First Signs of Rampant Global Cooling Seen At Nome, Alaska?

Nome in deadly deep freezeThe headline from the 12 January 2012 Nome Nugget (“Alaska’s Oldest Newspaper!”) strikes a chill into one’s heart:

      Nome in long deep freeze.

The Nome post of the National Weather Service reported that Nome reached a temperature of -40oF for the first time in almost 13 years on Thursday, January 5. The last time Nome recorded -40oF without windchill was on February 1, 1999. Bob Ten Eyck, meteorologist with the NWS in Nome said the low on Sunday still recorded a -30oF, making it 12 consecutive days of the 30-below-cold-snap. He said that the normal temperature for January is 13oF and the normal low is -3oF On New Years’ Eve, droves of people — more or less dressed for the -32oF — converged on Middle Beach to look at the New Year’s fireworks but the rockets didn’t make it high over the horizon due to the cold air.

Cold air is far denser than warm, don’t forget, so those rockets—and the rare airplane that takes the risk—have to struggle mightily. What would happen to global aviation if the air over the entire planet cooled, and therefore became denser? Increased fuel prices, that’s what. Economic turmoil! The poor will be harder hit than the rich, you can just bet. And then there will almost certainly be more and deadlier airline crashes.

It’s been so cold for so long at Nome that the very ocean itself has hardened its heart and turned to stone. I mean, it froze. The town cried out for help. Their pleas were heard and a rescue attempt to deliver emergency fuel was mounted several weeks ago.

But the thick ice slowed down the US Coast Guard ice breaker Healy, which struggled for days on end to break the ice to escort the Russian fuel barge Renda, which arrived last night to the delight of the gas- and oil-starved city. Residents were so thrilled that the fuel had arrived…that they had to sit and wait.

Why? Because government regulations require that fuel can only be unloaded during daylight hours. And we know how much daylight northern Alaska receives in the dead of winter.

George Will warned us about the coming cold wave twenty years ago. But would anybody listen? No, they would not: and we now suffer. From Will’s 31 May 1992 column:

Then there were “many signs pointing to the possibility that the Earth may be headed for another ice age” (The New York Times, August 14, 1975), moving “toward extensive Northern Hemisphere glaciations” (Science, December 10, 1976) and facing “continued rapid cooling of the Earth” (Global Ecology, 1971) and “the approach of a full-blown 10,000-year ice age” (Science, March 1, 1975).

Dear Concerned Reader and Friend of the Earth: these are scientists making these claims, not politicians. These quotes appear in learned, peer-reviewed journals. They cannot, the must not, be ignored. Will continued:

“[A] new ice age must now stand alongside nuclear war as a likely source of wholesale death and misery” (International Wildlife, July 1975) and that “the world’s climatologists are agree” that we must “prepare for the next ice age” (Science Digest, February 1973). Newsweek reported (April 28, 1975) “ominous signs” that “the Earth’s climate seems to be cooling down” and meteorologists “are almost unanimous” that “the trend will reduce agricultural productivity for the rest of the century.”

The world’s climatologists agree! Meteorologists are nearly unanimous! My dears, this is a consensus, a non-ignorable scientific phenomenon. Just think about what will happen to agriculture! If only it would warm instead of cool, then productivity would increase.

Will again:

The Christian Science Monitor reported (August 27, 1974) that armadillos had left Nebraska, retreating south, and heat-loving snails had retreated from Central European forests, and “the North Atlantic is cooling down about as fast as an ocean can cool,” glaciers “have begun to advance” and “growing seasons in England and Scandinavia are getting shorter.”

Widespread animal migration can only mean—there is no other explanation—that rampant global cooling is here. Oceans, with their vast heat inertia, are cooling. Glaciers on the march. Growing seasons shortening.

If we do not act, what’s happening now in Nome will soon happen where you live. The Nugget reports that “Nome has not been above 0oF since Dec. 23 and broke records on January 3 with -37oF (old -34oF, 1949), Jan. 4 with -38oF (old -34oF, 1917) and tied with the old record of -40oF from 1917 on Jan. 5.”

This stretch of inclement weather was never before seen in the entire “105-years of climatological history in Nome.”

What more evidence do you need, skeptic? The debate is over.


  1. DAV

    The sky is rising! The sky is rising!

    George always did have a way of making people eat their hats. The validity of those scientific articles is of course being, er, denied.

    Just so you know: dense air is better for airplanes.

  2. Briggs


    That can’t be, because global cooling is deadly.

  3. Bob Calder

    It isn’t April 1st. Did I miss something here? George Will back when a couple of scientists mistakenly identified a cooling trend thirty years ago? Anecdotal animal observations? Yeah the caribou climatologists are . . .? This isn’t an argument. It’s either embarrassing or a joke.

  4. commieBob

    Cold air is far denser than warm, don’t forget, so those rockets—and the rare airplane that takes the risk—have to struggle mightily.

    Actually, it is easier for an airplane to take off in cold weather, as long as its engines will run properly. Denser air provides more lift.
    Rockets don’t rely on lift, just thrust, so they don’t benefit. The denser air just slows them down.

  5. Will

    Obviously this is classic 1970s big oil propaganda, but you’re not a peer reviewed climate scientist so how would you know that?

    It’s simple physics: Locomotives and steam ships burned CO2 spewing coal. More CO2 = more warm. The 1920s are hard conclusive proof (but not evidence) of this.

    The models all agree (but do not predicict) that in the 1970s Thermaggedon was just taking a break (probably napping in the deep oceans, p=0.05). Big oil seized the opportunity and used the media (which it alone controls) to fabricate the ice-age scare. Thermaggedonists wise to the ways of the science were denied, by the rich elite, any chance to publish papers and were bullied out of academia.

    Is it a coincidence that Green Peace, David Suzuki AND AL Gore (first elected to office in 1977)all started to get rolling at about that time? These eco-warriors fought the good fight against the New World Order, ultimately saving the childern and opening our eyes to the true ‘sky-is-falling’ reality (as opposed to the false one).

    [end sarcasm]

  6. JH

    Looking out the window at the snow, I vote for the idea that global warming means that everyday will be warmer.

  7. DAV

    Bob Calder,

    If they got it wrong then, how is it they get it right now? Maybe some scientists are now misidentifying a warming trend? Or maybe they just go whichever way the wind blows? Temps go down and “OMG! Ice Age!” Temps go up: “OMG! We’re all gonna die!”. Whatever the current belief it always seems to be preceded with “OMG!”. Bunch of Valley Girls.

    Ya’d think it would be easy. After all, it ain’t rocket science.

  8. Speed

    From the Experimental Aircraft Association which is also responsible for the annual Woodstock for airplane nuts called Oshkosh.

    A number of factors (altitude/pressure, temperature and humidity) influence the air density. A higher altitude, low pressure area, higher temperature and high humidity all have one result: they lower the density of the air. And as a result of that: reduced aircraft performance.

    Airplanes love cold air.

  9. Briggs

    All right, dammit: airplanes fine. But think of all the rockets which will come crashing to the ground! This is serious business, people. Cold kills.

    And to prove it, here is a video my own mother coincidentally sent me today.

    Update Coldest winter in living memory. Fuel shortages. Mayhem!

  10. Speed

    From the NOAA/NWS forecast for Seattle, WA.



    Airplanes hate snow.

  11. Speed

    And … fireworks are not rockets. They are mortars.

  12. Briggs

    Rocket Ranger, It’s obvious you’re just another one of those deniers. The sources quoted came from real scientists in real science journals which were themselves were peer reviewed by other scientists. Myth forsooth! Further, a consensus was reported. Frankly, this is all the evidence we need. It is the end of the world.

  13. DAV

    Of course! Just like bad luck is caused by good luck. Things have to average out don’t they?

  14. mikesixes

    Rocket Ranger,
    You linked realclimate and therefore beclowned yourself.

  15. Doug M

    Just to jump on the Airplane thing…Denser air does slow down top speeds of planes and increased fuel consumption. However, planes can always gain altitude to find the optimal air density for that model of aircraft.

  16. Tim C

    Sorry about the flying thing.

    Spinning this peripherally, in far history the earth had a heavier atmosphere and therefore higher density, yet was warmer. I suppose this is early days but at least the matter is being thrashed out.

    An interesting aside someone threw at me was suggestion the large flying dinosoars could only fly in a denser atmosphere. There is no real dataset for long historic air pressure, has be be guesswork. (a datapoint might appear in a Nature paper, due 2011 but that is another story I am watching (from imprint of raindrops in volcanic ash, seems to be mention of fun practicals, hurl water out of upstairs windows))

    Me? Just reading around before turning in, usually some good stuff here.

    If you want a look at the long discussions, try Tallbloke’s, sigh, and now they have explained a little more on Hölder’s inequality. Too many exploding heads, some get it, some don’t. Must put a cushion on the wall.

  17. JH

    Rocket Ranger, It’s obvious you’re just another one of those deniers.

    It’s not obvious to me at all. I can’t disagree more with you on this, Mr. Briggs! How can you make such a conclusion based on Rocket’s short comments here?

    I happen to learn a great deal from the RealClimate website!

  18. Briggs


    Rocket Ranger is obviously in the employ of Big Oil. He’s only making his comments because of his greedy capitalistic views.

  19. JH

    Yes, Mr. Briggs, the name of “Rocket Ranger” indeed implies that this person is employed by Big Oil. It also implies this person works for a special unit (subsidized by Big Oil) to train people to become a rocketeer. ^_^

  20. Joe Bastardi

    This is not local to Nome. The mid latitudes of the NH are running almost 2C below normal with a major drop occurring in global temps
    day 1-8 GFS averages can be seen here (-.284)

    week two (-.54)

    This was something that I was forecasting back in May.. part of the response to the La Nina, which first could be seen in the major drop in mid level temps ( air above the boundary layer cools quicker in the reversal) and shows the direct link to the earth responding to the cooling oceans. Only this kind of drop is alarming. I outline this, and other facts that may it clear that the Obama administration is not in the least looking at actual facts, including the question as to how co2 with a specific gravity of 1.5 can mix in a way with air and its specific gravity of 1.0 to cause trapping heat spots at 400 mb precisely where temps have fallen to satellite era record lows.

    Here is the link for that article, including some rough estimates of what chasing this ghost is costing the Taxpayer

    Dr Bill Gray has been right all along on this. Its a hoax, and one that will be proven to be detrimental to our way of life sooner, rather than later, in the coming decades

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