People have been probing the arctic for slots in the Sea-Ice for a long, long time.Back when more than half of all Americans were farmers, farming was only a way to get by. Whaling was a way to get rich, and tempted many to take risks.Some of the gambles taken and lost cannot be verified by historical records, but live as lore.
However the owners of the whaling boats demanded that captains of the the ships they moved north like pieces on a chess board keep very accurate logs, so they could later pour over the logs and decide where to move the ships the following years. These logs represent a fabulous treasure trove of information about what sea-ice did in the past.
The blogger “TonyB” merely scratched the surface of this wealth, and humbly confessed that the information he gathered was merely the tip of an iceberg (pun), but produced a superb paper that is a treasure trove in its own right, and was published first on “The Air Vent” and later on “Watts Up With That”. As far as I’m concerned, it is required reading for all who wish to pretend they know diddlysquat about sea-ice.
Sadly, there exists a group of slapstick scientists who have never figured out how to utilize history, when they create a computer model. History may tell us that history is repeating itself, as slots appear in the sea-ice, for sailors of the past found and sailed through such slots, however to certain slapstick scientists such slots are “unprecedented”.
The above NSIDC map is notorious for using a huge grid and clumsy automated apparatus to create ice-free areas on maps, where other observers report ice. But the value of such simplicity is that it makes notches more obvious. For example the Canadian Ice Service makes the huge Beaufort Sea notch far less obvious, due to its fine grid and meticulous attention to detail. (In the upper left of the map below.)
Cryosphere Today avoids this Canadian problem because, even though their map has a key to the upper left which shows 20% ice concentration will be shown by a blue color, their printer ran out of blue ink a decade ago, and their system is so obsolete no one can figure out a place to reorder blue ink. [sarc/off] The result is that their map shows the slot very clearly.
However frequent visitors to this site kniw we are not satisfied with the virtual reality of computer maps based on models based on satellite data which itself has been through a model or two on its way down to earth. Instead we demand that we sail out into the open waters of those notches. We are in fact, (in a sort of fat and lazy modern way), whalers.
Through the eyes of O-buoy cameras we know exactly what is going on in the notches, and how much ice is in those open waters. Satellites? Pah! Who needs stinking satellites, when you can bob those seas in a rowboat with a thermometer, seeing the situation from roughly a meter above the level of the sea?
One thing we have seen is that these notches open not because ice melts. Rather it is because ice to the north moves north, as we move south or stand still. Obviously this will create open water.
On the Atlantic side we’ve seen the North Pole Camera, (which I nickname “Faboo”) head fifteen miles to the northwest the past two days, as the ice at O-buoy 9, south of there, does not move north. This has created lots of open water for O-buoy 9 to sail about in, reporting temperatures below freezing that cannot create open water.
Considering the ice on the Atlantic side has been shoved north, you might think the ice on the Pacific side would be shoved south, and this is exactly what we have seen happen to the solid ice O-buoy 10 rests upon. Because it is being shoved into the open waters of the “Slot” we are expecting it to break apart, but it hasn’t happened yet. Instead we get pictures of a melt-water channel thawing and then refreezing with boring regularity.
O-buoy 11 is to the southeast, and bobbing around in The Notch. We have seen those waters are not as ice-free as some satellite maps suggest. One moment the water may appear ice-free, but that may be because our whaler does not have a kid up in a crow’s nest three stories tall, but rather a camera in a buoy three feet tall. The horizon is close. Still, three feet is a better sail than a flat iceberg a half foot tall, and our keel has less drag than an iceberg with 9/10th of its ship underwater. A big, flat piece of sea-ice with a sail only six inches high has a keel sticking down three feet, whereas our buoy might have a keel that sticks down that much, but has a bigger sail, sticking up three feet, and this allows us to sail hither and thither among the lumbering bergs, gathering data satellites can’t. Some satellite guidance, through modeled filters, call this water ice-free:
O-buoy 12 is a subject I approach with trepidation, as it has been clouting my preconceptions, either side of my head, all summer.
My preconceptions state that southern ice-free waters are warmed by sub-baked tundra air and Pacific intrusions, and that these warmed, southern waters move north to melt ice further north from beneath. What we seem to be seeing is ice to the north refusing to wait, and instead coming south to be melted. .This cools the southern waters even before they can start north.
To the north of there is “The Slot.” As far as I can tell The Slot is open water not sheltered by a lid of ice and warmed by waters from the south, but rather is water chilled by unseasonable cold from above. Rather than warmer this water is colder.
With southern waters cooled even before they can start north, and the “Slots” waters also cooled, the sea-ice to the north will see less melt from below. Or so I guess. However O-buoy 12 has embarrassed me so many times that I tend to just watch his views, waiting for my next comeuppance.
Despite the fact this is shattering my preconceptions and making my predictions look foolish, I find it worthy of wonder. Something new is being taught. A door to understanding is opening. Forty years ago I’d look at such unexpected stuff and exclaim, “Far out!” Now I tend to grouch, “Oh crap,” because it means I have to go back to the old drawing board.
Hopefully this post will involve a new drawing board and new ideas, (which might not be so new, and which old whaling ships might have known about, but which wasn’t taught to me, because whaling was politically incorrect, when I went to school).
One reason for “The Notch”, on both the Atlantic and Pacific side, may be a discordance between the Polar and Ferral Cells, but blabbing about that can wait until tomorrow.
THURSDAY MORNING UPDATE
Likely I am over-simplifying as usual, but I am seeing “Hichuk” on the Pacific side as the center of the Polar Cell, and “Hiska” over Scandinavia and the blocked low south of Iceland as Ferrel cell systems. “Beaucat” has some strong winds north of it over Laptev Sea, as “Chuck” is weak and drifts towards Svalbard. With “Chuck” now a north Atlantic low, and a high building over Greenland, we are getting back to a more normal situation in Fram Strait, with north winds, and perhaps Faboo will start behaving itself and head south like it is suppose to.
The unofficial reports that gave us a shocking -4.19° C at Faboo last night have become more reasonable, at -0.39° C, but I must admit Lake Faboo does look frozen this morning. We went from freeze to slush-season to refreeze so fast I’m suffering a sort of whiplash.
To the south the whiplash had O-buoy 9 tilted, with temperatures below freezing, followed by light winds and the first sunshine we’ve seen in a while. Perhaps we’ve drifted farther south than I thought, because it looks like we’ve run aground on a beach where the coral has been tragically bleached by Global Warming.
O-buoy 11 sees light winds of 5 mph and overnight chill around -1°. If anyone is paying the slightest bit of attention to albedo any more, the bergs look like they have been repainted white by recent snow.
Now is a time of mourning at the Pole. Polar bears wear black, and the white flag is flown at half mast, (which confuses enemies, who can’t figure out if the Pole is surrendering or not.) The mourning is because the average temperatures dip below freezing. Slush season is officially over.The sharp drop in the extent graph may be due to the last hurrah of slush-season (and also ice melting in Hudson Bay), but we may soon see a bit of an uptick as melt-water pools freeze over, and stop being seen as open water.
WEDNESDAY AFTERNOON UPDATE —Beaufort O-buoys showing freeze-up—
O-buoy 10 has seen temperatures drop to -3° and the melt-water channel has frozen. O-buoy 11 is seeing -2° and the open water is starting to have the stage-one “oily look” of a freeze. O-buoy 12 ran into some traffic after a spell sailing free, and temperatures continue to drop, down to -4°. Here a 10 mph breeze is making sure the cold air stirs in with the water, which looks a bit slushy at the edges.
FABOO CRASHES INTO COLD AIR AND CHANGES COURSE
After plowing northwest as far north as 86.315°N Faboo’s course backed to southwest, end ing the 24-hiur-period at 86.304°N, 12.088°W, which is 5.3 miles nearly due west of where we began, and not the right way to be heading if we want to get to Fram Strait. The course correction was accompanied be a wind shift from southeast to northeast, and then by a dramatic freeze at the very end of the time period. The high was +0.5°C, and temperatures only gradually fell to +0.2°C at 1500Z, and then to -0.5°C at 1800Z and -2.4°C at 2100Z. (We may have fallen further, but that must wait until tomorrow’s official report).
The dramatic nature of the freeze is shown by the fact Lake Faboo has some dusty snow blown over its left side. As soon as melt-water pools turn white satellites have an easier time understanding they are not open water.THURSDAY AFTERNOON DMI MAPS
FRIDAY MORNING MAPS —Glitches—
There is no DMI temperature map this morning. I’ll stick it in if it becomes available later. But I want it now. I want to know how much warm air is invading the Pole from central Siberia., and up the west side of the warm high pressure, Hisca, over Europe.
Also there are no O-buoy pictures this morning. Sometimes too many people want to download data from the Pole, and the satellite only has a limited capacity to transmit data, the O-buoy people have to wait in line. However I want pictures now. I want to see, with my lying eyes, if the refreeze is continuing in Beaufort Sea.
I refuse to be denied. I go to the Weatherbell Site, and look at Dr. Ryan Maue’s amazing maps. I chose the Canadian “JEM” model’s polar views of 2 meter temperatures, and get a surprise. (Because I’m American, I look at temperatures in Fahrenheit. Below freezing is pink.) This map is the initial 0000z map, and the warmth in Europe is muted because it is night. (Click these maps to clarify and enlarge.)To accent the heat in Europe I click ahead to the noontime forecast.What catches my attention is not the warmth in Europe, but the cold pouring south into Russia. Also it is freezing in Siberia. In August? What the heck?
As a general assumption I figure the tundra is sun-baked and warm, under long days and clouds of mosquitoes (which is why the polar bears stay out on the ice if they can.) When isobars suggest winds from the tundra out onto the Arctic Sea, I figure those winds are mild, at least until the nights lengthen in September. But once again I need to adjust my assumptions, for it looks like Siberia is not the mild source-region I took for granted it must be in August. The polar lows I call “Beaucat” and “Chuck” are not sucking warmth north, on their east sides. The Siberian coast is colder than I suspected.
OK then, what about the heat over Europe? is that going to head towards the Pole? I look at the UK Met Maps.
Even though Hiska hangs tough as a blocking high over Europe, and the gale over Iceland is stalled and can only kick weak low pressure towards The English Channel, at the top of the map there seems to be an arctic wall keeping the warmth at bay. (It does look like a nice weekend for a lot of Europe, though you can see the cold front come down over Russia to the east.)
My morning conclusion? The Arctic Sea is staying cold.
FRIDAY NIGHT UPDATE —Faboo straightens Up His Act—
Yesterday Faboo continued south, and quit the business of drifting west at 12.180°W at 0900Z, and henceforth behaved himself, heading south-southeast for Fram Strait like a good camera. The 24-hour period concluded with Faboo at 86.210°N, 12.018°W which is 6.49 miles nearly due south of where we began. (There was one little waver of willpower at the end. Faboo actually made it east to 12.003° W at 1800Z, and then backslid west at the end. However I think it best we overlook that transgression. We do not wish to discourage poor Faboo, who has obvious issues in terms of direction.)
Faboo went through a stressful day yesterday, with temperatures plunging to -4.4°C at 0300Z . (I thought those low readings must be a glitch when they appeared on the unofficial Mass Balance Buoy report.) ( After all, Buoy 2015E: is currently reporting it is -43.59°C down at 77.33° N, 11.09° W in Fram Strait.) (Call me a “denier” if you will, but I doubt that data.) Faboo’s pictures of Lake Faboo flash-freezing did make the low reading seem plausible, but I had to wait to see the official data to be sure.
The flash freeze only lasted around nine hours, and by 1500Z Faboo had made it back up to 0.0°C for the day’s high, and had only slipped to -0.2°C at 2100Z. So here too we see Faboo is shaping up his act and behaving himself. Today’s pictures even show Lake Faboo thawing slightly and melting the fresh snow on its surface to slush, as a snow-bow circles the horizon.
The pictures are pretty, and Faboo’s efforts at reform are praiseworthy, so I am surely going to seem like a cad when I look back at his aberrant behavior. However I have a taken a certain amount of abuse for saying flash-freezes are a part of arctic weather even in the height of summer. Therefore this blatant example redeems my reputation. (You see, I want to earn redemption as badly as Faboo does.)
In a nutshell, I have been informed that when air descends at the Pole it must be warmer, like Chinook breezes downwind of a mountain range. I have asserted that there must be an exception to that rule, for (and it happened here today) when a summer thundershower passes near on a sweltering summer day, a down-burst brings refreshingly cool breezes. In the arctic, where temperatures are so close to freezing to begin with, the down-burst is not refreshingly cool but rather a flash freeze.
Some Alarmists object most strenuously to my assertion of what seems to me to be a farmer’s common sense. In the most elaborate and lengthy replies they explain the science of the top of the troposphere and other stuff well beyond my pay-grade. As a bumpkin, I just look at them askance. What do they take me for? I know what I know, see what I see, and no amount of algebra is going to persuade me that the downdraft from a passing thundershower is hot.
Rather than continuing to questioning myself, I have started to question them. What worries them so much about flash-freezing, up at the Pole? To me it seems a fairly obvious fact. Abruptly Faboo saw temperatures of -4.4°C. What’s the big deal?
O-BUOY CAMERAS BACK ON LINE –An end to paranoia–
The flash freezes that I mentioned above, while relatively rare on the Atlantic side of the Pole (as far as I could see) were astonishingly common this past summer on the Pacific side, even to the point where you could call them the rule rather than the exception. Even in July, when the slush season is suppose to be at its height, temperatures were often below freezing.
Obviously this would fascinate me, especially as smarter people had told me flash freezes could not happen. I happen to believe in what I can see, more than I believe in smarter people, because smarter people are not God. God is Truth, which is something better scientists respect, better poets respect, better engineers respect, and even better Atheists respect (because better Atheists believe in Truth even if they don’t believe in God.)
American coins state, “In God We Trust,” because initially America was founded on Truth. This Truth respected the sanctity of the eyesight of even a bumpkin farmer like myself, for I was given the same one vote of the richest man, and the same one vote as the smartest genius.
Unfortunately America has fallen. It is governed by people who do not trust Truth, because Truth can make us look incorrect. When they say they will reduce unemployment, and unemployment rises, rather than trusting the Truth, they simply change the way the data is gathered, so it looks like unemployment isn’t rising.
In the same manner, when they say the Globe is warming, and it isn’t, they just change the way the data is gathered, so it looks like the world is warming. This falsification of temperature data has been done so blatantly and so crudely that I think the rest of the world is starting to catch on. The United States is not what it used to be. Rather than the rescuers of other nations, we might be in need of rescue.
In the end, the nation that saves the world will be the one that is most honest and most truthful, not the one that is most sly and deceitful. In terms of a free press, I’m ashamed to say the American Press is the latter and not the former. Americans only read their papers to learn what the Bogus News is. For the Truth they turn to the internet.
As an American, brought up to love the Truth, I am utterly appalled by my government’s dishonesty. I will do all in my tiny power to remove big-shots from office. However the United States may have past its prime, and it may be up to another nation to take the baton as we fall. Once we were “the Last Hope Of Humanity,” but maybe that honor will pass on to India. They certainly have a freer press, a greater population, and may well deserve the honor of being called “The World’s Greatest Democracy”.
As an American, it really aggravates me to watch America lose the status of being the “good guys”. But what can a bumpkin do? All I can do is speak the Truth as loud and as long as I can. All it has ever done is bring me trouble, in terms of political power and wealth, but it makes me free, and that is better than power and wealth. (Even if they lock you up, you are still free, as Paul and Peter proclaimed from Roman jails.)
What does this have to do with sea-ice? Well, a government so fallen that it would falsify unemployment figures, and temperature figures, might also be tempted to falsify sea-ice data, or at least shut down cameras that refuse to verify that water the government states is ice-free holds no ice. Or so stated my paranoia.
However the wonderful thing about the O-buoy cameras is that, even if they are denied access to satellites, they can store their information and just wait. Later, when the satellites become available, all the evidence can be down-loaded.
For a while Truth may be hidden, like the part if an iceberg under water. But it doesn’t cease to exist just because you can’t see it. (And it can sink a Titanic, if you ignore it.)
My favorite picture, now available, is from O-buoy 12, and shows no ice in sight.I like this picture because it verifies a forecast I made last spring. (I do not need to confess a large mass of ice just retreated into the distance, or mention that ice does not need to be far away to be “over the horizon.”) However what continues to blow me away is that these open waters occur despite the air being in a steady state of “flash-freeze”, and below the freezing point of salt water. (IE This is not a picture of a “warming” Arctic Sea.)O-buoy 11 was viewing similar “ice free” waters not long ago, and now look at it.O-buoy 10 has been drifting south into *ice-free” waters, but doesn’t even have the decency to crack apart.
What you need to do is match these buoys with the map that shows areas as ice-free, however after a long and hard and hot week living as a bumpkin, I’d rather look for evidence Truth is beauty. Such as O-buoy 9 at midnight, yesterday.
SATURDAY MORNING UPDATE
The first thing I wanted to check this morning was O-buoy 12, to see if it still had clear sailing. It did, which means I lost another nickle, because I bet it would run into ice by morning. (There may be some bergs in the mist on the distant horizon, but they don’t count.) I never bet more than a nickle on sea-ice, because it is so unpredictable, but this buoy is costing me a lot of nickles. They add up, y’know.The second thing I checked was the thermometer attached to this buoy, to see if the open water had warmed the air at all. It hadn’t, which costs me another nickle. (Click graph to clarify, of not enlarge.)
I am amazed the air is so cold so close to water that can’t be colder than -1.7°C or so. I’ve started to wonder if this thermometer might read low. At the very least it would provide me with a handy excuse for losing so many nickles. The only problem is that Buoy 2014G: is coming in at -2.13° C, and it can’t have drifted too many miles away. (Formerly it was co-located with O-buoy 12.) Perhaps I’d better check the maps.
“Hichuk” is now a textbook polar cell over the Pole with lows rotating around it. I am going to grotesquely simplify, and call the low over the Kara Sea (and pouring chilly air over Moscow) “Chuck”, though another part of Chuck is a very weak low north of the Canadian Archipelago, and still more of Chuck went down to Hudson Bay to join that fracas (I’ll call that low “Hud”.) The stalled storm over Iceland will be “Dawdle”, and the one over east Siberia will retain the name “Beaucat”, as it starts its second lap of the Pole.
Hichuk seems to be swinging the cold around from the Pacific to the Atlantic. Faboo is unofficially reporting another flash freeze, as Buoy 2015D: has gone from reporting +0.32°C to -3.52°C, as the midnight sun creeps ever closer to becoming a midnight sunset.
I am curious to see if the cold swinging to the Atlantic allows Beaufort Sea to warm. O-buoy 10 has mellowed only slightly, up to around -0.77°C according to a co-located Mass Balance Buoy. It’s light winds are likely south, for it has stopped drifting south and nudged north a bit. O-buoy 11 has seen temperatures flirt with freezing, but temperatures have sagged back to -1° as winds became nearly calm.
O-buoy 12 is still showing the same picture, but I’ll bet you a nickle it shows sea-ice by noon.
SATURDAY AFTERNOON DMI MAPS
SUNDAY MORNING UPDATE
The pattern looks nice and zonal, but Hichuk may be destabilizing like a wobbling top, as it is pulling mildness in from The Canadian side, and Jack has roaring, gale force winds along the Siberian coast. This is backing the waters towards the Atlantic, and also snitching some of the cold air from the Pole and exporting it down over Moscow.
This is worth visiting the Weatherbell site, to look at Dr. Ryan Maue’s cool maps of Asia. However danger is involved. Do not, I repeat, do not look at the cool typhoons down in the lower right. Such distractions can take you off onto sidetracks, and you may not get back to sea-ice for hours. (Click maps to enlarge, and click again to enlarge further.) (They show the warm afternoon in western Europe, but Russia getting north winds.)
SOME LAZY SUNDAY AFTERNOON O-BUOY REPORTS
O-buoy 9 has been through a fairly wild spell of weather, with temperatures dropping to -5°C and swinging back up to freezing and also a considerable lurch back to the west even as Faboo curved east, which you would think would condense the sea-ice between. At one point the camera was leaning backwards and showing mostly sky, so I imagine the buoy is taking a beating, though winds only peaked briefly up around 20 mph and now have settled back to the 5-10 mph range.
O-buoy 10 has had a more sedate time, starting to drift back north in light winds, with temperatures persistently between zero and -3° C. O-buoy 11 has stopped reporting, though we did get a good picture of arctic twilight right after a blast of -4°C air came through this morning. It should be noted that the conditions that appear in these pictures do not warm the exposed seawater much. This ice appears stationary at the moment.
O-buoy 12 is happily sailing the open waters of The Slot with only an occasional berg passing in the distance. Air temperatures have risen to the approximate temperature of recently thawed seawater, or -1.5°C. The breezes are fairly gentle, at 5-10 mph, but the buoy has carelessly turned from southwest to northwest, which is not a very wise move if it wants to avoid ice to the north.
FABOO’S WEEKEND HIGH-JINKS
I know I said Faboo was shaping up. I know I must seem like one of those bosses who writes a glowing recommendation because it is the most recent employer who pays a percentage of a bum’s unemployment. However I had no idea Faboo would go a-rambling this weekend. And it really wasn’t all that bad, compared to other rambles. Perhaps we should be patient with the poor thing.
On Friday he did wobble a bit, in terms of heading east. He started at 12.018°W, proceeded east to 11.892°W, briefly backslid to 11.929°W, then proceeded on to 11.831°W, before backsliding more brazenly to 11.890°W. But what the heck. It was Friday night, and there are always a lot of bad influences around on Friday nights, and Faboo did end the day further east than he started. And he did much better in terms of heading south, making steady progress until the final report, when he slid back from 86.178°N to 86.179°N, and heck, what is .001° between friends? The important thing is that Faboo progressed 2.22 miles in the right direction, towards Fram Strait.
The temperatures achieved a high of 0.0°C at 0600Z and then some chillier air began wafting in even though the winds were dropping to mere breaths of 2 mph. Faboo could feel another flash freeze coming in, but the thermometer began to display the ABUHI effect as the wind dropped. (That stands for “Arctic Buoy Urban Heat Island.) This became very apparent when winds dropped to a complete calm at 1500Z and temperatures abruptly spiked to +2.4°C. This caused poor Faboo to look wildly about for signs of flash thawing, but all he could see was wan sunshine and a snow-bow on the horizon. Then, as soon as winds rose to 2 mph temperatures dropped to -0.5°C at 1800Z, and as winds puffed up to 5 mph temperatures plunged to -2.3°C as the sun swung down to whatever the arctic opposite of its zenith is (alphanith?) You can see that this might shove Faboo off the wagon, for, “if you need a reason you can find one,” is a good old buoy motto.
On Saturday Faboo stopped heading the wrong way at midnight, because good old buoys know nothing good happens after midnight, but by breakfast he had only made it down to 86.174°N, when someone suggested a hair-of-the-dog, and it was all wrong way from there, with Faboo up at 86.180°N at the final report. And in terms of heading east he was definately staggering, first west to 11.892°W, then east to 11.858°W, then west to 11.908°W, then east to 11.842°W, and finally west to 11.901°W. All in all it wasn’t such a terrible backslide, only .001° of latitude and .009° of longitude, which works out to 0.09 miles the wrong way. Give the poor old buoy a break.
Temperatures got down to -3.0° at midnight yesterday, and only got up to a high of -0.8°C at the final report. Lake Faboo looks flash frozen, with a bit of drifted snow by the near banks.However once the sun comes out, and is up at its zenith, it still has the power to melt at the very edge of Lake Faboo, where it hits the banks at a perpendicular angle, even with temperatures still below freezing.
This view is more typical of September than August.
SUNDAY EVENING MAPS
MONDAY MORNING MAPS
O-BUOY 12 RUNS OUT OF SAILING ROOM
Winds have dropped to calm, and temperatures to -2°C, in the evening twilight over at 160° longitude.
Over at 140° longitude O-buoy 11 looks like it might aim at some clear sailing in the distance, if it can only jostle its way through the ice in the foreground. Winds atr 7 mph and temperatures are a bitter -3°C.O-buoys 9 and 10 have obscured lenses, which is also typical of Monday mornings.
MONDAY NIGHT UPDATE
Faboo continued his bohemian antics yesterday, moving the wrong way north-northwest 1.49 miles. He did stop the northward movement at noon up at 86.199°N, as the westward drift persisted, and finished the period at 86.195°N,12.136°W.
This failure to move to Fram Strait is starting to get slightly interesting. Every North Pole Camera I have ever watched gets sucked south, sooner or later, by the Autumnal Gales, and once out of the arctic you can hope to see an extended slush season. However Faboo is so far north and west there is a slight chance it will escape the huge suction down the the coast of Greenland, and be the first North Pole Camera ever to see a second sunrise in the arctic.
We are so far north that thaw is likely toi become rare, as the average temperature this far north starts to crash far below freezing. If we were down in Fram Strait it would be quite a different matter.
Yesterday we saw a high at 0600Z in wan sunshine of -0.4°C, but then it grew gloomy and we experienced our third flash freeze in a row, with a low at 1800Z of -4.1°C. The sun popped out and we ended the period at -1.2°C, but the unoffical Mass Balance reports suggest we couldn’t break freezing. And one must admit the midnight sun is getting very low at midnight.
Obviously we cannot hope for melting from above any more, unless the currently zonal pattern becomes abruptly meridianal and allows a huge surge of warm air north. No thawing can come from the sky, yet the “extent” of the ice keeps dropping.
How is this possible. It is only possible because ice melts from below. After all, ice must be sitting on warmer water, for it is on water that isn’t frozen. One might even argue the water shouldn’t have frozen in the first place. How can it freeze when it is water sitting in warmer water? Interesting topic, but I don’t want to go there tonight.
The point I wish to make tonight is that the only thing separating the entirety of all the sea-ice from complete melt-down is something called a “phase change.”
By early August all the ice has been warmed to the freezing point from top to bottom, and the water below is warmer and the air above is warmer. Why doesn’t the ice dissolve?
It is because, to turn solid to liquid, you must put it on a stove and add heat. Water can exist at the same temperature as ice, but water holds that added heat from the stove, called “latent heat”.
In like manner, to turn water to ice, you must remove that “latent heat”. It is hard to imagine, but as ice freezes hear is released. When an entire Arctic Ocean freezes, enormous amounts of heat are released,
I’m not sure I can describe how fun it is to think about this stuff. The top of the ice is freezing, and releasing heat, as the bottom of the ice is melting, and sucking up heat.
However I know “The Slot” is not as ice-free as it appears because I’ve sailed those waters via O-buoys, and also the above map shows no ice in Hudson Bay, but the Canadian Ice Service says ice is still there.
Whatever the reasoning was, saying there is no ice where it is was likely plugged into models, and resulted in stupid predictions. I’ll put two side by side below. The first thrilled Skeptics by saying the “extent” would be the highest in years, and the second thrilled Alarmists by saying “extent” would set a record for lowness. The first is from June, and the second is from August.
How stupid both Alarmists and Skeptics are to give credence to such a totally malfunctioning model! Would anyone give credence to a calculator that only gave you the right answer half of the time?
I prefer my lying eyes, and O-buoys, but as soon as they showed ice in an ice-free zone this morning, they were disallowed access to the satellite that transmits data. I felt paranoid, and figured they wouldn’t be allowed to transmit a picture until the ice was gone. And I was right, but what a mind-boggling picture got shown!
In petty terms, involving Skeptic and Alarmist bickering, this picture shows water can get glassy and reflect sunlight in an open ocean. Big deal. For in other terms this single shot is better than the best painters of surrealism, impressionism, and Realism:
If the above seems a little bad tempered, it is because I deleted had a post I’d worked hours upon, as my computer was freezing up, and for some reason the Auto-save didn’t bother to save it. I still had the pictures, so I just re-did the post in about five minutes, doing a lot of muttering to myself. It was a bad conclusion to a long day.
Today the computer problems continue, so I suppose I might as well call this post concluded. I figure the beauty in that final picture is a better conclusion than I could write.