We are approaching, as taxpayers, a crucial moment during the “warmest year ever” (which is only “warmest” according to adjusted statistics involving a thin layer of air, and only includes recent years).
This moment is not really crucial, however if the “warmest year ever” can’t make a considerable dent in the amount of arctic sea-ice, then the entire concept of a “Death Spiral” of sea-ice will look even sillier than it already looks. And then it will be that much harder to convince people that “Global Warming” is really a reasonable excuse to take away people’s right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. In fact, rather than Global Warming seeming like a danger that should inspire us all to sacrifice for a common cause, it will look like an evil fraud perpetuated by power-mad, imbecilic idiots.
I understand “idiots” is a harsh word, but the consequences of abusing the public’s trust are, by nature, harsh. History demonstrates over and over there is a price to be paid for abusing power. Tolkien used “the Ring of Power” as a symbol for what is a psychological, political and spiritual reality: If power is a thing you seize (rather than accept), you have sold your soul to the devil, and the devil will have his due. Only an idiot would chose such a fate.
When I was young I was in many ways just such an idiot. Rather than honoring elders I distrusted them, (“Don’t trust anyone over thirty”), and I resented the fact they had power I lacked. I refused to see that much of the power (money) they had was gleaned through decades of very hard work, and assumed I could have the same power through hardly working. I felt I could “seize power”, through what I called “The Revolution.” It took me years to be educated,( by being knocked about by the School of Hard Knocks), to a degree where I saw that what goes around comes around, you reap what you sow, and the power you receive in life is, for most of us, quite modest (and yet often is more than we can handle).
Some would like to be young again. Not me. I don’t want to go back to that ludicrous mentality, where you think you have the right to boss teachers around. I shudder to think of how close I came to being like Mao’s “Red Guard”, and part of what was basically a riot that robbed China of a generation of its teachers. The sad thing is: In many cases it was those very same Chinese teachers who fostered the very mentality that led to their own demise.
At times I fear the same could happen to the teachers of the United States. Youth holds great power simply through its youthfulness, and when youth feels their trust has been abused by false teaching, and they have been “suckered”, their wrath can be frightening to behold. “Global Warming” is only one of a number of issues which youth is increasingly aware they have been misled about. They feel suckered. To burden them with college loans larger than a mortgage, and, after promising them college would get them a high-paying job, to give them no job better than dish-washing, is not conducive to moderate politics, (especially when the teachers themselves have jobs and pensions and insurance and long vacations).
Therefore, to return to the topic of sea-ice, we can see what is “crucial” is not the well-being of the planet. What is “crucial” is keeping the fools fooled. If the fools wise up, (as I once wised up), there are many who will face a down-turn in their political and financial fortunes. It thus is important to perpetrate the myth of the “Death Spiral”. Sea-ice is not “crucial” because it matters a hill of beans in reality, but rather because it matters to the fiction of a con-job. Therefore Truth is the enemy of some, and the Best Friend of others. In conclusion, as we blather on about sea-ice way up where nobody lives, it only matters because it is the tip of an iceberg.
Let us glance at the data, for what it is worth, and see what the “warmest year ever” has done to the sea-ice. Looking at the DMI ice-extent graph, we see the extent is low, but it isn’t the “lowest” extent.When you look at the MASIE extent graph, you again see that last year there was less ice.
This is somewhat surprising, because the El Nino we have just been through has warmed the planet’s thin layer of air a lot. Avoiding the “adjusted” temperatures, and simply using the actual data they feed into the weather computer for its “initial” run (and this data had better be accurate if they expect the following runs to produce accurate maps) the spike in temperatures is obvious.
CORRECTION, (March 15). The above graph contains a glitch at the end, which exaggerates the warming. Hat tip to Chris Beale (@NJSnowFan) for pointing it out. The correct graph is below:(Please note I do not hide my blunders, like some whom we could mention, and this demonstrates I am quite noble (most of the time).)
If you have been following my observations on this site during the past winter, you will have seen how often this relatively milder air seemed to rush up to the Pole, as if in a hurry to be lost to the dark skies and and chill of outer space. One would assume this air spiraling up to the Pole, largely through the North Atlantic, would have led to less ice. It continues even in the most recent DMI maps
In the temperature maps (to the right) one can see the wedge of milder air pushed up towards the Pole through Barents Sea, and the isobars (the maps to the left) suggest south winds pushing the sea-ice north as well. Yet the MASIE data suggests there is more ice in Barents Sea this March than last March.
Here is where it gets interesting, for other maps suggest differently. For example, below are the NRL maps for ice-thickness for this date (March 14) last year (left) and this year (right).
(The best comparison is seen by opening each map to a new tab, and then clicking back and forth between the two tabs.)
I notice three things. 1.) Less ice in Barents Sea. 2.) Thicker ice on the East Siberian and Laptev coasts of Russia. 3.) A huge increase of sea-ice on the east coast of Russia in the Sea of Okhotsk. Where is the Sea of Okhotsk?
In some ways the sea-ice from the Sea of Okhotsk is a unimportant figure, for the ice is thin and will be gone by the end of May. Also a single storm out there can have a huge effect, and look what is brewing up, out there, in the next 24 hours. Top map is now; bottom map is 30 hours from now. )
Besides showing you how swiftly storms can blow up in the North Pacific (and Atlantic) this also should demonstrate how the political futures of those banking on the “Death Spiral” can hinge upon a single storm’s winds shifting 50 miles east or west, and whether they swing to the northeast or northwest. This storm close to the Sea of Okhotsk, (and not CO2), could make a big difference in the sea-ice extent, and this year’s “maximum”, over the next two days.
In like manner, if you look up to the DMI maps, you’ll notice a low pressure drifting from Canada towards Russia, past the Pole. As that low sinks down through the Kara Sea and moves ashore in Russia it could get quite strong, bringing gales south across Barents Sea. Besides giving Scandinavia some cold weather, this could shift ice south in Barents Sea, increasing the sea-ice extent and causing politicians great suffering.
I’ll update further over the next few days, but my main point for tonight is that what is crucial for politicians isn’t necessarily crucial for the climate, or for us mere poor, taxpaying mortals.
TUESDAY MORNING UPDATE —EUROPE WELCOMES BACK WINTER—
The Tuesday morning DMI map shows the polar low stalling and weakening as a secondary cruises towards Kara Sea and gets stronger. The winds in Barents Sea are still west and strong, and are not yet spreading out the ice, and the ice-extend graph continues to drop.
However watch how winds swing around to the north in Barents Sea over the next 36 hours, and stay stuck in the north, as that storm goes ashore in the Kara Sea and stalls there. (These are Dr. Ryan Maue’s wonderful maps from the “models” tab of the great Weatherbell site.) (7-day free trial available.)
CURRENT MAP 36 HOURS 72 HOURS
At the very top of these maps you can see the Pacific gale nibbling away at the ice at the edges of the Sea of Okhotsk, but it will be countered by sea-ice being shoved south into Barents Sea. What happens to the sea-ice extent over the next few days will be interesting to watch.
As the winds stay north over much of Europe, (a high pressure will park over Britain and refuse to budge), temperatures will crash, especially to the east over Russia. Finland will tough it out, as they are not yet in spring mode, but to the south of Russia the spring wheat is already poking up, and the apricots are blooming, and the cold will be bad news. Look at how much colder it gets by next week.
6 HOURS FROM NOW 144 HOURS FROM NOW
This seems to demonstrate how, when a big push of Atlantic air punches up to the Pole, the cold gets “nudged” south. Another blob of cold is heading down into North America, and in a week we could be having a snowstorm here in New Hampshire, though the crocuses bloomed outside the local bank last Saturday.
COASTAL COUNTER-CURRENTS AND THE EXPORT OF SEA-ICE TO SOUTHERN CLIMES
Those who have been watching the sea-ice along with me are familiar with the flow of ice down the east coast of Greenland. This flow is opposed to the Gulf Stream and the Coriolis effect, and is commonly seen in-close to east coasts of oceans. Cold in-shore currents from the north are seen all the way down the east coast of the USA, though they get less dramatic as one moves south. Only to the north do they contain ice bergs. They often are indicative of locally severe winters, and can chill coastal waters significantly.
Perhaps the most wild example occurred after two enormous volcanic eruptions (noted in the ice cores in Greenland) around 1810 (from an unknown volcano) and 1815 (from Tamboro) caused such a disturbance in the ordinary weather patterns that a massive amount of the North Pole’s ice was discharged down the east coast of Greenland, causing icebergs to ground in Ireland and (apparently) so chilling the North Atlantic that Europe suffered “The year without a summer”, but whalers enjoyed nearly ice-free arctic waters.
Last year we saw such a in-shore current ground bergs on the inner side of Cape Cod, after a brutally cold winter.
The in-shore chill that resulted did not seem to last all that long, but I wonder if it didn’t dilute the warmth of the Gulf Stream and contribute to the “Cold Blob” currently seen in sea-surface temperatures south of Iceland.
A similar flow pushes large amounts of ice down the east side of Baffin Bay, and contributes to the tourism of Labrador by dotting summer waters with big bergs (that likely are not true sea-ice but chunks that broke off glaciers). It would be interesting to see if there is any correlation between Atlantic surface temperatures and the amount of ice exported from Baffin Bay.
There is also a lot of ice exported down the east coast of Asia from Bering Strait. This winter, which has seen less ice exported down the east coast of Greenland, has seen a lot more ice exported down the east coast of Asia. (The Sea of Okhatsk is tucked away behind islands and is largely protected from this flow, though it may contribute to the ice on winters like this one, when it has a lot of ice.)
The blogger “geran” sent me a link to some superb pictures provided by NASA of a chunk of the dense ice north of Bering Strait breaking off and joining the flow. This ice is part of a highly mobile flow I’ve watched this winter, from east to west, from the mouth of the Mackenzie River along the coasts of Canada and Alaska and across the mouth of Bering Strait, and piling up against the north coast of Asia south of Wrangle Island. It is densely packed, with the waters between the chunks of sea-ice frozen by temperatures that have ranged between 20 and 40 below all winter, and is on average around 6 feet thick. The ice you can see south of Bering Strait is subjected to less cold and is on average 2 feet thick. Just as thicker ice than is produced locally comes down the east coast of Greenland, and also Labrador, this ice is starting its way down the east coast of Asia. The chunk that is breaking off is roughly the size of the (tiny) state of Rhode Island.
This addition of slightly thicker sea-ice in the flow doesn’t show up very well in NRL thickness maps. However the thirty-day-animation below shows the speck pushing south of Bering Strait, and another speck the size of Rhode Island that is crimson, (12 feet thick) whisking towards Bering Strait along the north coast of Alaska.
(For some reason the March 30-day animated map failed to show here. Instead an animation appeared from February, so I deleted it. To see the correct map go to http://www7320.nrlssc.navy.mil/hycomARC/arctic.html Look for “ice Thickness” on the left side, and click “last 30 days”) (This is a great site, by the way.)
If I were a businessman seeking specks, which might influence my business interests, I’d be wondering if the addition of this extra sea-ice in the flow down the east coast of Asia might chill the water, and counter the effects of the “warm blob” in the Pacific. I’d want the Truth.
However, if my business was dependent on a false interpretation of the Truth, because I was selling wind turbines and solar panels and other unwise investments, I’d speak of the above pictures as proof that the “warmest winter ever” was causing the arctic to “calve off” a Rhode Island sized portion of its “immobile glacier” into the Pacific. This would be an absurd portrayal of how sea-ice actually behaves. It would be a misrepresentation of Truth, and you’d likely think no person could ever slink to such a low level.
Read this from the “Business Insider” website, and weep. (Of course, the writer looks at the above pictures, and, after displaying gross ignorance concerning the nature and fluid movements of sea ice, and proving they have never bothered use their lying eyes to actually watch what happens, the inevitable conclusion is, “If this isn’t a wake-up call, we don’t know what is.”)
All I can say is “we” do know what it is, and that businessmen who turn to the above website for the “inside scoop” are likely to be the sort of sucker that is supposedly born every minute. But I wasn’t born yesterday. This sort of lame proclamation is getting old. Here is an absurd example of Michael Mann making just such a proclamation last winter.
In the end, these poor fellows simply cannot fool all of the people all of the time.
My attitude is now to watch and wonder. I am not going to allow the misbehavior of some to spoil my enjoyment of the majesty, which the Creator shows those who keep honest eyes open, and simply witness.
WEDNESDAY MORNING UPDATE –BARENTS SEA WINDS SWING TO THE NORTH–
(As an aside, as the old low over the Pole fills in, watch to see if the air temperatures get colder. Even in the summer, in 24 hour sunshine, I have seemed to notice that filling storms “create cold.”)
The ice-extent graph is showing a tiny uptick.
Without fresh imports of Atlantic air, the air at the surface of the Pole is swiftly cooling.
Blocking high pressure will form a wall between Britain and Iceland, preventing mild Atlantic air from coming north and east.
The cool-down in Europe, especially to the east in Russia, will make headlines by Sunday, as to the north sea-ice is pushed south in Barents Sea. (Colder temperatures in the maps below are represented by deepening shades of pink and rust. )
CURRENT MORNING MAP SUNDAY MORNING
PACIFIC GALE UNLIKELY TO GREATLY REDUCE OKHOTSK ICE
The gale’s winds are from the cold west to the south, drawing ice off shore. Only to the north is the ice compressed. The strongest winds are outside of the Sea of Okhotsk, and the storm will move away to the west and rapidly weaken. (Interesting new gale exploding south of Alaska.) (I’m wondering if it will teleconnect to a gale exploding off the east coast of the USA this coming Sunday, but never mind that.)
SNOWS CONTINUE IN MEXICO
Far from the sea-ice, the snows continue in Mexico, as they have all winter. I don’t claim to fully understand how the cold gets down there, but note the sheer loopiness of the pattern. One could note down a sort of general maxim, “When the mildness assaults the Pole, look out below.”
SNOWS IN TURKEY
Another place that has seen a rough winter is Turkey. A spring mild spell brought out their almond and apricot blossoms, and now late snows dust those trees. This is occurring even before the current blast works its way south from Finland.
To learn about these southern snows, which the mainstream media prefers to be blind to, it pays to lurk at the Ice Age Now site.
However what I’d be most interested in is a discussion of the meteorological factors involved in the loopy pattern, especially the creation of the snows in Mexico. I haven’t found any.
THURSDAY MORNING MAPS
The low over the Pole continues to fade as the low over Russia grows, and the winds remain north over Barents Sea. As of now there is no upturn in sea-ice extent. High pressure is building over Canada. I’ll watch for south winds in Bering Strait, and look to see if any remnant of the Pacific gale moves north from the Sea of Okhotsk to the very top of these maps.
WINDS LOOK LIKELY TO SPREAD OUT SEA-ICE
The narrow slot of open water north of Svalbard should not last long, with the ice coming south, and the ice in the Sea of Okhotsk looks likely to spread west.
You should be asking yourself whether it really makes that much of a difference, if the same amount of ice is moved to different places. It makes a difference in terms of the “extent” graphs, which typically measure the area of the ocean that is “ice-covered”, and call the ocean “ice-covered” even if it is only 15% ice and 85% water. Therefore a small area of 100% ice can be spread out to a much larger area of 15% ice, and cause a jump in the extent graph, and a jump in the heart-rate of those who want the extent graph low, in order to prove a “Death Spiral” is occurring.
In actual fact when the ice spreads out it creates more open water, which loses its heat to the atmosphere, which loses its heat to outer space. That water then swiftly skims over with a thin layer of fresh sea-ice due to the extreme cold up over the Pole, which persists right into May. In such cases the 15% ice swiftly becomes 100% ice which, if dusted with snow, has the same “alebdo” as much thicker ice, though it is so thin it can kill unwary Climate Scientists, who walk on it and fall through (as sadly happened last year).
So far the ice-extent graph is showing no rise, but it soon should. If no rise occurs, we will have to look to see where it melted away elsewhere.
FRIDAY UPDATE —Slight Rise In Ice-Extent—
The DMI Maps continue to show the low south of Kara Sea pumping north winds down over Barents Sea, likely shifting ice south. The fading low over the Pole continues to cool, but air over towards East Siberia is less cool, as the weakening low stalled by the Sea of Okhotsk has pumped Pacific air on east winds into East Siberia. This is the first time in a while that south winds moving out into the Arctic Basin from East Siberia are less than bitter cold.
The low south of the Kara Sea has managed to pull a tongue of its warm sector air up into the central Kara Sea, but the Kara Sea is still colder than it was in the maps we looked at as we started this post, when it was invaded by Atlantic air. Any open water will be freezing, with temperatures well below the freezing point of salt water.
With the polar sunrise still four days away, the Pole still “creates” cold, and without an Atlantic invasion temperatures are dropping up there.
SATURDAY UPDATE —
It continues to get colder over the Pole, with the ironic possibility that the coldest temperatures of the winter won’t occur until the first day of Spring. Strong high pressure is building over the Pacific side. (That blue area isn’t an ozone hole,but rather is pressures above 1050 mb.) Winds continue northeast over Barents Sea, but the sea-ice extent continues rather flat.
High pressure continues to block the North Atlantic, with the arctic air exported down over Europe. They can have it. We have enough of a blob of cold coming down our way in North America already, that was nudged south last week. At the moment the only milder air being imported to the Pole comes overland, either Pacific air that has to cross cold East Siberia, or vastly moderated Atlantic and Mediterranean air that forms the warm sector of the storm milling about south of the Kara Sea, (with a secondary now in Barents Sea). For a while all northern storms will need to be home grown, for it won’t be until Tuesday that an occluded Atlantic storm tries to squeeze by the blocking high pressure on the north side of Iceland.
As we teeter at the maximum ice-extent, it is interesting to compare the current situation with the highest extent in recent years, 2012. (2012 is to the left).
The most obvious difference is that there was more ice south of Bering Strait, due to the cold PDO at that time. The ice had been thickening at the surface for several years, and I did not at all expect the ice extent the summer of 2012 to be the lowest we have seen in recent years. What was not apparent, looking only at the skin, was that there was a layer of milder water that had slid in under the ice like a card into a deck, retaining its identity due to its salinity, so that when a summer gale churned the waters that milder water melted the ice in a most amazing fashion.
What I don’t know, and can’t see with my lying eyes, is the current state of the stratification of the waters of the Arctic Sea. My hunch is that those waters are more churned and less stratified, but that is purely a guess. They have new and interesting thermometers that run up and down cables beneath buoys in the arctic, and likely there is data for a few locations for the past few years, but I haven’t been able to lay my hands on the data. Perhaps it is hoarded like a miser’s gold. If anyone knows where it can be obtained, I’d owe them a debt of gratitude, (but only pay some pork chops from the freezer, if they can manage to drop by the farm.)
SUNDAY UPDATE –MAXIMUM REACHED?–
There looks like there is some disagreement about the ice-cover of certain areas, even within organizations. For example the NRL Thickness-map shows thin ice filling the water north of Svalbard, while the Concentration map shows that area as open.
The main loss of extent occurred in the northern part of the Sea of Okhotsk, where strong east winds crunched the ice to the west. If you open the thickness map to a new tab and squint, you can even see a pressure ridge formed as that ice was heaped up (thin dash of blue at 150E). It may be the same amount of ice, but when it is crunched into a smaller area it reduces extent. It looks like this decrease may have countered the increases as ice moved south in Barents Sea.
High Pressure remains parked over towards Bering Strait as the storm continues to mill about in western Russia. Slight warming is occurring at the Pole due to very modified Pacific air moving all the way across East Siberia and then north.
The DMI ice-extent graph’s update has been released, and shows a dip in the ice-extent. I figure that, if the north winds in Barents Sea couldn’t supply a final peak, we are over the hump and past the maximum. (My saying that may hex things. Once the clouds clear away they may adjust for what they can actually see, and there may be a late peak.)One thing apparent from the above maps is that the air streaming north from Siberia does not have its murderous chill anymore. Not that it is warm, or even thawing, but the fact days are now as long as nights, and getting longer, forbids the power Siberia had in January to generate super cold high pressure. As an aside, look at the difference in East Siberia now between night (left) and day (right).
(If this stuff interests you, the best way to compare these Dr. Ryan Maue Weatherbell maps is to open them to new tabs, and then click back and forth.)
We are still a long way away from the actually melting of the Siberian snows, and the amazing floods of northern Russian rivers into the Arctic Sea. Those rivers are still so frozen the water barely flows, and in places the ice is frozen right down to the riverbeds. However we can no longer count on Siberia for super-cold air, and are reaching a point where, though the arctic is still cold enough to kill, it is less so. Consequently the sea-ice stops expanding, and begins to shrink.
It is at this point I usually joyfully await the instillation of the North Pole Camera. You can imagine my deep despair when I heard it might not happen this year. You can see the bad news in the face of an arctic-loving Russian fellow who appropriately does not have the name of “Warmingarov”, but rather “Chilingarov”. In the pictures below happier days are to the left, and the current gloom is to the right.
The gloom is because Russia may not fork out the money for a base at the pole this year.
Maybe Chilingarov is gloomy because he gets a kick-back from all the tourists paying between $15,000.00 and $40,000 to visit the base (Google “Barneo”) but I prefer to think he simply loves arctic research like you and I. In which case we all need to boo this fellow, who seems to be gumming up the works. His name is Sergei Donskoi.
Boo! If we don’t get a North Pole Camera this year it will because this guy is a penny-pincher. Boo!
Someone needs to inform Sergei that if Russia doesn’t want the 200 tourists paying tens of thousands of dollars to camp at the Pole, then Norway or Canada or perhaps even Finland will do the job for them, and, because they have the base at the Pole, maybe they will be able to claim that they, and not Russia, deserve to call the Pole “their territory”.
(Territorial ownership of the Pole gets some Russians more interested in spending money than a more altruistic love of Truth, regarding the motions, growth, and thawing of sea-ice.)
In any case, if there is no North Pole Camera this year, I’m up shit creek, considering that is what this post is based about. I’ll have to be like a Global Warming Alarmist, to get people to visit this site, for I’ll have to attract them to something that doesn’t exist. Oh! The irony!
MARCH 22 UPDATE —A QUIRKY LATE MAXIMUM—This small uptick in the ice-extent graph is most likely due to ice being shifted south in Barents Sea, and also by the fact winds have slackened over that sea, allowing the cold air brought down from the northeast to skim open areas with ice. Also the thinnest ice is close to slush, and it is difficult to see, from outer space, whether it is open water or ice. When a dusting of snow falls it can change how an area is viewed.
Of course, in the total situation such skims of ice are a fleeting phenomenon, quick to disolve back to water or be crunched up between thicker bergs into pressure ridges, which reduce area and extent graphs, but not volume.
Although ice starts to melt away at the edges of the arctic around now, the ice towards the Pole is still getting thicker, and continues to get thicker in some cases right into May. So, in terms of Volume, the ice can still be increasing, even when it starts shrinking in terms of area and extent.
Ice is also expanding south in the Bering Sea south of the straits.
The high pressure that has been blocking the Atlantic is starting to fade south, but it looks like the North Atlantic will become a mess of stalled and relatively weak storms, rather than invaded by a monster. The big storm will be off Newfoundland, and only slowly work its way south of Greenland towards Iceland by the weekend.
One interesting aside is that the persistent off-shore winds have apparently created a polynya along the shore of the Laptev Sea. That Sea is a great exporter of ice, but hadn’t exported as much this winter. Now there will be skim of very thin ice along the coast, which will swiftly become open water as the melt season begins. However temperatures won’t be warm enough for that until May.
Another interesting aside is that the big, north-flowing rivers will be especially prone to flood this year, due to deep snows in Siberia. These rivers effect the melt of sea-ice, especially in August and September. Most people are unaware of the tremendous power of these little-known rivers. For example, the Lena River is nearly frozen to the bottom right now, and only a small percentage of its yearly flow occurs in the winter months. Once the snow starts melting from south to north the waters start riving, and the water can be 60 feet deeper in August, when as much as a third of the yearly flow charges down the river all at once.
Besides planning a major engineering endeavor, which is to bridge the Lena River in the north despite these floods, Russia is also planning to engineer a platform that can survive the stresses of sea-ice, freely floating in the Arctic Sea. Russia plans 100 arctic expeditions a year by the year 2031. “In addition, Russia plans to implement a self-propelled ice-resistant platform project in the Arctic. Scientific stations deployed on such floating platforms will make it possible to conduct year-round research.” Thus says our friend Sergei.
To this I say, talk is cheap. All I really want is one small North Pole Camera.
Not that I have time to study as much as I like. Spring arrived Sunday, and Monday morning the entrance to our farm-childcare looked like this:Yes, I did shovel by hand, as the 4 inches of snow was light and fluffy and I was looking for an excuse to avoid doing my taxes. But now I have to face them.
MARCH 24 UPDATE –Awaiting the downturn–
The sun is up at the North Pole, though still so low on the horizon that it cannot penetrate any open water in any leads it may find. The albedo of glassy water is actually greater than even that of pure, white snow, when the sun is right on the horizon. Therefore the Pole is still quite capable of “creating cold” (losing heat). But the likelihood of deep blues on the DMI map decreases, as the lands further to the south increasingly are warmed, and that milder air increasingly comes north.
This is especially noticeable in the air coming north from Siberia. In January such air can be far colder than the air over the Arctic Sea, which is “warmed” even through thick ice by water slightly above freezing, while the bottom can fall out of temperatures over Siberia. At times the air pouring north can be down around -70 degrees. However those days are done. If you have ever been outside when the sun peeks over the horizon after a winter night, you know the effect of its light on your face is immediate. Of course, your face is tilted to catch the light, while the flat ice and snow is not, but the sun never sets at the Pole, and down in Siberia the days are swiftly growing longer than the nights. The air coming north on the Siberian side of the Pole, in the maps below, is far less cold than we’d see in January.
The big low over the Kara Sea is winding down, and the high pressure blocking the North Atlantic is being squeezed south, and the north winds between the two are fading away. While they did bring some cold to Europe it didn’t make it as far west as I thought, as a decent little storm rolled through the Mediterranean. What is odd to me is how the cold gets shunted southwest rather than west, and cold temperatures are seen in the Middle east and north Africa. (But that is a side-track in discussions of sea-ice.)
The huge low south of Greenland is actually the little low that zipped up the east coast of the USA a few days ago. I’m glad it waited before becoming so enormous. It will turn the North Atlantic into a tangle of occlusions over the next week. A lot of arctic air is being drawn south into North America behind it.
The ice-extent graph is teetering at the brink. There is still a chance for another late uptick. Not that it matters much, except in terms of gloating rights for those who become involved in the hoopla about the graph. Last year was humorous, for there was a lot of hoopla about how low the maximum was, and how early it had happened, and then the graph stopped dropping and rose to a later maximum. Live and learn. It is likely best not to venture forecasts about what the ice will do, unless you don’t mind humble pie.
EASTER EVE UPDATE –The Calm of Dawn–
This post has gotten rather long, but the the ice extent refuses to turn down, and there still is a chance, albeit small, that there could be a final uptick, surging us up to a late “maximum.”
One thing conducive to a late maximum is the calm that has descended over the Pole. I’ve often noticed a stillness at dawn where I live, between night breezes and daytime gusts, and I don’t see why it shouldn’t happen at the Pole, though at the Pole there is only one sunrise a year. Though there was an invasion of somewhat milder air from the Pacific, it was well below freezing after its overland transits, and now is cooling further in the calm.
The stillness shows in the lack of isobars at the Pole in the DMI maps. The only big gale has been down by the southern tip of Greenland, and all our northern home-grown storms have faded away.
Calm conditions might allow a thin skim of ice to form where winds would otherwise stir up the waters and dissolve any ice. Such fragile ice might not mean much in any scientific measure of how strong and lasting the arctic ice might be, but it does effect the ice-extent graph, and therefore the politics of the Global Warming idea. It is a case where calm can shake the foundations of the mighty.
EASTER SUNDAY UPDATE –The End Of Ice Expansion In Sight–
As has happened so often this winter, another nudge of Atlantic air seems to be being sucked up to the Pole. Although perhaps less dramatic than others, the DMI maps seem to again show the north winds in Barents Sea giving way to south winds, which will likely push the sea-ice north and reduce the extent. Again we see the mild wedge poke north over the Pole.
The culprit behind the change is low pressure that was finally able to shove high pressure south and battle its way across the North Atlantic to the waters off Norway. You can see the wedge of milder air penetrating right up to the Pole in the temperature maps. However perhaps a hint that this was coming is the letter “S” made of deep blue cold temperatures in Saturday’s final temperature map. To me that is indicative of some sort of spiral, perhaps a whirlpool, draining the planet’s heat up to outer space. Such a whirlpool would be situated in a position where it would assist the lows in the North Atlantic, and in a sense create the in-flow of more warm air, to also be lost to outer space.
I must confess I just made this idea up. Or, to be more accurate, it again occurred to me. It has occurred to me many times this winter that the Pole is squandering the heat given to the planet by the El Nino. If the El Nino is the faucet pouring heat into the atmosphere, the Pole is the drain, letting it out.
This is just a perception I have, watching the highly meridienal flow this winter. Likely my idea is too simple, and can be shredded by more qualified scientists, but it seems that the obvious needs to be spoken in these days, when qualified scientists have to share the airwaves with politically-minded buffoons in white coats. The buffoons create such a murk and confusion with computer models that it takes a simpleton like me to remind people of what is occurring outside the models, in a place called reality.
People seem to focus only in two directions, the Pole and the belly of the Pacific where the El Nino is occurring. Both are warmer than normal. However the milder air nudging up to the Pole keeps bumping colder air south into the spaces between the milder Pole and the Milder El Nino. To a layman like myself this has seemed to cool the waters between the two milder areas. Perhaps this is merely a temporary situation, but look at last week’s map of the ocean’s temperature anomalies.
The El Nino is still apparent, but look at the north Pacific. What has happened to the “Warm Blob”? And look at how the modest “Cold Blob” south of Iceland has expanded.
It is important to understand that sea-surface-temperatures (SST) can be fickle. A week of strong sunshine can change the maps. However at this point it looks like there was a price to pay for having the cold air bumped off the top of the earth. And when you add to that the fact the El Nino is in rapid decline, and a La Nina may turn the equatorial parts of the Pacific swiftly to a shade of blue, you can see why a layman like myself might suspect the air temperatures at the surface of our planet may plunge.
With an election coming up, there may be an attempt on the part of some buffoons in white coats to “adjust” temperatures in a way that would “hide the decline,” for purely political reasons. However their past “adjustments” have already stressed more honest scientists to the breaking point. It could be unwise to try to completely hide what could be a steep decline.
Most of us have been in positions in our life where we push our luck. Then we reach a point where we are not willing to push our luck any further. (In my own case, it is because my wife gives me a certain look.) I think the politically-minded buffoons in white coats are aware they have reached this point.
Some buffoons will say they are captains who are going to go down with their ship, and will accuse other buffoons of being rats who desert the ship. However others, even if they are rats, will wonder which ship is more likely to go down: Will it be the ship of political nonsense, or the ship of scientific truth? Even rats have a shred of common sense, when they are cornered, which is why they are so seldom found on sinking ships.
In any case, it will be an interesting summer, and likely be full of furor. Enjoy this quiet while it lasts, as the ice-extent hesitates before its yearly plunge.
LOCATION FOR BARNEO BASE DETERMINED
Irina Orlova: Ice floe found for Barneo 2016 expedition
Ms Orlova, on March 18, two helicopters flew to find an ice floe on which the Barneo camp can be built. Did they find it?
I’ve just spoken with the head of the helicopter crew Yevgeny Bakalov who said they are going to drop equipment on a new floe. I don’t yet know its precise location but it’s about 70 km from the pole.
What kind of an ice floe can accommodate the camp?
A camp primarily needs a runway — 1,200 meters long and no less than 40 meters wide. It is pitched near the runway. So, an ice floe should be at least two kilometers long. Last year we found a very good ice floe, about five to three kilometers.
How do you deliver equipment for building a camp?
When a befitting ice floe is found, an IL-76 flies from Murmansk and delivers two tractors to it. They even out the runway where an AN-74 will deliver equipment. This is a technical flight and it carries an employee who approves the runway. Then the expedition center’s team begins building a camp. Some materials for the camp are just dropped while others are carried by next flights.
MONDAY EVENING UPDATE
The DMI ice-extent graph still refuses to crash.This has allowed the ice to reach the “average” for the past ten years, (the blogger “ren” posted this graph on another site. The date is March 23)
I notice this is MASIE data, so I hurry over to Ron Clutz’s site “Science Matters”, because he is good with MASIE data, but he has only updated to March 25.
In any case, three days ago the ice was expanding at a time of year it usually starts to shrink. Likely when Ron updates we will see the levels flattened out, but still that would make the ice “average” for the past decade, despite the fact we have experienced a strong El Nino and the planet’s air temperatures have been through a warm spike. The question then becomes, “Why hasn’t the extent decreased?”
It is sort of entertaining to watch the Alarmists wriggle. I imagine we soon shall see them start popping out excuses like a schoolboy with his homework undone.
Meanwhile I confess to being surprised the decline hasn’t begun. It seems a decent nudge has pushed towards the Pole from the Atlantic, and that usually crunches up the ice and reduces extent. It also often nudges a big blob of cold air south towards the USA, and using the highly scientific technique of checking the weather on my cellphone I moan slightly, for the cold looks like it will come back down here next weekend, with snow on Sunday and Monday.
Grumble. Grumble. It is not so entertaining to have to listen to all the schoolboy excuses for April snows when the snows are happening out your window. By the time April rolls around I’m completely convinced Global Warming is a good thing.
April is actually a fun time to study the sea-ice, because there are actually days and nights, unless you stand exactly on the Pole. In the summer it is all saylight, and in the winter it is all darkness, but in April there is a sort of daily whiplash, which shows up in the temperature charts of the O-buoys that still work (even if their lenses haven’t yet melted clean.) For example, look at O-buoy 14 temperature graph for the past week. The only sign of level temperatures is on cloudy days.
Even though it is still very cold up there, there is a mildness swinging around and around the Pole with the sun. It introduces an interesting complexity, as you look at maps, for you need to calculate where high noon is, and where midnight is. In the DMI maps noon is at the top of the map at 0000z, and at the bottom at 1200Z.
In the above maps you can see the cold grew north of Alaska. Don’t get too excited. In the first map that area is in the height of afternoon, and in the second it is in the wee hours of the night. Meanwhile Svalbard looks warmer in the second map, but it may only be because it is midnight there in the first map and noon in the second.
It looks like the North Atlantic low is looping the loop and stalling over Svalbard. Ice ought be pushed north in Barents Sea and flushed south in Fram Straight. Apparently, in terms of ice-extent graphs, they are balancing each other out.
FINALLY! The Downturn begins.
The DMI Maps show low pressure stalled over Svalbard, with a decent flow down through Fram Strait. The weak low across the Pole has been persistent for its size, but will gradually fade and be replaced by high pressure. The Altlantic low (or lows) will wander east, and the flow between that low pressure and the high will generate a cross-polar flow from Siberia to Canada.
Here’s a picture of the ice-extent at its peak.
You could write a blaring headline, “Ice Extent More Than Doubles!” However that wouldn’t be politically correct, so instead we’ll hear Mark Serreze (who made the term “Death Spiral” famous), going on about how the ice was at its lowest levels ever.
And here is a fine rebuttal: