CH. C Part I (40-53)

C_Part IChapter C. The three years cold
package & the warC_Part I _kl – Part I

Note: All bokk images have been replaced – Published by: iuniverse/USA
  Autor: Dr. Arnd Bernaerts (date of publication 2006)

 The unexpected return of the Little Ice Age

One cold winter isn’t enough to convince everyone that naval war can be as destructive to climate as a major natural event. Therefore, we will analyse here the first three war winters and will demonstrate that there is an important connection between the arctic war winter and the naval warfare.

 Every of these three winters can clearly stand-alone for the anthropogenic influences on weather modifications, but it’s their succession as a whole which offers an even more pronounced image of our thesis. Already in 1942, the Swedish meteorologist Gösta Liljequist[i] stressed that the phenomenon of three successive extreme winters happens very seldom in Northern Europe. The three war winters easily took the leading position among all temperature observation done in the last 250 years.

1 Liljequist’s remark seems logical and easy to follow and to explain. North-Western Europe is half-continent, half-water. Due to winds, waters release more heat during the winter season. Once cooled down, wind ceases due to the replacement of the cyclone activities by dry, cold air coming with high pressure (anti-cyclones). The less sea surface is disturbed, the less heat is released until the sea ice appears that stops process almost completely. In other words, any cold but calm winter situation results in sustaining a heat reservoir, stored at deeper sea level during the winter season and available during the next winter.

 Naval warfare interferes and breaks down the natural process. Whether sea surface water is warm or cold, navigation and warfare can still have harmful effects. Seawater is churned and turned with no regard that the North and Baltic Seas can sustain maritime winter only when they are able to release a heat quantity according to statistical average. That was tremendously overturned during the first three war winters. Since 1942, when naval war became global, Europe’s sea areas lost their winter weather impetus. Naval war in the North Atlantic and the Pacific Oceans easily overruled any special impact of the North and Baltic Seas during the three-year series.

 Actually, the statistics for the war winter temperatures between 1939 and 1942 is nothing less than a “Big Bang”. In five out of six locations nothing comparable has ever happened since temperature observations have been made and, in only one case, the exception Wiesbaden, near Frankfurt am Main, happened 100 years ago. In the same locations, temperatures were with approximately 2 degrees lower per winter month than they were during the next three-year series. This applies for the main three winter months December, January and February as well. The distinction between the near-coast location and the inland location deserves our particular attention, too.

Near Seaside Location Figures show monthly mean temperatures over a three years period, [Mean of six (Jan/Feb) respectively nine (Dec, Jan & Feb) months]

De Bilt/The Netherlands  – Period 1706 -1993

3 years

Jan& Feb

Dec-Feb.

Long term

+ 4,5°C

+ 5,3°C

1716-18

– 0,7°C

– 0,12°C

1829-31

– 0,86°C

– 0,45°C

1940-42

-2,46°C

– 1,32°C

Oslo/Norway  – Period 1816 -1988

3 years

Jan&Feb

Dec-Feb

Long term

– 3,6°C

– 3,4°C

1845-47

– 6,8°

– 6,9°C

1879-81

– 6,5°C

– 6,5°C

1940-42

-9,55°C

– 7,86°C

Stockholm/Sweden  –  Period 1756 –1988

3 years

Jan. & Feb.

Dec.- Feb.

Long-term

– 3°C

– 2,5°C

1766-1768

– 6,23°C

– 5,2°C

1803-1805

– 6,73°C

– 6,3°C

1940-1942

– 9,11°C

– 6,8°C

2 3 4

It is astonishing that war winter 1940-1942 did not only break all the records but left the next coldest three-year winter package far behind. This happened particularly during the main winter months: January and February. Each of these six winter months was colder with 1,6°C (De Bilt), 2,7°C (Oslo), and 2,4°C (Stockholm) than any previous ‘three cold winter’ series, while the difference between the 2nd and the 3rd rank was insignificant (less than 0,5°C). The temperature figure for 1940/42 is as unbelievable as a story about a 100-meter sprinter who would have broken the 10 seconds world record in only 8 seconds.

 Furthermore, it is revealing that, from this group of three, Oslo (the most Atlantic location, at least from the distance point of view) is taking the lead, presumably due to the very cold sub-surface water that is 700-meter deep at Skagerrak. It is not a coincidence that the coldest January in Oslo is January 1941. Only half a year earlier, since April 1940, Germany had occupied Norway and had carried on naval activities of huge proportions along the Norwegian coasts. We cannot ignore the fact that the three coldest months of January in all the Oslo series in almost 200 years occurred during the war, more precisely in 1941 (-13°C), 1942 (-12,1°C) and January 1917, with -11,6°C (during World War I, winter which should be carefully analysed)[ii].

 The three described winters, which are a true record-breaking series, are a strong indication of the role the naval warfare has played. The impact of the naval war is obvious and it is proved by the fact that in the seaside locations the temperature record had been broken at a much higher degree than in inland locations, as the following table proves it:

Inland Location  –Figures show monthly mean temperatures over a three-year period  [Mean of six (Jan/Feb) respectively nine (Dec, Jan & Feb) months]

Paris/ France  Period 1757 -1993

3 years

Jan&Feb

Dec-Feb

longterm

+3,8°C

+4°C

1829-31

+ 1.5°C

+1,4°C

1879-81

+ 1.8°C

+1,2°C

194042

+ 0,6°C

+1,1°C

Wiesbaden/Germany  Period 1757 –1961

3 years

Jan& Feb

Dec-Feb

longterm

+1,5°C

+1,8°C

1829-31

– 3,6°C

– 2,7°C

1840-42

– 1,4°C

-0,7°C

1940-42

– 3,3°C

– 2,0°C

Basel/Switzerland  Period 1755 – 1970

3 years

Jan& Feb

Dec-Feb

long-term mean

+ 1,5°C

+ 1.7°C

1766-1768

– 2.2°C

– 2,1°C

1829-1831

– 2,8°C

– 2,2°C

1940-1942

– 2,9°C

– 2,2°C

8 9 10
12 13 14

Even Paris, which is not so far away from the sea, blames the war at sea for the temperature modifications. With about one degree Celsius colder temperatures during main winter months, Paris is placed between seacoast and inland. In Wiesbaden (near Frankfurt) winters 1829-1831 kept the lead of the negative temperatures. Even two weather stations from Great Britain confirmed the January/February record war series 1940-1942, namely Oxford and Edinburgh. Edinburgh has the smallest negative deviation, with 0,17°C per month, presumably due to the fact that the warm Atlantic current flows into the North Sea in considerable quantities at any time of the year, and the Atlantic is not far away anyhow, while Oxford deviated with 0,7°C per month as compared to the next coldest series.

 Oxford   – Period 1828-1980

Sum Jan&Feb

1940-42

+ 7,6°C

1879-81

+ 11,8°C

1829-31

+ 12,2°C

Edinburgh  Period 1764 – 1960

Sum Jan& Feb

1940-42

+ 7,6°C

1836-39

+ 8,6°C

1774-76

+ 10,4°C

 All the proofs demonstrate that negative temperature records are far away from being a mere coincidence. Sunrays played a minor role during the main winter months, while the North and Baltic Seas can contribute to the winter air temperature only through their available heat reservoir. If that has been reduced too early, then the regional temperature will drop below statistical averages, and records can fall. 1000 naval vessels crossing sensitive seas in combat missions day and night are as dangerous as a hurricane squeezing heat out of the sea. And if a hurricane goes by after a day or two, naval warfare was a constant presence, since the 1st of September 1939.

 The following sections will focus, in detail, on each of the three initial war winters: 1939/40, 1940/41, and 1941/42.

 The 1st War Winter (1939/40) – Cold Centre: Hamburg

 The war winter 1939/40 has already received considerable attention in our previous chapter, in which we have established its dramatic development and possible causes. Over a very short period of just four months of naval war, heat was eliminated from the North European seas to such an extent that they could not prevent arctic air from taking control over the northern part of the continent during January and February 1940.

19 20 21

 However, as already mentioned in the opening section of this chapter, there is more evidence which will help us prove the connection between naval activities and Europe’s three cold war winters between 1939 and 1942. But if naval activities reached their full extent in a wider area (Northern Europe), the cold centre of this wide region during a war winter was exactly where pronounced naval activities had taken place during previous autumn months, and this would prove the connection between the two of them. First war winter (1939/40) is the first excellent example in this respect and the City of Hamburg proves it.

 A record cold winter was reported in Northern Germany. Hamburg is a focal point between the North and Baltic Seas. Northern Germany has equally a central position between these two seas. For Hamburg and for Northern Germany as well, war winter 1939/40 was the coldest of the three initial war winters. Other riparian countries (e.g. the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden) experienced their ultimate arctic winter during one of the following war winters.

Since early December 1939, Hamburg’s mean temperatures were below zero degrees Celsius, which were an extreme deviation from the long-term average, close to 0°C throughout the whole winter period because of the maritime weather characteristics between the two seas. Why did the situation change so much during the winter of 1939/40?

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 32  34

 Massive naval activities started on the 1st of September 1939 and, only a few months later, cold air temperatures were close to breaking the record. We are talking about the Southern Baltic Sea, from Gdansk to Kiel and Helgoland Bight. Not only had several ten thousands of sea mines already been laid within a few weeks after the beginning of the war, but uncountable ship-coast and ship-ship encounters took place off the Polish coast, in September, while the German Navy trained several ten thousands of navy personnel off its coast and send hundreds of ships in surveillance operations, patrols, mine detecting, mine sweeping, battle missions and so on. Evidence of a connection between the weather change and the naval war emerged soon. Sea icing started on the German sea coast extremely early, in mid-December 1939, and became the most severe icing phenomenon ever recorded, lasting up to May 1940. Massive naval activities and record cold temperatures occurred concomitantly in the same area.

 The 2nd War winter (1940/41) – Arctic Skagerrak

An overview of the winter 1940/41

 General conditions of the war winter of 1940/41 in Northern Europe are easy to explain. Even if the winter was very cold, it did not equal the winter of 1939/40 (Germany, the Netherlands, Britain) or the third war winter of 1941/42, particularly in Sweden and the Netherlands. In Germany, the winter of 1940/41 ranked the 20th among about 150 other harsh winters; in the Netherlands, it ranked the 33rd among about 150 ‘ice winters’ between 1706 and 1946; and in Sweden it ranked the 23rd among the cold winters since 1757, while the winter of 1939/40 was on the 9th or 10th place in the top of the coldest winters.

 50_  51  53

Cold centre: Kristiansand, Oslo, Gothenburg

Three known cities from Norway and Sweden mark roughly the sea area called Skagerrak, or the Strait of Skagerrak. In geographic terms, this refers to the waters among Denmark, Norway and Sweden, north of 57°North and 7°East. It was precisely here where the record-breaking events occurred during the 2nd war winter. It was extremely cold all over the Northern Europe, but Southern Norway, Western Sweden and Northern Denmark won the ultimate cold temperature trophy. In Oslo, January 1941 was by far the coldest month since 1816, with an average of -13°C[iii]. A number of stations reported temperatures never recorded before. Vyborg station informed the Danish Meteorological Institute about the –30,2°C, which was the lowest temperature ever recorded. Previous record was of –29.6°C, in 1893.

 54  55  56

 The military occupation of Norway

 In April 1940, seven months after the beginning of the WWII, Adolf Hitler sent the German Navy on attack missions to Norway. The well-prepared invasion plan known under the name of “Weserübung” was to take control in only one move. A minimum of six locations were targeted, Oslo and Kristiansand (Skagerrak), as well as Stavanger, Bergen, Trontheim, and Narvik, covering a distance of about 2,000 km, with numerous fjords, bights, islands and rocks.

 During the campaign which lasted until June 1940, presumably 80 to 120 naval vessels and approx. 1,000 airplanes had been available in the service of the parties participating in the war. Although the Norwegian Navy was small, it was able to lay sea mines with their fleet made up of a dozen mine layers and to use the installed coastal batteries in an important number of locations. One of the first battles was fought in the vicinity of Narvik. On the 10th of April 1940, five Royal Navy destroyers entered the harbour of Narvik where five destroyers of the Kriegsmarine were seriously damaged, out of which two sank. Six other German ships were also sunk. British Navy lost two destroyers.

 Material and ammunition needed by the German forces were to be transported to various locations with the help of about 50 vessels, with a total capacity of 250,000 tons. The loss of ships and tonnage during the campaign amounted to about 20% of the total ships/tonnage available, including two tank ships of 6,000 tons. The Campaign ended on the 10th of June. During the struggle that lasted four months, a total of 34 naval vessels of about 500,000 tons, including 9 submarines, 19 destroyers and bigger ships, were sunk or damaged. The loss of naval vessels was equal for both sides.

 The struggle between the Allies and the German naval forces continued along the Norwegian coast throughout the remaining months of 1940. British, Dutch and Polish submarines permanently patrolled the area, searching and targeting German convoys and naval vessels.

 62  63  64

 Stirring Skagerrak

 When evaluating any war at sea, we must be aware of the fact that the impact of stirring and churning the seawater body down to a depth of 60-80 meters is nothing compared to the situations which affects lower water masses. Due to a complex current system with quite different water masses coming from different sources, Skagerrak makes it even worse. This may certainly be interesting for the ocean science but not so relevant for our investigation. Fine tuned observation may not be needed if we are rather interested in brute force experiments. Carrying out war operations in the deep water areas of Skagerrak and along the Norwegian south-western coast is nothing more than a grand climatic adventure. The already altered seawater structures will inevitably influence and finally change winter conditions.

 Most of the Skagerrak sea area is below 200 meters deep, the deepest point measuring 700 meters. The average temperature for the whole water body will be of roughly 6°C in March and at peak time, in August, with hardly more than 1-2 degrees warmer. Even if the temperature of the surface layer can exceed 16°C in August, at more than 40 meters deep temperatures never exceed 10°C. As surface vessels had draughts of up to 10 meters, submarines submerged to 100 meters deep and depths charges were made to explode at any place between 5 and 150 meters deep, water structure at Skagerrak was easily stirred. Indeed, temperatures of the surface seawater at Freder and Torungen were lower between August and November 1940 than the long-term averages or the temperatures of the pervious years.

 Taking into account that a forceful current system can fairly exchange Skagerrak water[iv], the occupation of Norway may be reflected in severe and early sea icing during the winter of 1940/41, which together with the pervious war winter of 1939/40 became the harshest ice winter in the north of Copenhagen in many decades.

 65  66  67

 Summing up Skagerrak Arctic Winter

In climatologic terms, Norway is a maritime country. Its weather is highly influenced by the warm Gulf Currents and by the Norwegian Current flowing northwards, along the coast. This weather extends its influence on the Strait of Skagerrak. In Oslo, average air temperatures for January ran amok in Oslo: 2°C lower than the next lowest averages during a January without war since 1816, viz. 1867 that accounted –11°C, while January 1941 recorded –13°C, in a city with a long-term January means of –3,5°C. January 1941 beats Little Ice Age conditions in the early 19th century and nobody has ever wondered why.

By all means, the answer is possibly the easiest in the world. During the previous nine months, all water areas and many fjords along the Norwegian coast became the battleground of the naval warfare. Naval vessels, bombs and depth charges did not only churn and turn seasonally warmed and cooled surface layer of the water (40-60 meter deep), but also operated along a 200-700 meter deep trench, along the coast of Norway, from Sweden (Gothenburg) to the Atlantic Ocean (north of the Shetland Islands). Deep water and surface water temperatures differ by 10 degrees, or even more at peak time, in August/September. Warfare at sea can easily ‘restructure’ the thermocline at any water level below.

70 71 72

A convincing proof for this causal relation between the war and the cold weather is the fact that all coastal areas around Skagerrak were dragged into exceptional cold conditions with record temperatures never experienced before. This leads us to only one conclusion: the German war machinery (used for Norway’s occupation) and the naval warfare are responsible for the cold centre winter of 1940/41 which was established at Skagerrak and which influenced Oslo, Gothenburg and Vyborg with record low temperatures.

84 90

 

The 3rd War winter – The Baltic Sea experimente2

 Mainframe of the Experiment

How can one make an arctic winter and how can one prove it? The first condition for an interesting climate experiment is to exclude the sun. We did it by concentrating research on the winter period during the 1st and the 2nd war winters of WWII. The second condition for improving experimental conditions is to exclude the external influence of the water influx coming from different sources, e.g. the Atlantic Ocean. The Baltic Sea is almost completely disconnected from the oceanic system, salinity is low or inexistent (Gulf of Bothnia) and the current system affected by local forces (wind, temperature, salinity, and influx of river water). For the completion of an excellent climate change, the third condition is easy to imagine: the forceful stirring and shaking of the water basin. This all happened between June and December 1941 and the following winter proved the effectiveness of the experiment. Northern Europe fell pray to a record icy winter.

 e4  e5  e6

 ‘Barbarossa’ – Germany attacks Russia

 Under the codename ‘Barbarossa’, Germany planned and ambushed Russia with an Army of 3,000,000 men, 3000 tanks, 7000 artillery pieces, e32500 aircrafts and other war relevant equipment. This happened on the 22nd of June 1941, along a battle line of 2000 km.

 It is a well-known fact that, in June 1941, during a few months of invasion, the German Army encountered winter conditions in Western Russia, the severity of which cannot be imagined. It was totally out of tune with the climatic records over many years. So far, it is not so much of a surprise that the German armies had not been prepared to face the harsh winter conditions. They fell prey to a misjudgement similar to that of the Russian Army in Finland, in December 1939. While the war at sea ‘pushed the weather’ to very cold temperatures under the Arctic Circle during the winter of 1939/40, the Germans drove the weather conditions ‘over the edge’ by turning the Baltic Sea ‘up-side-down’. This 6-month ‘treatment’ of the Baltic Sea, in 1941, was several times more intensive than in 1939. A little bit later, snow, freezing and ice conditions became extremely severe along the entire German–Russian front line, from the west of Murmansk, Leningrad, Kalini, Mazhaisk (west of Moscow) to Belowgrad, Rostov, and Sevastopol (Krim). Since mid-November 1941, temperature during daytime was of -3°C, and at night it went down to -7°C. By the end of November, temperature fell to minus 25 degrees Celsius on the Eastern Front. Along the frontlines close to Leningrad, heavy snowfall blocked almost all German mechanized operations. On the 7th of December, the German High Command stated in a communiqué that harsh winter conditions forced abandonment of big operations in the north until spring. In December, temperatures went down to -40°C.

 Before the severe cold wave hit the Eastern Front, there was a heavy ‘mud-period’ which lasted from early October until freezing began. It all started with snow on about the 7th of October and went on with rain, bearing quite a number of similarities with the situation discussed in an earlier chapter concerning rain-making on the Western Front, along the river Rhine, in late 1939. Until the end of December 1941, the costs of invasion for the German Army were: 174,000 dead men, 600,000 wounded and 36,000 missing. Germany also lost 758 bomber planes, 568 fighter planes, and 767 other types of airplanes, not to mention the loss of tanks, flaks and vehicles, which was huge. The Russians’ loss was considerably higher because of the death of 3,000,000 men, plus 1,3 million wounded and sick men.

 War-Front sideline – The major battlefield of the climate

 Immediately, the Baltic Sea became a battleground and was churned and turned all over its eastern part, from Gdansk to Leningrad. The operation ‘Barbarossa’ was a fringe war operation area. In climatic, terms it was a major theatre of regional weather modification.

 The Germans mobilised about one hundred naval vessels: 10 large mine layers, 28 torpedo boats, and 2-3 dozen minesweepers. Air support was entrusted to the Luftwaffe. Russians had six big war ships, 21 destroyers, 65 submarines, six minelayers, 48 torpedo cutters and 700 airplanes. The considerable number of ships and airplanes were active in six months. The Kriegsmarine lost 35 ships. Russia alone lost 50 naval vessels when evacuating the Reval naval base. The total number of ships, which sank in the Baltic Sea during the second half of 1941, is of about 370, which may sum up 500,000 tons.

e9 e10 e11

 Sea mines were a considerable threat. Around 20,000 mines were laid, out of which many thousands were swept and destroyed. Although many of the Russian mines weighted less than 100 kg, the Soviet Baltic Sea Fleet alone laid at least 10,000 mines in the Finnish Gulf and outside the Soviet Ports, in the Baltic Sea (e.g. Riga and Reval). In early August, a dozen of Russian naval vessels laid mines as far away as the west of Bornholm. Probably the last Russian distant operation was a mining operation close to Gdansk, which lasted from the 20th of October until the 15th of November.

 Many hundreds of daily naval activities caused a great Baltic ‘turning and churning’ experiment. One devastating experience determined the Russians Baltic Fleet to evacuate their fleet bases at Reval (Tallinn) by the end of August. More than 200 ships had been moved to Kronshtadt, not far away from Leningrad. More than 4,000 mines were laid on the way out, some of them placed so close together that the distance between two individual mines was sometimes of only 30 feet. Once the ships were out of the harbour, the convoys were bombed or torpedoed while crossing these minefields. This repositioning operation meant the loss of over 50 ships and some 36 transporters and auxiliaries for the Baltic Fleet, not to mention the total loss of lives (at least 6,000 men were lost).

 Another significant event occurred in early December 1941, when the Baltic Fleet desperately tried to evacuate the Finnish island of Hangoe, which they had occupied in December 1939. During its sailing, the 7,500-tons ship Josif Stalin, carrying ammunition and military personnel, was hit by four mines that initiated a tremendous detonation, killing four thousand of the troops aboard. 2,000 men survived. Since evacuation from Hangoe started on the 31st of October, the Baltic fleet lost, in half a dozen evacuation missions, three destroyers, three fast mine sweepers and other craft and transporters (Josif Stalin, Andrey Zdanov), the icebreaker October plus a host of smaller vessels.

 The ‘Barbarossa’ operation has definitely played a major part in the remodelling of the Baltic seawater body during the autumn of 1941. The new water structure had been never experienced before, particularly the phenomenon of “squeezing” summer-stored heat at such an early date. For the occupation of the vast Russian territory, this may have been hardly more than a small contribution. But for regional weather modification, it was a substantial and highly effective phenomenon. This became evident at Malgoviks primary school in Norrland/Sweden (64° 37’ North, 16° 25’ East) where temperatures lower than minus 50°C were recorded on the 13th of December 1941 and registered in the Annual of the Swedish Meteorological Service. The sheer coincidence with the attack on Pearl Harbour only six days earlier shall be also taken into account.

e12 e13 e14

 Stockholm’s coldness trophy

Location

January 1942

February 1942

Average Jan. 1942

Normal

1901-30

Lowest 1942

Average Feb. 1942

Normal 1901-30

Lowest 1942

Kiruna

-16,6

-11,9

-35,5

-15,8

-11,8

-33,4

Haparanda

-17,0

-10,3

-31

-14,2

-11,2

-30

Umea

-17,2

-7,4

-30

-13

-7,4

-27,8

Őstersund

-16,9

-7,9

-31,4

-11,2

-6,8

-26,4

Karlstad

-12,3

-3,2

-25,2

-10,8

-3,1

-24,6

Stockholm

-10,6

-2,5

-28,2

-10,5

-2,6

-18,8

Karlshamm

-8,4

-0,3

-22,5

-6,6

-0,6

-16

Malmő

-7,5

+0,3

-25

-6,2

-0,2

-20

All figures in minus Celsius degree; Source: Statens

Yet, the record conditions lasting a longer period of time and offering a wider perspective are more important than the small and short incident at Malgoviks primary school. Stockholm is a good place to demonstrate the situation. Sweden was not a war party. The Swedish meteorologist Goesta Liljequist expressed his amazement about the winter of 1941/42 as it follows: After the two hard winters of 1939/40 and 1940/41 and the difficulties they generated for shipping and fuel supply for the country, one has awaited and expected that the winter of 1941/42 would bring a return of the mild winters, which had recently predominated. Instead, winter became one of the toughest, if not the severest of all winters during the last 200 years[v]. In 1943, Goesta Liljequist made a thorough assessment of “The severity of the winters at Stockholm, 1757–1942”. The following data have been collected from his work[vi].

 The winter of 1941/42 is highly ranked in the list of very severe winters. From the group of 15 most severe winters since 1757, the winter of 1939/40 occupies the 10th position and the winter of 1941/42 is in the top, as it follows:

 Rank No

Mean temp. Dec.– March

Mean temperature

Three coldest months

Sum of negative,

monthly means temp.

1

1788/89, – 8.0°C

1941/42, – 9.2° C

1788/89, – 31.9° C

2

1808/09, – 7.6° C

1788/89, – 9.1° C

1808/09, – 30.5° C

3

1941/42, – 7.5° C

1808/09, – 8.7° C

1941/42, – 30.5° C

 Liljequist points out the fact that, since temperature observations were made in 1760, the mean winter temperatures had increased with about 2°C and that this tendency was well marked especially after the middle of the 19th century. The deviation from ‘normal’ became even more evident. A ‘true’ comparison actually shows that the winter of 1941/42 was in any calculation from –0,5° (right column) to –2,5°C (middle column) colder than the winter of 1788/89. Even without any corrections in the group of the three coldest months (from December until February), the winter of 1941/42 is the coldest since 1757. At that time, when data registration began, average temperatures during the winter of 1756/57 was of –2,3°C. As no data are available before that year, Stockholm’s winter, which immediately followed the ‘Barbarossa’ operation, could have been the coldest in many thousand years.

 e19  e20  e21

 The closing assessment on Baltic Sea field experiment should be given to the Swedish meteorologist Gösta H. Lijequist[vii] who wrote immediately after the extraordinary winter of 1941/42 (excerpt):

 The winter 1941/42 was colder than the winters 1939/40 and 1940/41. At Stockholm it was one of the coldest winters since 1756, when regular temperature observations started. If we classify the severity of a winter according to the value of the mean temperature of the three coldest months of the winter half year, 1941/42 is the coldest winter since 1756.

 Concluding remark on ‘Barbarossa’

Circumstances of the churning of the Baltic waters and devastating arctic conditions on the Russian territory prove without any doubt the e26interconnection between these two events. Insofar, it is easy to establish that Adolf Hitler shot himself in the feet. His “Blitzkrieg” failed, extreme deviations from statistical weather forecasts hindered his plans. Had German war machinery not touched the Baltic and the North Seas, the weather would not have experienced such major modifications. The harsh weather conditions prevented his army from reaching Moscow. Not having reached Moscow before the end of the year was the beginning of the end for Hitler’s ruthless activities. And in so far, we were fortunate that meteorologists were not aware of such a connection back in the 1940’s and thus could not advice Hitler and his army that they would endanger military goals against Russia by simultaneously conducting extensive naval warfare in the nearby seas. Arctic winter conditions quickly stopped his “Blitzkrieg” in the East in December 1941.

 When Field Marshal Herman Göring had proclaimed in February 1940: “Nature is still more powerful than man. I can fight man but I cannot fight nature when I lack the means to carry out such battle. We did not ask for ice, snow and cold – A higher power sent it to us”[viii], the winter of 1941/42 proves him wrong. This winter was man-made, more precisely, caused by Hitler, his Government and his Army. Hitler, Göring and the ruling companions are responsible for the coldest winter in Northern Europe since data recording began, in the middle of the 18th century.

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[i] Liljequist, Gösta H.; ‚Isvintern 1941/42’; in: Staten Meteorologisk – Hydrograiska Anstalt, No.4, 1942, pp.2-15.

[ii] It should not be so much a surprise that the third coldest January occurred during WWI. There were also a lot of naval activities in all North Sea regions. Since late 1916 naval warfare stepped into a new age of destruction, due newly developed sea mines, submarines and depth charges (see chapter on WWI, below). In so far it might be not too far fetched to assume any link between the biggest naval encounter ever, the Battle of Jutland on 31st May 1916 and the record January 1941.

[iii] Second coldest was January 1942 (-12,1°C); Third coldest January 1917 (-11,6), seven months after Battle of Jutland according monthly means temperatures at Oslo/Gardermoen (www.wetterzentrale.com/klima/) during time period 1816-1988. 4th coldest January 1867 (-11°C), 5th coldest January 1820 (-10,7°C).

[iv] Water entering Skagerrak via the Jutland Current in the southwest, proceeding along Denmark’s coast, turning anti clockwise at Sweden’s coast to become off Oslo Fjord the Norwegian Coast Current flowing south-westward until leaving Skagerrak and turning northwards flowing along Norway’s coast until reaching Norwegian Sea. In opposite direction a deep counter current injects high salinity Atlantic water into the Skagerrak deep.

[v] Liljequist, Gösta H.; ‚Isvintern 1941/42’; in: Staten Meteorologisk – Hydrograiska Anstalt, No.4, 1942, pp.2-15.

[vi] Liljequist, Gösta H; ‘The severity of the winters at Stockholm 1757 – 1942’, Geografiska Annaler 1-2, 1943, p. 81-104; and as an extended paper in: Meddelanden, Serien Uppsatser, Stockholm 1943, pp.1-24.

[vii] Liljequist, Gösta H., ‚Isvintern 1941/42’; in: Staten Meteorologisk – Hydrograiska Anstalt, No.4, 1942, pp.2-15.

[viii] See above: Chapter I, Introduction

THE PREVIOUS WEB-TEXT FROM 2006 (not updated )

The three years cold package & the war

The unexpected return of the Little Ice Age Get the PDF!

One cold winter isn’t enough to convince everyone that naval war can be as destructive to climate as a major natural event. Therefore, we will analyse here the first three war winters and will demonstrate that there is an important connection between the arctic war winter and the naval warfare.

The 1st War Winter (1939/40)—Cold Centre: Hamburg” Get the PDF!

The war winter 1939/40 has already received considerable attention in our previous chapter, in which we have established its dramatic development and possible causes. Over a very short period of just four months of naval war, heat was eliminated from the North European seas to such an extent that they could not prevent arctic air from taking control over the northern part of the continent during January and February 1940.

The 2nd War winter (1940/41)—Arctic Skagerrak
An overview of the winter 1940/41

General conditions of the war winter of 1940/41 in Northern Europe are easy to explain. Even if the winter was very cold, it did not equal the winter of 1939/40 (Germany, the Netherlands, Britain) or the third war winter of 1941/42, particularly in Sweden and the Netherlands. In Germany, the winter of 1940/41 ranked the 20th among about 150 other harsh winters; in the Netherlands, it ranked the 33rd among about 150 ‘ice winters’ between 1706 and 1946; and in Sweden it ranked the 23rd among the cold winters since 1757, while the winter of 1939/40 was on the 9th or 10th place in the top of the coldest winters.

Cold centre: Kristiansand, Oslo, Gothenburg

Three known cities from Norway and Sweden mark roughly the sea area called Skagerrak, or the Strait of Skagerrak. In geographic terms, this refers to the waters among Denmark, Norway and Sweden, north of 57°North and 7°East. It was precisely here where the record-breaking events occurred during the 2nd war winter. It was extremely cold all over the Northern Europe, but Southern Norway,Western Sweden and Northern Denmark won the ultimate cold temperature trophy. In Oslo, January 1941 was by far the coldest month since 1816, with an average of-13°C8.

The military occupation of Norway Get the PDF!

In April 1940, seven months after the beginning of the WWII, Adolf Hitler sent the German Navy on attack missions to Norway. The well-prepared invasion plan known under the name of “Weserübung” was to take control in only one move. A minimum of six locations were targeted, Oslo and Kristiansand (Skagerrak), as well as Stavanger, Bergen, Trontheim, and Narvik, covering a distance of about 2,000 km, with numerous fjords, bights, islands and rocks.

Summing up Skagerrak Arctic Winter Get the PDF!

When evaluating any war at sea, we must be aware of the fact that the impact of stirring and churning the seawater body down to a depth of 60-80 meters is nothing compared to the situations which affects lower water masses. Due to a complex current system with quite different water masses coming from different sources, Skagerrak makes it even worse. This may certainly be interesting for the ocean science but not so relevant for our investigation. Fine tuned observation may not be needed if we are rather interested in brute force experiments. Carrying out war operations in the deep water areas of Skagerrak and along the Norwegian south-western coast is nothing more than a grand climatic adventure. The already altered seawater structures will inevitably influence and finally change winter conditions.

The 3rd War winter—The Baltic Sea experiment
Mainframe of the Experiment

How can one make an arctic winter and how can one prove it? The first condition for an interesting climate experiment is to exclude the sun. We did it by concentrating research on the winter period during the 1st and the 2nd war winters of WWII. The second condition for improving experimental conditions is to exclude the external influence of the water influx coming from different sources, e.g. the Atlantic Ocean. The Baltic Sea is almost completely disconnected from the oceanic system, salinity is low or inexistent (Gulf of Bothnia) and the current system affected by local forces (wind, temperature, salinity, and influx of river water). For the completion of an excellent climate change, the third condition is easy to imagine: the forceful stirring and shaking of the water basin. This all happened between June and December 1941 and the following winter proved the effectiveness of the experiment. Northern Europe fell pray to a record icy winter.

‘Barbarossa’—Germany attacks Russia Get the PDF!

Under the codename ‘Barbarossa’, Germany planned and ambushed Russia with an Army of 3,000,000 men, 3000 tanks, 7000 artillery pieces, 2500 aircrafts and other war relevant equipment. This happened on the 22nd of June 1941, along a battle line of 2000 km.

War-Front sideline—The major battlefield of the climate Get the PDF!

The Germans mobilised about one hundred naval vessels: 10 large mine layers, 28 torpedo boats, and 2-3 dozen minesweepers. Air support was entrusted to the Luftwaffe. Russians had six big war ships, 21 destroyers, 65 submarines, six minelayers, 48 torpedo cutters and 700 airplanes. The considerable number of ships and airplanes were active in six months. The Kriegsmarine lost 35 ships. Russia alone lost 50 naval vessels when evacuating the Reval naval base. The total number of ships, which sank in the Baltic Sea during the second half of 1941, is of about 370, which may sum up 500,000 tons.

Stockholm’s coldness trophy Get the PDF!

Yet, the record conditions lasting a longer period of time and offering a wider perspective are more important than the small and short incident at Malgoviks primary school. Stockholm is a good place to demonstrate the situation. Sweden was not a war party. The Swedish meteorologist Goesta Liljequist expressed his amazement about the winter of 1941/42 as it follows: After the two hard winters of 1939/40 and 1940/41 and the difficulties they generated for shipping and fuel supply for the country, one has awaited and expected that the winter of 1941/42 would bring a return of the mild winters, which had recently predominated. Instead, winter became one of the toughest, if not the severest of all winters during the last 200 years . In 1943, Goesta Liljequist made a thorough assessment of “The severity of the winters at Stockholm, 1757–1942”. The following data have been collected from his work.

Concluding remark on ‘Barbarossa’ Get the PDF!

Circumstances of the churning of the Baltic waters and devastating arctic conditions on the Russian territory prove without any doubt the interconnection between these two events. Insofar, it is easy to establish that Adolf Hitler shot himself in the feet. His “Blitzkrieg” failed, extreme deviations from statistical weather forecasts hindered his plans. Had German war machinery not touched the Baltic and the North Seas, the weather would not have experienced such major modifications. The harsh weather conditions prevented his army from reaching Moscow. Not having reached Moscow before the end of the year was the beginning of the end for Hitler’s ruthless activities. And in so far, we were fortunate that meteorologists were not aware of such a connection back in the 1940’s and thus could not advice Hitler and his army that they would endanger military goals against Russia by simultaneously conducting extensive naval warfare in the nearby seas. Arctic winter conditions quickly stopped his “Blitzkrieg” in the East in December 1941.

Three-year winter package Get the PDF!

Successive cold winters, an exceptional case

Three extremely cold winters in a row are another striking evidence that naval war generated ice age conditions in Northern Europe. A demonstration could already be made on the basis of the statistics of the three winter temperatures in De Bilt, Oslo and Stockholm. Evidence is based not only on the sudden and extreme cold wave, which hit the Northern Europe and the maritime locations, but also on the fact that such a situation had never been observed before. Fortunately, the ‘three-year package’ theory doesn’t rely only on temperatures in order to prove that war at sea was the cause of the cooling phenomenon, but can rely on a number of additional aspects. For example, snow covered the British Isles, sea ice covered the Baltic Sea and the regions, which had the most significant naval activities, had to deal with record cold temperatures during the next winter.

Low Temperatures Get the PDF!

Sweden

As already indicated above, G. Liljequist observed: Three successive ice winters are very rare . After almost 200 years of weather observation in Stockholm, there are only two periods that come close to the most recent one in 1939-42. But none of the previous ‘three-winter periods’ (we take into account the average temperature of three coldest months) had been as cold as the winters of 1939-42, which were 0.6°C colder than the winter-group 1802-1805.

Kew Observatory/UK

Even during the „Cold Epoch“ (ca. 1810–1850), when 9 winters out of 42 were colder at Kew Observatory/UK than the 1939/40 “winter package”, none of these winters was so closely followed by subsequent cold winters as during the winters of 1939/40, 1940/41 and 1941/42 , which were furthermore commented upon: “The present century has been marked by such a widespread tendency towards mild winters that the ‘old-fashioned winters’, of which one had heard so much, seemed to have gone for ever. The sudden arrival, at the end of 1939, of what was to be the beginning of a series of cold winters was therefore all the more surprising. Since the winters of 1878/79, 1879/80 and 1880/81, there have never been three winters in a row as severe as those of 1939/40, 1940/41 and 1941/42.”

Maritime and continental difference Get the PDF!

Before moving to the next issue, temperature differences between maritime and inland locations, as mentioned in a previous chapter, should be included in a comprehensive ‘three-year package’ list. While record cold winter results were achieved throughout Northern Europe, the difference between sea and land is remarkable. Land values for January and December were only slightly below the previous record (Paris 1,2°C, Basel 0,1°C, and Wiesbaden managed only second place), while close-to-sea locations (De Bilt, Oslo and Stockholm) broke the previous cold records with extraordinary temperature differences from 1,6 to 2,7°C. This is strong evidence that the North and Baltic Seas played a major role in generating the three arctic winters. While warm Atlantic water arrives in Europe as usually, colder North Sea water is recorded by the British weather reports.

Snow in Great Britain

There are two necessary conditions in order to have a snowy winter: an abundant supply of aerial humidity combined with cold air. During the war Great Britain floats like a battleship in a bath tub, surrounded by warm water and bathing water steaming off. Cold continental air could quickly turn moist air into fog, rain, ice-rain or snow.

Kew Observatory

Snow in Britain is a rare phenomenon. In the south-east of England, snow can be expected only every 10 days. Any deviation should raise questions and suspicion. During the winter of 1939-1942, the monthly snow rate was 400% higher.

The Isles

Lewis made the following two statements concerning the snow-cover of the British Isles during the months of January and February of the severe winters of 1940, 1941 and 1942. “The three consecutive winters of 1940, 1941 and 1942 were, however, unusually severe; the snow was considerable and the number of days of snow-laying comparatively large”. “Three such severe winters in succession as 1940, 1941 and 1942 appear to be without precedent in the British Isles for at least 60 years, a similar succession occurring from 1879 until 1881.”

WWI and WWII

In 1942, at Kew Observatory, A.J. Drummond realised an exceptional situation: “Since comparable records began in 1871, the only other three successive winters as snowy as the recent ones were those during the last war, namely 1915/16, 1916/17 and 1917/18, when snow fell on 23%, 48% and respectively 23% of the days”. The naval warfare caused more humidity in the air and facilitated the inflow of cold continental air over The Isles, thus generating rain, ice-rain and snow in quantities, which are above all statistical values. The intensive naval activities that took place in the English Channel and in the southern area of the North Sea lead inevitably to abundant snowfalls in the South-East of England.

Change of wind direction Get the PDF!

Norway

Hesselberg & Birkeland point out significant climate deviations during the first three war years, as illustrated in the following table. Therefore, we should pay particular attention to the winter and spring seasons.

Three ice winters in the Baltic Sea Get the PDF!

Sea icing on the German coast

An accurate indicator of the severity of a winter in the Baltic Sea and in its bordering countries is the annual icing phenomenon. Taking into account the extent of the icing phenomenon during the three war winters of 1939-42, it is possible to provide ample proof that this extraordinary situation could only have been generated by intensive military activities in these waters, over the time period in question. The main aspects can be summarised as it follows: The first and the most significant argument: the suddenness and the severity of each of these ice winters for which we could find no other cause but the war at sea.

The icing of the Northern Baltic Sea Get the PDF!

Another important argument which supports our thesis that nothing but the war at sea had turned the Baltic Sea into an ice age sea is the extent of the ice cover during the three years in question. According to a graph made by the Finnish Institute and showing the ice cover in the Baltic Sea, 57° North latitude (ca. Visby – Riga latitude), there has never been one group of three successive years with such an important extent of ice cover as the ice phenomenon of the war years of 1939-1942 since 1720 (when such observations were recorded).

Centers of record winters Get the PDF!

It is interesting to observe that certain regions reported record climatic events, on one hand, and that there have been intensive military activities, on the other hand.

Summary

There is no change without a cause. The three arctic war winters of 1939-1942 are no exception to the rule. At a global level, people, air and sea are bound to law of physics. The mechanism is simple. Any stirred hot soup lets steam off and cools down. Any warm lake, sea or ocean that is churned and stirred during winter season lets off steam and cools down quickly. The result is obvious. The three war winters of 1939-1942 were by far the coldest ever recorded during the last two centuries, and may be the coldest series even since the last ice age. One can only wonder why science pays no interest to this matter and remains silent on the issue of the WWII winter. Only four months after WWII commenced, North Europe’s winter went back to icy conditions previously experienced more than 100 years ago, during the ‘Cold Epoch’. Two extreme winters followed during the naval warfare that was fought in North European waters and in other waters adjacent to them. Nothing is completely explained yet. Conducting a war has devastating consequences, but not such chaotic ones. Three cold winters were the logical consequence of war at sea in sensitive waters. Ending a series of three arctic winters (1939-1942) was only “natural” after Japan had dragged the United States into the war, on the 7th of December 1941, and naval warfare went global on an unprecedented scale. A temporary regional cooling impact became a worldwide phenomenon for four decades.