NORTH POLE 1958
NORTH POLE 2013
The “sixty year cycle” does not work like clockwork. If it did then an exact replica of the 1938 hurricane would have come up the coast in 1998. It didn’t, which made me look a bit foolish back then, for I’d been very interested in the sixty-year-cycle, and wasn’t quite wise enough to keep my mouth shut. People demanded, “So? Where is your hurricane? It has been sixty years, hasn’t it?”.
Since then I’ve buttoned my lip more and more, watching things develop, eager to see what is similar to sixty years ago, and what is different. One interesting aspect is that, because I am sixty years old, I am starting to see something I can’t quite lay my finger on, an intangible deja-vu, which is likely due to entering weather patterns that bear some similarity to the patterns of my childhood. (Skeptics can say that it is only due to my brains getting old, and entering “second childhood.” Other’s will say I never grew out of my first.)
One pattern from the past is to have the PDO entering its “cold” phase as the AMO remains in its “warm” phase. This makes certain patterns more likely, as the forecaster Joseph D’Aleo points out on his site. The forecaster Joe Bastardi also uses analogs from sixty years ago; such analogs compliment other techniques from his “bag of tricks.” Neither uses analogs to make a specific forecast; rather analogs seem to indicate where to look for other hints, and what to keep your eye peeled for. Rarely do analogs allow you to go way out on a limb, however analogs formed part of the reason that, a few years back, Bastardi called BS on Hansen, and stated right on national TV that temperatures were unlikely to rise and were more likely to fall, over the next decade or two.
1958 was not exactly 60 years ago, and instead is 55 years ago, however I do think it is interesting some maps are showing thin ice and less than 100% coverage in the same area the Skate found open leads in 1958. This is happening early in the season, and isn’t due to air temperatures above freezing, for the average air temperatures north of 80 degrees latitude have been below normal and only are just now reaching the point where salt-water-ice melts.
As soon as it is possible to get a few pictures of an open lead up near the North Pole this year, you just know there will be a great deal of talk about how it proves Global Warming is real. It will not matter if ice extent and area is higher than last year in other areas. The Pole gets the Press.
The usual Skeptic response is to show a picture of the Skate, 55 years ago. Alarmists say their picture is worth a thousand words, but Skeptics say their picture trumps the Alarmist picture, because it is worth 1001 words.
However it might be interesting to take things a bit further, and to go into detail why current conditions create a weakness at the pole. I’ve noticed that there is more ice over around the Bering Straits, since the PDO turned “cold,” as there is still below normal amounts of ice north of Europe, as the AMO remains “warm.” I wonder if this throws the pole gyre out of balance, or some such thing, which in turn would stress the ice right at the pole.
Such wondering on my part has so little science behind it that I fear it qualifies as BS, or near-BS, however I know people who read WUWT have much more expertise than I, and I wondered if they had any ideas about the reasons for the thin ice by the pole this early in the season.