Unprecedented Warmth in Sweden

Sweden has been reporting warmth in June that is unprecedented in a milllll-yun years :evil:

Pictures from Sweden’s newspapers show the extent to which continental glaciation has receded.

sweden18.jpgsweden19.jpg

Newspaper articles here:

http://www.svd.se/dynamiskt/inrikes/did_15805049.asp

http://www.dn.se/DNet/jsp/polopoly.jsp?d=147&a=661040

http://aftonbladet.se/vss/vader/story/0,2789,1094730,00.html

Thanks to reader Magnus who writes:

Best greetings from Swe-d-d-d-deden; Ouch! It’s so c-c-c-cold!

51 Comments

  1. wrobichaud
    Posted Jun 14, 2007 at 8:03 PM | Permalink

    Now all they need is a wet drought!

  2. Neil Fisher
    Posted Jun 14, 2007 at 9:54 PM | Permalink

    We have a wet drought right here in Australia. The Hunter river flooded the town of Maitland, peaking at 11.4m. Fortunately, a little less than the previous record flood of 11.7m in 1955.

  3. Edouard
    Posted Jun 14, 2007 at 11:16 PM | Permalink

    Hello again,

    More than a week ago there was a heatwave in Russia. In Uralsk the station recorded 37 ° Celsius, that means 98 ° F.
    The situation today in Europe is this:

    http://wetter.msn.com/region.aspx?wealocations=Europa

    for Eurasia:

    http://wetter.msn.com/region.aspx?wealocations=Eurasien

    Best regards

    Edouard

  4. Johan
    Posted Jun 14, 2007 at 11:42 PM | Permalink

    Actually, to be fair, snow is not uncommon in the northern half of Sweden in June. It is more unusual (although not unnormal) with heatwaves reaching temperatures of 30 degrees Celcius in the same area in early June, as did happen last week and earlier this week. The only thing we can say from this is that Swedish climate has very high variability.

  5. Edouard
    Posted Jun 14, 2007 at 11:53 PM | Permalink

    Hello again,

    I wrote here about this book http://www.amazon.de/Klimageschichte-Mitteleuropas-Jahre-Wetter-Katastrophen/dp/3534146875/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1/028-4061341-3746159?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1181884711&sr=8-1 .

    I made some scans of it. It shows the weather(climate)reconstruction from books, historic recordings, papers and other reports of all kind related to the weather (unfortunately also dendro data) from the last 1000 Years from Europe. I don’t know if Germany is Middle-Europe, but the stations for real data are close to Germany an the book speaks about “Mitteleuropa”..

    The scanned pages will show you what it means:

    This page is about the hygrodata (I hope everything works):

    This is the temperature of the last 1000 years:

    This is the hygro for 500 years:

    This is the temperature of the last 500 years:

    Here are the explanations:

    The places where an the people who recorded weatherdata at what period:

    The stations for today’s temperatures:

    A picture of the highest levels of a river:

    One can see that today the winters are much warmer than usual, but the summers aren’t. Around 1200 the winters were as warm as today and the summers were warmer than the last 100 years.

    Compare that to the suns activity:

    One must think that the warm winters come from the high activity of the sun, because from 1750 until 1850 summers were warmer or as warm as those from 1900 until now.

    Maybe that the data of the years around 1200 were warmer than we can see on these records, because the dendro data have been mixed with real weather recordings, who say for example that there have only been to frost days in some part of Germany one winter, or who say, that trees did blossom in January. We didn’t experience that even this really exceptional winter 2006-2007.

    If you have some questions to this, I would be happy to answer them.

    Best regards

    Edouard

  6. Chris H
    Posted Jun 15, 2007 at 2:05 AM | Permalink

    Mitteleuropa is roughly Germany plus the old Austria-Hungarian Empire.

    One can see that today the winters are much warmer than usual, but the summers aren’t

    This is exactly what you would expect if the warming is an UHI artefact. Germany has seen a steady increase in heating in the winter but has little airconditioning in the summer. Winter use of electricity and gas has increased much faster than it has in the summer and is much higher. I used to work at Stadtwerke Bochum but sadly don’t have access to concrete figures anymore. It would be interesting to have a look at these figures now.

    Chris

  7. Edouard
    Posted Jun 15, 2007 at 2:39 AM | Permalink

    Hello Chris H,

    Today the glaciers retreat a little bit more, than in the medieval warm period. Some of the last winters still were rather cold, but not as cold as some of the winters from 1000 to 1300. The sunspot minima of the little ice age already started around 1000, but the warm period around 1200 was similar to today’s weather conditions around here in Europe, as far as I understand the linked book.

    When I was a child (I’m 46) the winters were colder than today in Luxembourg:

    http://maps.google.fr/maps?f=q&hl=en&q=luxemburg&ie=UTF8&ll=49.239121,6.855469&spn=10.145665,20.43457&t=h&z=6&om=1

    These are the available station data from my hometown:

    http://www.aeroport.public.lu/fr/meteo/rapports_clima/temp_moyenne.pdf

    http://data.giss.nasa.gov/cgi-bin/gistemp/gistemp_station.py?id=629065900002&data_set=1&num_neighbors=1

    It looks as if they have been adjusted for UHI. I don’t know, if the station has moved. There should be only one long term station. If you compare both graphics there are strange divergences…

    This is the station:

    http://www.aeroport.public.lu/fr/gallery/index.php?pos=11

    and it is located here somewhere on the airport:

    http://maps.google.fr/maps?f=q&hl=en&q=findel&sll=47.15984,2.988281&sspn=10.563749,20.43457&ie=UTF8&ll=49.622833,6.205301&spn=0.039311,0.079823&t=h&z=14&om=1

    If the winters are much warmer than during the little ice age, I still think that around 1200, they were as warm than today, but not for such a long period. I don’t know exactly how the summers of 2003 and 2006 would look like on the linked graphics of climate reconstruction of the 500 year period.

    Best regards

    Edouard

  8. Rick
    Posted Jun 15, 2007 at 2:39 AM | Permalink

    Pretty conclusive proof that there is no such thing as AGW.

  9. Jeff Norman
    Posted Jun 15, 2007 at 6:06 AM | Permalink

    It’s just weather.

    But I’d guess we all know that.

  10. MarkW
    Posted Jun 15, 2007 at 6:45 AM | Permalink

    Yeah we know that. We’re just having fun with the people who point to every heat wave as more proof of global warming.

  11. Michael Jankowski
    Posted Jun 15, 2007 at 7:12 AM | Permalink

    Re#10, the problem is that many of those same people think “unexpected” cold and snowfall are also proof of anthropogenic global warming.

  12. Chris H
    Posted Jun 15, 2007 at 7:36 AM | Permalink

    Edouard,

    When you and I were children, I’m 47, it was the mid seventies, which is generally considered to have been a colder period following 30 years of cooling. Despite this, I remember 1976 being an exceptionally hot summer: I was taking my ‘O’ Level examinations that year and I remember kids passing out from the heat during the exams!

    My parents still live where I grew up (S.E. England) and it does seem warmer there now, but it is in the middle of a town that has quadrupled in size in the last thirty years. How much of that extra warmth is due to the UHI?

    As a counter example, our house in France, is isolated and the weather there is, if anything, colder than it was when we moved there 17 years ago. One of the things I have noticed is that the wysterias in the local village which used to flower about a week before ours are now about two weeks ahead. We are about 5 miles from the village whose population has increased threefold since we moved there.

  13. Francois Ouellette
    Posted Jun 15, 2007 at 7:46 AM | Permalink

    #9 It’s only weather, but then you can also deduce the climate somehow from such historical records, however anecdotal they might be.

    For example here in Quebec, it is known that when Jacques Cartier first came in 1534, he navigated up the St-Lawrence river, and noted that it was inhabited all the way by aborigines tribes. But when Champlain came 70 years later in 1608, all those settlements had disappeared. Of course, climate is only one possible explanation, but still, those tribes were growing corn and tobacco, and if the climate had cooled it would have been a good reason for them to move to warmer areas (e.g. the great lakes or New England). On the other hand, tribal wars can only give a partial explanation: a good place to live remains a good place to live, and the victors would still use the land. In fact it can be a very good reason to wage war.

    Note nevertheless that Cartier’s own settlement didn’t succeed, mostly because of the harsh winter. But imagine: they were trying to grow cabbage in October!…

  14. Paul Linsay
    Posted Jun 15, 2007 at 8:29 AM | Permalink

    #13, Francois, it wasn’t the weather, the natives had no immunity to the diseases brought by the Europeans. A few years before the Pilgrims landed in what is now Massachusetts there was a huge epidemic that killed 90% of the Indian population. The earlier French explorers saw mile after mile of villages along the coast when they first came. They were almost all gone by the early 1600s.

    That said, the Indians regularly grew huge crops of corn, beans, and squash. The villages of the Iroquois confederacy regularly grew 100 ton crops in what is now upstate New York, which even today is cold and snowy in the winter. The St. Lawrence usually has 100 feet of ice at the foot of Niagara Falls when spring arrives.

  15. L Nettles
    Posted Jun 15, 2007 at 8:35 AM | Permalink

    Perhaps it was all those Native Americans causing hemispheric warming and after the epidemic depopulation the climate cooled (and no I am not serious)

  16. MarkW
    Posted Jun 15, 2007 at 9:58 AM | Permalink

    Didn’t we have a discussion a few weeks ago about how much heat the average body puts off?

  17. STAFFAN LINDSTRÖM
    Posted Jun 15, 2007 at 10:43 AM | Permalink

    #4
    Johan, “vindsnabba SMHI” “SMHI fast as the wind” It took
    “only” 24 hours before SMHI(unwillingly?) made a remark about
    summer snow The heatwave note about “Sweden warmest in Europe”
    was still there this morning…Compare my readerⳳ comment
    in SvD yesterday. They also note there was a July 7 1993
    snowfall in Härjedalen etc supposedly higher than this yearⳳ
    snowfall ranging from 550 metres ASL and up…

  18. BradH
    Posted Jun 15, 2007 at 10:45 AM | Permalink

    Each winter, it’s been (on average) a couple of degrees celsius warmer where I live for around the past decade. There have been annual fluctuations.

    Each day – be it winter or summer – the temperature flutuates by around 10-15oc, but I guess that doesn’t matter.

    What matters is that, despite our feelings about how warm it’s getting – not to mention how hot the printing presses are after so many billions of extra dollars have been printed to pay for the AGW industry – the sea refuses to rise.

    Hmm…must be all those Chinese and Indians who are now wealthy enough to pay for acrtic, bottled water. Doesn’t matter, after they’ve worked-out on their electrically driven gym equipment, they’ll relieve themselves of the additional burden and sea levels will definitely rise.

    And, if that doesn’t work, we’ve been stockpiling an awful lot of climate change bull**it on land which we could toss over the continental shelf to bump up the levels. [We wouldn't even miss it!]

    What about that huge percentage of the global population who live in climes where central heating is required? Won’t they be massively reducing their fossil fuel burn during the milder winters? Jeez, Greenpeace must be lying awake at nights dreaming of higher temperatures in the cooler regions.

    OK, so >50% of the world’s population lives in regions where they require heating during some (if not all) of the winter months. We are warming at a scary rate. Soon, we won’t need any gas or other winter fuels. Companies which make those products must have been taking a caning in recent years, given how warm it’s getting.

    What? Some of the best investments during the past decade of global warming has been natural gas companies? Gas requirements grow every year in temperate and arctic zone countries – that can’t be true: it’s getting really warm!

    OK, well, I have a friend who lives in Winnipeg, who’s really worried about global warming. He’s not quite sure why it would be a bad thing for Winnipeg to average -37oc, rather than -40oc in winter, but it sure worries him.

    I have another friend who lives in Singapore, where the temperature in summer is around 37oc and approaching 100% humidity most summer days. When asked what he’d do if the temperature increased two or three degrees, he replied, “I’d walk slower.”

    I’m feeling doomed. Are you? People can’t cope. The oceans can’t cope. Global warming started in the 1980’s and look at the havoc it’s wrecked so far – islands submerged, world-wide drought, Nordic children who don’t know how to ski, and Singaporeans who walk slower than the Middle East peace process.

    I’m depressed – I think I’ll sign up for an Antarctic mission…before it’s entirely melted.

  19. Filippo Turturici
    Posted Jun 15, 2007 at 11:47 AM | Permalink

    #7: which glaciers you refer to? On the Alps there were very few glaciers during the MWP – they had already disappeared before AD1000. While, between AD1300 and AD1600, the few glaciers enlarged a lot, and many new galciers appeared – covering high level pastures, passes and even some village.
    And which melting velocity? During 1850-1870, Monte Bianco/Mont Balnc glaciers retreated up to 1km long in less than two decades.
    For 1200 summers: do not think at 2006 (half very hot, but also a half fresh), but at 2003, and try to imagine a century (and more) where summers like 2003 were not unusual.
    For winters: it sounds strange that they were so cold around AD1000, I am at the border of Mitteleuropa, and in that period there was no report of major freezing of Venice Lagoon or river Po, but everything is possible. But, it is very strange so mild winters during ’40ies, ’50ies and ’60ies (1941, 1942, 1945, 1947, 1956, 1963, 1964 etc.), while during the ’70ies it was true we had warm winters.
    Overall, MWP would sound alike a Sept.2006 to May2007 period, for us exceptionally warm, for that period almost usual. Remember vineyards were cultivated up to middle England if not Scottish Lowlands, olive trees and grasshoppers swarms were present in Germany, rising sea levels flooded some coastal area, plants and other micro-organism typical of warmer climates were found in the Baltic and the Norwegian sea but today we still haven’t seen them, that Alps as written had almost no glaciers and were settled at more higher levels (even in comparison with present days) and Central-Northern Europe experienced a real Optimum for its development while Mediterranean area was not at all unliveable despite so hot years and rising sea level (and Venice was a sea power and not a lost city).

  20. Filippo Turturici
    Posted Jun 15, 2007 at 1:05 PM | Permalink

    Oh yes, I forgot a very important thing: we cannot make a comparison between MWP and today European temperatures.
    Of course, we can now measure them, while for the past we have to make reconstruction, it is very different and it has an higher error. But this is not waht I meant to say.
    How was Europe 1,000 years ago? Covered by forests, with large savage regions, a good density of population in central-west but still in small towns and villages, while agriculture and pastures were not developed as they would be some century after. So, how could we make a comparison with nowadays Europe, highly urbanised and industrialised, not just around major cities, but for entire continental regions?

  21. Filippo Turturici
    Posted Jun 15, 2007 at 1:19 PM | Permalink

    And what about summer hurban heating caused by massive use of air conditioning?
    Maybe someone will remember (form data of course) summers 1928, 1945 or 1947, all 2003-like: in the Europe recovering from World War, no one knew air conditioning, but in 1947 Paris was able to survive +40°C; here, domestic air conditioning was very rare until last decade, despite pretty sultry (but usually not so much hot) summers, while today many ones have it.
    As for cold-feelings during winter. Of course, it is since January 1985 that below 200m no station falls below -15°C at winter here: but, how to compare the lives of our grandfathers or child fathers, where heating was used parsimoniously (and was often just a coal or wood stove), without goretex or other water-proof winter wear for snow and ice, in smaller hurban areas etc. with all nowadays convenience?
    Or, for agriculture: how much can it matter temperature average, if we confront a chill and rainy spring, with a more sunny one but with late frosts during May?

  22. Boris
    Posted Jun 15, 2007 at 1:51 PM | Permalink

    Since when does Steve Sadlov get to make posts on CA?

    Oh, my mistake. :)

  23. John Nicklin
    Posted Jun 15, 2007 at 3:06 PM | Permalink

    Come on guys we all know that COLD = Weather, HOT = Climate.

    Sweden is just providing another example of AGW, anything out of the ordinary is a sign of AGW, even if is normal, its AGW. My car broke down, must have over heated = AGW.

  24. Murray Duffin
    Posted Jun 15, 2007 at 4:51 PM | Permalink

    Filippo, not 1963. Northern Italy had the coldest Jan/Feb of the century, and
    Lake Constance froze over. Murray

  25. Francois Ouellette
    Posted Jun 15, 2007 at 5:55 PM | Permalink

    #14 Paul,

    I’m not so sure about the epidemics. I’ve never seen that as the explanation for what happened between 1534 and 1608. Sure, there were epidemics AFTER Champlain. But then, there were missionaries all over the place carrying the diseases. I have here a book written by one priest(Gabriel Sagard) who went to live with the Amerindians in 1623 in the Great Lakes area, and he’s describing this (although the poor priests were really at a loss trying to understand what was going on, remember, nobody knew much about infectious diseases in those days…). Cartier had very few contacts with the Amerindians. He got stuck in the ice near what is now Quebec city and spent the winter there, saved from scurvy by the Amerindians who taught them how to make thuya infusions… A first attempt at a settlement was made in 1641, by about 30 people, but that ended up in disaster, because they nearly all died from the harsh winter.

    I don’t know if you’ve ever lived in Quebec city (I did…), but the growing season there is quite a bit shorter than Niagara (they don’t grow peaches or grapes over there!…) One can only imagine that in the “little ice age” it was even shorter. And it only gets colder as you go downstream the St-Lawrence river. BTW, what do the Gaspe tree rings have to say about that?

  26. W Robichaud
    Posted Jun 15, 2007 at 8:11 PM | Permalink

    When I was a kid…today(58) We did not have Air conditioning.
    On hot Summer days (100F plus) we spend our days at the beach (5km walk) or in the shade.
    Today we have AC in our Cars, work place, homes, stores.
    We do not give our body a chance to acclimatise to the environment.
    When Summer heat kicks in we cannot deal with it.

  27. Filippo Turturici
    Posted Jun 16, 2007 at 2:58 AM | Permalink

    Murray, #24, Indeed all the winters I wrote where very cold, everyone colder than last 20 years winters (which saw anyway some pretty cold season, like 2006 or 2003).

  28. Filippo Turturici
    Posted Jun 16, 2007 at 2:59 AM | Permalink

    Sorry, “were” and not “where”.

  29. MarkR
    Posted Jun 16, 2007 at 3:44 AM | Permalink

    #12 ChrisH 1976….The Summer Without End. May to September.

  30. Filippo Turturici
    Posted Jun 16, 2007 at 4:09 AM | Permalink

    #29: but for Northern Italy, August 1976 was the coldest since the “summer-less year” 1816.

  31. Edouard
    Posted Jun 18, 2007 at 12:26 AM | Permalink

    @Chris

    Hello,

    I like skiing in Switzerland and it is really warmer there than in the sixties and seventies.

    In our country, we could ski nearly every year, when I was young and that is often impossible now. I remeber the summer 1976,
    because we went to Austria, and the weather was very bad there. So we went to Italy ;-)

    My grand-mother spoke about the times when the river Mosel was frozen completely, and that was not long ago and never happened
    again since I was born.

    Best regards

    Edouard

  32. Edouard
    Posted Jun 18, 2007 at 12:42 AM | Permalink

    Hello Filippo Turturici,

    It seems that we have already reached the same retreat of the glaciers than in the MWP. I think this is due to the higher
    activity of the sun, but the change in landuse and Co2 and methane may also be partly responsible.

    In my opinion, the most important thing we don’t know, is the natural evolution of the climate. Maybe that at some periods there
    are warmer summers and at other periods there are warmer winters, without any change in greenhousegases or sun activity.

    After having read the linked book, I think that it is probable to 99,9 % that the rise in temperatures of the last 200 years is
    due to the sun, and that the influence of Co2 cannot be mesured at all. But it’s just my opinion!

    It is important to make a difference between UHI – landuse effect and the influence of cities and landuse on the global temperature.

    The first doesn’t alter the global temperature, but we must adjust the recorded temperatures. The second is a real rise in global
    temperatures.

    Best regards

    Edouard

    Best regards

  33. Edouard
    Posted Jun 18, 2007 at 1:29 AM | Permalink

    Hello to everybody,

    Here http://www.aeroport.public.lu/fr/meteo/rapports_clima/resumes_mensuels_temps/index.html you can find the minima an maxima since
    1947 by month. For example:

    Température maximale 35,6 26 35,7 1995

    This means that the hottest day in July since 1947, was in 1995 and it was 35,7 degrees C warm.

    This january was the warmest since 1947, but the warmest day in january was in 1975 with 13,9.

    The warmest day in may May was 1998 with 30,2 ° C and the warmest may was in 1989.

    April was warmest in 2007 but the warmest day was in 1949 with 27 ° C. Unnnnprrrrecedented since at least 10.000 Years.

    And never forget that the nothern hemisphere is warming faster than everything else in this universe. Let’s say, even when
    Greenland was warmer in the 19twenties and warmer in the MWP than today, you still have the amazing unprecedented
    rise since 1900 until 2007, the year of the years of the years, Amen! ;-)

    Best regards

    Edouard

  34. Filippo Turturici
    Posted Jun 18, 2007 at 2:52 AM | Permalink

    Edouard, I do not agree on glaciers: at least here, many small glaciers and some medium one did not existed during the MWP – or in the centuries of the rise of Roman Empire – but, I have publications of mid ’60ies which state that those same glaciers were retreating and almost disappearing (but very few were lost until now). And European climate is still chiller than during MWP, and overall than during early Roman era.
    So I do agree that, outside possible errors in quantifying the warming, the warming is happening and it is at least “natural-like”; between 1930 and 1970, then between 1980 and now, Sun activity was probably the highest in centuries, but I would not rule out other possible causes like inner cycles of the Earth system etc. while I think CO2 has a minimum role in it.
    Summer 1976 here had the coldest August since “summer-less year” 1816, so the weather had to have been very bad in Austria :-) but I think June was enough sunny and hot.
    Greenland is not not just colder than XIXth century or MWP today, but also than ’20ies-’30ies of XXth century: and, the Arctic, reached such average temperatures (of that period) just in the last years (being colder there, maybe e.g. Alaska is warmer), after AD2000. But, what is worst (in my opinion, because I like it cold) is that Europe is warming faster even than N Emisphere. So, if we are entering a new optimum, we can do nothing, but I would like a climate cooling.
    ’60ies had very cold winters and mild summers, while ’70ies had fresh summers/springs/autumns but very mild winters at low level (for 3 years, 1973-’74-’75, here it did never snow, and this is really unprecedented, and in the era of “global cooling”, even in the last very warm winter-spring we got 3 days of snow) while much snowy at mountain.
    I think your grandmother may refer to winters like 1941, 1945 or 1956 (1956 was very strange: December and January were normal if not a bit milder than, while February was the coldest of the century, and the record cold lasted into March); anyway, Venice lagoon had large areas frozen at least in 1985, 1996 and 2001 (but only 1985 the lagoon froze in every part), while in 2001 some rivers of my area froze in part (like Po).

  35. Edouard
    Posted Jun 18, 2007 at 5:49 AM | Permalink

    Hello Filippo,

    I didn’t know that the lagoon of Venice could freeze. From Wikipedia: “Winter 1962/63 war der Rhein das letzte Mal streckenweise zugefroren.”. I can’t remember that. I was born in 1961 ;-) We spent our holidays in Italy in 1976, one week in Seis in the dolomites and one week in Grado. I’ve seen Venice for the first time. I’ts the prettiest town I’ve ever seen!!!! Maybe that it was not in 1976, but it was cold and cloudy in Austria (Ossiacher See), and it was really very hot from the Netherlands to France for weeks and weeks ;-) In Italy it was warm, except in Seis the first week, but the weather was very fine.

    Are you a climatologist? You know very much about the temperatures. In Switzerland the snow was ok for some years, but last year there was very
    few snow and in Luxemburg I think there was no day, where one could have skied. Where are you from exactly?

    There was always a big difference in temperatures between Luxemburg and Italy, but the last years one might think that a kind of barrier has been broken. The heat from the south comes easily up to the North, even in wintertime. What is amazing, is, that the cold seems to swap over to Canada, but I’m not sure if that’s true.

    If it was as warm in the MWP than today and warmer for the Romans, this is a natural climateshift and maybe tomorrow the Rhine will freeze again. But Wikipedia explains that the Rhine doesn’t freeze because of the warm waste waters. Maybe that’s true and temperatures should also rise locally because of that.

    Best regards

    Edouard

  36. Edouard
    Posted Jun 18, 2007 at 5:55 AM | Permalink

    Hello again,

    I found something funny about the frozen Mosel:

    http://www.bullay.de/deutsch/geschichte.htm

    It was frozen in 1997. Maybe the winters really weren’t much colder the last 500 years than today.

    Hmm hmm I didn’t know that!!!!

  37. Filippo
    Posted Jun 18, 2007 at 6:27 AM | Permalink

    Edouard, I am just an amateur, following climatology just because I like it, but not as a work.
    I live near Venice, in Padua, and I have to tell you that you are a bit wrong: during winter, warm may come from west (Atlantic) to Northern Italy, but never from Northern Italy to Luxembourg :-) just to be precise, mean January temperatures here are similar to Holland, being colder than England or most part of France: here the climate is very peculiar, but it is a temperate sub-continental and not mediterranean, so it is not strange to see large parts of the Venice lagoon frozen during winter at least 1-2 times a decade (but it is very rare to see it frozen enough to walk from Venice to mainland); so here summer is moderately hot but winter is pretty cold (for West Europe standards) because here often winds blow from East Europe. But Central and overall Southern Italy have quite different climate: a typical moderately hot and dry summer (here summer is hot but also wet) and a mild to very mild but wet winter (but usually not milder than Atlantic coast of SW Ireland, Cornwall, Brittany or North Spain) – but even here, real warm/hot come from Africa :-) and the matter in last years was rightly that African heat waves hit too many times Europe from May to September.
    E.g. the last winter was very mild, and it was difficult even for some Alpine resort to get enough snow and cold; but, during winter 2006, 70cm of snow fell in Milan and 120cm in Trento, just 20cm here; during winter 2005, 40 to 50cm in my city area (I am just 10m over the sea level, 40km from shores); during winter 2004, 30cm in my city but up to 100cm on the near hills (highest peak at 600m). Winters and springs 2006 and 2004 were very snowy for Italian Alps (in 2006, it snowed at 800m in early June in my region).
    Yes it is true that river frozing depends on many things, which winter temperature is just one: it was winter 2002 and not 2001 (to be precise, December 2001 and January 2002) to be pretty cold and see such large freezing events here (winter 2001 was instead almost as mild as winter 2007), but without great cold peaks, so the freezing of some river was caused both by cold and from October to December drought.

  38. Filippo
    Posted Jun 18, 2007 at 6:30 AM | Permalink

    Of course, I meant I was wrong before, writing 2001 instead of 2002 (well, it happened in December 2001, but the winter was 2002 and not 2001).

  39. Lee
    Posted Jun 18, 2007 at 7:32 PM | Permalink

    “Pictures from Sweden’s newspapers show the extent to which continental glaciation has receded.”
    Its true, Steve. There isn’t a glacier in sight in those pictures.

    Self=parody, much, Steve?

  40. tetris
    Posted Jun 18, 2007 at 10:29 PM | Permalink

    Lived in southern Sweden from 1974-1983. Late spring and summers between 1979-83 were sweltering. My daughter was born May 31, 1982; the weeks before and after daytime temps were in the low 30C.
    Have been living in the Gulf Islands off the British Columbia Coast in Canada [49N/ 123W] for a few years now. Temperatures here have consistently been between 3-8 C below the norm since last autumn. The weather has been very cool as evidenced by the slow growth in the garden. Year over year temperatures have been below the norm since 2004 and precipitation during the rainy season is up significantly [as evidenced by snow cover all along the North American West Coast over the past 2-3 years]. I am not a “climatologist”, but hold a PhD, have an extensive background [somewhat like Steve] in scientific and corporate due diligence and have served as CEO of a number of companies. When does weather become climate? And when is it recognized that [certainly here] temperatures are below norm and possibly falling? Data suggests that temperatures since 1998 have at the very least leveled off and probably are on a downward trend. And based on several conversations I had with a broad spectrum of people in Europe recently, many are coming to the understanding that the IPCC “increased CO2 = increased temperature” hypothesis has been terminally falsified.

  41. tetris
    Posted Jun 18, 2007 at 10:53 PM | Permalink

    Re: 39
    Lee,
    Abscent thermometers or satellites, even the most cursory review of the Viking sagas should suffice to remind you that there was little evidence of glaciers in Scandinavia approx. 1000 years ago either. The “fjall” or mountains in common Norse, were bare. The Vikings’ very detailed sailing instructions tell us that places like “Faero”, “Iceland”, “Greenland” and “Vinland” [aka Newfoundland] came by their names the oldfashioned way; they are simply descriptions of what they represented [Faroe], looked like [Greenland/Iceland] or what was growing there [Vinland]. In case you have a problem with the latter, let me remind you that litterature and other MWP sources tell us that grapes were grown and wine was made in Scotland [!] ca. 1200-1300. “ad hominen” is cheap.

  42. Edouard
    Posted Jun 19, 2007 at 12:22 AM | Permalink

    @Filippo #37

    Good morning,

    For nearly all my childhood an youth, the good weather always came from the azores. It was always said, that a high pressure (area?) from the azores was coming from the south. Ordinarily the altlantic influence was a rainy an cold one.

    Today everything seems to be different. Sometimes we have nearly 30 degrees Celsius, when there is bad weather with 15 degrees in Spain. Last summer a high pressure area was stuck all over our countries, from Sweden to France and we’ve never seen such a june-july before.

    What would be important to know, is, if this weather is a result of a climate shift, or if this “climate shift” is a result of the weather, or if everything is just a result of the high activity of the sun. Who can really pretend that the influence of the sun is immediate and could not have a delay of let’s say 60 years ;-)

    Best regards

    and have a nice time in a beautiful country :-)

    Edouard from Luxembourg

  43. Filippo
    Posted Jun 19, 2007 at 1:28 AM | Permalink

    Indeed, here in Italy too the “disappearing” of classical Atlantic weather lead to many problems. Rainfalls and snowfalls tend to hit certain areas, while leaving others dry (e.g. droughts in Northern Italy, overall North-Western/Piedmont) while Azores high pressure is seen in the Ocean but rarely on the continent. This is not too bad during winter: Atlantic weather, both low and high pressures, is usually mild (even if Azores high pressure may lead to thick fog and strong thermal inversion, or to persistente north-eastern winds); at least, it leaves space for Arctic low pressures to reach Europe from north, with their snow charge. But during summer, without the weste-east zonal flow, we pass from low pressures from Northern Europe with English-like weather, to high pressures from Africa with tropical-like weather (usually they get humidity passing over the Mediterranean, so it is very hot and very sultry). And during mid-seasons, well distributed rains no more exist. We have called it “meridianization” or “americanization” of European climate, because we now usually see north-south flows instead of west-east ones.
    But, in European recent history, there were other periods of very hot and close summers: e.g. the ’40ies (but they had also very cold and close winters). So, not all is so new: just, we use mean values of a period (1961-’90) that in many cases was really chill in comparison with XXth century average.

  44. MarkW
    Posted Jun 19, 2007 at 5:15 AM | Permalink

    Not too long ago, nobody suspected the existence of decadal length oscillations in the atmosphere. Partly because the records weren’t long enough to pick them up. Perhaps there are even longer oscillations. Either the models will get good enough to predict them, or we will get enough data to find them. I suspect we will have enough data to find centuries long oscillations before the models get that good.

  45. Steve Sadlov
    Posted Jun 19, 2007 at 10:02 AM | Permalink

    Operational definition – “Here” = upper 30s N latitude, 0 – 20 miles from the Pacific Ocean.

    I recall a reasonably strong El Nino at the turn of the 70s (’72 I think).

    1973 – 1975 we had very intense Marine layers during summer and “normal” winters – i.e. moderate rainfall, warm when rainy and cold when not rainy. Frost but no hard freezes.

    1975 – 1977 – The Great Drought / Major La Nina, plus the 1940s to 1976 Negative PDO’s last gasp – 2 consequetive rainfall years with “desert” amounts – less than 10 inches even in many places near the coast, almost nothing inland. However, in its midst, Feb 1976, we had the most spectacular outbreak of cP air and sticking snow to sea level, covering the entire region. Cars were slipping and sliding down the streets of San Francisco. The only time in my life I’ve ever witnessed such a major snow event covering such a large area.

    1977 – 1978 – a transitional period into a minor El Nino. Warm and moderately rainy winters.

    1978 – Minor El Nino, The Great Drought formally declared over. Warm and very rainy winter.

    1979 – 1982 – More or less ENSO neutral but “El Ninoish” due to the Postive PDO now having fully turned on. Warm winters.

    1982 – Dec 1983 – Major El Nino. Warm winters, flooding and major rain events.

    1984 – 1987 – See 1979 – 1982, with the exception that winters were slightly colder than normal.

    1987 – 1991 – A gradational drought dependent on latitude – at the north end of this zone, no drought, at its south end, a fairly serious drought – no one year as dry as 1976 – 1977 but each year lower than normal – 60 – 80% of normal. Winters highly variable week to week, alternating between NW Europe like damp cold and Southern Californianesque warmth. At the end of 1990 into early 1991, a record hard freeze – grease ice on San Francisco Bay, in protected locations.

    1991 – 1992 – See 1984 – 1987.

    1992 – 1994 – A mini El Nino. Warm winters.

    1994 – A mini La Nina. Variable winter.

    1994 – 1996 – Mini El Nino. Warm winter. Spring, normally the secondary heat maximum here (early fall being the primary heat maximum) starts to be compressed by later and later end of climatic winter.

    1996 – 1997 – Mini La Nina. Cold winter.

    1997 – Aug 1998 – Major, short sharp El Nino (Warrrrrrrrrmest in xxxxxxx yearrrrrrrs!)

    Aug 1998 – 2000 – La Nina. Dec 1998 – Feb 1999, a near record hard freeze. Minor sea level snow event Dec 20, 1998 (did not stick in most places, compared with 1976 event, much less extent and much drier storm).

    2000 – 2001 – Minor El Nino. Normal winter temps. In late May and early June 2000, a major outbreak of desert air, tempertures to 105 F at coastline and over 110 F in many locations only a few miles inland.

    2001 – 2002 – Minor La Nina. Normal winter temps. Springs start to be horrible.

    2003 – Minor El Nino. Normal winter temps. Non exsitent spring.

    2004 – 2006 – Wildly oscillating ENSO. Strong evidence of incipient PDO flip. Temperatures and synoptics suggest “La Nina” but precip is greater than normal. Only minimal climatic springs. Notably, typical late climatic winter pattern lasts until one week before the summer solstice in 2006. During this extended winter, there are a series of 4 low elevation snow events, with two, one in late Feb and one in early Mar, reaching sea level with non sticking snow. In July 2006, an early-fall-like (remember, early fall is our annual primary temperature max here) pattern is set up and there are record temperatures. Aug brings the beginning of climatic fall. There is very little rain prior to the end of the year, when normally, we’d break our expected summer drought by Thanksgiving.

    2007 to date – Classic La Nina / negative PDO. A record setting hard freeze in Jan (similar to 1990 – 1991 freeze in that it is a straight outbreak of air from the MacKenzie Delta region, with very little moisture and lingering ice for nearly one week in shady locations) and early Feb. Less than 50% of normal rainfall for the 2006 – 07 season. A few late cold fronts but nothing like 2006.

  46. Matt
    Posted Oct 4, 2007 at 9:42 AM | Permalink

    NASA says it’s winds and not global warming:

    http://www.imperialvalleynews.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=152&Itemid=2

    NASA Examines Arctic Sea Ice Changes Leading to Record Low In 2007
    Written by Weather Watch
    Tuesday, 02 October 2007
    Washington – A new NASA-led study found a 23-percent loss in the extent of the Arctic’s thick, year-round sea ice cover during the past two winters. This drastic reduction of perennial winter sea ice is the primary cause of this summer’s fastest-ever sea ice retreat on record and subsequent smallest-ever extent of total Arctic coverage.

    A team led by Son Nghiem of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., studied trends in Arctic perennial ice cover by combining data from NASA’s Quick Scatterometer (QuikScat) satellite with a computing model based on observations of sea ice drift from the International Arctic Buoy Programme. QuikScat can identify and map different classes of sea ice, including older, thicker perennial ice and younger, thinner seasonal ice. Between winter 2005 and winter 2007, the perennial ice shrunk by an area the size of Texas and California combined. This severe loss continues a trend of rapid decreases in perennial ice extent in this decade. Study results will be published Oct. 4 in the journal Geophysical Research Letters.

    The scientists observed less perennial ice cover in March 2007 than ever before, with the thick ice confined to the Arctic Ocean north of Canada. Consequently, the Arctic Ocean was dominated by thinner seasonal ice that melts faster. This ice is more easily compressed and responds more quickly to being pushed out of the Arctic by winds. Those conditions facilitated the ice loss, leading to this year’s record low amount of total Arctic sea ice.

    Nghiem said the rapid decline in winter perennial ice the past two years was caused by unusual winds. “Unusual atmospheric conditions set up wind patterns that compressed the sea ice, loaded it into the Transpolar Drift Stream and then sped its flow out of the Arctic,” he said. When that sea ice reached lower latitudes, it rapidly melted in the warmer waters.

    “The winds causing this trend in ice reduction were set up by an unusual pattern of atmospheric pressure that began at the beginning of this century,” Nghiem said.

    The Arctic Ocean’s shift from perennial to seasonal ice is preconditioning the sea ice cover there for more efficient melting and further ice reductions each summer. The shift to seasonal ice decreases the reflectivity of Earth’s surface and allows more solar energy to be absorbed in the ice-ocean system.

    The perennial sea ice pattern change was deduced by using the buoy computing model infused with 50 years of data from drifting buoys and measurement camps to track sea ice movement around the Arctic Ocean. From the 1970s through the 1990s, perennial ice declined by about 193,000 square miles each decade. Since 2000, that rate of decline has nearly tripled.

    Results from the buoy model were verified against the past eight years of QuikScat observations, which have much better resolution and coverage. The QuikScat data were verified with field experiments conducted aboard the U.S. Coast Guard icebreaker Healy as well as by sea ice charts derived from multiple satellite data sources by analysts at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Ice Center in Suitland, Md.

    The new study differs significantly from other recent studies that only looked at the Arctic’s total sea ice extent. “Our study applies QuikScat’s unique capabilities to examine how the composition of Arctic sea ice is changing, which is crucial to understanding Arctic sea ice mass balance and overall Arctic climate stability,” Nghiem said.

    Pablo Clemente-Colón of the National Ice Center said the rapid reduction of Arctic perennial sea ice requires an urgent reassessment of sea ice forecast model predictions and of potential impacts to local weather and climate, as well as shipping and other maritime operations in the region. “Improving ice forecast models will require new physical insights and understanding of complex Arctic processes and interactions.”

    Other organizations participating in the study include the University of Washington’s Polar Science Center, Seattle, and the U.S. Army Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory, Hanover, N.H.

  47. Sam Urbinto
    Posted Oct 4, 2007 at 12:50 PM | Permalink

    Well, the models do at least. (say it’s wind)

    (Although as I’ve said before, I have no reason to distrust models until they start proving they’re untrustworthy versus results, or are clearly wrong in the first place.)

    I wonder if they measure depth also, although I doubt it. That’s probably the modeled portion.

    It does say this about the sat: “QuikScat can identify and map different classes of sea ice, including older, thicker perennial ice and younger, thinner seasonal ice.” So they know what kind it is, what it “should be like” based upon age and combine that with a model. Hmmm.

  48. Steve Sadlov
    Posted Oct 4, 2007 at 2:08 PM | Permalink

    RE: #46 – Those winds stirred the ice for two years, then there was a record fetch available for sea – air interaction at the East Siberian and Chukchi Seas all summer long, and now, only a few weeks past the Equinox, winter arrives in the Western US. Perhaps a conicidence ….. perhaps!

  49. STAFFAN LINDSTROEM
    Posted Oct 4, 2007 at 3:03 PM | Permalink

    #48 UNPRECEDENTED WARMTH IN SWEDEN…
    Steve S…you mean conicydence…Well very little and
    thin ice even in the winter in the Arctic could mean very
    interesting weather from 50 – 90 degrees N. After all snowshowers
    form over open water, the heavy ones at least…You wait and
    see…

  50. Steve Sadlov
    Posted Oct 4, 2007 at 4:58 PM | Permalink

    Lake effect snow on a massive scale…..

  51. Posted Oct 4, 2007 at 11:13 PM | Permalink

    This may be relevant:

    http://home.earthlink.net/~icedneuron/EssenhighViewpoint.htm#Revision

    Dr Essenhigh was polite enough to answer some queries of mine about the oil sheen hypothesis*: I have found great politeness from almost everyone in the GW debate.

    JF
    *He was not convinced….

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