Reference: The previous Arctic warming started in winter 1918/19, in the sea area between Spitsbergen and Fram Strait. This important fact was established in a recent paper titled: “The start of the previous Arctic warming 90 years ago”, while the discussion of the causation of this event was announced to do in a subsequent paper. Due to the reasoning of this paper it is Fig.13 regarded as an established fact that the Arctic winter warming from 1919 to 1940 (EAW)was caused and sustained by the sea (see: Causation I & II), which does not answer the question of causation: Was it natural variability, or did human activities contributed? As neither the reason, nor the mechanism is known, it was suggested to discuss it separately (Causation III). The following discussion is taking up the thread and trying to bring more light into the ultimately most interesting question of the early Arctic warming (EAW), was an anthropogenic element part of causing the change
1 to 12 refer to the previous paper.
Introduction: Analysing the causation of the reasons and mechanism for the EAW faces two fundamental problems, which the interested reader should be aware of. On the one hand the awareness of the influence of the ocean on all atmospheric processes is still in an infancy stage. How many people and scientists consider weather and climate matter in the relevant dimension between a sea water and an air column, which is in cubic-meter 3 to10’000. This means, that one degree temperature taken from the 3 cbm water volume, the atmosphere above, over 10 kilometres, can be warmed by one degree. If the air surface layer over 100 metres has a humidity of 100%, the one degree from the 3 cbm water-column could inject into the layer the amount of 100 degree. On the other hand for the Arctic in early 20th Century there a virtually no direct observation available, very few air temperature data series, and not any on ocean temperatures, neither from the sea surface, nor from any lower sea levels.
However, few, but very important circumstances are established and build the foundation for the further analysis:
2. The Arctic temperatures (north of 70°N) between 1915 and 1917/18 were particularly low ( Fig. 3, 4, and 13). North Europe experienced a very cold winter 1916/17, which was the third coldest in Great Britain during the last century.
3. A highly unusual sea icing in the North Atlantic occurred in summer 1917, when for the only time in 110 years (1901-2010) the ice covered all sea area off Spitsbergen in April, extended far south in May and June, and only retreated in July 1917 (Fig.9-12, and 24).
4. Record high increase in winter temperature for Spitsbergen in the winter 1918/19, which increased and sustained for two decades. (Fig. 7 and 21)
The initial making of the EAW is not a global issue, and it is neither a North Atlantic issue, but related to a small corridor in the east of the northern North Atlantic (Fig.16), which function more like single spot, rather than a long geographical stretch due to the permanent flow of a current in only one direction, from south to north, from the UK to the Arctic Ocean (Fig.8 and 16).
possible nature of causation. Although we have five strongly correlated events it does not
tell very much about the causation, or as presumably required in our case,
about the chain of causation. On the other hand there is no causation
without correlation, and what should not be ignored, that the more strings
and circumstances are pointing into one direction, the more it is
rectified to take any correlation serious. That is what good science
should be all about. Unfortunately earth science is far away from
acknowledging fundamental aspects, which would have made it much easier to
present our case. Although we cannot include them in our reasoning, they
shall at least be mentioned briefly:
If meteorology and oceanology would have done sufficient observation and research on each of the three mentioned subjects, the question what actually caused the EAW would presumably have been answered unison since long: the ocean and naval war contributed, by a small, medium of big margin.
A brief chronology of four years naval war.
Four years naval war can not be pressed in one brief paragraph. However it should be recognised that a naval war of the magnitude of WWI, has a much more serve dimension as other ocean uses over comparable or even much longer time periods. A particularly decisive factors is the suddenness, and the intensity over considerable depths with regard to the temperature, and salinity structure. This are the two main factors of concern, while any other kind of pollution is not subject of this analysis, as it is completely out of reach to quantify and verity its relevance.
August 1914 to Autumn 1916: The first two war years are presumably completely irrelevant for initiation of the EAW toward the end of the war. The sea areas affected were the Baltic Sea, the route to Murmansk, and all waters around Great Britain. What interested meteorologist could have realised that it was not difficult to observe that bigger naval encounter immediately influenced the local weather conditions, by mist, dust, fog, or rain due to criss-crossing and shelling. For example it happened off the coast of Scarborough on the 16th of December 1914, and during the biggest sea battle ever, the Jutland Battle close to the Skagerrak, on 30 May and 01 June 1916, about Winston Churchill brilliantly narrates in his book “The World Crisis 1911-1918” (p. 251-272, and 599-651).
Autumn 1916 to November 1918: The naval war machinery went in full gear since summer 1916, due to new weaponry and mass production. From now to the end of 1917 the Allies lost, a ship tonnage of about 7’000’000 tons, which means every month between 70 and 350 ships (April 1917) that correlates perfectly with the exceptional summer sea icing in the North Atlantic during the months April to July 1917.
During the remaining 10 full war months in 1918 the Allies lost another 2’500’000 tons. The total loss of the Allies ship tonnage during WWI is of about 12,000,000 tons, namely 5,200 vessels. Somewhat five million tons of cargo and store must have been on board of the sinking ships. The total loss of all naval vessels (battle ships, cruisers, destroyers, sub-marines, and other naval ships) amounted to 650, respectively 1,200,000 tons. How many ammunition, shells, torpedoes, and bombs were used in countless encounters is impossible to verify.
Not less than 200’000 sea mines were placed, of which about 75’000 had been used to build the Northern Barrage between Orkney Island and Norway during summer 1918. Only few months later the temperatures at Spitsbergen went into a steep rise that became the EAW.
overview of some sea and weather observation.
__(A) The Arctic temperature record north of 70°North indicate a period of slightly lower temperature between 1915 and 1918. (Fig. 2, 3, and 13).
__(B) The famous icy winter battle in Masuria (north-eastern Poland) in February 1915 between the German Army and the Russian Tenth Army, caused the German Field Marshall Hindenburg to question: “ Have earthy beings really done this things or is all but a fable or a phantom”, (citation from: NYT, 07 January 1942)
__(C) The winter 1916/17 was one of the very cold winters in Northern Europe.
The Baltic Sea sea-ice conditions extended during the war each year until
naval war activities ended with the Russian Revolution in October 1917.
The sea-ice cover during the winter 1917/18 was immediately much less.
__(F) During the Spitsbergen winter of 1918/19 the temperatures varied considerably. There were long periods in November and December 1918 with temperatures close to zero degrees, 4 days with temperatures above zero in November and 7 days in December. In January 1919, the temperatures did not reach –5°C for 14 days, and five days were frost-free.
__(F) The Fisheries Research Service/Aberdeen took sea surface temperatures in the Scotland - Faroe Channel that show a dramatic drop from about 1914 to 1920 (Fig. 22), whereby the timing is, based on the SAT from Thorshaven (Fig. 23), actually from 1914 to 1919 as the air temperatures level from 1914 is already reach again in 1920 (Fig.23).
__(G) The Russian scientist Jules Schokalsky informed the Royal Scottish Geographical Society in 1935: “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 (1895/96), has now been reduced to less than 100 metres in thickness."
This few mentioned situations should just give an idea that there might be many hundred, or thousand other suspicious weather or sea observations, which meteorology should identify and analyse for a fully understanding of the WWI weather situation.
III: Which evidence is possible, or sufficient to draw a link to naval
Our case is strong in at least two aspects, which can not be rebutted with reference to “natural variability”, namely:
If these events were ‘natural’, the claimants of such assertion need to prove that this happens frequently, and that they are able to compare it with other observation of a same or similar nature. If they remain silent, they need to accept that the naval war thesis is a serious option and a necessity to investigate.
With regard to the summer sea ice 1917, it is very difficult to name a possible cause. One can exclude that the icing had been generated from atmospheric conditions, and if only marginally, as the sea off Spitsbergen was still ice free in March, which only ended in April at a time the sun has already influence. Also any assumption that favourable conditions for icing could have come from the ocean interior seem a too remote possibility. Considering a link to naval warfare would require to come up with pollution, in a way that indicates to conditions for favourable icing conditions, a matter completely out of reach for this paper and my willingness to investigate this aspect. That is a task of universities and institutions, and in the responsibility of governmental departments in charge of climate change matters.
Concerning the sudden temperature shift in winter 1918/19, my consideration starts with the observation by Jules Schokalsky, that between about 1895 and 1935 the body of warm water (West Spitsbergen Current) was so great, that the surface layer of cold water of 200 metres was reduced to less than 100 metres in thickness (see above). This observation leaves two options for the process that happened over the time span of 40 years:
a) the decrease of thickness over 100 meter occurred gradually, e.g. about 2,5 meters per year, or
b) it happened within a very short time span, with a initial push during a couple of months prior, and in winter 1918/19, causing a significant shift that lasted for two decades.
All circumstance leave little room for not taking the ‘push’ option.
Although push-option could have started as early as in winter 1916/17, it seems only remotely possible that any major influence could have been coming from the low winter air temperatures between Europe and Spitsbergen. The starting point is more likely the summer sea ice in 1917 (Fig.24), by setting ocean internal process in motion, which is unfortunately completely out of reach for any consideration here. But there is at least the information that the SST at Spitsbergen in summer 1918 had been unusual high, and the extraordinary low SST in the Scotland – Faroe Channel (Fig. 22) in the second half of the 1910s, making it virtually impossible to assume ‘natural variability’ by a complete ignorance of the naval war.
support of Prima facie it shall be once more repeated what has
already been outlined in the previous paper, that here was nothing in
“the air”, for example a volcanic eruption, or a major earth quake, or
a tsunami, or a meteorite plunging on land or into the sea, which could
have caused the sudden temperature shift in the high North. Instead there
was a devastation war in Europe, and huge naval activities which
penetrated deeply huge sea areas, of which the water masses all ended up
after a short period of time where the shift commenced
The circumstances are so numerous and closely interrelated, and the two major events in the North Atlantic so exceptional, that it is time that atmospheric science solves the puzzle, or rebut the prima facie evidence that the naval war contributed. Regardless whether the role of naval war during WWI had been only marginal, medium, or considerable, for a science that talks about the danger of climate change it is irresponsible not to know precisely, the circumstances of the EAW, and which role did man play, in the matter to happen, and to stay from winter 1918/19 to winter 1939/40.
“Arctic Heats Up. Spitsbergen
1919 to 1939”; http://www.arctic-heats-up.com
 Web page: t.a.harley; http://www.personal.dundee.ac.uk/~taharley/1917_weather.htm
 A.J. Drummond (1943), “Cold winters at Kew Observatory, 1783-1942”; Quarterly Journal of Royal Met. Soc., No. 69, 1943, pp 17-32).
 Web page: t.a.harley; http://www.personal.dundee.ac.uk/~taharley/1917_weather.htm
 Schokalsky, J. (1936); ‚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.
 Bengtsson, Lennart (2004), 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.