I just stuck that title in for this post as “Click Bait.” I figure it would get more “hits” than the title, “Quiet Times at Pole.”

The lack of a true “Gustogale” this August has left the sea-ice far less ripped-apart than last year, when we had two such storms.  (2016 to left, 2017 to right.)


Though we did have a couple small gales early in August, we need a big monster if we are going to compare apples with apples, in terms of sea-ice. If things remain calm it is not really fair to compare this year to last year.

I actually want an “Gustagale”, with howling winds and pressure below 970 mb, because of a private curiosity about whether the ice will fail to melt as much as it did in last year’s storms. This would mimic how 2013’s gale failed to melt ice like the gale of 2012, and support my pet theories.

However if I have learned one thing, it is that the Arctic is under no orders to support me and my pet theories. It obeys a higher Ruler. Therefore it seems wiser if I become humble,  and study what is given, rather than attempting to compare apples with oranges.

One pet theory of Alarmists is getting messed up by the quiet arctic. Last fall, when sea-ice “extent” refused to shrink in a manner that supported their idea that Global Warming was melting all sea-ice away, they shifted to sea-ice “volume.” The New-Meme was that, even though the ice had the same “extent”, it was thinner, and this meant the “volume” was wasting away towards the dreamed-of Pole with no sea-ice.  But the quiet at the Pole means the thickness of the ice hasn’t been smashed and sloshed by big storms, and this is increasing the “volume.” (This year’s Volume is graphed as black line, in graph to upper right of illustration below.)

DMI4 0821 CICE_combine_thick_SM_EN_20170820

I suppose I should point out to Alarmists, especially the ones who treated me like an imbecile for not accepting the New-Meme last spring, that “volume” has failed to shrink and has actually grown. I should find some witty and articulate way of saying “neener-neener-neener.”

But that is a waste of time. Of course the ice will be thicker, if it isn’t pounded to slush by a Gustogale.

I have always argued the “volume” calculations are full of challenges.  They depend on “thickness” calculations, and look at the differences between the NRL (left) calculations and the DMI (right) calculations.

Compare the ice poking south towards the waters northeast of Wrangle Island (towards East Siberia) in the two maps. There are places where the DMI map has ice four feet thicker than the NRL map. Add to that discrepancy the simple fact that, back when we had actual cameras drifting about in the Arctic Sea, we saw ice in waters that both maps showed as “ice free.”

Just to show the difficulty involved in “averaging” thickness, look at the view we get from our lone surviving camera, O-buoy 14, today:

Obuoy 14 0821 webcam

Take note of the biggest berg, up to the right horizon. It is not a big, calved chunk of glacier, but rather a remnant of a “pressure ridge”,  and made of many smashed-together chunks of three-foot-thick ice. It extends downward nine times as far as we see extending upwards. And most importantly, it is utterly invisible to the satellites which are attempting to determine an “average thickness” of the ice. Lastly, the satellites must pierce through the cloud-cover with microwaves, and microwave radar has a hard time differentiating between the open water in the foreground and the puddles of water on top of the ice in the foreground. In other words, the “thickness”maps are full of flaws, and this makes the “volume” graphs be fairly gross estimations.

They were gross estimations when Alarmists chose to make them the “New-Meme” last spring, and they remain gross estimations even when they now make the Alarmists blush sheepishly. They are worthy, as gross estimations, but other things are more interesting, (to me at least.)

Of greater interest is what I’ve dubbed “Ralph”, which is persistent low pressure at the Pole. When you look at the actual maps the individual “Ralphs” come and go. They have recently been flabby and nothing like last year’s Gustagales. For example, the current map shows the last “Ralph” has faded towards Canada, but a new incarnation has appeared on the Siberian side.

Although these lows are weak and flabby, if you look at animations of the cloud-shots of the Pole you witness clouds circle the Pole in a counterclockwise manner, as if low pressure was constantly centered on the Pole. Anomaly pressure-maps show the pressure over the Pole as been consistently and dramatically below normal.

In order for such low pressure to survive it must be fed by “feeder bands” of moist and mild air from the south. The above temperature map suggests a current Atlantic feeder-band entering north of Greenland, and another working north from central Siberia, (but misses the big surge that recently spilled north through the Canadian Archipelago.)

Low pressure at the Pole effects weather to the south. It not only effects the development of North Atlantic gales, but of Caribbean hurricanes.  However “Ralph” is also effected by conditions to the south, which can increase or decrease the power of its “feeder-bands”.

The greatest power to the south is the vastness of the Pacific, and the Pacific has been driving forecasters nuts. After the last super El-Nino a strong La Nina was expected, but it was weak and short and gave way to what looked like the start of another El Nino. But no sooner had models started to suggest another El Nino might be in the cards, when the Pacific plunged into La Nina territory.

2017 La Nina threat Screen_Shot_2017_08_21_at_10_28_37_AM


The reason I pay attention to the Pacific is because, in a “lagged” way, the Pacific seems to effect “Ralph’s” “feeder bands.” I have the idea that, if a big La Nina got going, “Ralph” might vanish altogether, for a while.

In any case, I have explained elsewhere the reasons why I think the Pacific’s odd behavior is caused by the “Quiet Sun” (and not CO2). In essence, my idea thinks the Quiet Sun should make the Pacific warmer, at first. This clashes with the Arctic, which the Quiet Sun should make colder, (during the summer, when the sun shines.) This clash between the cold Pole and warm tropics is what feeds Ralph.

This theory will be ruined by a cold La Nina developing in the Pacific. Bother!  But, like I said earlier, the Arctic is under no orders to support me and my pet theories.

For the moment we are perhaps seeing the last lagged effects of last summer’s mini-El Nino,  and getting a surge of milder air up to the Pole to feed Ralph. The average temperatures are above normal for the first time since early May.

DMI4 0821 meanT_2017

This is a little like last year, but things could change if the Pacific turns cold.

The crews of Pen Hadow’s expedition suffered awful sea-sickness getting through Bering Strait, but now are starting to recover as they head north for the edge of the ice. They are up to 75° north, without finding ice, but they must be getting close, for the gulls are plentiful and feeding.

Arctic Gulls 20915098_1882419045118407_2255152088813664108_n

Stay tuned.

LOCAL VIEW –The Value of the Cantankerous–

I am becoming one of those old codgers who does not much want to adapt. It was hard enough to stop writing with a pen, and get a word processor, but even when I do try to be “modern”, I am on the low side of the learning-curve. By the time I have finally figured out how to use the latest gadget, it is already outdated. Then I have to put up with some juvenile looking at my computer, and saying, in an unnecessarily haughty manner, “Oh, you are still using one of those?”

It is for this reason I have stated that I would rather work on becoming what I call “a cantankerous anachronism”. Back when the automobile was invented there were apparently old men who sneered at the new invention, and said, “Get a horse.” I want to be the modern version. When young men, wet behind the ears, get haughty with me, I want to tell them, “Get a pen.”

Apparently, during World War Two, in certain places, there simply was no available fuel for cars, and for a time people had to go back to using horses. The young were utterly hapless, for they had no idea what to do. The old men were in their glory.

It might happen again, and I might be in my glory, showing the young how to use this thing called, “a fountain pen.”

But I don’t count on it. Life is a fresh breeze, fully of newness, and the dust gets blown away. I am of the Yankee, an outdated people, eradicated by progress. I should be a good sport about stepping aside.

The thing that makes me cantankerous is that the young, wise in their way, are such imbeciles about things that do not change, and that they perhaps should ask their elders about.

For example, take the subject of sex and drugs. My generation felt the preceding generation new nothing, but they did. Now I face a generation who thinks I don’t know, but I do.

I am fortunate because I did listen to cantankerous anachronisms. Not that I took their advice. Just because an elder has been a fool should not deprive me of my right to be a fool. (Especially when it comes to sex.) But later on I could say, “That old geezer knew what he was talking about.”

I am also lucky because the men in my family tree became fathers late in life. Some families can squeeze five generations into a century, but in my family we fit only two in the nineteenth century, and, in the case of my oldest brother, only two generations happened in the twentieth century as well. He has a son, born in the twenty-first century, who can say, “My Great-great-grandfather was born in 1850, and wanted to enlist in the Civil War as a drummer boy”.  Meanwhile my grandson was held in the arms of his great-great-grandfather(on my wife’s side), who was born in 1917.

My own Great-great-grandfather was born in 1797. Think of the expanse of time involved! My Grandfather could not only talk about how his Dad experienced the Civil War, but could talk about how his Dad remembered his Grandfather complaining about how the young just didn’t understand what mattered when the USA was only two decades old!

Then just imagine me meeting a twenty-five-year-old history teacher at my children’s school, who thinks I don’t know a thing about history, because I have never been to collage.

Any wonder I might choose to be cantankerous?

What bothers me most about young teachers is that they seem to never put themselves in the shoes of the people they talk about. Their talk often belittles and scorns. But they could never do what the people they describe did. “They who cannot do, teach.”

Personally I don’t think anyone under age fifty should be allowed to be a teacher of anything but simple grammar and arithmetic. History? To have a young person teach History is like having a ten-year-old girl teach of breast-feeding.

To teach history you must have an acquaintance with the people who made it. I have toiled the soil with the farmers, but even if you lack the luck of such toil you should have at least become acquainted with farmers. I have sailed the waters with the fishermen, but even if you lack that luck you should have at least become acquainted with such seafarers. I have brought livestock I cared for to be slaughtered, and have looked my hamburger in the eye before eating. If I become a vegetarian it will be because of that.  However many who claim they have a right to teach (and that I do not have the right) have not become acquainted with the food on their table. “They who cannot do, teach.” But you must have an acquaintance with those who do do, if you are to teach.

New England is no tropical paradise, and people have had to be tough to scratch a living from its landscape. I learned something of what I know the hard way, because I didn’t listen to my elders, however I also did listen to cantankerous anachronisms of the past.

I have learned what the Abernaki learned, before they were reduced to an echo. I have learned what the Yankee learned, before they too were reduced.

To learn what I know you don’t have to be Abernaki, or Yankee. But you must not be “Progressive.”

Why not? Because Progressives are too busy updating, to heed cantankerous anachronisms like myself.

NON-LOCAL-VIEW –Oregon Fires–

My younger brother has been posting some unnerving pictures on Facebook of one of the many fires in Oregon. So far he hasn’t posted any pictures of actual fire, but does give a clear idea of the threat people feel.

Here is his house at 2:30 in the afternoon, with the exterior lighting automatically clicking on.

Oni 1 21032729_10210115649022908_5743159572075740397_n

Here are burned leaves he notes falling from the sky.

Oni 2 20953355_10210116073913530_899221993905687934_n

And here is the notice he gets served.

Oni 3 20915636_10210116251757976_2592784832343092060_n

Personally I am praying for my brother, because I am selfish. I am even praying for a materiel object, his house, because he built it by hand and it involved amazing effort. However he is not alone, nor is this fire the only fire.

Nor is it only the people who live there who are involved. The traffic would be bad enough if it just involved the locals. But an amazing 200,000 have come to Oregon to view the total eclipse. Now they must turn tail and flee fire.

If you happen to believe in the power of prayer, I think this may be a situation worthy of stopping what we, who are safe, are doing, and praying for those we don’t know.

A RAVE — Prophecy From a Self-Destructive Culture–

One odd thing I have noted is that the people who give the most lip-service to the idea of human “diversity” tend to be Satan’s agents, when it comes to destroying diversity. This occurs because, even though they claim to support “minorities”, they stand firmly against that which makes a minority prosper, which is “patriotic pride”.

I believe God created us each with unique gifts. Just as our fingerprints are unique we each have God-given weirdness. We are all created equal, because we are all equally bizarre. There is no one on earth quite like you. You possess some special attribute no one else has, and even if you live in some obscure corner of Creation, without headlines or fanfare, what you have and what you do is important to the Creator’s plan.

The concept called “Satan” or “Maya” or “Ignorance” dislikes this individuality. Though Satan/Maya/Ignorance also was created by the Creator, its power drags against individuality like the Law Of Gravity drags against a dancer. It is a power every artist has felt and fought. It is the the urge for conformity.  It dislikes anything that can be seen as disorder, and, if need be, it wants to bring about order with a whip or a club or, in worst cases, with a death camp’s genocide.

We all like that which is agreeable, but there is a world of difference between agreement, when it involves understanding, and agreement brought about because, if you don’t, you die.

When an artist is successful, what he or she does is to bring forth some unspoken Truth that others recognize. People say, “I thought/saw/felt that, but never said it.” People were kept from speaking by the powers of conformity, until someone else had the guts to speak.  People then find it very agreeable to have an unspoken thought/vision/feeling agreed with, because true understanding is involved.

The power resisting an artist is the power that puts order ahead of true diversity and individuality, the power of conformity.  It entices the weak-minded into swiftly agreeing, so they might look wise. It is the backbone of “political correctness.” In many ways it is a kindly aspect of humanity, and explains why people agree to conform to ludicrous fashions, in order to “fit in.” (If you don’t think the outfits you wear [or your tattoos or your piercings] are ludicrous, and will be called a joke by your grandchildren, then try donning the “cool” outfits of the past. Go to work with Washington’s wig, or Lincoln’s hat.)

It is generous of people to go through the work of “fitting in”. It demonstrates they are willing to make an effort to be agreeable to others. However at some point one should ask themselves, “What am I fitting-in to?”

In a worst-case-scenario one is not merely following the flippant fads of fashion, but the fierce evil of a dictator, in which case it takes a lot of courage to not act like everyone else.

Man who didn't heil Hitler download

The man in this picture could not salute Hitler because his wife was Jewish. He (and his wife) paid the absolute price for not being politically correct, (death), but due to their bravery their daughter escaped that hell.

Saint Steven was stoned to death for refusing to be politically correct. Holding the cloaks of the people throwing the rocks, and urging them on, was Saint Paul, (then called Saul), who was completely convinced (at that time) he was correct. He was the ISIS of his time, utterly opposed to Jesus, even to the degree of hunting down Christians and destroying them.

Saul could only become Saint Paul by getting knocked off his high horse. (The revelation that temporarily blinded Paul is where we get that expression, “getting knocked off your high horse.”)

I dare say many politically-correct Americans deeply need to go through a similar “Road to Damascus conversion,” and get knocked off their priggish mopeds.

The problem is that the loyalty involved is a beautiful thing. Being loyal to political correctness is not altogether bad. After all, when Hitler perverted German loyalty, what defied him and defeated him was other people’s loyalty to a different idea.

Unfortunately some, horrified by the slaughters which history has played out, seem to think loyalty itself is to blame. In their efforts to stop the slaughter they slander patriotism. They seemingly feel this would be a better planet if we had no nations, no states, no home town teams to cheer for, and even no Dads that are better than your Dad.

The “business model” for this is McDonald’s. Why have fifty family-owned burger-joints when you could have a cooperate giant? And the simple answer is, “Mac-burgers suck, are unhealthy, and no family sweating, flipping the actual burgers, can subsist on the actual work of the frying, with what MacDonald’s reward them with, in terms of a paycheck.”

However we live in a time when the “business model” wins out. The family-owned burger joint seems stupid, (though the service is superb and the burgers are splendid.) The family-owned farm is equally “unprofitable,” (though that hard life remains the dream of many toiling in cities.)

And the people most fluent in all that the “business model” entails are strangely blind to the fact they are against all that is “family owned.” They are like Saint Paul when he was Saul, insisting they are righteous when they are utterly ignorant. Oh! Forgive the politically-correct, Lord, for they do know not what they have done (and continue to do.)

The most obvious evidence of the ignorant (another word for Satanic) impulses of the politically-correct is the simple fact they claim to support “diversity”, but have destroyed every culture they have touched. They jet-set about talking of “world community” even as they leave ruin in their wake. One decade they make money with oil rigs, and the next decade they make money with solar panels and wind farms, but always what they do is ugly, in terms of anything outside of their greedy pleasure. (I apologize to those who have cared for the poor while working for cooperate giants, and I also concede greedy oil companies are better at helping humanity “sustain” itself than greedy “sustainable” solar panel companies.)

Someone needs to say this, and it might as well be me: We have lived through a horrible destruction of the beauty the Creator created.  I am not talking about landscapes and the stuff you see in National Parks. I am talking about cultures. About the very essence of so-called “diversity.” About humanity.

Back on the first “Earth Day”, back in 1970, everyone thought the “coming destruction” would be due to depleted resources and over-population, and feared 90% of the people on earth would be dead by 2017. But the slaughter happened in a way never expected, and didn’t involve “population.”  And the very people who thought they were avoiding the cataclysm contributed to it. And what is the cataclysm? 90% of the world’s culture is now dead, killed by the very politically-correct people who like to preen themselves by believing they “support diversity.” In truth what they actually support is conformity, and a vast, world-wide MacCulture.

They don’t support diversity.  They actually crucify it. How?  They are unwilling to do the work. Work? Yes, for to “support diversity” you must first support your own culture.

And where does that begin? It begins at home. You must put your spouse first, before your job. Divorce is not an option, and your children? Your job must never come before your child. How many “politically correct” can say they have truly done that? But how many conform to the delusion they “support their family” by putting their job first, even to the degree where their house is completely empty, from 6:30 AM to 5:30 PM. Such echoing abodes aren’t a home, and can’t nurture a culture.

And how dare I say such a thing?

It is because I am a Native American. I am of a tribe despised and ridiculed and oppressed by the “politically-correct”. My tribe is called the “Yankee”.

All over the world people say “Yankee Go Home.” But where is there a nation called “Yankee-land?”  Certainly not in Europe. Yankee are often despised there.

If there is a Yankee-land where Yankee could go home to, it should be here, where I was born, but it is not here. Here the politically-correct rule. As a Yankee I was despised as a child, was despised all my life,  and am despised as an old man. That is why I am an authority on how all the talk about caring about “diversity” is sheer hypocrisy and humbug.

They can’t even care for their own.

They are useless. And their futility is about to be exposed. And their gruesome embarrassment will be hideous!  They who deem themselves the light will abruptly become aware they are made of darkness, and quail back like shadow from a candle in a cave. One Word will be their end.

Hang in there, all you who care more for Truth than political-correctness.

ARCTIC SEA ICE –Gustagales 2–

On his “Science Matters” site Ron Clutz has a wonderful post on Gustagales (which is my word for August Gales at the Pole.)

What is wonderful is an animation he has that shows how such storms can melt a lot of sea-ice in a hurry. For example the great 2012 gale

Gusta 1 arctic-storm-modis-image-27-aug-2012-lg_0

melted a huge amount of ice in a hurry

Gusta 2 2012-storm-2-figure4-350x193

Ron’s animation does a better job of displaying the swift melt. But what few seem to sit down and to calculate is how much heat it takes to melt a cubic foot of ice. Though the temperature of ice and water can be the same, the phase change between solid and liquid sucks up heat, turning it into “latent” heat. (In fact one way I have learned to doubt various “thickness” maps, and the “volume” graphs derived from “thickness”, is because they can show six feet of ice melting away in a day, and that would simply require more heat than is available. Such super-fast melting makes me think melt-water pools are messing up the modeled calculations of thickness.)

Please don’t ask me to be the one to sit down and calculate the heat involved. I confess I spent all my Math classes dreaming out the window. However I did know “a lot” of heat was required to melt so much ice in 2012. In fact I doubted the ice had actually melted, but inquiries to very kind people who did reply to emails convinced me it was actually gone.

This brings us to the 2013 Gustagale. Ryan Maue posted a lovely view of the low-level moisture being sucked into it:

Gusta 3 ryan-maue-polar_dp_storm

It tore at the sea-ice from August 7 to August 11.

Gusta 4 dmi-aug-7-pressure-mslp_latest-bigGusta 5 dmi-aug-8-pressure-mslp_latest-big

Gusta 6 dmi-aug-11-pressure-mslp_latest-big

And though the 2013 storm may have been smaller than the 2012 storm, there was little doubt it completely churned the sea-ice. Tony Heller posted this view of the situation between 120 and 180 degrees after the storm:

Gusta 7 sarelite-arctic-aug-12-index

The thing that impressed me was that the ice was so churned, but did not melt. I tended to taunt Alarmists a bit, asking them why CO2 had become so weak and ineffectual, but to myself I was more serious. Why the heck had the 2012 gale melted ice with such amazing efficiency, and the 2013 gale was such a weakling? The only reason I could see was that the 2012 gale had used up an extraordinary amount of the available heat in the water under the ice, and the water was unable to replenish itself in 12 months, and therefore there was simple no available heat to work with, in 2013.

In the post I linked to, Ron Clutz shows how 2014 was a calmer year, and less ice melted, but when I checked my notes I saw it too had a gale, on August 30.Gusta 8 2013-storm-dmi2-0930-mslp_latest-big

However the gale also failed to melt much ice, as Ron’s superb animation demonstrates. I conclude the Arctic Sea hadn’t yet replenished itself with warmer waters.

However with the passage of 2015, (and perhaps assisted by the development of the super-El Nino),  perhaps the waters were replenished, so that by last summer, 2016, when we had not one but two Gustogales, there was enough southern waters available under the ice to slightly enhance the melting, so we saw ice vanish with those gales.

That brings us to 2017, when we have had two storms which, while they not have been as strong as Gustogales, have had gale force winds and have tortured and smashed the sea-ice, but without the melting (so far) that we saw last year.

To me this suggests we are in a situation similar to 2013, where the available heat has been used up, turned into latent heat by the prior years churning and melting. We should not expect the ice to melt like it did last year.

I will conclude with this observation:  The ideas I am playing with have little to do with a trace gas in the atmosphere. Instead they have everything to do with the surges in the atmosphere that create Gustagales, and the oceanic surges that replenish mild waters under arctic ice.

I think it is high time the governments stop funding scientists who insist trace gases control our weather and our future, and start funding the down-to-earth (largely unrewarded) dudes who are  focused on atmospheric and oceanic  surges which are far more real and far more likely to significantly effect humanity as a whole.

(I know some are hard at work collecting the data that demonstrates how the water-under-the-ice gains and loses its ability-to-melt, and that there are conversations about whether this may occur in a short, four or five year, cycle. I believe these guys deserve the funding.)




ARCTIC SEA ICE –Summer Crack-ups–

At this point in the summer the Alarmist contingent, who are heavily invested in seeing the Arctic ice-free, tends to raise an uproar at any patches of open water seen by the Satellite. This forces me to once again go through my spiel, to educate the uneducated. I actually did this with a certain amount of zest back in 2007, but ten years have gone by, and saying the same thing over and over and over has gotten a bit old.

In any case, in a nutshell the spiel is this:

The Arctic Sea is not an icecap. It is an ocean, and the sea-ice on it is in constant motion, shifted by currents, tides and gales.  Winds are especially prone to tear at the ice and crash it together, for at times a pressure gradient with a fetch of hundreds of miles is replaced by a different gradient with a different fetch of hundreds of miles. Sea-ice moving at differing directions at different speeds either piles up in heaps, (called “pressure ridges”), or pulls apart leaving open water, (called “leads”.) In the winter the open waters swiftly refreeze, but in the summer the patches of open water remain open for a while. Even if no sea-ice melts at all, the open patches tend to grow, for the sea-ice is not as flexible as an accordion. When you crunch it together you can not pull it apart and expect the sea-ice to rebound to its original shape.

For this reason submarines found it possible to surface at the Pole even in May, when sea-ice was at its end-of-winter thickest and had hardly begun its summer melt.

Sub at Pole 1987 3-subs-north-pole-1987

Or in March of 1959

Sub at Pole 1959 download

Or, (if you insist upon this time of year), the meeting of the Skate and the Sea Dragon at the Pole on August 2, 1962.

Sub at Pole 1962 seadragon-and-skate-north-pole-1962

It is somewhat comical to see how zealously Alarmists have tried to deny the leads in sea ice back then. The gatekeepers at Wikipedia are notorious for only including certain notes kept by the captain and crew. For example, describing the Skate’s cruise under sea-ice in 1958, they quote the captain, “Calvert said, “Seldom had the ice seemed so heavy and so thick as it did in the immediate vicinity of the pole. For days we had searched in vain for a suitable opening to surface in.”  The gatekeepers have apparently deleted all attempts to alter the impression generated by this myopic view.

Back in 2000 the late John Daly simply emailed a member of the crew, James E. Hestor, and received this polite response:

the Skate found open water both in the summer and following winter. We surfaced near the North Pole in the winter through thin ice less than 2 feet thick. The ice moves from Alaska to Iceland and the wind and tides causes open water as the ice breaks up. The Ice at the polar ice cap is an average of 6-8 feet thick, but with the wind and tides the ice will crack and open into large polynyas (areas of open water), these areas will refreeze over with thin ice. We had sonar equipment that would find these open or thin areas to come up through, thus limiting any damage to the submarine. The ice would also close in and cover these areas crushing together making large ice ridges both above and below the water. We came up through a very large opening in 1958 that was 1/2 mile long and 200 yards wide. The wind came up and closed the opening within 2 hours. On both trips we were able to find open water. We were not able to surface through ice thicker than 3 feet.”

It is interesting to me that Wikipedia does mention the Skate was able to surface nine times during the 1958 voyage, but never mentions they could not surface through ice thicker than three feet. The intent seems to be to emphasize how thick the ice was back then, and not to give a true picture of the varying nature sea-ice exhibits .

It is interesting that the Sea Dragon in the above picture was the first Submarine to traverse the Northwest Passage, in 1960, and as it reached the western part of Parry Channel they actually used charts prepared by William Parry in 1819 and 1820, as he was the only other ship to have traveled that far. Beyond the point Parry reached they had no idea how shallow the bottom might be, and discovered and charted the depths by sonar.  As the ship continued to the Pole it did not find impressively thick ice, but rather, Wikipedia states,  “The ship surfaced through the thin ice becoming the third submarine to surface at the pole. Members of the crew laid out a softball diamond with the pitcher’s box at the pole where the captain claimed he hit a fly ball at 4:00 pm on Wednesday and it wasn’t caught until 4:00 am on Thursday.”

I don’t wish to get into a quarrel with Alarmists about the thickness of the ice back then. The data is very scant, but my impression is that the ice was actually growing thicker at that time, in a general way, to a peak it reached in 1979. However the important thing I think needs to be admitted by Alarmists involves not so much the thickness of the ice but the nature of the ice. It is far more mobile than most assume, and leads and polynyas of open water have always formed,  especially during the summer months.

This is especially true when the sea-ice is hammered by summer gales, and while the low pressure I call “Ralph” has not yet been an official Gustogale (below 970 mb), it has achieved gale force winds twice in the past two weeks, and areas of open water can be seen from the satellite’s August 13 view: (Pole at lower left corner).

This ice reminds me of 2013, when the Gales did not speed the melt of ice. In 2012 the ice dissolved with stunning rapidity when churned by winds, I suppose because the water under the ice was warmer. In 2013 the ice was churned, but nothing happened, I suppose because the water was not as warm.

The “Arctic Mission” boats apparently finally left Nome, Alaska, today (August 14) and are heading up through the mostly ice-free waters of Bering Strait. At least one gal says she hopes they can make it all the way to the Pole. Judging from the above picture, there is too much ice in the way. However their chief aim is to study wildlife at the edge of the ice, and they’ll likely be seeing a lot of whales at the edge of the ice at 75° north.

Thickness 20170814 Attachment-1


The speed and drift map shows a route north of 80° may open north of the New Siberian Islands, but that is a long way from safe harbors when the refreeze starts.

Speed and Drift 20170814 Attachment-1

High pressure has swung around from the  east west to over Bering Strait, but models show it will not last long, as a weak feeder-band of “Ralph” currently over the New Siberian Islands will follow the high pressure to north of Bering Strait and strengthen.


The last incarnation of “Ralph” is fading north of Greenland, but another “feeder-band” is north of Norway. The models haven’t done well, when it comes to resolving this sort of confused situation. (One way or another, Ralph always prevails.)  In any case, I lack confidence, but not curiosity, about the next ten days.

One interesting thing is the large area of subfreezing temperatures in the arctic. The graph of mean temperatures north of 80° has dipped below freezing early, despite the mild feeder-band seen in the above temperature map, which  extends right to the Pole.

DMI4 0814 meanT_2017

At this point it does not seem we will have an extended surface-melt like we had in 1964, which extended the melt season a week:

DMI4 meanT_1964

But who knows? Maybe we’ll get a last fit of thawing. On a whole, however, surface temperatures do not indicate a thawing planet, at the Pole in the Summer.

I have been thinking up excuses for Alarmists to use for the colder temperatures, and it occurred to me that perhaps thicker ice allows the air above the ice to get warmer than it gets over open water. The ice has exuded most of its salt, so temperatures are at the melting point of fresh water, or 0°C. However the ice-water the ice sloshes in is salt water, and at a temperature around -1.8°C, which would chill the air in contact with it. In other words, open water might lower air temperatures, as long as it was ice water. Only when the water was completely ice-free, (as it is along certain arctic coasts during the summer), could the water significantly warm, and uplift air temperatures.

There, you Alarmists. Don’t say I never do anything for you. (But, of course, admitting this idea is a booby trap that explodes some of your other ideas, but never mind that. Trust me. I’m not like the others.)

This idea popped into my head as O-buoy 14 showed the ice break up south of Parry Channel, right on schedule, today.

Obuoy 14 0814 webcam Yet as soon as the ice broke up the buoy saw temperatures drop two degrees.

Obuoy 14 0814 temperature-1week

This hints at how complex the dynamics are, for the water is actually colder than the ice (and the melt-water pools atop the ice.)

As far as sailing up there, look at the view from the same camera only hours later:

Obuoy 14 0815 webcam

One moment you have clear sailing, but later…not so much.

For this reason I ignore the politics of the people who dare sail up there, and always bow my head and send a few prayers to people like the people on the “Arctic Mission” ships.

The main thing to watch for over the next month is whether the broken-up ice melts swiftly, like in 2012, or hardly at all, like in 2013.

Stay tuned.

ARCTIC SEA ICE –Whaler Gales–

The modern millennial likely would not approve of the life Whaler’s lived, seeing them as back-stabbers, but Whaler’s lived in a society where if you did not produce food, clothing and shelter you would not receive food, clothing and shelter. The choice was quite simple, back then: Work your ass off, or freeze and starve in rags. It was downright Biblical, “For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat.”

Given this choice, men and women in the times Whalers sailed were motivated to do far more than the millennial mentality allows. There were no trophies for “participating,” for life was clearly a matter of life or death. Winning was life, and losing was death, and it was left to the angels in heaven to decide whether the dead got a “participation trophy.”

Not that people back then didn’t believe that certain losers, called “martyrs”, did get a “participation trophy” of far greater value than the plastic objects handed out to modern losers. However it was because they had given the ultimate sacrifice, their own life, so that others might live. Life and living was still the focus, and there was the awareness that in order to give, and be charitable, you must have. And in order to have, you must work your ass off. You must have a life worth living in order to perform the ultimate charity, and give your life away as a martyr.

Millennials seem confused about the basic premise which states one must have something to begin with, in order to be charitable. Some millennials indeed have things completely backwards. Where, in fact, an act of charity leaves one with less materially than one started with (though one may be richer spiritually), millennials feel they should wind up with more materially, if they are charitable. They only “give” because the pay is good; a “non-profit” should be highly lucrative; a “public servant” taxes those he supposedly serves. This colossal ignorance represents a complete redefinition of the word, “charity.”

This can only have occurred because millennials were misguided. Somehow they were misled into thinking you could give without first working your ass off. Perhaps this ignorance began with the ability of governments to reap without sowing, by printing money that didn’t exist. Who knows? I wasn’t there and I refuse to take responsibility for starting it.

I will accepts a certain amount of responsibility for perpetuating the lunacy of thinking charity is profitable. After all, I am a “Child Care Professional”, which means I profit off caring for small children. It is a shameful profession, for little children have no wallets, and to make money off innocents is surely a vile exploitation. The only redeeming factor is that the pay stinks, so I don’t share the shame of those who get filthy rich being “charitable.” However far better was the old ways of the old days, when a mother charged nothing for her milk.

Some of the worst offenders are psychiatrists, who do get filthy rich by helping the troubled. Likely they are aware of the shame involved, for no other adult occupation matches their rate of suicide. However, until they crack up, they like to sit in their stultifying offices and criticize whalers sailing out in the open air. They like to raise their noses and invent fancy words that demonstrate their contempt for honest men working honest jobs. To harpoon a whale is “sadism”, and the suffering of life on the pounding sea is “masochism.”

This only demonstrates their appalling ignorance, for they can have no idea how wonderful the wildness of whaling was, and that the people involved lost fortunes as often as they made them, but chose that life because a Nantucket sleigh-ride was the opposite of stultifying.

Arctic Whalers 2 1000 dpi un framed

Even though it did not always end well.

Arctic Whalers 3 3ae5bc1d-052d-40e0-80c5-83bff1f82e77

In any case, the daring lifestyle of Whalers took them to where whales congregate, and one such place was the edge of the arctic sea-ice.

Arctic Whalers 1 Arctic-Whalers

It is from these men we learn most about how the sea-ice has expanded and contracted in the past. Because whales like to push their limits, (because the edge of the ice hold the richest foods), and because even whales sometimes pushed their limits too far and were trapped in pockets of open water and eventually killed by expanding ice, (because whales cannot breath if they have to swim too great a distance under ice),  whalers were tempted to pursue the whales into compromising situations. Whaling ships were also trapped, and crushed, and crews only survived by hauling lifeboats south over sea-ice to land, or to open water.

Some captains, such as William Scoresby (Junior), kept amazingly scientific and accurate logs, but most captains had no idea we intellectuals-of-the-future would ever wonder what they saw, and bicker about what the sea-ice was like back then.  Their logs are far less scientific, yet we can learn much from them.

For example, in 1871 forty ships sailed north of Bering Strait in June, and proceeded to hunt whale along the coast of Alaska nearly as far as Barrow during July and early August, but then the winds shifted and the ice came crushing south and trapped all but seven of the ships. 1219 lives were on the line.

At this point I suppose certain people of the “vegan” persuasion are clapping their hands in glee. They hate the idea of men stabbing whales in the back, and if you visit their websites you discover their hatred does not frown upon wishing death upon fellow humans, if those humans feed children with meat. Nor would it trouble them much to learn that some captains had their sons and even wives aboard, so the 1219 doomed people included women and children. Certain vegan types basically loathe humanity, preferring beasts, and snicker when true saints weep.  The fact whales also were trapped by the southern surge of sea-ice wouldn’t trouble them much, as it would be well worth the glee of seeing 1219 evil “hunters”die.

Some of these people would also be glad to see so many ships destroyed. Even though they were mass-produced very cheaply in the shipyards of those times, they were worth roughly a million dollars each (in modern dollars), (though you could never build such a ship for a mere million dollars today.) (Each ship must hold a crew of 25.)  In any case, 33 lost ships represented a loss of 33 million dollars for the investors. The vegan mentality claps its hands in glee, for, though some have never made an honest dollar in their lives and dwell in a mother’s basement, they prefer to avoid their own motivations and instead accuse others of “greed”.

The problem with this idea is that, if greed alone was the motivation, many captains would have gotten out when the going was good. Having made their fortune, they would have stayed home. They were well aware of the risks involved. Why should they risk losing a fortune they’d already made? Yet some of the captains involved had made and lost fortunes more than once. This suggests something besides greed was involved. It suggests men might live for something other than profit. It suggests men might rejoice in the sheer challenge of the sea.

Not that some of the “vegan” mindset can comprehend the joy of such danger. A person who loves danger will seldom hide in his mother’s basement, (unless he understands that is a dangerous place for a man to be).

(As a daredevil who has experienced both storms at sea and living in my mother’s basement, I will testify the sea has a beauty and joy which basements utterly lack, and for that reason a basement may be more dangerous. But the basement’s chief danger involves cowardice, while the sea brings out your courage.)

It is the courage of the doomed 1219 that really stands out. They knew, as the sun sank and September chills filled the air, and the ship’s timbers moaned under the stress of the increasing sea-ice, that the sea-ice wasn’t going to miraculously open and allow them to sail to unload cargo at the home port. It wan’t going to be a happy, profitable voyage. It was going to be one of the unprofitable ones they’d heard tales about. From members of the crew. If not the captain himself. So they knew it was time to abandon ship. They lowered the lifeboats, but not to water. The lifeboats went “clunk” on hard sea-ice, and then served as sleds, as 1219 doomed people headed south for land.

1219 made it to land, and then headed southwest along the Alaskan coast, to where the sea-ice didn’t crunch against the coast. And what did they find there? They found the seven smart captains who had escaped the sea-ice. They were the seven winners, and faced a choice of what to do with the 33 losers.

Now, if the seven winners happened to be like some “vegan” I’ve known, then when faced with 33 loser “meat-eaters” in dire danger, they would not lift a finger to help. They’d likely shriek, “Die! Die! Die! For you deserve it, because you are greedy and cruel to whales!”

In actual fact the seven smart captains may have made a choice that the stock-holders far away frowned at.  They dumped the entire profits of their voyages overboard, to make room for the 1219 lives they saved.

The end of the story is that millions of dollars were lost, but not a single life. The 1219 all arrived safely in the sunny south, to bask beneath the palms of Honolulu.

Knowing this, perhaps you can understand why I am less than trustful of those who write a sort of revisionist history, describing Whalers as being wicked, sadistic, greedy men. Surely they were not perfect, but they had a class you seldom see these days.

Consider, if you will, the class displayed by the seven captains who saved 1219. Talk about charity! They could have been rich, but instead chose to be poor and save 1219 lives.

And then consider how different are seven Climate Scientists. They have been nowhere and done nothing, in reality, though they may have jet-setted to Bali and Paris, spending other people’s money to talk nonsense they could have just as well talked (with less expense)  at home. All their adventuring is in a mother’s basement, with the “mother” being the funding of a government which cannot make money, and instead must print it. It is a landscape devoid of the reality where one must actually catch a whale. And, rather than demonstrating sacrifices they themselves must make to save people, they instead utter strident cries that others should sacrifice, so they (and hypothetical future generations) can profit and do “further research”. It is an intellectual world so divorced from catching whales, from hard facts, from food, clothing and shelter, that I can only conclude it is stark madness.

It is perhaps fortunate that I wasted a winter in my mother’s basement long ago, for I know how the mind can stray from reality in such circumstances, inventing excuses for not leaving shelter, concocting elaborate blamings of others for ones own spineless reluctance to go out into the cold. But I got sick of it, and faced a stark dawn where the choice between fresh air and stultification, between sanity and insanity, was blatant. So I stepped out into the cold, and discovered something that surprised me: Life is a blast. One may not be able to sign up to crew on a whaling ship any more, but there is plenty of fresh air out there, if one only leaves the basement.

Perhaps there are now simply fewer opportunities for millennials to work meaningful jobs, where they can see they actually produce food, clothing and shelter. A lone man in a tractor can now do the farming and produce the food which once would have taken hundreds, if not thousands, of toiling farmers to produce. Robots now do the tedious toil, but should not this allow people to be poets? To study Truth? Instead many just become nasty, and disingenuous, and more prone to con-artistry than to art.

It is for this reason I distrust ideas that seem to be produced in a setting like a Mom’s basement, and have a greater trust of ideas that seem from the decks of ships at sea. I am skeptical of data from models, and more interested the raw facts from “field studies”. And this is most especially true when the maps and graphs produced by professors in cozy offices differ significantly from what is shown, (often without comment) by their interns out on the ice. Or by the floating cameras out on the ice. Or by the adventurers out on the ice. Or by the historical records of Whalers who sailed long ago, and never dreamed a society could exist that is in the state ours is in.

This at long last brings me back to the topic of sea-ice, and the fact one can compare computer-generated ideas of what the sea-ice was like, back before we had satellite pictures, with the records kept by sailors. One discovers the two views disagree. Ships were sailing where the computer-generated maps state they could not have sailed. After all, William Parry observed a sailing ship could be brought to a halt by as little as an inch of sea-ice, unless there was a strong following wind. The people back then were not aboard icebreakers that smash through six feet of ice with impunity. Therefore their reports of open water are not “modeled”, but based on actual fact.

Even the old Danish sea-ice maps, which are decent regarding where the sea-ice lay on the European side of the Pole, tend to overdo the historical amount of sea-ice on the Pacific side. The old Eskimo (Inuit) spoke of whaling every year along the same coasts the Danish maps show as being gripped by ice. One surmises the Danes were just guessing, but the Eskimo, (perhaps the most gutsy whalers of all), not only spoke from experience, but their very survival was staked on there being open water. (One reason the Inuit replaced an earlier people called the “Dorset Culture” may be because the Inuit could hunt from kayaks while the Dorset required sea-ice, which in turn suggests times of thicker ice was advantageous to an earlier people, but losing that ice (perhaps during the Medieval Warm Period) put them at a disadvantage.)

The computer models, for some reason, show more sea-ice in the past than the Danes and Inuit reported. To me it seems the modelers have been so eager to demonstrate that sea-ice is decreasing, and in a “death spiral”, that they ignored the eyewitnesses, and the models became an example of “garbage in, garbage out.”

To get around such bias I have always preferred the eyewitnesses, whether they be Eskimos, Whalers, Explorers, O-buoys, Satellite pictures, or modern adventures sailing those waters.

The modern adventurers often are full of zeal, when it comes to promoting the idea that sea-ice is in a “death spiral”,  but that never bothers me, for they can talk the talk, but they also walk they walk. Often they inadvertently share a picture worth far more than a thousand words, for they share pictures of persisting sea-ice, even while agonizing about an ice-free Pole.

I am of the opinion that the Arctic Sea was at times ice-free, or nearly ice-free, as recently as the Medieval Warm Period. Though sea-ice has increased since then, it has not done so in a steady fashion, and the reports of whalers like William Scoresby seem to suggest there was one summer, around 1817, where there was less ice up in the Arctic Sea, on the Atlantic side, than we have ever seen, during our Modern Climate Optimum.

This pits me against some computer models, and it also, (to those who have great faith in those models), makes my observations seem a sort of heresy.  I try to point out that the models do not match the historical record, but some simply refuse to hear such a possibility can even exist.

I also try to point out that a return to the relatively sea-ice-free summer conditions of the Medieval Warm Period would be good for humanity,  but this also seems like sacrilege to those who think a decrease of sea-ice signifies doom.

In the end time will tell. I just watch what happens, and rue the fact we have so few cameras this year, (for the funding of eye-witness views seems to be greatly decreased).

Because we have so few cameras I am thrilled that a group of sailors, calling themselves “Arctic Mission”, are thinking of attempting to sail several boats north as far as they can:

These are fellows following in the footsteps of the whalers of Yore, and testing the limits of the edge of the ice. I am not particularly concerned about their politics, (one fellow suggests there may be less sea-ice this year than any summer in 120,000 years), because Truth is better than politics, and these fellow will report the Truth.

A slight problem has occurred, as Truth doesn’t always involve fair weather. They were planning to have left Nome, Alaska by now, and to have headed up through Bering Strait, but rather than the summertime calms they expected, there have been gales in Bering Strait. So they are delayed.

Hmm. Is it just me, or is there some irony in the fact that in 1871 forty whaling ships made it north of Bering Strait in June, but these guys are delayed in August?

But I will not deny these fellows have guts to be attempting what they are attempting. They have not the vegan-mentality that stays at home. I’m a little worried they may get trapped up there. But they will give us eye-witness accounts of what the sea-ice is up to, and I personally value that more than any model.

In terms of weather, “Ralph” continues to storm up at the Pole, but high pressure pumped up over Siberia may be swung around to Bering Strait and give “Arctic Mission” some sunny sailing.

Subfreezing temperatures are becoming more common.

DMI4 0811 meanT_2017

Waters are open north of Bering Strait, but “Arctic Mission” should start meeting sea-ice at around 75° north latitude. (For some reason NRL hasn’t updated its maps for three days.)

Thickness 20170811 Attachment-1

Our lone camera shows the thaw has resumed after a sharp freeze, south of Parry Channel. The melt-water pools briefly skimmed with ice, but now are again expanding. Much of the melting now comes from beneath, and the ice should soon break up even if a freeze occurs above the ice.

Obuoy 14 0811 webcam

Stay tuned (even if hurricanes to the south get more interesting.)