ARCTIC SEA ICE –The Broken Sea–

The sea is very bashed up, to the north, at the Pole. It is crashed, smashed, and trashed. Stand United? I don’t think so. Rather than remaining united as a single solid body,  all winter the sea-ice was divided and all over the place. All spring the sea-ice has been divided and all over the place. I don’t see why we should expect the summer to be any different, for I tell you, it is a bleeping chaos up there! Gosh, you would think meteorology involved the study of chaotic systems! Oh….I forgot…it does.

Recently my personal focus has been this thing whipping around and around the planet at an amazing speed. I never really paid attention until I looked at the planet from the top down. Then you see it. It actually is the greatest power in the world of weather, and glaringly obvious, yet meteorologists don’t even have a symbol for it, though it goes careening around the planet like a bull in a china shop, raising temperatures by twenty degrees or more in a matter of hours. I really have to shake my head. Here it comes again, charging across the weather maps, and they don’t even give it a symbol.  Shame. Shame on them.

What am I going on about?  Well, if you can’t guess, look in the comments of this post, for the person to first guess correctly will win a prize, (of my choosing.)

In any case, I suppose I will have to come down from my clouds of ethereal research and deal with the dullards who can’t handle the speed of chaos.  I am speaking of my poor Alarmist friends, and may I pat their hands gently to calm them, and say, “there, there,” before I even begin.

They have this odd idea that the North Pole isn’t covered with sea-ice that is constantly shifting, but rather has a stable ice-cap. Therefore, when they first become aware the ice isn’t a ice-cap, and instead is sea-ice, their first response tends to be, “Arrgh! It’s moving!”

My first impulse is to respond, “Of course it’s moving, you frikin’ moron. It’s sea-ice. What did you expect it to do,  stand still? ”  But that would not be spiritual. Therefore I try to be patient and kind, and say nice things like, “Oh?  You didn’t notice it moved before?”  I’m pretty sure this guarantees my admittance to heaven.

The average James, educated by the media, has this idea it is always below freezing at the Pole and the ice has always been fixed in place. Therefore they are easily impressed by ordinary stuff. When the ice behaves like sea-ice, and the summer temperatures get above freezing like they always do, the press plays the average James like a violin, until he is gnawing his nails down to the quick, and blubbering, “It’s above freezing, at the Pole! There are areas of open water!  My life is over!  I will never, never get to ask Rainbow-Hillary-Smythe out on a date, all because of the North Pole! And because of you!  It’s all your fault, Caleb Shaw! It’s your fault Rainbow-Hillary-Smythe won’t go out with me and I can’t stay in my mother’s basement any more just because Mom died six years ago. Have you no respect for my grief!?”

I never know how to reply to this sort of logic. But smiling and nodding does seem to help. Also it is helpful if you act surprised when they tell you something you learned back when you were aged eight. Smile, nod, and say helpful things like, “Oh? The Vikings grew crops on Greenland in the year 1001? You don’t say!”(Even though they do say.)

I have to deal with the dull stuff, because there is an off-hand chance that one dullard visiting this blog might have an open mind, and be like I was back when I myself was such a stupid dullard that I made Goofy look smart when he said, “Gwarsh!” (because I was a suspicious, young know-it-all who never said “Gosh”, but rather regarded any ideas, other than my own, with dark paranoia.) People put up with me back when when I was a royal pain, and it’s God’s justice that now I now face pay-back time, and must put up with royal pains.

Some of you are not royal pains, and I ask you to forgive me as I become repetitive and say what you already know.

Just as the ice isn’t fixed, the weather patterns are not fixed. The “Polar Cell” is not a mountain that will not move. Once again I’ll post an illustration of this “rule”, even though most of the past year the “exception to the rule” has been the “rule”.

Polar Cell cells_mod

If the above was a “rule”, then air would always be descending at the Pole and that would create a nice high pressure, which would make low pressure systems parade around the Pole. Not. If you look back through my notes (for that is what these posts are) you will see the above illustration may be a elegant portrayal of a “zonal” flow, but it sucks when the flow is “meridional.” Over and over during the past year we have seen not high pressure, but low pressure, at the Pole.

I was thinking we might see an end to the disobedient  jet stream, as winter gales faded, but the recent DMI  maps show yet another inconsiderate arctic low is adding to the Alarmist’s confusion. Alarmists like everything fixed, but this low, fading and regenerating and loop-de-looping, was rolling east along the Siberian coast, to where they usually fade away, but, disobediently,  this one kept right on going further east, north of the Bering Strait and east, until it was north of Alaska. Such a noteworthy storm deserves a name, so let us call the low “Ralph.”


In the next map Ralph has continued on slowly east, (even as noon has swung east a heck of a lot faster, which is why it is colder at the bottom of the map and warmer at the top. But that is my private interest, and I should focus on slow, stupid stuff, like Ralph.)

The next map shows the sun has swung clear around, and this thing called “noon” has whipped around to the bottom of the map, where temperatures are now warmer, even as temperatures chill at the top. Obviously this significant weather event deserves a name. Oh, I forgot. It already has a name. “Noon”.

That other, slower event called “Ralph” is starting to loop-de-loop, and rather than heading east is curving northeast towards the Pole.

And here “Ralph” is at his closest approach to the Pole.

And here we see Ralph perfectly positioned to reverse the “Beaufort Gyre”, as he starts to weaken.

OK, when I talk of “reversing the Beaufort Gyre”, I have to stick in a repetitive illustration for newcomers, who haven’t a clue what I am talking about when I speak of the gyre. (My spell-check doesn’t even believe there is such a word.)

Transpolar Drift 360px-BrnBld_ArcticCurrents.svg

Newcomers should see that the ice is “suppose” to move clockwise, between the Pole and Alaska, but sea-ice is very responsive to wind, and Ralph put counter-clockwise winds smack dab over the Beaufort Gyre. All the ice was moving one way, and had to abruptly move the other. The result was not pretty. If you would like a good analogy, then, next time you are speeding along in rush-hour traffic, jam on your brakes, shift into reverse, and accelerate in reverse at top speed. What will happen to your car happens in the world of sea-ice, and is called a “pressure ridge.”

When you crush sea-ice together and then spread it apart, it is not flexible like an accordion, but rather, like your car, the mushed-up part stays mushed-up, and, as you back away from the collision, a space appears between you and the car you collided with.This space is a space where, despite intimacy between cars, there is no car, and, in the world of sea-ice, this space is a space that holds no ice, called a “lead”. It is an area of open water.

Just as, after a collision, your car may be shorter, and the guy you hit may have a shorter car, but your two cars weigh no less, the creation of pressure ridges and leads does not reduce the weight of the ice involved, or its “volume.” However Alarmists freak out as you back away from your collision, for the space that appears, in the world of sea-ice, is open water, and Alarmists think the appearance of open water proves ice is melting.

When a meridional flow plops a low pressure in a place that reverses the Beaufort Gyre, it is like all the traffic shifted into reverse in a rush hour. Ker-slam! And then you should expect to see open water. Indeed, the first two weeks of June show a huge area of open water appear.  (June 2 is to the left, June 18 to the right.)

According to the above maps, the area that has turned yellow is an area of sea-ice that was pretty much solid ice, but now is 30% open water.

That will make no difference to “extent” graphs, but a huge difference to “area” graphs, in theory. So I rush to check a graph that compares “area” with “extent”:

Accordian 3 scholli13akt

What the heck? That red line should be shooting upwards. What the fraud is going on here?

No fraud is occurring at all. It is just how things go, when you are trying to make sense of chaos. Discrepancies occur.

Welcome to the world of honest guys trying to make good graphs and maps out of limited data. Unless you study this stuff, you can have no idea of the genius that goes into even making the frail and limited maps and graphs we use.  Such maps and graphs are not gospel, but they are the next best thing. We should be thankful we have them, for without them how could we be skeptical? Or critical?  How could we gripe?  The creators work darn hard to give us something to gripe about, so we should at least slow our criticism enough to thank them.

But, to guys like Al Gore and Hansen and Serreze , who say, “The science is settled”, I can only say, “You have got to be kidding me”. We have only the barest inkling of what is going on, and it is not a very good inkling, at that. The above discrepancy is only one example out of many.

For those of us who do not think “the science is settled”, we can only be good students, and carefully observe the confusion.

The DMI maps show “Ralph” filled in and the Pole became calm and basically unexciting.  However in the past I have noted that when one of these lows fills, sometimes cold is “created”, and Ralph did seem to bequeath some cold towards Bering Strait. (Just sayin’)

The above observation  is just a minor aside. For the most part we are just biding our time, as we watch the sea-ice in June. The real excitement atop the ice happens in late July, and the underneath-melt only gets exciting in late August and September.

We have only a lone camera, O-buoy 14, sending us pictures. It showed us a rare glimpse of sun and a distant lead, before the relentless gray returned. The only sign of thaw has been the slow retreat of a little drift of snow on the yellow buoy, but that could be as much a sign of sublimation as it could be thawing.

Obuoy 14 0618B webcam

I really miss all the other cameras. The satellites give us amazing stuff, but without on-the-ground reporting satellite data can be dangerously insufficient.  The wonderful reporter Susan Crockford tells a tale of some Walrus hunters who were relying on Satellite maps that reassured them waters were basically free of ice, who got trapped by ice and had to be rescued.

Ice maps vs. observations in the W. Arctic – polar bear habitat reality check

Susan calls this on-the-ground reporting a “reality check”, and I think that is a good way to look at it. Having so many cameras last year was a boon for laymen, who use their honest eyes. It was not merely a boon for Skeptics, but also for Alarmists. Truth is wonderful, and open to a wide variety of interpretations. It is a terrible thing to lose.

However there is a neat thing about the three O-buoy cameras and three Mass Balance Buoys we have lost. They go right on gathering data, even if they have lost contact with their satellite. If we can find them we can download the data from their memory. Last year a skilled person was able to get back in touch with “lost” buoys, and we had the joy of unexpected on-the-ground data.

Could the same thing happen this year?  I wonder. I have the sense certain politicians do not want on-the-ground data. Why do I suspect that?  Well, they could not find the spare change among trillions of misspent money to fund the North Pole Camera. If they could not even do that, why should they bother get back in touch with six lost buoys, even if the buoys represent millions of tax-dollars invested?  Maybe they do not want to know the tale those buoys could tell.

But I do want to know. Therefore I would like to suggest something that might seem outlandish.

Could you get in touch with the six lost buoys? You know who I’m talking to. You are far more skilled than I am, when it comes to computers and roaming the web. It would be a service to the taxpayers who forked out millions for those six lost buoys, if you found them, and therefore, even if you were indeed “hacking”, it would be hard to call you a “hacker” if you accessed the buoys others claimed were “lost”, retrieved the data, and gave it to me for free.  I’d publish the data, get all the glory, (but also perhaps get in trouble).

The post would be called, “Hacked Data From Lost Buoys.”  It might go viral.  ….Just a late-night idea I thought I’d throw out there….


One thought on “ARCTIC SEA ICE –The Broken Sea–

  1. Pingback: ARCTIC SEA ICE —Spreading Ice— | Sunrise's Swansong

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