I tended to dream, withdraw and avoid a lot, looking out windows and studying clouds rather than the blackboard, when I was back in school, and I’m still prone to focusing on writing rather than riches, as an adult, but at times such avoidance catches up with me, and my avoidance has to avoid other things. Recently I’ve been busy avoiding bankruptcy, which tends to put a subject such as sea-ice on the back burner. However, Thank God, I eked out a way to pay bills, and can now reward myself with a bit of time gazing at clouds and sea-ice.
Not that I didn’t peek at the views from O-buoy 14 even when avoiding bankruptcy, but I couldn’t post on them. The buoy went through a loop in Parry Channel, first moving northeast, then northwest, and then a long way back west. The westward movement meant the ice, which had been compressing in the channel, spread out and leads of open water appeared. After moving west the camera again reversed, moving southwest, southeast, and then due east. The camera very nearly was destroyed as the ice crunched up again, at one point tilting and looking down, but it survived and now has crossed its own track and continues on east in Parry Channel, with the days getting shorter and the temperatures dropping towards 0°F (-18°C), and the views often gorgeous.
Of interest were the surges of milder air heading north over the past month, even as the temperatures fell.
These surges were part of a truly remarkable occurrence at the Pole, which I have jokingly dubbed “Ralph”. Low pressure has persisted, and seems to be to some degree persistently ignored, as a sort of elephant in the room, despite the fact the warmth ought to get Alarmists rejoicing, for it is producing the mildest DMI temperatures-north-of-80°-latitude graph ever, for the start of winter.
Each recent peak in the above graph represents fuel, as a sort of “feeder band” of mildness and moisture, for “Ralph”. Ralph represents a drain of heat from our planet into outer space. It is a new and interesting pattern, and seems worth more attention than it has received. It is different from other examples of the AO in a negative phase.
The surges of mildness have also effected the ice-extent graph, which has slowed after a fast start to the sea-ice-growth season. (Unfortunately these graphs have been “adjusted” by DMI, which has disgraced itself by succumbing to the pressures that always “adjust” graphs to make Global Warming look more significant than it truly is. These “adjustments” are a topic for some other post. Let it suffice to say that, where I focus on writing rather than riches, some focus on riches rather than science.)
One reason for the diminished ice-extent is that the growing cold of East Siberia hasn’t been pouring north, as it usually does, and isn’t freezing the coast of Siberia. The snows have grown over East Siberia as they usually do:
Usually the developing cold air over East Siberia clashes with the relatively milder coastal waters of the Arctic Sea, and lows tend to scoot along the coast, and ahead of the lows the south winds are not mild, but frigid. This year the cold over Siberia has tended to head east rather than north, which is nervous-making for Europe, for Europe’s coldest winds come from the east during the winter, (from Mordor, if you read too much Tolkien.) The map below shows the building cold over Asia (gray is below zero, Fahreheit. (-18°C).
The above map shows how much colder it is over the land than over the Arctic Sea. It doesn’t show whether temperatures are above normal or below normal. That map is below:
As is usually the case, when it is milder-than-normal over the Pole, we see the cold has been displaced further south. (Credit to Dr. Ryan Maue at the Weatherbell site, who makes these maps possible, along with thousands of others. Free week trial available.)
In essence, our planet is sucking warmth north to the Pole, and losing it to outer space, even as it is pumping cold south. My sense is that this is a sort of over-reaction to the past El Nino, which was a sort of over-reaction to the Quiet Sun. Even though the sways in one direction and then the other tend to balance out, (and are in fact part of the balancing process), they can be impressive. Exactly how the current sways play out remains to be seen, and I’ll leave it to braver fellows to forecast.
I don’t currently have time to go through a month’s worth of polar maps, but will stick them below, hoping I have time later to update this post with individual comments about the individual maps.
The thing to note is how the high pressures can’t conquer the Pole and how low pressure (“Ralph”) persists, and also the plumes of mild air the temperature maps show swirling up to the Pole. (The growth of the Scandinavian High is also interesting. Maybe I should name it.)