I have never been good at chit-chat, as my family had the good sense to be dysfunctional, and we skipped all the humdrum banality of yawningly dull niceties, such as Christmas cards, gossip, and staying-in-touch. My brothers, sisters, cousins, nieces and nephews find sea-ice pretty boring,  and I don’t blame them. (Heck if I can explain why I myself find it so engrossing). The last thing I would want to do is belabor the subject, at a reunion, if we ever bothered to have such a thing as reunions. Nor would they be so rude as to belabor me with the idiotic stuff they are interested in. That is the whole thing about being dysfunctional. I get to focus on sea-ice, and they get to focus on their stuff, and we don’t get in each others way.

My wife’s family is totally different. They are functional.  Oh lord, are they ever functional! I groan, when I hear I must attend some barbecue. Sometimes I need a chart,  just to know who half the people are. And very seldom is even a single person interested in sea-ice.

When I bring up the subject of sea-ice at such a barbecue I feel like the guy in the movie “The Graduate” who says what is important is plastics.

Therefore I tend to zip my lip, and let the other person be the fool. My wife doesn’t approve of this. She feels I should be more outgoing.

It is the most amazing thing to watch my wife at a family barbecue. She will walk up to a total stranger, and inquire, “What brings you to this party? What is your connection?” Rather than feeling she is nosy, people love her. It often turns out the person she is cross-examining is the girlfriend of an in-law’s in-law, and was feeling completely miserable and wondering why she came, when suddenly she meets my wife, who is truly interested in her. So the newcomer spills her guts. It can be interesting, but it is seldom about sea-ice.

This has been going on for more than a quarter century now, and, because I hang around in the background as my wife interviews people, I have learned an extraordinary amount about stuff that doesn’t interest me in the slightest.

I have learned that some people who are not interested in sea-ice turn out to be interesting people, but also have learned that other people who are not interested in sea-ice remain boring as can be, no matter how many years pass.  Oddly, even they have become interesting to me, because I am curious about what their next inanity will be. Maybe it will not be, “One word, ‘plastics'”, but it will be some profundity such as, “Who doesn’t like chocolate?”

Anyway, it is hard enough to focus on sea-ice on an ordinary summer, with so many barbecues to attend, but this August my middle son is getting married. I figured this wouldn’t involve me, as the ceremony is the bride’s father’s business, and I thought I could get down to being dysfunctional and focusing on sea-ice, but it isn’t working out that way. My wife has built up a head of steam, and the wedding is to be on the farm where I run my Childcare, and not only do I have to move some perfectly good dysfunctional tractors I have sitting about, but I have to keep the garden weeded. Finding time to focus on sea-ice is looking unlikely.

Therefore I may not post much in the next 40 days. I ask the few, the brave, the proud, who do care about sea-ice, to forgive me. After all, you are the people I enjoy, and you talk about stuff I care about. If I was truly dysfunctional, I’d tell my family where they could go, and then hang out with the people I find delightful. However my wife is determined to make a functional man out of me, (and is delightful in her own way), and she is leading me astray.

When I do post about sea-ice it will, I fear, lack the depth I like to achieve. I’ll post in a breathless hurry, and it will seem like mere chit-chat. My hope is that the people who comment will do what they have done in the past, and add depth to my superficiality. Look to the comments, for depth, until after August 6.

I myself am only finding the time to barely glance over data, without digging. I will say it is looking like there is a chance the Pole will start hoarding its cold, with a more zonal flow, even though polar outbreaks are still bringing refreshing coolness to places ordinarily hot in late June, such as Indiana in the USA. We will have to see if this “zonal” scenario actually happens, but there are a few hints the cold will be restrained to the north, for the Pole is unexpectedly below normal. (It is unexpected because last winter’s El Nino would have one expect above-normal warmth at the Pole).

DMI3 0627 meanT_2016

My sea-ice curiosity is wondering what the heck could make it cooler than normal when it should be warmer. What could counter the El Nino? But I have a wedding to attend to, so I just breeze over it and say it must have something to do with the “Quiet Sun”, and make cryptic references to someone called “Svenmark”. However other people, who don’t have weddings to attend to, have the time to come up with fascinating postulates.

To even suggest the sun has an effect often gets you scorned at Alarmist sites, as they obsess on CO2. But people with broader minds allow more variables, and do consider that the sun might have something to do with heat in the summer. Some interesting ideas were brought to my attention by the blogger “ren”, (see past posts), and make me wish I could do justice to the topic. In reality I’d get in trouble if I spent time researching cosmic rays when I’m suppose to be getting ready for a wedding.

Therefore you must do it. Some solar waves should reach the Pole in the next few days. Because solar stuff is not included in the weather models, the forecasts of models should be wrong. After June 30, watch for the models being very wrong at the Pole.

To be honest, if I had the time to research, I’m not sure I’d be as forward-looking as “ren”, for I am backward-looking and like to study history. Alarmists like to begin sea-ice history in 1979, and are accused of wanting to “erase the Medieval Warm Period”, but I’m curious about a far more recent “warm period” which involves World War Two.

(Why?  I suppose it is because my mother’s first boyfriend was a British sailor who likely died bringing Stalin supplies. His letters abruptly ceased around the time an arctic convoy got destroyed by Hitler’s navy. A tender part of my mother also got destroyed, which made me curious about the details, which involves sea-ice, and where it was during World War Two, which happens to be a time people were far too busy staying alive to care much about something as remote as arctic sea-ice, unless it involved a convoy in Barents Sea.)

Convoy 1 ww2mR110Arctic

Alarmists seem as eager to “erase the 1930’s warm period” as they are to “erase the Medieval Warm Period”, because they like everything simple, and want temperatures to slowly rise and never fall. However disturbing charts keep appearing.

Convoy 2 04-giu-16-MAAT-70-90N-HadCRUT4-Since1900

You can see from the above graph why Alarmists chose 1979 as a starting point. (I sometimes wonder why they didn’t chose 1961.) But you can also see there was a warm period, even warmer than the current warm period, peaking in the Dust Bowl times of the Great Depression.  There was a cold spell at the start of World War Two, but also a warm spike in the heart of that war.

These are but cold facts to many, but to me they have a warmth, for they involve a person without whom I would not exist: Mom. These cold graphs, charts and statistics involved something called “reality” to her. She knew the poverty of the Great Depression and the death of World War Two. She didn’t want to talk about it, because she believed in the goodness of being dysfunctional, but I was a brat, and pestered, and learned the Truth.

The short version is this:  It was far safer to send convoys to Russia during the winter, when darkness hid the ships, but that was not enough. Stalin was desperate and needed more supplies. Therefore convoys had to be attempted during the summer, during the glaring light of a midnight sun which allowed the Nazis to see, and the first attempt at a summer convoy was a nightmarish fiasco. Lots and lots of good men died because a bad man called Hitler was at war with a bad man called Stalin.  Even though the USA was not at war at first, my mother’s heart was with England, and then it got shattered.

How might a teenager feel when the guy she adores abruptly stops writing letters? Not that the press was allowed to tell the whole truth during the war, but the press could hint at the truth when a British convoy got creamed. My mother was no dunce, and she could figure out why the letters stopped. No happy-ever-after for her. And did that effect her attitudes? And, a decade later, did that effect me?

The answer is, “Yes.” But Alarmists don’t care about what really effects people and what really matters. The subtle heartaches that rule our lives (unless we bring loving understanding to bear) mean nothing, for Alarmists are too determined to be simpletons, and to insist CO2 matters more than history, even to the degree where they ignore history.

Let me be blunt. Alarmists may clasp their hands and exclaim that they care, but caring involves more than saying you care. It involves understanding, and searching, and study, and if you can’t be bothered with that,  then you don’t care. The truth is Alarmists can’t be bothered to care. I don’t see why they can’t be honest about it, the way I’m honest about family barbecues. But Alarmists seem beyond being dysfunctional, like me.  They are dsy-dysfunctional. They don’t want to be functional like my wife, who wants to know your history, or dysfunctional like me, who wants to study other history.  To put it mildly and avoid bad words, they are flipping, hopping, complete crackpots who want to blame a trace gas like CO2 for problems, and have no use for history at all.

If you want to determine if a person is truly an Alarmist, bring up the history of sea-ice before 1979. You will swiftly see they do not want to hear. They call me a denier, but they deny the past. It is too respectful and flattering to call them by a word as accurate as “Alarmist.”  It likely will not catch on, but they deserve to be called by a word I have made up, “Dysdys.” They are a bunch of Dysdyses.

I need a break from these idiots. It probably is a blessing I’m going to be too busy with my son’s wedding to focus much on sea-ice. To deal with a Dysdys is often an exercise in infuriating futility. “They have eyes but cannot see; they have ears but cannot hear.”

If I get time, I’ll add some maps tomorrow. But that will look like I am trying to persuade the Dysdys with actual evidence.  After a decade of trying, I have doubts they are anything other than impervious to evidence.

You know what the Dysdys need? They need chit chat. They need to be sitting at a barbecue where they know absolutely no one, with a sneering nose wrinkled disdainfully, and face the ultimate challenge:  My wife walking up, and hitting them full blast with her caring chit chat.

Unfortunately for them, she’s mine.  I’m not sharing.


As promised, here are the recent maps. “Ralph” has been reinforced by blurbs of low pressure swinging around from West Siberia.

The midnight sun really cooks the Tundra now, and any land breeze will bring heat north a ways over the sea-ice. The mosquitoes are murder, which is why polar bears stay out on the ice. In fact a little-known  theory states the only reason polar bears evolved was to avoid mosquitoes. (It is little known because I just made it up.) By the way, the heated Tundra is known as “baked Alaska”. It shows as red in the temperature maps along the coasts.

The ice extent is declining in its ordinary manner, so, to liven things up, DMI decided to meddle with how they do their extent graph. (Expect an uproar.)

DMI3 0628 icecover_current_new (1)

Here is their explanation:

New graphs

We have improved the algorithms calculating sea ice concentration and extent. Consequently, on June 28, 2016, we updated the graphs of ice extent with new data of higher quality. In particular, calculation of ice concentration in coastal zones have been improved, but also calculation of ice concentration in the Arctic ocean is improved with this new setup.

The sea ice extent data from 1979 till today is composed by a Climate Data Record (CDR, OSI-409a), an Interim CDR providing updates with one month delay to the CDR (ICDR, OSI-430) and an operational setup that calculates sea ice extent for the period between the ICDR and today. Further, the algorithms behing these three products are now more consistent than the previous processing chain.

This switch to new algorithms has led to small changes in the trends of sea ice extent since the first year of the data set, but it has not changed the general picture of ice extent decline.

You can read technical and validation reports of the products here.

Compared to last year, there is less ice northeast of Alaska but the ice is much slower to thin towards East Siberia. (2015 to left;2016 to right)

It does rain at the Pole during the thaw, and I think O-buoy 14 saw some, mixed with wet snow. It has seen little sun, but a swift increase of slush.

Obuoy 14 0627 webcam

Obuoy 14 0628 webcam

The open water along the horizon has closed up, but I expect it will open again soon. This camera should be bobbing in open water before September, as it is much further south than our old North Pole Camera used to be.

Now I have to go make a scruffy farm look presentable.



14 thoughts on “ARCTIC SEA ICE –Chit Chat–

  1. In response to your comment about not understanding why the temperature is not warmer at the pole, of course it is the carbon dioxide! See, heat rises in the tropics and it slides north towards the pole, but because of the cool, the carbon dioxide has sunk a little in the atmosphere, so the layer of carbon dioxide lies BELOW the heat, thus preventing it from reaching the ground by absorbing it and emitting it back towards the space above. Can’t you see that? And hopefully you got a smile. But realize that it is being said one of the political parties is putting a plank in their party platform that they support prosecuting “climate deniers.” Now that’s not so funny.

    • The Reverse Greenhouse Theory. Very clever indeed. There might even be funding in it, if an opposition party got into power.

      The thing to do is to spread any news about “prosecuting differing opinions” far and wide. People in all walks of life recognize the threat in that sort of thinking. Heck, even the supreme court nearly always has dissenting opinions.

  2. You have a sacred duty to ignore boring, frivolous family chit chat and concentrate on what is really important in life and that is Arctic Sea Ice.

    We need your frequent and detailed analyses, so we won’t go off the rails when the alarmist sites start a propaganda offensive. Like the one today. That a 979 mb Siberian storm is going to make an utter shambles of the sea ice! Even far more scary sounding than the darkest days of Reggie’s blowtorch! We are utterly horrified and will not be able to eat, drink, sleep or rest until we receive your wisdom and insight. You cannot abandon us in this hour of need!

    I apologize for my warped sense of humor and humbly accept the fact that you can and will comment on sea ice when you are darn ready to do so. Don’t mind me!

    • One model is actually seeing low pressure up at the Pole for two solid weeks, which I don’t recall ever seeing before. I am going to have a very hard time not sitting with my nose glued to the computer.

      Your warped humor did get a chuckle out of me. Thanks.

  3. I understand your situation and may be somewhat scarce myself as I have a house sale and move coming up in the next few weeks. On top of that, my car just conked out and that puts me in a bit of a quandary.
    Following is my immediate addition to the sea-ice chit-chat:
    Looking at the jet-stream plot, it does appear (as I noted some time ago) that the Summer N. Hemi flow has now turned more Zonal and the S. Hemi (winter down there) has gotten a lot more loopy since their summer, (our Winter.) As we go towards Winter, the N. hemi. Meridional component will strengthen in tandem with the S. hemi Meridional component weakening. Been watching the jet patterns for a few years now, and this is what I have observed.

    Here is a compacted version of a post I made at

    “Sometimes you have to go outside the traditional establishment sources for rational information. This paper is an example of that.
    I found it at

    Reassessing the Climate Role of Carbon Dioxide
    Martin Hertzberg* and Hans Schreuder* 21 March 2016

    Here are a few relevant excerpts from the abstract:

    + Our common experience with extreme events such as hurricanes, typhoons, blizzards, tsunamis, droughts, floods, heat waves, cold waves, tornadoes, earthquakes or volcanic eruptions, leads to the conclusion that weather, climate and geology are controlled by natural forces on a scale that dwarfs human activity and ability to influence them.

    + The most authoritative study of the atmospheric lifetime of CO2 is that of Professor Tom Segalstad of the University of Oslo [3].A variety of methods, and a variety of researchers, consistently find short residence times:

    “Both radioactive and stable carbon isotopes show that the real atmospheric CO2 residence time (lifetime) is only about 5 years, and that the amount of fossil-fuel CO2 in the atmosphere is maximum 4%. Any CO2 level rise beyond this can only come from a much larger, but natural, carbon reservoir with much higher 13-C/12-C isotope ratio than that of the fossil fuel pool, namely from the ocean, and/or the lithosphere, and/or the Earth’s interior.”

    + Natural carbon sources substantially overwhelm human emissions. The sinks that balance those sources in geologic time are the dissolution of CO2 into the cold oceans, its circulation within the oceans, photosynthesis to form plant matter, its use by ocean organisms to form exoskeletons and its inorganic precipitation as CaCO3 (calcium carbonate).

    —[Relevant to one of your inquiries above]—
    + For the past year, neutron monitors [9] near the Arctic Circle have recorded an increasing intensity of cosmic rays. In the plot below, neutrons monitored by the University of Oulu Cosmic Ray Station are traced in red; gamma-ray/X-ray measurements over California are in gray. Increased cosmic ray penetration is making itself felt not only over the poles, but also over lower latitudes where Earth’s magnetic field provides greater protection against deep space radiation.

    Graph, “Cosmic ray measurements are intensifying”:
    Couple that last with the knowledge that Earth’s Magnetic field is weakening ten times faster than previously thought- -and the future doesn’t look so hot. 😉

    Some people have postulated that the cosmic ray flux acts as an exciter for increased volcanic activity, but I have some doubts about that conjecture. There seems to be far more rational explanation in tidal forces and subduction rates. Looks like Bardarbunga may not be finished hiccuping.

    • What a bunch of treats! It is taking a lot of willpower not to sit down here at my computer for the rest of the day, but I’m officially “just passing through and just checking the radar for thunder”.

      There is likely some good hidden in all the annoying worldly responsibilities that keep us from doing what we prefer. We’d likely totally obsess and become blobs, if cars didn’t break down and so on and so forth. (Or that is what I tell myself, anyway, when I’m on the verge of swearing at some little old lady on the street.)

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