Amsterdam rond 1540
Amsterdam around 1540.
Late July this year, the Netherlands recorded all-time high temperatures, but has it ever been that hot before, or even hotter?

Take the summer of 1540. It was particularly hot over all of Europe. As Dutch author Jan Buisman of the book Duizend jaar weer, wind en water in de Lage Landen describes: "Harvest failed, drinking water was hardly available, and diseases were rampant. On top of that, there was also a mouse plague in the Netherlands. A chaplain from the Dutch province of Limburg kept a diary and described how farmers on the land fell dead as a result of the heat while they were mowing."

Many people in Amsterdam succumbed to heat stroke, heart attack or contaminated drinking water. We do not know the exact temperatures of the summer of 1540, but from the described dry rivers, many forest fires and prolonged heat and drought we can assume that these were certainly not lower than during the past summer. Many sources speak of seven months of sun-drenched, dry and hot weather.

The heat lasted so long that the year 1540 was recorded in the history books as the "Great Solar Year". Generations will continue to talk about the hottest summer ever, and for modern climatologists the summer of 1540 is still a fascinating benchmark. The following year, the summer of 1541, by the way, reverted straight back to the typical summers in Amsterdam: cold and wet.

Small Ice Age

Temperatures started to decline, and a cold wave from December 1586 to September 1587 was the first sharp fall into the "little Ice Age". In the second half of the 16th century, it got colder in Western and Central Europe. Winters were characterized by more snow and ice, often starting in November and lasting until March or April. Historical research from the The Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute ('KNMI' in Dutch), based on countless sources such as diaries, city accounts and tree annual rings, show that the last quarter of the sixteenth century was probably the coldest in the last thousand years.

Wild claims and the scrapping of data

Dutch politician Thierry Baudet, one of the few politicians who is skeptical about man-made global warming, tweeted near the end of last year: "I'm not denying "climate change". I know it was a lot warmer on Earth in the Middle Ages than it is now. That we experienced a small ice age around 1600. And that it has gradually become warmer on this planet since 1850. But is that caused by man?"

Indeed, the Earth goes through warm and cool periods as described above. Every time a summer is exceptionally hot, it does not have man-made global warming written all over it, as newspapers would have us believe. Such fear-mongering has happened at various times in the past couple of decades with wild predictions that never came true. In the Dutch newspaper Leidsch Dagblad, an article appeared on March 8th, 1982, entitled: Two-thirds of the population: "We're not going to make the year 2000". In the article, it is written that 78% of the 515 Dutch citizens questioned said that they fear that society will not survive due to environmental degradation.
newspaper snippet
© Leidsch DagbladA snippet from an article that appeared on the Dutch newspaper Leidsch Dagblad, on March 8th, 1982, entitled "Two-thirds of the population: "We're not going to make the year 2000"
Well, we did make it to the year of 2000, but the wild predictions didn't stop there. In that year, scientists claimed that winter snowfall would become "a very rare and exciting event" within a few years, and that "children just aren't going to know what snow is." Which, if you read regularly or watch our SOTT Earth Changes summaries every month, you'll know is far from the truth. In the case of the Netherlands, there was unusual snowfall this past April!

It is clearer than ever that anything that comes from the mainstream media should be read with a liberal dose of skepticism. Besides the example of the hot summer of 1540, there were many heat waves that came and went in the Netherlands in the recent past. However, a large chunk of data about past heat waves were scrapped by the Dutch meteorological institute KNMI.

Dutch researchers presented a study on March 7th this year, in which they conclude that the KNMI "wrongly deleted a large part of the historical heat waves (in the period 1901-1951) from the books." They note that before the 'corrections', there were 23 heat waves in the period of 1901-1951 compared to 19 heat waves in the longer period of 1951-2018, and that heat waves appeared more often in the past. The corrections that the KNMI made are unjust, and the researchers recommend to reverse this homogenization or correction and to start again with a broader team (including scientists from outside the KNMI). They emphasize that the KNMI should, for the time, being refrain from claims about an alleged increased trend in heat waves in the Netherlands.

As a side-note, it's not just the Netherlands that has been scrapping inconvenient data, Canada has been caught doing exactly the same thing:
Blacklock's Reporter, which describes itself as "the only reporter-owned and operated newsroom in Ottawa" focusing on intensive reporting of government documents, notes that in many cases the observed temperatures scrapped by Environment Canada in creating its computer models, were higher in the past than today.

For example, Vancouver had a higher record temperature in 1910 (30.6C) than in 2017 (29.5C).

Toronto had a warmer summer in 1852 (32.2C) than in 2017 (31.7C).

The highest temperature in Moncton in 2017 was four degrees cooler than in 1906.

Brandon, Man., had 49 days where the average daily temperature was above 20C in 1936, compared to only 16 in 2017, with a high temperature of 43.3C that year compared to 34.3C in 2017.

Hot summers of today are no indication of man-made global warming, as there have been plenty in the past that are being ignored by the inconvenient-data-deniers in order to further their agenda. Considering all data, it is instead continued global cooling and a possible Ice Age that we can expect in the near future. The hot summer of 1540 was followed by a small Ice Age; the same, or worse, may be in store for us after this period of relative warming.