The latest wingnut email. I am still researching this to find out what really happened, not that it would prove anything if it is exactly as quoted. Other than, I suppose, that there was a hot spell in 1922 also.
The Arctic ocean is warming up, icebergs are growing scarcer and in some places the seals are finding the water too hot, according to a report to the Commerce Department yesterday from Consulit, at Bergen , Norway . Reports from fishermen, seal hunters and explorers all point to a radical change in climate conditions and hitherto unheard-of temperatures in the Arctic zone. Exploration expeditions report that scarcely any ice has been met as far north as 81 degrees 29 minutes. Soundings to a depth of 3,100 meters showed the gulf stream still very warm. Great masses of ice have been replaced by moraines of earth and stones, the report continued, while at many points well known glaciers have entirely disappeared. Very few seals and no white fish are found in the eastern Arctic, while vast shoals of herring and smelts, which have never before ventured so far north, are being encountered in the old seal fishing grounds. Within a few years it is predicted that due to the ice melt the sea will rise and make most coastal cities uninhabitable.
I'm sorry, I neglected to mention that this report was from November 2, 1922 as reported by the AP and published in The Washington Post.
A search turned up a pdf of the source document at NOAA. It pretty much confirms the quote.
So we are left with the question of what it means? Does this warm period prove that global warming caused by human activity is at worst an Al Gore hoax, or at best just so much alarmist hand wringing? Pretty much all the references I found with a Google search were crowing with glee about the prospect.
However one of the comments was pretty much right on, this from someone who Signed himself as Surfer:
That could explain why sea levels were rising back then.
They are still rising now, but faster.
Sea level rise is associated with the thermal expansion of sea water due to climate warming and widespread melting of land ice.
1870 - 1990 1.7 mm/year
1990 - 2009 3.3 mm/year
Or this one from Rocks Ahead:
er, "it was warm in 1922 therefore there's no such thing as global
Are you an idiot?
I suppose this whole tempest could be easily dismissed as just more of the same from the folks who are sure that big snowstorms in the mid-Atlantic prove global warming is something we can safely ignore.
Another comment I found very interesting by someone named Robert Norwood:
I’m going to disappoint people on both sides of this issue. First, Although we live on the cooled, dry, crust of a volcanic planet we tend not to see things, events, in terms of, say, geologic time or time frames that can actually tell us something. Evaluating what is happening now, such as global warming, by looking at the last 150 years to present is not a lot of help so sure, we get misleading information on the subject. Yeah, yippee, we don’t have to get off our lazy cans and actually do something, like act environmentally responsible. Or do we? Here’s the inescapable truth and it will bum some folks out. While we may or may not be the direct cause of global warming, our planet and everything associated with it is part of a balanced system. Any impacts to it will have positive or negative effects which will, in turn, help or harm us; the latter being more the case. There is not one molecule of evidence to suggest that we, humans, have a positive impact on the planet. In terms of that, a seagull has more benefit . It is, therefore, a “good bet” that climate change is real and in part associated with us. The question is: how much is really us and can anything be done about it before future generations – our children, are harmed or even devastated by it. Can we change in a way that will ensure future generations a chance at life without global famine, starvation, poverty, societal collapse and strife? What are we working towards? What are you working towards?
We can play some one-upsmanship on the issue or we can try for a better future whether we are “warming” or not.
And finally, here is something from antarcticice in response to the same quote posted at Yahoo! Answers
Knud Johan Victor Rasmussen was the first to traverse the Northwest Passage between 1921–1924 he did via dogsled pretty hard to do if all that ice had been melting
Knud Johan Victor Rasmussen …
It appears that Knud had an ice breaker too, but still, there must have been a lot more ice then than now.