I apologize for being slow to update the sea-ice posts. The sun has set up there until March, and I suppose I’m a very visual  person, (whatever that means), and when there is nothing to see there is no way for my lying eyes to inform my lips to blow the whistle on people who depend on models and never use their eyes or even step outside. This time of year I tend to drift away from drifting sea-ice, which is sort of an avocation, and to move more in the direction of my vocation, which is basically to survive. Survival is no easy thing this far north, which is why many pan handlers and bums head south this time of year, and why Syrian refugees are in grave danger when they head north.

One reason I work so tirelessly and unstintingly to recreate myself as a cantankerous anachronism is because modern people tend to be complete fools, when it comes to natural things such as winter. I push myself to be old-fashioned, and to have a pig in the freezer and firewood on the porch (and gas for the generator, for old-timers didn’t have freezers),  because those old timers had common sense about things like winter. Also they had common sense about natural things like sex, and rearing children, which is what I’m attempting to write about on a “local view” post, but I’m not sure I’ll dare publish.

Common sense isn’t politically correct, you see. You need to make a sort of modern-day version of Archie Bunker out of yourself. If figure that if I walk on eggs, and accept the roll of fool, maybe I can write in a manner so droll and humorous people won’t tar and feather me. After all, in long ago times, who was it who dared tell the king the truth, when truth was difficult to swallow? Often it was the court jester.

In any case, that is what I’m busy with, when there are no sea-ice posts. My vocation, with which I eek out a minimalist existence, happens to be Childcare on a farm, and that involves all sorts of government red-tape that is basically nonsense, and far more like a wrench-in-the-works of caring for children than it is helpful, but government meddling always os phrased in a manner that twangs heart strings as it is “For the Children.”  So that is what the Local View post will be called, “For the Children.”

Even when busy with my vocation, perhaps my vocation can leave me annoyed at times, and in need of distraction, so I do indulge my avocation and sneak peeks at the sea-ice situation, and it has raised my eyebrows a bit the past week, even though I didn’t write about it. Though it was pitch dark, a roar could be heard from the Pole.

Basically a long trough of low pressure developed, wider at the Atlantic side and dwindling to a peak short of the Bearing Strait on the Pacific side,  and this trough created a two-lane-highway of opposing winds, although I suppose you could argue the winds both traveled west-to-east. The more impressive fetch was on the Eurasian side, as strong high pressure developed over central Siberia, but strong winds were on the Canadian side as well. On the Eurasian side west-to-east winds roared from the Atlantic to the Pacific, and on the Canadian side west-to-east winds roared from the Pacific to the Atlantic. On the Eurasian side the winds had more mild air, and on the Canadian side the winds were bitterly cold.

Here are the DMI maps of the situation developing and then starting to fade.

DMI3 1117 mslp_latest.big DMI3 1117 temp_latest.bigDMI3 1117B mslp_latest.big DMI3 1117B temp_latest.bigDMI3 1118B mslp_latest.big DMI3 1118B temp_latest.big DMI3 1119 mslp_latest.big DMI3 1119 temp_latest.big DMI3 1119B mslp_latest.big DMI3 1119B temp_latest.bigDMI3 1120B mslp_latest.big DMI3 1120B temp_latest.bigDMI3 1121B mslp_latest.bigDMI3 1121B temp_latest.big DMI3 1122 mslp_latest.big DMI3 1122 temp_latest.bigDMI3 1122B mslp_latest.bigDMI3 1122B temp_latest.big                            These maps do not show the cold air in Siberia, beneath the huge high pressure and south of the long west-to-east fetch along the Siberian Arctic coast. I thought the high pressure might press that cold air west towards Europe, but it never did.

The flow broke down when continental air was sucked up into the flow, breaking the long trough into two distinct systems, with the Pacific-side system now wrapping up its inflow of milder air, but cut off and likely to weaken, as the Atlantic-side system is likely to linger longer and attract more storms from the north Atlantic.

So what was the effect of the flood of warm Atlantic air? It pushed the edge of the sea-ice north in Barents Sea, and at the very edge of the snow in western Siberia, caused the snow-cover to retreat east to a degree where the edge of the snow is now “below normal.” But a glance at Dr. Ryan Maue’s map of arctic temperatures at the Weatherbell site shows that, first, the warming missed the core of the bitter cold in Siberia, and also rapidly cooled as it moved into the arctic darkness and left open waters for ice-covered waters.

DMI3 1122B cmc_t2m_arctic_1

These maps are in Fahrenheit, and the dramatic shift from Navy Blue to light grey represents the zero line. (-17° Celsius.) Two areas of extreme cold are in Siberia, (where the sky-blue turns to sky-blue-pink temperatures are below -40°, which is the only temperature fahrenheit and celsius agree about.)  Between them is a “warm” sector with temperatures below -20° Celsius. In that area the snow is deeper than normal, and extends further south than normal, which can be seen looking at the same scene sideways, with an Asian perspective:DMI3 1122B cmc_t2m_asia_1

I tend to see the surge of warmth into the Arctic as a loss of heat. It shows up in the temperature graph:DMI3 1122B meanT_2015 However “above normal” is temperatures that are down around -20°C, and well below the freezing point of salt water. Even with the roaring wind shoving the ice north in Barents Sea, the growth of the sea-ice doesn’t slow noticeably (which I actually expected.)DMI3 1122B icecover_current_new

One reason the ice extent graph still shows growth is because, while winds roared north in Barent’s Sea, they roared south in Fram Strait. The sea-ice, which had been dawdling to the north and often manifesting “wrong way” flows, surged south. Far faster than the ice were the cold winds, which don’t show up well on the two meter maps, as the open waters warm the air close to the sea, while only ten or twenty feet up the air may be much colder. For example the above maps don’t show much cold air reaching Iceland, but not far inland temperatures there dropped to -20° C:

Then this cold blast curved east towards Great Britain, and Europe, blocking the milder Atlantic air south of the Azores, and keeping it from reaching the arctic unless it took a convoluted route through the Mediterranean,  and even that route was blocked when the cold front from this blast reached the Atlas Mountains of Morocco. (I always like to bring Africa into a discussion of arctic sea-ice, if only because it so obviously annoys certain Alarmists.) Lastly, the cold air from this blast meant the air curving around and back up to Barents Sea was not as mild as one might expect a south wind to be. (It always pays to pay attention to an air mass’s source region, even though it may seem a bit old fashioned to label them on maps, as the old-time weathermen once did.)

In the end we have sea-ice much below normal in Barents Sea, and the western reaches of Kara Sea, and surprisingly close to normal in Fram Strait and down the east coast of Greenland.Extent 1122 N_bm_extent_hires

The above map also shows the refreeze starting in Northern Hudson Bay, behind schedule to the west and ahead of schedule to the north.  Once it gets going it usually proceeds pretty swiftly.Hudson Bay 20151122 CMMBCTCAReturning to Fram Strait, it is hard to find a map that gives a true picture of the situation, which involved multi-year ice only now starting south from the north, and much of the ice to the south home-grown “baby ice”, grown over the past few months by very cold north winds, and then crunched up against the coast, in places becoming a jumble that is far thicker than most think of baby ice being.Fram Ice 1122 general_20151120

I sometimes think  the only way to truly know the makeup of Fram Strait ice is to pay close attention on a day-by-day basis. We know the multi-year ice dawdled to the north because we watched it do so. We know the ice to the south is home-grown because we watched it grow.

Currently the O-buoy site is down, but we can watch Faboo (my name for the North Pole Camera) to see how that ice handled the blast.


On November 17 Faboo began to feel the roar, as winds remained between 20 and 26 mph all day, pushing the ice 17.14 miles nearly due south to 82.786°N, 6.041°W. Temperatures ranged from a high of -17.6°C at 0300Z to a low of -22.7°C at the end of the period (2100Z).

On November 18 the roaring lasted all day, with winds between 26 and 38 mph, peaking at 1500Z. The ice was barged 23.51 miles SSE. Temperatures in these gales ranged from a low of -23.8°C at 0300Z to a high of -20.9°C at noon.

On November 19 the roaring slowly faded away, as winds slowed from 26 mph down to 9 mph, and temperatures fell from -21.2°C at the start of the period to -26.4°C at the end. We traversed 14.51 miles SSE, finishing at 82.247°N, 5.149°W.

On November 20 calm descended, and the buoy only moved 6.76 miles, finishing at 82.153°N, 4.945°W. Temperatures remained very cold, -26.4°C for a low at midnight, up to only -25.5°C for a high at noon.

Though the buoy slowed, the 6.76 miles it moved on November 20 is still what we would have called a large amount, in September. In the five days of the roaring we moved further south than we did the entire month of September. And we are not a lone berg in open water, but a vast, flat area of ice with next to no open water beyond a few leads, which are likely freezing over swiftly, in this cold.

Faboo has now likely missed its very remote chance to be peeled off to the west and wind up in the Beaufort Gyre, and is now doomed to float south along the east coast of Greenland, and eventually melt. But remember the doom was not caused by “Global Warming” but by bitter blasts up to gale force that could freeze exposed skin in thirty seconds.








The goats busted out and ate the tattered Brussels sprouts and kale, as they have keen eyes and go for the last green things in sight, but that is fairly normal for my farm. It is so normal that my wife made sure to pick all the kale except for tufts at the tops, and my middle son and his girlfriend stripped all the sprouts larger than a pea from the Brussels sprouts, which is one reason they looked so tattered. I myself like to leave the sprouts and kale out a bit longer, as frost improves the flavor, but the family knows my goats. The goats are a reason the family doesn’t know how much frost improves the flavor. It is a flavor that I alone know about, and never have been able to share.

There’s still around 25 pounds of potatoes to dig, still in the earth, saved underground because the children at the Childcare get such obvious joy from digging them up, plus there’s also perhaps ten pounds of parsnips underground, which the goats can’t get to because they haven’t learned how to dig…yet. (I once had a dog who would sneak into the garden to dig up a carrot, and then trot off to surreptitiously eat it.)   (The pigs are off being smoked, or they’d be out there digging them up.) For the most part the garden is finished for another year, and its weedy earth stretches out as a forlorn mockery of my aspirations, and of a dream I wanted to share.

The dead weeds, which are plentiful and in some places tower six feet tall, are especially galling, as they remind me I’m older and couldn’t work, last summer, the way I once delighted in. (I was a strange young man, I suppose, because I got pleasure from toil. I suppose toil was for me something like jogging is for other folk, though jogging was an activity that almost always seemed a complete waste of time, to me. Why jog when you could get as much exercise and more from hoeing? Why work out in a gym when you could toil in a garden, producing stuff you could eat,  which tasted better than anything from any grocery store? If you toil, you should reap a benefit, either a crop, if the garden is your own, or a paycheck, if you garden for another. I can’t imagine paying a gym. It makes no sense to toil, and then pay others for the honor of doing so.)

Even more galling is the fact it is November, and I’m suppose to be counting my blessings and be brimming with Thanksgiving spirit. It is the time of harvest, and we should be grateful no hailstorms hit, nor clouds of locusts, and there is something to harvest. Not much, in the case of my garden, but a little is better than nothing. Instead I seem be harvesting a strong sense of irony.

I know I’m older and should cut back, and last spring I really meant to only have a little, modest garden, that a doddering old guy could easily manage, but the enthusiasm of others tricked me into the usual insanity of spring. There is a reason for April Fool’s Day.

The days were getting longer so fast everyone went nuts. They were filled with wild-eyed aspirations and a manic nature that convinced me that they meant what they said, and would help with the weeding and more. So I went and rototilled the usual quarter acre, and planted like crazy, and then, around the end of May when the weather got hot, I looked around and wondered, “What happened to the weeders?” After spring fever ebbs people come to their senses and go home, but someone must face the consequences. In my case the consequences happened to be one mother of a garden I couldn’t possibly keep up with.

My harvest is towering weeds, and I am suppose to be thankful? Unlikely. There is a reason for Halloween’s morbid ghosts and goblins. The days are getting shorter so fast that everyone goes nuts. Gloom and doom invade and infect the psyche, and thankfulness is work, and an exercise of vigorous spirituality. I’m not there yet. (This may explain why Thanksgiving occurs weeks after Halloween. It takes time to muster thankfulness)

At this time I am in the autumn of my life, and am reaping what I sowed, and, to be frank, on some rainy mornings it looks like towering weeds. I gripe to my Creator for making me the way he made me. Why did he make me the sort of guy who stands up to a corrupted boss and tells him to go to hell? That is no way to last the decades it takes to collect a pension. In my experience, it was a way to be immediately fired.

I really do marvel at my peers who managed to put up with abysmal jobs for atrociously long periods of time, and now can sit back and collect pensions as I work.   Of course, some died before they collected, and some died amazingly quickly after they retired, and some seem…and I do not know how to put this politely…stunted.

For example, imagine being a schoolmarm over the past thirty years. It just seems to me that there have been numerous things, which honorable people would object to, that they have meekly turned a blind eye to, because making waves might threaten their pension. Drugging small children might be one example, and teaching the scientific falsehood of Global Warming might be another. Now they get their pension, which is a god they have worshiped more than standing up for the Truth. They fully expect to benefit for behavior I find revolting. They expect taxpayers like myself to make their old age cushy. They will be extremely upset if they reap what they sow in another manner, and the economy collapses, and hyperinflation means their pension check supplies them with enough money to buy only a single biscuit,  even as the students they drugged at age six threaten them, as drugged adults aged thirty-six. Schoolmarms would call such a fate utterly unjust, which to me suggests that they lived intellectual lives that never looked too deeply into the long-term consequences of their actions, which just might indicate that, for the sake of a pension, they allowed their psyches to become stunted.

Of course, they are the ones now getting pensions as I work my fingers to the bone and likely will die with my boots on, so perhaps all my talk is just a bad case of sour grapes.

So what have I got to be thankful for? Over forty-five years ago my generation set out to radically improve the world, to make it a planet of “Truth, Love and Understanding”, but the way things have turned out it has seemed those who worship filthy lucre (and that includes pensions) have done far better than those who have been willing to sacrifice prosperity, promotions, and even pensions, for Truth.

In a symbolic sense it is as if back in 1969, during the so-called “summer of love”, I set out to make a fabulous garden of social reform, and now I am confronted by towering weeds, dead and brittle in the November winds. So what does a farmer do?  He adds fertilizing ash to the soil of his garden, by burning the weeds.BURNING WEEDS 2 IMG_1169

In the above example the weeds grew over six feet tall after the six foot tall edible podded peas were for the most part harvested. My excuse for not weeding was that peas have shallow roots, and weeding harms the pea’s roots more than it helps them (but the truth is I am old, tire quickly, and when tired I gain strength by writing about arctic sea ice, rather than weeding.) We got a fine harvest of peas in June and July, but the weeds had all August to climb the chicken wire and at their highest towered seven feet tall. They looked big and tough, but a single match swiftly reduced them to ash, which is better for next year’s crop than their seeds. It was a heck of a lot easier than pulling all those weeds up, and disentangling them from the chicken-wire, and lugging all the dead stuff to a compost pile. The flash-fire even sterilized the chicken-wire.

However, outside of my little garden, in the larger, symbolic example I have highlighted above, it is frightening to think of supplying such a match. This world has already seen such conflagrations. Anger towards schoolmarms manifested during China’s “Cultural Revolution”, when China got rid if all its teachers. They destroyed to such a degree that, once they got over their madness, no teachers could be found to teach the next generation. They had to seek out the undergrads who had managed to survive the madness, (perhaps by being part of the madness), and promote them to the position of professors in colleges. And in Cambodia under Pol Pat the madness was even worse, for it was not only the schoolmarms who were eradicated, but the students like myself who butted heads with schoolmarms. All you needed, to deserve death, was to have a writer’s callous on the middle finger of your writing hand. That would have included me.

Obviously I don’t want to promote any madness that kills me. I don’t want to wind up like Dr. Joseph-Ignace Guillotin, who opposed the death penalty, yet got his head chopped off by the devise he promoted as a more humane form of execution, during the time madness overtook France.

Therefore the match that burns weeds should be simple Truth.

Back in 1965 I was the youngest and smallest boy in my eighth grade class, yet had to confront a towering, grey-haired schoolmarm with her incorrectness. The “correct” answer in our textbooks and in her tests, concerning what built mountain ranges, was that the Earth was cooling, and cooling caused contraction, and therefore the skin of the earth buckled like the skin of a withering apple. However my older brother had given me a book about a new idea called “continental drift”. I had neither the power of Mao nor Pol Pot. All I could do was speak the Truth to an elderly woman who taught by the book. I still can recall the lost look in her eyes, when a little punk like me asked her to rethink the curriculum she’d been teaching for years.

Now, somewhat amazingly, fifty years have passed, and I still don’t have the power of Mao or Pol Pot, and yet still speak the Truth to schoolmarms who do things by the politically correct book. Or, at least, I think I do. From time to time I have to stop and take a hard look at myself.  Perhaps I am now the old, tradition-bound elder resisting new ideas. Perhaps the new ideas are to drug small boys and promote Global Warming, and I am just an old dog who can’t learn new tricks. But I always conclude that the very fact I am taking a hard look at myself is proof I am not hidebound, and am not stuck in some out-of-date textbook.

For Truth itself never gets old and never changes. It is a lodestone with which you test your ideas for their iron. It is only when your ideas become a curriculum you do by rote, year after year, never testing it, that we drift from truth into sterile traditions.

The politically-correct tend to sneer at scriptures as being merely musty traditions, and to feel they are following some sort of new and improved version of Truth, a sort of newer New Testament and glossier gospel. However if they actually opened their dusty,old Bibles and examined the ancient scriptures they might see their behavior described.  They might read the suggestion that bad things happen to those who focus more on smart-sounding, politically-correct political alliances than on being honest to Truth. The prophet Isaiah warned the Northern Kingdom not count on crafty alliances, but they didn’t listen, and the Assyrians led them off to captivity, and in the same manner Isaiah warned the Southern Kingdom, and they didn’t listen, and wound up led to captivity to Babylon.  In those cases political correctness and smart-seeming alliances didn’t pay off. However King David was utterly different, and likely looked nuts to those who promoted sacrificing Truth for political purposes and crafty alliances, for he put Truth first. In Psalm 118 the poet David states, (and I substitute the word “Truth” for the word “Lord”):

It is better to trust in the Truth
Than to trust in man.
It is better to trust in Truth
Than to trust in princes.

All the nations surrounded me
But in the name of the Truth I cut them off.
They surrounded me on every side
But in the name of the Truth I cut them off.
They swarmed about me like bees
But died as quickly as burning thorns;
In the name of the Truth I cut them off.

I was pushed back and about to fall
But the Truth helped me.
The Truth is my strength and my song;
He has become my salvation.

It is likely that David would appear to be a complete whack-job to today’s politically correct elite: A man prone to lust, rage, self-pity and black depressions. However David was a poet who was a king, and led his small nation to greatness against all odds. In like manner America’s founding fathers likely appeared to be whack-jobs to the politically correct royalty of Europe, for rather than accepting the Byzantine corruption of how things were done, they attempted to construct a constitution more closely allied with Truth, and in doing so they led a little string of colonies along a coastline to greatness, against all odds.

Truth seems to have the power to defy all odds, and to completely ignore political correctness. The next, great world power always seems to spring up from the most unlikely places. In 1480 Spain was two obscure kingdoms at the very edge of Europe. Great Britain was some offshore islands. If anyone had suggested, back then, that a pope would give Spain legal rights to half the planet, or the sun would never set on a future British Empire, the political experts would have scoffed. It would have been tantamount to telling modern experts that the Navajo Reservation would be a future world power.

Truth doesn’t care about the opinions of experts. Truth sees the truth, and if your establishment has become a field of dead weeds rattling in November’s wind, Truth supplies the match. There is no need for us mortals to raise the blood-stained hands of Pol Pot or Mao, for Truth can take care of itself. There is no need to plot the death of billions in the name of population control. Truth can take care of itself. Where mortals make a mess and a field of weeds, Truth enriches the soil with ashes.

And this applies to me as well. Should I become an old weed, I accept the match Truth shall light. I actually rather like the image of going out in a blaze of glory, and dying with my boots on rather than collecting a pension, and thinking how Dylan Thomas wrote,

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.



The DMI maps below show a little low I dubbed “Malga” crossing over the Pole and wandering to the coast of East Siberia. Meanwhile a huge area of low pressure I generalized as “Crawl” is unable to follow, as high pressure builds behind Malga and pushes the Atlantic low pressure southeast towards Europe. On the Pacific Side the gale “Crept”can’t push north either, and slides into Alaska and weakens.

DMI3 1109 mslp_latest.big DMI3 1109 temp_latest.big DMI3 1109B mslp_latest.big DMI3 1109B temp_latest.big DMI3 1110B mslp_latest.big DMI3 1110B temp_latest.big (1) DMI3 1111 mslp_latest.big DMI3 1111 temp_latest.big DMI3 1111B mslp_latest.big DMI3 1111B temp_latest.big

What is interesting to me in these maps is the feeder-band of mild air that keeps Malga alive. In the end it flows from the Atlantic along the Siberian coast nearly to the Pacific before curling up into Malga. It shows up very clearly in this GFS temperature map produced by Dr. Ryan Maue at the Weatherbell site.  (Map is flipped from DMI maps, with Greenland at the top right)Malga 1 gfs_t2m_arctic_3Not only does this map show the neat little curl of Atlantic moisture still feeding into Malga along the East Siberian coast, but it also shows a peak of mildness starting to poke north of Greenland, which may be the start of the next cross-polar-whirler.

I’m wondering about these cross-polar storms. It seems the storm track I’m more used to, which goes across Scandinavia and along the Siberian coast, has been displace far to the north.  To some degree it is still governed by the boundary between cold sea-ice and milder open water, but gets as far north as it can, along that boundary.

These storms seem to have a genesis separate from the North Atlantic storms, even when they are fed by the southerly flow on the east side of Atlantic storms. If you watch the evolution of “Crawl” in the above DMI maps you can see it kicks a secondary alive to its southeast, but that secondary loop-de-loops and stalls, perhaps kicking a tertiary south into the Baltic. The Atlantic storms have no identity you can follow north of Norway and along the Siberian coast, though there are impulses of a vauge nature that continue east.  As identities, the North Atlantic storms have demonstrated a proclivity to stall, to fail to progress, and to get poor grades on their report cards.

Of course, way down south in Europe they may be wondering what I am talking about, as they have this silly way of looking at weather sideways, rather than utilizing our superior top-down view. They can’t see how stunted north Atlantic storms are, for they are getting the defeated remnants of once-proud gales shunted their way. They fail to see the power of the Pole has pushed things south, and dented the high pressure protecting them and giving them some fine fall weather south, so dismal failures of Atlantic storms can leak east, like defeated troops marching east. All Europe sees is the once-proud Hurricane Kate will make a swift transit of the Atlantic and be breezing through the shores of Scotland on Sunday and into the Baltic on Monday.Kate 1 29093708Kate 2 29094707  Kate 3 29094712 Kate 4 29101001 Kate 5 29101427

Considering ex-hurricane Kate makes such a swift transit of the Atlantic, those poor Europeans can’t understand what I am taking about when I speak of bogged-down North Atlantic storms. They are not paying attention to the morass up at the top of their maps, because one problem with these archaic sideways views of the planet is your attention is riveted west, and not north, even though we all know where winter weather comes from.

We’ll just have to roll our eyes, sigh deeply, and forgive them. Someday all weather maps will have the Pole at the center, but we are still living in the stone ages. In the future people will laugh at sideways maps, and be amazed at the nonsense we incredibly smart people had to deal with, but for the time being I guess we just have grin and bear it, and get on with the business of viewing planet earth in the only sane and correct manner there is.


Despite the huge rush of milder air northward on the Eurasian side of the Arctic, Faboo (my name for the North Pole Camera) is just far enough west to be outside that force, and drifts in a sort of counter-current slowly southeast.

On November 8 Faboo accellerated, but veered from southeast to southwest. It made it as far east as 4.575°W at 0600Z, but when our 24-hour period ended at 2100Z we were at 83.713°N, 5.117°W, west of where we began, and 7.24 miles SSW closer to Fram Strait.  Temperatures moderated slightly, from -30.0°C at midnight to -22.4°C at the period’s end.

On November 9 winds must have whistled, for Faboo continued to accelerate SSW 14.33 miles to 83.526°N, 5.933°W. As Malga passed temperatures rose from a low of -22.9°C at 0900Z to -20.5°C at the period’s end.

On November 10 we really covered some ground, arriving at 83.425°N, 5.921°W, which is 20.8 miles south towards Fram Strait. Temperatures continued up, from -20.3°C at midnight to -17.1°C at the period’s end.

The winds were so strong that our hoarfrost-encrusted wind-vane and anemometer began to feebly function. Winds were reported at 2 mph. FAIL. You do not move 20 miles with winds that light.  What likely was happening was that strong breezes were forcing a protesting mechanism to budge. Also, perhaps, some of the hoarfrost was sublimating away, though more must vanish before we get accurate readings of how the wind howls.


O-buoy 14 is the last camera far enough south to give us daylight (or bright twilight) pictures worth looking at, however what is most noticeable is the hoarfrost growing on everything. Obuoy 14 1111 webcam


For nearly a full day south winds brought the entire southward flow of a huge amount of ice to a standstill, and temperatures soared to thawing, but then north winds resumed, temperatures plunged, and O-buoy 9 continued south towards 77° S latitude, while crunching west towards 14° W longitude. Obuoy 9 1111 temperature-1weekI was hoping the brief thaw might bring the camera to life. The fellows behind the scenes have demonstrated an amazing ability to regain contact with lost cameras, and I was hoping the thaw might melt hoarfrost from a radar dish, but there was no such luck. However the anemometer did thaw enough to again spin, and reported winds up to gale force at 34 mph, only slowly subsiding to 20 mph.Obuoy 9 1111 windspeed-1week

One thing important to note is that when O-buoy nine moves west it is upon an area of 100% ice coverage moving into an area of 100% ice coverage. It is upon older ice, some of which sticks up as big bergs like clippership sails,  and plowing into flat “baby ice” which is one to two feet thick. There are no open spaces between bergs to fill in, and therefore there must be a crumpling occurring. Ice is buckling and pressure-ridges are rising. However this building will not show up on graphs that measure ice by the square footage when viewed from above. In fact, when ice is shoved against the coast of Greenland, both the extent and area graphs may show there is less ice, even as jumbles of bergs grow into looming piles, like snowbanks beside a plowed road.


Sorry to be slow to update, but every dog has his day, and mine happened to be yesterday, because I got the prior post “Micro-critters Rule!” published on “Watts Up With That”. I spent a bit of time gloating. But that was yesterday, and yesterday’s gone.

It’s funny how fleeting the pleasures of this world are. Every dog has his day, but it isn’t enough, and I want to amend it and say, “Every dog has his days.” It isn’t enough to be a one hit wonder; one wants to be a two hit wonder. Even minor fame is one of those cravings that tends to become insatiable, and therefore it is best to skip the whole addiction, and simply write because it is fun to write. So…I’m back to work.

I missed some morning maps, but here are the past two days DMI afternoon maps, showing some interesting stuff going on over the Pole and Fram Strait.

DMI3 1112B mslp_latest.big DMI3 1112B temp_latest.big DMI3 1113B mslp_latest.big DMI3 1113B temp_latest.big

The storm I called “Malga” swiftly faded away on the East Siberian coast. I suppose the pipeline of Atlantic air simply became far too long to sustain it, and once it was cut off it immediately filled in, replaced by an area of colder air. Meanwhile a second weak storm I’ll call Malga2 went through a similar genesis north of Greenland, independant of the North Atlantic gales except for a new feeder band that shows up quite clearly on the temperature maps. And now it looks like a third feeder band may be pushing north through Fram Strait, perhaps to assist in the genesis of a third storm that might take this odd, cross-polar route, seemingly ignoring both the Pacific and Atlantic storm tracks.

The North Atlantic is plugged up, and storms are being squeezed south through the Baltic for the time being. Storms that try to come north become a tangle of occlusions, and haven’t come north. That may change, as the huge high over and north of central Siberia  may slam the door on sneaking south through the Baltic, and force the North Atlantic storms to bleed north across the Pole. The way may be cleared as the Malga storms seem to be crossing closer to Canada, in a sense clearing the way.  For the time being that solution hasn’t happened yet, and I’m just going to call the storms milling around east of Iceland “Crawl”, even though Crawl faded and some three generations of secondary and tertiary descendants have gotten mixed up in the tangle.

On the Pacific side some descendant of “Crept” is moving weakly east along the Alaskan and Canadian coast, even as Malga2 passes going the other way, far out over the Arctic Ocean.


On November 11 Faboo slowed, but still moved 10.15 miles SSE to 83.278°N, 5.840°W. Temperatures remained flat, with a high of -17.2°C at midnight and a low of -18.0°C at noon.

On November 12 we slowed further, progressing 3.66 miles SSE to 83.225°N, 5.814°W, but seeing eastward progress halt at 5.780°W at noon. A change in the weather is hinted at by the slow rise of temperatures from -17.5°C at the start to -11.3°C at the end.

Some “wrong way” drift is likely over the week-end.


Obuoy 14 1113 webcam

You have to be fast to catch the time it is bright enough for a good picture. (3:00 in my busy afternoon.) Today I wasn’t fast enough.


The weather station associated with O-buoy 9 continues to crunch west, but the southward grinding has halted and even nudged a little north. A southeast wind from warmer waters is hinted at by the temperature arising to a thaw. Likely it is very foggy.

Obuoy 9 1113 temperature-1week



This is interesting. The cross polar swirls look like they are turning into a cross polar flood. This will have possible implications of a counter-flow across Asia into Europe. I’ll study it a bit more later. They are having those climate talks in Paris soon, and those things always seem to attract blasts of arctic air.


For the record, Malga2 drifted over to East Siberia and faded, as Malga3 formed north of Greenland, incorporating some of the faded remnants of the Pacific impulse “Crept”, and then stalling north of the Beaufort Sea, and now is starting to link up with “Crawl”, which has moved slowly north-northeast from the top of Norway to Svalbard. Besides returning Fram Strait to a typical north flow, that Malga3-Crawl connection is creating a long fetch of west winds north of Siberia, which holds a little Atlantic air, but it must be modified by continental European air, coming north through western Scandinavia and Eastern-Russia. The long fetch is associated with a rather massive high pressure in central Siberia, which is sneaking cold air east under its belly.


On November 13 Faboo’s southward progress halted at midnight at  83.224°N, and then we drifted slowly northwest to 83.283°N   5.884°W, veering slightly northeast at the final report. This was a total “wrong way” drift of 4.04 miles to the north-northwest. Temperatures were the mildest we’ve seen in a long time, with a high of -3.2°C at 0600Z and staying fairly “mild”, and ending at -5.0°C.

On November 14 we edged northeast as far as 5.825°W at 0600Z before backing northwest as far as 83.310°N at 1800Z, where our “wrong way” flow halted, and we floated slightly southwest, ending the period at  83.309°N, 5.858°W. This left us 1.8 miles north-northwest of where we began. Temperatures fell from a high of -4.3°C at midnight to a low of -13.5°C at 0900Z, and ended the period at -9.9°C.

On November 15 Faboo drifted southwest to 83.245°N, 6.055°W, for a day’s progress of 4.69 miles. It was a loopy weekend, winding Faboo up further west. Temperatures remained fairly mild, with a high of  -7.1°C at noon, and a low of -9.6°C at the end of the period.

I imagine the cross-polar flood on the Siberian side will create a counter-current on the Canadian side, and we will see Faboo resume its drift towards Fram Strait.


The weather station belonging to O-buoy 9 has seen winds swing around to the cold north, and has resumed its southerly flow past 77° south. It’s crunching progress west towards the coast of Greenland seems to have halted at 15° west. Temperatures are back down towards -20°.

Obuoy 9 1116 temperature-1week


The maps show the cross-polar-flood increasing. “Malga3” forms the tip of the trough, and has weakened, and once again its weakening is associated with the appearance of some very cold air. At the risk of appearing to belabor a point, I would like to point out how unlike a Chinook this is. In a Chinook you lift air, release snow (and also heat held as latent heat), and when the air comes back down it is warm and dry. At the Pole the air get raised by low pressure, is robbed of moisture, but when it descends it is darn cold.  This does not compute, but no has offered a way to reprogram.

“Crawl” continues to hang north of Svalbard, connected to a decent storm to its south off the coast of Norway I’ll call “Crawlson.”  To their east an impressive flow comes up from the south and along the coast of Siberia, but is very different from last year’s. Last year it was straight up from the Azores and loaded with tropical juice. This year it may be from roughly the same area, but the air masses are different; they are hugely modified by north Atlantic air or by hugely modified Siberian air, so the flow from the south is drier and cooler, even when the air is from the Mediterranean. (Don’t forget the early snows they had down that way, for example, in Turkey.)

Lets look at one of those sideways maps that other folk look at, and see what is going on in the North Atlantic.  Here is the UK Met map. UK Met 20151117 29268943You can see the North Atlantic is untidy. Let’s be honest. It is a complete mess. All the warm air is aloft in occlusions, and the storm track, if it exists, is well to the south. They have no lush, tropical warm sectors from the Azores, and behind their cold fronts is modified Arctic air from the coasts of Greenland and inland Canada. The air over Europe is well above normal, but it is mild in a way that makes it like a contract written by a con artist. It is full of clauses and exceptions-to-the-rule, for even when it is mixed with a blurb of juicy Azores air, there’s other blurbs from the icecap if Greenland.

That is why, when you go back to the DMI maps, the mild temperatures on the Siberian side of the Pole are perhaps not so mild as I might expect.

To continue our examination of sideways maps, lets look at a cool map Dr. Ryan Maue offers at the Weatherbell site. The map does not show if temperatures are warm or cold, but rather shows if they are above or below normal. (Therefore red doesn’t necessarily mean warm, but rather means above the normal for that particular location. Often, on such maps, -20° will appear red as +20° appears blue, because locations to the north are above normal as locations to the south are below normal.)Surge 1 gfs_t2m_anom_natl_1What is most interesting to me is that band of blue feeding in over Scotland.  Also the cold off Cape Cod (where the water is actually warmer than normal). This hints that the air feeding into warm sectors isn’t all that warm.

However, if we are going to take this sideways view, we might as well look at poor Paris, which is currently nice and mild. So lets look  at Dr. Ryan Maue’s temperature-anomaly-maps for Europe for now, 48 hours from now, and 96 hours from now. Surge 2 gfs_t2m_anom_eur_1Surge 3 gfs_t2m_anom_eur_9Surge 4 gfs_t2m_anom_eur_17

What these maps show is a big glob of cold air coming from the upper right corner of the sideways maps, and flipping Paris from warm to cold. Considering everything has been coming at them from the west, they will not know what hit them. However we, who have been viewing things from the proper and sane polar view,  will be aware a cross-polar-flood has been stealing all their nice, mild air and squandering it to outer space, even as a cross-polar-counter-flood brings south some nasty arctic cold down the east coast of Greenland, that can’t be warmed by its transit of a colder-than-normal North Atlantic.

What no maps or models are showing is a second counter flow coming towards Paris like a pincer, from Siberia. My intuition says this should happen, but my honesty sees no sign of it. The warmth moving into Europe seems to keep the Siberian cold bottled up to the east. (The Dr. Ryan Maue temperature-anomaly map of Asia below shows the cross-polar-flood moving east at the top, but the Siberian cold failing to become a westward counter-flow in the center.) (It can’t move west past the Ural Mountains.)Surge 5 gfs_t2m_anom_asia_16


Yesterday, (November 16) Faboo felt the Cross-Polar-Counter-Flood, and made good time south-southwest to 83.034°N, 6.180°W, which was 14.48 miles closer to Fram Strait. As the winds became north temperatures fell, from a high of -9.6°C at the start to -19.5°C at the end. Even our hoarfrost and rime encrusted anemometer seemed to break free of the crust, (perhaps due to the expansion and contraction of temperature changes of over thirty degrees we’ve seen), and at the end began reporting winds of 22 mph.


The old O-buoy 9 Weather Station reports temperatures slightly moderating up from -20°, as winds slackened to 7 mph. The buoy continued south, and again began crunching west towards the coast of Greenland.

The Norwegian Meteorological Institute maps shows the current cold north winds have made the ice moving down into Fram Strait a solid mass. To the east in Barents Sea the waters remain open,  as the Cross-Polar-Flood heads north there.Fram Ice 1117 general_20151117



Sometimes, as my mind’s eye wanders over the Arctic Ocean, I am drawn ashore to contemplate wonders of the Tundra. I try to avoid politics, as the wonders are more wonderful when simply appreciated in the light of Truth, but Climate Alarmism is a sort of whirlpool that sucks you in, even when it is basically a comical shtick.

For example, along the coast of the Northwest Territories are the “Smoking Hills” of Franklin Bay, which appear over and over in Facebook images sent by sailors attempting the Northwest Passage. The sailors always seem jarred by the sight (and scent). Often they have been cluttering their log with editorial comments about how beautiful the arctic is, and what cads humans are to destroy the pristine beauty of nature with Global Warming caused by burning coal. Then they come across a stretch of coast that is in essence Mother Nature’s Strip Mine, miles and miles of exposed lignite, black stripes in the sedimentary layers of seaside cliffs. In places the lignite has spontaneously ignited and has been burning for hundreds, if not thousands, of years, without the slightest effort on the part of Mother Nature to install smokestacks or put scrubbers in those stacks. smokinghills 2Photo Credit:

In the above picture the red areas are stone after the coal has been burned out, and the black is unburned lignite. Besides the current fires there is evidence of fires that burned long ago and went out. (The oldest fires are not a geologically recent occurrence; so don’t try to blame Eskimos who were careless with campfires).

In any case, even if you went to the arctic to get away from ever having to even think about the issue of coal fired power plants, the issue gets shoved in your face, and you find yourself forced to rethink some of the ideas doled out like pabulum in the Alarmist shtick. In this case it is the simplistic idea that man burns fossil fuels and nature doesn’t.

In another case one might think man leaks oil and nature doesn’t, and then see natural slicks in the Gulf of Mexico, or tars oozing up from earthquake faults off the California coast.

Even as I type my daughter has bought home a new “pink” salt, which is supposedly healthier, as it is from high up in the Himalayas. A mere saltshaker fills me with wonder about how that salt got way up there, and also about what happened to all the fossil fuels when the subcontinent of India was sent smashing into Asia by continental drift.

The problem with some people is they don’t think very deeply about the lollipop shticks they get handed and are asked to suck upon. It doesn’t take much thought to realize Nature is the original recycler, plowing the ocean floor down in geological subduction zones, and creating huge mountain ranges with fossil seashells at the tops.

Over at “Watts Up With That” there was a guest essay by Larry Kummer about the Alarmist shtick involving Methane. Initially I wasn’t interested because the Alarmism involved is so soundly refuted that not even the IPCC thinks it is worth freaking out about, (and the IPCC freaks out about stuff grandmothers laugh at). (I myself couldn’t even start to take the Methane Fear seriously, because I have seen plenty of evidence it was much warmer in the arctic in the relatively recent past, and if there weren’t uncontrollable methane releases back then I don’t see why they should occur now.)

Ordinarily I would have skipped the post, as the issue usually bores me, however the Alarmist cartoon at the start intrigued me, for it suggested that some Alarmists are so sold on the idea of a “Methane Monster” that they even see the pro-Global-Warming IPCC as “deniers.” 
I fully intended to only skim the article, but in it discovered a portal to another tundra wonder, found in this paper:

In a nutshell the paper states there are two sorts of arctic soil, one which is frozen ooze that is rich in carbon and might be expected to burp up some methane if warmed, but also a second which is a more-common-soil which holds little carbon, as it is the sort of till one associates with glaciers and glacier-scraped landscapes. (Glaciers largely transport topsoil far away to terminal moraines and out-wash streams. After a glacier departs the landscape is usually denuded of topsoil. It is clay, sand and gravel that holds no organic carbon and can brew no methane. It also is devoid of compost, and can’t feed plants. It is basically sterile, however a bacterium inhabits the surface of such soil that can snatch methane from the air, and enrich its own habitat.)

That was what grabbed my mind’s eye. Perhaps it was because as a farmer I’m interested in enriching soils, but my mind highlighted the paper’s suggestion that, where the soil lacks carbon, nature has found a way to enrich the soil, using bacteria that gobbles methane. The paper went on to state that the warmer it gets, the livelier that bacterium gets, and the more methane it gobbles. (IE: warmer temperatures mean less methane is left in the air; the exact opposite of what Methane-hysteria predicts.)

This shows how little we understand the Earth we claim to be the protectors of. If we’d all gone rushing off half-cocked on a crusade against methane, we might be dooming the arctic topsoil to sterility. Just imagine our guilt!

The old time farmers knew of two basic ways to enrich soil. The first involved sweat and toil, and lugging manure from the stables and spreading it in the fields. The second was a heck of a lot easier, because all you needed to do was give the field a rest. It was called a “fallow” field.

A fallow field shows nature’s ability to enrich a landscape without any help from humans. You’d think Alarmists would get this concept, considering they portray man as the raping, robbing bad-guy, and nature as the loving, giving good-gal. However some don’t seem to see nature will not allow a natural thing like methane to go to waste. Neither will nature allow a natural thing like crude oil seeping up from earthquake faults in California to go to waste. Nature gobbles the substances up, and they becomes part of the food chain, which involves all sorts of stuff eating, being eaten, and, in the end, turning to manure which enriches the soil.

Nature can take a most sterile landscape and make it verdant. The second a glacier recedes nature gets busy on the barren landscape, starting with lichen and progressing through tundra to taiga to the rich farmlands of Ohio.

In essence nature is guilty of altering its environment even more than man. Nature does not care a hoot about the current ecosystem. It improves upon it. However many fail to understand this natural progression, (and yet some call themselves “progressives”).

The arctic landscape is extra amazing, for it shows nature tested to its limits, and how nature will not stand for the status quo of a sterile ecosystem, but enriches it. Besides the micro-critter in sterile arctic soil that craves methane, there are some amazing micro-critters that live out on the even more hostile environment of the sea-ice.

The first was brought into the focus of my mind’s eye by the amazing pictures made public by the exploits of O-buoy 9, during its two-year-journey from the Asian side of the Pole to a pile-up on the north coast of Greenland, and then east to a grand exit south into Fram Strait. The time-lapse movie made of the pictures taken during this journey makes better watching than most sea-ice documentaries, (and contains more pure Truth). This is especially true of the final eight minutes, which shows the coast of Greenland come looming up, the ice piling up, and then the ice going through a sort of swirling blender in Fram Strait.

For most of the journey the sea-ice is either a pristine white or a gorgeous turquoise. It is only when the ice gets to Fram Strait that the overlays of fresh snows are melted away, and one is confronted by the phenomenon of filthy ice. Obuoy 9 0823B webcam
Of course, the very sight of dirty ice can get the usual suspects raving about coal-fired power plants, and the audacity Asian nations have, daring to develop their economies. There tends to be some pushback from others who suggest soot from volcanoes might contribute to the ice’s dingy hue, but this pushback isn’t great. It is generally accepted humans must get the blame, until something odd is noticed. A lot of the ice in Fram Strait has been flipped like a pancake, and it is not the top of the ice that is dirty, but rather the bottom. Like the hull of a ship that has spent long months at sea, the underside of the ice is coated with a slime. Micro-critters have been at it once again, and humans get no credit.

This actually hugely changed a preconception that I was taught, which stated that the Arctic Ocean was like other Seas, and that once you got away from the Continental Shelf the waters tended to become increasingly sterile. Without reefs, shallow waters, and the upwelling of nutrients that occur near shores, there could be no plankton, no arctic cod, no seals, and last but not least, no icons of Global Warming Worry, polar bears. In fact it was stated that, as the sea-ice shrank in the arctic, bears and seals would be forced away from the shores into waters that were basically a desert, and they would starve.

Usually I avoid the topic of polar bears, because the shtick is so maudlin it makes me want to go outside and bang my head against a tree. Fortunately I discovered the site , which contains less emotion and more science. There I discovered that, away from the coasts of the Arctic Ocean, there was no sign of emaciated seals or bears, and in fact the animals looked, if anything, obese. What happened to the desert? Once again humans get no credit, for micro-critters saved the day.

Apparently the slime on the underside of sea-ice utterly changes the equation, and makes the Arctic Ocean unique among oceans, because even far from shore the nutrients may exist that feed plankton that feed cod that feed seals that feed bears. Nothing eats bears, so there actually were some very old bears that could qualify as being skinny. (Of course, using senile bears to judge the physical status of all bears would be like using a ninety-year-old man to judge the strength of all humans…so that is exactly what the media went and did, on occasion, which explains my going outside to bang my head on trees.)

I prefer avoiding the entire topic of bears, and instead like to contemplate the true boss and controller of the arctic ecosystem, which is that amazing micro-critter, which exists as slime on the underside of ice.

Talk about a hostile environment! The underside of ice might seem a quiet and calm place to abide, and you might imagine a 24-hour-daylight of a deep, undersea turquoise and emerald would be appealing to algae, however consider, if you will, the surface the critters are growing upon. They are attempting to root upon a surface that is constantly melting away beneath their feet. In fact the bottom of the sea ice melts upwards an average of three to four feet, each summer. Talk about climbing a slippery slope! How the heck do the critters hang on? Then the sunlight vanishes and the ice grows downwards three to four feet, engulfing them deeply in bitter cold ice. How the heck do they get started the following spring?

However that hostile environment is nothing, compared to another niche another micro-critter has carved out.

When the arctic water freezes in the fall, salt is exuded from the ice and coexists with solid ice as liquid brine. This brine forms in all directions, and the surface of the ice can be wet with brine at first, however with time gravity takes charge and the brine starts melting its way down through the ice. In extreme situations, for example when polynyas of open water form as gales blow ice offshore along the coast of Antarctica, the brine can actually form trickling channels and then, when the brine reaches the seawater beneath the new ice, be so cold that the brine freezes the seawater on contact, and form pipelines of ice downwards called “brinicles”. So cold is the brine flowing down these tubes that when they reach the sea-bottom they can freeze passing starfish in their tracks

Ordinarily temperatures around the North Pole are not so extremely cold, and the amount of brine is more limited, and the brine sinks down through the ice as little teardrops of very salty water, boring downwards even while freezing over from above. They become self contained units, like little down-elevators. You might think absolutely nothing could live in these bitter cold, inky dark, and extremely salty descending elevators. However apparently some bacterium was looking for a place to rent with no competitors, no predators, and no salesmen, and decided these elevators looked like a perfect niche to make their own. So what if the niche was extremely cold, extremely salty, and extremely dark? (Sounds like some places I myself rented, when young.)

Then this little tenacious tenant apparently becomes dissatisfied with the brine. There must be some bacterial equivalent of a wife who wants to hang drapes and pictures, for this micro-critter apparently adjusts the brine to its liking. It does not want to make a Natural Park of the status quo, but rather fundamentally alters the microenvironment, so it is chemically different when it exits the ice at the bottom of the sea-ice. Among other things, the micro-critter concentrates the element bromine.

Most of the time this makes little difference to the greater environment. Some bromine is removed from the seawater as the elevator starts down, and returned to the seawater when the elevator reaches the ground floor, which occurs when the droplet of brine exits the ice at the bottom of the sea-ice. But not all the micro-critters make this journey. Some get left behind. The elevator door slams in their face, back up at the top of the ice.

This brings up the mystery of how these critters got up there in the first place. If they are so superbly adapted to darkness and bitter cold and high salinity, how the heck do they survive in the summer’s sunlit seas? Don’t ask me; they just do it. Maybe they are dormant, but they are laying in wait for the first appearance of the next winter’s brine, and immediately thriving in the brine when it appears, which can be when the ice is a tenth of an inch thick and the brine is a thin layer of wetness atop that thin ice. These conditions also happen to be the same conditions needed for the formation of a beautiful arctic creation called “ice flowers”.

The creation of ice flowers has nothing to do with life, and rather has to do with a cardboard-thin layer of supersaturated air, just above the ice, which stimulates frost formations. This frost, it just so happens, is a perfect wick and sponge for brine, and sucks the brine up. You might wonder why the salt in the brine doesn’t immediately melt the ice crystals, and perhaps it does in some circumstances, but in other circumstances even being slightly higher off the ice, a hair’s breadth, plunges the brine into cold so frigid that it freezes. Salt has lost its capacity to melt ice. The micro-critters in the brine are frozen in place as well, along with their baggage of bromine. And I wish we could end the tale here, for the ice-flowers in the breathless quiet of arctic twilight are a beautiful sight. Ice flowers IMG_1496Photo Credit: Matthias Wietz. From:  (Ice in this picture is only 1/16th of an inch thick)

However Nature, on this planet at least, is not frozen solid, and soon the winds rise, and it turns out the ice-flowers are fragile things. They are shattered by gusts, and turned into dust in the wind, but even the dust does not remain static, for the part of the frost that is water sublimates away, until the dust is mostly powdered salt, with, of course, trace amounts of micro-critters and their bromine. So fine and light is this dust that it hangs in the darkened air as haze, kept aloft by the lightest wafting, and when winds howl the haze can be lifted to the very top of the troposphere, and at the tropopause the micro-critters and their suitcases of Bromine get introduced this stuff called Ozone.

Now at this point your antennae should be waving wildly and you should be saying, “Danger! Danger! Danger, Will Robertson! Ozone Hole imminent!” But the real danger, if you are a Climate Scientist, is that the hole is not caused by man, but by micro-critters.

Therefore your job as a Climate Scientist, if you chose to accept it (and expect a grant), is to somehow demonstrate that man is responsible for those micro-critters being up there. Man has created a terrible increase of ice-flowers in the arctic, or some such thing. Man is master. Man is in control.

But those arctic micro-critters just laugh at us. They know who the real Boss is. They disobey one of the most fundamental scientific laws, by living their entire lives without ever needing a grant. They utterly ignore the dictates of the EPA. How dare they!

Where ordinary folk look upwards into dark winter skies and see the wonder and beauty of a star strewn infinitude, or the abrupt curtains of shimmering northern lights, and are glad, Climate Scientists skulk in dread. For they know that, for every micro-critter we know about, there are a thousand undiscovered, and all of them are laughing. When a Climate Scientist looks up, (which is seldom if he’s shackled by shame), he hears no music of angels, but rather the derision of countless criminal micro-critters, all imitating James Cagney (albeit in chipmunk voices), “Made it Ma! Top of the World”, before blowing up the fossil-fuel masquerade.

However I very much doubt micro-critters actually behave in Cagney’s unseemly manner. Rather I deem them wonderful, and part of a greater wonder, called Truth, which created all things, including us, (and even including poor, hapless Climate Scientists).

ARCTIC SEA ICE —Groping In Darkness—(Updated Sunday Evening)

It is somewhat appalling how swiftly the days grow shorter, even way down south here at 42.75° North latitude, in southern New Hampshire. The month before and the month after the equinox see the swiftest shrinkage of daylight,  nearly four minutes a day around here. By December days are short, but not getting much shorter, and one can adjust to the status quo, but in October one exists in a sort of trauma.

I spent a year up at latitude 58° north, at the top of Scotland, and was completely unprepared for the swifter decent into darkness. I really think someone should have warned me. Ever since I have had greater respect for people who call such a plunge into darkness “normal.”, because that is their homeland.

Of course, the further north you go the greater and swifter the change gets, until you arrive at the Pole where it is the all-or-nothing of a six-month-day followed by a six-month-night. Up at latitude 84°N, where Faboo (my name for the North Pole Camera) is located, the sun has set until spring, and even if the camera lens wasn’t encrusted with hoarfrost, there would be little to see but darkness and nearly black twilight. As it is you can hardly see any difference between day and night.NP3 1 1030 2015cam1_4 NP3 1 1031 2015cam1_1

It is rather hard to write interesting things with such a black view as a basis. To make matters worse, both Faboo’s GPS and weather buoy haven’t bothered report since October 23. The best I can do is hope to catch one of the reports from co-located Mass Balance Buoy 2015D:, which are sporadic at best.   I do know Faboo drifted as far south as 84.11°, and then drifted back to the northwest to 84.16° N, 7.11° W, and now again has floated south to 84.11° N, 6.91° W, with the most recent temperature reported at -22.01°C.

The O-buoys have been equally as frustrating, with the entire site down much of last week. Now that it is operating again you have to be on your toes, and have more free time than I have, to catch the brief times of bright twilight, which is all that the day now amounts to.

The most interesting O-bouy camera has been O-buoy 14, which likely is causing much wailing and gnashing of teeth among the poor fellows who spent so much time and effort placing it, as it was by sheer chance located on what turned out to be a sort of San Andrea Fault. The odds of this happening are fairly slim,  though last year the arctic explorer Thomas Urlich did have a lead open up six feet from his tent as he slept.

These faults in the sea-ice have little to do with whether it is warm or cold, and are brought about by the the colossal stresses put on the ice by the winds. They create brief areas of relative mildness, as the open water steams like a hot cup of tea though it is below the freezing point of fresh water. Then the open water flash freezes. (Notice the layers in the ice exposed by the lead in the picture below, indicating there is more complexity to the growth of ice than some imagine.)

Freezing Lead 328125_original

Here are some of O-buoy 14’s recent pictures:

OCTOBER 25  Obuoy 14 1025B webcam OCTOBER 26Obuoy 14 1026 webcam OCTOBER 27 (notice how horizon is tilting.)Obuoy 14 1027 webcamObuoy 14 1027B webcam Obuoy 14 1027C webcam OCTOBER 31Obuoy 14 1031 webcamWe are actually witnessing the birth of a pressure ridge. This is pretty cool, but likely is bad news for the camera. I think the odds are poor that the camera will be functioning in the spring.

The other O-buoy cameras are picturing darkness or snow-smeared lenses or, in the case of O-buoy 9, not sending any pictures at all. The loss of O-buoy 9 is most sad, though perhaps I should be amazed it survived the battering it experienced in Fram Strait so long. Its final picture, after two years of reporting a journey from the far side of the Pole, was this real beauty on October 20:Obuoy 9 1020 webcam

It was at that point all the ice began grinding southwest, and perhaps the ice buckled as it crunched towards Greenland and the camera got toppled, or its radar dish got crunched or encrusted in rime. (I suppose an icebreaker may have picked it up as well.)

We still are getting reports from the O-buoy 9 weather station and the GPS, which show a general movement southwest with a few quirks back north as pulses of south winds passed. One such pulse lifted temperatures nearly to freezing Saturday morning:Obuoy 9 1101 temperature-1weekFor the most part temperatures have been between -10°C and -15°C, which once again demonstrates melting has little to do with the lessening of ice to the north; the ice is simply flushed south. What is interesting about the process this year is that the ice has been slow to be moved south. In fact a lot of the sea-ice in Fram Strait is not ice transported south, but home-grown “baby-ice”. It shows up as purple in the NRL ice-thickness map below:

Thickness 20141028 arcticictnowcast

The thicker sea-ice, transported down from the north, shows as blue, and is located further out in Fram Strait. (There may be some remnants of an earlier flush right along the coast, though that also may be crunched baby-ice, or ice calved from Greenland’s glaciers, or a mix.) The older ice shows as a sort of spear tip of blue out in Fram Strait, and O-bouy 9 is located near the point, roughly at 78.1° N and 10.8° W. It would be wonderful if they could get the poor, old camera functioning again, as that ice is likely under duress and building odd shapes, and cracking open wide leads.

The various wintertime leads and cracks and gaps are seldom wide enough to show up in the NRL ice-concentration maps. The bright red creates the the illusion ice is solid, when it often is fractured and in motion:Concentration 20151029 arcticicennowcastTo me the above map is interesting because the East Siberian, Laptev and Beaufort Seas have frozen over so swiftly, even as Bearing Strait and The north Atlantic entrance to Barents and Kara Seas are wide open. This creates a sort of imbalance, especially on the Atlantic side.  Storms seem to want to cruise up to the Pole or Barents Sea, or south to the Mediterranean, and to avoid Europe, which is making headlines with early snows to the southeast, and in southwest Siberia. (Visit the Iceagenow site for news of early snows.)

In eastern Siberia temperatures may be above normal, but that is still far too cold for rain, and, because milder means moister, they have had early snows right down into China and Mongolia. (Iceagenow has a report of China having trouble transporting oil into occupied Tibet by truck, due to snows.) The areas with early snow (which are usually snow free on this date) are shown in blue in the map below.Snowcover anomaly 20151101 2015302__1_ Unless this snowcover melts back Eurasia will have a larger than normal area “creating cold”. I suppose this is occurring because the cold normally over the Pole has been displaced south by the invasions of Atlantic and occasionally Pacific air we have seen move north.  This has resulted in a DMI graph showing it is warmer than normal north of 80°N latitude. (If you want to promote Global Warming I suggest you focus on this graph, and ignore the snows in Bulgeria and Romania falling while the trees still have green leaves.)DMI3 1101 meanT_2015

Note that “above normal” in the above graph still involves temperatures below -20°C.

Another good way to see the “warmth” at the Pole is to visit the excellent Weatherbell site, and get the week free trial of Ryan Maue’s maps. Among thousands of other maps you can get a map that shows you whether temperatures are above or below normal at the Pole. (Above normal is a cheery red, rusting to white hot, which will please Alarmists.) The map below shows a spear of Atlantic warmth coming in a curve over Svalbard and around towards Canada, past the Pole, while Pacific warmth is over by Bering Strait.Temp Anomaly 20151101 gfs_t2m_anom_arctic_1

However, before you are fooled by the red, and put on a bathing suit, it is important to compare the above map with the map of actual temperatures, For example, eastern Siberia may look a toasty red above, but check out the actual temperatures [in Fahrenheit], below.Temps 20151101 gfs_t2m_arctic_1To me the most interesting observation overall continues to be the dichotomy between the open water of Barents Sea, suggesting warmth, and the thickening ice over the Pole, suggesting increased cold. The fact it has been so cold south of Barents Sea hints that sea is getting chilled from all sides. Its open water may well lose a lot of its warmth over the course of the winter, and do so at depth, for the water is far less able to stratify when it is open and churned by winter winds.  I doubt it will freeze over swiftly like the Laptev Sea did, and as long as it is open it will be being cooled. Also cooled will be the drift of slightly warmer water that ordinarily moves east and influences the sea-ice coverage of the entire Siberian coast. This may be a case of play-today-pay-tomorrow, for the lack of ice now may create colder water and more ice to the east, next summer.

With the loss of our cameras most of my observations from now until spring will involve looking at maps and making wild speculations about what the maps may mean. Simply watching the weather over the ice can be fairly interesting, especially as you can often see an arctic outbreak developing a week before the newspapers further south go berserk with headlines about the “polar vortex,” (which often is just an arctic outbreak).

Below are the past weeks DMI maps.  Hopefully I’ll find time to discuss them later, but I’m going to visit my big sister in Boston today, so naming storms and describing their tracks will have to wait. I apologize for slacking off the past week, but I had to get a pig to market, and it weighed three hundred pounds and decided to be a problem.  That likely will make a good “Local View” post, but I did get a fat lip out of the tussle,  which took a week longer than I expected, and in such situations sea-ice gets bumped down my list of priorities, at least for while.


OK, I’m back, so let me see if I can catch up on these maps before the workweek starts. As we begin the low “Fling5zip” os drifting towards Kara Sea, with a decent and normal north flow behind it in Fram Strait, but the low “Malga” in Baffin Bay has a southerly flow ahead of it, and threatens to creat a “wong way” flow from the south in Fram Strait. Between these two storms a ridge of high pressure is developing from the high pressure “Nunu” on the Pacific side and  unnamed Atlantic high pressure I’ll dub “Tick” (which is short for “Atlantic.”)  This high pressure will deflect the storm over Iceland southeast towards the Mediterranean, so we can call it “Norit”, because I’ll ignore it.

DMI3 1026 mslp_latest.big DMI3 1026 temp_latest.big

Here we are seeing Fram5zip reaching the end of the open water, which I believe feeds storms, and reaching the ice-covered waters of the Laptev Sea, which ought fail to feed it. Back in Fram Sreait we see a weak frammerjammer forming, which likely is energy from Malda which survived the morpistication of climbing over Greenland, and is now making a complete confusion of winds in Fram Strait. Therefore call it “Messer”. It is also confusing the establishment of the ridge between Nunu and Tick across the Pole. Malga weakens in Baffin Bay.

DMI3 1027 mslp_latest.big DMI3 1027 temp_latest.big

On this map (below) we see Fling5zip weakening over the closed waters of the Laprev Sea, but a secondary, (Fling5zipson) forming over the open waters of Barents and Kara Seas. Messer is heading due east, rather than north like earlier frammerjammers. Norit has faded southeast from view , but Norit2 has appeared at the southern tip of Greenland. Nunu is strong on the Pacific side, and Tick is strong over Scandinavia. Malga is being reinforsed by energy from the south in Baffin bay.           DMI3 1027B mslp_latest.big DMI3 1027B temp_latest.big

In the next map Fling5zip is much weaker and Fling5zipson is taking over as the big storm north of Siberia, over the open waters of Kara Sea. A long cross-polar fetch extends from East Siberia to northern Scandinavia, and weak Messer is getting sucked into that flow and vanishing south. Marlga and Norit2 are exchanging energies obscenely,  south of Greenland, as a ridge through Fram Strait has finally formed between Nunu and Tick. Nunu is oulling Pacific air through Bering Strait towards the Pole. DMI3 1028 mslp_latest.big DMI3 1028 temp_latest.big

In the map below Fling5zipson is in the Kara Sea, Norit2 is bleeding energy southeast towards the Mediterranean, Malga is mushed along the east coast of Baffin Bay, and the ridge between Nunu and Tick creates complete confusion in Fram Strait. DMI3 1028B mslp_latest.big DMI3 1028B temp_latest.big

In the next map Fling5zipson is running out of open water as it slips east. The cross polar flow mixes milder air from the Pacific with cold air from east Siberia. The flow into Scandinavia is from the north. Malga is attempting to cross over Greenland. Confusion continues in Fram Strait. Norit2 is gone southeast, but Norit3 is brewing a gale southwest of oceland, and the east winds north of it are poling snow up onto Greenland. DMI3 1029 mslp_latest.bigDMI3 1029 temp_latest.big                                Fling5zipson is starting to weaken but loop-de-looping to avoid leaving the Kara Sea’s open water (I imagine). Norit3 can’t penetrate the ridge of high pressure and is loop-de-looping southwest of Iceland. Malga has undergone morphistication, and is now a weak frammerjammer. Scandinavia is starting to have a southerlky flow to the far west as the northerly flow continues to its east. Greenland is having a record increase in “ice volume, likely due to the strong east winds piling Atlantic moisture up 10,000 feet to its icecap..DMI3 1029B mslp_latest.bigDMI3 1029B temp_latest.big                               Fling4zipson and Norit3 continue their respective icclusion loop-de-loops, as Malga creates a weak southerly flow in Fram Strait. The Pacific inflow has ceased. DMI3 1030 mslp_latest.bigDMI3 1030 temp_latest.big                                Both Fling5zipson and Norit3 have weakened, and there is a cross polar ridge between Nunu and Tick, with the west side of the ridge bringing a southerly flow up over much of the north Atlantic, including Feam Strait and western Scandinavia. Malga is moving north to the top of Greenland.                                                      DMI3 1031 mslp_latest.bigDMI3 1031 temp_latest.big                                The cross polar ridge is shifting towards Eurasia, drawing mild Atlantic air north, and feeding both Malga north of Greenland and weak Norit3 wast of Iceland.  DMI3 1031B mslp_latest.bigDMI3 1031B temp_latest.big                                 Norit3 has exploded into a gale, with Malga an appendage to the north, and the cross polar ridge breaking down. The flow in Fram Strait is again confused. DMI3 1101 mslp_latest.bigDMI3 1101 temp_latest.big                                 The flow in Fram Strait is northerly again, as Norit3 heads fie Barents Seaa nd Malga stalls over the Pole. Norit4 is apparently going to try to follow Norit3, which should give Scandinavia a southerly flow and Fram Strait a northerly flow for several days, before the models start showing bizarre solutions I don’t much trust for later this week, involving a southerly flow returning to Fram Strait.                            DMI3 1101B mslp_latest.bigDMI3 1101B temp_latest.big

So far we haven’t seen big gales in the North Sea or the Baltic.

so far there hasn’t been a major flush of ice south in Fram Strait, though the ice is showing signs of cracking up a bit, with areas of “very close ice” becoming merely “close ice.”Fram Ice 1030 general_20151030


On October 24 Faboo drifted slowly northwest, achieving 84.429°N at noon before turning southeast and accelerating to 84.413°N, 7.010°W at the period’s end at 2100Z, which was 3.1 miles SW of where we began. Temperatures fell from  -13.8°C to -24.3°C at 1500Z before moderating slightly. Likely south winds became north winds, but the anemometer and wind vane have ceased to function. Probably they are rimed up with hoarfrost.

On October 25 Faboo continued southwest until it reached 7.149°W at 1500Z, after which movement turned southeast to end the period at 84.326°N, 7.110°W, which was 6.04 miles due south of where we began. The high temperature was -19.7°C at 0300Z, and the low was the coldest we’ve seen so far, -26.6°C at the end of the period.

On October 26 Faboo continued southeast 6.37 miles to 84.239°N, 6.797°W. Temperatures remained very cold, with a low of  -27.0°C at 0300Z and a high of -22.8°C at 1500Z.

On October 27 Faboo kept chugging southeast to 84.170°N, 6.444°W, which was another 5.35 miles towards Fram Strait. Temperatures moderated slightly, from a low of -25.9°C at the start to -18.5°C at 0900Z before falling back to  -23.5° at the end.

On October 28 our southeast progress slowed to 4.09 miles, and we reached 84.117°N, 6.184°W. Temperatures again moderated a little, from -23.5° at the start to -19.0°C at 0600Z before falling back to a low of -26.7°C at the end.

On October 29 we continued slowly southeast until 0300Z, when we achieved 6.139°W and turned southwest, until at noon we’d reached 84.112°N and nudged northwest, concluding the period at 84.123°N, 6.331°W, which was 1.12 miles northwest and 1.12 further  away from Fram Strait. Temperatures reached our coldest yet, -29.1°C at 0300Z when the winds apparently shifted, and then slowly rose to a high of -20.1°C at the end of the period.

On October 30 our “wrong way” drift northwest continued all day, winding us up at 84.147°N, 6.997°W, which was 4.97 miles further from Fram Strait. The winds were likely southeast from the distant Atlantic, as temperatures rose from a low of  -20.1°C at the start to -9.4°C at the end.

On October 31 our “wrong way” drift curved around to normal, as we reached  7.198°W at 0600Z before curving northeast, and 84.182°N at 0900Z before curving southeast, concluding at 84.126°N, 6.980°W, which was 3.34 miles back southeast towards Fram Strait. Temperatures fell as the wind swung around from the high of -9.4°C at the start to -17.8°C at 1500z, before rebounding slightly to -16.9°C at the end.

All things considered, we’ve made some progress, and might actually cross 84°N latitude this week.



On November 1 Faboo continued southeast 5.48 miles, winding up at 84.054°N, 6.652°W. Temperatures sank from -16.9°C to a low of -25.3°C at 0600Z and then slowly clawed back up to -19.1°C at the end of the period. The anemometer and wind vane continue to be frosted into immobility.

On November 2 Faboo slowed to 2.31 miles, drifting southeast to 84.022°N, 6.555°W. Temperatures remained fairly flat, achieving a high of -18.9°C at 0900Z and then abruptly plunging to  -28.3°C at the very end.

Today’s unofficial Mass Balance Buoy report suggests Faboo still hasn’t made is south of 84°N, but temperatures made it below -30°C to -33.77° C.

In the summer a five degree swing in temperature is big news, but once the sun sets the swings seem far larger.


DMI3 1102 mslp_latest.big DMI3 1102 temp_latest.big DMI3 1102B mslp_latest.big DMI3 1102B temp_latest.big

I missed this morning’s maps.

DMI3 1103B mslp_latest.big DMI3 1103B temp_latest.big

Norit3 has weakened greatly in Barents Sea, as has Norit4 down by Iceland, as Malga has remained a weak entity north of Greenland. What is interesting to me is that the influx of mild air, curling up and around the Pole, has seemingly created a center of very cold air; the coldest we’ve seen all autumn. It is like a whirlpool sits atop the earth sucking away heat. It remains a mystery to me, because it doesn’t make sense that when you add heat things get colder.

We may be able to muse upon this phenomenon a while longer, if models are correct and the pattern repeats in various ways. The Canadian JEM model, (available through Weatherbell, via Dr. Ryan Maue’s maps of JEM data),  shows a new swirl of mildness sucked north, surrounding the very cold air, and evetually creating a larger pool of very cold air.

CURRENT MAPWhirlpool 1 cmc_t2m_arctic_1   48 HOUR MAPWhirlpool 2 cmc_t2m_arctic_9  72 HOUR MAP Whirlpool 3 cmc_t2m_arctic_13120 HOUR MAPWhirlpool 4 cmc_t2m_arctic_21 (1)

If this whirlpool forms as the GEM model suggests, it looks to me as if we could see some more “wrong way” winds in Fram Strait. Unfortunately the O-buoy site is off line again, so we can’t check up on what O-buoy 9 is reporting from the Strait, this evening.


Sorry for being slow to update. I’ve been busy, with the little time I have to write, reworking an old “Tundra Blunder” post from August into my new “Microcritters Rule” post.


Faboo has made steady but slow progress southeast.

On November 3 Faboo only made it 1.98 miles southeast, finishing at 83.998°N, 6.405°W. Temperatures were extremely cold, only briefly nudging above -30°C to a high of -28.0°C at 0600Z, and reaching a low of -32.2°C at 1800Z,

On November 4 Faboo sped up, moving 3.42 miles and finishing at 83.966°N, 6.044°W. Temperatures warmed slightly from a low of -31.0°C at midnight to a frigid high of -21.9°C at 1500Z, before starting down again.

On November 5 Faboo accelerated further, moving 5.55 miles and arriving at 83.899°N, 5.621°W, as temperatures again fell, from a high at midnight of -24.1°C to a low at 1500Z of -30.2°C.

We have finally made it south of 84°, however on this date two years ago the buoy site I dubbed “Forkasite” had made it south to 80°, and in gale force winds was moving south 30 miles a day. I remember making a big deal about how long that buoy took to get south of 84°, but Faboo has hung back much more. It also seems toi be experiencing colder temperatures. This may only be because it is over 200 miles further north. Trying to compare Faboo with other buoys is a little like comparing apples with oranges. Here’s the report from 2 years ago:

Two years ago the ice that Forkasite was about to be bashed to pieces in the turmoil of Fram Strait, but this year’s acre of ice is still solid and even starting to thicken. (It take’s a while for surface cold to reach the bottom of sea-ice, just as it would take some time for your pipes to freeze if they were buried four feet down.)

2015D_thick 20151106

What does this mean? I suppose it means that acres and acres of ice that usually would be down in Fram Strait are held back, to the north.


O-buoy 9 has made it down to 78° North, which puts it roughly 100 miles south of where the Forkasite buoy was 2 years ago, though it is closer to the coast of Greenland, at 11°W rather than 4°W. It has yet to see the winds over 40 mph Forkasite saw, (though that may be in the near future). For the most part we have been seeing light winds and very cold temperatures, though there is a hint of warmth in our future at the very end of the temperature graph.

Obuoy 9 1106 temperature-1weekAt the very start of the graph you can see the brief warm-up that occurred with the last “wrong-way” flow. For the most part cold air has been bleeding down the east coast of Greenland, even as Arctic Sea ice has been held back. Most of the sea-ice is home grown, which means the water was open and chilled more (unprotected by ice from the north) before the relatively thin ice formed. That chilled water is likely sinking further north than usual. It is remarkable, to me at least, how variable the areas where water is chilled and (in theory) must sink are. Good luck to anyone attempting to devise a computer model that handles such variety.


O-buoy 14 is the only remaining camera with a lens un-obscured enough, and located far enough south, to give us decent daylight pictures. Here are some pictures from the past three days:Obuoy 14 1104 webcam Obuoy 14 1104B webcam Obuoy 14 1105B webcam Obuoy 14 1106B webcam

The flattened weather-mast to the lower right must be irking someone somewhere, who went through considerable bother to get the mast up there, only to see it flattened. I don’t think it is ours, but the hoarfrost over everything may explain why our anemometer quit a couple days ago . Temperatures have been down touching -30°, but are struggling up to -20°. The ice in the foreground has stopped moving, shifting and grinding, so perhaps we can hope this camera might survive, though I wouldn’t bet on it.


DMI3 1104 mslp_latest.big DMI3 1104 temp_latest.big DMI3 1105 mslp_latest.big DMI3 1105 temp_latest.big DMI3 1106 mslp_latest.big DMI3 1106 temp_latest.big DMI3 1106B mslp_latest.big DMI3 1106B temp_latest.big

A whirlpool continues to sit on top of our planet, sucking in warm air and venting it to outer space, and having something to do with a pool of very cold air north of Greenland. The low “Malga” over the Pole seemingly was revived by the inflow of milder (and likely moister) air. Some models show the low pressure south of Iceland heading straight up to the Pole, and causing chaos in Fram Strait.


Volume 20151107 BPIOMASIceVolumeAnomalyCurrentV2.1


A hat-tip to the blogger “rah” for pointing this out. I’ve been so focused on how open the Barents, Kara and East Siberian Seas are I neglected to reference 2012. How soon we forget.Ectent comparison 2012-2015 Nov 2 testimage.2


DMI3 1107 mslp_latest.big DMI3 1107 temp_latest.big DMI3 1107B mslp_latest.big DMI3 1107B temp_latest.big DMI3 1108 mslp_latest.big DMI3 1108 temp_latest.big


Polar Bear Bleeding polar-bear-radio-collar_cbc-oct-28-2015


DMI3 1108B mslp_latest.big DMI3 1108B temp_latest.big

The whirlpool continues over the Pole, with another plume of mild air spearing up that way even though “Malga” is weaker, atop the Pole. Strong high pressure over Europe has blocked North Atlantic lows, and a low I guess I’ll dub “Crawl” is crawling up the east coast of Greenland, which is as far west as a low can track and still be a North Atlantic low. It is so far west I’d call it a frammerjammer, but it too obviously came from the Atlantic, and wasn’t home grown in Fram Strait. Across the Pole a big storm I’ll call “Crept” has come creeping up towards Bering Strait, (but I have neglected to pay attention to that side of the Pole, and can offer no background to that storm, which looks pretty big.)

Despite the big storms on both the Atlantic and Pacific side,  it doesn’t seem either will charge the Pole. Wahat is left of Malga looks likely to scoot over to the pacific side, but other than that the various sides seem likely to stall.

Over on his always-illuminating blog at Weatherbell Joseph D’Aleo suggests the high pressure over Europe will back up over the Atlantic, and low pressure now forsed far west to Greenland will gain the power to dig right down into Europe. This will be interesting to watch from our northern view, and should bring more normal northerly winds to Fram Strait. At the moment it looks like the very coast of Greenland is getting north winds, but the eastern part of Fram Strait, and across Svalbard and all the way to Finland are getting south winds. Both Faboo and O-buoy 9 are still getting the north winds, though temperatures at O-buoy 9 have risen to freezing and the winds may be just starting to briefly turn south.


On November 6 Faboo continued to accelerate slightly, covering 6.7 miles to the southeast, and finishing at 83.847°N, 4.851°W. Temperatures moderated only slightly, from a low of -29.8°C at midnight to a high of -20.4°C at 1800Z.

On November 7 Faboo slowed down, crossing 3.49 miles SSE and winding up at 83.803°N, 4.619°W. Temperatures crashed below -30°C again, falling from a high at the start of -22.8°C to -30.7°C at 1800Z.

Most of the current southerly flow seems to passing to the east of Faboo, which remains in a pool of extremely cold air. The ice north of Svalbard and Barents Sea is getting shoved north, but Faboo continues to drift southeast.


A glance at the temperature graph tells us some Atlantic air has made it north, and though the buoy hasn’t moved north, it has stopped moving south for the moment.. It also has been pushed a little west, closer to Greenland.Obuoy 9 1108 temperature-1week


Despite the invasions of mild air the DMI temperatures-north-of-80-degrees-latitude graph has touched normal for the first time in over a month. I expect this normalcy will be short lived, as a new rush of mildness is heading north from the Atlantic. Notice how much colder “normal” is than it was a month ago. Normal is now down around -25°C. So be aware, when you hear of temperatures “above normal”, we are are still talking about temperatures cold enough to freeze your socks off.DMI3 1109 meanT_2015

The unaccountably unaccountable can’t count .

It was nearly two decades ago that I first became aware that “new” science was negating “old” science in a way that did not properly refute the data gathered by scientists of “the past”.

For example, the Vikings of Greenland buried their dead in soil that now is permafrost. There is simply no way to dig graves six feet deep in permafrost, without blowtorches or jackhammers, neither of which the Greenland Vikings owned. Furthermore, in the early days of their colony they were able to grow barley for beer, which became impossible later in the four-hundred-plus years Vikings existed as an entity in Greenland. (The evidence for this is husks of barley found in various locations, in sites identified as early sites.) The conclusion that it was obviously far warmer in Greenland a millennium ago is also borne out by other evidence, including casual references in Sagas to Greenland Vikings swimming in waters that now would paralyze a man with hypothermia in less than five minutes.

In other words, scientists of the past had done their homework, and had traveled to God-forsaken landscapes, (or at least Viking-forsaken), and gathered quite a body of evidence it was much warmer a thousand years ago. While one might be able to quibble about one or two items in this body of evidence, to chuck the conclusions en mass would take the gumption of a complete con-artist,  or amazing and stunning new evidence gleaned from field work.

When no amazing and stunning new evidence was provided, and no field work was involved, I could not help but sniff the aroma of a colossal con. It is a smell I know all too much about, for I have lived among poor poets who have been amazing cons, and could get people to pay them for being losers. (It wouldn’t be so bad if they had written good poetry, but, as I said, they were poor poets.)

Originally I simply asked to see the evidence about Greenland Vikings, and to see the field studies, and got the run-around. At best I was directed to papers that had no actual field studies, or IPCC reports that ignored the actual field studies, or I was simply spoken to in a condescending tone. Because I was quite familiar with such run-arounds, (because poor poets like to impress rich widows with tales of how they hobnobbed with Bob Dylan and Joan Bias, and advised Simon and Garfunkel on their lyrics, and are smooth as oiled silk when asked to provide evidence), my suspicion only worsened, and I became more strident in my demands to see the evidence that showed it was not much warmer in Greenland in the year 1000 than it is during our current warm period.

When I finally hit the roof was when the Toronto Star proudly reported the Canadian Steve McIntyre had forced NASA to back down from its attempt to show modern warming was worse than the Dust Bowl. NASA’s adjusted adjustment looked like this:

GISS U.S. Temperatures (deg C) in New Order

Year Old New
1934 1.23 1.25
1998 1.24 1.23
1921 1.12 1.15
2006 1.23 1.13
1931 1.08 1.08
1999 0.94 0.93
1953 0.91 0.90
1990 0.88 0.87
1938 0.85 0.86
1939 0.84 0.85

Here’s the old leaderboard.

Year Old New
1998 1.24 1.23
1934 1.23 1.25
2006 1.23 1.13
1921 1.12 1.15
1931 1.08 1.08
1999 0.94 0.93
1953 0.91 0.90
2001 0.90 0.76
1990 0.88 0.87
1938 0.85 0.86

The reason I hit the roof was because up until this point I did not know “adjusting the data” was even allowed. I mean, when I do my taxes I always have to resist the temptation to “adjust the data”, but don’t adjust my data because it is my understanding that such adjustments are criminal behavior. It has been my experience that the IRS doesn’t give a hoot about “extenuating circumstances”.  (My wife’s father, for tax purposes, listed his daughter as a “partner”, and when he unexpectedly died the IRS didn’t want to hear me say I was unaware of this agreement; I had to pay the old man’s taxes, though we were dirt poor.)

To me, data is data. For over a hundred years countless people had gone to thermometers and taken the temperature, and sent it in to the weather bureau. Undoubtedly there were occasions when certain individuals looked out at foul weather and chose to fudge the data, however more often the individuals involved took fierce pride in their roles, and struggled out through appalling weather with flashlights, and before that lanterns, to squint at thermometers in Stevenson Screens. They were gutsy people. often in rough locals, and the data they gathered may not be perfect down to a hundredth of a degree, but it the best we’ve got.

In order for congress to OK the huge expense of Doplar radar, the weather bureau had to agree to cut back on the expense of hiring so many people to measure the actual temperature. A lot of the folk who had worked long and hard gathering actual data were basically fired, so meteorologists could look at a flickering radar image in some warm and cozy room. More humble meteorologists will confess to you that initially they thought Doplar radar would allow them to track individual thunderstorms like hurricanes, but in actuality they gazed into a seething cauldron of storms appearing and vanishing like bubbles in a boiling stew. The less humble meteorologists liked being cozy, and looking at screens, and never having to go outside when you have a bad cold, and never having to read an actual thermometer.

I myself have often wished I could stay in where it is warm and cozy, but to feed my wife and five kids, and to pay my wife’s father’s IRS debts, I have had to go out and work even when as sick as a dog. I have a sort of code of honor, even if my doctor might disapprove of it. Sneer at it as “Puritan Work Ethic” if you will, but I figure some things are worth suffering for. Therefore it pisses me off royally when I see people altering the raw data, claiming they have some sort of “extenuating circumstances.”

It pisses me off even more when the people “adjusting” are living off the taxes I suffer to pay. (Not that I haven’t been so dirt poor that I have qualified for some bizarre thing called “Earned Income Credit”, which on occasion has given me a refund I certainly don’t deserve, but that is written into the law and the tax code, which constitutes a sort of raw data all its own. I am not breaking any law to obey the tax code.) The people “adjusting” raw data at NASA are suppose to obey higher and more scientific laws.  We pay them to be so adept they can shoot a rocket to Mars and put a lander where it should land, when a mistake of .01 degree could miss the planet by thousands of miles. In fact they have been less than perfect, and had to resort to mid-course-corrections, and that involved “adjustments.” But such “adjustments” involve data: Data says this should be the course and we are off-course that much, if our destination is point X on Mars. Therefore, to arrive at our destination we must adjust Y amount.

No such adjustments are allowed, when you are dealing with thermometers. What is the destination of a thermometer? Thermometers only report what is. However, if for some reason you feel the thermometer should be reporting Global Warming, then maybe your objectivity would be polluted by what kind people call ” bias”, but I call “the temptation to resort to corruption”.

As soon as I saw the above charts of how NASA was “adjusting” temperature I called foul. The reek of corruption was nauseating to me, and I stated the entire concept of “Global Warming” was a fraud. The date? August 8, 2007. I actually got snipped at “denier” sites, because I was too rabid. However the good part of this rejection was I  learned to be more civil, especially because in my research I discovered Steve McIntyre’s site at Climate Audit, which combined humor with civil procedure.

Unfortunately, as eight long years have past, it has become increasingly apparent that the people “adjusting” temperatures at NASA and NOAA  do not believe in civil procedure. Apparently they do not believe in even the United States Constitution. Now, when congress asks for their records, they feel able to tell congress to go get lost.

If their “adjustments” were valid (which I have never felt was possible) then they would be glad to bring proof of their validity before Congress and the American People. However they not only hold Congress in contempt, they hold the American People in contempt.

In other words, they do not believe we are all created equal. They do not believe a poor man should have the same vote as a rich man. Instead they seemingly believe (and I do not understand how anyone could be so idiotic) that their falsified data has more import than Truth.

They must be out of their minds. Even an engineer aged six knows falsified data cannot build a tree-fort that will stay on the branches of the tree where it is built. How can it? Where a thick stick is needed the kid is handed a thin stick, and told it is thick.

This entire “adjustment of temperatures” thing is past being a national embarrassment. It is now international. The United States is the laughing stock of the world.

It is high time we hold the people responsible accountable. After all, “Falsifying Public Documents” is a crime.

It is also high time we ask these liars what they are lying for. What is so worth “adjusting” the best efforts of men and women who recorded temperatures for the rest of us, in out of the way places in all weathers? What is worth defying congress for? What is worth betraying our Founding Fathers and the Constitution for?

They are “adjusting” a lot more than temperature records. They are adjusting the scientific and civil procedures many a young man has died for, because such procedures are the foundations of our freedom.

Ask them. “What is your “adjusting” for?”  In many cases the answer is horribly shallow. They are doing it for filthy lucre, and look no further. However others have some idea of utopia in mind, as they are dishonest. These especially need to be confronted. Ask them to explain the utopia that is worth lying to the American people for.

The best “peer review” was devised by our Forefathers, and inscribed into our constitution with a quill dipped into liquid gold.  It involves ordinary people demanding the privileged to explain themselves.  The leaders must explain the reasons for their policy.

We need to demand NASA and NOAA explain the reasons for their deceit.

LOCAL VIEW —signs and omens—


There are signs and omens all over the place, if you care for such things. I used to care, but have lost interest over the years, largely because I could see little advantage in glimpsing the future. I never got a glimpse clear enough to tell me what stocks to invest in, I suppose. Rather I’d get a vague sense of whether I was in for tough times or easy times, and there was no way to avoid either. Lastly, when tough times did come, they were never as bad as worry made them out to be beforehand, and actually turned out to be the times I brag the most about surviving, when reminiscing. (When I remember the good times it is often with the wistful sense I blew it, in some manner.)

The one time signs are helpful is when you are very discouraged, and in need of an encouraging word. Our fellow man sometimes can be pathetic, when it comes to encouraging us. Even the people trying to be kind will  propose some ridiculous diet or regime of exercise or ask you to contort yourself into yoga poses, when all you really need is a kindly glance. In such situations helpful friends can be downright depressing, and it is then that some sign, some bluebird landing on a nearby branch and singing, can be like a rope to a drowning swimmer.

Of course, if I became dependent on such signs I’d never get going in the morning. I have enough trouble getting started as it is, and if I needed a good omen before I proceeded I’d likely never get out of bed.

There was actually a time when I was young that I did demand life made sense, before I’d proceed, and I wound up very nearly paralyzed. I was deeply involved in the study of psychology, and at the slightest sign my behavior wasn’t adult I’d stop everything and analyse my every twitch. It was a good way to avoid getting a real job, and also acquainted me with the wonders of the subconscious, however in the end I had to get a real job even if life didn’t make sense.

At one point, before I got a real job, I was studying my dreams from every angle I could think of, and had a wonderful revelation. When you study dreams you, in a sense, make every action and every object within the dream be a symbol, and thus a sign. For example, if there is a road in the dream, it may symbolize “being-walked-upon”, (and you might even burst into tears when you have the insight that you feel trodden upon). The problem is that, before you get the first dream figured out, you tend to get tired and go to sleep and have another one. Studying all the symbols can get to be exhausting, and there is definitely no time left to look for a real job.

I had managed to arrange my life, as a young poet, in a way that allowed me to study dreams for days on end. Now I cringe, thinking of all the wasted time, but some good did come out of all the study. For one thing, I don’t waste time so much. I also suppose I understand the subconscious to some degree. However the revelation I wish to describe came after I had an overdose of dream-study, and decided I needed some fresh air, and went for a walk.

Because I’d been spending so much time analyzing objects in dreams, I was in the habit, and found myself analyzing the real objects in the real world as if they were symbols in a dream. I wasn’t trying to do it. In fact I was trying to stop. Yet I couldn’t. There wasn’t a leaf that fell that didn’t have some symbolic meaning. Maybe I didn’t know what the meaning was, but the meaning was there, as loud as thunder. I had wanted life to make sense, but now there was too much meaning, in every twig, in every birdsong, in every face in every passing car. It was a glorious and wonderful revelation, but I felt over my head and wanted it to stop. When it wouldn’t I went and bought a six pack of beer and got ossified, not to get high but rather to come back to earth. Then, when I awoke the next morning with a headache, I wondered why I had run away from the revelation. It was largely gone, though enough lingered to reassure me that life does make sense.

Due to that one event, forty years ago, I don’t scoff at people who gaze at stars, seeking astrological sense, or at teas leaves, or at the lines in palms, or at the entrails of goats. God really is in everything, even in the most dark, deplorable, and dismal situations. That is how the poet Wilford Owen was able to write, from the hideous trenches during World War One, “I too have seen God in mud.”

While I don’t scoff at those who seek to read things, I don’t have the time to follow them. Knowing the future doesn’t matter as much as how you behave when it gets here. The only time I adjust my behavior due to someone seeing the future is when I hear a storm may come, in a weather forecast, (and even then the forecast is often wrong. Also, these days, it is often absurdly sensationalized).

Rather than attempting to figure the Creator out, and know what He is up to, I tend to rest assured He knows what He is doing, even if I don’t particularly like it. This seems to open my eyes to beauty I’d otherwise miss. I don’t particularly like cleaning up after a snowstorm, but that doesn’t mean I can’t lean on my shovel and admire the view.

In this manner I’m able to admire the recent eclipse of the full moon, and the current conjunction of Venus, Jupiter and Mars in the morning sky, without getting all worked up and worried about  what it all means. I can watch the leaves change and fall without getting all worked up about the onset of winter, (though I don’t forget to stack the wood).

The glory of what I call “Sugar Autumn” is ending, as we move into the less brilliant but still  beautiful foliage of “Oak Autumn”. In parts of the woods without oaks, it is starting to be “Under-story Autumn,” where the tall maples have lost their leaves, but the young ones beneath are just starting to change.

Understory Autumn IMG_0813

It seems that the Creator set up the ecosystem around here in a way that gives the young trees a little time to enjoy the sun free from the shade of their elders. The sapling maples  pop their leaves out a week before the taller ones in the spring, and lose their leaves a week after the taller ones in the fall. I’m sure a scientist can explain the reasons for this happening, but it doesn’t take anything away from the fact it is a wonderful design, and does allow the young time to grow, or at least subsist, until the old decide enough is enough and politely remove themselves from the sky by becoming increasingly rotten and the home of woodpeckers, or perhaps becoming firewood.

That is the sort of thing I contemplate, as I gaze upon Creation, and it seems wiser to me to appreciate beauty in this manner than to become worried, and in a sense to get in a fight with Creation. Too many people spend their entire lives avoiding what may never happen, and isn’t all that bad when it does happen. The reasons people give for the lessening of their lives are many, but it still remain a lessening. Some of the best advice I ever got may be the crudest, “Get over it.” For there are many ways to look at the moon.

And then the moon went on, westward through trees
Now bare of leaves, with a glance back towards me
Inviting. How could I follow? What frees
My feet to walk where the moon walks? What plea
Would it hear? All I could do was stand and yearn.

Once in a dream I walked those pearled highways
But for fool’s reasons felt I should return:
My mundane friends frowned on what disobeys.

Now like a grounded dodo I stand sad
As all wear armor and only in dreams
Does one walk nude in public. This world’s mad
And burdened by leaden get-rich-quick schemes.

But the moon’s not burdened. Midst the mad glow
Of cities it beckons those in its shadow.