Graversen et al., 2008, on: Vertical structure of recent Arctic warming

How much contributes this study on the “structure of recent Arctic warming” to understanding the ‘climatic revolution[1]’ during the first half of last Century?

Rune G. Graversen et al.’s article in the first 2008 issue of NATURE[2], got immediate attention world wide. The authors conclude: “We regress the Arctic temperature field on the atmospheric energy transport into the Arctic and find that, in the summer half-year, a significant proportion of the vertical structure of warming can be explained by changes in this variable. We conclude that changes in atmospheric heat transport may be an important cause of the recent Arctic temperature amplification.”

Remark: There is no clear sign of progress in Arctic research. Where is the “atmospheric energy transport into the Arctic” generated?  Already back in the year 1938 C.E.P. Brooks raised the same question: to account for the change in circulation[3]

20070107_clip_image002[1]Some understood this immediately as confirmation that nature is pushing the Arctic to the edge, too. The study confirms according Seth Borenstein (AP)[4] that “There’s is a natural cause that may account for much of the warming”. ‘Climate Feedback’[5] disagreed: Graversen conclusion only means: “Changes in the circulation in the atmosphere might have had a much larger effect than previously thought, but these changes may also have been induced by greenhouse gases”.

Remark: Does the explanation explain anything?   This website could show that extreme warming could commence (e.g. 1918/19), although during the winter period the Northern North Atlantic used to be widely sea ice covered. The ocean is what matters.

Also World-Climate-Report (03/Jan) remained sceptical by noting that: “pointing to ongoing climate change in the Arctic and yelling ‘fire!’ or, in this case ‘humans!’ seems scientifically a bit premature.”[6]

QUESTION: In a WMO Study from 1997 V.F. Zakharov[7] asked very clear question concerning the Arctic Climate System: (1) Why are the maximum climate fluctuations confined to the Atlantic sector of the Arctic?” (2) Why are these fluctuations pronounced, first of all, right here?” (3) Should the Atlantic sector of the Arctic be considered as a centre of some kind, a source of climate changes over the Hemisphere?”. When will they be answered?

SUGGESTION: Enter this website via the ToC links in the left column, and consider yourself whether the Arctic would be much better understood if the impact of the ocean is given more attention. The complete investigation comprises ca. 40 pages text without graphs.

“Water is the driver of nature”

Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519)


[1] H.W. Ahlmann (1946), see Chapter I of this site

[2] Rune G. Graversen, Thorsten Mauritsen, Michael Tjernström,  Erland Källén, Gunilla Svensson; Nature, 3 January 2008, Vol. 451, p. 53-56

[3] see Chapter B; ‘How warming was discussed until 1940), or: Chapter B.

[4] Pioneer Press, 02 Jan. 2008; Nature giving global warming a nudge in Arctic, scientist says



[7] Zakharov, V.F.; 1997, ‘Sea Ice in the Climate System’, Arctic Climate System Study, WMO/TD-No. 782, p. 70, or: Chapter D.