ARCTIC SEA ICE –Springtime For Alarmists in Hysteria–

 

It is hard to bear the rejoicing in Alarmist circles, as they see evidence we humans have shot a hole in our boat’s bottom, and our planet is a sinking Titanic. Why exactly they are so joyful that the end of life on earth is nigh, I don’t understand, but the symptoms are undeniable, if you lurk about Alarmist sites. The sea-ice is at record low extent, for early May:

DMI3 0512B icecover_current_new (1)

For Skeptics like myself this is a terrible and tragic situation, for I wish it was true. If the sea ice was really fading away we could get back to growing barley in Greenland, and providing food and unfrozen water on Greenland in January, without relying on imports,  for the 2000 cows and 100,000 sheep and goats the Vikings managed to keep alive. However it is an illusion.

If you draw one of those arrow-straight “trend lines” that Alarmists are so fond of, you can see this year’s rate of decline won’t even match last year’s lows, but Alarmists are already congratulating each other, for they are sure the ice will remain the same distance below-normal it now is, and this year’s minimum extent will beat 2012’s record low minimum. This is tragic to watch, for they are being teased by a tormenting destiny, which rather than ending their delusion with a splash of cold water in their feverish faces, is actually egging them on with incidental evidence they are not crazy, when they are.

For example, ordinarily I can gently nudge them to saner thinking by pointing out something like the yearly drop of arctic temperatures to below-normal in May. But this year, (likely due to the lagged effect of an El Nino already fading away),  for the first time in years, temperatures are not dropping below normal in May.

DMI3 0512B meanT_2016

I don’t see why fate has to be so cruel to Alarmists. It is like encouraging an addict, like telling a person ruined by heroin or crystal meth that they appear normal, and no one suspects they are not quite right, when everyone in town knows they have such a monkey riding their shoulders they can’t even hold an ordinary job.

I really don’t like seeing my fellow man reduced to such a tragic state, but it makes things much harder for me when all the “scientific” evidence just encourages the deluded. Heck, I have to go all the way back to 2010 to find a case where temperatures stayed above normal this late in May, before dipping below normal.

DMI3 meanT_2010

And when I have to go back six whole years Alarmists will accuse me of grasping at straws. And maybe I am, though they are the ones drowning.

It is somewhat embarrassing how unquestioning they are about certain things. For example, the fellows measuring sea-ice have to tweak their devices around this time of year, because of certain problems satellites have recognizing wet ice from open water. They do the best they can, but sometimes as they tweak things, ice abruptly appears or disappears. The funny thing is Alarmists are furious and out to behead people, when ice abruptly appears, but when it abruptly disappears they don’t raise a finger, nor a feather, and remain smooth and unruffled.

Just for an example, check out the waters north of the Mackenzie River Delta in these two maps, from May 9 and May 10. An impossible amount of ice simple vanishes in 24 hours.

Thickness 20160509 ictn2016050818_2016050900_042_arcticictn.001

Thickness 20160510 ictn2016050918_2016051000_042_arcticictn.001

(The best way to compare is to open the two maps to new tabs, and then click back and forth between them.)

I am fairly certain that one to two feet of sea ice did not vanish that swiftly, basically overnight. Most likely it involves a data-gathering-tweak. However I will say this: If one to two feet of sea ice appeared that quickly, Alarmists would be all over it, and some would accuse Big Oil or Big Coal or Republicans or people-who-attend-church. It’s silly they can be in such a panic about one sort of unlikely situation, and heedlessly complacent about another.

As for me, I just note that a large area of ice, vanishing like that, would likely dip the sea-ice extent graph, and I leave it at that. To double-check, if so inclined, one can go to the Canadian Ice Service map:

Canadian Extent 20120512 CMMBCTCA

This map makes the polynya look smaller, and therefore one is driven to use their lying eyes, and to utilize the actual satellite picture of the waters, here:

http://www.arctic.io/explorer/

I think I am going to have to learn how to “save” close-ups from this site in order to make certain points. I don’t know how to do it yet, so you are going to have to trust me that the Polynya is bigger than the Canadian map shows, but the “open water” has more swirls of drifting ice than the NRL map shows.

But what is not obvious is that when open water appears at this time of year it is not because air temperatures are up to the melting point of sea water. It is because the ice has been shifted somewhere else. And this is yet another cruel trick reality has to tease Alarmists, for it drops the extent of the ice without actually melting any.

I get a bit tired of explaining this same dull point over and over, but got drawn into doing again at Steve Goddard’s new site after reading this post:

http://realclimatescience.com/2016/05/we-are-all-doomed/   I stated:

When the light returned to the arctic, and we could use our lying eyes to assess the visible satellite pictures, it was quite obvious a lot of ice in the Beaufort Sea has been shifted towards Siberia all winter. Not only were there the dark cracks of freshly opened leads, but the light grey cracks of leads that opened months ago and have since frozen over, in some cases to a depth of 3 to 6 feet.

A slight amount of the moved ice did get sucked south through Bering Strait and join the parade of sea-ice that moves down the east coast of Asia much like ice moves down the east coasts of Greenland and Labrador. But most of the moved ice stayed up in the arctic, creating numerous pressure ridges in the East Siberian Sea and quite a pile-up along the coast of East Siberia.

This body of thicker ice will not effect the ice-extent graph until later in the melt season. Then we shall see if the East Siberian Sea is slower to melt, because the ice is thicker.

In the winter of 2012-2013 there was a similar movement of ice in Beaufort Sea, causing a great hubbub in the Alarmist community because it seemed to them that, if the ice broke up in the middle of the winter, surely it would fall apart and melt more quickly in the summer. It didn’t happen. One idea I heard was that so much water was exposed in the winter by leads that the water temperature was lowered under the ice, slowing the melt in the summer.

The thing I remember about that summer-of-2013 was the terrible trauma Alarmists went through when the ice failed to melt as they expected. I really don’t like seeing such pain, and I can’t see why, having suffered that way once, they want to do it all over again.

But I suppose that is the thing about an addiction. There is something about the “high” so attractive that one goes-for-it, heedless of the ruin it will bring about.  Pity such people, but do not expect them to admit they have a problem until they are completely ruined.

All an onlooker can do, until the addicts are ruined and plead for help, is to go to work and do your job and record the truth as it happens.

The weak swirl north of Greenland didn’t attack the Pole like the winter ones did. The North Atlantic gale is not stuck over Iceland , but is further north, drifting slowly towards Barents Sea north of Norway. Models were showing it getting up to the Pole a week from now, but now are backing away from that idea.

FRIDAY MID-MORNING UPDATE

The models continue to bounce all over the place, concerning whether the North Atlantic low will wander up to the Pole or not. In the short term it looks like the ridge of the high pressure will stand fast, and the weak but sprawling low over the East Siberian Sea will drift across to the Canadian Archipelago while weakening. That low has drawn some Pacific air north through Alaska and then off shore, giving O-Buoy 14 an early thaw, which will give Alarmists more joy. The thaw is already over, and the ice is still much colder than the air only inches below the surface, but a thaw is still a thaw.

Obuoy 14 0513 temperature-1week

This ice is quite far south, having just moved past 77°, compressing north midst the ice that has been generally pushed away from the coasts of Alaska and Canada. Therefore the thaw is not included in the mean-temperatures-north of 80° graph we look at. Hopefully the compression will not build any pressure ridges that take out our only remaining camera.

Obuoy 14 0513 webcam

The snow does look like it softened a little during the thaw.

SOME ADDITIONAL STUFF.

Here is the wind field that opened up the polynya (also called a “shore lead”) back in April.

Poly 1 2016-05-12101712

(Hat Tip Steve Goddard @ http://realclimatescience.com/   )

And here is a satellite view of the ice starting to crack and leads forming back on April 21. (South, and the coast of Alaska, is to the left in this picture.)

Poly 2 beaufort-gyre-video-screencap_21-april-2016_labelled

(Hat Tip Susan J. Crockford @   https://polarbearscience.com/

She has a good post here:

Beaufort Sea fractured ice due to strong Beaufort Gyre action – not early melt

And last but not least, in case you hear this polynya is “unprecedented”, here  are pictures of similar situations last year and in 1975.

Poly 3 bathurst-and-w-beaufort-polynyas_1975-vs-2015_polarbearscience

This is also from Susan J. Crockford’s research.

Tracking polar bears in the Beaufort Sea in April 2016 and early polynya formation

 

 

 

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16 thoughts on “ARCTIC SEA ICE –Springtime For Alarmists in Hysteria–

  1. These are indeed days of tribulation for us skeptics, with the sea ice seemingly in the much dreaded death spiral mode. These are times that we need men of unshakable faith and iron will like Caleb more than ever, to stave off the impending doom of Western Civilization as we know it, in the unlikely event that most of Canada, Siberia and even Greenland should actually become inhabitable!

    • “THESE are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives every thing its value.”

    • The above quote, as you probably know, was written by Thomas Paine on December 23, 1776, when the US Army was on the ropes, two days before the shocking American victory at Valley Forge. No one could dream any sort of victory was coming, and in fact the second-most-powerful general (after Washington), who was in command of something like 2000 soldiers, was captured in his nightgown by 25 British guys on horses. Things could not have looked worse.

  2. Grab a screenshot of interesting stuff, I have no idea what the program is on windows, I’m on arch linux and just use the kde snapshot program myself to get stuff like the nullschool screens and stitch them together in GIMP (open as layers > export as somefilename.gif > as animation > set the timing to 500~1000 ms) before putting them on imgur.

      • Not a prob, I keep GIMP handy to whip together screenshots. I’m sure I could use a command-line for it but I never bothered. It’s close enough to photoshop that you generally need to be way more involved in photo manipulation to notice. I’m not sure what the default print screen keybind is on windows, but if that doesn’t open something I’d try ctrl+print screen, alt+print screen, or windows key+print screen, one of them should pull up a program that will let you select chunks of the screen to copy into an image.

  3. It does look like the sea ice “death spiral” is continuing and that the ice cover will be gone during future summers, earlier than climate models have predicted.

      • Yes, assuming no satellite glitch is involved, this is the least ice seen in the recent warm cycle.

        We have no satellite data from the warm period during the 1920’s and 1930’s.

        “During the 1900s, all four (Arctic) regions experienced increasing temperatures until about 1940. Temperatures then decreased by about 1 °C over the next 50 years until rising in the 1990s”

        From this 2015 paper: http://wvanwijngaarden.info.yorku.ca/files/2015/11/Arctic-Europe-Paper-2015.pdf

        The old Danish ice-maps show ice-extents got very low back then, but they bounced right back when the AMO turned cold. So don’t buy any farmland in Greenland quite yet.

        Call me back in July.

      • What is your source for the claim that the conditions aren’t already like the ones Vikings enjoyed in Greenland? Animal husbandry and growing of crops is going on as we speak.

      • The graveyard of the Vikings was hand-dug. Now it is permafrost you would have to use a pickax to dent.

        The Vikings grew their own fodder to feed their animals through long winters. No airlifted hay.

        Simply providing water in the winter is impossible now, from outside wells. How could the Vikings keep their cattle from dying of thirst in the winter?

        Here’s a good paper to begin with, if you are really interested in studying the subject:

        http://wvanwijngaarden.info.yorku.ca/files/2015/11/Arctic-Europe-Paper-2015.pdf

  4. Thanks for the paper, it does not seem to mention viking or the Norse at all. Here’s a good article on historical sea-ice reconsructions, looks like we have less sea-ice now than in any time in the past 800 years at least (fig. 15):

    http://research.bpcrc.osu.edu/geo/publications/polyak_etal_seaice_QSR_10.pdf

    ..as the Viking heydays in Greenland happened earlier the graph does not tell us whether there was less sea-ice back then or not. However, with the current speed of arctic warming we should break through to warmer-than-viking-times-in-Greenland in a few decades, unless we’re already there.

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