Monday 13 March 2023


Of course it is! Educated as we are, Dear Readers, we understand that climate change means a steady but slow increase in earth surface temperature over decades, with wide yearly variations around the trend. 

Still, I was up for a big surprise last Wednesday morning. Having slightly overslept, and being caressed awake by the first rays of sun tickling my nose, I dragged myself out to the balcony to get a fresh overview of the rosy morning. Hardly had I put out my nose into the air, than it felt like being frozen solid! I hastily retreated and put some cloths and shoes on before venturing outside again. The temperature lingered around -15° C! 

Ice had formed on Hammarby Canal overnight and a distinct noise like breaking glass disturbed the morning peace, with the ferries banging through the thin morning ice further along. All of this being bathed by the pastell coloured rays of the rising sun, mitigated by cold hazened air. 

In all my years in Hammarby Sjöstad, ever since 2009, I have never experienced such a cold spell in the first half of March! Thus, we are witnessing a rare extreme in the yearly variations around the warming trend! On the other hand, thinking back in time, it was far from unusual to have such frozen instances in March many decades ago. Back in 1976, for instance, my wife and I ventured into the Swedish foothills, some 400 kilometers North West of Stockholm (as the crow flies), for some cross country skiing. It was the second week of March. Temperatures reached rarely above -25° C there in day-time

Fortunately, the air was dry and the sun was shining, so we took some extensive tours into the beautiful reaches thereabouts. One day, we read in the newspapers that a herd of muskoxes had been sighted in the vicinity, and, with youthful enthusiasm, we undertook to pay them a visit. This was much easier said than done; no oxen were to be seen as far as the eye could discern all of the morning of that tour. 

Muskoxes      Source: Jaktjournalen

Luck came to us, however, after a short lunch break, when we mounted a broad mountain shoulder and, just on the other side of the crest, discovered a herd of 5 of these ice age creatures sunning themselves on the Southern slope. A memory to treasure forever, and now also shared with you, Dear Readers. Alas, with climate change, those herds will eventually be gone from the Swedish Northern wastes!

In the mean-time, we can still treasure the memory of the coldest week on Hammarby Sound in March since decades back. Occasion to return to this blog in Summer time to cool us off, when the next heat wave will embrace us like a sweltering blanket!