Customer Review: By Fank L.;9 Oct 2005: Arnd Bernaerts postulates and substantiates a fascinating theory on the impact of naval warfare on climate in the past century, a theory which appears ever more credible upon studying the scientific material Bernaerts presents. Knowing that everything on the globe is interconnected, Bernaert's work on cause and effect requires serious consideration by scientists, politicians, historians and perhaps also jurists. Bernaerts is to be commended for his bold venture into an area which is novel to many and for making his findings known to the wider public.

Back to home:


Book 2005

Trafford Publishing  

Bloomington, Indiana, USA.




Book Contents
Numbers in brackets refer to numbering on: 

A.     Introduction

 1    Scope and Aim         
 5    Prologue : Article from 1993

 B.     Cooling of Europe 

7     Arctic Europe - winter of 1939/40 (2_11)          
23    West Wind lost - Europe cut off (2_12)          
37    War at sea 1939 -  Facts and events (2_13)          
45    Sea Mines September - December 1939 (2_14)          
59    Bombs and depth charges at sea (2_15)          
69    Cooling of North Sea - 1939 (2_16)          
87    Baltic Sea paved way for extreme winter (2_17)          
97    Cyclones and shells - War at sea events (2_21)          
107   Resultant Rain due to War - 1939 (2_31)          
117   USA winter weather 1939/40 caused by war 2_32)          
123   War in China  - 1939 (2_33)          
127   Russia invades Finland, December 1939 (2_41)          
141   Turkey Earth Quake - 27 December 1939 (2_51)          
149   Mediterranean - Strange weather - winter 1939/40 (2_52) 

C.     Three European winters: 1939 – 42 

153   Occupation of Norway - Return of Ice Age (3_11)          
173   Naval activities in Baltic Sea 1941 (3_21)            
181   Winter weather - Cold axis 1941/42 (3_22)          
193   Stockholm’s arctic winter of 1942 (3_23)          
199   Three year ice package, 1939-1942 (3_31)  

D.    Global sea war and climate changes 

211   Oceans in times of war: 1942 to 1945  (4_11)  
225   Ocean System affected (4_12)          
245   Extreme winter of 1946/47 in Europe (4_21)  

E.     Severe Warming 1918 

251   Europe Weather-Influence by WWI (5_11)
263   Spitsbergen heats up - Big Warming 1918 (5_12)
275   WWI warms up climate at Spitsbergen? (5_13)
285   Sea Mines Warfare 1914 - 1918 (5_14)
291   Warming of Europe, Greening of Greenland (5_15) 

F.      Climate changes twice 

303   Two wars at sea - Two climate shifts (6_11)          
311   Epilogue, Article from 1994 

 G. 313 References   


A. Introduction

 Scope and Aim

 The presentation seeks to demonstrate that the industrialized world contributed toat least two significant climatic changesduring the 20th century. Large-scale anthropogenic weather modification and climatic changes resultedfrom two destructive sea wars. This became particularly obvious when an arctic winter befell Northern Europe only four months after World War II had started. To establish a definite connection between war at sea and climate change, climatic data forfirst few months of WWII are analyzed in fourteen chapters. Climatic data are analyzed in respect oftwo war winters of 1940-41 and 1941-42, insix supplementarypapers. It can be seen that record cold winters occurred in Europe only.

 This elaboration is to establish further that two major climatic changes during the last century,viz. two decades of warming before WWII and four decades of cooling from 1940-80, are also closelylinked to war at sea. WWI presumably initiatedthe warming process; and WWII definitely transformedthe world into a cooler state. A total of nine chapters cover various findingsin this respect.

 Ona preliminary overview,following topics, viz. North Sea cooling (2_16), Three-year-package (3_31); Ocean system affected (4_12); Spitsbergen heats up (5_12); and Climate changes (6_11), provide a basic picture of scope,method and contents of this research.

 The book contains the written material on Only few changes have been made. Numbers formatted as follows, e.g. 2_16; 5_12, correspond with numbering of material on web site. 

 The mainaim of this researchis to support interest in oceanic affairs and awareness that oceans are the principal source of worldclimate. Such awareness together with a commitment towardsprotection of the oceans is necessary to prevent anthropogenic climatic changesin the future.

Contents of all papers presented arebriefly dealt within the following five sections.

 B. Cooling of Europe
Europe gets arctic suddenly

 WWII started during a period of fine weather. Previous months of 1939 had been entirely normal. Two decades of global warming had made the late 1930s the warmest time since the 16th century. Only four months later Northern Europe became like arctic in thewinter of1939-40.  That did not happen ‘out of the blue.’ Since September, the North Sea had blocked Atlantic cyclones from moving east on common ways via Central Europe. The reason is obvious. Enormous naval activities in the area hadstirred and churned large seawater areas.

 Cyclones and shells

 While war in the North Sea and Baltic Sea are definitely the primary source of arctic winter weather in Europe, war at sea in the Atlanticmight have contributed to ormodified weather conditions in late 1939. Barrage, bomb explosions and cyclones certainly remain factors to be reckoned with, when naval warfare is waged.

 Europe wet - USA dry

 In addition to the impact which war in the North and Baltic Sea had in convertingNorthern Europe into an arctic winter, a few further events during the late months of 1939 contributed to give Europe the ice age winter of 1939/40. A key point in this respect is the question as to why the whole Northern Hemisphere had fallen victim to polar air in January 1940. Anthropogenic factors appear to have played a keyrole.  Three chapters analyze this phenomenon: Military activities in Western Europe caused it to rain ‘cats and dogs’, the United States received record low rainfall from October to December to which the War in China in 1939 could have contributed its mite. TheUSA dried out. 

War by minus 40° Celsius

 The war between the Soviet Union and Finland in December 1939 could have deprived regions in Russia and Asia of their ‘usual’ precipitation. The weather under the Arctic Circle went through extremes, which is outlined together with war activities to illustrate that the events up in the far north made it difficult to considerthem as ‘natural variations’. 

Southern Europe events

 What was definitely natural, with a brief regional weather impact, was a major earthquake in Anatolia on December 27, 1939.  The quake occurred without leaving any significant trace on the arctic winter in North Europe. That came from blocking the common path the cyclones used to move along. The Atlantic depressions had to take another route, either to the north, e.g. turning up in Finland, or they went to the Mediterranean Sea.

C. Three European winters: 1939-42
The war winter of 1940-41

 All three war winters of1939-42 were arctic cold from Stockholm to London, and particularlyin South Norway and Oslo regions. Only few months after the German Reich had attacked and invaded Norway in1940, Southern Norway, the Skagerrak and Kattegat region fell prey to arctic conditions. That demonstrates the impact the ofwar at sea on regional winter weather conditions. 

The war winter of 1941-42

 As the previous war winters could be related to WWII, the third war winter is another massive demonstration that naval warfare between the Russian Baltic Fleet and the Kriegsmarine in 1941 not only resulted in extreme Baltic Sea Icing but also drove Sweden to extremecold levels which would have been called extreme even during the Little Ice Age, effecting all Western Europe from the Baltic to London. 

Arctic winter package

 Consideringthat successive cold winters are anexception, the three war winters, occurring consecutivelyas a three-year-package withconditions never observed before, convincingly demonstrate man-made impact on winter weather conditions during the war years 1939-42.

D. Sea war and climate changes
Global sea war effect

 Four decades of global cooling still need to be explained as the warming that started at the end of WWI, but came to an abrupt end with the winter of 1939/40. After the war at sea in Europe came global war at sea from 1942 to 1945 whichtook place in almost all parts of the North Pacific and Atlantic and churnedhuge seawater masses. All these eventsmost likely affected the course of climate over four decades and possibly even longer. 

Winter of peace 1946-47

 18 months after WWII had ended a late cold winter occurred and is still remembered, which like the icy winter of 1928/29 raises the question: wheredid they come from?

E. Severe Warming 1918
WWI warms Arctic

 Climatic change at Spitsbergen in 1918 due to a sudden extraordinary temperature rise started all around the British Isles that saw tremendous naval activities off all its coasts. Initially the war at sea brought cold and snow rich winters to Britain. Subsequently the war at sea activities may have initiated and even caused the severeWarming at Spitsbergen in 1918, followed by the acknowledged “Greening of Greenland” for one decade and the “Warming of Europe” until the start ofWW II, which ended the milder climate within four months in 1939. 

F. Climate changes twice 

How the two world wars can fitinto the greater context of global temperature rise since about 1880 and what is to be inferred from available datathat two short wars at sea caused serious and significant winter weather and global climaticconditions for decades is elaborated. 

G. References 

Footnotes have been kept very short. Names refer to a List of References with full details. An immediate access to referred authors and articles is available on ; . Some earlier papers of the book author are accessible via


Back to front page: 

Article from 1993

 The following text is an article by the book author published 1993 in ‘L.O.S. Lieder’ of the Law of the Sea Institute, William S. Richardson School of Law; University of Hawaii.[1]


The climatic change issue has recently become one of the most serious challenges facing humankind. As L.O.S. Lieder insists on brevity, even though this issue deserves to be discussed at length, I beg your forgiveness for formulating my thesis directly and perhaps somewhat dramatically: climatic specialists and those people who have contributed to recent debates are possibly as much of a threat to the climate as the pollution caused by industrialization. For almost one hundred years, science has failed to realize that climate and the oceans are one and the same thing. As a result, the 1982 U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea, the only true treaty dealing with climatic change issues, was thwarted the moment it came into effect over ten years ago.

       Although climate should long ago have been defined as "the continuation of the ocean by other means," the Framework Convention on Climate Change of June 1992 came up with an alternate definition: "The totality of the atmosphere, hydrosphere, biosphere and geosphere and their interactions." What this all boils down to is that climate is nature working in all its forms – a nonsensical definition and useless as a basis for legal regulations.

       As recently as 1990, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) came to the conclusion that CO2 was altering the climate and that "understanding and detecting the earth's climate system must surely be the greatest scientific challenge yet to be faced by humankind. It is a worthy banner under which the nations of the world can unite" (IPCC, Working Group I, p. 328). Certainly not a bad thing for science. The 1992 Earth Summit resulted in an unprecedented success for the scientists working in the climatic area, forcing politicians to listen to them and paving the way for greater financial backing in an effort to understand and come to terms with the climate system.

       Yet, what is good for scientists is not necessarily good for the climate. The simple fact of the matter is that meteorology has never been particularly inter­ested in climate except for statistical purposes, defining it as the average weather over a given period of time. On the other hand, there are the mathematicians, physicists and chemists, who do little more than apply their laboratory findings, theoretical conclusions and abstract calculations performed on greenhouse gases to a real natural system with little regard for the true essence of climate.

      But while the seas continue to influence the climate, science is staring into the air (or, to be more precise, the atmosphere) in an attempt to find out what makes the climate tick. What is more, scientists have misled the international community of nations by claiming that greenhouse gases are the actual cause of climate change. This may yet prove to be the real tragedy of the climate change issue. After all, the oceans are still the part of the world about which the least is known. There is neither an "inventory" of the oceans nor an observation system. What is even sadder is that climate is still far from being acknowledged as the blue print of the oceans. 

      So beware of IPCC's call for unification in its attempt to come to terms with the climate. The climatic change issue is far too serious a matter to leave to those who should have known better for many decades and who were not interested in or aware of matters relating to the oceans. It is high time to enforce what is by far the best convention for under­standing and protecting the climate — the 1982 U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea — before it is too late. After all, it is the first global constitution and would therefore compel humankind to ensure that the planet remains a place worth living in. There is no need to "detect the earth's climate" and even less is there a need for a banner to serve IPCC's "greatest scientific challenge."-

General Trend in degree Celsius,  Northern Hemisphere Temperature Change 1850 –2000

1.        ‘Big’ warming starts (1918) – End of WWI, lasting until December 1939.
2.        Warming stopped due to WWII (1939/40); Global cooling  (1940-1980).
3.        ‘Warming trend from 1918-1939, interrupted 1939, resumes in late 1970s?


Back to home page  -

[1]Arnd Bernaerts, “Warming up --- Science or climate”, L.O.S. Lieder it 28, Vol. 5, January 1993, Professional correspondence from the Law of the Sea Institute, William S. Richardson School of Law, University of Hawaii.


The PDF material covers 325 pages and was published in 2005






































 Book 2012 

















 First Published – February 2012
2nd Ed. September 2012

 Failures of Meteorology! 
Unable to Prevent Climate Change and World Wars? 
Oceans Make Climate!

online at:  
Book details:
Author Dr. Arnd Bernaerts
Manufactured and published by:

Books on Demand GmbH, Norderstedt;
232 pages, about 150 figures.

Available in bookshops and Barnes&Noble, Amazon, etc.


Back to TOP