Jules Schokalsky on Arctic warming, the impact of the sea, Russian research, and the Second Polar Year. – A lecture in Edinburgh in the year 1935

This site is committed to the early Arctic Warming that suddenly commenced in winter 1918/19 and raised the polar temperature level until 1940 as high as during the last decade.

20081227_clip_image002[1] „For this purpose , it is necessary to know more about the thermal condition of the branch of the Atlantic Current which passes round Spitsbergen“.
This clear focus is rather difficult to identify on the website for the “2007-2008  International Polar Year“ (IPY)[1], which had been  a demand by the Russian scientist J. Schokalsky presented before the Royal Scottish Geographical Society on the 30th January 1935[2]. Schokalsky was already able to inform the Society that records provide incontestable evidence of a progressive warming of the Arctic Ocean (p.75). Schokalsky furthermore stressed that:
“The branch of the North Atlantic Current which enters it by way of the edge of the continental shelf round Spitsbergen has evidently been increasing in volume, and has introduced a body of warm water so great, that the surface  layer of cold water which was 200 metres thick in Nansen’s time, has now been reduced to less than 100 metres in thickness. (Schokalsky, p.76)”

20081227_clip_image004[1]Although this clear finding together with the explosion of temperatures at Spitsbergen in winter 1918/19  date back to 1935, modern arctic science still assume it as “natural variability” (see Chapter B). But what is ‘natural variability’, and has it any scientific meaning?  The matter becomes even more critical if claimed without sufficient prove, for example:  That the past 100 years are significant for the changeover of a climate system dominated by natural forcing to a climate system dominated by anthropogenic influences, as done recently by S. Brönnimann et al.[3], which had also formulated as question: “Was the 1910–1945 trend a result of “natural variability” and the 1950–2003 trend an “anthropogenic” warming?”[4], although it had been admitted that:
“Given the similarity of response in Arctic temperatures during the early and late 20th century, the question remains: To what extent is Arctic temperature controlled by global warming, by the regional atmospheric circulation, or by lower frequency oceanic processes? Our understanding of the climate mechanisms operating in the Arctic on different timescales is still limited” (Brönnimann, page 3)

20081227_clip_image006[1]It seems that Schokalsky could already offer a better hint on the tigger to the warming of the Arctic, particularly when he emphasized that the Soviet Union had asked the Int. Commission of the Second Polar Year in 1931 that oceanographically research should be added to the programme, as:
“This proposal was a confession of the belief that, since physical conditions of air and sea are closely related , the most valuable results of this great international effort would undoubtedly be obtained from simultaneous study of the two elements” (Schokalsky, p.78). 

And the IPY 2007-2008? In principle they are saying the same, but putting it in an even much larger context[5], which leaves a lot for interpretation, but does not answers any of the question Schokalsky had raised more than 75 years ago. (see also:  Missing the Point on Arctic Warming ; 18 Aug.2008)
This site is putting the emphasis on the sea, and thus can demonstrate that the early arctic warming had been caused by the North Atlantic Current as already Schokalsky assumed in his lecture to the Royal Scottish Geographical Society in 1935.

[1]  “2007-2008  International Polar Year“ (IPY); http://www.ipy.org/

[2] Schokalsky, J.; ‚Recent Russian researches in the Arctic Sea and the in mountains of Central Asia’, in: The Scottish Geographical Magazine, Vol. 52, No.2,  March 1936, (p. 73-84), p.77.

[3] Brönnimann; S. et al.(eds); 2008; “A Focus on the Climate During the Past 100 Years”; Introductory Paper, p. 1-28; see. Conclusion p.20.

[4] Ditto, page 9;

[5] See: IPY section: Ocean;  http://www.ipy.org/  saying: Cooling and freezing processes in key polar regions produce dense cold ocean water. These cold bottom waters flowing from the poles, coupled with warm equatorial surface waters flowing toward the poles, regulate the overall climate of our planet.

Missing the Point on Arctic Warming, Ø. Nordli, IPCC, NASA ?

20080818_clip_image002[1]“The Arctic ocean is warming up, icebergs are growing scarcer and in some places the seals are finding the water too hot”, reported the The Washington Post, on November 2nd , 1922. B.J. Birkeland (1930) saw the temperature rise, as“probably be the greatest yet known on earth”, and few years later A. W. Ahlmann (1946) called the event a ‘climatic revolution’[1]. This site explains this sudden warming since winter 1918/19 in a detailed step-by-step approach (Chapter A-C; Links on left-s20080818_clip_image004[1]ide).

Since about the 1980th it is evident that the arctic is warming, after a colder period over four decade again. It is good that this trend receives attention since recently. IPCC has little problems to assert[2]The Arctic is expected to experience the greatest rates of warming compared with other world regions. However, the early warming is not explained, and the little they say is inaccurate[3]. Other title it in this way: “NASA’s Earth scientists think ice is hot – a hot topic, that is[4]”, but fail to explaining anything either.

20080818_clip_image006[1]That is a big surprise as there are few, but reasonable data documented. Ø. Nordli, a scientist at the Norwegian Meteorological Institute, confirms the reliability of the data taken at Spitsbergen[5], stating: An abrupt change of temperature occurred at the end of the 1910s transforming the Svalbard climate from a cold phase (1911-1919) to a warm phase (1920-1930).  Evidently Spitsbergen saw a temperature increase of more than 10 degrees Celsius  from winter 1916 & 1918 to winter 1922/23 (see: Table Spitsbergen-Temp & the figure ‘Deviation’). Despite this fact, Ø.
20080818_clip_image008[1]Nordli made a statement concerning the period 1911 – 2004[6]: “During winter (DJF) no significant trend in the data is seen, whereas in spring the trend is highly significant, 0.42 °C per decade.” It seems Ø. Nordli missed the most interesting and important point: What cause the temperatures to ‘explode’ in winter 1918/19?

Also IPCC is too superficial in this respect (see above). At least they should have paid attention to the advise,  V.F. Zakharov submitted to the World Meteorology Organization (WMO) in 1997[7], asking:

  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 center of some kind, a source of climate change over the Hemisphere?”

Also a work from Sergey V. Pisarev (1997)[8] indicates that the impact of the sea may require more attention.

Actually, this site is carefully elaborating the reasons for the sudden commencement of the arctic warming since winter 1918/19, concluding, that the source had been the seas around the Spitsbergen archipelagos as far as not covered by sea ice according the seasons. When Ø. Nordli observes: “The cold phase was characterized by clear sky and pronounced inversions, whereas the warm phase was characterized by overcast sky and weaker and rarer inversions[9], the answer is easy, for the winter season at least: It is the sea.

By A. Bernaerts/Aug.2008

[1] See Chapter A, Introduction, Chapter A

[2] IPCC, 2007a: Climate Change 2007: The Physical Science Basis.Contribution of Working Group I to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change [Solomon, S., D. Qin, M. Manning (eds.)].

[3] Ditto: Average Arctic temperatures increased at almost twice the global average rate in the past 100 years. Arctic temperatures have high decadal variability, and a warm period was also observed from 1925 to 1945. 

[5] Øyvind Nordli, Year ?, “Temperature variations at Svalbard during the last century”
at: http://www.nordicspace.net/PDF/NSA106.pdf.

[6] Øyvind Nordli, 2005, „Long-term Temperature Trends and Variability at Svalbard (1911 – 2004)“, Geophysical Research Abstracts, Vol. 7, 06939, 2005.

[7] Zakharov, V.F.; 1997, ‘Sea Ice in the Climate System’, Arctic Climate System Study, WMO/TD-No. 782, in the section “On the nature of ‘polar forcing’”, p. 71.

[8] Sergey V. Pisarev , 1997, >”Arctic Warming” During 1920-40: A Brief Review of Old Russian Publications<,http://mclean.ch/climate/Arctic_1920_40.htm

[9] Øyvind Nordli, 2005, „Long-term Temperature Trends and Variability at Svalbard (1911 – 2004)“, Geophysical Research Abstracts, Vol. 7, 06939, 2005.

Joe D’Aleo claims: Warming in the arctic is likewise shown to be cyclical in nature. – An assertion that can be challenged -

20090519_clip_image002[1]This website explains and proves that the first big warming in the arctic started at Spitsbergen in
winter 1918/19, which saw a dramatic temperature rise during that winter. The rise between the winters 1915/18 and 1919/23, covering almost one decade, were astonishing seven degrees Celsius (see i.e. ANNEX A). But now it is claimed: “Warming in the arctic is likewise shown to be cyclical in nature.”

In a recent article Multidecadal Ocean Cycles and Greenland and the Arctic by Joe D’Aleo on 12 May 2008[1], the author says:
“This week we will talk about temperatures and ice in Greenland and the Arctic, topics sure to dominate the news this summer. Already recent media stories have some scientists predicting another big melt this summer. We will show how that is not at all unprecedented (happens predictably every 60 years or so) and is in fact entirely natural”, and
“We will show how that is not at all unprecedented (happens predictably every 60 years or so) and is in fact entirely natural.”20090519_clip_image004[1]
The readable and interesting paper should not go unchallenged. Joe D’Aleo concludes i.a. that: “The warm mode of the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO) also produces general warmth across much of the Northern Hemisphere including Greenland and the Arctic.”

Fact is that the early arctic warming was anything else but not cyclical. It was an “explosion” and not gradual shift.  The extreme rise of temperatures was initially confined to Spitsbergen, and only commenced in Greenland at least one year later (see: Part C). The sea ice cover off Greenland’s coast had been reaching Iceland in April 1919 for the first time since 1911 (see: Graphs, or ANNEX ).

20090519_clip_image006[1]The research of this site, and the 2007 Conference Paper (right column) show that the early warming has nothing to do with Atlantic Oscillation, but had been entirely related to the impact of the arm of the Gulf Current that passed Spitsbergen prior entering the Arctic Ocean. Actually, the extensive sea ice cover in the North Atlantic until the month of April, prevented significantly to produce more warm air, which could have generated the extreme winter temperature rise at Spitsbergen, the remote archipelagos almost surrounded by ice up to April 1919, except a small open sea area formed like a tongue extending almost to the Arctic Ocean.

Have an interesting reading while comparing the paper prepared by Joe D’Aleo and the material and analysis this site is offering.

[1]  May 12, 2008, Intellicast.com: The Authority in Expert Weather,http://www.intellicast.com/Community/Content.aspx?a=128

Catherine Brahic on: Arctic currents may be warming the world

THERE may be more to global warming than we thought. On top of the effect of human-made carbon emissions, natural changes in the warm ocean currents travelling to the icy north may be helping to heat up the entire northern hemisphere.
Temperatures in the Arctic are rising far faster than in other parts of the world. Climate models produced by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which are tuned to reproduce the human-made greenhouse effect, predict the region should have warmed by 1.4 °C between 1960 and 2000. In fact, the Arctic’s average air temperature rose by 2.2 °C.
Vladimir Semenov of the Obukhov Institute of Atmospheric Physics in Moscow, Russia, says that ocean currents carrying warm water from lower latitudes into polar regions could have played a part in this increase.
Text from: http://environment.newscientist.co

This website has more to tell about the arctic warming issue. It deals comprehensively with the much more pronounced arctic warming that started 90 years ago at the remote Archipelagos of Spitsbergen at latitude 78 degrees North. It assesses in detail what Vladimir Semenov (see the box) and his colleagues had to say about the earlier warming in 2004[1]; see: Chapter B, “What offers modern science”. Although they acknowledge that: “The huge warming of the Arctic, which started in the early 1920s and lasted for almost two decades (see graph below), is one of the most spectacular climate events of the 20th century”, this website is giving you a more in-depth research on what happened back in the late 1910s with many references and graphs. As necessary as it is to investigate and discuss the situation in the Arctic and its global warming potential, one will remain in the dark as long as the early arctic warming is not fully explained and understood, to which this website wants to be a service, and you can find out whether it is. Have an interesting reading,
wishes the Arctic-warming-team


[1] Lennart Bengtsson • Vladimir A. Semenov • Ola Johannessen, The early century warming in the Arctic – A possible mechanism, 2003, Report No. 345, Max-Planck-Institute of Meteorology, Hamburg, Germany;
ditto at:  Journal of Climate, October 2004, page 4045-4057

Theses from Stockholm University – 2008 – Grand Graversen, Rune: “On the recent Arctic Warming”

clip_image002[1]Rune Grand Graversen’s Doctor Thesis (FN 1) assumes that: „A major topic is the linkage between the mid-latidude circulation and the Arctic warming. It is suggested that the atmospheric merdional energy transport is an efficient indicator of this linkage“.

This website discussed his recent Nature paper in January 2008 (see Archive). The thesis claims that since the 1970s, a warming trend reached almost 0,5ºC per decade, while during the 1930s through the 40s, a weaker Arctic amplification is observed. Such ascertainment indicates that little efforts have been made to understand the used data. Already back in 1922 the US Monthly Weather Report reported that the Gulf Stream ensured exceptional low ice conditions high in the North Atlantic (FN 2), and this website provides ample information and graphs to prove this as well.

clip_image004[1]When Graversen concludes that the snow and ice-albedo feedbacks are a contributing but not dominating mechanism behind the Arctic amplification, and that a coupled climate-model experiment with a doubling of the atmospheric CO2 concentration reveals a considerable Arctic surface-air-temperature amplification in a world without surface-albedo feedback, one is left to wonder, why such a thesis ignores completely the extreme winter warming from 1918 to 1922 which lasted until 1940 acknowledged by Igor V. Polyakov et.al, 2003.  In this scenario CO2 is presumably the weakest mean to influence surface temperatures, and climate modelling is hardly a helpful tool, as long as not more distinctions between the sunless winter season and summer time is made.

H.W. Ahlmann provided already back in 1946 a detailed account on observed regression of glaciers and inland ice in Norway and other locations in the northern Hemisphere from 1918-1940. The retreat of sea ice in the Spitsbergen region due to ‘recent climatic improvement’ forced him to note that: “This part of the Arctic may, without exaggeration, be said to have experienced a climatic revolution”.  (see here left column:  Chapter B, How the warming was discussed until the 1940s).

As the defence of  the thesis is in a few days time (Defence: 2008-04-25), the Arctic-Warming.Com-Team is wishing Rune Grand Graversen a very successful examination and an excellent result.

(FN 1) http://www.diva-portal.org/su/theses/abstract.xsql?dbid=7473;.

(FN 2) http://www.jennifermarohasy.com/blog/archives/002847.html; March 18, 2008; Arctic Warming: Radical Changes in Climatic Conditions Observed; with attribute to: Anthony Watts,  for locating this.


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


[6] http://www.worldclimatereport.com/index.php/2008/01/03/arctic-fingerprint-doesnt-match/

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

World Climate Report introduced on October 16, 2007 the issue: – Greenland Climate: Now vs. Then, Part I. Temperatures -

pozaK2_Minimu_Ice[1]This site [1] is concerned with the early arctic warming at the start of the last Century, which actually was a Spitsbergen warming commencing suddenly in winter 1918/19. Now World Climate Report is willing to demonstrate that Greenland was as warm, or warmer, than it is presently, wondering that this fact seems largely ignored by alarmist scientists. That is good news and may be also of significant assistance to the efforts of this site.



tabeleastgreenland[1]Particularly useful are the given references of Greenland temperature data. The most interesting are from a location at Greenland’s East coast named Angmagsallik, which has – according NASA – an air temperature set since 1895[2]. This might help to identify clearly where and when the extreme warming started in the Northern North Atlantic. In Part C, Section: The warming event in detail , this site concluded that the warming commenced in 1918, latest in January 1919.


annualMeanTempBefore1920andAfter[1]The reproduces winter temperature-set for Angmagsallik, and the corresponding two graphs (for winter and annual mean around the year 1920) show clearly that the warming at East Greenland started one or two year later, as the winter/summer temperatures at Spitsbergen. Attention should be also given to the two graphs showing the minimum and maximum sea ice cover[3], which usually made Angmagsallik an inland location up to 400 kilometres away from the open sea towards the end of the winter season.

SeaIceCoveInArcticOceanApril1919[1]During winter the remote archipelagos Spitsbergen is for short and long-term weather making and changing a unique place. Due to the warm water from the Gulf Current a small section remains sea ice free, and that is the reason that the early warming started in winter and started here. Hopefully World Climate Report continues vigorously with elaborating the warming of Greenland, but is also able and willing to look across the Greenland Sea to Spitsbergen, considering why it all started there in winter 1918/19.






[2] http://www.unaami.noaa.gov/analyses/sat/

[3] Actually this sea ice coverage over the seasons retreated only gradually, at least by far not that much as during the last two decades, although the Arctic temperatures (and over the Northern Hemisphere) increased significantly over the next two decades, until winter 1939/40, when the Arctic temperatures had been as high as they are claimed to be now. This aspect should not be ignored in further discussions.

The New York Times’ Article, 2 October 2007 “Arctic Melt Unnerves the Experts”; By Andrew C. Revkin

Manley_pozaH1[1][1]The Arctic malaise is obvious. The Polar area permanent ice cover retreat is the biggest ever observed. The suddenness is unexpected and Arctic experts do know little regarding the chain of possible causation, some of them explaining to Andrew C. Revkin that “ things are not that simple”. But could the situation not have been more clear if more attention had been given to the Big Warming at Spitsbergen which started at the end of WWI in winter 1918/19.

SeaIce_April_pozaJ2[1]It is more than a half century ago that Birkeland regarded temperature rise in the Arctic since 1918/19 as the biggest ever observed, while Ahlmann named it a “climatic revolution”[2]. As the deviation from means had been even more pronounced, as during the recent two decades, it seems reasonable to understand the preliminary Arctic warming in the first place for not being too unnerved with the situation know. This site offers the interested reader a lot of clues, as it investigates the event step by step: Where, When, and Why. ToANgi_Ice_April_1919[1]Based on the fact that the rise in temperatures occurred during winter when the direct influence of the sun is zero, the next observation is at hand, that only the sea could have started and sustained the warming. Broadly speaking, this all could only have started with the permanent supply of warm water from the South and at the West Coast of Spitsbergen, due to the extensive sea ice during the winter season, which usually culminates in April. The presented images illustrate the situation well (for details see Chapter C & D).

  •  The plain graph (from 1914) indicates the usual SeaIce_April1919_pozaN1T[1]situation in the Northern North
    Atlantic between Land, Sea, and Sea Ice in the month April.
  • One further graph  (April 1919) shows the flow of the water current carrying warm water from the Gulf Current and brackish water from the North Sea northwards.
  • The third graph  (April 1919) with the read triangle at Spitsbergen indicates that the warming impulse could only have been generated in this small section.

This scenario reveals that the sea has generated the Artic warming 90 years ago, and that it would be of big help for understanding the current situation better if this would be acknowledged and vigorously investigated.  This website, which is fully dedicated to this topic, hopes to be a contribution, and for the interested reader the early Arctic warming issue is plainly explained.


[1] Andrew C. Revkin, Arctic Melt Unnerves the Experts , The New York Times, SCIENCE / ENVIRONMENT   | October 2, 2007

[2]  B. J. Birkeland (1930); and W. H. Ahlmann (1946) see Chapter B:  http://www.arctic-warming.com/how-was-the-warming-discussed-in-the-1930s.php

Can analysing the ‘Big Warming’ at Spitsbergen from 1918 to 1940 contribute to the “INTERNATIONAL POLAR YEAR” from March 2007 to March 2009?

[1]We humbly aim for not less than to contribute significantly to the IPY that started recently on 1 st of March 2007 , with around 120 research projects either planned, announced, or already deployed, whereby this massive effort shall cover a panoply of disciplines across the Earth, oceanographic, biological, atmospheric, and social sciences, including “reading past climate”.

Actually our website “reading past climate” dates back only 90 years. Suddenly the temperatures exploded at Spitsbergen a remote archipelagos at the frings of the Arctic Ocean in winter 1918/19. This extraordinary climatic event was subject of a paper submitted to the

The Twentieth Annual Conference, PACON 2007:

Ocean Observing Systems and Marine Environment

Honolulu, Hawaii, on June 24-27, 2007.[2]

The analysis shows that the Big Warming occurred very sudden within a few months period, and that Spitsbergen experienced the extreme temperature jump first. As these two improtant facts can be established with certainty, the next question is immediately at hand: WHY. Considering the possible options we identified the naval war activities during World War I from 1914 to 1981 as the most promising aspirant for having caused this event. You are herewith kindly invited to scritinize the analysis presented at this website and form your own opinion.

Afterall, the sudden commencement of the Arctic Warming at Spitsbergen is still the most significant climatic event since the huge volcanic eruption of Krakatoa in 1883. Once the Big Warming at Spitsbergen is convincingly understood and explained, we would also know whether naval war during last century has played a significant role regarding the warming period from 1918-1940, and the global cooling from 1940-1980, respectively which role the oceans and seas had on the climate during the last Century.

For more detailed graphs regarding arctic temperatures see: Arctic warming update, JunkScience.com, By Steven Milloy, January 15, 2005 ;http://www.globalwarming.org/article.php?uid=889


[1] The International Polar Year (IPY) is a large scientific programme focused on the Arctic and the Antarctic from March 2007 to March 2009, details at : http://www.ipy.org .

[2] http://www.hawaii.edu/pacon

I. Overview to: Hot Issue in Polar Area!

Recent conclusion o n the arctic warming in the 1920s/1930s :

  • Natural fluctuations are a component of the climatic system[1];
  • Natural variability is the most likely cause[2];
  • Sun has partly caused the warming[3] ;
  • The 1930s warm period did not coincide with a positive phase of the NAO (North Atlantic Oscillation)[4].

The latest IPCC’s Summary for Policymakers [5] paid little attention to the previous statements and summarised the ‘arctic warming’ as it follows:

Average Arctic temperatures increased at almost twice the global average rate in the past 100 years. Arctic temperatures have high decadal variability, and a warm period was also observed from 1925 to 1945.


One century has passed since arctic warming started, but science is still unable to offer a consistent explanation of the warming causes and origins. The investigation attempts to offer clues and explanations about what caused the arctic warming at the beginning of the last century. However, as a Conference paper it is actually only a brief summery of a more detailed workout, which is fully accessible on http://www.arctic-warming.com 

What is up for discussion?

pozaI[1]It will be demonstrated that the location and the timing of the first observed arctic warming in the early 20 th Century can be identified with very high precision. We will shown that the warming started at Spitsbergen, and moreover that the event commenced within a very short time frame of few months in 1918, whereby the most dramatic air temperature increase was in winter 1918/19, lasting particularly significant only until ca. 1922. Over a very short time period from winter 1915/16 to winter 1921/22, the temperatures had risen by about 10ºC, never returning back to pre 1918/19 level, although on a lower level until ca. 1940.

pozaA[1]A further highly significant aspect is the Spitsbergen location. On one hand a substantial part of the water masses reaching Spitsbergen have either passed to West coast of Scotland, or is coming from the North Sea, which might have had dramatic consequences back in 1918. These water areas around Great Britain had been under considerable constrain due to naval warfare during World War I (WWI), whereby the ca. 2000 kilometre distance between the two location is not necessarily a bit issue. All the naval battle ground water is carried by ocean currents northwards in the Spitsbergen region within few weeks or a couple of months. Once the ‘composition’ of battle ground seawater structure has changed, it remains changed.

III02_Apr_10[1]For this investigation it is furthermore of relevance to notice, that only the winter season is covered. This is not only due to the fact that only the winter temperature were the one how rose dramatically, but it covers the time period during which the influence of the sun does not exist over many months, or the direct influence is negligible.

The following investigation shall

  • In the first place establish that location and time of the arctic warming can be established with high precision, namely 1918, latest in winter 1918/19.; and
  • Show that naval warfare during WWI is a very serious aspirant for having caused this event, and that it is up to the scientific community to confirm, or to prove thisprima facie evidence as wrong.
II03[1]After all, since meteorological observations take place over the last 200 years, not one similar event of this kind was ever registered, neither before 1918, nor thereafter. Presumably no other event can enhance understanding how climate works better than the arctic warming event at the end of WWI.


[1] Ola M. Johannessen, Lennart Bengtsson, Martin W. Miles, Svetlana I. Kuzmina, Vladimir A. Semenov, Genrikh V. Alekseev, Andrei P. Nagurnyi, Victor F. Zakharov, Leonid Bobylev, Lasse H. Pettersson, Klaus Hasselmann and Howard P. Cattle; Arctic climate change – Observed and modeled temperature and sea ice variability; Nansen Environmental and Remote Sensing Center, Report No. 218, Bergen 2002; and: Tellus 56A, 2004, p. 328 –341, Correction, p. 559-560.

[2] Lennart Bengtsson, Vladimir A. Semenov, Ola M. Johannessen, The Early Twentieth-Century Warming in the Arctic—A Possible Mechanism, Journal of Climate, October 2004, page 4045-4057.

[3] http://www.john-daly.com/

[4] I.V.Polyakov, et.al.; Variability of the Intermediate Atlantic Water of the Arctic Ocean over the last 100 Years, Journal of Climate, 2004, Vol.17, No.23.

[5] http://www.ipcc.ch/pub/spm22-01.pdf