“You’ll Be Amazed By What Was Observed” – Inconvenient Arctic Observations Before Satellite Measurements

Die kalte Sonne website has another report about the Arctic. It presents a chronology showing that really nothing unusual is happening today. You’ll find it below translated in English.

US submarine “Skate” at the North Pole in August, 1958. “Hey, where’s the ice!”  US Navy photo. Source: Wikipedia.org/history.

We’ve seen it once already – Arctic sea ice melting happened in the first half of the 20th century
By Dr. Sebastian Lüning and Prof. Fritz Vahrenholt

When one hears or reads the reports about the Arctic sea ice, it helps to remember that satellite measurement did not begin until 1979. Thus we have data only for a period of just over 30 years. This barely suffices to fulfil the gladly used “climate definition” of a minimum period of 30 years. So we can’t avoid having a suspicious feeling, as we ask what did the sea ice do before satellite measurement began? Can we just simply skip over this and simply add the notation that we just don’t know much about it? Of course not. That would be too easy. Before the days of satellite measurement, ships travelled in the Arctic and brought back information about sea ice cover in the region.

In the following chronology, we present some of these reports. You’ll be amazed by what was observed.

1907 The New York Times reported on an Arctic heat wave. Source: Real Science.

1922 The Pittsburgh Press: “Extraordinary warmth in the Arctic during the last few years. Polar ice sheet to melt down? “Source: Real Science, The Mail.

1923 Fishermen, seal hunters and explorers report on unusually high temperatures around Spitzbergen and the East Arctic Ocean. The Daily News from Perth speculated on whether the sea ice in the Arctic Ocean would soon melt away as a result of a “radical climate change”. Source: Real Science.

1935 Russian vessel travelled over ice-free region that today was still ice-covered just before the previous ice minimum in 2007. Source: Real Science.

1938 Huge melting of Arctic sea ice. Source: WUWT.

Arctic temperatures in the 1930s were warmer and the warming rate was higher than the rate seen at the end of the 20th century. Source: The Hockeyschtick.

At the end of the 1930s, Soviet scientists noticed that for an extended time period it even had been 6°C warmer than during the Nansens ice drift, and a few degrees warmer than today. Source: Donner + Doria.

1940 According to reports, Arctic sea ice in February 1940 was a mere 2 meters thick, which was the same as the thickness of February 2012. Source: Real Science,

1947 Geophysicist Hans Ahlmann sets off the alarm: Climate change in the Arctic is so dramatic that an international agency needs to be set up to address it. Source: Real Science, the reference frame.

1958 During a voyage in the summer of 1958, American submarine “Skate“ emerged in open water nine times – and once at the North Pole. Source: Donner + Doria.


Note: I translated Lüning’s and Vahrenholt’s text rather than seeking out the original quotes, and so there may be some slight deviations from the original.


8 responses to ““You’ll Be Amazed By What Was Observed” – Inconvenient Arctic Observations Before Satellite Measurements”

  1. Papy Boomer, Chelsea, Qc Canada

    Again this blog made my day. Recently, I was just thinking about the Arctic in the ’30s and how nice it would be to know more about that period. It is refreshing to see that nothing is new under that good old Sun.

    Thanks to Pierre and a lot of thanks to Lüning and Vahrenholt.

  2. Edward.

    Some of these historical accounts are fascinating and a reminder that there is nothing new under the sun.

    If one peruses sites like Tom Nelson. Upon reading some of the warmist sites, a commonly related ‘fact’;
    i. that the melting sea ice in the Arctic basin somehow is regarded as a sign of global warming,
    ii, this is then tacked on to the catastrophist supposition that MMCO2 is causing runaway temperature rises [hence melting boreal sea ice],
    iii. and presented as if to form some sort of proof that mankind is warming the planet.
    Wrong, wrong and wrong again.
    The ice melt was spectacular this year – but so too was the refreeze and it means not a lot, the sea ice in the northern basin has fluctuated long before human records could be annotated, indeed it is a good thing that the ice melts back each summer – if the melting ceased – then the glaciation of the NH would be well underway.

    Another thing, nobody in the clarion legion of alarmist doomsayers – mentions the remarkable growth in the austral sea ice – strange omission that.

    Arctic sea ice melts – get over it.

  3. cementafriend

    Some Germany industry is now waking up http://physicsworld.com/cws/article/news/2012/nov/19/siemens-and-bosch-pull-out-of-major-african-solar-initiative . How long before Siemens abandons the bird killing windmills?

    1. DirkH

      Siemens has a long history of entering and exiting markets in a rather confused manner, buying companies, keeping them as business divisions, later selling them to other takers when the managers just can’t make it work. I’m currently working at a company that once went through this.

      Bosch is slightly less fickle and generally buys stuff and keeps it. I hear that they will at least keep the inverter section of their solar division. But even Bosch can’t make solar modules economically in Germany it seems so they’ll drop that.

      The reason that Bosch is less fickle is simply that they are not a publically traded company but are owned by the Bosch foundation. So they don’t have to publish quarterly results or anything.

  4. Juraj V.

    Arctic warming in early 20th century was almost twice as the modern one.
    Climate models (upper graph) are absolutely not able to mimic the early warming, it means they do not capture the natural variations. It is then of course not possible to attribute the late 20th century warming to whatever cause; unless you want to. Zero hypotesis is, there is a natural variation 60 years long, 30 years up/30 years down. And it is just about to go down.

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  7. MFKBoulder

    You translate:
    1958 During a voyage in the summer of 1958, American submarine ”Skate“ emerged in open water nine times – and once at the North Pole.”

    What you are implying is that the picture was taken at North pole in March 1958.
    This is definitely not true. The skate was surfacing North pole in 1958 thru 2 ft of ice. Witness?

    Here it is: http://tinyurl.com/Skate90DegNorth

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