Aspects concerning the big warming at Spitspergen from 1918-1940

Until recently, a systematic ocean data collection did not exist, with the exception
of the frequent sampling of the sea surface temperatures made by merchant vessels.
But these measurements were very random, very selective and very insufficient.
Analysing oceanic conditions and changes has to be largely based on air temperature
observation. At Spitsbergen, the first permanent temperature data series recording
began in 1912. In other places from the Nordic Sea areas, e.g. North Greenland,
Jan Mayen, and Bear Island, weather records date from the 1920s. Actually,
for the first quarter of the last century, solid data concerning the polar
region are limited and rely only on a number of single expeditions and interpretation
of secondary observations.
As for the facts concerning temperature development in the high northern hemisphere,
the over-proportional rise in the wider polar region is well established and
undisputed. The temperature increase is two to three times higher than the
global average of the last century. This is well indicated in all temperature
graph series available. What these graphs and tables do not indicate clearly
enough is the purpose or relevance of the statistical accumulation of data
series. The following applications of temperature data are either related to
geographical, earth surface or to seasonal issues, as it follows:

Geographical: (A) Local: Spitsbergen, latitude ca.
80 degrees North; (B) Regional: Arctic/Polar region, at least higher than 60º North;
(C) Global:  Northern Hemisphere; (D) Global: Northern and Southern Hemisphere,
whereby this statistical mean can be neglected because it doesn’t provide
any clue on Spitsbergen warming; or

Earth Surface: (A) Land-based air temperature observation.
Concerning air temperature data taken at Spitsbergen, it should be observed
that, due to the permanent and extended sea ice-cover, the island is partly
similar to an inner continental place. But as the southern flank of the island
is open to the sea and the closest continent is almost 1000 km away, this South-Sector
is under very strong oceanic influence; (B) Sea-surface air temperatures (SST),
which play no important role in this investigation simply because they do not
exist in any reasonable number and time for the period in question.

Season or specific months: (A) Seasonal temperatures
are of particular interest because Polar Regions at high latitudes are an outstanding
example of the considerable impact and influence of the sun decreases in wintertime
as far down as the North- and Baltic Sea (both above 50° North). (B) Monthly
mean data are a tool equivalent to the seasonal temperature measurement. Their
applications make sense in exceptional cases. Spitsbergen is such an exceptional

In our research and effort to explain the big warming at Spitsbergen and its
causes, air temperatures series play a major part. Focusing on certain aspects
such as location and time sequence may reveal the source of the warming.


From this site
Spitsbergen 1918—The big warming
-The Jump Get
the PDF!
Seas under naval stress Naval warfare:
1914-1916 Get
the PDF!
Northern Mine Barrage
the PDF!
A possible cause for the severe warming:
1918-1939 Get
the PDF!