Now is when the blush of twilight is growing at the Pole, and temperatures up there start to rise, fostering the illusion it is warming when it is still bitter cold. (The rise, at first, is from -30°C to -25°C). The Pole continues to squander the planet’s heat.

How is the warming an illusion? Perhaps it is best explained by an analogy.

Suppose your car was headed towards a brick wall, and you applied the brakes. The speed at which approached the wall would decrease, and you could produce a graph that showed the rate at which you approached the wall was rising towards zero, but you would still see considerable damage to your car (and the bricks) if you took your foot off the brake.

In like manner, a considerable amount of freezing is still occurring at the Pole, and a considerable amount of heat is being lost to space, though spring “warming” is occurring. This will be especially obvious when we start to get reports from up there, as they start to ready the Barneo scientific base, military post, and tourist trap in March. Though “warmer”, the sea-water still freezes when they chop holes.

(By the way, those of you who want to do my wife a favor by sending me to the North Pole will be sad to learn the price has nearly doubled.)

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Besides traveling up there to see for yourself, another way to envision how the Pole continues to lose heat despite springtime “warming” is to pump a huge amount of above-normal temperatures up there, and see if the spring “warming” warms it, or if it loses heat. I was going to do this, but, just before I brought six billion party-balloons of air to the Pole, nature did it for me, and I was able to skip the bother.

Back in mid-February the air atop the earth shifted south and west in Siberia (“The Beast From the East”) at the same time it shifted south and east in Canada, (a little-noticed outbreak of arctic air into the Atlantic south of Greenland), and these two movements created a vacuum between them, and into that vacuum rushed air from both the Pacific and Atlantic, and temperatures rose to 25-30 degrees above normal at the Pole. But what then happened to that air? Did it remain at the levels it was at? Were those temperatures nudged further upwards by springtime “warming”? The DMI temperature graph tells the story:

DMI5 0314 meanT_2018

This “plunge” in temperatures didn’t occur because the imported air was exported south again, but rather because all that imported air was chilled 20 degrees over the course of two weeks. The Pole actually is now at the coldest temperature it has been all winter, despite the imports of huge amounts of maritime air. As this air chilled it grew heavier and sank, pressing down and creating high pressure.

The high pressure at the Pole is the closest I’ve come to redemption for my utterly botched forecast, which was for a “zonal” situation to lock the cold air up at the Pole so we could have an earlier spring. (To bottom-left in sketch below.) However, having been embarrassed once, I have my guard up, and I’m on the look-out for a “Ralpheena” situation, which led to arctic outbreaks. (To bottom-right in sketch below.)

Ralpheena FullSizeRender

What the “plunge” means is that the Pole has built up a supply of cold. What it will do with that cold remains to be seen. So let’s look at the maps and see if we get any hints.

When we last looked, a very weak version of “Ralpheena” was seen, with weak Atlantic imports forming a weak “Ralph” north of Greenland, and weak Pacific imports forming a weak “Hula Ralph” north of Alaska.


The weak Atlantic and Pacific imports never establish themselves, in the manner they did in February. We are left with a unsatisfactory hybrid, sort of half-way between “zonal” and “Ralpheena.”

(I’ll add the intervening maps later. They are on my old laptop, which is elsewhere.)

Leaping ahead, we arrive at the current situation, which is a continuation of the unsatisfactory hybrid. However, to soothe my damaged ego, I think I’ll call it “zonal”. That way I can say my botched forecast did “verify”, (although it was tardy in verifying).  (But now, just you watch. As soon as I say something the weather has a way of hitting me in the face with a pie. )

One thing I’m noting is that slight Atlantic inflow is nudging towards the Pole. In February that bumped the cold down into Siberia and created the “Beast From the East.” So I’m watching for any sort of repeat of that situation in Eurasia.

For the moment the cold is to some degree “locked up” at the Pole, but is a reality we should be wary about.

In terms of sea-ice, the extent graph continues to show low levels.

DMI5 0314 osisaf_nh_iceextent_daily_5years_en

With the cold locked up at the Pole, the sea-ice in the Central Arctic will continue to be thicker than last year, which will make the “volume” graph higher than last year (and higher than 2008, in the PIOMAS graph.) However Alarmists will take some solace in the above extent graph, and ignore the “thickness” and “volume” information below.

I tend to be interested in the “extent” graph this time of year not because it teaches us much about the Central Arctic, but rather because of what it teaches us about the edges of the sea-ice, which are outside the Arctic Sea, in the Atlantic and Pacific.

One thing to watch for, is to see if we have a late peak in the “extent” graph. This is a phenomenon we’ve seen in recent years.

Notice the abrupt rise in the “volume” graph below. It surprises me a little, and puts us well above the past two years. Do you suppose it is due to the cold being “locked in” over the Pole, and the Plunge?

DMI5 0314 CICE_combine_thick_SM_EN_20180314

There are many interesting details I’m planning to comment on, but it will have to wait until I’m done my taxes.

Stay Tuned.


LOCAL VIEW –Third Gale–

I take a certain pride in keeping our Childcare open no matter how bad the weather is. In ten years we have only closed once, and that was only because an ice-storm completely blocked the roads in town with fallen limbs and entire trees. Even then, I clambered over the mess and was at the farm. There was no power, but you never know how desperate parents may be to drop off their screaming kids. There was no power for nearly two weeks after that terrible storm, but we were open a day later, and a kid did get dropped off. I had to haul water to flush the toilet, and we heated with wood, but that parent worked in a hospital, and I took a certain pride in being able to watch her child as she cared for the ill and wounded. I got an old generator running, and on the second day we watched three children, as people were very busy getting fallen trees cut up and roads cleared. And it continued on from there.

It doesn’t seem that big a deal to me. After all, a farm is a farm. Animals need water and food, and you need to be there. There are always things going wrong, because animals are animals, and you learn to respond quickly to a pig in the neighbor’s roses because it busted through a fence, or what have you. Childcare is just a logical extension of continual chaos.

The government, and also the insurance companies, do not approve.  They wish to regulate, and dream up all sorts of regulations which they claim will make us all safer, but which make life harder and harder. In my humble opinion, dealing with a three-hundred-pound, renegade pig is nothing, and dealing with a crippling ice-storm is child’s play, compared to dealing with the political hogs that do not seem to have much interest in serving us, but instead want to rule us.

Mother Nature tends to laugh at them. They can buy all the carbon-credits they want, but she obeys God’s laws. Their laws are about as effective as throwing a virgin into a volcano, and sometimes equally wasteful. She just goes about her business keeping God’s Creation balanced, and if she listens to any prayers at all, they likely aren’t the appeals of priests and shamans, or the ridiculous attempts of imbeciles to control her by buying curly light bulbs and separating their recycled bottles from their recycled cans,  but rather are the mournful wishes of small children for snow to sled upon. After all, as an archangel Mother Nature is in tune with God, and I have a hunch God has a soft spot for children.

I think a lot of kids have been hoping for snow recently. I have not shared their hopes, for snow means I have to get to the Childcare before dawn to clear the parking lot and walkways. I tend to be drained before they arrive, and then, where they are joyous about sledding, I have to drag them in sleds. It is especially hard around tax-time, when I also have to deal with a slew of government regulations.

I always wonder what happens in heaven when people pray for opposing things. What happens when the farmer prays for rain the same day the the church prays for sunshine on its annual picnic?  Is this what causes tornadoes?

If so, perhaps children praying for snow even as I lift my eyes and beg for rain or drought or oobleck, (anything but snow), may explain why we’ve been slammed by three gales in rapid succession.

Or maybe not. I could offer a meteorological explanation, but some people have hinted they prefer it when my posts avoid that subject. Some flatter me, saying they prefer my poetry, while others are Global Warming Alarmists, who prefer that their belief not be cluttered by facts. In either case, I’m in no mood to annoy them.

The first gale gave people not many miles to our west two feet of heavy, wet snow that stuck to twigs and limbs and brought down trees and knocked out power, while to our east  extreme winds brought coastal flooding and blew down trees and knocked out power, but we were in the sweet spot. We got a windy rain and the lights stayed on. The children wondered why others got all the luck, as I thanked my lucky stars.

The second gale made the children happy, and me grouchy. We got a foot of snow. I had to get to the Childcare early as the children slept late. I needed a rest after that one, and actually did manage to take a weekend off, looking at storm damage at the coast (though I should have been doing my taxes.)

Even before I got back I heard rumors of today’s storm. Another foot was on the way. I inwardly moaned, because I hiked too much taking “time off”. (Funny how even a short vacation exhausts even as if refreshes.) But then something odd happened. The first storm seemed to answer my prayers, and the second storm seemed to answer the children’s prayer, but this third storm answered both of our prayers.

I think this coincidence occurred because the government, in its power-mad desire to control and regulate the behavior of the general public, (whom it degrades by thinking the public is incapable of taking care of itself), got a little freaked out by some of the scenarios the weather bureau’s computer-model was printing out. ( The model prints out fifty, and then the “people in charge” usually chose the “average” of all fifty. But sometimes a group of the options are so scary that, even though other options suggest other scenarios, the scary options seem to demand recognition. Yesterday many of the options suggested a strip of the New England coast would get two or three feet of snow whipped by 65 mph winds. [61 to 91 cm  of snow with 105 kn winds].


Now, if you think the public is incapable of taking care of itself, then you take the blame if a bunch of them get killed by a bad storm. Therefore a system has been devised to warn people of dire danger. This system rates danger “to life and property” as either “severe”, “moderate”, or (get this) “some”. Yesterday the area of “severe” danger was at the coast, sixty miles away. “Moderate” danger was forty miles away. We were at the very edge of an area of “some” danger.  But somehow the presentation was filled with so much hoop-la and hysteria that it freaked parents out. Yesterday parent after parent telephoned to tell us they were keeping their children home. In the end not a child was coming.

Then the storm wasn’t as bad as the more extreme scenarios, (created by the computer model), suggested it might be. However everyone had already decided, and everyone was staying home. There was no reason for me to crawl from bed before dawn and limp over to the Childcare and clear the parking lot and paths. Yippee!  I could sleep late along with all the children!

After I condescended to arise I wanted to go out and take pictures of the storm. After all, it might be worth posting about.

Here is a treacherous hill, (where I had to get off the road each time a grinning teenager, rejoicing over the no-school day, drove by.)

3 Gale 2 29136673_1865280593496476_593933729467592576_n

And here is a picture of branches burdened by the sticky March snow, which never broke and never knocked out power.

3 Gale 4 29136190_1865280583496477_5876599580472675253_n

The footprints in the above picture were made by my dog, who insisted upon ruining the pristine snow-scapes I attempted to photograph, by running in front of me, whichever way I faced, and messing up the smooth snow with footprints.

In case you think I was cruel to drag the poor dog out into a life-threatening blizzard, I assure you the dog insisted on coming, and also assure you the dog is a wimp and would make it quite clear if it was the slightest bit uncomfortable. Rather than hinting we should go home, the beast urged me to go further.

3 Gale 1 29196635_1865274303497105_641937703151714463_n

All in all, the storm didn’t seem all that bad to me. When I did get around to clearing the parking lots and paths, as the light faded at the end of the day, and the snow slackened, my best guess was that we got 14 inches. The winds, which I’d call more of a strong breeze than a gale, drifted the snow to 18 inches in some places, while eroding the depth to 10 inches in others. The cold wasn’t bad; barely below freezing. No big deal, this far north, in these hills.

In conclusion, what the government succeeded in doing, by assuming the public can’t think for itself, was to take an event that would have been inconvenient, and likely would have reduced production by 50%, and turned it into a 100% reduction of production.

This is all well and good, if you can afford to laze in bed, or wander in the snow and take artsy pictures. However we can’t all afford to be so relaxed. There is something tapping our shoulders when governments become too socialistic, and this something is whispering that our farmer ancestors were wiser. They knew you still had to feed the livestock, blizzard or no blizzard. And the ill and wounded must be cared for in hospitals, blizzard or no blizzard. And some must plow the roads, and some must mend the fallen wires, blizzard or no blizzard. Life goes on, blizzard or no blizzard. Or even, dare I say it, government or no government.

Some like to talk about the “precautionary principle”, wherein we respond to what amounts to a worst case scenario. Many who want to respond to Global Warming are of this camp. To me the precautionary principle seems, at times, to reduce humanity’s potential to a lowest common denominator. It explains why socialism so often is counter-productive, and can lead to nightmares like Venezuela’s. I myself prefer to think better than the worst of my fellow man. Sure, we all have flaws, and on bad days we can behave disgracefully, but we shouldn’t base our lives on our worst. When pressed, we are also capable of better. And Mother Nature isn’t a monster who intends to make us all quail, but rather is a drill sergeant, who kicks us in the butt and makes us surprise ourselves with what we are capable of.

Therefore, though I intended to get through this post without boring those who disdain meteorology, I will post a map of the big gale that, like other big gales of the past, gave us over a foot of snow. It is the Truth, nothing more and nothing less. It is a snapshot of Mother Nature, mysterious to all, and not the exclusive property of the government.

20180313E satsfc

I am aware some will protest that I belittle the government too much, and will point out the above map is in fact made available by the government. My response is that the above map supplies the facts, the current situation. It doesn’t tell us how to interpret the facts. It does not seek to regulate how we respond. It is up to us, as a free people, to look at the given, and forecast for ourselves. And yes, we will listen to those with more experience, when they forecast, but in the end we are responsible for our own actions. If everyone stays home from work, and nothing is accomplished, everyone is responsible for their individual choice. If no one plants, we all starve together, as they are learning in Venezuela.

Some will say I mock the burden authority bears, and will say Global Warming is a forecast bigger than a blown forecast of a snowstorm. I see no difference, and feel some have an overblown sense of responsibility. Today’s snowstorm “might” have been worse, and thousands “might” have died. However thousands “might” have died even if they stayed home. The caprice of Mother Nature is legendary. Those who think they have dotted every “i” and crossed every “t” may discover their abode is in the shadow of a Vesuvius, and is named Pompeii. Or they may be in Japan when a huge tsunami hits. But just because the worst is possible, we can’t hide under our beds because that is the only safe place.

All I can state is what I’ve seen, and I am no whippersnapper. Over and over I’ve found beauty in unlikely situations, where I only expected crap. When I was young this was perhaps more obvious, because hitchhiking was more commonplace, and you could be walking down a road in cold rain one moment, hanging out your thumb, and the next moment you were in a warm car bound for a sunnier place a hundred miles away.

Still, some say those days are past. The present tense is the “worst”. This “worst” is the reality, and I should wake up and see the gravity of the situation. So I try. In today’s horrible storm, where people kept their children home, I sallied forth to plum the gravity of the situation, seeking to snap pictures of how grave it was. But I kept failing. Instead I saw how beautiful it was. Until finally I succeeded. I finally obeyed those who claim I don’t see the gravity of a storm, and found something grave to photograph.

3 Gale 3 29178108_1865280586829810_3202485163770884931_n

Creator, in the winter of my long life
I tire of men who miss poetry
You have made. Instead they make such a strife
It murks up the waters. They cannot see
What I’ve been singing about since a child
In their murk, and instead insist their murk
Makes it clear. They used to drive me quite wild
With their backwards logic, but now their work
Is revealed to me as Your Invention.
What a Creator you are! What a joke
They are, (butts that do not get the jest),
But I tire of laughing, tire of smoke
And want fire; better’s not the same as Best.
Your creation’s great, but now I wait for
Not more creation, but the Creator.

Not Local –Shipwrecked–

We never did find the chest of gold we were after, as we swooped like vultures to the storm-ravaged coast of Maine.

It is an old New England tradition to be a beachcomber, seeking through the flotsam and jetsam and lagan and derelict, and then running like heck when we find anything valuable, to avoid the maritime lawyers who know the definitions of flotsam and jetsam and lagan and derelict. All New Englanders, at least in spirit, once walked the shores after storms. Even when a person didn’t “go to sea”, the sea was part of a New Englander’s life.

The sea is in New Englander’s blood, though I’m not so sure about young whippersnappers, these days. They seem to prefer the virtual world of the web, but my grandchildren came along with me, as I hoped to give them a transfusion of Yankee blood by osmosis. Not that I belabored. I was in no mood to lecture them, and mostly was obeying a craving all my own.

I blame my craving on my doing my taxes. Doing taxes makes me slightly insane, and I find I crave the sea, because the sea does not obey bookkeepers or lawyers or governments. You can claim you own the sea but you can’t fence it. And from time to time the sea goes wild and smashes people who think they own parcels of property, when they are in fact stewards.

In any case, I wanted to see the ribs and keel of an old “pinky”. What is a pinky?  A pinky was a small, square-rigged ship that carried cargo along the coasts of New England two hundred years ago. The recent storms had exposed the skeleton of such a ship at Short Sands Beach in Wells, Maine.

Blocking 3 FullSizeRender

However we were too late.  We parked in a parking lot that was only usable after  a front-end-loader rumbled about scooping away all the sand and cobbles the gale deposited on the asphalt.  It still wasn’t up to tourist-season snuff, but we could park.

Wreaks 1 IMG_6515

But the problem was that the front-end-loader had to dump all the cobbles and sand somewhere, and the closest and most logical place was the beach, and then the second gale came along and spread the sand around and nearly buried all signs of the pinkie, except the bow.

Wreaks 2 IMG_6514

My grandchildren were not all that impressed by a few beams of the stern we could expose.

The pinkie had been earlier exposed by especially bad storms, and in the past samples of its wood have been taken. It is made of local trees, back when people knew how to cut trees and make a boat of them. But one odd thing is that this wreak has no name, and has no history. I gather no tree-ring studies have been made of its wood. It was a craft that was for the most part pegged together; if there was any metal in the wreak it was long ago salvaged. There is no local memory of who owned it, and no way to date the wreak without deeper studies. It could have beached as early as 1750, or as late as 1870.  It was a minor, undistinguished ship at a time when the waters were crowded with ships, even in the winter, for ships defined the word “shipping”. There were no tractor trailer trucks,  and no railway boxcars.  To get most any goods from here to there involved men going to sea.

“Going to sea”.  Oh, it sounds like heaven to me, as I face doing my taxes. I feel I live in a society of pencil-necked, needle-nosed geeks, who haven’t a clue of what the word “risk” means. I was born too late, and looking to sea I do not see a single sail.

The only people who sail nowadays are fat-cat millionaires, and sailing is their arrogant luxury. You will not see them out on the dangerous waters of the month of March. (I confess; I’m jealous. If I had a boat, I’d likely stay in my nice warm mansion in March as well.)

But once these waters were full of sails. Short Sands Beach is sheltered by Cape Neddick, which had a small island called “The Nubble” off its end. If a lighthouse had existed, perhaps the pinkie would have found its away around the cape, but no lighthouse existed until 1879. Then the Cape Neddick Light guided sailors with light and horn, in the gales and fogs of March.

Wreak 4 IMG_6518

On the other side of Cape Neddick lies Wells Harbor, where ships could hide from Nor’easters. But when the winds swung to the southeast they had to hug the northern side of the harbor to avoid the surf that came charging in, as it did last week when our first March gale exploded off our coast.

When these winds howl, something that has the nice name of “spillover” occurs. It means the waters spill over from the sea-side of coastal dunes to the marshes on the landward side of those dunes. But “spill” sounds like it only involves a coffee cup. In fact it involves a raging ocean that treats cobbles like grains of sand. It is no joke if you happen to live on a barrier island between sea and marsh. Your front lawn becomes a cobble beach.

The cobbles clatter and rattle as the waves roar by your house, down to the tidal river seen from your back door.

At this point, though you never meant to “go to sea”, you are at sea. You understand there is a power that could care less for the property values of your shore-front property, or the fact you put your business signs to the legally prescribed  depth in the shifting sands.

And it is at this point many think it is wiser to flee the sea. The sea is too uncivilized. It has no respect for the progressive aspect of government, which wants all safely clamped. Such houses should be abandoned.  Why, then, do I thirst to “go to sea”?

To the north the next danger thrusting out from the mainland is Portland Head.  We went up that way to search for treasure exposed by the storm. The coast was all rocks, so it seemed treasure would be less likely to be buried by sand.

Wreak 8IMG_6492

As we searched we of course could not help but notice the Portland Head Lighthouse, which now seems but an anachronism, as if it was built by Disney to increase the tourist trade. But the truth is that it dates from when sails could be seen in the winter months, back when, when you shipped something, it involved ships.

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Eventually we grew discouraged about finding boxes of gold coins, and wandered up to the lighthouse, and saw the storms had  attempted to erase the message on the ledge next to the light.

The graffiti  hints life was different, back when men “went to sea”. There were no guarantees, even on Christmas Eve, that you would reach a safe harbor.  Not even a lighthouse’s light and horn could always save you from a wreak.

Wreak 9i anniecmaguire1

I’m not sure what the circumstances were. Did the wind die as the tidal current increased? Was it foggy and still, or abruptly crisp and clear with a sudden gale? Whatever happened, you can be sure the captain was embarrassed, especially as his wife was aboard. After all, it was Christmas Eve, and they were so very close to the safety of Portland Harbor! But I do notice that they left no sails up. They tidied up the ship, clambered onto the ledge, and then the lighthouse keeper dropped a long ladder to the ledge, and they all clambered to the safety of shore. Merry Christmas! What a miracle! (But then, of course, there were probably a lot of legal details, involving flotsam and jetsam and lagan and derelict, to deal with, but only after the holiday.)

Odd. Why should hearing of this calamity that occurred nearly 150 years ago make me want to “go to sea?” Shouldn’t  I strive to avoid the fickle winds, and the uncertainty of those days, when shipping involved ships?

I simply feel some treasure is involved. Perhaps it is not cold gold. Perhaps it is a sort of goodness. Is there anything like a lighthouse keeper in the modern world? If you crashed into a ledge on Christmas Eve, would anyone try to rescue you, these days?

Whatever the treasure was, I couldn’t quite grasp it. But I did find one final bit of treasure I couldn’t grasp, before we headed home. As I took a last walk on a sandy beach I noticed the sea had not only beaten back the dune grass that was attempting to encroach seawards to the beach, but it had chewed up huge amounts of kelp and seaweed that was attempting to encroach upon the beach from the seaward side. The surf built heaps of weed and kelp over three feet tall.

As I  looked at these heaps I couldn’t help but see it as a treasure. Not that I can lift such heavy gold, at my age, but I felt the vague memory of ambition.  If I was a younger man I’d hurry my pick-up truck to this beach, and, working fast, before any could call it environmentally unwise, I would load the truck to its springs with heaps of seaweed.

As a farmer, and landlubber, I see seaweed as superb fertilizer. I once knew a man who heaped seaweed on bare rock, planted seed potatoes in the weed, and when harvest time rolled around he didn’t have to dig. He just lifted the seaweed and there were dozens of potatoes to harvest.

As a farmer, and landlubber, I also know about “greensand”, which is created by nature when heaps of seaweed is buried with sand in an anoxic environment. I’d used greensand to make the heads of my cauliflower and broccoli absurdly large.

 Seaweed is indeed a treasure, if you are young and strong.  However I am not as ambitious as I used to be.  Nor are lobster-men, I surmised.  In the old days they’d bring their traps in before big storms, and even before winter began, but now the beach was strewn with foolish modern lobster-men’s storm-crumpled traps.

But then I wondered to myself. Perhaps modern lobster-men were not lazy, but more daring. And perhaps these bent and twisted lobster-traps on the shore were like the shipwrecked ships of those who dared “go to sea” long ago. Who was wiser? Modern lobster-men or their elders?

I could not decide. I could only stand and look out to sea, where sea gulls sat in the sun-brightened water. I closed my eyes and just listened, and felt a strange longing for a treasure I missed.

Wreaqk 13 FullSizeRender

There is something we’re missing in safety.
I stand by the sea, and I long.
The land has built dikes, and has braced me.
The land thinks it’s mighty and strong.
But something by land’s sure to crumble.
It can’t withstand gales from the east,
And now the land’s starting to grumble
And ban fish from our Friday’s feast.

I’m baffled, and slump by the storm-wracked beach
And close my eyes, and hear surf suck and thump
And hiss, as the crazy gulls wheel and screech.
I listen, and find my shoulders don’t slump.
I listen, and, feeling surf’s sun on my face,
I’m hearing a Truth that the land can’t erase.

NOT LOCAL –Storm Damage–

We headed to the Maine coast to check out what the recent gales had uncovered at the beach. The tide is still too high find the rusted box full of gold coins we are looking for, but the surf did uncover an amazing number of surf-clams and hurled them above high water, where they will die.  The reek would become terrible, if they remained and rotted, but the bounty has attracted thousand of seagulls, who are wheeling and screeching and having one heck of a party. They all look so full of clams they don’t need to bother eating much, and can devote full time to quarreling, which is paradise for gulls. The gulls have found their treasure. However for the mollusks it is a terrible clamity.

Clams IMG_6480

Hope to post soon, when the tide gets low and we are rich.


Decided to see what the sea gulls saw in the clams. The rounded ones are quahogs; the more oval ones are sea-clams.

Clam 2 FullSizeRender

 They were like clam-flavored rubber bands. I likely broke some law, as I have no clammer’s licence, but it was an experiment in the name of science.  We all know science involves risk. In the movies the experiments often explode. These clams didn’t.

ARCTIC SEA-ICE -Rise and Fall Of Spike and Hype and Poppycock–UPDATED

I was going to headline this post “Polar Temperatures Plunge”, but that would too obviously be “click-bait”. Also, despite “the plunge”, temperatures are still above normal at the Pole, and therefore such hype would be misleading.

Alarmists resort to such hype all the time, so I suppose I could say, “they started it”, like schoolboys after a brawl. And some, for example Tony Heller at the Real Climate Science Site, can be forgiven if at times they simply make factual statements that perhaps are incomplete, and leave it up to Alarmists to complete the picture.

As an example (of my own invention), in the graph below the “spike” ends with a plunge back towards normal. One might measure that plunge (I haven’t), and might discover it was the biggest fall in temperatures between February 26 and February 28 on record. Then one could call it an “unprecedented” fall in temperatures in the headline, and only mention in paragraph twenty-two (if at all) that there have been greater plunges on other dates, and that temperatures are still above normal, and also that there may have been greater plunges back before records were started in 1958. In this manner one would tell no lies, but serve the ball back into the Alarmist’s  court, and force them to run around digging all up the data that would counter the impression created by your headline. Alarmists certainly deserve such treatment, because they have been forcing Skeptics to play this sort of ball since 1986.

DMI5 0303 meanT_2018

Today I am not in the mood to play ball with Alarmists, for the weather phenomenon we have just witnessed is more interesting than they are.  I’m sorry if this hurts their feelings. I know how they love attention. I will mention some of their hype in passing, but largely focus on the pattern, and all the things it suggests to my over-active imagination.

For those in a hurry, the pattern first developed a cross-polar-flow from the Atlantic to the Pacific, and then went through an amazing flip that turned it right around to a cross-polar-flow from the Pacific to the Atlantic. Big deal. You are dismissed.

For those in less of a hurry, here are the details:

When I last posted the play-by-play maps, we wound up with a fascinating double-inflow to the Pole.


Those who follow my posts know I suffer from an over-active imagination. Many scientists do not suffer from this problem. They have no imagination at all.

I freely recognize my abundance of imagination may see things that are not actual fact. For example, once when I was far at sea, very hungry,  and a long, long way from a good meal, I looked up at afternoon cumulus tainted a Rembrandt yellow-orange, and I’ll be danged if the clouds didn’t look like something. They didn’t look like a lamb or a fluffy puppy, or anything simple like that, but rather like an elaborate Rembrandt painting of a Christmas dinner, complete with a plump mother bringing in the roast goose. Doubt me if you will, but I could even smell the food. My mouth watered. I shrugged it off as a hallucination; for sailors suffer a sort of partial sensory-deprivation (hand in hand with a sensory-over-stimulation),  and see differently than lubbers do, and they have to be on guard lest “sirens” tempt them to jump overboard. In any case, even if I had taken a picture of those clouds you would be unlikely to see what I saw. (Nor would I today, sad to say.) The incredible, beautiful scene was, as they say, a “figment”. It was a figment of my imagination.

Many scientists avoid figments like the plague. Poor fellows. They do not know what they are missing. The reason I turned away from science to art was that I far prefer figments to drab and dreary facts. In fact the divorce between art and science would be complete and terminal, were it not for a few scientists who astounded me by having imaginations, and liking figments. It amazed me that a scientist actually could have a mind.

This happened at an early age, in grade school, during a class I don’t think they teach any more, called “Geography”. A lot of the class was very boring, involving endless factoids regarding what city was capital of what nation, (many of the nations don’t even exist any more, so my memorization was somewhat in vain). However Geography also involved some basic Geology, which caught my imagination. I liked the sea, and mountains, and volcanoes. (Especially volcanoes). Therefore, during the more boring part of the class, my eyes would wander to the maps on the wall. I (along with roughly 200,000 other bored schoolboys) noticed South America was a puzzle piece that fit nicely against Africa. Of course, doing that fitting was a “figment”, but, boys being boys, it happened a lot. And, if you do it a lot, some of the fits of puzzle pieces are extraordinary. For example, the two coasts of the Red Sea fit together like hands to a glove. Still, the idea of land moving, and spreading that far apart, seemed preposterous. Yet, boys being boys, imagination went beyond the books.

Teachers, at that time, mostly taught by the book. If the book said up was down, (or Global Warming was a fact), they would go by the book. And the book, at that time, had an interesting explanation for the erection of mountain ranges. (I remember it because I got an “A” on that test.)

Mountains were erected, “scientists stated”, because the planet was cooling. Once the entire planet was molten lava, “scientists stated”, but it had gradually cooled. As it cooled the surface skimmed over with a crust of cooled lava. Then, as the planet continued to cool, the crust not only got thicker, but it obeyed a scientific law. As things cool they get smaller. (Every engineer knows this,  and allows for expansion due to heating and for contraction due to cooling). However the skin of crust on the surface of the earth did not allow for contraction, and didn’t put in the “spacers” good engineers put in concrete sidewalks and highways. Therefore, as the earth shrank, the crust crumpled “like the skin of a shriveled apple,” and mountains arose.

I loved this idea as a boy. The logic seemed majestic to me. But there was a small problem. Back in those days children still knew what a shriveled apple looked like, (because we didn’t import apples from the southern hemisphere, and had to depend on the local supply), and when, towards spring, I took a shriveled apple from my brown, paper bag, (lunch boxes were for snobs), I noted the wrinkles were evenly distributed.  On the skin of earth, (I noted when daydreaming at maps in Geography class), mountains were not so evenly distributed. I was especially struck by how mountains were a spine only to the west, in South America.

Don’t get me wrong. I didn’t figure out the theory of Continental Drift by myself, in Grade school. However my over-active imagination was seeing things that didn’t add up. I was in second grade, and Eisenhower was still president, before scientists began the research that, in only a few years, blew the minds of geologists.

What a great time to be a geologist! They were allowed to have imagination.

In only six years I was entering eighth grade, feeling the first dangerous effects of adolescent hormones,  and Johnson was president and was confident he could make poverty a thing of the past. I knew all about the new discoveries concerning Continental Drift, for there were Scientific American articles about the subject,  and an enthusiastic relative kept me informed. And it was just then I came face to face with an elderly science teacher who was still teaching by the book.

Oh what a glory it was, (considering I was slow to grow and was the most stunted boy in my class), to stand up to this know-it-all teacher and tell her she was wrong. And I have to admit she did respond in a wonderful way. When I slapped the evidence, (Scientific American articles, because it was worth reading back then,)  down in front of her, she did not shame me by calling me a “skeptic”. She actually read what I showed her, and actually changed her mind. How I wish Alarmists of today had the elasticity-of-mind which that old lady, close to retirement, displayed. (How many Alarmists actually read Skeptic writings?)

But I blame that glorious moment  of my youth for causing me to drift towards being overly imaginative. It is not pragmatic to put too much weight on our imaginations. Even sailors know this, and refrain from jumping into the sea though alluring “sirens” beckon. But I thought “figments” had power, when I mastered my eighth grade teacher, at a height of four foot eleven. It gave me the “figment” (also called the “false impression”) that when I grew to be six feet tall I could master bankers, and they would give me good money to write the “figments” called bad poetry. I was wrong.

So here it is, fifty years later. I am a little wiser. For example, I know President Johnson didn’t eradicate poverty, (first hand), and also think I may understand a little about what Jesus meant when he stated “Blessèd are the poor”. (IE: If you eradicate poverty you eradicate blessings; [take that, Karl Marx]). The most beautiful music and poetry and wisdom springs from suffering. (IE: “You gotta pay the dues if you want to sing the blues”). However this wisdom I’ve gleaned doesn’t matter a hill of beans in the unimaginative landscape of dullard scientists.

I actually like science, for it is a study of Truth, and I apologize to all good scientists for stating scientists lack imagination, but they do. They remind me of myself when I have to do my taxes (which I’m now doing). When doing taxes you have to stop living life in order to sift through receipts, because the nosy government insists on knowing, and gives the IRS great power. And life grinds to a halt. And you can’t help but ask yourself, “Wouldn’t life be easier without receipts? Wouldn’t we get more done without all this paperwork?” In like manner, in terms of imagination, certain scientists are like the IRS. They care more for receipts than for life, in that they care more for data than for discovery.

Me? I am a mad poet, and therefore care more for discovery than data. After all, how are we to know Truth that is not known, if we rely on what is already known, and do not bother discover?

In the world of orthodox science discovery is a laborious process, involving six thousand facts for a single utterance. It’s a long run for a slide so short it amounts to a jolt to a halt. To poets Truth is a heck of a lot easier. Poets just describe what they see. In the world of science this is called “observation”. But poets take it a step farther. How can I explain?

Let me put it this way:  In a courtroom a witness is constrained. He can only state what he saw. If he states what he thought, a lawyer will holler, “Objection!” This is in one way being a stickler for the Truth, but it can approach absurdity. For example, if you saw a man jump from the seventh story window, ran downstairs, and saw him dead on the pavement, you’d conclude the man jumped to his death, but the lawyer would object, “But did you see the man hit the pavement?” What a waste of time! Do scientists really insist on wasting time in this manner?

Poets are lucky, for they can tell lawyers to go f— themselves. Scientists can’t, for science is governed by tedious, worldly laws poets don’t need to care a fig about. Who needs figs when you have figments?

However there is a tangent point between the world of poets and the world of science. It exists because both study Truth.

Both study Beauty. A poet who agonized between science (becoming a surgeon) and becoming unscientific (becoming a poet) was John Keats, and one of his most famous poems states, “Beauty is Truth.”

Unfortunately science has yet to come up with a thermometer or barometer that can measure beauty. Karl Marx be damned; beauty is beyond the measure of money and all economists.

Therefore, when I tell you what  I have observed about arctic sea-ice, you need to know the observations spring from beyond the measure of bankers and money. It is beyond the measure of data from scientists and thermometers. It is just stuff that is simply, as we say in New Hampshire, “wicked beautiful”. (By the way, the misuse of the word “wicked” originated in New Hampshire. Boston copied us.)

But, to be beautiful, beauty must stand out against that which is ugly (or at least plain). Beauty calls the plain inferior. It seems hurtful to call another’s ideas plain, (or at least inadequate), but some ideas failed to explain what was occurring at the Pole.

I’ve explained in past posts how elegant ideas such as the interaction between the Ferrel and Polar Cell, and the positive and negative AO, failed to describe what Truth showed us was occurring at the Pole. It was a bit like saying mountains arose because the earth shrank like a withered apple. It was an idea that didn’t work, and begged for a new idea. A figment was required.

Because the elegant ideas of hard-working scientists were failing to see what my over-active imagination was seeing, I decided to share what I see in the clouds. Lord knows, I lack data. I’m not funded, and do this for the joy of it.

That is why I issue a “Poppycock and Balderdash Warning”. I’m a witness defying the lawyers by going a little bit farther than actual observations, and suggesting a thing or two (which is what makes poetry different from science).

Those of you who have put up with me for five years, with me tediously prattling while looking at DMI maps of isobars and isotherms in the Arctic, have seen me slowly start to suggest that some ideas which are missed by conventional concepts may be involved. Likely my ideas are comical and unscientific errors, but they are errors based upon fact, and as my ideas are ridiculed and debunked the process will force conventional concepts to be adjusted.

Here are my past ideas in a nutshell:

Ralpheena FullSizeRender

The above is not a highfalutin theory submitted to a scientific journal for peer review, but rather figments ( more formally called “a preliminary sketch of ideas from a witness’s notebook of observations”). While I respect the elegant and traditional ideas of positive and negative AO and Ferrel and Polar Cells,   the recent past has been an exception to their rule, and has in fact made a shambles of their rule. Therefore I’m trying to come up with something that explains the exception to their rule. I don’t mean disrespect, but all rules have exceptions.

The circles represent views down at the North Pole. The upper section holds ideas I had about the anomalous area of polar low pressure that kept reappearing last year, which I dubbed “Ralph.”  I concocted an idea the north Pole was like a chimney, and the “draft” had increased through some unknown process, (though I’ll venture some ideas about what controls the “damper” later). I felt the process was aided by the extra heat made available by the “super” El Nino of 2015. As that heat faded I felt the “draft” would lessen, Ralph would vanish, and instead we’d return to the traditional “zonal” flow sketched at the lower left. To my delight I was utterly wrong, and something new and interesting developed. Rather than a single “feeder-band” feeding into a counterclockwise swirl, there were two “feeder-bands” feeding into a clockwise swirl. It was draining off the earth’s heat through the “chimney”, but in an opposite way, like a Ying to Ralph’s Yang. I decided it needed a name, so I dubbed it Ralpheena, and sketched it out to the lower left.

None of this seemed to give me any ability to predict. I was mostly looking backwards and puzzling over what I saw. My lone prediction, (of a “zonal” pattern), had gone down in flames, and I didn’t feel inclined to embarrass myself further. (I knew my forecast was in trouble way back in October, when D’Aleo and Bastardi predicted a negative NAO at the end of the winter, which tends to be very loopy and not zonal.) Instead I decided to simply watch.

For the moment I’ll just post the maps. One thing I  found fascinating is how the high pressure swung around to be exactly where Bastardi and D’Aleo said it would be. Those fellows amaze me.

I’ll add comments later. But duty calls.


We begin back on the 18th of February. The isotherms in the DMI temperature maps clearly showed the two mild feeds of “Ralpheena”, one from the Pacific and one from the Atlantic. This persisted into the 21st, at which point low pressure on the Pacific side interfered with the Pacific inflow.

The inflows always create low pressure, because the milder air has to rise in the colder environment it enters. But what goes up must come down, and therefore the inflow will also pump nearby high pressure (though I never am sure where). In the case of “Ralpheena” the high pressure seemed to be atop the Pole.

The Atlantic feed included a big gale that crashed into the southeast coast of Greenland on the 20th. Very cold temperatures in the Canadian Archipelago made headlines up there, but nowhere else (except the “Ice Age Now” site). Milder than normal temperatures in Svalbard did make the mainstream news.

The high pressure started to get nudged off the Pole towards Eurasia by the 21st. The low pressure created by the Pacific feed directed the inflow of Pacific air away from the Pole even as the Atlantic feed was pulled closer to the Pole. The mechanics seemed to involve the Atlantic feed clashing with cold air over the Archipelago, and generating low pressure on the Canadian side, contributing to the nudging of the high pressure towards Europe. The weak low northwest of Greenland could be called a weak “Ralph”.  Another gale approached Greenland from the southeast.

By the 23rd the high pressure towards Eurasia was pumped up, and the contrast between it and the Ralph-like low pressure towards Greenland were generating a surge of Atlantic air up over the Pole.  The south side of the high was creating east winds over Europe, and a major outbreak of Siberian air was moving from east to west towards and into Europe. Yet another major gale approached southeast Greenland, riding the southerly surge from the Atlantic.

By the 24th the gale hitting Greenland was a monster, with pressures down near 940 mb. Tremendous amounts of snow were increasing Greenland’s icecap. This generates no headlines. The air transited Greenland, releasing much latent heat as it snowed itself out, and descended to the north from over 10,000 feet as a Chinook (or Foehn) wind. Temperatures on the north coast were above freezing for a day, and the strong winds pushed the ice off the coast and created a polynya of open water. This did generate headlines, though the polynya was swiftly freezing over. (Note the temperature maps at no point are above freezing at the Pole).

At this point the hoopla about the “warm” Pole reached a cresendo, I think to counter the news of “The Beast From The East”. (A Dutch commenter noted he could find no Headlines in Dutch newspapers about their canals freezing and people skating, but instead gathered the news from a Turkish newspaper.)

The Hoopla spoke of temperatures thirty degrees above normal at the Pole, open water by  Greenland’s coast, a brief time of above-freezing temperatures on Greenland’s north coast, and created the impression that melting was extreme and ongoing. There still was not yet much mention in the media of temperatures thirty degrees below normal roaring from Siberia into southeast Europe, as what came to be known as “The Beast From The East” gathered steam and became blatantly apparent.

Note the “Ralph-like” low forming north of Greenland, where warm Atlantic and Chinook air clashes with the cold air over the Archipelago. (Also note that at this point Bastardi and D’Aleo’s forecast of a blocking high forming over Greenland and Canada looks dubious.)

By the 26th the Atlantic flow is streaming as a cross-polar-flow all the way to the Pacific. Sea-ice is pushed north in Fram Strait and from Svalbard (making headlines) and, for one of the few times this winter, sea-ice is spread south through Bering Strait (making no headlines). Svalbard does experience a thaw, but note that above-freezing temperatures never reach the Pole. Much of the mild air must have risen, which likely, when it decended, was what pumped the high pressure as it started to slide down over Scandinavia. The “Beast From The East” clobbered Europe, south of these maps.

By the 27th the cross-polar-flow startws to be bent and repressed to the Eurasian side of the Pole. A good map from the “Tropical Tidbits” site showed the milder (but below freezing) stream extending all the way to the Pacific, and also showed howslender it was, compared to the bulk of bitterly cold arctic air it penetrated.

What shows less well is how this flow was pinched off, down at its source in the Atlantic. (This is because surface air temperatures immediately look warmer, once over water, even though that air retains much of its chill only a hundred feet above the water.) A west-to-east flow came under the big storms crashing into Greenland even as the high pressure over Europe brought a east-to-west flow (the “Beast From The East”) from the other direction. The winds, meeting and curving up to the north, made the southerly flow increasingly arctic in origin, (though moderated by their passage over the Atlantic). Also the “pinch” formed a gale much further south than the Greenland gales, and this gale, unable to head north due to the high pressure, rolled steadily east towards Spain, driving moisture into the cold air over Europe and creating deep snows.

Comment 4 gfs_T2m_nhem_2

By 12z on the 27th the cross-polar-flow was disintergrating, and the Ralph-like feature, (complete with the Ralph-like counterclockwise hook in the isotherm map), was forming between the Pole and the Kara Sea. The high pressure had decended over Scandinavia, (with some record lows set over Greenland Norway), and was spreading across the Atlantic to Greenland, which had in 48 hours switched from being attractive to gales to attracting high pressure.

24 hours later high pressure is building strongly over Greenland, and the negative NAO promised by Bastardi and D’Aleo has appeared, as it were, out of the blue. One has to have great respect for the analogues they use, considering they foresaw the development in October, whereas the computer models only started to see the development ten days beforehand (and I couldn’t see how it was going to happen only four days beforehand.)

The high pressure over Greenland pushed the Ralph-like feature down towards Russia, and with remarkable speed (to me at least) we had the situation completely reversed from when there were gales over Greenland and high Pressure over Russia. The Atlantic-to-Pacific flow was flipped around to Pacific-to-Atlantic, with the process completed by March 2.

At this point the cold was building back at the Pole, (ignored by the media) and something interesting occurred. As part of the blocking high settled down into Canada, part was left behind at the Pole. With a plume of milder air feeding north through Bering Strait, I wondered if the pattern was trying to revert to a “Ralpheena” situation, or to become a more “traditional” zonal pattern.  The Pacific feed had faded by March 6, so now I watch and wonder. My forecast? “Continued wonder”.

I should mention that the sea-ice blown north from Svalbard hasn’t blown back, but the north winds have grown a fresh skin of “baby ice” over those waters. The sea-ice blown south in Bering Strait is starting to be blown north again. The polynya north of Greenland that the media made such a fuss about is skimmed over. One interesting thing (which I’ll likely write about later) is that the Laptev Sea’s export of sea-ice to the north is less this year; the polynyas that usually form along its coast as the sea-ice is pushed north have been rare. This should decrease the ice in the Central Arctic, but in fact the ice in the Central Arctic is thicker than last year.

I also want to play around with the idea of the Pole as a “chimney”, whose “draw” is controlled by a “damper”, but this post is getting too long.

I’ll close by mentioning that once the high pressure arrived in Greenland it created a classic “blocking pattern”, and we saw a magnificent gale explode off the east coast of the USA:

Blocking 1 download

To the lower left in the above picture you can see the shallow, light-turquoise waters of the Bahamas, with the deeper, darker-blue “Tongue Of The Ocean” penetrating those reefs from the north. Nassau,  sheltered at the north of the Tongue Of The Ocean, is protected from all directions except due north. The huge gale was to the due north, over a thousand miles away. Joe Bastardi shared this picture he received from a friend of the breakwater at the mouth of Nassau Harbor yesterday.

Blocking 2 unnamed(2)

I recall sailing into that harbor in far more tranquil conditions. I can’t imagine being down there in a sailboat now. The sky is blue and the sun is warm, but the waves just start getting bigger…and bigger….and bigger….

Up here in New England the huge breakers ate away at the beach by the shore, but all the sand sucked away from the dunes builds an off-shore bar that breaks waves further out, and tends to protect the beach from the next big storm (scheduled to arrive tomorrow.)

I’m thinking I’ll take time off from taxes and bring my grandchildren to the scoured shoreline this coming weekend, to see what the sea has uncovered. (Hopefully a small chest of gold coins). Already the old timbers of a 250-year-old ship appeared from under the washed-away sands, up in Wells, Maine.

Blocking 3 FullSizeRender

Stay tuned.

ARCTIC SEA-ICE –On Warmist Excuses–

I have to tip my hat to Joe Batardi and Joseph D’Aleo at the Weatherbell site for sticking their necks way, way out, as long ago as last October, and suggesting this would be a “sandwich” winter, with a thaw between two cold periods. Also they suggested the NAO would become negative. This involves a “blocking high pressure” over Greenland, and both warmer temperatures over the Pole and colder temperatures over Europe, followed by storminess in the eastern USA, as low pressure wraps around that blocking high pressure.

A lot of their success seems to involve what Joe Bastardi calls “pattern recognition”. Basically that boils down to “It happened this way before, and therefore we are likely to see it happen again, if the same situation develops”. Joe tells the tale of the old-school forecaster Norm McDonald looking at a modern computer read-out and saying, “Oh, no, this is all wrong. That doesn’t follow, if this happened first.”

In essence it is the same study a baseball player goes through when he practices catching hundreds, even thousands, of baseballs in the outfield. The athlete learns to make subtle adjustments without thinking, running one way when the wind blows out and another when the wind blows in. No slide rules or computers are involved. What is involved is study. People tend to think athletes are not good students, but they are extremely studious of their particular focus, if they expect to make millions.

At times “pattern recognition” frustrates me, for it doesn’t always explain the “why”, the engineering of the atmosphere. It simply states, “It will happen because that is what happens.” It utilizes analogues. Even though weather is chaotic, and even though a butterfly flapping its wings can change everything, if a map from the past is very similar (even if not identical) then similar weather is more likely to follow than dissimilar weather. But me? I want to know the “why”. I want to know the engineering and the cause-and-effect and the actions-and-reactions.

That cause-and-effect “engineering” is what they try to put into some computer models. It works fairly well in the short term, but a sort of rot sets in the farther you go into the future. Past a certain point it is better to have an old school forecaster who has studied analogues the way an outfielder studies fly balls. (Perhaps this is the reason Bastardi and D’Aleo focus more on long range forecasting, and less on the short term.  D’Aleo has developed a “Pioneer” model that incorporates the various analogues he has learned about. I have no idea how the Pioneer Model works, but it apparently estimates probabilities more than it attempts to figure out the engineering of the atmosphere. Me? I still prefer the the-knee-bone’s-connected-to-the-thigh-bone engineering of cause-and-effect, but I have a hard time dissing the Pioneer Model, because it works.

This brings me to the long-term models that don’t work, in the long term, though they do involve how the atmosphere is engineered. And don’t say they do work. They are very helpful in the short term, but can produce legendary “busts” in the long term. In the short term they can “see” a developing storm I’d never even consider, and be correct, but once you go a month into the future the rot has set in so badly that the forecasts can be downright comical. And this rot sets in despite utilizing some of the most massive computers yet created.

One might logically conclude that too many variables are involved, and it is impossible to forecast the future. But then Bastardi and D’Aleo come along and do an amazing job, and beat billion dollar computers. So next one should logically conclude analogues work, and engineering doesn’t, at our current level of understanding. (Not that our understanding of how the atmosphere is engineered can’t improve, and we can’t use those improvements in a computer, but that would involve reprogramming the billion dollar computers that currently exist. )

And that involves accepting a hard thing to accept. What is that? That the current predictions of the long-range, including all predictions involving Global Warming, are basically balderdash, and need to be (to put it politely) “reconsidered”, which is a nicer way of saying “crumpled up and thrown in the trash.” There comes a time to start over.

Arno Crawing Board 2a5c1bb996b52b84daf9c5c70d02864a

For example, take the now infamous forecast of Dr. David Viner, back in the year 2000:

Snow is starting to disappear from our lives. Sledges, snowmen, snowballs and the excitement of waking to find that the stuff has settled outside are all a rapidly diminishing part of Britain’s culture, as warmer winters – which scientists are attributing to global climate change – produce not only fewer white Christmases, but fewer white Januaries and Februaries … Global warming, the heating of the atmosphere by increased amounts of industrial gases, is now accepted as a reality by the international community … According to Dr David Viner, a senior research scientist at the climatic research unit of the University of East Anglia, within a few years winter snowfall will become “a very rare and exciting event”. “Children just aren’t going to know what snow is,” he said.”

The poor doctor was raked over the coals during Britain’s snowy winter of 2013, and, just to prove that wasn’t a fluke occurrence, here are some currant pictures from Jolly Old England:

Picture #1: Lady who trusted Dr. Viner, as the snows hit.

Beast England 1 Gallery-Snow-update-Diss--001

Picture #2: The same lady out walking her dog six hours later

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Picture #3: Police searching for the same lady in drifts beside major highway, to get her in for tea before the major snow hits.

Beast 3 Gallery-Snow-updated-Coun-009


All ridicule aside, Dr. Viner should be glad he doesn’t live in Old Testament times. Back in the day, when a prophet was proven to be a false prophet, the penalty was to drag him to the town square and stone him to death. Now he is merely asked to make himself scarce and not appear on too many talk shows.

But what seems most ridiculous to me is the attempt on the part of some Alarmists to say that they, who have proven beyond doubt they do not comprehend the engineering of the atmosphere, actually are experts. Not that I myself understand, but I at least admit the engineering of our atmosphere is marvelously complex. They seem to say, “Pish tush, old Lad. It’s a piece of cake! Pray allow me to explain it to you.”

Then they elaborate a splendid bit of cause-and-effect. It is just the sort of action-and-reaction I crave. The only problem it that it was concocted too swiftly, out of what seems to be a whole cloth of CYA (Cover your ass) instinct, and it falters under examination.

What they suggest is that less sea-ice (in case you were wondering what this post had to with sea-ice) effected the very top of the atmosphere, which caused stratospheric warming, which caused the break-down of the polar vortex, which allowed the cold to spill south. More detail given here:

Climate Explainers Tackle All That Snow

That makes me wonder. If that is so, how was Jospeph D’Aleo’s “Pioneer Model” able to predict a warm Pole and cold Europe way back in October, when sea-ice is not one of the many analogues his model utilizes? (I think.)

Furthermore, if the loopy jet stream, (also called the “meridional” jet stream by meteorologists, and “the break-down of the polar vortex” by the CYA), was caused by sea-ice, how can it be the southern hemisphere also has a loopy jet? They have no sea-ice, but a massive, looming continent, at their Pole.

Here the CYA nature of certain CYA people utterly charms me. (They must have expected people like me would question.) They explained the effect was hidden in the southern hemisphere because their crusade to halt the Ozone Hole was successful.

(The Ozone Hole still appears, but it is biggest when temperatures aloft are coldest, and is smaller when a loopy jet stream makes those temperatures slightly less cold.)

The shrinking Ozone hole, they continued, was “hiding” the effect the Northern Hemisphere was seeing, except in a few local cases where locally less sea-ice overcame the Ozone effect. (Also called “Cherry Picking”.)

I might be seduced by the lovely cause-and-effect nature of such logic, were it not for the fact I know cause-and-effect only works in the short term, in computer modeling. In the longer term the rot sets in. In the long term one is better off resorting to analogues.

So let us look to the past. Allow us to be those wise individuals who learn from the past, for “those who do not study history are doomed to repeat it”. What does the past teach us?

De Ja Vu. Indeed we have been here before.  We do indeed have an analogue we can use. Joe Bastardi was kind enough to do all the work, and point it out for us.

What Joe did was to take the average 500 mb pressures for the month of March from the years 1946 to 1969, and compare them with the average 500 mb pressures from the years 1981 to 2010.  Considering we have experienced so much Global Warming, you might expect the differences in the 1946 to 1969 map to be hugely different from today’s. In fact the result made me want to fall down laughing:

Beast 4 cEKQU1nt0m

The difference between today’s map and the 1981-2010 “norm, and the 1946-1969 map and the 1981-2010 “norm”, is very small. Do you see what this means? It means Global Warming has not moved us forward into some new and “unprecedented” situation, but rather has moved us backwards to 1946-1969!

(By the way, the above map is a good snapshot of a negative NOA.)

In conclusion, the reason Bastardi and D’Aleo are successful and men like Dr. David Viner are not,  when it comes to forecasting the future, involves focusing on what actually happened in the past, (analogues), rather than concocting untested cause-and-effect theories regarding a tomorrow which is also untested, because we are not there yet.

As a person who very much wants to press forward with learning about the cause-and-effect of the atmosphere, I think it is foolish to do so with a CYA attitude.

You see, I know a lot about CYA. I seldom did my homework when young, and when I faced my Math teacher, the classroom hushed, because my excuses were those of a budding creative writer. But even my most excellent excuses, wherein the weeping teacher pardoned me, did not complete my undone homework.

The fact of the matter is that we have a lot of homework to do, regarding the engineering of the atmosphere. Great discoveries lie just ahead and await in the wings. But you will not make them if you CYA.

ARCTIC SEA-ICE –Remarks on the Remarkable–

The surge of milder-than-normal (but still sub-freezing) air over the Pole has penetrated the slumberous psyches of Alarmists, and the expected hub-bub is occurring. Ho hum. Old news here, as I posted on it back on February 16.

Much of what I have to say I said then. Much more can be found in the comments to be found in the “Watts Up With That” post about the subject, that appeared today.

Warm spike in Arctic drives alarmists into alarm mode – but there’s no reason for alarm

However I don’t want to look like I am ignoring how remarkable the spike is. It is extraordinary, for February.

DMI5 0226 meanT_2018

Something remarkable is occurring, and I’d dearly like to talk about it with sensible, inquisitive people. The problem is that some Alarmists don’t want to talk about it, and say they already know the answer. Their answer is always the same answer: “Global Warming”. The real geniuses midst this ilk may add, “caused by mankind’s addition of extra CO2 to the atmosphere”, but they go no further.

Back in the day (around 2005) there were Alarmist fellows who at least had the decency to venture an idea of how the cause-and-effect played out, and who suggested some interesting ideas of how the atmosphere was engineered. The problem was these ideas didn’t stand up to the poking and prodding of scientific scrutiny. They especially didn’t stand the test of time. (For example, when you state the Arctic Ocean will be ice-free by 2013, and it isn’t, time has debunked you theory, even if it is elegant. [And I know all about having elegant ideas debunked, as I have had lots of good ideas go down in flames!])

Now Alarmists no longer seem to venture any ideas. Their answer is always the same, “Global Warming. Global Warming. Global Warming caused by mankind’s addition of extra CO2 to the atmosphere.” It explains an absurd number of things. (Someone has compiled a list of things CO2 has supposedly spoiled, and it is fabulously long.) Why did the home team lose? You guessed it: “CO2”.

Something remarkable is indeed occurring, and it really should be talked about more deeply. Personally I think the “Quiet Sun” may be instigating a series of meteorological extremes we have never seen before. I could be wrong. But at the very least we should examine the remarkable without bias, and especially without political bias, and see if we can figure out what in the world is going on. I find it dismaying when people seem completely unable to talk, and instead parrot, “CO2, CO2, CO2”.

If I find time I’ll post the past week’s DMI maps which show what happened. But to put it in a nutshell, we began with the Aleutian Low and the Icelandic Low positioned in a way that fed Pacific and Atlantic streams of moisture and mild air up to the Pole, either side of High Pressure ridging over the Pole. Then the Atlantic feed won out, feeding low-pressure north of Canada as the ridge of high-pressure slumped towards Siberia. Then the feed of Atlantic air, between the low-pressure and high-pressure, became a remarkable cross-polar-flow, from the Atlantic to the Pacific, with the low-pressure digging on the Canadian side and the high-pressure pumping up on the Siberian side. Now the low-pressure seems to be rotating towards the Pacific as the high-pressure rotates towards the Atlantic, and the Atlantic feed is getting cut off.

Please note I did not bring up “CO2” nor the “Quiet Sun” in the above discussion. I simply observed.

I think we need to observe more and judge less. We are like the judge sitting up in his bench, simply listening. After all, what are “observations”? They are the testimony of a witness. We need to listen carefully to the witnesses before coming to any sort of judgement.

Alarmists have already decided. They say. “The science is settled.” (It isn’t.) They say, “97% of all scientists agree.” (They don’t.) At some point they listened enough to ingest those two statements, but now refuse to hear any more. (Perhaps they are dieting, and fear becoming bloated…..sorry…sarc off.) It seems sad to me, for marvelous stuff is happening, but they’ve drawn the blinds.

In any case, the rushes of wind north from the Pacific and the Atlantic have definitely pushed the edges of the ice north north on both the Atlantic and Pacific side. The edge of the ice is farther north than usual (except in Baffin Bay).

Comment 1 n_daily_extent_hires

With the ice shoved north it is obvious the extent will be less. In fact “extent” is at the lowest point for this time of year that recent records have ever recorded.

DMI5 0225 osisaf_nh_iceextent_daily_5years_en

It is possible to question these extent graphs. They don’t always include southern waters, such as the above-normal sea-ice in China’s Yellow Sea, the above-normal and swiftly growing [due to “the Beast from the East”] sea-ice if the Baltic Sea, or the huge waters of the enormous American Great Lakes [also above-normal]. However to a degree this is nit-picking.The witness is giving his testimony about “extent”, and there is no need to cross-examine like a hostile lawyer.

The simple fact of the matter is that winds from the south have pushed the edge of the ice north. It’s a fact. But some feel admitting so much concedes too much to Alarmists. One good fellow scoffed at the very idea of “extent”, posting this picture and commenting, “This would probably qualify as sea ice extent.”


To me this seemed a sort of red-herring, and so, at the risk of looking like the rump-swab of Alarmists, I replied,

Yes. It would qualify. But that pictures a summertime situation, showing “extent” of roughly 40%. It can get down to 15% and still be called “ice-covered”, in some extent-graphs, during the summer.

Winter is a quite different situation. Any open water that appears, (a “polynya” ), usually is skimmed over with “baby-ice” with surprising speed. The same thing happens when howling gales open “leads” that can be miles across. For the most part the ice extent is 100%, until thawing gets underway in May.

One thing that happens in the winter is that the ice gets compressed, and buckles, forming jumbled mountain ranges of ice called “pressure ridges”. But though the ice compresses like an accordion, it doesn’t decompress like an accordion. Instead it opens a lead with a pressure ridge on one side. That lead skims over, and then winds shift and the lead claps shut, with all the skim of baby-ice adding to the pressure ridge.

When this happens over and over the bulk of all the pressure ridges adds up. I think that is why the ice is so much thicker in the Central Arctic this winter. “Volume” has increased even as “extent” had decreased. Wind rushing north from both the Pacific and the Atlantic have compressed the ice into the middle.

Please give me credit for getting the discussion back on the subject. We are witnessing a remarkable event in the arctic, and when the Creator shows his stuff in such a clear manner, we should try to remark about the remarkable with clarity.

Now I should post maps and graphs that show that in the Central Arctic the ice is indeed thicker and the volume is indeed increasing. Sigh. I’ve been there and done that. (See earlier posts.)

I know. I know. This post is incomplete if I don’t add the DMI volume graph and NRL thickness maps, and the really cool DMI isobar and isotherm polar maps that show this remarkable scenario developing. So, if I can find time, I’ll update this post.

But, just between me and you, my wife thinks I’m working on our taxes, as I spend all this time at the computer. You don’t want me to catch hell, do you? I think I’ll be responsible,  and work on the taxes a while.

Stay Tuned.

P.S. Paul Homewood has insights on the current situation at his site here:

P.P.S. Here is a very good visual of how the remarkable surge split the very cold air in the Arctic into Eurasian and North American blobs. But please note that plenty of cold remains up there.

Comment 4 gfs_T2m_nhem_2

P.P.P.S.  Here are the NRL “Thickness” maps for February 27 for this year and last year. 2017 is to the left. 2018 is to the right.