C1. War brings ice age back
The winter of 1939/40 does not only cover the first six months of a six year-long murderous war but it also marks the first very pronounced climatic shift into a cooling trend since the end of the Little Ice Age. The shift did not come as a gradual change from warming to cooling, but temperatures over Europe fell on the continent like with the force of a sledgehammer. In many regions and locations it was the coldest winter since the 1820s. The book will dedicate most of its elaboration to this winter because a bunch of madmen, acting as the government of the Third German Reich made this all happen.
Unfortunately, back in summer 1939 there was no voice that warned Adolf Hitler and his consorts that a major war in general, and a naval warfare in particular, would bear a high risk of dangerous interfering with weather and atmospheric conditions, with unknown consequences. In addition, no one mentioned how foolish it would be to start with naval war activities in northern European waters in early autumn. It would release the heat stored in the North Sea and Baltic earlier than in other years. This heat is an essential contributor to moderate winters in Europe . No, Reichskanzler Adolf Hitler and the High Command of the Wehrmacht had no idea of the risks, neither did their professional advisers. The personal responsibility, for weather and climate modification in the winter 1939/40 and beyond, was never raised. That should come as a surprise in the light of the current discussion on climate change.
It is an irony that the deputy of Adolf Hitler, Field Marshal Herman Göring, saw this differently, when he said in a speech in mid 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 a battle. We did not ask for ice, snow and cold – a higher power sent it to us” and
· “These troubles, naturally, take precedence over yours. They are not a German patent – look at the nations around that have the same difficulties.”
H. Göring, the chief of the aviation, air force, and weather services was mistaken. The winter severity was man-made, not necessarily alone, but the war contributed substantially to the harsh conditions. Without naval war during the autumn of 1939 the subsequent winter would not have turned out as cold as in the severest winters during the Little Ice Age. After record conditions in January 1940 (see TM4, next page), many locations in Europe faced extreme temperatures in February again, reported by New York Times (NYT, Feb. 14-16), for example: Copenhagen –25°F/-32°C, Baltic countries –54°F/-48°C, Budapest –28°F/–33°C, and the NYT titled a report on February 21st: “Scandinavia is colder. Sweden suffers 32° below zero (Fahrenheit), worst since 1805”. In northern Germany several all-time cold records were registered, e.g. in Hamburg –29.1°C/-21°F on February 13th. In Moscow January 1940 was the coldest ever recorded, and the entire year 1940 as well (wikipedia/climate). That is something to take note of.
Read more: http://www.seaclimate.com/c/c1/c1.html