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Ice Core Temperature Reconstructions from Svalbard, Norway
Isaksson, E., Hermanson, M., Hicks, S., Igarashi, M., Kamiyama, K., Moore, J., Motoyama, H., Muir, D., Pohjola, V., Vaikmae, R., van de Wal, R.S.W. and Watanabe, O. 2003. Ice cores from Svalbard - useful archives of past climate and pollution history. Physics and Chemistry of the Earth 28: 1217-1228.

What was done
Far above the Arctic Circle in Svalbard, Norway, two ice cores were retrieved (one from Lomonosovfonna and one from Austfonna), after which the twelve cooperating scientists from Norway, Finland, Sweden, Canada, Japan, Estonia and The Netherlands used 18O data to reconstruct a 600-year temperature history of the region.

What was learned
As would be expected -- in light of the earth's transition from the Little Ice Age to the Modern Warm Period -- the international group of scientists reports that "the 18O data from both Lomonosovfonna and Austfonna ice cores suggest that the 20th century was the warmest during at least the past 600 years." However, the warmest decade of the 20th century was centered on approximately 1930, while the instrumental temperature record at Longyearbyen also shows the decade of the 1930s to have been the warmest. In addition, the authors remark that, "as on Svalbard, the 1930s were the warmest decade in the Trondheim record."

What it means
As we demonstrate regularly for different parts of the United States in our Temperature Record of the Week feature, there was no net warming over the last seven decades of the 20th century in the parts of Norway cited in this study. This simple fact is particularly damaging to the position of the world's climate alarmists for the following reasons. First, the most significant greenhouse gas buildup of the past century occurred after 1930 (a 1930-2000 increase of 67 ppm compared to a 1900-1930 increase of just 9 ppm), but no net warming was observed after 1930. Second, climate alarmists claim that CO2-induced global warming should be observed first in high polar latitudes, but in these high-latitude locations no warming was seen during the period of most significant greenhouse-gas buildup. Third, climate alarmists claim that CO2-induced warming should also be most strongly expressed at high latitudes, but it was not expressed at all in these particular places. Clearly, as more and more data continue to accumulate, the climate alarmists' position grows ever weaker.

Reviewed 14 July 2004