ARCTIC SEA ICE MELT —The Thaw Begins—

This is the continuation of a long series of posts, the last of which can be found at:  https://sunriseswansong.wordpress.com/2014/06/09/arctic-sea-ice-melt-the-death-spirals-death/

I have thought long and hard about why I am continuing this series of posts. In fact, if you go back through the posts you can see a number of different motives explained, as a prelude to each post.  The truth is my motives have been evolving.

Recently my president has given a number of speeches wherein he expressed contempt and derision towards people like me. I do not deserve such treatment, for all I have been doing is trying to see the truth.  Furthermore I have seen that the truth is not what the media has reported, concerning the arctic sea-ice.  It is not what the president apparently believes.

Back in 2007, when I first began entertaining grave doubts that the science of “Global Warming” was well founded, I felt it was a healthy scientific debate, lively and in many ways enjoyable.  I felt we would get to the truth through the process of examining the issues carefully and thoroughly. Now it seems I was naive,

It increasing seems this debate has never been about science. It has been about policy.  I say this because, now that the scientific evidence is disproving many of the hypothesized results of Global Warming, the politicians don’t alter their course. If they were basing their judgement on science, they would alter their course.

I feel that, if a person bases their choices on policy, they should be honest about it. They should be man enough to step forward and clearly state the real reasons they are making the choices they are making.  It is cowardly to be afraid to speak the unvarnished truth, and dishonest to pretend that decisions are based on “science” when they are not.

The president has absolutely no reason to say the cruel things he has said about people like me, and I have every reason to be offended.  I am a seeker of truth, not a denier of truth.

The silver lining is that the president is perhaps being a little more honest, when he expresses contempt for me. I can only return the favor, and state that the president is coming across as a dishonest coward who is now taking on the attributes of a bully.

I intended to conclude this series after a year, which would be now, in June. However the reasons behind this series have evolved a long way from watching ice melt, admiring the beauty of God’s creation, and pointing out a few mistakes reporters were making. Now I am determined to confront the president of the United States with the truth, even if I am a flea taking on an elephant.

One thing we have been told is that the sea-ice of the Arctic is in a “death spiral,” and that once the ice is gone the arctic ocean will absorb more sunshine due to a changed “albedo,” and that this will lead to the calamity of runaway Global  Warming.  I doubt this, as there was much less ice up there when the Vikings farmed in Greenland, and it led to no runaway warming back then, however before we even discuss that subject we need to see the ice melt.

It is failing to do so. The media is doing its best to sell papers with alarming pictures, but the facts are different.  The media can make news with pictures of open water at the Pole, then conveniently forget to show a picture from a few days later that shows the water gone, as happened last summer:

https://sunriseswansong.wordpress.com/2013/07/28/lake-north-pole-vanishes/

This year a splendid lead has opened in front of our North Pole Camera, and we are offered a chance to study the dynamics of such leads opening and then crushing shut.  However we are liable to see shrieking headlines and pictures of the open water of two days ago (top picture) and then fail to see today’s picture of the lead again closing (bottom picture.)

NP2 June 16 15

NP2 June 18 18

(You can left-click these pictures for a larger and clearer view, or right-click them and chose the open-to-a-new-tab option if you don’t want to leave this site.)

To have a lead open so close to the camera does put the camera in danger, and we may be dumped into the sea at some point. I can only imagine the hoopla the media would make of such an event.  However the fact is the arctic ocean is always fractured, and there are pictures of submarines surfacing in leads at the Pole in the 1950’s and 1980’s.

USS_Skate_-_0857806Sub at pole NP1987

(Click images to enlarge)

And in the 1970’s a lead even opened right under a scientific base:

Aidjex 2 MainCamp

This year the Pole is particularly pulverized due to storms (see prior posts) but this doesn’t mean the open water will suck up more sunshine and melt more ice.  In fact even a government computer model is showing the ice will float around and refuse to melt, and by August we will see, rather than  the “ice-free Pole” the media has been hyping, ice levels that are higher than normal.  (By  the way, as a way of waffling, the term “ice-free Pole” has been recently redefined, and now 1 million km2 if ice counts as “ice-free.”)  Not that I trust computer models, but this one shows nearly 7 million km2 at the minimum in September.

Extent Graph June 18 sieMon (Double-click for larger and clearer graphs)

Lastly, the DMI graph for temperatures north of 80 degrees latitude shows that the thaw is ten days late, and only now is the summer thaw starting. (It happens every year in the 24-hour-a-day sunshine, and usually ends in late August or at the start of September, when the sun gets low.)

DMI2 0618 meanT_2014 Click to enlarge

All in all it seems the only death in the “death spiral” is that it is dead wrong. The only way to reduce the extent this summer is for a cross-polar-flow to flush a huge amount into the North Atlantic, which would be bad news for Europe because a chilled North Atlantic would make for a colder Europe, however if such a flush does occur you can depend on the media to point at the reduced extent and claim it is proof it is warmer. (This is basically what happened in 2007.)

The president will then state that “the science is settled.” It isn’t and never has been. I’ll simply share my observations, and Truth will do the talking for me.  As long as the president keeps yammering the Truth will keep hammering.

I am fairly busy with my real job, as well as other aspects of my life, but will try to post DMI maps and North Pole Camera pictures twice a day.  Below are the final entries from my last post. (You will have to forgive me for naming storms.) However before I begin this post’s entries I should note my links, so you can go look for yourself if you get weary of my ranting.

The DMI Site:   http://ocean.dmi.dk/arctic/index.uk.php

North Pole Camera: http://psc.apl.washington.edu/northpole/index.html

WUWT Sea Ice Page:  http://wattsupwiththat.com/reference-pages/sea-ice-page/

Also I recommend a week’s free trial of the WeatherBELL premium site. After you become addicted it will cost the price of a cup of coffee each day: http://www.weatherbell.com/premium/

OK. On with the updates, which will keep being added on at the bottom of this post:

JUNE 18  —DMI Morning Maps—

DMI2 0618 mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0618 temp_latest.big (1)

“Carrot,” over the Kara Sea, is drawing from some very warm air (up in the 80′s) in central Siberia, and the models keep flip-flopping over whether it will be drawn towards that warm air and track east along the coast, or whether it will copy prior storms and head for the Pole.

Very cool air is being drawn south over Scandinavia by “Elsie,” which looks like it will stall and sit over Finland all week. The air swirling in Elsie is fairly dry so they may get some spells of sunshine, but any warmth will have to be home grown.

A tiny low is rippling up over the top of the blocking Atlantic high, and is just east of Iceland.

NORTH POLE CAMERA  —The lead closes again—

NP2 June 17D 14 (1)NP2 June 18 18

Judging from isobars, the wind has likely shifted to the north, and the ice has shifted in a way that is closing up the lead.  Although the lead looks grayer I think it is due to lighting, and not due to it freezing over, as temperatures are not below the freezing point of salt water. (There is a chance wind-blown freshwater snow, with a melting point of 32, has landed in seawater that is down around 30,  and in such cases the snow doesn’t melt right away.)

JUNE 18   —DMI AFTERNOON MAPS—

DMI2 0618B mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0618B temp_latest.big (1)

“Carrot” is looking flattened by the high northwest of Greenland, as it tries to move towards the Pole. “Elsie” is dawdling about, east of Finland.  The large blocking high continues to sit south of Iceland. Temperatures at the Pole are nearly up to normal.

NORTH POLE CAMERA  —Will we ever see the sun?—

NP2 June 18C 18

 

The far side of the lead is moving slowly right to left, in this picture from 4:00 PM.  When the lead closed it looks like it built up slight pressure ridges that appear to be more like slush than ice.  This shush is a possibility, as temperatures have been above the freezing point of salt water but below the melting point of fresh water, for the past 24 hours.  There has been almost no variation. Temperatures were at -1.1°C at noon yesterday and were at -1.1°C at noon today. The high was -0.8°C at midnight, and the low was -1.2°C at 9:00 AM.

This sort of flat-lining is fairly common, during the summer.  Ice-water remains at a constant temperature until all the ice is melted. Therefore the air close to that ice-water will remain at a fairly constant temperature. (This is why people go to the beach in summer heat; the air close to that water is cooler.)

The westward drift of our ice has continued, but our northward movement stopped at 85.280°N at midnight, and we have started south again, end up at 85.267°N, 14.922°E at noon.  Winds slacked off considerably to less than 5 mph, but a bit of a northly breeze stiffened to 13 mph right at noon.  The barometric pressure has continued rising to 1022.1 mb.

It sure has seemed more cloudy than normal this spring, not only here but also over at O-buoy 9 and O-buoy 10. You have to search through the film records to find the sunny days, which were actually what attracted me to the North Pole Camera in the first place. I find gloom far less attractive. I suppose we should blame the “Quiet Sun,” according to the theories of Svenmark, and should scratch our grizzled jaws, glance up at the gray overcast, and mutter, “Blast those cosmic rays.”

JUNE 19  —DMI MORNING MAPS—

DMI2 0619 mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0619 temp_latest.big (1)

 

Though weak and flattened, “Carrot” looks like it will be yet another storm that will move out and over the Pole. A sort of Fujiwhara effect is developing between it and “Elsie,” and Elsie may be pulled east along the Siberian coast. A cross-polar-flow seems to be developing from Central Siberia to Norway. (This would be very cold in the winter, but draws warm air from inland Siberia out over the Arctic Sea in the summer.)

NORTH POLE CAMERA  —Lead reopens in snow squalls—

The first two pictures are taken five minutes apart around 10:00 PM last night. In the second picture the far side of the lead, in the central distance, has vanished in a snow squall.

NP2 June 18D 11

NP2 June 18E 12

The next picture is from 4:00 AM this morning, and shows the far side of the lead can barely be seen. Although all the open water is impressive, it is important to remember it is more due to shifting winds than warm temperatures.  Last year at this time days of bright sunshine was already starting to turn snow to slush and create melt-water pools. This year we appear to have a dusting of freshly fallen snow, which has the highest possible “albedo”, when it comes to reflecting incoming sunlight.

NP2 June 19 18

JUNE 20  —DMI MORNING MAPS—

DMI2 0620 mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0620 temp_latest.big (1)

“Carrot” has drifted up  over our camera, as “Elsie strengthens east of Finland. The noontime side of the Pole (top of these maps) is nearly entirely above freezing, as the midnight side over our camera remains below freezing.

I’m sorry for sparse updates, but I am engrossed in other writing.

NORTH POLE CAMERA  —DULL AND GRAY—

NP2 June 20 18

Because the weather is absolutely gorgeous here in New Hampshire, these gray pictures are losing their appeal.

Once again we didn’t quite break freezing. Temperatures got up to -0.2°C at 6:00 AM yesterday, before settling back to -0.4°C at noon.  Our camera continued to drift south and west, ending the period at 85.168°N, 14.031°E. The barometer slipped down to 1013.0 mb in a steady breeze of around 10 mph

JUNE 20 —DMI AFTERNOON MAPS—

DMI2 0620B mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0620B temp_latest.big (1)

NORTH POLE CAMERA  —Above freezing—
>NP2 June 20B 17

Temperatures finally made it above freezing, reaching +0.1°C ay 3:00 PM yesterday, before promptly dipping back down to -0.8°C at (:00 PM. Then it rose slowly, getting above freezing at 9:00 AM and touching +0.2°C at noon.

The barometer was steady,at 1012.1 mb at noon, and winds remained firmly a bit above 10mph.

Our southward drift continued, but our westward drift stopped at 13.968°E at 9:00 Pm, and we moved back east, finishing at noon at 85.080°N, 14.270°E .

There is a black object at our edge of the lead, about a quarter of the way across from the right margin. I have no idea what it is.

JUNE 21  —DMI Morning Maps—

DMI2 0621 mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0621 temp_latest.big (1)

 

“Carrot” is weakening over the Camera, as “Elsie” seems to have occluded, and to be kicking a secondary “zipper” east along the Siberian coast. (I’ll call it “Elsieson”.) A sort of wall of high pressure is extending northwards towards our camera, and may extend over the Pole as “carrot” fades away, bur a weakness in the high pressure is allowing bits of squished low pressure across the Atlantic past Iceland towards the Baltic. South of there the high remains parked just west of Ireland. This is keeping anything big from crossing the Atlantic, and it looks like the next low to head for the Pole will come north from the Black Sea. (If it amounts to anything I’ll call it “Blackie.”)

It looks like the thaw is having trouble getting to the Pole.

NORTH POLE CAMERA  — Wan sunshine—

NP2 June 20D 13NP2 June 21 16

 

Top picture is from 10:00 PM yesterday, and bottom from 4:00 AM today.  I’m scanning for signs of thaw, and don’t see much.  If you look at last year’s pictures you notice a softening of the snow, a lack of crispness. Also a very obvious sign is little drops of water on the lens,  as from now until late August it does rain and drizzle up there.

As the thaw proceeds darker areas appear in the snow, as it gets slushy. The darker areas absorb more sunlight than fresh snow, and the thawing speeds up, and last year we saw a nice example of a melt-water pool appear right in front of the camera. I’m not sure about getting a pool this year. The water might drain away off the edge of the lead.

I think the lead may have closed up slightly in the second picture, but not much. I assume the water appears gray in the second picture because it is reflecting the milky sky, and not because it has slush floating in it, which is sometimes the case.

JUNE 21  —DMI Afternoon maps—

DMI2 0621B mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0621B temp_latest.big (1)

NORTH POLE CAMERA  —At last some blue skies—

NP2 June 21C 18

It looks like there is slush in the lead’s water.

JUNE 22 —DMI Morning Maps—

DMI2 0622 mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0622 temp_latest.big (1)

NORTH POLE CAMERA —The chill persists—

NP2 June 21D 16

 

The sludge in the lead is moving from the right to the left. Formerly this was from south to north, when the camera faced east, but I notice this picture is from last night at around 10:00 PM, and the sun is in the center. The sun used to be in the center of the pictures from around 4:00 AM. Obviously the ice our camera is on has swiveled right around, and in the picture we are facing northwest.

This is what messes up the site’s wind vane, I think. It is bad enough magnetic north varies a lot, as we drift from 90 north to 85 north, but also the entire berg is twirling around.

If you want to read something funny, look back in these posts to last August, when I am completely puzzled by the way the camera seemed to always drift straight up wind.  I came up with three incorrect theories for the phenomenon before light dawned on Marblehead, and I realized the wind-vane’s readings were 180 degrees off.

As the sky is turning gray again, it could be warming up.

NORTH POLE CAMERA —Not warmer. Big berg cruising by.—

NP2 June 22B 18

 

 

A fairly large berg is cruising into view, moving from right to left. Some large bergs are chips that have calved off glaciers, but this one looks like a piece of a larger pressure ridge.  The winds have shifted to the east, and it is colder.

During that sunny spell yesterday temperatures jumped from -2.0°C at noon to +0.5°C at 5:00 PM, which perhaps indicates that, for a month or two, the sun warms enough to keep the clear sky from leading to radiational cooling. By late August that reverses, and a clear sky goes hand in hand with a temperature drop.  I’m not sure when the clouds rolled in, but the temperature dipped back down to -2.4°C by 8:00 PM. They had risen back up to -1.1°C by 3:00 AM today, but slid back down to -1.8°C by noon. We can’t seem to get our thaw off the ground.

Winds dropped to a dead calm during the sunny spell, and then became light from the east, around 5 mph.  Our camera stopped drifting south at 85.041°N at ^:00 PM yesterday, and we have inched a little north since then. Most of our movement has been to the west, after our eastward drift stopped at 15.190°E at 3:00 PM yesterday. At noon we were at 85.048°N, 14.830°E. The pressure has slowly risen to 1023.1 mb.

JUNE 22 —DMI AFTERNOON MAPS—

DMI2 0622B mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0622B temp_latest.big (1)

 

I’ve half expected “Elsieson” to curve north and make a run for the Pole, as so many other lows have done that, but it is starting to look like it will fade inland, to the southeast.  However by tomorrow morning “Blackie” will start to be visible, as it moves up into the weak low pressure left behind by “Elsie”s” occluded remnants.

There is an intriguing ridge of high pressure running up from the Azores to the Arctic, and then over to Canada.  Lows can barely squeeze over a bit of a col south of Iceland, but there’s not much left of them when they get across the Atlantic. It looks like this feature will persist for a while. It will bring a little mild air up its west side, up the coast of Greenland, and I imagine this will prevent ice from exiting south through Fram Strait.  Over our camera it looks like things will be storm free and calm for a while. On the east side the winds will be north, especially with Blackie’s west-side north winds, and I imagine all of Scandinavia will experience a north wind. I imagine this will also prevent the surface waters of the Gulf Stream from making much headway into the Barents Sea.

If anyone in Scandinavia visits, I’d be very interested to know what the early summer is like. It looks pretty cold, for the start of this week, from this far away.

QUICK PEEK AT UK MET MAP

UK Met June 22 15554111

 

This map does a good job of showing the ridge extending north from the Azores to the Arctic, with the weakness in it south of Iceland. The storm back towards Labrador is stalled, and can only manage to send weak “zippers” east over the col. One has made it to the Baltic and joined with Elsie’s remnants to reinforce Blackie, which is half-off the map, at the top right. Blackie moved more northeast than I expected, but now is being swung to the northwest by the business in the Baltic.

I see that low is sitting off Spain again.  When I’m rich I’ll hire people there and in Italy to report, because it seems they’ve had some interesting weather as well, with this blocking pattern.

Actually I suppose I could do the work myself, by surfing the web, but I’ve been busy writing something fairly long and (hopefully) humorous I hope to post here this week. Once it is done I may have more time to watch the ice.

SNOW IN NORTHERN NORWAY

Norway Snow P1040378-700x525

 

http://www.icenews.is/2014/06/22/snow-in-june-only-in-norway/

JUNE 23 —DMI MORNING MAPS—

DMI2 0623 mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0623 temp_latest.big (1)

As long as that ridge of high pressure stays in place in the middle of the Atlantic not much ice can be exported south through Fram Strait. Cold air is being exported down the east side of the ridge over Norway, leaving less sub-freezing air over the Pole. In fact this is the most summery map we have yet seen.

NORTH POLE CAMERA  —LEAD AGAIN CLOSES—

NP2 June 23 12NP2 June 23B 15

 

The top picture is from 4:00 AM, and the bottom from 10:00 AM. These pictures can be clicked for larger and clearer views.

It looks like our iceberg drifted to the central distance, and then got jammed into our side of the lead. It isn’t moving, as the far side of the lead moves right to left. I think we are still looking north, and the winds are east.  That patch of darkness in the cloud above the horizon just left of the central distance is likely a patch of open water reflecting against the low cloud.

I’m still busy with other writing, but hope to be done today.

JUNE 23  —DMI AFTERNOON MAPS—

DMI2 0623B mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0623B temp_latest.big (1)

“Blackie” has appeared, just south of Barents Sea, and is contributing to the north winds over Scandinavia.  A surprising little tongue of cold extends south from the Pole over our Camera.

The winds are light at the camera. There are no recent pictures, for some reason. Perhaps the solar batteries are low, with all the gloomy weather. The less than 5 mph winds have apparently continued from the ENE, as the ice our camera is on has crept WSW to 85.022°N, 14.599°E.

I’m surprised by how low the temperatures have been. The high was -1.6°C at 3:00 PM yesterday, and the low was -3.2°C at 3:00 AM this morning, and at the end of our 24-hour-period at noon it was at -2.7°C. It has got to warm up soon, but this is one heck of a way to run a summer thaw, so far.

The barometer remains high and steady, at 1023.1 mb at noon.

NORTH POLE CAMERA  —4:00 PM Picture: Much the same—

NP2 June 23C 18

 

It is rough trying to make news out of nothing happening, but I’ll do my best.

The water looks glassy and slush free, and it looks like our berg has busted free, taking a small chunk of our side of the lead with it. This may suggest the high pressure has crested, and winds are around to the west, though quite calm. A west wind might be warmer.

It would be interesting if our side of the lead kept being chipped away during the summer, with the water coming closer and closer until…STAY TUNED!!!

JUNE 24  —DMI Morning Maps—

DMI2 0624 mslp_latest.bigDMi2 0624 temp_latest.big (1)

NORTH POLE CAMERA  —Never-ending Gray—

NP2 June 23D 13NP2 June 24 18

 

JUNE 24  —Afternoon DMI Maps—

DMI2 0624B mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0624B temp_latest.big (1)

 

NORTH POLE CAMERA  —Lead again widens—

NP2 June 24C 18

 

At long last a bit of thawing has hit, after it stayed surprisingly cold during the past 24 hour period, and was down to -3.6°C at midnight., in winds under 5 mph. The winds picked up a little to 9 mph, likely from the SSW, as temperatures rose to +0.5°C at noon. The pressures fell slowly to 1020.7 mb, hinting that the crest of the ridge of high pressure is to the east now.

We nearly got across 85 degrees latitude, stopping just short at 85.011°N at midnight, before starting back north while heading steadily east, and ending the 24-hour-period at  85.021°N, 14.832°E at noon.

JUNE 25   —DMI MORNING MAPS—

DMI2 0625 mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0625 temp_latest.big (1)

The main feature continues to be the ridge of high pressure in the middle of the north Atlantic. The interaction between it and “Blackie,” weak and stalled just east of Finland, gives Scandinaia some cold winds, which pushed a cold front down to England and gave them some summer thunder. Meanwhile the other side of the high is creating a “wrong way wind” in Fram Strait, and prevents the export of sea ice.

NORTH POLE CAMERA  —Signs of thaw as gloom continues—

NP2 June 24D 10NP2 June 25 17

 

The above pictures are from 10:00 last night (top) and 4:00 this morning (bottom),  and if you compare them you can see the snow has slumped a little by the snow stakes. This sort of fog can be a snow-eater, for as the water condenses on the snow, (like water on the side of a cold glass on a summer day,) it releases latent heat.

Initially the top of the sea-ice can be much colder than the air, as it remembers the chill of winter, however by late June the sea-ice and the air are usually only a degree or two apart.

Considering a high pressure ridge crested over us, you’d think we’d get sunshine, but I suppose the west side of the high is importing moist Atlantic air up the east coast of Greenland, creating this fog.

*******

9:32 am  …..AND A GLIMPSE OF SUN!

NP2 June 25B 15

9:39 am  …..AND IT’S GONE…

NP2 June 25B 18

JUNE 25 —DMI Afternoon Maps—

DMI2 0625b mslp_latest.bigDMI2  0625btemp_latest.big (1)

JUNE 26  —DMI Morning Maps—

DMI2 0626 mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0626 temp_latest.big (1)

The Atlantic ridge persists, but is weaker. South of this map it is allowing weak low pressure across the Atlantic, which may brew up something in the Baltic Sea in three days. Another low, suppressed well south in central Europe, likely will become stronger north of the Black Sea, but will not head straight north as “Blackie” did, and instead will slide northeast towards central Siberia. The Pole looks likely to enjoy calm and be ruled by high pressure into next week.

NORTH POLE CAMERA  —A data glitch—

For some reason the camera not only failed to report yesterday’s position and temperature and pressure and wind, but erased the data from the day before. I have no clue what the problem is.

The first picture is from 3:30 PM yesterday, and shows the sun straight ahead, which means our camera has swung 180 degrees and now is looking west-southwest.NP2 June 25C 16

The second picture is from (:30 PM last night, and shows the lead has closed up again, Both clouds and the ice across the lead are moving from right to left, which suggests the wind is back to the north.

Buoy 2014E: , roughly 90 miles north at 86.58 N, 9.20 E, is reporting temperatures at  -0.50 C this morning, so we could be back below freezing ourselves. The thaw continues to be minimal, as is shown by the DMI temperature graph.

DMI2 0626 meanT_2014 (click to enlarge)

JUNE 26 —DMI AFTERNOON MAPS—

DMI2 0626B mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0626B temp_latest.big (1)

NORTH POLE CAMERA  —Data updated. Calm and thawing—

NP2 June 26B 14 (1)NP2 June 26C 18

These pictures are taken at 3:30 PM (top) and (:30 PM (bottom) and show very little movement of the ice, indicative of light winds, or calm.

The camera data was updated, and show temperatures have remained above freezing for over two days. Yesterday they achieved a high at 6:00 Am of +0.8°C, and then sank to +0.1°C at 6:00 PM, and then gradually rose to today’s high at noon, +1.1°C. This is the warmest we’ve seen this summer.

Pressures have fallen slightly and then leveled off, and were at 1016.3mb at noon. Winds have been light, between 5 and 10 mph, pushing our camera slowly north and east, to a final position of 85.074°N, 15.337°E.

JUNE 27   —DMI MORNING MAPS—

DMI2 0627 mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0627 temp_latest.big (1)

NORTH POLE CAMERA  —Thaw shrinking snow—

NP2 June 27 17

The lead is only a little wider, with the far side moving left to right, which may be south winds moving that ice, or may be due to the fact our berg is spinning around in a counter-clockwise fashion. We need a view of the sun to see which way we are facing.

If you look at the snow-stakes you can notice the snow is shrinking. Just to the right of the big buoy’s base may be the first puddle of the year, though it also may merely be exposed ice.

The writing I’ve been occupied with recently was published on WUWT, which has me excited and busy elsewhere.

JUNE 27  —DMI AFTERNOON MAPS—

DMI2 0627B mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0627B temp_latest.big (1)

The arctic is nearly up to normal. The sub-freezing temperature up towards Bering Strait is only due to midnight being up that way. The sub-freezing pools of air north o Barents Sea are the last real cold left.  Now it is very interesting to see cold pools develop, and try to think how can come to be, with the sun up constantly.

Carrot” “Blackie” is drifting east in West Siberia, but the next news is likely that low at the top of Hudson Bay, expected to cross southern Greenland. (Call it therefore “Spinach.”) It is hard to trust the models these days, as they are having a hard time with patterns world-wide and are flip-flopping a lot, but they suggest Spinach could be the first genuine Atlantic gale we’ve seen in a long time, south of Iceland by midweek.

NORTH POLE CAMERA  —Still heading north—

NP2 June 27B 15NP2 June 27C 17

The above pictures are from 9:30 AM (top) and 3:30 PM, (bottom). The ice across the lead is sliding away to the left and we may be slipping free of it into some open water to the right. Thaw is continueing, and may be with us until August. Temperatures are fairly steady, just above freezing, with the low at +0.6°C at 3:00 AM and the high at +1.3°C at 9:00 AM, and temperatures back to +1.0°C at noon. Perhaps a little Atlantic warmth is leaking north, as winds continue to push us north and west, to 85.143°N, 15.630°E. We had nearly moved south of 85 degrees but soon will be ten miles north of there.  Rather than ice flushing south into the Atlantic it is being being packed back up towards the Pole, for the time being.  Winds are steady at 10-15 mph. Pressure again slowly rising, to 1019.8 mb.

JUNE 28  —DMI Morning Maps—

DMI2 0628 mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0628 temp_latest.big (1)

Carrot” “Blackie” continues to roll east through Siberia as “Spinach” enters Baffin Bay.  The long ridge of high pressure, basically from the Azores to the Pole, is breaking apart in the Atlantic south of the above map and allowing weak low pressure to cross England and pool in the Baltic.

Noon temperatures are at the top of the map and midnight at the bottom. It is a summer map, with thawing prevalent.

NORTH POLE CAMERA  —Gray weather continues; more open water—

Np2 June 27D 12

The dimly seen sun shows the camera has swung back slightly and we are looking northwest, at the picture was taken at 9:30 last night.  Thawing continues, as more of the snow-stakes are seen. I think the lead hasn’t widened as much as the pan of ice forming the far side has simply shifted to the left. On the right horizon are the silhouettes of some large bergs.

NP2 June 28 16

This picture is from 3:30 AM, and shows the ice across the lead towards the center is moving back, left to right, so perhaps the lead is again closing.

JUNE 28  —DMI Afternoon Maps—Temperature Tiger—

DMI2 0628B mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0628B temp_latest.big (1)

I’m not sure why the temperature map is stripes. Likely it is an interesting glitch. At any rate, it looks like a spot of sub-freezing temperatures found our camera, despite the fact it is noon. The sub freezing temperatures towards the top of the map are because it is midnight on that side of the earth, and even above the arctic circle, where the sun doesn’t set, if you are near the circle the sun dips down to the horizon and temperatures dip as well.

Carrot” “Blackie” appears to be weakening over central Siberia, as “Spinach” starts the weird process of what I call “morfistication,” as a storm transiting a mountain range or icecap. Sometimes the icecap seems to kill storms, but often they reform on the other side mysteriously, or sort of blurb around the bottom tip of Greenland, and this one may do both. In any case there could be a summer gale over Iceland by Wedensday, which would be quite a change from the Azores to North Pole ridge of high pressure.

Weak low pressure managed to penetrate the ridge, and now is over the Baltic.  It likely will hang about and be a bit of a bummer for boater, though nothing big.  O’ll include a UK Met map to show it.

UL MET MAP  —Bummer for Boaters—

UK Met June 28 15720866 (Click map to enlarge)

NORTH POLE CAMERA  —Unexpected freeze—

NP2 June 28B 14 (1)NP2 June 28B 15

The top picture is from 9:30 AM, when temperatures had crashed to -1.5°C. The slushy-looking area at the right base of the big buoy has whitened somewhat, and likely refroze. By noon the temperature was down to the day’s low of -1.8°C. We’ll have to wait until tomorrow;’s report to get an idea of the temperature in the second picture, which is from 3:30 PM.

The temperature seemed to start dropping as soon as the winds shifted from southwest to southeast. We have continued north, but eastward motion ceased at 3:00 PM yesterday at 15.653°E, and we’ve started sliding back west. The noon position was 85.196°N, 15.490°E. We’ve been creeping the “wrong way,” back north, for four and a half days.

After narrowing for a while the lead is again widening. Some ghostly silhouettes of bigger bergs are again drifting along the upper right horizon, now moving from left to right.

JUNE 29  —DMI  Morning Maps—

DMI2 0629 mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0629 temp_latest.big (1)

I’ve been so excited about getting Part One of “A Grain of Salt” published on WUWT that I forgot the names of my storms, and was calling “Blackie” “Carrot.”  In any case, whatever-the-heck-it’s called is over in central Siberia, with more low pressure trailing back to the west, all suppressed well south of the arctic. A northern reflection of the second low is in Barents Sea, while to its west a morpistcated piece of “Spinach” has crossed Breenland and is parked southwest of Svalbard.

It is interesting that the area of sub-freezing temperatures has increased around the Pole. How can it get colder in 24-hour sunshine? The salt water is below freezing, and cooling the air?

NORTH POLE CAMERA  —Collision—

NP2 June 28D 13

This first picture is from 9:30 last night. We’ve collided with a large floe of ice. Judging from the sun, our camera is pointed northwest, but has turned around five degrees further north.  The floe across the lead is moving slightly left to right.

NP2 June 29 17

This picture is from 3:30 AM, and I’m not sure what is going on. I think the same floe is straight ahead, but a chunk towards the right margin has broken off. It seems fairly calm, as nothing appears to be moving.

*******

Below is the 9:30 AM picture, and shows things are back on the move. The ice is moving right to left now, and the bigger bergs are (I assume) out of view to the left, as thinner ice slides by.

In the past 24 hour period the temperatures were quite cold, hitting the low of  -2.4°C at 6:00 PM yesterday, and still at -2.4°C at midnight, when they were starting to rise. They were at  -1.3°C at 6:00 AM, and then sprang up to freezing at roughly the time the picture below was taken, and at noon were at +0.2°C. Meanwhile the wind was shifting from ESE to ENE, as our northward movement ceased at 6:00 AM, achieving  85.207°N before inching south. The movement west was steady, as winds stiffened a little to over 10 mph. and we ended the day at 85.204°N, 14.807°E.  The pressure has fallen very slightly, to 1018.2 mb.

NP2 June 29B 14 (1)

JUNE 29  —DMI Afternoon Maps—

DMI2 0629B mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0629B temp_latest.big (1)

JUNE 30  —DMI Morning Maps—

DMI2 0630 mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0630 temp_latest.big (1)

If you compare the two sets of maps above you can see how the freezing temperatures appear and disappear over towards Bering Strait, depending on whether it is midnight, (top set of maps) or noon (bottom set of maps.)  This demonstrates there is some diurnal variation, even where the sun never fully sets.  (You also have to keep in mind that when it is noon on the top it is midnight on the bottom, and vice versa.)

The bottom map shows two pockets of cold air moving along the Siberian coast, one behind Blackie in central Siberia and one over towards Bering Strait. A low down over the Baltic, (I’ll call it “Hid,” because I can’t see it,) is at last bringing some milder air north and giving Scandinavia a break from north winds. There is only a small pocket of cold left up at the Pole north of our Camera.

The high over the Pole is creating a textbook zonal pattern, and we may even have a textbook Polar Cell, like the Ferrel and Hadley Cells in more southern latitudes.  The weather hasn’t been obeying the textbooks much, this years, with storms over the Pole, but we are getting a break from that, and things are generally calm up there.

“Spinach” crashed into Greenland, and I’m going to rename the two morfisticated chunks “Spin” (towards the southern tip of Greenland), and “Ach” (weak and moving east over Svalbard).  Spin could grow to be the first Icelandic gale we’ve seen in a long time, if it gets reinforced by a second low now over Labrador off the above map, which could shoot under Greenland and join Spin.

NORTH POLE CAMERA —Mighty gloomy—

NP2 June 30 18

The lead is opened up wide, likely because the ice can spread out more as it drifts to the southwest.  (At times this can actually increase the “extent,” as the same amount of ice covers a larger area…which is a good reason to pay attention to “area” graphs, and not just “extent” graphs.)

I originally liked the North Pole Camera because I liked the pictures of white snow and blue sky, when it got up to ninety down here in New Hampshire. This year there’s hardly ever any blue and white. It is just gray, gray, gray. I can’t say it is all that appealing.

EVEN  LESS APPEALING 9:30 AM PICTURE

NP2 June 30B 15

 3:30 PM —AT LEAST THE LENS DRIED OFF—

NP2 June 30C 18

 

The lead remains wide.  Is our edge getting worn away?

Temperatures hovered at freezing or ja tenth or two above, then dripped briefly to  -0.4°C between midnight ans 3:00 AM, before rising again to +0.5°C at noon. Winds have slacked off to 5-10 mph, as oue camera crept south a little, but mostly moved west, to 85.185°N, 14.051°E at noon. Pressure has fallen slightly to 1014.2 mb.

JUNE 30  —DMI AFTERNOON MAPS

DMI2 0630B mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0630B temp_latest.big (1)

JULY 1  —DMI Morning Maps—

DMI2 0701 mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0701 temp_latest.big (1)

“Spin” continues to brew up southwest of Iceland, as “Ach” remaons weak over Svalbard. The other main feature continues to be the high pressure over the Arctic Sea, and is quasi-zonal flow.

A “heat wave” is occurring north of Alaska, with temperatures up over plus five. The ice is pretty thick there, but must be slushy. The sub-freezing pool continues to be in the Kara Sea.

NORTH POLE CAMERA  —The gray thaw resumes—

NP2 June 30D 12NP2 July 1 17

The top picture is from 9:30 PM last night, and the bottom is from 3:30 AM this morning.  The snow is again starting to look grayer, which is indicative of slush. The lead continues to remain wide, and the satellite pictures show many cakes of ice jostling together in a packed sea.  I’m not sure it is right to call the lead a lead any more, as it is less like a crack in solid ice and more like water between floating islands, but I’ll keep on calling it a lead for the sake of consistency.

As this post is becoming long and unwieldy, I’ll start a new one at:: https://sunriseswansong.wordpress.com/2014/07/01/arctic-sea-ice-melt-crunch-time/

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9 thoughts on “ARCTIC SEA ICE MELT —The Thaw Begins—

      • Thanks for pointing that out.

        I’m never quite sure how much distortion is involved when you use a fish-eye lens. The view is around 180 degrees I think.

      • Oh, I just use it for a regular upload since I’ve got tons of stuff on there already. Most of the edits I use GIMP for: http://www.gimp.org/downloads/ if you click “show more downloads” it has links for windows systems down there, with install guides and tutorials on the site as well. For quick “throwaway” uploads I would check out imgur as it is real easy and fast with good hosting reliability.

    • Hi Eric! Always good to hear from you. You must have linked to this site from Real Science, as I’ve had a surge of viewers.

      Yes, you did. I just checked. Thanks.

      That camera fell over around a month ago, and is slowly sinking down into the snow. It gives us a close-up view of the snow I suppose. I wonder if we are seeing bits of soot in that ice, in the darker specks.

      Maybe they can hitch a ride on an icebreaker up there, and get close enough to dash over to that camera and set it back up. There are plenty of cracks in the ice, and I think a ship could get up that far. If you go to http://www.arctic.io/explorer/ and zoom in on the Google map, the box in lower left tells you where the hand-thingy is located, and see how bashed up the ice at our camera is.

      I found a graph that shows the temperature of the water under the ice over towards Canada, and the salt water was below the freezing point of fresh water right down to the pycnocline, which was 50 meters below. Below that it was warmer (and likely saltier,) but it will take a mighty big storm to churn waters that far down, and bring any warm water up to melt ice.

      My best guess is that the water under the ice is cold in other places as well, and the only way the extent can come down is for an unusual amount of sea-ice to be flushed down south through Fram Strait. That could still happen, but it sure isn’t happening at the moment.

      • Well hopefully that camera gets up and running because we are going to need more documentations of the coming high minimum ice levels.

        And remember when you comment at wuwt or wherever to sometimes put links in to your own blog. Everyone else does it. Of course try to make it look like it’s somewhat on topic, usually. If you want to be less conspicuous about it, embed the link (like I did in my link to Goddard’s camera post in my comment above). This page shows how to do that in case you are fuzzy on how to: http://www.w3schools.com/html/html_links.asp

        Say something like: “as I’ve been saying in *my blog,* blah blah blah…” where “my blog” has an embedded link to your blog. Just an idea.

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