ARCTIC SEA ICE -The First Law-(Updated 9 times and concluded.)

I’ve been busy with other posts, but do not neglect my important responsibility when it comes to watching paint dry ice melt. Because part of my responsibility involves educating you, the reader, I insist you study the following interpretation, by artists, of scientific stuff. It is especially important because it explains the laws of thermodynamics I need you to understand. It also explains bullshit involving the difference between science and poets. And it does this back in the 1960’s. In fact, as you watch these two guys, you get the sense they were miles ahead of their times, and perhaps were minor prophets.

I can’t compete with those two guys (one in a wheelchair.) There is more education and wisdom involved in replaying their ancient video five times, than I am liable to produce.  I’m humbled.

Until I can recover from being so humbled, the best I can do is post DMI maps. Reality also produces more than a poet ever can.                             DMI20719 mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0719 temp_latest.big DMI2 0719B mslp_latest.big DMI2 0719B temp_latest.big

Before I return to my more-boring focus on the above maps, perhaps we should briefly consider other realities, which were obvious to Flanders and Swan, a half century ago.


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Last week some models were showing a summer storm moving north from the Kara Sea to the Pole, but reality begged to differ, and what we witness is the opposite: High pressure rebuilding over the Pole. There is only a vauge dimple of low pressure denting the isobars at the Pole, and rather than from the Kara Sea that dimple came from, of all places, the taiga and tundra west of Hudson Bay. Some surprisingly mild air came seeping north through the Canadian Archipelago and gave one of the strongest thaws of the summer to off-shore ice, on its way to the Pole. Once such mild air gets north it tends to rise, and weaken the high pressure. Faboo (my name for the North Pole Camera Buoy) saw our sunny spell come to an end, and the Pole experienced above-normal temperatures for the first time in three summers.

DMI2 0720 meanT_2015 The above graph only includes temperatures north of 80° latitude, but if you look at the temperature maps above you notice there is a sort of ring of sub-freezing temperatures associated with weak low pressure dancing around the polar high pressure, with  much of the chill south of 80°. (This is as the textbook states things should be, with the high pressure over the pole the center of the “Polar Cell.”) (Half of the time the Pole just laughs at the textbooks.)

Most of the melting of the sea-ice comes from warmer water transported north under the ice, or the ice being transported south to warmer waters and climes, however the chill  around the edges of the Pole cannot be speeding the melt of the ice, which continues slower than last year. DMI2 0720 icecover_current_new Although I earlier showed you how wrong models can be, I will mention some models are showing the sub-freezing temperatures growing, during the next two weeks, over the Beaufort Sea, north of Alaska. (You can click all maps and images in this post to clarify and enlarge)DMI2 0720 ScreenHunter_9947-Jul.-19-08.07 My job is made easier this Monday morning by the fact neither the O-buoy camera site nor the Mass Balance Buoy site are transmitting, this morning. It like the old days, when all we had was Faboo, and Fabootwo, (the second North Pole Camera).

Fabootwo did catch a glimpse of midnight sun, (Notice the sun is already getting lower.) (Also notice a snow stake has fallen over.)NP3 2 0720 2015cam2_2

However for the most part Faboo has seen the thaw be sunless.

NP3 1 0720 2015cam1_1 We have to wait a day to get the official data from Faboo, and it shows us Faboo continued its very slow drift to the south and west, traveling 2.42 miles in 24 hours and winding us up at 86.341°N, 5.490°W. Winds remained light, even calm, but the transpolar drift shoves us along even without wind.

There does seem to be a heat-island effect caused by the sun striking the buoy, even though they try their best to make the buoy be white and reflect heat. It sits in its own private pool of water, and when it is sunny temperatures spike when it gets calm. For example, Friday’s final reading was in a calm, and was +2.7°C, but as soon as a slight 2 mph draft started wafting, the next reading came in at +0.4°C, for Saturday’s low. But then it grew cloudy, so I am less liable to distrust the high temperatures, especially as winds touched 5 mph at times. We reached +1.9°C at noon, and even though our final reading of +2.0°C was measured in a calm, I trust it more than I trust readings when it is bright and sunny.

In conclusion Faboo sits in the center of the height of the summer thaw, as all around the edges of the Arctic Ocean sub-freezing temperatures play ring-around-the-Rosie. (And, in case you wonder why I use such a childish analogy, it is because I have to go face a bunch of children, running my Farm-childcare.  Mondays….)


Faboo continued its slow drift south Sunday, covering another 2.62 miles and winding up at 86.303°N, 5.503°W. The calm gave way to a light breeze if 6 mph, and the slow fade to the west reached 5.552°W at noon before turning back to the east, which suggests the light breeze has swung around to the west. Temperatures rose from a low of +0.7°C at midnight to a high of +1.2°C at 1500Z before falling back to +0.9°C at the final reading at 2100Z. This small range is likely due to the gloomy weather. It will be interesting to see tomorrow’s data, for the mist on the lens in the most recent picture looks frozen to me, which is possible when temperatures are very close to freezing, due to evaporative cooling.NP3 1 0720 2015cam1_2 NP3 1 0720B 2015cam1_1 Lake Faboo has grown slightly larger during the recent thaw. I don’t think it is deeper, but rather is melting away at its edges.

The O-buoys came back to life, though they still aren’t reporting the weather. They are transmitting GPS and Pictures. As usual, O-buoy 9 is the most interesting. It is still around 81° latitude, but after getting east to 10° longitude it has come all the way back to 12°. The front edge of the berg is steadily eroding, closer and closer, nearer and nearer, and the drama is so intense that I’m thinking of adding some background music, (of the dramatic sort, of course.)  Also you can see the berg is swinging around to the south, for the sun is in the same part of the sky in the first and last pictures, but the first was taken at 0801Z and the last at 1101Z. (3 hours difference is 45° rotation). If we can only swing all the way around until we are looking west, we’ll see Greenland.  The winds look fairly light, especially for the North Atlantic. Obuoy 9 0719 webcam Obuoy 9 0720 webcam Obuoy 9 0720B webcam Old O-buoy 10, which stopped transmitting pictures back on June 16, amazingly came back to life. Also it is actually transmitting weather data, on and off, and reports a-hair-below freezing temperatures and light winds. A lot has changed. The buoy has shifted to the right, which may suggest our camera is afloat in its own pool. The yellow shows on the buoy, which shows how much snow has melted. And the melt-water is located differently from last summer.

 Last August 12webcam This June 12Obuoy 10 0612 webcam Today (July 20) Obuoy 10 0720 webcam I tried to warn O-buoy 11 not to drink too much beer in the summer heat, but it wouldn’t listen. The melt-water pool to the lower left partially froze and then thawed, and the lead in the distance has reopened. Obuoy 11 0718 webcam

 This June 12Obuoy 11 0719 webcamObuoy 11 0719B webcam Obuoy 12 seemed to have wet snow in its eye on Saturday, but that likely was mixed with rain, as Lake Chukchi has widened a little, and the spot of melt in the lower right corner is enlarged. Obuoy 12 0718 webcam Obuoy 12 0719 webcam Obuoy 12 0720 webcam The maps show the high continuing to build over the Pole, even as a decent storm I’ll call “Kara” brews up south of the Kara Sea. The sub-freezing spell continues over towards Bering Strait, even as it is quite warm in the strait itself.

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The models seem to come up with different solutions every run, concerning what “Kara” will do. A recent run has it flatten against the building high, and then break into two blobs, one of which will head east, but the other blob rolling retrograde to the west, north of Finland and then under Svalbard and to the top of Greenland. That would be interesting, if it ever happened. (I’ve seen summer storms do that before.)


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The showdown between “Kara” and the Polar high continues to develop, as both have advanced towards each other. A weak Pacific-to_Atlantic flow is developing between the two. Milder air is coming north  through Bering Strait, and may erode the sub-freezing areas on that side.

Faboo sees a misty rain falling.NP3 1 0721 2015cam1_1 O-buoy 9 sees thaw, with temperatures spiking above +2°. Winds remain light.Obuoy 9 9721 webcam O-buoy 10 is swinging in its private melt-water pool, looking more to the right. Winds are nearly calm, and temperatures a hair below freezing.Obuoy 10 0721 webcam O-buoy 11 has finally listened to me and quit the beer, and now likely floats upright in its own melt-water pool. This is a good thing, as that tilt can cause you to get a crick in your neck. It’s weather reports still aren’t transmitting. The lead in the distance has shut again.Obuoy 11 0721 webcam O-buoy 12 may have a slushy snowflake in its eye. Temperatures are right at freezing, and the light breeze has picked up a little to 9 mph. Obuoy 12 0721 webcam TUESDAY EVENING UPDATE  -Faboo Snowblind-

The real news is that Faboo’s view of a rainy landscape abruptly was blocked by wet snow.NP3 1 0721B 2015cam1_2 NP3 1 0721C 2015cam1_1 Now is when it would be nice to have recent data, but the Mass Balance Buoy site, while back on line, is still reporting data from the 17th. All we have is Monday’s data for Faboo, which tells us we drifted south-southeast with winds of about 6 mph, covering  3.63 miles and winding up at 86.251°N, 5.373°W at 2100Z  last night. Temperatures reached a high of +1.1°C at noon and fell to +0.5°C at 2100Z.

The Pacific to Atlantic cross-polar flow may be bringing some of the sub-freezing air from over towards Bering Strait north to the Pole, and some evaporative cooling may be occurring as well. What will be interesting to see is if the snow could accumulate, or is just slush. Even an inch of fluff has the highest albedo of all natural objects, and sometimes can seem to lead to further cooling.

I’ll add more later, but need to go to a meeting.


It looks like Faboo did get dusted. This is midnight, with the sun at its lowest.

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We’ll have to wait to see what the temperatures did.

O-buoy 9 sees temperatures back down to freezing.Obuoy 9 0721B webcamO-bouy 10. Where’d that second buoy come from? Am I seeing double? Obuoy 10 0721B webcam O-buoy 11.  The lead has closed with quite a crash.Obuoy 11 0721B webcamO-buoy 12  Slushy snow ends. Breezy.Obuoy 12 0721B webcamObuoy 12 0721C webcam

I’ll discuss maps in the morning .

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The maps show “Kara” still facing the Polar High. Current projections have Kara start to do one of those North Atlantic loop-de-loops that occluded storms do, but get a bit carried away doing the top half of the counter-clockwise loop, and regress clear back to Greenland. As the low does this the high pressure will scoop around behind it and raise pressures to the rear. This will create totally backwards winds, for as Kara approaches Fram Strait winds will be north (when winds are usually south as storms approach) and then as Kara fills and fades away north of Greenland winds will be south, (when winds are usually north after a storm passes.) However this is only stuff occurring in the imagination of a model. We shall see what remains to be seen.

In the above maps it is high noon on the Pacific side, yet the stubborn sub-freezing temperatures persist.

To me it looks like the drizzle on Faboo’s lens is frozen this morning, (because of that dry patch on the right-hand side.)NP3 1 0722 2015cam1_1 I double checked the Mass Balance Site, and though the main page is still stuck on July 17, you can get updated data if you dig down to the individual buoys. Buoy 2015D, co-located with Faboo, was coming in at  -0.93° C. No such sub-freezing temperatures are indicated on the above DMI map, but I think Faboo is experiencing a freeze.

This is a little like last summer, where right at the heart of the summer thaw we experienced a cold snap. (Of course by then the North Pole Camera was demolished, down towards Svalbard, but O-buoy 9  was far further north last year, and showed us the refreeze. Although the thaw did get going again in August, it never had time to really get cooking.

So far this summer I felt things are milder, and more like an old-time thaw, but now I’m watching carefully. In the charts below (click to enlarge) 2014 is to the right, and the midsummer freeze barely shows as the red line dipping a little towards the blue freezing line in the second half. It will interesting to see how much of a dip Faboo’s current freeze puts in the graph, or whether it is reflected on the larger picture at all..

DMI2 2014 meanT_2014 DMI2 0722 meanT_2015

Down in Fram Strait, Buoy 2015E: is reporting -1.66° C, which is surprising cold for so far south. ( 77.63° N, 8.36° W).

O-buoy 9 still survives, on the brink of doom. My best guess is that it is now gazing south-southeast.Obuoy 9 0722 webcam Time for work. I’ll catch up on the other O-buoys later.


O-buoy 9 has survived another day, thanks mostly to relatively light winds of 5 mph and gentle seas.  Of interest is the way we move back and forth, in terms of longitude, in a diurnal manner.Obuoy 9 0722C longitude-1week My guess (and it is a sheer guess) is that the land is quite close behind our back, and tides are effecting us. The only other thing I can think of is the switch between a sea breeze and a land breeze, and that also depends on the land being near. The temperatures dipped just below freezing last night, and jogged irregularly above freezing today. Obuoy 9 0722B webcamObuoy 9 0722C webcam The final picture shows brighter sunlight out to sea from us, as our camera only casts a dim shadow. I wonder if a cliff looms behind our back. The camera is starting to tip a little. If we can sit in our own private melt-water pool, perhaps our view will swing around like camera 10 does.

O-buoy 10 has a a very slight thaw and light winds. It is swinging back in its pool to look at the original buoy.

Obuoy 10 0722B webcam Obuoy 10 0722B webcam Obuoy 10 0722C webcam O-buoy 11 is seeing winds pick up a bit to 7 mph, and a day of thaw end with temperatures just dipping below freezing. The lead is reopening.Obuoy 11 0722 webcam Obuoy 11 0722B webcam Obuoy 11 0722C webcam O-buoy 12 has experienced a cold, gray day, and seems to have wet snow in its eye. Temperatures are a hair below freezing with a breeze up near 10 mph. Co-located Mass Balance Buoy 2014G’s most recent report has temperatures at  -0.11° C.Obuoy 12 0722 webcamObuoy 12 0722B webcamObuoy 12 0722C webcam Not far south of O-buoy 12 Buoy 2015B is reporting -0.34° C.  Down on the coast of Alaska, Buoy 2015A hasn’t reported in over a week, and may have been crunched by a berg, or picked up.

Back towards the Pole, Faboo’s data from yesterday shows temperatures slightly dropped, but doesn’t show we get below freezing. The day’s high was +0.6°C at midnight and were about as flat as you ever see, dropping to +0.2°C at the final report at 2100z. Winds were a little stronger than we’ve seen, up around 11 mph, and we moved 4.86 miles SSW to 86.183°N, 5.654°W. Earlier the co-located Mass Balance buoy 2015D reported us below freezing at -0.93° C, but its more recent report has us at +0.52° C. The view remains gray.NP3 1 0722B 2015cam1_1 The Maps show the battle between “Kara” in the Kara Sea moving into Barents Sea  and the Polar High, (henceforth “Pohi”) continuing. On the virtual world of models Laggard, which has been sitting south of Iceland as a quasi-permanent feature, may finally be budged east to Scandinavia, and may copy Kara by loop-de-looping back towards Greenland, but do so further south than Kara.

The cold continues to hold over the Pacific side. Please don’t remind me I thought the cold would be on the Atlantic side this summer, (and didn’t keep my big mouth closed).DMI2 0722B mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0722B temp_latest.big


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“Kara” is continuing to retrograde west across Barents Sea towards Svalbard, as “Pohi” holds its ground but weakens. “Laggard” has budged slightly east under Iceland, but sent another blob into Scandinavia, which hasn’t had the nice, hot summer France has largely enjoyed. (Finland and western Siberia have been especially cool and wet.)

Sub-freezing temperatures continue to rotate about the Pole at a distance. Pockets of thaw exist in Beaufort Sea, and up towards the Pole Faboo is experiencing rain again.

NP3 1 0723 2015cam1_2 The unofficial Mass Balance report has Faboo at +0.14° C this morning, with Buoy 2015E: down in Fram Strait at -0.14°C. Between the two, and slightly to the west, O-buoy 9 has drifted back west to nearly 13° longitude, and sits in calm with temperatures a hair below freezing. The puddle in the lower left corner of the picture seems to have a slight skim of ice, to me. The water is so still a seal or bear would be obvious. Now is their big chance for fame. Where are they?Obuoy 9 0723 webcam Moving around a third of the planet to 76.08° N, 139.67° W we come to O-buoy 11, who seems to have snow in his eye. The ice there is still 1.7 meters thick, though the Mass Balance Buoy seems to sit in a pool half a meter deep. Temperatures are right at freezing, according to O-buoy, but at +0.95° C according to Mass Balance, and winds have been gusty between 2 and 10 mph.Obuoy 11 0723 webcam Obuoy 11 0723 2014I_thick A little further west and north we come to O-buoy 10, at 77.47° N, 143.79° W, where O-buoy shows temperatures a hair above freezing and Mass balance shows a full fledged thaw at +1.50°C. Winds are gusty here too, at 2 to 10 mph, and the view is absolutely gorgeous. I think that melt-water pool deserves to be dubbed “Lake Barent”. Obuoy 10 0723 webcam I’m not sure I trust the bottom-sounder here, which seems to show the ice thickening at the height of the thaw. Obuoy 10 0723 2013F_thick

 Further west and south, at 75.90 N°, 148.85 W°, we come to Buoy 2014F (with no camera) which is also reporting thaw, at +1.53°C. Here the ice, which had grown to over 2 meters thick in March, has dipped below 1 meter thick, and was reported at 93 cm back on July 6.

Then we head all the way west to 77.49 N°, 164.31° W, where it is a chilly -0.10°. The camera here bit the dust, which was a real pity, as it was giving us superb shots of thick ice breaking up. Likely it was buried in a jumble.

Not all that far north of there, at 78.37 N, 163.02 W, Buoy 2014G and O-buoy 12 reside together. They are interesting because they have been drifting straight north to the Pole.Obuoy 12 0723 latitude-1week

It is important to remember, when looking at thickness maps, that the thick ice may drift north, making the ice seem to get thinner at its old location.  Temperatures here are at -0.08° C according to Mass Balance, and O-buoy seems to agree. I think the sky and snow are that odd color due to an invasion of alien bacteria, though I could be wrong. Lake Chukchi looks a little more full.Obuoy 12 0723 webcam


Faboo has continued to drift SSW in diminishing winds under gray skies. The official record shows that yesterday we crossed 3.09 miles to wind up at 86.144°N, 5.985°W. The temperature crashed below freezing for roughly six hours, reaching the days low of -0.7°C at 0300Z, but had perked up to +0.3°C by the next report at 0600Z. The day’s high was +0.7°C at 1500Z, and then we sagged back to +0.5°C by the final report at 2100Z. The unoffical Mass Balance reports have shown us down to +0.14° C this morning and then back up to +0.63° C this afternoon. The camera shows a drizzle starting, which I don’t think is freezing.NP3 1 0723B 2015cam1_2NP3 1 0723C 2015cam1_1 I left the O-buoys on all day, and every time I came dashing through the house I’d sneak a peek. However now that I sit down to focus they are unavailable. However I did save two from O-buoy 9, which seems to be backing west into thicker ice.Obuoy 9 0723B webcam  Obuoy 9 0723C webcam It is interesting to think that we may have just drifted, on this hunk of ice, through waters that are mapped as “ice free” and now are in an area which may show as 50% ice-covered, yet never moved from a most definite piece of ice. It changes your idea of what “extent” means.

I have to do some chores. Will return.


It is still drizzling at Faboo, but the Mass Balance thermometer reports temperatures down to +0.10°C. (They have no time stamp, but I’m starting to wonder if they post at midnight and noon, Greenwich Mean Time.) The picture is pretty gloomy at midnight.NP3 1 0723D 2015cam1_1 At temperatures this close to freezing it doesn’t take much of an increase in precipitation to drag cooler air down and change rain to snow.

The O-buoy cameras are still not reporting.

The DMI maps show “Kara” stalled, and weaker, as “Pohi” pushes across the Pole. The chill on the Pacific side is starting to make the news on Skeptic sites, as is the ice lingering in Hudson Bay. (An icebreaker has been diverted from scientific studies to help clear a path so heating oil can get to a coastal community.)

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“Kara” continues to inch across Barents Sea towards Svalbard, as Pohi stands tough at the Pole and shunts Kara towards northern Greenland (and poor, defenseless O-buoy 9). Behind Kara a tiny bit of high pressure is building northeast of Finland, (which seems the closest thing poor Finland is getting to a Scandinavian High this summer). This tiny bit of high pressure is the start of a wrap-around arm of Pohi, which will scoop Kara across the Atlantic, theoretically first giving Fram Strait north winds, and later south winds. We’ll see about that.

It is high noon over towards Bering Strait, and still the sub-freezing areas persist.

Faboo continues to look over a dank and drizzly world of gray. I suppose we are paying for all the beautiful weather of last week. Despite all the wet, Lake Faboo looks about the same.NP3 1 0724 2015cam1_1 O-buoys are still off line. Mass Balance buoy 2015E, down in Fram strait, was reporting a thaw at +1.08°, and then the next report it came in at -1.25° C. Diurnal? Could be, as it is pretty far south, at 77.69° North.

Over on the other side, our Mass balance buoys closest to Bering Strait report a break in their sub-freezing air, as 2015B went from -0.30°C to +0.57°, and 2014G went from -0.03°C to +0.18°C. I suppose some Pacific air is involved in the general swirl. You can see some cooler air got swept into Bering Strait, despite the fact it is noon, so some milder may have been swirled north. That area has been the graveyard of storms rippling around “Pohi”. Currently it holds faint traces of Baltzipson, plus some unnamed storm that faded south of Bering Strait. The fact it is so persistently cold over there tickles the part of my brain that wonders about some cooling effect involved, when storms collapse and fade. When I’m rich I’ll hire an intern to do all the research for me, but I’m not rich yet, so off to work I go.


Faboo continues his/her dismal drift through dank, dark drizzle. It is somewhat uninspiring, and therefore to liven things up a bit I think I’ll title my next post, “The Clash Between Titans,” or some such thing, and will freely use hyperbole while describing “Kara” and “Nohi” doing their little dance together. The difference between Kara’s low pressure and Nohi’s high pressure is tightening the isobars a bit, and the calm has given way to breezes. I think “stiffening breezes” sounds better, and more ominous.

Yesterday’s official report shows the winds picking up from 4 to 13 mph, which is not exactly a lashing gale, but perhaps I can stagger about like a news reporter giving a live storm report from a parking lot outside the newsroom, and make things more dramatic. Also temperatures have been dropping. There is a sort of drama in that, (if you don’t mention it is only half a degree). We climbed up to a high of +0.7° C at noon, and then slipped back. Closer and closer came we to freezing. At 2100Z, as the dread hour of midnight loomed like black death, we reached the very verge of calamitous crystallization, +0.1°C, and then….and then…and then…we waited for today’s data, tomorrow. Meanwhile we drifted SSW  3.69 miles to 86.094°N, 6.266°W. If we continue in this dire direction we will miss Fram Strait to the east and crash into Greenland.

NP3 1 0724B 2015cam1_2NP3 1 0724C 2015cam1_1

If Faboo does hold his/her present course (extremely unlikely, unless you are the sort of fool climate scientist who draws straight “trend lines”), it will wind up down where O-buoy 9 needs no hype or hyperbole. In fact, if you have seven minutes to spare, you should watch “O-buoy 9: The movie” from the 25 minute mark to the current happy ending (July 21). It is sure to win an Oscar in that little-known category, “Sea Ice Time Lapse Films.” See it here:

Just today there was an amazing variety of scenery. I just wish we’d swing around and look west, and see Greenland again. We are into our second day of thawing, and the breeze has stiffened to 22 mph at times. I’m amazed this camera is still on its feet, after all the smashing and crashing it has seen.

Obuoy 9 0724 webcamObuoy 9 0724B webcamObuoy 9 0724C webcam O-buoy 10 has recovered to freezing from -2°C, with a breeze up around 14 mph. Lake Beaufort still has no outlet, and seems to be slowly expanding. There have been dustings of snow. (With the camera floating and the view shifting, it isn’t as easy to compare pictures.)Obuoy 10 0724 webcam Obuoy 10 0724B webcam Obuoy 11 saw the lead across the pressure ridge seeming very wide this morning, but then close right up. It too has seen temperatures climb back up to freezing in a gusty wind up to 16 mph. Wet snow seems to currently be flaking the lens.Obuoy 11 0724 webcam Obuoy 11 0724C webcam O-buoy 12 saw winds drop to calm, and then pick up to 8 mph from the opposite direction (though what direction I can’t say, as the buoy has swung about so much. A very rough guess would be from south to north) and temperatures fall from a slight thaw to below freezing.Obuoy 12 0724 webcam Obuoy 12 0724B webcam The DMI maps show “Kara” has crept across to Svalbard, as “Pohi” pushes toward the Pole, squeezed from the backside by “Beau”, which has appeared on the north coast of Canada (I should have seen that coming, but didn’t). I also should have expected a southerly flow behind Kara, but the warmth up into southern Finland surprised me. The cold hangs tough on the Pacific side, and that is where my focus has been.

I am convinced there are always too many things to focus on, and one will always be surprised, however the better meteorologists learn to constantly shift their focus through a repertoire of focuses they deem important. It is not that they don’t get surprised, but rather they are the first to be surprised, and therefore the first to be alerted.

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(Yawn) As usually occurs, when you have resorted to some cheap hyperbole to generate interest, (which is a general practice of any Alarmist of any ilk), you awake the next morning and discover you look like a Chicken Little, and have displayed “The Dash Of The Frightened” rather than “Clash If The Titans.” And indeed “Kara” looks weaker this morning, and the isobars between Kara and “Pohi” look more relaxed and less windy. Blast. I was hoping for a gale to liven things up a bit.

Even the chill over towards Bering Strait looks less newsworthy, though it does look more windy in the East Siberian Sea. “Beau” remains stalled north of mainland Canada, the low bogged down inland in east Siberia is “Karazip”, and the low now entering the Kara Sea is “Karason.”

Some interesting stuff is occurring off the map, in the north Atlantic, as the summer doldrums, with a sort of semi-permanent low I called “Laggard” stuck south of Greenland, finally on the move. Laggard shifted east as a disorganized mess, and part of it (Laggardson) is now moving into France as a decent summer storm. It will rotate up into the Baltic and then retrograde back as Kara has done, but further south, and it does so the next Atlantic low will not stall and lag under Iceland, so I’ll dub it “Nolag.” It will get caught up with Laggardson and do a bolo, fujiwhara dance between the North Sea and the waters off Norway, and the map forecast to look like this next Tuesday:UK Met 0725 26126844 Of course most of this will not show on our DMI polar maps, so we will pay no attention to it. For the most part I think we’ll watch how Pohi defeats all invaders, and keeps high pressure in charge of the Pole.

Without a good summer gale, the ice pack remains fairly solid.  I’m not sure whether the way the ice-extent graph flattens at this time, every year, is due to the powers of the melt running up against more solid ice, or due to an adjustment those in charge attempt to make for the melt-water pools being seen as open water by satellites. In any case, the melt continues slower than last year, though just barely.DMI2 0725 icecover_current_new Pohi will need to give us more sunshine, if we are to get the summer thaw above normal.DMI2 0725 meanT_2015 However at the moment Faboo continues to show us a gloomy view, with Lake Faboo fully and slightly larger, but the small pool that was starting to form in the lower left three weeks ago now completely gone. The Pole does not look remotely “ice free” to me.NP3 1 0725 2015cam1_1 Down south of there O-buoy 9 came through a bit of a blow still fairly upright, and sees winds back down to nearly calm. The thaw continues, and I must admit the berg we view from seems lower to the water and less impressive. Obuoy 9 0725 webcam

O-buoy 10 is seeing breezier conditions with winds around 13 mph. It has been experiencing subfreezing conditions, but is creeping back up towards thaw. Lake Beaufort may have slightly skimmed with ice in areas protected from the breeze.Obuoy 10 0725 webcam O-buoy 11 sees lighter breezes of 11 mph, and may have seen some thawing, but the pool to the lower left appears to have a skim of ice around its edge. The lead in the distance has been constantly opening and slamming shut, and I’ve been interested to see the pressure ridge actually grow at the time of year they usually  shrink. (Remember that 9/10th if the ice is under water. Pressure ridges have roots that stick down into waters that melt them, and as the roots are reduced upwards the top of the ridge usually slumps downwards, even as it wilts in the sun.) Also of interest to me are some sizable bergs on the far side of the lead, to the upper right.Obuoy 11 0725 webcam O-buoy 12 has recently been experiencing the coldest sub-freezing temperatures, and a breeze of over 10 mph (though it has died down some since this picture was taken), which has me wondering if Lake Chukchi is looking a bit slushy or not. If not, (sunshine may tell us), then that water may be more salty than we usually think of melt-water being.Obuoy 12 0725 webcam With that I suppose I’ll conclude this particular post, as its getting too long. “Concluding” consists of going through the post to correct the spelling, for though these posts are basically  a notepad of observations and stray ideas, it does aggravate me to go back through old posts and spot glaring typos. Spellcheck is not infallible. For example, rather than “spot glaring typos” I just wrote “spit glaring typos”, and spellcheck didn’t mind it one bit.

I’ve got chores to do and other things to research, but part of my mind will be busy thinking up a new title.


6 thoughts on “ARCTIC SEA ICE -The First Law-(Updated 9 times and concluded.)

  1. Caleb have you been suspicious of the treatment of the melt ponds on the sea ice in recent years. Several years ago I recall reading that the data was adjusted about this time of year to try and not count the melt ponds as open ocean and you can actually see that on some data sets as a sideways move about now however I think the alarmists didn’t like this since although more accurate it didn’t help with the generation of scary stories, scarier than the last scary stories of the arctic all melting away. Just curious what you may have observed and thought.

    Re me … getting close to normal which is the norm for 4 weeks post surgery. Still need to be careful with what I eat etc & once I do eat I need to stay close to home and the potty but a huge improvement over pooping in a bag on my tummy 😉

    Is your drought a thing of the past or still below average?

    Also FYI …. first snow on the front ranges of the Rockies last week and so it begins for another winter!!

    • I’ve wondered about that sideways move. Perhaps it is an adjustment, or perhaps it indicates when the melt has used up the thin ice and run up against harder-to-melt multi-year-ice.

      I have the (perhaps naive) belief that the rank-and-file arctic scientists are honest, though some are cynical and put a sort of genuflection towards Global Warming at the ends of their papers and in their press-releases, aware it is an absurdity they must endure in order to get funded. The true corruption is, I think, at the top.

      I had some contact with scientists via email a couple of summers ago, and I got the sense they really like to get in an airplane and view “ice free” areas with their eyes, because they are well aware they are not always as “ice free” as microwave imagery suggests.

      Over at Susan Crockford pointed out bears remained out hunting in areas that maps showed as being ice-free. Bears, especially mother bears, need bergs, so a problem with the maps was definitely exposed.

      Even though satellites have problems differentiating between melt-water pools and open water, I am glad we have the satellites. And I think that most of the scientists involved are working hard on the problem, and not trying to exploit it. The crowd into “scary stories” is hopefully an appendage which at some point can be lopped off.

      If you look at all the melt-water pools in the current images, you can see what a problem it would be if the satellite saw them as “open water”. However even if you see it as open water, it is perfectly obvious the arctic isn’t close to being “ice free”.

      We’ve had decent rain recently, but on a whole I think we are something like five inches below normal. Little brooks are dry, and I do water my garden.

      Don’t talk about snow yet. I’m not ready.

      Glad to hear you are healing up. I’ll bet it is hard to be a patient patient. Some time you’ll have to tell me why they wait so long before reattaching things.

    • That’s the best sort of tornado. You get all the spine-tingling adrenaline, without the massive clean-up job. However I can’t say I much like the big hail; that stuff can ruin a garden in thirty seconds.

      Thanks for the pictures.

  2. Good Friday AM report … your Bering Strait observation got me looking more closely. Fun in the arctic by laptop.

  3. Caleb, I just saw your comment over on “Goddard’s” site about Wadhams. This was all new to me. Your comment was very important in light of the “conspiracy” reported.

    (I can’t comment on that site, as censorship is “real science” to some folks!)

    Keep it up!

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