come on, Peta, tell us how you really feel! 🙂

I’m waiting to see if snow not only falls this year in the Moroccan Sahara, but also sticks to the red sands like it did a few years ago. I think that was 2016, but I have to look that up. And Kuwait should get some snow, too, so that they have a second phenomenon like the previous snowfall (never happened before!) in 2016. We need more things like that to confuse the greenbeaners.

Reply to  Peta of Newark
December 18, 2020 12:55 pm

Peta – good one, well reasoned and I would guess well above plausible. Good news is the fine folks that brought us the gnd and tv19 will soon engineer and unleash a virus designed to solve the problem, excepting themselves of course.

Matthew Sykes
December 17, 2020 3:00 am

BOOM! Thus dies the climate change scare story! What is true of Iceland is true for the entire north atlantic, the countries around it, and the arctic. If there is no climate crisis in the arctic, there is no climate crisis.

Reply to  Matthew Sykes
December 17, 2020 3:53 am

Unfortunately, there are too many powerful people and organizations with an interest in maintaining the Climate “Crisis”. This is no longer about Truth or Falsity, and hasn’t been for a long time.

Reply to  Graemethecat
December 17, 2020 5:00 am

+ 100%, Graeme.

Reply to  Oldseadog
December 17, 2020 6:36 pm

Oh no, dogs and cats living together,
HT Ghostbusters

Joseph Zorzin
December 17, 2020 3:18 am

A new post on “real climate”: “An ever more perfect dataset?”

“Finally, they have started to produce an infilled data set which uses an extrapolation to fill in data-poor areas (like the Arctic)….”


Ewin Barnett
December 17, 2020 3:42 am

I thought that global warming was, er, um, global. Maybe Time and Newsweek were right decades ago when they warned of a new ice age. I am so conflicted. Don’t know what to believe now. Can the Green New Deal be repurposed?

December 17, 2020 5:42 am

I don’t like the big green comment flag bubble on the page.
If you need to zoom in to be able to read the articles,
it gets in the way.

Reply to  Photios
December 17, 2020 6:03 am

I’m not just a fan of the light green letters the commenters name are written.
What I like is the hint to the numbers of comment just on the starting page, no necessity to open the article to see, if there are new comments, and, I like the formatting tools, less errors with links 😀

Reply to  Krishna Gans
December 17, 2020 10:32 am

The link tool is obsolet the way it works 🙁

Reply to  Photios
December 17, 2020 9:59 am

It’s worse than just that. As a post lengthens, at some point I can’t go all the way down. Tried other browsers than Firefox, same thing, so not a browser thing.

December 17, 2020 6:33 am

“ Ancient tree stumps found under Breiðamerkurjökull glacier in Southeast Iceland are confirmed to be roughly 3,000 years old. RÚV reports.”

This is my favorite of the studies of old Icelandic glaciers. Whatever caused the warming had to last a long time for trees to grow.

Reply to  mkelly
December 17, 2020 11:42 am

Adn it needs to warm up a whole lot more for trees to grow there again. !

December 17, 2020 9:04 am

Duh. Holocene behaving politely.

I like to make lists of “What can stop Elon Musk?”
Because I don’t want anything to stop him.

I just added:
“NOAA releases actual Holocene reality. Demands release of massive amounts of carbon to blanket the earth, prevent climate freezing disaster. Electric vehicles prohibited until we reverse the End of the Holocene.

TSLA collapses.

December 17, 2020 10:49 am

“Modern Iceland’s Climate Is Colder With More Ice Than Any Other Time In The Last 8000 Years Except The 1800s”
Sounds like the rest of the planet.

December 17, 2020 11:48 am

And of course there are many studies showing that Arctic sea ice has actually been a LOT LESS THAN NOW for most of the last 10,000 years

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Arctic sea ice extent is greater now than it has been for all but about 400-600 years of the Holocene.

Reply to  fred250
December 17, 2020 1:38 pm

You’re having way too much fun with the new features.

Reply to  MarkW
December 17, 2020 2:33 pm

I like that it means people don’t have to follow links to see the graphs..

Brings them front and center for ALL to see 🙂

Reply to  fred250
December 18, 2020 5:40 am

Funny how Griff has suddenly gone quiet…

Reply to  Graemethecat
December 18, 2020 10:36 am

Somebody told him that WUWT moved to a new server. He got lost trying to find the new address.

Mike Dubrasich
December 17, 2020 1:03 pm

Yet more hard scientific evidence that global temperatures have been trending downward for 8,000 years, especially in polar regions. The Climate Catastrophe™ is COOLING not warming.

We must immediately STOP de-carbonizing economies. That is exactly the WRONG thing to do. Nations must Unite to avert impending doom by INCREASING CO2 emissions before it is too late.

The Tipping Point approaches. The ice cometh. Climate refugees will soon be flooding FLA, AZ, and CA to escape the Big Freeze. Canada will be abandoned. The situation is dire and existential. What about the children?

This is Science! Anybody who questions these FACTS is a Denier, a Flat Earther, and should be censored, doxed, and shunned forthwith. Any politician who wishes to cool the Earth further must be thrown out of office by any means necessary.

Wim Röst
December 17, 2020 1:08 pm

I am happy to see all graphs displayed again! Very informative.

J Mac
December 17, 2020 2:17 pm

Brrrr! We do not need a repeat of the Little Ice Age!

Reply to  J Mac
December 18, 2020 10:37 am

The trend has been downward for the last 10,000 years. If we hit a new Little Ice Age, the odds are it will be colder than the last one.

Wim Röst
December 17, 2020 2:45 pm

From the paper: “3.4 ka BP to present (southward migration of Arctic Front)”

WR: This is what can be expected when insolation is shifting to the equator by a diminishing obliquity. The long-term trend. High latitude oceans are cooling (long term) and that will have its consequences.

Second, a greater variation in temperatures is to expect when the oceans as a whole are cooling down: variability in temperatures rise when ice and snow start playing a larger role. When changing patterns of ocean currents (and by consequence changing weather patterns) enhance variability we get what we see the last centuries: first the Little Ice Age with ‘unprecedented cooling’ and after that the reaction: a warm wave, literally. A warm wave of subsurface Atlantic water that entered the Arctic, melting the sea ice above and right now is progressing to the East of Siberia. Several warm waves recently entered the Arctic: in the thirties and forties and in the nineties and the 2000’s.

When weather patterns again will change High Pressure areas over Scandinavia will return and over western Europe winters like in 1956 and 1963 can return, be it on a temperature level a little bit higher than in the fifties and sixties. The cooling of Arctic waters (by lesser sea-ice) has to continue for a while and fresher water will have to return to Arctic ocean surfaces. But then the change can be quick: the ‘low pressure road’ around Norway can be cut off and Western Europe once more will have real winters. Not what I prefer but it is what I expect to happen somewhere in the near future. Might even be soon, when the Arctic in Eastern Siberia continues to warm: weather patterns will shift, again cooling Western Europe.

Like in 1956 a late ‘real winter’ (starting in February) is the most probable first sign for a new period of (relative?) cooling for West Europe. But as always: weather is unpredictable. And so climate. We’ll see.

December 18, 2020 12:35 am

“The flashes fell upon them; some lay down
And hid their eyes and wept; and some did rest
Their chins upon their clenched hands, and smil’d;
And others hurried to and fro, and fed
Their funeral piles with fuel, and look’d up
With mad disquietude on the dull sky.”

Byron wrote “Darkness” in July-August 1816 – unaware of the event that caused the unusual weather.(The year without summer attributed to the eruption of Mount Tambora)

The cynical and somewhat sane amongst them “rested their chins upon their clenched hands” and wondered at the stupidity of their fellow men!

Dave Miller
December 18, 2020 1:32 pm

I grew up at the foot of the glacier in the image; in Tonawanda, NY.

Tell me that’s not Niagara Falls?

I think that until 8000(?) years ago, most of the Great Lakes emptied out of the Ottawa river. I might even be right.

December 18, 2020 2:25 pm

The Southern Polar Vortex should have broken up around November 20th, it has not, it normally brakes up to make way for the summer, as a result New Zealand, Tasmania, South Chile, South Australia have all had their summer delayed. Even in the event that it broke up at the end of December that would have delayed summer by 6 weeks as it typically brakes up 2 weeks before the beginning of summer – as yet we do not know how many weeks it will take of the end of summer but by the evidence afforded to us by this extremely unusual event, it is likely to have devastating effects and result is a very prolonged and cold winter for the Norther Hemisphere.

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Alexander Vissers
December 19, 2020 11:09 am

Still the recent decade’s reduction of sea ice extent is impressive. Wonder what causes it. It cant be 10 years of CO2 emissions but it is certainly fascinating. Climate is poorly understood and I am happy real scientists collect data to find out what is up with the climate. The problem with the climate is foremost that it has become so partisan and objectivity is the first victim.

Wim Röst
Reply to  Alexander Vissers
December 19, 2020 1:26 pm

Alexander Vissers: “Still the recent decade’s reduction of sea ice extent is impressive. Wonder what causes it. It cant be 10 years of CO2 emissions but it is certainly fascinating.”

The reduction of sea ice is only observed in the Arctic, not in Antarctica where we find the same quantity of CO2. The temporary receding of the ice has nothing to do with CO2. The cause is well known: an enormous influx of ‘warmer than normal’ subsurface Atlantic water into the Arctic, deep below the Arctic sea ice. Slowly melting the ice above until the lack of ice enabled enough cooling to get the ice cover back again. The influx of warmer subsurface water is well described in this 2017 article:

Thomas Turk
December 20, 2020 8:39 pm

Keeping in mind that..”EconLog. 1.6%, Not 97%, Agree that Humans are the Main Cause of Global Warming” and the UK Telegraph ClimateGate Series which exposed the crooked UK Uni scientists for deliberately placing thermometers on 3 diff. hot spot type locations and using many readings from Russian locations with NO thermometers. Of course it’s cooling, as Russina Statisticians have shown, it’s Mini Ice Age time.

Wim Röst
Reply to  Thomas Turk
December 21, 2020 3:07 am

Thomas Turk: “As Russian statisticians have shown, it’s Mini Ice Age time”

WR: Source?

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