August tends to be a month of heartache for both Alarmists and Skeptics, as both sides want the sea-ice to make a dramatic statement. If you are an Alarmist you desire less ice than 2012, but in August you start to see the first signs of a refreeze, well short of record low levels. Skeptics, on the other hand, want to see more ice than 2006, but in August, even as temperatures tantalize by occasionally dipping below the freezing point of salt water, the bottom-melt causes ice to vanish until mid September. In the end you wind up with more ice than 2012 but less ice than 2006, which is a bit like kissing your sister and annoys everyone.
In actual fact what we are experiencing is the best situation, as neither side has fully thought out the consequences of the extremes they are hoping for. In the case of Alarmists record low ice-extent would (according to their false theory) verify that Doomsday was upon us, and justify a sort of marshal law wherein there would be a great loss of individual freedoms and liberty. Skeptics, on the other hand, are rooting for a situation which is ruinous, for a cooling world is a world of hardship and drought. The Roman Climate Optimum was a wetter world, as is shown by the bridges the Romans bothered to build over rivers that now are dry.
In truth a warming world is greatly to be desired, and the only reason to fear it is that Alarmists seem to want to use warming as an excuse to declare dictatorship is necessary, and individual liberty is an anathema.
This being Sunday, it is interesting to glance through the prophecies of Isaiah, and to understand he was describing the end of the Minoan Climate Optimum. Among his visions of rising and crashing superpowers and social chaos are some descriptions of vast and green valleys of cultivated crops becoming dry wastelands of briers and thorns. Likely it seemed laughable to the people of that time, but that landscape is now very changed.
The modern capital of Jordan, Ammon, derives its name from the ancient Ammonites, When Moses marched north from Egypt with the Israelites he instructed them not to make war on Ammon, as they were descendants of Abraham’s brother Lot, who chose to live in the lusher and greener lands. Those lands are lush and green no longer, but amidst Isaiah’s grim prophecies of Jerusalem being destroyed and its people marched off to captivity are a few more hopeful promises that someday the dried up streams will again brim with sparkling waters, as the Creator blesses the planet with another Climate Optimum. (The words “Climate Optimum” do not appear in most versions of the Bible.)
It should be obvious that a warming world does not alarm me at all. In fact the only reason I got dragged into the absurdity of Global Warming pseudoscience is because some fool, for purely political reasons, decided the modern blip of warming wouldn’t impress people if they knew past warming was greater, and therefore revisionist history was necessary, and it was vital that the pseudoscience “erase the Medieval Warm Period.” To any person as interested in the Greenland Vikings as I was, this sort of book-burning was clumsy beyond belief. It attempted to ignore evidence that glared like Godzilla. I was faced with the choice of being a complete Global Warming Skeptic, or being a complete chump.
In any case, here we are in the middle of yet another summer when the sea-ice at the Pole is failing to melt away. Perhaps it is not making a “recovery”, (which is a lousy word for a colder climate that will bring man much misery), but enough ice remains to make mincemeat of the “Death Spiral” theory. You see, the Death Spiral theory states that a summer such as 2012, with less ice on the Arctic Sea, will allow the Arctic Sea to absorb so much heat that even less ice will be there on following summers. The fact this hasn’t happened disproves the Death Spiral theory. It is as simple as that. If the Death Spiral theory had any validity, the black line should be below the green line in the graph below, and it isn’t even close.
As far as I’m concerned, the “Death Spiral theory” has already been debunked. The idea that less ice would create a sort of vicious cycle, ever escalating to ever increasing heat, seemed stupid to me in the first place, but out of a courtesy which my mother and father hammered into my head, I gave believers in this idea the benefit of the doubt, and patiently waited a couple of summers for the end of the world to manifest. It didn’t. So now I refuse to listen to their humbug.
The question then becomes: Why do I bother with sea-ice at all? The answer, to be honest, is the same reason I gave my Math teacher when she asked me why my attention was on clouds out the window. “They are beautiful, and you are not.” (Honesty, they say, is the best policy, but either this isn’t true in math classes, or honesty requires sweeteners at times.)
A secondary reason involves the fact I like to get, if possible, a “heads up”, in terms of whether the coming winter will be bad or not. Therefore the warmth of the water in Hudson Bay, northwest of where I live in New Hampshire, is of concern to me because our coldest winds come from the northwest. If Hudson Bay is warmer our northwest winds are warmer. It concerns me that that this summer those waters are so cold that a third of the bay still has ice floating in it. This also concerns me because certain agencies who are suppose to be reputable, and are suppose to supply the taxpayers with worthwhile advice, look at the above situation and call it “below normal.” My concern is that the above graph is not a mere mistake, or “glitch”, but is a blatant misrepresentation of the truth for political reasons. There is absolutely no way the current amount of ice in Hudson Bay in August is “below normal.” As recently as July 17 the situation was deemed serious enough to divert an icebreaker from its summer activities to help an oil tanker deliver fuel oil to coastal communities who needed to resupply to prepare for next winter. Cryospere Today needs to correct the above graph, unless they believe it is correct to misinform the public. (Some do believe misinformation is good policy, as “might makes right” and “the ends justify the means”, but if I take the time to dismantle the logic within such erroneous beliefs I’ll be treading into political and religious mires, and get agitated, which is not the reason I look at sea-ice. I prefer peace.)
I prefer to simply observe and be a witness. Some flatter me, by calling me a minor “expert”, but that is because they are comparing me with people who have never spent time observing the ice, and instead parrot what they hear. In some cases I honestly believe such “authorities” can’t tell the difference between sea-ice and a glacier. To call me an expert because I am not as idiotic as they are is like calling a radish a rutabaga because it is not an onion. I am not an expert, and prove it over and over, by making assumptions which prove to be wrong.
This summer I was expecting the Atlantic side of the Pole to be cold and the Pacific side to be warm, and quite the opposite has been the case. To see how wrong I am, I like taking a top-down view of the planet, and like the simplicity of the DMI maps, (though at the Weatherbell Site one can find a wide variety of more detailed polar maps, produced by Dr. Ryan Maue.) Below are the pressure and temperature DMI maps for noon Greenwich time on Saturday and Sunday.
The yellow high pressure over the Pole is “Pohi”, which is reasserting itself after being reduced to a ridge by attacking lows from both the Atlantic and Pacific side. The Atlantic lows have greatly weakened, though an actual summer gale is speeding east south of Iceland, and could be a news item off the Scottish coast this week. The Pacific low “Beau” is not a gale like the summer storms of 2012 and 2013, but has kept its strength by getting pulses of reinforcing energy, and perhaps the next reinforcement can be seen on the east Siberian coast. Though “Beau” has pressures above 1000mb, its winds have been above 20 mph and it has facilitated the yearly breakup of ice south of 80° latitude in the Beaufort Sea. We are watching to see if that sea-ice melts, as it did in 2012, or simply bumps about, as it did in 2013.
The temperature maps show a (to me) surprising increase in sub-freezing temperatures, with no apparent source region, right at the warmest time of year. This also happened last summer, and I have a vauge hunch it has to do with weakening storms, but can’t claim to have a clue about what mechanics are involved. The cold means surface-melt is not as quick as it could be, but it is important to remember most melt comes from below, due to warmer water being transported north under the ice, or the ice being transported south to warmer water.
One thing these maps show is that not much ice is being flushed from the Arctic Sea down the East Coast of Greenland. While such a flush does increase the extent of ice in the Greenland Sea, it represents a loss for the Pole as whole, for such ice heads south to melt in the Atlantic, while ice that stays north can become “multi-year-ice.”
The slow movement this year can be seen by tracking the North Pole Camera, which once was the only camera, and therefore, due to loyalty, is my favorite, and which I have named “Faboo.” The last few days it has hardly moved at all. Our official reports (which we get a day late) show that on Friday Faboo inched SW from 86.203°N, 8.579°W to 86.188°N 8.378°W, which ( using the gadget Steve Morse makes available at http://stevemorse.org/nearest/distance.php ) gives us a paltry 1.38 miles of progress. On Saturday we moved even less, 1.25 miles, which is a bit surprising as Friday winds were largely dead calm, and Saturday they picked up a little to 6 mph, however more careful study shows we spent part of Saturday backtracking, for first we headed east to 8.292°W, before heading back west and ending the day (which ends at 2100Z for some reason) at 86.170°N 8.347°W.
The temperatures at Faboo were more surprising, as we saw the normal thaw resume as the sun came out on Friday, though at first they dropped from +0.6°C to freezing at noon, and then hopped right up to +1.3° at 01800Z. However they were right back down to 0.0°C at midnight, and -0.2°C at 0300Z, and though they did recover to +0.6°C at 0900Z, they crashed down -1.2°C at 1500Z and were still down at -0.7°C at the final report at 2100Z. This sort of stuff will not help the surface melt, of course.
I call these ups and downs of temperatures “mini-systems” and, as a sheer guess, I’d say a swirl brought cold air to us, from the pool of cold air towards Bering Strait. You can see the weather change in Saturday;’s pictures:
The final picture suggests “Lake Faboo” (the melt-water pool to the right) might be skimming with ice, but again sheer guessing tells me, glancing at today’s pictures, that today’s mini-system was milder, and thaw resumed, though it may be short lived.
One thing Faboo’s pictures have conveyed is how cloudy it has been up north this summer. We’ve really only had one decent week of thawing sunshine. Some suggest the “Quiet Sun” may be allowing more cosmic rays to generate more cloud nuclei, but the clouds are impressive. (In picture below clouds are white, sea-ice is red, land is green, and open water is black.) With Faboo’s ice so solid and moving so slow, less ice has been making it into Fram Strait, and this has created a pocket of open water on the northeast corner of Greenland, and O-buoy 9 has made it into that open water, but so far has not headed south. (In the first picture it has bumped into a berg, and shadow tells us it is looking east, but the next picture, an hour later, has the sun in front of us so we may be looking southwest, and the faint fringe on the horizon may be Greenland.) This area of open water is completely surrounded by a thicker ice pack.
Over on the Pacific side we have seen a lot of views with snow and rain smeared lenses, as O-buoys 10, 11 and 12 have experienced “Beau’s” wandering whirling. O-buoy 10 has managed to keep its ice together despite strong breezes. Obuoy 11 is drifting free in thick sea-ice. It has experienced the most rain mixed with snow. O-buoy 12 is being pushed south into an area that should allow the ice to spread out, but has experienced the most sub-freezing and perhaps the most snow. Snow can cause the extent graph to jump up, as melt-water mistaken as open water needs only a skim of ice and snow to be seen as ice. The jump in the extent graph is therefore an illusion.
Reports may be sparse this week, as we are short-handed at work.
MONDAY MORNING UPDATE
The DMI morning maps have noon at the top, and so the slight arctic diurnal variation warms the Pacific side and cools the Atlantic side. A circle of sub-freezing temperatures surrounds the Pole.
Faboo looks across a gray landscape, with Lake Faboo looking liquid, as if slight thawing is occurring. O-buoy 9 has drifted east into some floating ice.O-buoy 10 is looking out after the storm, and sees the ice hasn’t broken up yet, that far north. “Beau” has moved away, but will be circling back.A little further south and east O-buoy 11 sees a frosty world of floating bergs.O-buoy 12 continues south towards more open water, with winds dying, a light fog forming, and temperatures just below freezing.
MONDAY EVENING UPDATE
Faboo made it as far south as 86.167°N at 0600Z yesterday, before turning and heading back north, while moving west all day, and winding up 1.82 miles NW of where we started, at 86.187°N, 8.651°W, which is going the wrong way if we intend to get to Fram Strait. It also is compacting ice towards the Pole rather than spreading it out, and makes the break-up of the ice harder. Another mini-system passed by, with temperatures sinking to -1.3°C at 0300Z and then perking up to +0.7°C at 1500Z before dropping tight back down to -0.5°C at 2100Z. Only roughly six of the twenty-four hours saw temperatures above freezing yesterday.
Today the sun did peek out late in the day, but I’m wondering if Lake Fanoo isn’t showing any signs of wind because it is glassy ice, rather than calm water. Winds were up around 10 mph for a while, at the start of the day, at least. (There have been no Mass Balance Buoy updates for a while.) It is surprising cold down in the Beaufort Sea, but I have to run to a meeting. I’ll give the O-buoy reports later.
If you are an escapist like I am, the O-buoy reports have been especially satisfying today, full of interesting stuff that so engrosses the mind one is able to get away from the stuff escapists are escaping from.
O-buoy 9 seems to at long last be starting its slow decline south into Fram Strait, and is creeping down towards latitude 80°. However in terms of longitude, it has headed quite a ways east, touching 9.5° longitude, displaying a strange twice-a-day tidal pulse to its movement. This made me wonder about the stresses tides put on sea-ice. It just seems it might be difficult to create a stable sheet of ice with the ocean rock and rolling in this manner. Be that as it may, O-bouy 9 moved across a stretch of sea that has been exporting ice without importing ice, and, as my wallet knows all too well, such a scenario results in a certain emptiness. Yesterday’s pictures from O-buoy 9 showed no ice on the sea, but today we ran into the far side of that emptiness.(Noting that some of this ice is “dirty” leads me down a splendid sidetrack of thought, concerning what the “dirt” is. I used to think it was either soot from China or dust from volcanoes, but have recently learned ice is full of micro-critters. In fact the bottom of the ice is a slime of algae-like stuff in the summer, and then this stuff gets swallowed as the ice thickens in the winter. Sometimes when a berg gets flipped the bottom is sort of charcoal-colored, which has nothing to do with soot from China. This suggests a splendid topic for an essay some other night.)
Our other “old” buoy, O-buoy 10, sent the most shocking picture earlier today, for it showed a melt-water pool frozen over, with a streak of drifting snow on the ice. This sent me scurrying to the temperature graph.What we see here is temperatures getting down to, or close to, -3.0°C, which is not only cold enough to freeze the reletively fresh water in the melt-water pools on top of the ice, but cold enough to freeze the salty sea-water between the bergs of ice. Unfortunately the ice by O-buoy 10 hasn’t broken up yet, so we cannot investigate exposed sea water at this local, unless this melt-water pool is a channel that has dug through to the sea beneath. I cannot tell for sure, squinting at this picture, so I hurry southeast to O-buoy 11, which I know is a free-floating buoy midst bergs floating in sea-water, and check its temperatures.Here too we see temperatures dipping down to levels more befitting September than the start of August. Right now the sun never sets, and the arctic solar budget is at the end of a time when it shows an actual surplus. So where is the cold coming from?
The pictures show a sea attempting, perhaps only briefly, to reverse the ordinary process, and attempting to refreeze rather than unfreeze. The first picture shows how the water gets a sort of “oil slick” of suspended ice-crystals, and the second picture shows this oily sludge just starting to form floating clots, in protected places. I do not expect this process to continue. It is too early, and the thawing will likely resume, however the fact it is happening at all is worth headlines on page sixteen of the New York Times. [Sadly, we are more likely to read news of computer models predicting greater ice-melt, on page one, (complete with a picture of a guy who flunked science but got a passing grade in public relations, who pretends to be a scientist by wearing a white coat for the photographer.)] This is the second straight summer we have seen unexpectedly cold temperatures appear in the arctic right in the heart of the melt season. Because it is largely happening, this year, south of 80°, it will not effect the DMI graph of temperatures north of 80°.Last year we had another spell of summer thaw after the cold spell, but this year we are running out of time. I still expect thaw to return, but it seems it will be a squeeze to fit it in.
O-buoy 12 had our coldest temperatures for a week, but now seems to be experiencing milder conditions, perhaps because it is in the warm sector of a micro-storm moving up to reinforce “Beau”. It isn’t in a southerly flow, as it is still moving south towards waters with more elbow room, but it isn’t as cold. The melt-water pool to the lower right shows a break-up crack on its bottom, but the view is not typical of speedy melting and “rotten ice.” There is, for one thing, too much fresh snow. Still, this camera is closest to the warm Pacific, and I’ve been expecting the melt to be fastest here all summer. I’ll close tonight with the arctic maps, which I’ll hopefully have time to discuss in the morning.
TUESDAY MORNING UPDATE
“Beau” is weaker over Beaufort Sea, but looks likely to restrengthen. A big (for the summer) gale is west of Scotland. Cold temperatures continue to circle the Pole. A weal Greenland-to-Bering Strait flow looks likely to push Faboo the “wrong way”, north. The unoffical Mass Balance Buoy report shows Faboo at -1.01°C, despite sunshine. Likely the sunshine has warmed it back to above freezing. (Mass balance reports have no time stamp, but my guess is the last report is from midnight, Greenwich Time.)South of there 0-buoy 9 got crunched between bergs and is tilted foreward, giving us a remarkably good view of refrozen slush, with winds light and temperatures below freezing. We have moved east to 9° longitude.
O-buoy 10 shows us the long melt-water channel has skimmed over with ice which is dusted with snow. This is not unheard of in the middle of the melt season, but it is definitely not a sign of “runaway warming” and a “death spiral”. Conditions are well below zero and quiet.O-buoy 11 is also calm and cold. The jumble of ice in the central near distance demonstrates how hard it is to calculate the volume of the ice, when it is busted up. There are patches of open water, but also patches where the ice is at least twice as thick. (Remember that 9/10 of that jumble of ice is under water.)O-buoy 12 has stopped drifting south, but winds have just picked back up to 10 mph, and movement in some direction should resume. Temperatures are up towards freezing, but the melt-water pool in the lower right remains frozen.
TUESDAY AFTERNOON REPORT
Yesterday Faboo continued slowly but steadily north, as far west as 8.691°W at 0900Z and as far east as 8.637°W at 1800Z, arriving 1.72 miles further away from Fram Strait, at 86.212°N, 8.643°W. It is possible this northerly movement will continue into the weekend.
Temperatures remained below freezing throughout the period, beginning at -0.5°C and sinking to -1.4°C at 0900Z, before rising back to -0.4°C as yesterday’s report ended at 2100Z. Today the thaw resumed, as conditions were bright and sunny for much of the day.To the south O-buoy 9 ,which floated as free as a bird two days ago, had managed to get itself wedged firmly into a new ice-pack. Temperatures were below freezing and winds were light. The position of the sun indicates we are looking back to the west, from whence we came.Across the Pole and down south in the Beaufort Sea O-buoy 10 saw near calm conditions and temperatures down near five below give way to fog, temperatures climbing up towards freezing, and 10 mph winds.To its southeast O-buoy 11 had not yet experienced the warming, and saw open waters chilled by light breezes and subfreezing temperatures at a time they are supposedly being “warmed” by summer sunshine.To the west O-buoy 12 saw its drifting halt, as it stagnated with other ice floes in a sea abruptly chilled by temperatures down to -5.0°C, and light winds.
The DMI maps show Pohi dominating the Eurasian side of the Arctic as “Beau” dominates the American side, and the large storm southeast of Iceland unable to effect the Pole much at all. The flow is from Atlantic to Pacific, and in some ways reverses the Transpolar Drift and Beaufort Gyre.
WEDNESDAY MORNING UPDATE
“Pohi” is now a long ridge of high pressure extending from Finland all the way to Bering Strait. Because it extends down through Finland it has broken the back of the long fetch of east wind along the Siberian coast to Iceland. That fetch is now broken into two segments, one from Norway to Greenland, and one from Bering Strait to western Russia. Between the two some milder air is forging north through the Baltic, but it never really invades the Arctic, and instead is deflected west.
Between Pohi and Beau north of Canada is a reverse flow which looks likely to push Faboo north, and delay the exit of O-buoy 9 from the arctic. This seems to demonstrate that not all that much ice is flushed south through Fram Strait in the summer. The real flushing comes when the autumnal gales start creating north winds in the Strait. In the winter there tends to be frigid high pressure over Greenland and low pressure over the North Atlantic, and the north winds between the two creates a counter-intuitive situation wherein it is the colder weather that melts the most ice, not by melting it locally but rather by exporting it south to warmer waters. The current reverse flow doesn’t do that, and on the Atlantic side is condensing the ice and preventing melt. If this flow continues then, over on the Pacific side, the ice will be pushed south and spread out and perhaps melted by Pacific water coming up through Bering Strait, but because this melting happens in the arctic it actually contributes to the chilling of local waters. Ice shoved south through Fram Strait, on the other hand, contributes to the chilling of the Atlantic.
If I had the time, or could hire an undergraduate, I’d look back through old records to see if this seasonal pattern varies much. Perhaps a 60-year-cycle would appear.
In any case the ice is being condensed on the Atlantic side and spread out on the Pacific side. Beau is likely to weaken and fill from now on, and it will be interesting to watch and see if it “creates cold”. A new low might come north out of east Siberia and cross north of Bering Strait to the Canadian coast, too late to reinforce Beau, but sort of as a copy-cat, and be a new low in the Beaufort Sea next week. (If it manifests I’ll dub it “Beaucat”.)
The last two unofficial Mass Balance reports from Faboo seem to show another micro-system moving through, as we had a thaw up to +1.34 and then a dip down to +0.10, and also there was a pause to our northward drift.
South of there O-buoy 9 looks like it is drifting back north slightly at 9° longitude, with the freeze coming to an end. Over in the Beaufort Sea O-buoy 10 could be facing crack up, as it is being pushed south towards open water by a stiff breeze of 22 mph. Temperatures are cold, around -3°.
Further south O-buoy 11 is heading south in the open water, which is being chilled by a lighter breeze of 11 mph, and surprisingly low temperatures around -4°. The “Death Spiral” isn’t “warming waters” at this local, especially with the sun so dim.
WEDNESDAY EVENING UPDATE
Faboo did experience thaw and start back south today, which shows it is at least attempting to behave in an ordinary manner, however, like some people I know, it did a lousy job of being ordinary. For one thing, it only moved 0.63 miles SE, winding up at 86.203°N, 8.615°W. I don’t wish to appear negative, but, whilst Faboo is moving in the right direction, at this rate we won’t be into Fram Strait until next summer.
And then there is the small matter of the thaw. First of all, Faboo began a bit like a person who begins a time on-the-wagon with a Mardi Gras and twelve beers. Faboo plunged to the day’s low of -1.1°C at midnight before, after taking a deep breath, bravely and nobly strove up to +1.4°C at 1500Z when, apparently completely exhausted by the effort, it went sagging back down to +0.3°C at yesterdays’s final report at 2100Z. (I do not wish to foster any illusions, and feel compelled to reveal that our private detectives have looked at today’s unofficial Mass Balance reports, and I am sad to reveal Faboo has returned to the gutter and is well below freezing.)
Shame, shame, shame!
Down south, it looks like O-buoy 9 is also sloshed. What? Sloshed to and fro by the tides, of course. What did you think I meant?
It has worked its way to longitude 8.5° without making any headway south, as temperatures flirt with thaw but seem to stray to the freeze side of freezing, and winds have slackened to a calm. The ice-pack has spread out a little, and some very strange bergs have drifted by. In the first picture I wonder about the “volume” of that berg to the right half-way up the margin. 9/10th is hidden.
In the following picture I’d like to sample the dirt on the pinkish berg in the central foreground. Also you can see some thin plates of new ice between the two old bergs in the foreground, which shows refreeze has occurred even in the heart of the thaw. In the final picture I think it particularly tragic that a poor, white, arctic bunny is stranded on that little berg in the central foreground. Curse Global Warming! We should send a helicopter up there immediately!
Over in the Beaufort Sea O-buoy 10 has seen winds decrease to 11 mph with the ice holding together, and temperatures flirting either side of freezing. Looking at the darkness at the lower left, I wonder if we are looking at a bunch of crud at the bottom of a melt-water pool, or peering into the depths of the Arctic Sea.To the southeast O-buoy 11 continues to be much colder, down around -4°. It is only 140 miles southeast of a thaw. It looks like the salt water is starting to freeze at the edge of the ice. Winds have picked up to around 20 mph here, so that water is definitely being chilled, at the very time it is suppose to be warming.Last but not least, over to the west O-buoy 12 continues to creep south with winds at 9 mph. We never thawed, and temperatures are currently dipping again. A spell of freezing fog is lifting.
It seems that spell of freezing fog may have been associated with the spine of a ridge of high pressure extending from Pohi, and winds shifting. “Beaucat” is emerging on the coast of east Siberia, and may give O-buoy 12 something to write home about. The cold on the Pacific side remains impressive.
THURSDAY MORNING UPDATE -Polar Bear Visits Faboo-
“Beau” continues to dominate the North American side, while Pohi rules the Eurasian side, except in east Siberia, where “Beaucat” is emerging as a tight little storm. Despite the “wrong way” flow at the northern entrance of Fram Strait, not much milder Atlantic air is being sucked north. Instead the milder air seems to be taking the unusual route of Nares Strait, on the western side of Greenland, which seems a cold and narrow route to take, but some surprisingly mild air has made it north through the bleak landscape of the Canadian Archipelago this summer. Here’s a helicopter view of Nares Strait on a summer day in 2007.I was thinking that Beaucat might bring a surge of milder air up through Bering Stait, but at this point it looks like it will form a front and then travel along the front across the Chukchi Sea into Beaufort Sea, without the mild air making it very far north at the surface, though some may surge north aloft. Ahead of the low the winds will turn south and likely push the ice back north. At the moment the ice is spreading out in light north winds which, along with fresh snowfall, might explain the upward blip in the extent graph, which is causing abject gloom in Alarmist camps this morning. Expect the blip to rebound back down.Faboo is experiencing sub-freezing temperatures despite bright sunshine, and the northward drift has resumed. Lake Faboo is skimming with ice. A polar bear has sauntered by investigate the equipment to the right, and then sauntered back, (unless it was two bears). It waited until after yesterday’s pictures were taken so we wouldn’t see it was drinking Pepsi. To the south O-buoy 9 has seen the ice spread out, while continuing to slosh east and west with the tides twice a day, and making it east nearly to 8° longitude. We aren’t moving south yet. Temperatures hover at freezing and winds remain nearly calm. Further south in Fram Strait, at 77.63 N, 11.44 W, Mass Balance Buoy 2015E: has dropped from a reading of +0.40° to a chilly -1.39° last night, which does not suggest much mild, Atlantic air is getting up into the strait.
Over in the Beaufort Sea O-buoy 10 flirted with freezing, but dipped back below as winds dropped to a gentle breeze around 5 mph. A change in the wind has swung the camera away from Lake Beaufort, and the landscape appears dusted by snow. Likely we are getting north winds after the passage of “Beau”.140 miles southeast of there O-buoy 11 has seen temperatures struggle up from -4°C to just below freezing, and appears to be getting some snow from Beau. Winds have slackened to around 10 mph.280 miles west of O-buoy 11, Obuoy 12 is seeing the afternoon sun is not as high as it used to be. Winds have dropped to around 5 mph, and temperatures are back down to -3°. All melt occurring is bottom-melt at those temperatures. The melt-water pool to the lower right (fresh water) looks frozen solid, and the even narrow lead to the lower left (salt water) looks slushy, while the wider lead in the mid distance is open, and its water is being chilled. When the sun gets low the rays increasingly glance off the water without penetrating and warming the water, (as any fisherman who has fished at sunset knows. You can almost feel the warmth of the reflected sun through the camera’s lens).All in all I’d say this is a depressing morning for Alarmists hoping to see an ice-free Pole. We are still likely to see one more good thaw before the cold comes clamping down, but the time is getting short.
THURSDAY EVENING UPDATE
Yesterday was another sluggish day for Faboo, who made it south from 86.203°N to 86.197°N only to backtrack back north to 86.208°N, for a retreat of .005° for the day. However we did creep east the entire time, which gave us a movement of 1.38 miles to 86.208°N, 8.321°W. Things held a bit of promice that they might become more lively, as the sluggish winds gradually increased to 10 mph.
Temperatures yesterday took another surprising (to me) plunge, despite a spell of bright sunshine. They were up to +0.4°C at midnight, but had sunk all the way to -1.6°C by the end of the official report at 2100Z. It was only as the bright sunshine began fading in growing gloom that temperatures began to rise. This makes no sense to me and causes me to sulk and be as gloomy as Faboo’s pictures from the Pole.
So I turn south to O-buoy 9 for solace, but alas, the lovely calm has ended as winds rise to 11 mph and fog descend and temperatures plunge below freezing.
Therefore I flee across the Pole to the Beaufort Sea and O-buoy 10, and just get more winds increasing to 11 mph and more sub-freezing temperatures and more gray skies, though at least there is no fog.
It is when I get to O-buoy 11 that my jaw drops, and my gloom is pierced by a glimmer of sheer astonishment. The first picture shows obvious proof of salt water freezing. But…but…it is the height of the melt-season. But…but…the PDO is midst a “warm spike.” But…but…a raging El Nini is occurring. But…but…the arctic doesn’t care about my theories. The arctic does what the arctic does. I’m fairly sure I’m not just a bumpkin layman, when I get fooled by the freeze. Some far smarter men have also been fooled. They do not refer to “bottom melt” and “surface melt”, but rather refer to “basal melt” and “lateral melt,” but they have been just as wrong as I have been. For example, check out this nsidc statement:
“data from the beginning of July show a tongue of old multiyear ice extending from the southern Beaufort Sea towards Alaska into the Chukchi Sea. However, passive microwave imagery from AMSR-2 reveals that the ice pack has become very diffuse within the Beaufort Sea, with ice concentrations dropping below 50%. Corresponding visible-band imagery from MODIS shows a mélange of very large and smaller multiyear ice floes surrounded by open water. The presence of open water surrounding the floes allows for enhanced lateral and basal ice melt, raising the possibility that much of the multiyear ice in this region will melt out during the remainder of the summer.”
I highlighted the part in red to show they didn’t expect what the above pictures show: Ice growing in a “lateral” manner. But I didn’t expect it either, so I’d be a complete hypocrite to pick on them. Instead I’m just going to stand back and give my skull a good scratching. What the heck is going on here?
There has got to be some unrecognized power involved, when you get cold temperatures despite all evidence pointing to warmth. However I am completely baffled, and can’t say what it is.
Meanwhile, life goes on. To the west O-buoy 12 has recovered from a cold snap and is experiencing a bit of a thaw, and light winds of 5 mph, as the sky gets gray as “Beaucat” approaches. This close to the Pacific, “bottom melt” os significant, and may be showing in the melt-water pool to the lower right of the camera’s view: Where there was once a crack on the bottom of that pool, there now seems to be an eroded hole to the depths of the sea.
FRIDAY MORNING UPDATE —Brrrr—
“Pohi” looks like it is weakening and giving up control of the Pole, but is forecast to make a comeback as “Beau” fades in the Canadian Archipelago and “Beaucat” becomes the storm to reckon with, scooting across to the Canadian side of Bering Strait. Temperatures continue cold south of 80° even as north of 80° temperatures are a hair above normal.
Faboo looks to be just to the east of sub-freezing air, still drifting north and still gloomy. It’s hard to get a good surface-melt without sunshine. All the melting must come from below.O-buoy 9 has drifted east to 8° but still hasn’t started south. This morning’s picture has a good view of how much ice is under water, even when only a chip shows above water. Temperatures are below freezing and winds light.A o-buoy 10 temperatures have again crashed to -4° and winds are light. Brrr!At O-buoy 11 temperatures are also crashing to -4° and there is no sign of “lateral” melting. Winds are light. Brrr again! O-buoy 12 is also seeing colder temperatures, but only down to -1°C, and we have started back north in light winds. Here I’d say there are signs of “basal” melt.
FRIDAY AFTERNOON UPDATE
Yesterday’s data is in, and shows that Faboo continued to drift away from Fram strait, now moving north-northeast 4.11 miles to 86.264°N, 8.010°W. We are back north where we were around July 22. All that drifting, and it got us nowhere! (Reminds me of my life when I was in my twenties.)
Our cold wave ended rather abruptly, with a low of -1.5°C at 0300Z, and with us still down at -1.2°C at 0900Z, but at our next report at noon we were up to +0.5°, which was also our high for the day and the temperature we ended at, at 2100Z. Winds picked up to 13 mph at the time the temperature rose, and then slowly ebbed to 7 mph at the end, but didn’t shift from the SSW. Weather has remained steadfastly gloomy.O-buoy 9 still hasn’t started south. The freeze has ended and winds have picked up to 9 mph, and we’ve gone crunching into some thicker ice. O-buoy 10 has experienced bright sunshine with nearly calm conditions, and may have managed some slight thawing despite temperatures remaining down around -3°. (The sun can warm you even when it is cold, as skiers know.) Melting is continuing as water sloshes beneath this ice, but those waters will be colder than usual if places where it is exposed keep getting caressed by these chilly winds. (It takes time for the ice itself to be chilled, and for the cold to penetrate down through the ice to the ice-bottom.)Ar O-buoy 11 we continue to see scenes you usually see in September occurring in early August. Winds are light, and there wasn’t much of a diurnal rebound to temperatures during the day. They may be starting to rise now due to a change in the weather, to -2°C. The small berg closest to us on the left margin has been pushing to the right, plowing up the thin, new ice and creating a miniature pressure ridge of slush. Our westernmost O-buoy 12 is now experiencing a drop in temperatures below -3°C as it continues back north in light winds. Even though I expect this ice to continue to shrink, at these temperatures the sea-water is getting colder than it usually would be, I suspect.
The DMI pressure map shows Beau is fading fast, as Beaucat crosses north of Bearing Strait. The “wrong way” flow over the Pole is weaker. The big gale that was west of Scotland has occluded and loop-de-looped back to the north coast of Iceland, without sending much of a surge north to the Pole. Pohi has slumped to the Eurasian coast, but looks like it is getting pumped back up in the lee of Beaucat. I’m very to see what the temperature map shows, when they issue it. (That map is late, and it’s Friday afternoon, and I think I may go out and enjoy myself a bit tonight, but hopefully I’ll remember to check for the temperature map when I get in.)
Later—Temperature map is in, and shows a lot of spots of sub-freezing green north of the Canadian Archipelago, right where “Beau” weakened, which reaffirms my hunch about the midsummer cold having something to do with storms that weaken and fill, but doesn’t explain how or why it happens.
“Beaucat” seems to have dragged some warming up into the Chukchi Sea, but so far it isn’t heading towards the Pole.
Odd. WordPress just alerted me I got a hundred “views” the past hour. What the heck? Usually I get a hundred a day.
SATURDAY MORNING UPDATE
HELLO TO VIEWERS FROM “ICE AGE NOW”
Welcome to the wonderful world of watching ice melt. We tend to be long-winded at this site, compared to the wonderfully terse reporting at “Ice Age Now”, but I will do my best to give a quick update on Hudson Bay’s Ice, (which I assume you are here to read about.)
Viewer from Europe sometimes don’t understand how far south this ice is. If you trace the lines of latitude around in the ice-concentration map below you realize southern Hudson Bay is at the same latitude as Scotland and Denmark.
Even the upper left corner of the Canadian Ice Service Map, (which shows the Beaufort Sea, where O-buoy’s 10, 11 and 12 are located), is at a latitude which, when you trace it around to Europe, seems southerly, as it is the equivalent of the open waters off the north coast of Norway, well south of Svalbard.
Hudson Bay gets little attention, as few live up there, but it is the same latitude as the southern Baltic Sea. If ice was drifting about the Baltic in August, that would get people sitting up and commenting.
FABOO STILL DRIFTING NORTH
In effect the entire icecap is shifting from the Atlantic Side to the Pacific side.
This shift is quite different from last summer, when ice was pushed down against Svalbard and into Barents and Kara Seas. Those areas will have reduced extents, as will the Greenland Sea, which is deprived of imported ice. Even Buoy 2015E:, well down into Fram Strait, is failing to make much progress south.Another observation of interest to me is that, despite south winds holding up the flow of ice south in Fram Strait, there hasn’t been a flood of warm Atlantic air north into the Arctic (so far).
Two summers ago we had a somewhat similar situation, in that the North Pole Camera kept crossing 84° heading south, and then turned around and crossed it heading north. In all I think we crossed 84° twelve times (counting the time men took it north.) I started to get excited, thinking we had seen a shift in the Transpolar Drift, and might see the camera head to the west north of Greenland, but as soon as I voiced these thoughts the big fall gales began, and the camera was slurped down the coast of Greenland and (after the camera itself was rescued by an icebreaker) the associated GPS wound up on the north shore of Iceland. So you can bet I won’t say anything about Faboo getting sucked into the Beaufort Gyre and heaping west this year. Nope, not me.
The southerly flow is bringing moisture north, and Faboo’s view has been very gloomy this summer. Today we finally got a patch of blue overhead, though the angle of the sun is so slanted that the sunshine only hits the most distant ice. Beautiful. (Don’t let the science blind you to the charm.) The clearing is likely associated with a pool of cold air, as the unoffical Mass Balance reports show a drop from +0.53°C to -1.57° C. (Click pictures below, or open to new tabs, for larger and clearer views.) The angle of the sun is approaching a point that accents one of the greatest flaws in the “Albedo” arguements that are so necessary for a “Death Spiral” to occur. As the angle of the sun gets lower, water goes from being a great absorber of sunlight to being a great reflector. In fact as the sun gets down towards the horizon it is a better reflector than ice.In other words, the summer goes through a great deal of work to expose the arctic waters, but just when the water is finally exposed the sun gets lazy, and just bounces off the water’s skin. Rather than absorbing heat the water is bouncing it away, and also losing heat through radiation, and losing heat through evaporation. It is simply the wrong way to run a Death Spiral.
In actual fact from now until melt ceases in late September or early October, melt increasingly is not occurring on top of the ice, or on the sides of the bergs, but on the protected bottoms of the bergs, where water is constantly sloshing against the ice.
Faboo see a false surface melt, due to the fact it forms a micro “Urban Heat Island” and creates a melt-water pool all its own to dwell in, seen clearly in the graph below’s black line. The blue line shows the melting at the bottom of the ice, and will likely continue right to the end of September. It is slower up here than it is in the Beaufort Sea, as the water is colder.
I’ll catch up with the O-buoys later.
Across the Pole and down in Beaufort Sea O-buoy 10 is still on ice that is holding together. We cannot know how thick the ice is, because the bottom-sounder unfortunately quit working in June. The top-sounder is producing some mixed data indicative of snow and/or a refreeze. (Remember the buoy sits in its own, private melt-water pool.) You can see the ice started out thicker this year, but there is really no way of knowing how thick it is now, and also thick ice can break up just as much as thin ice can, given the right circumstances.O-buoy 10 has been milling around for 16 months, but, if anything, is a little north of where it was last year.Winds have increased back to 11 mph after a calm spell, and temperatures have crept up towards freezing after another dive to -3°. The temperature antics may be diurnal variation, for we actually did see some sun, for a change. (A loose strap is invading the scene from the upper left corner. The poor old camera must be experiencing some wear and tear.) To the southeast, O-buoy 11 may have parted ways with its co-located Mass Balance Buoy, but they are likely still close together. I think the O-buoy is in the water, however the Mass balance Buoy is still on a berg and reporting its thickness.These buoys are younger that O-buoy 10, and have drifted steadily southeast.Here too winds rose along with temperatures, from near calm to 16 mph and from -4°C to -0.5°C, but the pictures teell of salt water refreezing. On the first the water has the oily look of incipient freezing, and in the second an intruding berg is plowing up slush, and in the third wind has the entire scene jostling and stirring and making calculations hopeless, but you can bet that water isn’t warmer, as the “Death Spiral” theory insists it is.
Last but not least O-buoy 12 os bobbing through the warmest water in the arctic, which you can see flooding through Bering Strait in this NOAA water-temperature map.It is because of this influx of Pacific water, which is greatest when the PDO spikes warm (as it is), that I thought the ice would be quick to go here. Not far south of O-buoy 12, at Buoy 2015B: , they had splendid pictures of ice five feet thick breaking up in the Pacific flow, but now when you try to access those pictures at http://ipab.apl.washington.edu/WEB_CAM/USIABP_WEB_CAMERAS.php all you get is “This webpage is not available.” However if you look back through my posts around June 20 you can find a few pictures I saved, such as this one: This picture was taken just after the Mass Balance Buoy was eaten alive by the shifting ice, but came bobbing back up and drifted away, and to this day reports temperatures of -0.75°C from that buoy. It is the cold temperatures that surprise me. O-buoy 12 can’t seem to get above freezing, and thaw in the proper summer manner.
All the melt occurring at O-buoy 12 is coming from underneath. The air doesn’t understand it is politically incorrect for it to be cold. Instead it obeys higher law, called The Truth. And the poet Keats was right when he said Truth is beauty. That is what I seek in these views from O-buoy 12.
Those who have followed these posts the past three years know I have striven to get away from the politics of Global Warming, and just enjoy the beauty of watching the ice do what it does. However you cannot escape the in-your-face nature of Global Warming fanatics. All I want to do is dream at clouds, but they are like math teachers who close the blinds.
One way that I have found drives these mean people away from this site is to recite my poetry. I have found this is a great way to clear a room, all my life. If I want some peace and quiet, all I need to do is raise my index finger and say, “Ahem. I have composed a sonnet on Truth, Beauty and Sea-Ice”, and people jam the doorways in their haste to depart. But I must have done something wrong, recently, as this site has had over 1200 views in the past 24 hours. What the heck!!!???
I can only assume that 1200 viewers are thirsting for some sort of alternative to the dishonesty involved in political correctness. They are not here for my poetry or my so-called “wit”, but rather because they want the Truth. I am not the author of the Truth they seek and get here. The author is the Arctic, and He who created the Arctic.
Unfortunately I am not sure I will be able to be a guide to such Arctic Truth much longer. I can’t escape into this escapism much more, it seems. The nonsense of Global Warming Politics is about to absolutely crush my little farm, and the quaint Childcare I operate upon it.
Rich fat cats are about to build a huge natural gas pipeline next to my Childcare, with a huge “pumping station” a mile away. This “pumping station” will sound like an interstate highway 24 hours a day, and will put out the fumes of an interstate highway 24 hours a day, and will do so as a 800° plume of heat right where migrating hawks, eagles and falcons pass, heading north. My neighbors will lose their homes and property to “eminent domain”, not because the government says so. This is a private business, Kinder Morgan, cozying up to a “agency” (much like the EPA) called FERC which voters have no control over. They are going to be the ones telling us our homes belong to fat cats.
I’m sorry. The New Hampshire state constitution specifically forbids “eminent domain” being used for private, for-profit, rich, fat-cats. However the New Hampshire constitution, alone among all states in the Union, does not forbid plotting to overthrow the government. We are allowed to form a militia if we want to. (Texas is allowed to secede from the union, if it wants to, but not to plot a revolution.)
It would be one thing if this pipeline was for the benefit of the people of New England, however it is for export to eastern Europe, where gas can be sold for three to four times the local price. (New England’s needs can be supplied by upgrading existing pipelines.) The only reason to build this pipeline is to make some fat-cat far away rich in a hurry. In a decade the “fracking ” boom will go bust, and the pipeline will go bankrupt, and they will fill the pipe with nitrogen and leave it as an eyesore.
So… what should I write about? Sea Ice? Or the fact the hills echo with semi-automatic gunfire on the weekends, as politically incorrect young men “practice”?
You tell me.
PS — SUNDAY MORNING
I spent a rotten night sleeping very little. Finally I saw some humor in the fact that I likely will be associating with the very Global Warming fanatics I mock, resisting this pipeline. However I will not decide anything until after I go to church. At the moment I’m feeling very militant for an old geezer, but perhaps a good sermon will awake the Gandhi in me, and I’ll become amazingly peace-loving, and the last you will ever hear of me will be that I have chained myself to some tree.
And I did peek to see what the sea-ice was up to. Faboo drifted straight north another 1.59 miles, at last report.