Tropical Hyperborea Cometh

Temperatures in the European Arctic have soared above 32C this past week:


Immediate benefits: Russians can go swimming and sunning in the Baltics or even the White Sea. A couple more degrees, and it might become competitive with southern resorts during summer.


Climate Reanalyzer: Temperature anomalies on August 1, 2018.

In 2010, the Baltica became the first high-tonnage tanker to sail with petroleum products by the Northern Sea Route, steaming from Murmansk to China. In 2017, almost 10 million tons of goods were shipped across the Northern Sea Route. This only represents about 1% of the traffic through the Suez Canal (and 0.1% of total global shipping), but it did come out of nowhere, and is projected to increase to at least 70 million tons by 2030.

In reality, I think the increase will be even steeper, because the loss of Arctic sea ice is proceeding far faster than even the most “pessimistic” climate models projected. The IPCC forecast ice-free Arctic summers in the late 21st century under a high emissions scenario, but linear projections of the past decade’s trends suggest that could be achieved as early as 2020. The Northern Sea Route is 35% shorter than the southern route, you don’t have to pay a toll at Suez, nor brave pirates off the Somali coast. It will be ultra-competitive once the ice is gone. Even non-summer shipping will be increasingly viable thanks to Russia’s growing nuclear-powered icebreaker fleet.

This is just the start. As the century progresses there will hopefully be intensive agricultural development, demographic settling, exploitation of the methane reserves in the permafrost and oceanic floor clathrates. This will hopefully accelerate warming further in a virtuous cycle. More warming means more carbon dioxide, more crops due to the carbonization effect, higher humidity leading to more rain (historically, it was colder periods of the Earth’s history that were associated with droughts/civilization collapses).

Anatoly Karlin is a transhumanist interested in psychometrics, life extension, UBI, crypto/network states, X risks, and ushering in the Biosingularity.


Inventor of Idiot’s Limbo, the Katechon Hypothesis, and Elite Human Capital.


Apart from writing booksreviewstravel writing, and sundry blogging, I Tweet at @powerfultakes and run a Substack newsletter.


  1. Dan Hayes says


    These Arctic warming conditions may not be as anomalous nor as recent as usually thought.

    You are respectfully referred to the famous picture of the US Submarine Skate surfacing at the North Pole on 17 March 1959 in virtually ice-free water.

    Watts Up With That (“Ice at the North Pole in 1958 and 1959”, April 26, 2009) offers a compendium of pictures and explanations for these ice-free conditions.

    So that these Arctic warming conditions are not only of very recent vintage.

  2. Interesting video on the topic
    – about the experiment on restoration of mammoth steppes
    conducted in Northern Siberia (as a response to warming)

  3. Spisarevski says

    At one time I was pondering on emigrating somewhere north because I can barely suffer the summers here as they are, but now that it’s becoming hot even there, my only hope against all odds is that the real space age begins during my lifetime so I can move my ass to some O’Neill cylinder in orbit with a nice temperate climate.

    More warming and higher humidity sounds like abject hell.

  4. Greasy William says

    The apostle Paul said “the world wears out like a garment”.

    It’s all playing out for us.

  5. Yevardian says

    This recurring joke of yours is in extremely bad taste.

  6. Polish Perspective says

    I notice that the North-Western reaches of Russia is not dramatically cooler than the rest of Europe in AK’s pic. Sad! Well, here’s today’s weather:

    Back to normalcy. My half-serious/half-joking thought of buying some cheap land there and build myself a summer home limps on.

    OT: Tens of Thousands of Russians Protest Retirement Age Hikes

    I admit to being impressed by Putin’s fiscal instincts and I hope he won’t flinch despite the protests. Russia in general is shockingly solvent. Unlike the neoliberal dogma, I do not only consider public debt to be relevant, but also look at private debt. Case in point: Denmark’s debt-to-GDP is around 37%. However, it’s private debt-to-GDP is a shocking 220%. Russia, by contrast, has low private and public debt. The major weak point, the pension system, is now being amended. The latest fiscal rule, which caps the budget at the assumption of a $40 oil barrel price (in 2017 dollars), will also help.

    By comparison, PiS’ irresponsible populism by scrapping necessary pension age hikes would lead some to conclude that democracy is at fault here, and that Russia’s one-man rule approach is preferable. But that isn’t necessarily the case. The Nordics and the Netherlands have reformed their pension systems in a sustainable way, despite being democracies. Oil-wealthy Venezuela, ruled by a strongman, is a complete disaster. I think it is less the governance system rather than the general culture. Poland has still not produce a single year of a budget surplus, though we are usually outgrowing our deficit so our debt still either falls or stays put.

    One could be tempted to say that Putin’s impressive fiscal discipline is not representative of the nation he leads. But if a clown like Yeltsin was drawn from the people, then so obviously was Putin. If Yeltsin was used to disparage Russia and its people, then why should Putin’s fiscal discipline be downplayed lest he be used in a positive manner. AK may have endorsed some blunt stuff about Russians, but for me, it is hard not to be impressed by the economic stewardship of the nation.

    And, as I pointed out, it isn’t just the government. Russia’s private debt is also very low. So perhaps it is a mentality which isn’t isolated to the leader alone. Impressive.

  7. Jaakko Raipala says

    Immediate benefits: Russians can go swimming and sunning in the Baltics or even the White Sea. A couple more degrees, and it might become competitive with southern resorts during summer.

    The Baltic Sea needs much more than temperature for that competition. For starters you need to tell Saint Petersburg to stop dumping all that poop into the sea.

    This heat wave is the worst that I can remember. There have been long waves of 25 C in the past but not ones that bring Helsinki consistently to 30 C. I can’t stand anything above 20 C and this is pure hell.

  8. Well, the mentality (Putin’s approval rating dropping from 80% to 65%) is pretty clear and depressing.

    The Nordics and Netherlands are high-trust cultures. Their citizens sort of trust that the government is acting in their interests. Russians believe that the government is dead-set on screwing them any which way it can, which is why even one would obvious and necessary policies that they believe deprives them of their money (or money they believe themselves entitled to – and screw longer-term considerations) provokes such anger. In fairness they do have a limited point in that Russian high officials and bureaucrats are visibly and grossly corrupt.

    I would note that practically all opposition forces and even some patriotic/vatnik types such as Konstantin Rykov have joined in protest.

    That includes Mikhail Stetov’s libertarians (!), who participated in a joint protest with the KPRF. In what country do libertarians protest FOR a low pensions age?

    Of course it includes Navalny’s liberals, who are themselves of course hardcore neoliberals, but even more so they are opportunists.

    It also includes most nationalists. I was recently in a podcast with Egor Prosvirnin (Sputnik & Pogrom) where they were certainly unhappy with my pro-pensions reform stance.

  9. The Big Red Scary says

    Navalny’s liberals, who are themselves of course hardcore neoliberals

    The Navalny fans I know don’t really have coherent positions, let alone principles, but are rather simply operating on the idea that “the enemy of my enemy is my friend”. Some of them are well-meaning but overly emotional people and you can’t reason with them. One of my wife’s friends is of this sort. I recommend also not talking to this one about vaccinations or vegetarianism.

    Russian high officials and bureaucrats are visibly and grossly corrupt.

    You should make a list of who’s been naughty or nice.

  10. German_reader says

    It’s all playing out for us.

    ? What does that mean? End times approaching?

  11. German_reader says

    Is it a joke? I get the impression that AK is serious and regards global warming as a great chance. And maybe for Russia it is. For other regions (unfortunately ones with massive and exploding populations) it will of course be catastrophe.

  12. Daniel Chieh says

    Is she a hardcore vegan?

  13. Greasy William says

    ? What does that mean? End times approaching?

    I’m just saying that Paul was right about the impermanent nature of creation. Every year 30 million tons of sediment from the continents erode and are dumped in the bottom of the oceans. The earth is literally wearing out. The human genome is degenerating so rapidly that even if we successfully colonize the galaxy, genetic entropy means humans will be extinct in 6000 years no matter what (blacks even sooner because they have 2x the mutation load as the rest of humanity).

    And now we got this global warming stuff to deal with. I guess it’s good for Anatoly and all the Russians here, maybe it’s good for Germans, Poles, and Scandinavians, but it’s bad for everybody else.

    Not a fan of Paul, but credit where credit is due: he called it.

  14. Greasy William says

    No I don’t see the Apocalypse coming for at least 100 years or so, since you asked. Sometimes I wish it would hurry up though, I’m tired of working and the IRS is on my balls big time.

  15. German_reader says

    maybe it’s good for Germans

    I don’t think so, I certainly suffer quite a lot from the 35° C we’re having here, and climate change won’t be benficial for German agriculture. Even more importantly, it will make resistance to the African invasion even harder when countries like Niger actually become uninhabitable.

  16. Russians can go swimming and sunning in the Baltics

    Well, we even without global warming swimming and sunning in the Baltics

  17. What do you have against Paul? If not for him, the message of salvation would be imperceptible.

    I fully agree with you that the global warming that Karlin gleefully writes about is a great bane for humanity. Because of his rather dry writing style, I’m not able to discern whether he’s being facetious as some have suggested, or not?

  18. German_reader says

    That sounds like you’re trying to top that Bronze age pervert guy.

  19. Greasy William says

    What do you have against Paul?

    I find his writings appallingly arrogant. He not only had an exalted view of himself but also had an insufferable persecution complex. In his epistles it’s always everybody against poor ol’ Paul and he himself is blameless for the way that he alienated people.

    His letters are all “I, I, I” and “me, me, me”. I don’t think I would have liked him.

    He was a brilliant man though, not denying that.

  20. Jaakko Raipala says

    I would never go swimming in the Gulf of Finland. The sea is so filthy it’s just asking for health trouble. Beaches in Helsinki fill up with sunbathers but most people don’t actually want to go into the smelly dirty sea.

    Between Sweden and Finland it’s somewhat less polluted, the better the further north you go and there are beach resorts all the way to the northern edge which is almost at the Arctic Circle.

  21. The Big Red Scary says

    No, but some years ago she became very upset about meat eating after watching some film about factory farms. However, there’s an easy solution: spend a little more for higher quality meat raised on smaller farms. Anyway, if people don’t want to eat meat, that’s there own business. The problem
    is if they refuse to talk about it rationally.

    Anyway, she’s a good friend, and we cooperate on a lot of important community projects, so her dietary qualms are not very relevant. I’m was just trying to paint my personal impressionistic picture of Navalny fans.

  22. Daniel Chieh says

    I am firmly against cruelty to humanity.

    Without humans, there can be no more cruelty to humans.

  23. Daniel Chieh says

    Yeah, I don’t really care about what people eat themselves. Hardcore vegans are just creepy as they will sometimes attempt to convert you with arguments like “humans are not actually carnivores, do you have the instinct to eat roadkill? We are mutated herbivores..” and so on. Its just creepy.

  24. Well, he did come from the very top of the top of Jewish society of his day. He had impeccable credentials and an education second to none. Because he was an ‘insider’ that betrayed his caste, he was unceremoniously castigated from his former kinsmen. For this, he was persecuted, but I’m sure that his former ‘patrician’ background helped form his perceived narcissism. It’s hard to imagine the spread and evolvement of Christianity without his input.

  25. The Big Red Scary says

    do you have the instinct to eat roadkill?

    Haven’t heard that one before.

    Since I often find myself traveling during Orthodox Christian fasting periods, I have made a sampling
    of the vegan restaurants of Europe. The weirdest one that I’ve stumbled upon is “Loving Hut”, which is a chain owned by some wacky Vietnamese guru:

    The food wasn’t very good, and the vibe was very cultish.

  26. Daniel Chieh says


    Are there any good ones? I remember one in China run by Buddhists, near one of the old Confucian academies in Changsha; it was pretty good. My girlfriend at the time, who was a bit of animal fanatic, complained about the “mock duck” and “mock pork” because apparently she thought it was morally wrong to eat analogues of meat and rejection of meat should be pure in mind. The virtue spiral truly never ends.

    I’ve also had the misfortune of briefly having a vegan doctor. Trust me, going in for anything and getting told “have you thought about a plant-based diet?” and getting the same printout to watch “forks over knives” as the answer to everything gets old real quick.

  27. Even more importantly, it will make resistance to the African invasion even harder when countries like Niger actually become uninhabitable.

    Global warming of ~2C will make the Sahara verdant again, as it was 6,000 years ago, when elephants and rhinos roamed there.

    That will be good for Niger.

    Things will only start getting really problematic in Africa with 4-5C of warming.

  28. If you’re also okay with Indian food, I strongly recommend the Moscow Deli (near Patriarchy Ponds) for vegetarian food.

    If there’s one people who have figured out how to do vegetarian food well, it is the Indians.

  29. German_reader says

    Things will only start getting really problematic in Africa with 4-5C of warming.

    But isn’t that what’s likely to happen? iirc 2° C is considered to be only the lower limit of global warming and will be surpassed without drastic cuts to carbon emissions (which seem rather unlikely).

  30. IPCC projects 1-6C during this century, with the median point around 3C.

    Geoengineering is feasible and some solutions appear to be surprisingly cheap, though they will come with their own geopolitical challenges.

  31. Anonymous says


    What do you think about iron fertilization of the ocean to lower temperature? Apparently, just a small amount of iron dumped in the ocean is enough to trigger another ice age.

    “Give me half a tanker of iron, and I’ll give you an ice age” may rank as the catchiest line ever uttered by a biogeochemist. The man responsible was the late John Martin, former director of the Moss Landing Marine Laboratory, who discovered that sprinkling iron dust in the right ocean waters could trigger plankton blooms the size of a small city. In turn, the billions of cells produced might absorb enough heat-trapping carbon dioxide to cool the Earth’s warming atmosphere.

    Never mind that Martin was only half serious when he made the remark (in his “best Dr. Strangelove accent,” he later recalled) at an informal seminar at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) in 1988. With global warming already a looming problem, others were inclined to take him seriously.

    At the time, ice-core records suggested that during past glacial periods, natural iron fertilization had repeatedly drawn as much as 60 billion tons of carbon out of the atmosphere. Laboratory experiments suggested that every ton of iron added to the ocean could remove 30,000 to 110,000 tons of carbon from the air. Early climate models hinted that intentional iron fertilization across the entire Southern Ocean could erase 1 to 2 billion tons of carbon emissions each year—10 to 25 percent of the world’s annual total.

  32. Daniel Chieh says

    The epic battle between plankton and clathrate collapse is about to begin.

  33. Unlike the neoliberal dogma, I do not only consider public debt to be relevant, but also look at private debt.

    It all depends on what kind of private debt and how high is the interest rate and who benefits form the interest. The lowest private debt have countries with populations that are not credit worthy. Debt in itself is not bad if it is payable, i.e., if the debtors can generate income to pay it off as long as interests are not usurious. Private debt money is a new money that must be repaid. It differs form Keynesian approach where the new money does not have to be repaid and where there is no interest. The interest is the biggest problem because it mathematically guarantees that X% of loans will not be repaid unless the system expands by adopting more player who will contribute to the interests by taking new debts. The new players come from positive demographic expansion which now means mostly immigration. The bottom line is that the interest rates are the key to everything.

  34. Anonymous says

    A guy named Russ George has been doing iron dumping experiments recently and they’ve been quite successful, resulting in large algae blooms and consequent huge increases in fish population:

    “Two Years After Russ George Illegally Dumped Iron in the Pacific, Salmon Catches Are Up 400%”

  35. The most trusted truly global temperatures (monthly averages) from the beginning of the age of satellite global temperature measurements.

    As you can see temperature increased by about 0.45C since 1980 (38 years). This year July global temperature is not outstanding.

  36. July in Tromso, Norwayø/Tromsø_observation_site/climate.month07.png

    The graph shows long term statistics for monthly temperature. The dots indicate the monthly average each year, whereas the line shows 10 year Gaussian distribution. The bars show maximum and minimum observed temperature.

  37. The Big Red Scary says

    Thanks. I’ll check it out sometime, but I usually only go to Patriarshie Prudy when there’s an out-of-town visitor who wants to chat with Woland.

  38. Dieter Kief says

    Thanks, I watched the Mammoth Park video – with the eye of the photogrpher, I have to admit. Beautiful. An abundance of beauty.

  39. reiner Tor says


    China is considering sending troops to Syria to help cleanse Idlib province.

  40. reiner Tor says

    It’s our mission to be resistant to changes in external temperature. A real man should be able to survive both cold and hot weather. Well, I usually prefer cooler nights, and that’s the problem with heat waves in Europe, because until September or maybe late August nights are too short to provide any significant relief. But our bodies should be told to adapt.

  41. I would never go swimming in the Gulf of Finland. The sea is so filthy it’s just asking for health trouble.

    It is a phobia. Many people swim in the Gulf of Finland – and there is no harm to their health. But as an alternative to the Gulf of Finland, in the North-West of Russia (as well as in Finland) there are many very clean forest lakes .

  42. Duke of Qin says

    Fake news is fake. I don’t know who keeps repeating this nonsense, but the Chinese are entirely uninterested, and rightfully so, in taking an active part in someone else’s civil war.

    Also you can tell that whoever the original source (lie) was, he wasn’t particularly knowledgable enough about the Chinese to keep his story consistent.

    Wong Roy Chang is simply not a name you’ll find in a PLA military attache. Mainland Chinese romanizations are standardized around pinyin which is standardized around standard mandarin pronunciation. So the military attaches name would be written as Wang Rui Zhang in English. Wong Roy Chang could possibly written that way by someone from Hong Kong or maybe Taiwan where romanization standardization is perfunctory at best, but no one in the mainland would choose to write their name that way.

  43. Yes – uncomfortableness is just psychological and easily surpassed. Well, beyond “no inappropriate weather- only inappropriate clothing” if it’s -10° degrees.

    Only have to see how in developed hot countries, people sometimes seeming more psychologically weak to heat than Northerners, as they became so dependent on air conditioning everywhere. Also in midday, often streets are empty of locals as they hide under air conditioning, but tourists being tougher and even enjoying the weather outside.

  44. reiner Tor says

    The reason for China would be to conduct live tests of its weapons systems. It’s a serious problem that their military has no experience fighting an actual war since 1979. (There might be some other considerations, like their complex relations to the US, Russia, or Iran. I don’t know enough to comment whether it’d make any sense from that perspective.)

    Regarding the name, the source is an Arab language newspaper. I tried to search the English web for the name of the Chinese military attache to Syria, but I couldn’t find anything. Probably the journalists reading the interview found no information on the romanization either, and so they romanized the name from the Arabic transliterated version. Do you know anything about the rules of Arabic transliterations of Chinese names? I think it’s vaguely phonetic, so it might be the case that when changing it to (a plausible vaguely Chinese sounding) English transliteration, the result could be what you see.

    But of course it could be fake news.

  45. In all fairness, this is far from the first time I have heard rumors that China was readying to involve itself in Syria. All turned out fake in the end.

  46. Yevardian says

    Except those climatic changes occurred a period of thousands of years, not in little more than a century or two, as is happening now. I fail to see how worldwide ecological devastation and the associated Permian-tier mass extinction and the creation of the largest refugee crisis in human history is anything to be welcomed.
    Even if one is tempted by the attitude of ‘who will miss Indians?’, you need to be realistic and ask yourself whether any population peacefully accepted their own extinction. Terrorism will correspondingly grow to exponential levels of severity across the entire globe.
    What sort of fucking sociopathic filth jokes about this? Sometimes I regret that I have become attached to the commenters of this blog over the years, even if I comment little myself.

  47. Yevardian says

    Honestly I was sure you were referring to world Jewry at first.

    The human genome is degenerating so rapidly that even if we successfully colonize the galaxy, genetic entropy means humans will be extinct in 6000 years no matter what (blacks even sooner because they have 2x the mutation load as the rest of humanity).

    Sources please.

  48. Greasy William says

    what do you want sources for, the blacks part or the fact that our species as a whole is doomed? I can assure you that the latter isn’t even remotely controversial amongst geneticists.

  49. Yevardian says

    I’ve heard of the first and remain skeptical, I was more referring to sub-Saharan mutational load. Seems unlikely considering they are descendants of the founding population (missed the migration bottlenecks) and live in extremely disease and virus-ridden environment.

  50. If you feel so strongly about it, why aren’t you off bombing the oil refineries yet?

  51. Compare the population of Africa 6000 years ago to now, Africa is a continental idiocracy, the people that make arguments like “all the world can live in Texas and be ok” are clueless just how bad blacks are at running an efficient society.

    Besides that, assume that all will be magically well and that a warming Africa is a blessing, the problem is that everyone in Africa has a smartphone and they are fully aware of the liberal narratives being preached in the news, if the narrative is that global warming harms Africa (regardless if it is true or not) then the African hordes will obviously take advantage of that and try enter other lands.

  52. What sort of fucking sociopathic filth jokes about this? Sometimes I regret that I have become attached to the commenters of this blog over the years, even if I comment little myself.

    I can’t see what harm it does to joke about something that isn’t going to happen anyway. If climate change was a real thing it might be poor taste to joke about it.

  53. Yevardian says
  54. obwandiyag says

    You hate vegetarians because television tells you to hate vegetarians and you obey.

    It’s one of the things that it is still permissible to bad-mouth on TV. And so you go right along with it. Because TV told you so.

  55. Hyperborean says

    It’s a pity he has been demoted to a seagull.

  56. Hyperborean says


    I have never seen people denounce vegetarianism on TV.

    But remember, herbivores are still herbivores, no matter how intelligent they are.

  57. anonymous coward says

    Seems unlikely considering they are descendants of the founding population

    “Out of Africa” is a political ideology, not science. There’s no reason to believe that bantoids are somehow older genetically than other humans.

    (Most likely humans originally radiated out from somewhere in the Middle East. As usual, the account in Genesis is more scientific than the bullshit the liberal media’s popsci arm feeds us…)

  58. Guillaume Tell says

    It’s hard to imagine the spread and evolvement of Christianity without his input.

    Isn’t that a bit of a contradiction with the fact that JC would indeed be the incarnate Word if God? If the latter is a true, then why would the success of spreading the true religion of God hinge on the personal merits of a mere mortal?

    I’m not getting how this could be logical.

  59. Back to the roots, fellow mammals.

    They were strange days at the beginning of the age of mammals. The planet was still hungover from the astonishing disappearance of its marquee superstars, the dinosaurs. Earth’s newest crater was still a smoldering system of hydrothermal vents, roiling under the Gulf of Mexico. In the wake of Armageddon our shell-shocked ancestors meekly negotiated new roles on a planet they inherited quite by accident. Before long, life settled into new rhythms: Earth hosted 50-foot-long boas sliding through steam-bath jungles, birds grew gigantic in imitation of their dearly departed cousins, and mildly modern mammals we might squint to recognize appeared. Within a few million years, loosed from under the iron heel of the vanished giants, they began to experiment. Early whales pranced across a Pakistani archipelago on all fours, testing out life in the water. The first lemur-like primates leapt from the treetops, and hoofed things of all varieties dashed through the forest.

    But the most striking feature of this early age of mammals is that it was almost unbelievably hot, so hot that around 50 million years ago there were crocodiles, palm trees, and sand tiger sharks in the Arctic Circle. On the other side of the blue-green orb, in waters that today would surround Antarctica, sea-surface temperatures might have topped an unthinkable 86 degrees Fahrenheit, with near-tropical forests on Antarctica itself. There were perhaps even sprawling, febrile dead zones spanning the tropics, too hot even for animal or plant life of any sort.

    This is what you get in an ancient atmosphere with around 1,000 parts per million (ppm) of carbon dioxide. If this number sounds familiar, 1,000 ppm of CO2 is around what humanity is on pace to reach by the end of this century. That should be mildly concerning.

  60. Anonymous says

    This melting of the Arctic ice is NOT good news. You may go swimming in the White Sea but higher temperatures may destroy the crops in southern Russia and elsewhere. Killer heat waves will appear in the warmer regions of the earth. Don’t think you will be growing wheat on the Kola Peninsula. Tundra soil will not support crops of wheat, corn, soy much less rice. have a nice swim but don’t count on dinner or that porridge breakfast.

  61. This melting of the Arctic ice is NOT good news.

    We’re all gonna die. It’s the end of the world. And it must be true. I was watching the TV last night and they told me global warming was all true, so it must be.

    Of course they also told me that multiculturalism works and that Donald Trump is Hitler, but I’m sure they’re telling the truth about global warming.