ARCTIC SEA ICE —Meanwhile, in New Zealand…—

To keep these sea-ice posts from getting too boring I like to occasionally drift off at a tangent, winding up in the Sahara Desert, or some such place.

This is actually very progressive of me, because I recently read, on an Alarmist site, that sea-ice drifts to the right of the way the wind blows. (I think they accidentally misapplied the way winds blow concerning isobars, but that is just me apologizing; they never confessed their mistake.) In any case, if they can pontificate physical impossibilities, then I can digress far from the reality of the arctic, in a sea-ice post.

I tend to wind up in the Sahara during the northern hemisphere winter, describing some freaky blast from the North Pole that makes it especially far south. This past winter actually made such digression easy. A meridional flow caused some once-in-a-lifetime snows last winter, and I wound up down in Mexico, in Kuwait, and in Vietnam, Bangladesh, and Thailand.

I was curious about the southern hemisphere, where their winter occurs during our summer, because I wanted to see if the flow was meridional during their winter as well.

I didn’t expect it to be very pronounced, for they lack our vast land masses, and have huge amounts of moderating ocean.  In the northern hemisphere there is nothing between Texas and the North Pole but some strands of barbed wire, (as Texans are likely to brag, when a “Blue Norther” is blowing.)  The same can be said for Mongolia and parts of China. There are no moderating oceans, and arctic blasts can roar down to low latitudes, but I expected the tremendous areas of moderating oceans to make things very different in the southern hemisphere. I was wrong. Before winter even started an antarctic blast roared up into Brazil.

To have an Arctic Sea Ice post about Brazil would have set a new record, but when push came to shove, I didn’t dare do it. However that probably proves I’m old fashioned and not a true progressive. When I researched Brazil I discovered they are pretty progressive, and free of the constraints that bind me to my old fashioned ways. For example, they were holding the summer Olympics in the winter. I must be pretty stodgy, because I’d find that difficult to do.

Further research taught me Brazil is also progressive because their spin is utterly backwards. Their low pressure systems spin clockwise and their high pressure systems spin counterclockwise.  Their weather maps cross my eyes. Nothing functions in a sane and sensible manner, and trying to make sense of their weather maps is difficult, though not as difficult as reading the New York Times.

It seemed amazing to me that the cold air crossed all the moderating ocean water and managed to freeze Brazil before winter officially started down there. Unlike progressive ideology, this wasn’t all talk; it was an actual action. I resolved that, if I could find the time, I’d keep an eye on the southern hemisphere, and see if symptoms of meridional flow reoccurred.

But I couldn’t find the time. That is the way of most resolutions. I didn’t even have the time to visit the Ice Age Now Site, where you learn the news about winter events which the mainstream media turns a blind eye to, (as snow doesn’t fit the Global Warming story the media, as parrots, make their copy, until reading their papers is like listening to parrots in an echo chamber.)

Rather than continuing my study of the southern hemisphere my focus returned to sea-ice. Dope. I missed a amazing meridional-flow-event, because I was focused on the good ship Northabout. I kick myself. Idiot.

In order to understand how amazing this event is, you have to understand that, in the typical manner of those strange southern folk, everything is backwards down under, and to them the north is warm and the south is cold.

New Zealand consists of two main Islands, and the south one tends to be colder and get some snow, while the north one is closer to the equator and only sees snow up on the peaks. Down in the lowlands they might get a dusting every fifty years. But guess what? They got three feet in places.

Hey! This is news. This is like Miami or Cairo getting a foot of snow. But did the media so much as whisper? No. They are too fixated on Donald Trump, seeking to find a foible they can exaggerate into a war crime, to see anything else is occurring on Planet Earth. So who tells us the true news? Odd people like myself, and odd sites like this one:

What does this have to do with sea-ice? Well, rather than the typical summer pattern at the Pole, we have seen a persistence of low pressure I’ve humorously dubbed “Ralph” at the Pole. The times they are a-changing. Stuff is going on that should be called Reality and should be the News. The media turns a blind eye.

Our star the Sun is doing things it hasn’t done for hundreds of years.  In terms of sunspots, we saw a “maximum” nearly as feeble as 1798’s, which is ending far more swiftly than “experts” expected, or the 1798 cycle saw.

Sun 1 sc5_sc24_1

It makes me very nervous that this sunspot cycle is ending before they expected. At the end of July there was a nearly a two week stretch with no sunspots (and very few sun specks). It seemed way too early for that, to me. Therefore I was glad to see a little swarm appear, and rotate across the face of the sun.

Sun 2 20160814

But now they are rotating out of view, and only a little, loner spot is seen, at center stage.

Sun 3 latest

Now, there are certain Hollywood stars who think they have more to do with keeping the general public warm and cozy than the sun, and for years they have parroted the stuff they don’t understand, but know it is politically correct to echo. They have been told to say the sun doesn’t vary that much. They have been told to say the sun isn’t the variable that matters. They have been told to say the variable that matters is a trace gas called CO2.

OK. Even though I have only a dim idea of how these two variables work, I see what I see.  For year after year the microscopic variable of CO2 went up and up and up, and what happened? Diddleysquat. Then the sun changes just a bit. What happens? Deep snows in New Zealand, for the first time in living memory.

I rest my case.

(However I cannot resist adding this jibe: In terms of brightness, the politically correct, and especially Hollywood stars, are of magnitude 14. Dumb blonds are brighter, at magnitude 13.)


24 thoughts on “ARCTIC SEA ICE —Meanwhile, in New Zealand…—

  1. Actually, down here in Dunedin we got less snow than usual and it has been unseasonably warm in the first half of winter. Not nearly as many frosts as usual either (although we did get a couple of beauts last week and our pipes froze up which hasn’t happened for a decade.) I’d say the weather has got more weird. The sun must have some effect!!!! There was an interesting Gaia theory that said the planet will always try to keep to a stasis point regardless of what we do. Might have a point there…..

    • Thank you for your report from the south of the South Island. I was wondering how you were faring, as soon as I heard about the snows to the north.

      A meridional flow often brings warmth to the colder latitudes even as it brings cold to the warmer latitudes. A particular area’s weather is determined by whether they are in a warm flow or a cold one. It currently looks like the east coast of the USA could have a very mild start to winter, with a green Christmas, but be followed by a very cold second half, which would prove the old adage, “A green Christmas makes for a white Easter.”

      I’ve had some fun this morning studying Dunedin a little. What an amazing harbor! I’ll fly down to visit, when I become fabulously wealthy. One of its attractions is that there is no other city on earth farther from London.

      Thanks again for reporting.

    • Thanks for the links. It will be interesting to watch the rifting of sea-ice in the central arctic over the next few weeks.

      You are dragging my attention from New Zealand back to where it belongs.

    • I always feel something is up, when I see two planets close together in the sky. It would seem that the slight tug of their gravity should have some sort of effect, but it isn’t the spectacular stuff I’m always expecting.

      Back when I was young and looking for reasons to avoid getting a Real Job I was expecting the world to end in 1980. I think a grand conjunction between Saturn and Jupiter was involved. During the 1970’s I figured we would run out of oil by 1980, because National Geographic said so. When Mount St Helens blew in 1980 I was thinking, “And so it begins.” Later I was bitterly disappointed, because I had to get a Real Job after all.

      It will be interesting to see if there is any uptick in eruptions during this sunspot minimum and grand conjunction.

      Apparently the grand conjunction in 1583 caused such concern that the Pope had to sign a papal bull in 1586 banning divination.

      • Re “running out of oil by 1980” … that is when I graduated and started finding the stuff. You’re welcome!

      • Ha! But puh-leeze. Don’t expect thanks. Have you any idea how embarrassing it is, when life reveals you don’t know the future?

        If you hadn’t found all that oil, I might be starving and freezing during the winter, but I’d look really, really smart. Instead I was forced to see I was a false prophet.

        In the end, being humbled did me good. So I suppose I should thank you. Hmm. That would be big of me.

        On the other hand, I could skip the thanks, and just use the oil without being the slightest bit thankful. Isn’t that what most do?

        OK. All right. You’ve twisted my arm.

        I thank you Stewart, and all who worked with you, for making my life so much more comfortable and possible, even if you did make me look like a complete moron as you did so.

  2. The following today’s pattern I see already one or two months:

    The seas around Antarctica are colder than they are normal:,-89.12,466/loc=179.981,-60.307

    Meanwhile the seas around the Arctic are much warmer than they are normal this period of the year:,91.01,466/loc=16.902,89.585

    At Antarctica there is a high pressure area at sea level, cold winds are going outward, cooling the surface of the sea and stimulating an upwelling sea:,-89.23,587/loc=158.251,-89.762

    The Arctic has a low pressure area, sucking surface air from around and, in my point of view, stimulating the inflow of warm surface water in the seas around the poles to the NW and N part of the big oceans:,88.63,587/loc=-149.524,-17.561

    There seems to be an interesting interplay between the northern and the southern hemisphere. But what kind of an interplay? At the Antarctic, cooling deep cold water comes up. At the Arctic a low pressure chimney seems to transport excess warmth upwards to the (here lowly available) stratosphere where warmth can radiate to space. Is this all, a cooling mechanism of the Earth? Double cooling in North and South? With the chimney in the North?

    Furthermore, it is interesting to think about the big events we can find back in the Greenland ice cores. Have the present warm seas around Greenland (sometimes up to 5 degrees warmer than normal) something to do with the present O16/O18 content which could be visible in the new snow we can find on the top of Greenland? And if so, will we have a different look at the Dryas and Heinrich events? Which one?

    Also the differences between the Greenland and Antarctica ice cores from the same periods become more and more interesting.

    • Thanks. That is something new to contemplate.

      Often the weather gets into a pattern that reminds me of a two-stroke engine. Event-one causes event-two, which in turn causes event-one. It would not at all surprise me if some such relationship existed between the Poles.

  3. Thanks to the CDAS graph above, I could search for the 90N to 65N graph 10-hPa 2015-2016:

    What is interesting in this graph is that in the first part of the year there is a big variation between Tmax and Tmin. In the second part of the year, Tmin and Tmax are gradually going down, very constant, without big variations. It reminds me to another graph I don’t understand: the rapid rises and falls of T at the end of the glacials/beginning of the interglacial (big variation) and the more gradually slowing down from the interglacial into the glacial. T going up gives a high variation in both cases and none of them I understand.

    Anyone who can explain what is making the big T variation in the first half year of the 10-hPa 2015-2016graph? Winter and spring 2016 must give an interesting study period, look at the red line. Temperatures ten degrees below the mean till 25C above the mean.

    Perhaps the result can shed a light on the other unsolved mystery as well.

    (My guess: someway our main greenhouse gas, H2O, in combination with her many other qualities plays the dominant role, at least in the variability in the beginning of the interglacial and possibly also in the variability shown in first half of the year in the 10-hPa 2015-2016 graph)

    Beginning of the Holocene:

    Illustration Vostok Ice Core, see: //

    • I am a down to earth fellow, and the topic of the stratosphere is above my head.

      I tend to just see the spiking stratospheric temperature as a flashing warning light, without having a clue how it works.

      That is the reason I have been slow to criticize scientists. A lot of hard work goes into even simple discoveries. However, though I am slow to criticize, the scent of fraud send me into a slow boil.

      There’s tons of work, for those willing. The workers are the ones who deserve the grants, not the fellows into public relations and politics.

  4. The snow on the Napier Taupo road in the Central North Island, where that truck photo was taken, wasn’t that uncommon. I have lived in Taupo over 25 years and that road gets closed by snow every two or three years. Snow was actually falling during the day on my lawn at 400m elevation. The two previous times it happened were at night. The Desert Road to the south, which is a higher pass that the 800m of the Napier Taupo, gets more snow but they have more provision there for clearing it.
    This winter has been relatively warm, and the ski fields on Mt Ruapehu, which is above the Desert Road, were late opening. There has been a lot of storms out of the NW so they have brought rain. It is the southerliesthat bring the snow to the mountain, and the uncommon SE winds that dump on Napier Taupo. We have had quite a few clear nights this winter but too much wind for the hard frosts. The late start to winter can mean a late start to a real spring – we shall wait and see.

    • Thanks for the update. The best reports always come from local sources.

      If you have time I’d be thrilled to get another update early in the spring. What I’m most interested in is cold that comes especially far north and warmth that goes especially far south. (This indicates a “meridional” flow).

      Here our summer heat and humidity broke, and we have had our first refreshing, fall-like breezes from the arctic.

      At this time of year old-timers like me start to cast a wary eye south for hurricanes. Back in 1954 Carol flattened all the trees on the hilltops around here, but people have forgotten. The only sign of it now is odd green stripes of moss on the brown forest floor, all in the same direction, which are all that is left of fallen trees that have completely rotted away.

      • In a narrow swath through Rhode Island, Massachusetts and up through New Hampshire and Maine, Carol was at least as severe as the 1938 Hurricane. Carol was a small, compact storm compared to the monstrous 1938 event, but at the time was the costliest hurricane on record. Neither storm was well forecast.

      • The old farmhouses built up on hills are very square and built a bit like bunkers around here. In the years since Carol people have gotten forgetful and the houses are more flimsy-looking, with lots of dormers.
        I’m not sure how they’d stand up to winds like Carol’s. You don’t have to go up that high in a “dying” storm to find winds that are very alive, and I’ve seen clouds just flying over, up a couple hundred feet, with weak tropical storms that barely had breezes at the surface. So, when I don’t have enough to worry about, I worry about houses on hilltops. Carol pretty much denuded some hills only a half mile from my house, while down in town there were only broken branches.

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