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In the summer of 1939, a major world war was looming. British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain desperately tried to persuade German Chancellor Adolph Hitler not to push the world into another major war. But the threat of climate change was not among the arguments Chamberlain used to convince his opponent and his efforts were in vain. Hitler wanted a war and started it in September 1939. The war lasted six years and initiated a big climate change.

The book is about oceans, wars at sea and climate changes. It focuses on two major climate changes, which happened because man abused oceans through naval warfare twice during the last century. Last and most dramatic climate change occurred during World War II, sixty-five years ago.

The regions of major war activities during autumn 1939

Some of the boarders shown are not those of 1939

Fifty million people were killed and the infrastructure and the economy of many countries ruined. But there are even more tragic consequences, which have not been tackled very seriously yet. With the commencement of the World War II, warm climate changed to a cold phase, which lasted four decades. Nowadays, more than half a century after the above-mentioned events, leading politicians and scientists warn that climate changes are the greatest threat to mankind. They claim that the threat is caused by industrial release of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. This works like a greenhouse effect that makes the earth’s temperature rise.

The British Prime Minister Tony Blair recently said that there is "no bigger long-term question facing the global community" than the threat of a climate change. Unfortunately, the focus is misplaced. It is not the atmosphere, which determines the fate of the climate. It is the ocean that does it. J.W. von Goethe would have agreed:

Until one has experienced the sea around one,

One has no idea of world and its relation to the world.

The war at sea caused a major climate change starting with 1918 and then another one after the end of 1939. If the oceans, as the driving force of the climate, had influenced scientific research since the early days of meteorology, 150 years ago, it would then have been possible to clearly stress that, at the advent of the two World Wars during the last century, extensive fighting at sea endangered the normal course of the climate.

How would the course of international conflicts have been managed if the world’s leading statesmen of the 20th century had been concerned with climatic changes due to the impact a war at sea could have had on the ocean and consequently on the climate? Could World War II have been prevented if global climate change had been as much a concern as today? Or would the leaders have tried to persuade warring navies to leave oceans and seas out of the conflict?

But no one had alerted the warring nations at any time over the last 150 years that going out on sea to fight a war would have an inevitable impact on the status of the oceans and, consequently, on the climate. In August 1939, no one demanded to Adolf Hitler, in strong diplomatic notes, to abstain from any military activities out in the oceans.

The inevitable happened. Within six months, the Second World War (WWII) commenced and Northern Europe was plunged into the coldest winter in more than 100 years. By mid-February 1940, Europe was in the grip of arctic conditions that had not been experienced since the Little Ice Age, in the 18th/19th century. And neither the scientific community nor the political leaders had any idea about the link between war and arctic temperature conditions.

The pronounced warming started 1918, which was interrupted when WWII commenced in September 1939 for four decades.

Did the 1918-1940 warming trend resumed in mid 1970s?

It is an irony that Adolf Hitler’s deputy, Field Marshal Herman Goering, in a speech designed to boost the morale of the German population, which was striving to overcome the unbelievable hardship of a cold and snowy winter, could get away with the statement he

 made on the 15th of 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 battle.

We did not ask for ice, snow and cold

A higher power sent it to us.

How wrong was Herman Goering! He, Adolf Hitler and the German Reich were alone responsible for the sudden transformation of both regional and global climate. While the war continued for five more years and the war at sea turned global after Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbour, in December 1941, it did not only generate three extreme cold winters in Europe but also generated four decades of cold that lasted from 1940 to the early 1980s. This happened after an extensive series of devastating naval activities in the Atlantic and Pacific regions.

A major climatic implication in oceanic affairs already started with the development and use of screw-driven steam and motor vessels in the mid 19th century. For almost a century, 10,000 vessels criss-crossed the seas, travelling more than 10,000,000 nautical miles every day. It can be logically assumed that, over the years, each ship cruising through the seas will force more heat into the sea than out of it. The more heat the oceans hold, the warmer the atmosphere gets.

But this simple fact had not been given any serious attention by the scientific community until recently. This book aims to raising the issue while concentrating on the two wars at sea, from 1914 to 1918 and from 1939 to 1945, when seas and oceans were turned into battlegrounds and huge water areas were turned upside-down by naval vessels and by activities such as shooting, aerial bombing, torpedoing merchant vessels, sea mining, and depth charging of submarines.

"Everything is maintained through water!" says Goethe in his drama, Faust II. Understanding global nature in this way needs to be also reflected in the field of climate research and in any definition on climate. Goethe would certainly have agreed with the definition on climate as the continuation of the ocean by other means. In this book you will find facts, circumstances and evidence about the impact of naval warfare on modern climate.

The facts presented aim to leading the way to a new thinking on climate, based on the conviction that only the one who is able to feel the eternal power the oceans have on our global nature affairs will be capable to uphold the principal driving force on earth, namely, the oceans which ultimately control the weather and climate.

Temperature deviation in USA versus global trend, see page 10

High temperatures early last millennium

B/W graph page 21

The interested observer may compare January 1940 with January 2007, showing widely +5 to + 10 ºCelsius, B/W page 15

Three times in 3000 years it was much warmer than now,

B/W page 21





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