back to article Svalbard overtakes medieval summers

The so-called “Medieval Warm Period” may not have been as warm – and certainly not as uniformly warm – as is commonly believed, according to research led by Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory. While the research only covers a small area – Norway’s Svalbard archipelago in the north – but the researchers …


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  1. Aitor 1 Silver badge

    I can't agree

    Just read this article:

    And if you didn't, you'll start questioning the conclusions...

    1. ContentsMayVary

      Re: I can't agree

      What a weird article you quoted...

      "The nitrogen is transported with air currents and reaches the ground in rain or snow."

      Nitrogen is transported with air currents...? Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't air composed of around 80% nitrogen?

      So what we have here is nitrogen being transported with nitrogen. Hmm.

      1. Mike Richards

        Re: I can't agree

        "The nitrogen is transported with air currents and reaches the ground in rain or snow."

        They are referring to nitrogen compounds such as ammonia or nitric acid which are available for plant growth rather than molecular nitrogen.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward


        Nitrogen is a funny element - the diatomic form (N2) that forms most of the air around us is VERY stable - to the point where it is damn near a noble gas; it doesn't react with much of anything. That's why your lawn needs nitrogen fertilizer - because it cannot use what's in the air.

        Various things convert N2 into something that can be used for other reactions: lightning, nitrogen fixing bacteria in the roots of legumes, pollution, combustion, just to name a few. So, you can have nitrogen compounds other than N2 in the air (e.g. NO2), and those get transported to the ground in rainwater, or air currents, where they are then captured by plants.

    2. This post has been deleted by its author

    3. Tom 7 Silver badge

      Re: I can't agree ... or read

      "To cope with colder water, they produce more saturated fats; in warmer water, the balance swings to unsaturated fats."

      nothing to do with nitrogen.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    " Right now, he believes, the region is experiencing its highest temperatures in 1,800 years"


    Wow what a trend! I'm moving there, looks set to become balmy there soon.

  3. demat


    The relationship between fat saturation and temperature is the opposite of what is stated here


    This is true of most animals.

    1. Tom 7 Silver badge

      Re: Err...

      At 20 - 43 C - not relevant in Svalbard. Yet.

      Even if algae were animals...

  4. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Thumb Up

    So medieval warm period more mediveval warm *region*

    Should anyone be *surprised* by this?

    Anything that widens the number of sample points that can provide *reliable* temperature histories over *centuries* is an excellent result.

    Thumbs up for going out and doing this.

    Obvious question. Did any of the *models* predict this? In fact this *could* form the basis of prediction tests for *all* models. See if any of them have different temperature pattern predictions for a location and then see if it's possible to confirm or deny that pattern.

    Naturally I'd hope all modes that did *not* predict it to be updated.

  5. Voland's right hand Silver badge

    Err... Isn't that from the dept of bleeding obvious?

    Svalbard is at the end of the Gulfstream which according to all models during the medieval "warm" period was weaker than now. The medieval "warm" period had considerably more continental climate across Europe. So it was "warm" like the last ~ 18 moths +40C in summer, but -20C in winter too. For example, the Bay of Venice, Bosphorus, the Bay of Marseilles as well as the Black Sea had multiple recorded freezings in the 10th, 11th and 12th century.

    They have not had one during this "global warming" bout. Yet. For that you need the temperature at Spitzbergen (whatever, I like the old name better) to drop further indicating an even weaker Gulfstream and not to rize.

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