This is the continuation of a long series of posts, the last of which can be found at: http://sunriseswansong.wordpress.com/2014/07/01/arctic-sea-ice-melt-crunch-time/
I usually begin these posts explaining why I started studying the melt and refreeze of arctic ice, and you should look back to earlier posts if you want to see my views evolve. I now have reached a point where, like a flea on an elephant, I feel equipped to call the government’s bluff.
To be blunt, I feel the government wanted to put forward a policy it felt would be unpopular, and rather that doing the honest thing, which would be to be forward and blunt and state what it wanted to do, it took a dishonest and cowardly route. Rather than treating the public like adult men and woman, and debating man to man and woman to woman, it treated the public like suggestible children that are easily manipulated.
What it did was to create a threat, called “Global Warming,” and to rally the people to face the threat. The people trusted, and did not think their leaders would pay scientists to falsify public records and data to “prove” Global Warming was real. However I increasing feel this is exactly what happened.
When you lie, your lies have a way of haunting you and tracking you down. Over and over we have seen a thing called “Truth” expose “Climate Science” as a sort of sham. One such example involves the ice in the arctic sea. It’s normal decrease, due to the warm cycles of the AMO and PDO, was called in dramatic terms, “A death spiral.” Doom and gloom was suppose to occur when the Arctic Ocean became ice free.
Because I have studied the Greenland Vikings a lot, I wasn’t the slightest bit worried about an ice-free Pole, because I knew the Pole was largely ice-free back when those Vikings farmed fields which now are permafrost that would blunt a plow. However so determined were the politicized scientists to alarm everyone, they attempted to erase the warmth of that Halcyon time, (called the Medieval Warm Period), and to say it was warmer now.
It was at that point I began to call their bluff, despite the fact they assured me 97% of all scientists agreed with them. I’ll skip the details of the battle, and simply state we are now looking at an Arctic Sea that is not ice-free. It is not I who calls their bluff. It is Truth, in the form of Mother Nature.
Originally their attempts to inspire hysteria stated that the decrease in ice would have the effect of accelerating the melt of ice, and the Pole would be ice-free by now. They asserted 97% agreed with them. In which case 97% were stupid dunderheads. The Pole is not only not ice-free. The ice is actually increasing.
There is one government model which I doubt, because it states the increase will be up to above-normal levels. Here are the most recent predictions of the CFS V2:
The top graph shows the extent, by the start of August, being 0.2 million km2 above normal. The bottom graph shows that at the end of the summer melt the ice will be at nearly 7 million km2, which would be extraordinary. (I’m out on a limb, predicting 6.1 million km2, and more scientific models, such as the UK Met, predict 4-5 million km2, which is still far from being an “ice-free pole,” but at least is “below normal”.)
This CFS V2 model has backed off from even higher and more extraordinary predictions, as the El Nino did not develop to the levels it predicted, however even its reduced, current prediction is a shock to all who rallied around the banner of Global Warming, feeling their sacrifices were worthy and saving the planet. What has happened to the “Death Spiral”?
The Death Spiral may well be dead. It is another casualty to Truth. However it will be proven to be dead if it flat-lines, and to flat-line the ordinary sharp decline of sea-ice during this time of summer thawing at the Pole must abruptly go sideways, even more than it did last year. So far it hasn’t:
In this post we will be watching this graph carefully.
I will try to also post maps and pictures from the Pole twice a day.
JULY 15 —AFTERNOON DMI MAPS—
These Danish Meteorological Institute maps are put out at midnight and noon. I call them “morning” and “afternoon” maps because that is when I look at them. Because we are looking down on Earth, noon is at the bottom and midnight at the top in noon maps, such as the above map, and the opposite is true in maps from twelve hours later. Though diurnal variation of temperatures has little effect in the 24-hour-a-day sunshine at the center, it does have an effect at the edges of the circle shown by these maps. For example, in the above map it is midnight towards Bering Strait, and the little pockets of sub-freezing temperature you see up there will vanish in the next map, and then reappear in the following map.
Although it annoys some people, I tend to name storms for the fun of it, and also it helps me keep track of them. From this angle of the earth it is possible to track the same system as it evolves, all the way around the planet. During the evolution systems go through during such journeys, I tend to have systems keep the same name even when a stricter meteorologist would say the original died and a secondary took over. (To them I say, this is my blog, and I’m boss here.) (Furthermore, I’m more reasonable than your boss, with his Global Warming fixation.) I very loosely follow a convention where secondary and tertiary storms on a front gain the suffix “son” and “three,” as they travel up the cold front, but when storms occlude and kick a storm ahead along the warm front I call it a “zipper” and use the suffix “zip.”
In the above map four storms are rotating around the high pressure at the Pole, which is a textbook situation, (and unusual for this year, for we have often had lows over the Pole and then you can then throw your textbook out the window.) The low over Iceland is “Thur” and is stalled and fading, and the one in the Kara Sea is “Art” and also weakening. They are two faint memories of Hurricane Arthur. (Get it? Art and Thur?) The one over east Siberia is “Sib,” and the one approaching the Canadian Archipelago is “Tev.” Some models are showing Tev moving east as Art fades west, and a low of their merge forming over the Greenland icecap, which is unusual as high pressure likes to sit there. Rather than north winds on the east side of a high pressure, there will be south winds on the east side of a low, and rather than sea-ice flushing out of the arctic through Fram Strait, it may be jammed back north. I use the word “may” because models are not always right, and also winds don’t always obey the isobars.
The sub-freezing temperatures over the Kara Sea have been persistent this summer, even in the afternoon.
CRUSHED CAMERA REPORT
The original point of these posts was to enjoy the views of the North Pole Camera as it drifted south, however we have had bad luck this year, as camera one was knocked over by a polar bear and camera two crushed by a pressure ridge. However the weather station is still working, and I give reports on what we are missing.
As the building polar high pressure shifts over towards Scandinavia we are experiencing changing conditions, before I expect we will be blown back north. Winds dropped to nearly calm, as the pressure crested at 1017.7 mb and then dipped to 1016.1 mb at noon. Winds fell to a long period of nearly calm conditions, and then rose to 10 mph at noon. The temperatures fell from noon yesterday’s high of +0.8 to a low of -0.2°C at midnight, recovered to +0.3 at 6:00 AM but dipped back to -0.2°C at 9:00 AM, before returning to zero at noon. These temperatures are below normal, though I expect they will rise as winds become south.
Our steady progress south and west was halted. Our southward progress halted at 84.799°N at midnight, and we were bumped north to 84.804°N at 6:00 Am, and then sagged back to 84.799°N at noon. Our westward progress halted at 12.109°E at 3:00 AM, we were jostled back to 12.195°E at 9:00 AM, and then nudged west to 12.181°E at noon. With all these shifts occurring you can understand the floes do a lot of crashing and smashing, and see why our camera may have been crushed by a pressure ridge. There is nothing neat and tidy about the Arctic Ocean this year, and one adventurer described the situation as “crazy ice.”
Originally these pictures merely supplimented the Noth Pole Camera, but now they are my fix of cool pictures in hot summer weather. They are from the “O-buoy Project.” The first is Camera Nine, which has drifted from over towards Bering Strait, and is now passing quite near the Pole on the Canadian side, at 88 north latitude. Originally the camera looked over completely flat ice, but the stresses of the winter built the small pressure ridges. I expect melt-water pools to be appearing soon.
The second picture is from Camera Ten, which is much further south, a little south of 77 degrees latitude, north of Alaska. As best I can tell, the ice is nine feet thick, but as you can see the summer thaw is in progress.
JULY 19 —DMI Morning Maps—
Weak storms circle much like they were doing yesterday, however the high pressure north of Scandinavia is stronger, creating south winds in Fram Strait that will push ice north and may reduce “extent” by compressing the ice like an accordion. When that ice spreads out again it will be the same amount of ice, (or a little less due to melting), but the “extent” will increase in that area. What really melts ice is to have it flushed south down the east coast of Greenland into the warmer Atlantic. I think that melts more ice than the secondary cause, which is milder Atlantic water being pushed north under the ice. That can’t happen as much when surface winds blow north and east at the top of Scandinavia, pushing the northernmost tendrils of the Gulf Stream back south. Melting at the surface due to sunlight and warm temperatures comes in a distant third, when it comes to the icecap melting, but we might as well check the air temperatures up north of 80 degrees latitude, and note how they have been below normal all summer.
LOCAL VIEW JULY 16 —Record cold to our west—
I haven’t been able to keep up with my posts about my little town, which some miss. However it is summer in New Hampshire, and the North Pole usually doesn’t effect us that much. However it managed to discharge enough cold to drop temperatures to the verge of frost in the northern midwest, (37 degrees Fahrenheit [+2.8 Celsius] in Tomahawk, Wisconsin this morning.) What that means here to the east is a southern surge of moist air before a cold front, lovely soft thunder high in the sky during the night, and beneficial rains. The air-mass will likely be warmed by the time it covers us tomorrow, but be crisp and dry. My little patch of corn is loving it, and despite the retarded spring is waist high.
When the Pole exports its cold it usually gets milder up there. And it actually was as cold in Tomahawk, Wisconsin as it was around 90 miles north of our crunched camera, at Buoy 2014E:
Here is our local map, with the front passing through and warm summer rain falling outside:
NEW CAMERAS —CRACKING ICE—
The northern camera shows the crack just behind the yellow “plug” is opening slightly, due to the shifting winds as the high pressure builds over towards Scandinavia. Considering how smashed up the ice is up there, after all the winter gales, I would not be surprised to see a lead open up, and open water appear, which would be wonderful to watch. My best guess is that the ice is about five feet thick here, which means only six inches would be above water, and we could see some sloshing before this camera bit the dust. It is a rough year for cameras in the north.
The southern camera has thicker ice, and it may take a while for the melt-water to find channels down through the ice. The ice tends to be close to the freezing point of salt water not very far down, and when fresh water trickles down the cracks it freezes, plugging up the cracks. I’m hoping this will allow another “Lake North Pole” to form. Then what tends to happen is the ice shifts, and a six inch wide crack forms, and all the water gurgles down at once. This is what we saw happen to “Lake North Pole” last summer: “LAKE NORTH POLE” VANISHES
CRUNCHED CAMERA REPORT
Our mangled eyesore upon the pristine arctic ivory did start north and east, but ran into other ice and/or a weak front around 3:00 AM, when it reached 84.833°N, before hesitating southward slightly to end the 24-hour-period at 84.828°N, 12.752°E. The barometer dipped slightly then, to 1015.6 mb at 6:00 AM, before rebounding to 1016.2 mb at noon. The temperature also dipped, from the high of +0.8°C at 9:00 PM to the low of -0.2°C at 9:00 AM, before getting back to zero at noon. The winds, in the 10-15 mph range, seem to have swung briefly from southwest to west-northwest, but were swinging back to the west-southwest at noon, and I expect the northward drift to resume. Alas that the camera is gone, for some interesting weather passed through.
JULY 17 —DMI MORNING MAPS—
“Thur” is fading away over Greenland as “Art” drifts from the Kara to the Laptev Sea, eastward on the Siberian coast. Neither is liable to be very noteworthy over the next week, and in fact the models have stopped showing a low over Greenland, and instead show a more traditional high pressure cell there, though they do not show its wind extending east into Fram Strait. Instead the high pressure north of Scandinavia, which I now name “Scant,” [for "Scandinavia Top"] looks to be the lasting feature on the Atlantic side, as “Sib” mills around and is a feature this week on the Pacific side. “Tev” is sliding south into Canada and may brew up a decent storm tucked in north of Hudson Bay, sort of hidden but able to import warm air north through Baffin bay west of Greenland, and also able to export polar air south to the USA, and cool my summer here.
The sub-freezing temperatures in the Kara Sea have persisted all summer, but I was curious about that little noodle of cold aiming from Greenland towards our crushed camera, so I went to the Weatherbell site and looked at other views of the arctic from among Dr. Ryan Maue’s excellent maps (free week trial available.) This only makes my confusion worse, for the initial run of the Canadian model always shows the Arctic Sea colder than the DMI map, and this time it shows some significant cold just across the Pole: (Ignore the glitch that makes a smudge of zeros and nines on the left side, and remember temperatures are in Fahrenheit.)
My confusion is furthered by the fact the GFS model’s initial run doesn’t show this pool of cool. (Their map is upside down)
The best I can do is to try to go see for myself.
NEW CAMERAS VIEWS
The northern camera’s bleak view still gives me the impression the ice is trying to crack up, but the surface looks more like frozen slush than thawing slush. When I check the site’s temperature graph it shows a temperature a hair below freezing, but when I check Buoy 2014E: this morning, (between this site and our crushed camera,) I see it is a surprisingly low -2.01° C. (perhaps it is in the noodle of cold shown on the DMI map.)
The southern view is interesting because the lens is just starting to get covered, but not by drops of water. That is snow, and since I saved the view the lens has become totally obscured. Heck of a way to run a thaw, if you ask me, even down at 77 degrees latitude. When I checked the temperature graph it appears to be a hair below freezing, and the closest other buoy I can find, Buoy 2013F: (at 77.06° N, 156.79° W) is coming in at -0.01°C. I get the feeling there is cold air lurking about up there which I was unaware of.
Sometimes a fall of snow up there can have an interesting effect on the “extent” graphs, especially if they are derived from satellite data, and the satellite is confusing melt-water pools with open water. Abruptly the pools are covered with white snow, so the satellite abruptly sees open water as ice-covered, and there is a strange up-tick in the graph. I was actually expecting a down-tick, as winds compressed the ice back north towards the Pole, but now I’m going to be on the lookout for the opposite. There is no sign of it yet, however the snow is just starting to fall:
The only other news to report is that an interesting area of ice-free water is appearing in Fram Strait, against the northeast corner of Greenland, due to the fact sea-ice is not being flushed out of the arctic, and rather is being crunched back in. I don’t recall seeing that last year.
CRUNCHED CAMERA REPORT
Our useless heap of scrap floated steadily east, while curving south to 84.823°N and then back north, finishing further north than we began the 24-hour period, at 84.837°N, 13.022°E. The breeze was steady at around 5-10 mph, picking up slightly at the end of the period to around 12 mph. The barometer took a sharp dive between noon and 3:00 PM, from 1016.2 mb to 1012.7mb, and then remained fairly steady, finishing at 1012.2mb. The temperature rose from zero to +1.0°C during the period.
JULY 17 —DMI Afternoon Maps—
A revived “Tev” is in the Northwest Passage. “Sib” sits north of Alaska. What may be a bit of “Thur” sits atop Greenland, across the Pole from weak “Art.” Alas! What a fate to befall a once mighty hurricane! The high “Scant” sits over northern Finland, and may bring the east winds back to the Baltic, although the source region doesn’t look as warm this time.
Sub-freezing persists in the Kara Sea, and on the midnight side of the map (top), although the sun barely dips below the horizon even south of the arctic circle, in high summer. However the days are getting shorter, and the time for thawing is running out.
Our northern camera continues to show a bleak view, woth ominous cracks, but no obvious melting.
Our southern camera shows all the slush covered with fresh snow. I hope all the Albedo-feinds are noting this, and adjusting their equations. Nothing reflects sunlight better than freshly fallen snow. It may be back to slush tomorrow, but this does slow the thaw’s progress.
JULY 18 —DMI Morning Maps—
“Tev” is a decent storm in the Northwest Passage. I wonder if it is cracking up the ice. Soon we may get reports from adventurers attempting the Passage, though usually they wait until late July to start.
“Sib” is stalled and hanging in there north of Alaska. “Art”, (or perhaps his zipper,) is pushing into east Siberia, with a trailing trough of low pressure than now cuts across the Pole to the faint memory of “Thur,” which although very weak is yet another low attempting sit atop the world. They have divided “Trans” into a weak high towards Bering Strait and the stronger one northeast of Finland. South east of that high is a vigorous inland low (perhaps a reincarnation of “Spinthree”), but which I’ll dub “Artson,” which is doing interesting things in some models. They see it cruising along the Arctic coast, swinging across Bering Strait and then attacking the Pole from Alaska next week. However the models change their minds a lot, like one of the sexes. (I am too smart to say which.)
One of the mildest temperature maps we’ve seen so far, though I should report Buoy 2012G: north of the Canadian Archipelago reported -2.22° this morning, and Buoy 2014B: north of Bering Strait at 75.21 N, 170.66 W, reported -0.47°.
We have the same dreary view, with some sort of warm front pushing moisture in aloft from the south, I imagine. It is likely the warm-up that reached our crushed camera yesterday has not made it this far north, for Buoy 2014E: was reporting -0.09°.
One slight change is we can see more of the top of the yellow “cork” than last week. I wonder if the wind swings it slightly, or if it has some sort of mooring line dangling through the ice to the water beneath.
Further south our southern camera was showing a lot of fog earlier, but now is showing fresh snow, getting soggy over the melt-water pools:
This camera was deployed with Buoy 2014E: which was showing a temperature of -0.08° this morning. Here is a map of how they have drifted over the past ten months: (Double click to fully enlarge.)
CRUNCHED CAMERA DATA
The most interesting data is that temperatures remained fairly flat through most of the 24 hour period, only sinking three tenths of a degree to +0.7°C at 6:00 AM, and then sank more swiftly to -0.1°C. The wind had shifted to just north of west, and as the eastward drift persisted we stopped moving north at 6:00 Am at 84.892°N and by noon had settled back to 84.887°N, 13.717°E. The pressure remained very steady at 1012.3 mb.
JULY 18 —DMI AFTERNOON MAPS—
Not much change, except a bit colder than yesterday on the Pacific side.
NEW CAMERAS —Friday night and not much change—
AN EXCELLENT CONCEPT –Compare area to extent to determine compactness–
I wander a bit on the web in my search for fresh data, and lurk at sites that tend to take the Alarmist view that the Pole is melting away and in a Death Spiral. Some repel me and I have no desire to visit ever again, (Skeptical Science is such a site, especially because at times it hasn’t just snipped comments, but has altered them to make the person commenting look like a dope.) However (so far) I haven’t been particularly repelled by this site, “Arctic Sea Ice Blog,” although I disagree with the bias. (I have a thick skin about bias, as I recognize my own.) http://neven1.typepad.com/blog/2014/07/asi-2014-update-5-low-times.html#more
They have come up with the following chart that compares extent with area, and gives an idea of how compact the ice is. (I have mentioned how the same amount of ice can be compacted, or spread out like a small pat of butter on a large piece of toast, and how this influences “extent”.) Judging from the graph they came up with, the ice is quite compacted this year. I think it a great concept, and give credit where credit is due.
JULY 19 —DMI MORNING MAPS—
“Tev” continues to keep conditions uncomfortable for anyone attempting the Northwest Passage, as together with “Sib” towards Alaska, they make low pressure on the Canada-Alaska side mesh with high-pressure on the Scandinavia-Siberia side, creating a general Atlantic to Pacific flow which I imagine will keep sea-ice from being flushed out into the Atlantic. I am going to watch to see if ice gets blown into the ice-free areas of the Laptev Sea. You can see the ice-water boundary marked by that little necklace of sub-freezing temperatures. The Kara Sea continues to have sub-freezing temperatures, but the diurnal variation is quite obvious towards Bering Strait on this temperature map, where it is noon towards the top. In the last map, when it was midnight towards the top, there were patches of sub-freezing temperatures, but now they are not to be seen.
The “Art” and “Artson” area of low pressure is difficult to see, but models continue to imagine it will redevelop, swing around across the Bering Strait to Alaska and then up to the Pole by next Wednesday, and continue to be a top-of-the-world storm into next weekend.
NEW CAMERAS —Gray days return—
Our northern camera has been showing a lot of fog, though now it looks like the sun is trying to burn through. Fog may mean milder Atlantic air is trying to push north on south winds from Fram Strait, though Buoy 2014E: in that direction is reading a cold -0.25°. The hope of real thaw is on the north coast of Greenland, where Buoy 2014D: is coming in at a toasty +3.02°. It looks like we have one little melt-water pool forming in the lower, right foreground, but it better hurry up because we are running out of time.
Our southern camera seems to suggest slush is eroding the fresh snow, and that it is foggy there as well. I haven’t noticed any up-ticks in “extent” graphs caused by the fresh snow, but the blogger Max™ shared a couple maps I’ll post. The first shows this area as only 60% ice, while the second shows it as having ice six to nine feet thick. It does make me scratch my head and wonder if the satellite is seeing slush as open water. What I really want to do is get some clear weather, so we can study the visible satellite image.
CRUNCHED CAMERA REPORT
Winds shifted from the northwest to the southwest and temperatures rose a little, from -0.1°C at noon yesterday, to +0.7°C at 9:00 AM today. We progressed steadily east, but our southward drift ceased at 84.881°N at (:00 PM last night and we moved back north to 84.893°N, 14.020°E at 9:00 AM. The barometer dipped to 1011.8 mb at 3:00 AM and then rose back to 1012.4 mb at 9:00 AM. It is like a very faint front pushed north.
I’m not sure why the final entry was 9:00 AM, and not noon. Likely someone had better things to do on the weekend than tend to a defunct camera. I hope the sensors didn’t get crunched along with the camera. I find it interesting we are heading east north of Svalbard rather than south to Fram Strait.
JULY 19 —DMI AFTERNOON MAPS—
NEW CAMERAS —Sunshine soon?—
Our northern camera is showing some blue sky, but the low scud is keeping the sun fairly dim. The sun is fairly low up there even in the height of summer. Buoy 2014E: is showing a temperature of +0.13° C, which is just barely a thaw. It really takes some sunshine to get things going.
Our southern camera has just a hint of blue in the gray overcast, as if the clouds may be thinning. The DMI map above shows the low “Sib” has some cold air in it, so if any clouds wrap around we might see more snow. The thermometer associated with this camera site, on Buoy 2013F: , is actually the only above-freezing reading from the Beaufort Sea, just barely, at + 0.01° C. To the west Buoy 2014C: is coming in at -0.75° C and to the west Buoy 2014B: is coming in at -0.15° C.
ANOTHER BUOY BITES THE DUST?
I’ve been relying on Buoy 2014D: to tell me the conditions just off Greenland’s north coast, where a warm up has been occurring, however there is no report this morning, and when I check the temperature graph it looks like a berserk spider took over the data: (click to enlarge)
The ice is quite a jumble of pressure ridges up there, and my fear is that the buoy met an untimely end. It is a rough year for ice apparatus
My hope is that the buoy is OK, and the scambled data only means that somebody, somewhere, drank too much beer this weekend.
The weather station at Nort, at the northeast tip of Greenland, reports a balmy 41 degrees this morning. (5 degrees Celsius)
JULY 20 —DMI Morning Maps—
Not much change. “Tev” continues to whirl over the Northwest Passage. Canadian Ice Service maps don’t show much break-up of ice plugging the center of the route. The only adventurers I’ve found look like they are touring the top of Baffin Bay, and haven’t attempted the passage.
“Sib” continues to sit north of Alaska. Warm air north of Greenland is rising, keeping a faint memory of “Thur” alive. Weak low pressure sprawls across the Atlantic south of Iceland.
The real news is “Scant,” which is what I dubbed the Scandinavian High. It reaches all the way east to central Siberia, but its core looks like it will back west into the Atlantic, which will continue the wrong-way flow from south-to-north in Fram Strait, and will continue to push ice to the east north of Svalbard. I’m watching to see if it pushes ice into the Laptev Sea’s open waters, which could cause an uptick on “extent” graphs.
“Scant” also has brought east winds back into the Baltic. The intrusion of Atlantic air I mentioned last week looks like it was short-lived. Nice dry air from Siberia’s summer (utterly different from winter east winds) can filter west. My main question now is whether the winds will turn northeast and come off the cooler Arctic Ocean, as “Scant” shifts west. It looks like “Scant” will persist right through the oncoming week.
I’m puzzled by the patches of sub-freezing temperatures by the northeast corner of Greenland, where I expected it to be warmer. The Kara Sea shows no sub-freezing temperatures, which is unusual for this summer.
In east Siberia “Art” is reforming, and is liable to swing around and reinforce “Sib” by midweek, moving out towards the Pole. By having them meshing with “Scant”, a flow from Svalbard to the Laptev Sea looks likely.
NEW CAMERAS —The gray goes on—
Our northern camera shows a bit of ice formed around the edge of the small melt-water pool in the lower right corner. Last year’s North Pole Camera already showed a large melt-water pool by July 20. I recorded the growth of the pool in this post: http://sunriseswansong.wordpress.com/2013/07/24/north-pole-ice-melt-watching-the-summer-thaw/
That buoy had drifted down to 85 degrees latitude by then, which means the camera was roughly 200 miles further south. Maybe that explains the lack of pools this year. I’m still expecting to see some grow. This gray weather may be due to south winds and overriding moisture.
Our southern camera down at 77 degrees latitude is snowing the fresh snow is reverting to melt-water pools. Buoy 2013F: indicates the temperature is + 0.24° C
Mostly this ice thins from the bottom up, as the spike in the PDO from “cold” to “warm” allows more north Pacific water to invade through Bering Strait and get under the ice. However the ice is fairly thick. The Navy graph suggests the ice may have thinned as much as six feet in places, yet still is six feet thick. I doubt it. It takes a lot of heat to melt ice, as the heat becomes latent heat in the phase-change. Also the graph from Buoy 2013F: deployed with this camera indicates the ice at this site began thinner than the Navy map led me to believe, (5 feet rather than 10 feet,) but has only melted to down to 4 feet thick.: (Red line is snow atop the ice; blue line is the bottom of the ice.)
QUICK GLANCE AT UK MET
I haven’t checked these maps in a while. The high “Scant” has blocked thing again, making Scandinavia an independent island, and causing a traffic jam in the Atlantic. I’m not sure where that new low south of Greenland came from, so I’ll just call it “Newl”, (for “new low”). It will stall around Iceland as “Thur” did.
The main difference is that there is no Spinthree south of the Baltic Sea adding to the easterly flow. Spinthree devided, part moving northwest off the coast of Norway, and part fading away east to become part of…..oh heck. I just realized I went dyslexic with the names of my storms. That storm in eastern Siberia is Art, not Thur. Now I have to go back through this post and correct everything.
There. That’s done. Where was I? Hmm. I suppose I was just saying the position of “Scant,” and the east winds over the Baltic, are going to be interesting to watch. If “Scant” moves west Scandinavia could get a more northerly flow off the Arctic Sea.
UPTICK IN SEA-ICE EXTENT
The blogger Max™ pointed out the newest DMI map shows the uptick I was wondering might occur, due to the snowfall over towards Bering Strait.
This is not to say I’m sure I was right. Perhaps the ice is spreading out into the Laptev Sea, or some other place. However it is interesting to watch, as it may hint at the graph “flat-lining”.
CRUNCHED CAMERA REPORT
Our battered camera is being repaired by polar bears drinking coca cola, but they are not done yet, so you will have to take my word for it. Meanwhile it drifted slowly west and as far north as 84.906°N, before backing off slightly and winding up at noon at 84.900°N, 14.537°E. Back on June 23rd it was at 85.022°N, 14.599°E. So a months of steady drifting has swirled us around in circles, and we are less than ten miles from where we started.
Not much happened, though we had a 27 hour day, due to the unexplained end of yesterday’s report at 9:00 PM. The temperature and barometer were flat, with the temperature only moving a tenth of a degree all day, from +0.7°C to +0.6°C. and the barometer starting at 1012.4 mb and ending at 1012.3 mb with diurnal quirks in between.
The winds slackened off to around 5 mph. I think this is the calm before the storm, for things look they will get interesting by mid-week.
JULY 20 —DMI AFTERNOON MAPS—
“Tev” remains stalled over the Northwest Passage, though expanding over Baffin island. “Sib” is weaker and quite cold, north of Alaska, and is going to fling “Art” right around in some Fujiwhara dance, as what looks to be a decent storm over the Pole by the end of the week. The meshing of that storm and the high pressure system “Scant” over Scandinavia ought create strong flows in the general direction of the Laptev Sea. Likely the ice extent will lessen at the Atlantic edge but expand at the Laptev edge. How this will all play out in terms of the “Extent” graphs will be interesting to watch.
I am surprised by the amount of sub-freezing air that has appeared on the Pacific side, and also north of the Canadian Archipelago and northeast of Greenland, where I expected it to be warmer. I suppose warm air rises, but I’ve noticed such cooling before, in the wreckage of dying storms. (That area holds not only weakening “Sib”, which was cold to begin woth, but also the faint memory of “Thur”.) To try to study in greater detail I turned to the Gem model, which Dr. Ryan Maue makes available at the Weatherbell site. The same maps as above look like this:
(As with the DMI maps, you can click these maps to enlarge them, but these maps can be clicked a second time to enlarge them further.)
I’m not sure that seeing in greater detail increases my understanding, but it does increase my wonder. The remains of “Thur” can be seen to be three seperate swirls, each with sub swirls. (Would you expect less from a former hurricane?)
The Canadian temperature map is always colder than others, but it shows the cold isn’t drawn from some place else. The cold is created (or the heat is lost) in a home-grown manner, by the arctic itself. I’m always reading about 24-hour-sunshine and albedo and melt-water pools, as if the arctic summer is nothing but warming, warming, warming. However here we see some cooling is going on. Why doesn’t anyone write about that? Oh…I just did.
NEW CAMERAS —Struggling to thaw—
Our northern camera shows the struggle to thaw continues. The temperature graph shows we dropped below freezing for much of the day, and have only just struggled back to zero. This is no way to run a thaw. However the temperature further south towards our crunched camera is up to +0.64° C at Buoy 2014E:, so perhaps some mildness is working north.
That black crack to the right and behind the yellow “cork” looks less obvious, as if there might have been some sleet blurring the sharpness of the details. Either that, or the ice shifted a little. I imagine it could start shifting more and even break up by mid week. Stay Tuned!!!
Our southern camera, which seemed to be seeing the thaw nicely underway, is now experiencing a refreeze. Conjunct Buoy 2013F: is reporting a temperature of -0.44° C, and the melt-water pools are taking on that milky look they get when they skim over with ice.
Again, this is one heck of a way of running a thaw. I want my money back. How am I get fat and lazy, sitting around watching ice melt, if the darn stuff keeps refreezing? I’m losing weight!
(Actually a lot of melting has occurred, this far south. Back when the winter snow first melted off the camera lens, at the end of April, the deep snow was up to where the yellow turns to black towards the top of the buoy in the distance. If it is a buoy. It might be a robot, you know. Several groups deployed things at this site, and maybe they all assumed the robot was another group’s object. Actually it might be a probe from the planet Kal-zeediff, sent to earth to try to figure out what we Earthlings are doing, out on the arctic ice. They are all scratching their heads at their mission control, as we make no sense to them. Many have concluded arctic sea ice is a religion to Earthlings. (hmm….) )
CFS V2 GRAPH MODERATES ITS TONE
The CFS V2 Model is backing off its shocking prediction of there being above-normal sea-ice at the minimum in September. (It has also stopped predicting a “super El Nino,” and is now predicting a more modest El Nino Modoki, which is bad news for my neck of the woods, as it may give us a winter like 1976-1977.) Rather than a minimum of over 7 million km2, it is predicting 6.4, and rather than 0.70 million km2 above normal it is only predicting 0.15. Still, for ice to be above normal would cause the “Death-spiral” crowd to sulk for at least six months, though hope would bloom eternal for them by next spring.
Why would anyone root for a “Death Spiral”? When I look back to my youth, I think normalcy was quite unattractive. Normalcy meant I’d have to get a real job, but if the world was coming to an end, working for a pension was like brushing your teeth on the steps to the gallows. It made no sense. That is why my friends now have pensions and I will be working until I drop. However, what the heck. I took my retirement when I was young and could enjoy it.
JULY 21 —DMI MORNING MAPS—
“”Tev” is moving into Baffin Bay, likely giving gloomy weather for the sailors thinking of attempting the Northwest passage. Quite a gale is heading north where air is squeezed against the west coast of Greenland. This may push mild, uplifting air into the Canadian Archipelago and promote low pressure up that way, and even some Chinook warming where the air sinks down to the Arctic Sea. Buoy 2012G: is coming in at a mild + 0.96°C there.
“Sib” is swinging a revived “Art” across Bering Strait, incorperating some Pacific juice and likely pushing sea-ice away from the coast of Alaska, where Barrow was showing sea ice at the shore a couple days ago. http://seaice.alaska.edu/gi/observatories/barrow_webcam
To get back to the subject, at this point the isobars between the low “Sib” and the high “Scant” are loose and winds are not strong. I expect that to change by Wednesday.
Notice how in the above maps, where noon is towards the top and Alaska is in its afternoon, the sub-freezing temperatures have vanished. They are still reported at a couple buoys, though. Buoy 2014C: north of Bering Strait at 74.49° N, 149.75° W is coming in at -0.11° C, and Buoy 2013F: conjunct with our southern camera is coming in at -0.25° C.
Speaking of those cameras…
NEW CAMERAS —Gloom persists—
Somewhere some scientists must record how much sunshine and how much cloudiness the Arctic gets. I’d like to see if this summer has been cloudier. I think it has been cloudier, at the scattered places I observe. (Most of the year clear skies make it colder at the Pole, however I’m not sure that is true during high summer. Likely there is debate about the effects, and the effects of high clouds versus low clouds. In any case, I miss the views of turquoise and silver.)
Our northern camera still looks cold. Notice the melt-water pool in the lower right corner has a skim of ice around the edge. Its graph shows temperatures a hair below freezing, and Buoy 2014E: at 86.24° N, 1.06° W (roughly 125 miles towards Fram Strait) is coming in at -0.08° C.
Meanwhile the thaw remains on hold at our southern camera, with the melt-water skimming over with ice:
SAILOR TRAPPED IN SEA ICE IS RESCUED
Some of the best information about sea-ice comes from adventurers in the north. It doesn’t matter if they are Skeptics or Alarmists, their cameras tend to hint at actual conditions. This fellow got trapped in sea-ice north of Barrow, trying to sneak through the ice that os pressed against the coast there, and find a way to open water to the east. After ten days the coast guard broke through 40 miles of ice to get the guy. Full story: http://www.sail-world.com/index.cfm?Nid=124426&refre=y&ntid=0&rid=4
CRUNCHED CAMERA REPORT
We continued to drift slowly south, but our eastward drift ceased at 14.665°E at 9:00 PM last night, and we have slipped back west, finishing the day at 84.842°N, 14.542°E. Temperatures hit their high of +0.7°C at 3:00 PM, and have trended downwards in the northeast wind, winding up at +0.2°C. The barometer has continued flat, finishing at 1012.1 mb at noon, and the light breeze has been in the 5-10 mph range. A rather quiet and boring day.
NO DMI MAPS, SO I’LL SUBSTITUTE MAUE MAPS
These maps are created by Dr. Ryan Maue out of data from the Canadian “JEM” model. You can see them and thousands more at the Weatherbell site. (Free week’s trial available.) Remember the Canadian tends to read colder than the Danish maps.
I have to run to a meeting soon, but hopefully can comment later.
The northern camera looks gray and dull. Maybe the ice at the edge of the melt-water pool in the lower right has melted back just an inch. It’s hard to get excited about that.
It looks like the melt-water pools have frozen over, with just a dust of snow on the ice, at our southern camera. The conjunct Buoy 2013F: is reporting -0.66° C. Further west, north of the Bering Strait, Buoy 2014B: is coming in at -0.41°C, while to the east Buoy 2014C comes in at -1.46°C. The Beaufort Sea is cold.
JULY 22 —DMI MORNING MAPS—
“Tev” is weakening in northwest Hudson Bay, but not before bringing some mild air up into Baffin Bay, As weakening “Sib” swings “Art” around and over the Pole, it may tap into that milder air, and also mild air inland in Alaska, The Beaufort Sea has warmed today, and the Canadian Archipelago is milder than it has been. Interestingly, one of the colder places up there is northeast of Greenland, in south winds. I haven’t a clue what the “source region” for that cold air is I suppose it must be Greenland’s icecap, but when air descends 10,000 feet usually a Chinook effect kicks in and it is mild. I have more learning to do.
There is only a few day window when “Art” will blow ice into the Laptev Sea, according to the changing models. Now it looks like “Art” will swing the winds around, and be blowing the ice the other way by Friday. So the the “extent” graph may have up-ticks and dips. At the moment it has such a big up-tick that some are saying the satellite must be faulty:
NEW CAMERAS —Clearing skies?—
It doesn’t look like the thaw has quite resumed yet, at our northern camera, though it seems it should, as “Art” brings south winds as it approaches. However it is still -0.45° C at Buoy 2014E: . Also the little pool in the lower right of the picture still has ice around its edge.
At our southern camera temperatures have risen above freezing. Our conjunct Buoy 2013F: is reading + 0.12° C, and other nearby buoys are above freezing as well. Partly this is due to the fact we are far enough south, at 77 degrees latitude, for the sun to be higher at noon and a slight diurnal variation to kick in, however I think the passage of “Art” may have also stirred up the air; broken the inversion and brought milder air down from above. Mild air may have been transported in as well. We’ll see if temperatures stay up as the sun dips toward the horizon at midnight.
Though “Art” has passed right over this area I see no fresh snow, so it must be a fairly dry storm. It still looks cold, but I now expect thawing to resume. The sky looks blue in the upper right, and sunshine would speed up the melt.
CRUNCHED CAMERA REPORT
Changing conditions made for an interesting day. the winds shifted from generally northeast and light to southwest and stronger, (from less than 5 mph to more than 14 mph), and as a consequence our westward movement stopped at 14.507°E at 3:00 PM yesterday and our southward movement stopped at midnight at 84.826°N, and we picked up speed north and east, finishing the day at 84.841°N, 14.854°E.
Temperatures dipped to a low of -1.1°C at 3:00 AM but then rebounded to +1.3°C. The barometer crested at 1014.6 mb at 6:00 Am but then fell to 1013.1 mb by noon.
We may be in for a bit of a blow.
JULY 22 —DMI Afternoon maps—
With “Newl” stalled south of Iceland and “Tev” stalled south of Baffin Island, the big players at center stage are the storm “Art” approaching the Pole from Canada and the high pressure “Scant” probing toward the Pole from Norway. The flow between them woll shift, and be worth watching.
The warm air over Scandinavia seems like it will just sit and stagnate, but the blonds on Baltic beaches will not call stagnation a bad thing. I’m not sure why “Scant” isn’t pumping warm air up over the Pole, and should likely look at the UK Met.
A QUICK GLANCE AT THE UK MET
Not much help here, for the min thing I see is stagnation. Compare today’s map with Friday’s forecast map, and little has budged.
“Newl” just fades away southwest of Iceland. “Tev” and family whirl away, stalled off Newfoundland’s north coast. A newcomer to the lower left, “Newc”, gets half way across the Atlantic, and then it too stalls. Th fronts back up off Great Britain, west into the Atlantic as “Scant” sits happily atop Scandinavia. Some mild air must be leaking north, but north of Scandinavia it looks like west winds keep Atlantic air from rushing north.
Our northern camera is still gray, and it doesn’t look like much thawing has occurred, though wisps of passing fog suggest some milder air is about.
The small melt-water pool in the lower right may now be open, but the ice around the edge is whiter, as if it has been peppered by sleet a some point.
There are pockets of cold air around. Buoy 2014E: is reporting in at -0.57°C.
Our southern buoy is still refusing to thaw even enough to get us back to where we were ten days ago. The conjunct Buoy 2013F: is reporting -0.65° C. I think it may have been warmer earlier, and opened the ice to the right of the largest melt-water pool, but it also looks like we’ve had another dusting of snow.
The hint of blue sky in this picture was gone the next time the camera updated (around every ten minutes.) I can never remember a summer when the camera so often showed a gray world up there.
INSOMNIA REPORT —Snow at southern camera—
JULY 23 —DMI Morning Maps—
“Scant” remains strong high pressure over Scandinavia, as “Art” is a 987 mb low north of Canada. A decent southwest flow over the North Atlantic is trying to bring warmth north, and has reached Svalbard, but it seems it will not get far north of there before being turned southeast towards western Siberia. The current flow into the Laptev Sea will rotate clockwise into the Kara Sea an then Barents Sea.
Noon is at the top of the above maps and midnight at the bottom. Despite the night, note how mild it is in the Gulf of Bothnia, an despite the day, note that there are still sub-freezing temperatures off the North Slope of Alaska.
Models suggest the status-quo, with Scant and Art, will fade away by the weekend. Interestingly, a new storm looks likely to aim for h Pole. The question is whether it will head north from Siberia, or the North Atlantic, or both.
Models also show temperatures over the Beaufort Gyre remaining below normal.
The nearby buoys haven’t updated this morning, but neither view shows evidence of thawing. The temperature graphs show temperatures right at freezing.
Remember we are at the height of the thaw. Last year the North Pole Camera showed that splendid melt-water pool called “Lake North Pole.”
CRUNCHED BUOY REPORT
In the past 24 hours our blind squirrel searched for the nut mostly to the east, getting as far north as 84.874°N at 6:00 AM, before veering a little south and ending the day at 84.867°N, 16.175°E. We are about halfway between the Pole and Svalbard, at a longitude roughly a third of the way across the top of Svalbard. Only in 2006 has a North Pole Camera wandered so far east.
We ended yesterday with temperatures at +1.3°C, holding the promise of thawing, but the 3:00 PM report came in with temperatures back to zero. Temperatures were just above zero until after midnight, when they fell below zero and were at -0.3°C at 6:00 Am, winding up at -0.1°C at noon.
The breeze was quite fresh during the the start if the period, up around 18 mph, but gradually slackened off to 9 mph at noon. The barometer steadily fell to 1001.5 mb.
JULY 23 —DMI AFTERNOON MAPS—
“Art” approaching the Pole and king-of-the-world status, as “Scant” remain comfortably parked over Scandinavia. Sub-freezing pocket over towards Bering Stait and back into the Kar Sea, but oddly none shows in the vincinity of our North Pole Camera, though it was reporting -0.1°C at the time this map is suppose to show. (You can see the tendril of cold air from St. Nort in Greenland to the vicinity of our crunched camera.)
Not a terribly cold map, but definitely not a warm one either.
The northern camera shows a situation that is basically unchanged.
The southern view shows the melt-water pools are definitely refrozen, which is note worthy at the height of the melt-season. However I can’t comment further, as a big thunderstorm is approaching this obscure corner of a big planet.
JULY 24 —DMI Morning Maps—
“Art” is weakening up over the Pole, bit will continue to mill around up there into the weekend. (It will have various part and pieces, but I haven’t he time to name them all.) Meanwhile “Scant” continues to give Scandinavia mild weather, but it too will weaken, and there are hints that a weak low over the Baltic will tun into a home-grown storm at the start if next week, moving north into the Arctic to reinforce the remains of “Art.”
The warmth in Scandinavia can’t make it up to the Pole, as it is bent east. The Pole has a rough zonal flow, (albeit backwards from a textbook polar high pressure,) and is keeping its cold air. A pocket of sub-freezing exits even in the afternoon, towards our southern camera north of Alaska. The northern parts of the Kara Se are sub-freezing again as well.
Thee is still plenty of time for a thaw, but the temperatures usually are just passing their peak by now. We are just touching normal, in our DMI graph of temperatures north of 80 degrees latitude, for the first time all summer. (We did this last year as well, twice, before the early and abrupt plunge in August.)
It is interesting to compare this graph with the graph from 1979, when a far colder winter led to a much milder melt-season, that extended into the fall.
NEW CAMERAS —Blue skies at last!—
For some reason the army mass-balance site isn’t updating its buoy data, but judging from the graphs attached to our cameras at the O-buoy sites, both of our sites are experiencing sub-freezing temperatures. This is no way to run a thaw, but the sunshine might get the thaw back on track, during the short time we have left before the refreeze.