The sun is up at the Pole, twenty-four hours a day, and temperatures have started rising.
Even with temperatures rising, they are still down around -20°, and the Pole is still a part of the planet that loses heat. In fact it is only during a brief period at the height of summer that the sun gets high enough to make the Pole a part of the planet that is gaining heat. Despite the fact the sun never sets, the non-stop sunshine is still too low to match the heat lost to outer space. All sunlight does is slow the losses, at this point in the Spring.
Also the non-stop sunshine still hasn’t made it down to the Arctic Circle. O-buoy 13 down at 75.8° north is still seeing night, though the nights are more like long sunset-twilights.
The temperatures start to show a definite diurnal swing.
Even after long day’s sunshine the temperatures have a hard time getting above -15°C, and the late afternoon isn’t exactly warm-looking.
(You have to be wary about the temperature readings from buoys, as they tend to be small urban-heat-islands when the winds die down, even melting pools around their feet. This year O-buoy 14 looks like it is especially prone to this effect, and apparently measures even the cooling passage of a cloud.)
However the bright sun does clear the lenses, and it looks like O-buoy 14 will soon open its eyes. At least we can see the passing cloud.
To return to the point I was going to make before I got distracted by the beauty of the arctic, its still cold up there, and the Pole is losing heat. It doesn’t make a sucking sound, but when I see a whirlpool up there I put two and two together, in a completely unscientific and boyish manner.
I am confessing this in an up-front and forthright manner, so people will not think I am a scientist. I am an observer, and a witness. My testimony can stand up in court. When I witness things that disagree with the “expert witnesses”, I say so.
In some ways Climate Scientists, as “expert witnesses”, deserve the same treatment as psychologists, who saw this law passed, (but vetoed by the governor), either in New Mexico or Texas.
“When a psychologist or psychiatrist testifies during a
defendant’s competency hearing, the psychologist or psychiatrist
shall wear a cone-shaped hat that is not less than 2 feet tall.
The surface of the hat shall be imprinted with stars and
“Additionally, a psychologist or psychiatrist shall be required
to don a white beard that is not less than 18 inches in length,
and shall punctuate crucial elements of his testimony by stabbing
the air with a wand. Whenever a psychologist or psychiatrist
provides expert testimony regarding the defendant’s competency,
the bailiff shall contemporaneously dim the courtroom lights and
administer two strikes to a Chinese gong.”
Be that as it may, I just have noted the swirls up at the Pole. I was thinking they would stop as it warmed, but another one has developed, perhaps because it is still cold enough and the planet is still losing heat at the top.
At the risk of being repetitive, the basic theory states there should be high pressure at the Pole, as the Polar Cell’s air descends.
If you stagger this high pressure a bit towards Canada, it clockwise winds support both the flow of the Beaufort Gyre and the Transpolar Drift.
For a while last week this very situation seemed to be setting up, and I could at last settle back and see things obey my textbook, but now another dratted low is chucking my textbook out the window again. (The poor book is starting to look rather rumpled.)
On April 9 the last swirl still showed clearly in the temperature map, even as the low faded in terms of isobars.
By April 11 the low pressure had sagged down to Siberia, and the high pressure over Beaufort Sea was behaving in a proper manner, as a polar high with lows parading around it. It was pulling all the ice north of Alaska to the west, and a polynya was forming along the northwest Alaskan coast. (I sort of liked this pattern because it was robbing Canada of cold and giving it to Europe. When it comes to cold in April, I’ve had enough, and feel North America can be generous and share with others.)
As the days pass look at the milder air being drawn north to the Pole from the Pacific, in the temperature maps.
By April 13th this Pacific air is starting to form weak low pressure, moving toward the Pole.
And today we have our weak low, right on top of the Pole, only this time it came from the Pacific side. Our textbook high pressure is shriveled up and really should feel embarrassed.
I have various hunches about what we are seeing, but for the moment I’m just sharing the observation.