DELIVERED OF A LONG PAIN

In my work with small children I’ve become aware that they test their limits, and therefore will test the limits of my patience. It is as if children want to see if they can wear you down. My advice to parents is to chose your battles, and then never give in. If you give in then the child learns that wearing-you-down is a good strategy, and does so with increasing frequency. (On the rare occasions when the child is actually right about something, and not merely trying to get their own way, make them wait as you reconsider; pretend to consult an expert on your phone, and so on; and then make it clear that the final decision is yours and not theirs.)

I find the same is true with politicians. They too try to wear you down. They too want to get their own way. Often they employ what is called “The Big Lie.”

 A big lie (German: große Lüge) is a propaganda technique. The expression was coined by Adolf Hitler, when he dictated his 1925 book Mein Kampf, about the use of a lie so “colossal” that no one would believe that someone “could have the impudence to distort the truth so infamously.”

Joseph Goebbels developed the idea a bit further,

“If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.”

A person who loves the Truth, and who also recognizes that straying from the Truth leads to no end of needless misery, finds the above statement of Goebbels vile and appalling. One refuses to salute the lie, as a lone man refused in this famous picture.

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It is interesting to focus in on the man, (whose wife was Jewish, and later died in a concentration camp, as did the man, though their child survived), and see the reactions of the men behind him. He was creating a stir, and having an effect.

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It is not comfortable to be in the shoes of such a brave person, yet all who have pointed out  the flaws in the idea of “Global Warming” have stood in those shoes, for nearly thirty years, (if you take, as a “start date”, Hansen’s testimony before Congress, on June 24, 1988.)

http://www.nytimes.com/1988/06/24/us/global-warming-has-begun-expert-tells-senate.html?pagewanted=all

People who have criticized even minor aspects of Global Warming have seldom had the opportunity for adult debate, and rather have been marginalized, ostracized, mocked and derided, falsely accused of being bribed by “Big Oil”,  denied promotions and funding, and this treatment has been a pain that has continued on and on, and grown worse as the “Big Lie” became more and more obvious, as more and more studies had to be hidden because they countered the balderdash, even as an entire generation of children was brought up being fed the lie like pablum.

One false factoid that always has made me wince is the “97% -of-all-scientists-agree-Global-Warming-is-real-and-a-man-made-problem” lie. Even the most precursory look at the various polls involved revealed the subsets they chose to use excluded nearly all possible disagreement.

http://www.nationalreview.com/article/425232/97-percent-solution-ian-tuttle

However the fact the factoid was false didn’t stop, or slow in the slightest, our former president and former secretary of state from hauling out the 97% factoid like a stale joke, raising an index finger, and pronouncing the factoid like almighty gospel.

Their behavior made me cringe, as did the fact many in-the-know politicians were quite aware Global Warming was balderdash, as a serious threat, yet said nothing. When the former president mentioned “Climate Change” in a recent State Of The Union address, there was a palpable murmur of giggles through the audience. It was as if many were in-on-the-secret but going-along-with-it. As a lover-of-Truth, I watched with a sense of repressed horror, because such behavior on the part of public servants seemed a gross betrayal of the trust which the public has (or had) in their leaders.

I also felt pain because so many young school teachers basically teach from-the-book, without doing a great deal of research on their own, and when they were handed a book that stated that 97% of all scientists believed Global Warming was a serious threat, they trusted the book. They taught what they were told to teach, innocently becoming part of a lie.

But what hurt worst was the effect the lie had on a generation of children, especially because it was always stated the lie was “for the children”, until the very phrase “for the children” became synonymous with gross hypocrisy.

Rather than nourishing a love of nature, children feared they were breaking it. As a person who runs a Childcare dedicated to increasing children’s awareness and love of nature, this was especially obvious to me. I had to push past the preconception that walking in the forest would kill the moss you trod upon, and to replace that dread with the sense the Creator created creation because He loved us; creation was for us; it was a wonderful landscape-painting where we could walk through the frame and into the picture, with the Creator holding our hand and saying, “Do you like my painting?” The lie stated otherwise: That we ruined everything we touched, and that we should be banned from all involvement.

And so the years passed, one after another, with the pain going on and on and on. Every time I tried to point out the lie I faced cruel accusations, was called a “denier” and worse, and even read that “deniers” should be locked up, or shot. Added to my pain was an element of increasing fear.

And then, yesterday, a new president walked into the white house, and immediately removed references to Global Warming and Climate Change from the White House web-page.

before-after-wh-climate-before-after

I can’t describe how odd it feels. The pain is gone.

It’s weird how easy it seemingly was. It is like having a headache that goes on and on and on, until you finally take an aspirin, and then, bingo, the pain is gone.  And you think to yourself, “Why didn’t I do that before?”

Please forgive me for grousing just a bit, for we’ve had the aspirin all along. The aspirin is Truth, and I’ve been prescribing it for decades.

ARCTIC SEA ICE –Roaring Ralph–Updated with Sahara Report plus Spanish beaches

In my last post I showed how low pressure came north right over Greenland, surprising me by retaining its strength despite passing over an icecap 10,000 feet tall. Now the entity I dubbed “Ralph” has reformed over the Pole, and again is surprising me, for despite being cut off from feeder-bands of fuel it is going to retain its identity for a week, according to models. (Usually Ralph’s incarnations fade fairly quickly, or slide south. If the models are wrong it will be because secondary and tertiary lows, forming towards Russia, will tug Ralph in that  direction.) Here is a quick recap of the storm coming north:

The lowest I saw the pressure get was 958 mb, though I was busy on the 18th and it may have dipped lower. WUWT reported two Russian icebreakers were waiting out extreme ice conditions (likely caused by the compression of pressure ridges) in the eastern entrance to Laptev Sea

Russian Icebreakers Stuck in the Arctic Global Warming

I am a bit worried the storm will so mess up the ice that it will be hard for the Russians to find a good location for their blue ice airstrip and their yearly Barneo camp.

Here are more recent maps of Ralph doing what Ralph does, which is to swirl milder-than-normal air at the Pole during the coldest and darkest days of the year, where it will be lost to outer space. In the temperature maps you can see Ralph’s “signature”, a distinctive hook of milder air to the Pole.

Of course this makes a spike in the temperatures-north-of-80°-north-latitude graph. (A lot of the cold in Canada is south of 80°).

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Ralph’s roaring will also compress the ice north in Barent’s Sea, reducing the “extent” of sea-ice. Between “mild” temperatures and reduced extent the Alarmists will have a lot to make a hoopla about, but what I keep an eye on is how quickly the heat is lost to outer space. (Extra heat is released during the phase changes from vapor to liquid and from liquid to snow.)

To watch the heat be lost (according to the best guess of the GFS model) I like to turn to Dr. Ryan Maue’s maps over at the Weatherbell site. I look at the temperature anomaly maps for the Pole. You can see the anomaly starts out as white heat (actually well below freezing) and then the heat fades, and even some blue below-normal begins to reappear. (These are from yesterday’s GFS, and represent the anomalies yesterday, tomorrow, Monday, and next Thursday.

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Perhaps you can see why I describe the heat as “squandered”. It basically gets up there too cooled to do any melting, and then vanishes. This is not to say the sea-ice isn’t getting clobbered. It will be interesting to see what things look like when the light returns. However it does seem our planet is in the mood to lose heat.

Another thing I look for in these maps is where the heat is aiming north; where the “feeder-bands” set up. The second map seems to show one in the Canadian Archipelago, and the last map seems to show Alaska has warmed. The most effective feeds come up through the North Atlantic, but that highway looks effectively closed, for now. I’d expect Ralph to be starved and fade away, which is why I’m surprised to see Ralph persisting at the Pole in some computer models for over a week. We’ll have to watch that, to see how it pans out.

If work allows I’ll add a few ice-extent maps later.

UPDATE 

The NRL Concentration map shows the northward surges have again pushed the ice north in Barents Sea, north of Svalbard. (Also some erosion of sea-ice on Pacific coast.)

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However it is the NRL Thickness map that shows the real power of Ralph’s roaring.  As the counterclockwise winds have blown at a steady 20-30 knots from west to east, the sea-ice has piled up on the west sides of islands and been pulled away from the east sides, forming polynyas that don’t show well in the concentration map, (as they are swiftly skimmed over with thin ice, and therefore show as 100% concentration even if the ice is very thin.)  For example, in Laptev Sea you can see ice piled up against the New Siberian Islands to the east, but very thin ice towards Severnaya Zemyla to the west. The same phenomenon can be seen in the Kara Sea and the East Siberian Sea.

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This map also shows how swiftly the open water northeast of Svalbard is being skimmed over.  It makes me wonder how much extra ice is formed, when miles of it are crunched up like an accordion, leaving miles of open water which swiftly forms new ice.  Also, is the exposed water chilled more than it would be if sheltered by ice?  Also, does the chilled water sink and have no effect on the summer melt, or will the summer melt be retarded by colder water remaining at the surface beneath the ice?

I heard some postulate that the summer melt of 2013 was such a surprise to many because there was so much exposed water at the end of the 2012 melt that the water was significantly chilled, and less able to melt from beneath in 2013. If I win the lottery I’ll fund some of the crazy scientists who figure out ways to get measurements out on that ice, not because I have a political ax to grind, but because curiosity is killing this cat.

In any case, the Arctic Sea is getting put through gyrations, and we likely should expect to see the unexpected as a result.

Here is a forecast map of Ralph still sitting over the Pole next Wedensday, though weaker and with less wind.

wed-weaker-ralph-gfs_mslp_uv10m_arctic_20

What is fascinating is that a series of four lows look like they are attempting to curl up to the Pole from the North Atlantic. It will be interesting to see if they can make it north, or if they collapse down to Russia instead. Stay Tuned.

If I have time I will talk a bit about the cold backwash further south, that always seems to appear when warm surges come north. I noted a headline on “Drudge” stating a foot of snow fell on the Sahara Desert, and the “Ice Age Now” site is full of headlines about snows in Algeria and Tunisia and Morroco, (including 20 children trapped by snow in a school bus in Tunisia, awaiting rescue,) and you know me: I just love to work Africa into a sea-ice discussion. I have no time right now to do more than glace at headlines. (And it is Friday, and I might decide to go out and whoop it up instead of clicking those headlines, this evening. Sorry for the serious neglect of my duties, if it happens, but sometimes we unpaid fanatics need to get a life.)

 UPDATE —- A few pictures from the “backwash”

Aïn Séfra, where the Atlas Mountains stoop down to meet the Sahara Desert in Algeria, last saw a dusting of snow in December, when it was described as “the first snow on 40 years”. (Actually 38 years, as the last snow was in 1979). This second snow was described as “the most in living memory”, for they got a solid meter of snow.

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Meanwhile, across the Mediterranean in Rhonda, on the south coast of Spain by the warm sea, they had their first snow in ninety years.

Spain Weather

Now is not the day to go to the Mediterranean beaches:

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http://www.thelocal.es/20170118/gallery-amazing-images-of-spains-beaches-in-snow

Of course, Russians and Scandinavians would have no problem with such beaches. There are all sorts of pictures of Polar Bear Clubs swimming in ice-water. Me?  Those days are past. I’ve joined the ranks of the stodgy.

Conclusion? The pattern is meridional.  The Pole may be warmer, but Spain and the Sahara are not.

It is wisest not to focus exclusively on any one small part of the planet, and be ignorant of others.  After all, there is such a thing as “The Big Picture.” Of course, only the Creator really sees it, but we should at least drop the pleasure of our bias from time to time, and attempt to broaden our minds just a little bit.

LOCAL VIEW —Plastered—

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Joe Bastardi warned his listeners that the January Thaw might be, to the north, what he calls a “Heck-of-a-way-to-run-a-thaw Thaw”, and Joe was right. I awoke this morning to five inches of the sort of wet snow that sticks to everything in sight, and which settles right before your eyes, becoming ever denser and harder to move. Therefore it it best to move, though your body may not want to budge from bed.

It is better to snowblow five inches of sticky fluff than it is to snowblow three inches of crud that can clog a snowblower. So, before daylight, I was clearing the drive and parking lots of the Farm-childcare, feeling very grateful that the local small-engine-repair fellow did such a fine job repairing the blades of the snowblower the day before.

(I’d hit a fair number of Tonka Trucks with the blower; and bound the blades in miles of kite string, and so and so forth, until the blades were so badly distorted that two actually moved the snow the wrong way, and only a feeble stream got thrown from the blower. My repairman had to heat one blade with a torch, to bend it back to the correct position, but this morning was a hallelujah moment, as the heavy snow arched to a landing twenty yards away.)

By the time I was finishing the night was giving way to the slate blue of a snowy dawn, with the world completely plastered. The wires coming into the Childcare were made, by snow, as thick as my arm:

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And every tree was transformed to poetry:

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But I was having a bit of a hard time being poetic. The main roads were well treated and merely wet tar, but the side roads were what is best described as “slithery”, with packed snow surfaces, and school was cancelled, which makes for a madness at my Childcare.

It takes a while to figure out who is coming and who is not. Parents who are teachers get to stay home, but nurses have to show up at work at hospitals, and some Dad’s make extra money plowing, so Childcare remains important even when school is cancelled. (In ten years we have only been been closed once, by an ice-storm that knocked out power for ten days and, the first day, made roads completely impassable due to fallen trees.)

One member of the staff texted me from a well-earned vacation in Florida to tell me she missed the beauty of snow. I bit my tongue. For me what is most poetic (at times) is not snow, but rather is the help of my fellow men and women. However I suppose that just makes me a crass capitalist. So be it. I’ve held a lot of jobs in my time, and “crass capitalist” is just one more feather in my bonnet.

After a brief panic, when I feared we’d have too many children, we started getting phone calls from parents in neighboring towns, where two-hour-delays were turning into all-day-cancellations of school, and heard more and more children would be staying home. In the end we only had eight. I decided I’d put them to work rolling snowballs, and we’d build an igloo.

But wouldn’t you just know it? As sticky as the snow was, it simply refused to roll good snowballs. Heck if I can figure out the science involved, but they crumbled to pieces, and it put me in a bad position. As a crass capitalist I’d plotted to put the innocent children to work as serfs, but, as I had foolishly promised them an igloo, it turned out I had to do all the work, with a snow shovel. Apparently I am not only a crass capitalist, but also a stupid capitalist, because, if there was a serf in the situation, it was me.

In any case, when offered a shovel-ready-job I actually know how to handle a shovel, (unlike an outgoing president I will not flatter by naming, who made a hilarity of a “photo-op” where he actually held a shovel, and made it painfully obvious he was uncertain of which end to use.) Also my creative juices get flowing when building any sort of sand castle, though tides (and thaws) have erased all my majestic artworks. I had to deal with an interruption or two, but was getting exercise better than any gym can provide. The interruptions were two distractions.

The first was the kids. I sort of forgot my job was not building an igloo, and rather was caring for kids, so the children felt it was only incumbent on them to dent my consciousness by knocking down the igloo as fast as I could build it.  This forced me to pause, and be a guru giving a spiritual discourse on the difference between “Makers” and “Breakers.” Even after this highly spiritual lecture I faced a problem, because the children then knocked the walls down being “helpful”, and then trampled the bits of fallen wall down inside the igloo to such a degree that the floor of the igloo was rising nearly as fast as the walls. My solution was to kick the children out as I went in, and, by cutting sections of the inner floor and using then as blocks for the wall, we soon had a lower floor, and a higher wall, and a nearly completed igloo.

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The second distraction had nothing to to do with snow or winter, but instead had to do with a subject important to children, namely “being first.”

Of course, we have long attempted to teach children it isn’t always best to be first, but kids tend to jam the doorways irregardless, rather than being prim and proper gentlemen and gentleladies, saying, “After you, Alphonse.” In fact, when the roof of the igloo was nearly closed, there was such a battle about who was going to be first to stick their head out the small, remaining hole in the roof, they collapsed part of the roof.

My muscles were starting to ache at that point, so I hope I can be forgiven for not giving any sort of spiritual discourse beyond this one: “Grrrrr.” The kids caught my drift, and gave me some space to finish the roof, but I was thinking maybe I should have been more articulate and poetic than “Grrrr.” Lord Jesus would have said something far more profound than “Grrrr,” something like, “The first shall be last, and the last shall be first,” and I confess I was feeling a bit guilty that the best I could manage was, “Grrrr.” And just then a member of my staff pointed out an amazing, second distraction.

One of the most awful and greedy pests in my springtime garden is a worm called the “cutworm.” It is especially annoying because it is so wasteful. All it takes of your plant is one bite, but it is at the very bottom of the stem, and then, “timber!” The entire plant topples over and dies. What a waste!

cutworm

In actual fact the cutworm is not seen at the surface after committing his crime, as is shown in the wonderful picture above.  (Photo credit: The University of Rhode Island.) You have to dig about in the dirt around your destroyed plant to find the culprit. And, after you locate the worm, you are glad to crush the %#@&, *%@#%  @*%$$@.

I suppose cutworms have their place in the bigger picture of the Creator’s scheme, (called “ecology”,) but, begging the Creator’s pardon, I am not fond of them or their “place in ecology”. They are in some ways the epitome of an attitude that thinks, “The first will be first.” They are in such an immoral hurry they only take one bite, before they duck back down to hide in the dirt. There is some sort of ecological niche for this wasteful strategy. It must pay off, if you are a worm, but, most of the time, I am not a worm.

In any case, I am glad to be able to tell you that sometimes it does not pay for a greedy cutworm, eager to be first, to be first. They can get fooled by a January Thaw. They think they are climbing up through April’s chilled soil, but actually it is January’s wet snow. Then, when they arrive at the surface, they look around for green shoots to bite, but there is nothing to eat. They have made a mistake, and are doomed.

I suppose I should feel sorry for the poor, itty bitty cutworms. I should curse Global Warming, caused by crass capitalists, for depleting the population of cutworms by awaking them too early. Indeed, cutworms perhaps should now be called an “endangered species” and protected.

However, as a crass capitalist, when a member of my staff pointed out that, on the surface of the new-fallen snow, there were cutworms, my response was not politically correct. Rather it was, “Bwah-ha-ha-ha! It serves you right, you stupid, little, selfish cutworms!” And, to confess how sinful I am, I was glad, exceedingly GLAD, that the desire-to-be-first killed those greedy cutworms, and next spring’s garden may be an be ecology devoid of such stinking, little killers.

Of course, I did not mention this to the children. They should be protected from the rabid foaming of a crass capitalist.  Instead I merely competed the igloo by lunchtime.

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At this point I figured my shift was done. I went indoors as the children ate lunch, and was amazed (as I usually am) by the trickery of my staff, who had the place completely silent, by instituting a who-can-be-quiet-the-longest competition. Then, as the children settled down to nap, I eyed the clock and, at exactly 12:30, headed home for chicken noodle soup and a nap of my own.

However my siesta was interrupted by the fact a close and elderly friend chose just then to drop dead shoveling a path to his woodpile. My wife, and other loving and caring women, hustled to console the man’s beautiful wife, and I went back to the Childcare to watch the kids. As I watched them I did not oppress them with my grief.  For, though I will surely miss my good friend, I was wryly congratulating him on an excellent exit, and didn’t feel all that much grief.

Just last Sunday, after church, I was prodding the old fellow with questions, hoping for a good tale, and I got one.  He spoke of days when the population of the town was not 5500, but 800, and everyone, even the chief of police, was in bed by nine. This meant a young hotrodder could drive his vehicle at politically-incorrect speeds without much worry of hurting anyone but himself, testing his reflexes and ability. While coming through the center of town at an unspecified speed he had noted that there is a slight rise in the road, which one usually does not notice, but which, under certain conditions, can allow a car to be briefly airborne.

I crossed the same stretch of highway tonight, with temperatures dropping below freezing and in a drizzle of freezing mist, at around fifteen miles an hour. To me it seems incredible one could be airborne at such a place, but I did note there is a slight rise in the highway. I will take my old friend at his word: It is possible to be airborne through the center of town.

In the case of this sort of scientific experiment, “peer review” would involve me replicating the experiments of a hotrodder of the 1950’s. I might be persuaded to try it, but unfortunately our police chief doesn’t go to bed at nine any more.

In like manner, my old friend did all sorts of other experiments that amazed me.  In like manner, they cannot be scientifically replicated. He was one of a kind, as unique as a snowflake.

A day will come when we all must depart, and political correctness will not matter a hill of beans. Accepting that grim fact, where would you chose to die? Grunting during sex? Grunting on a toilet? In a hospital bed with tubes in your arms?

I’d rather die like my old friend. I want my boots on. I want to be out doors, in my own driveway, holding a shovel, looking at plastered trees:

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ARCTIC SEA ICE –Ralph’s Recurrent Currents–

Sometimes my ego rears its head, when watching an incredibly beautiful sunrise, and I behave as if I am the one who created it. Usually I am attempting to capture the beauty I am witnessing, and feel I am doing a darn good job, with my poem or watercolor, and a sense of joy and well-being comes over me. Then, even though the sunrise fades away, I feel I have captured it on a sheet of paper. Or I feel that way until I show my work to some practical person who hasn’t yet had their first cup of coffee. Often that person brings me down to earth with a thud in short order, with comment such as, “That was a perfectly good piece of paper until you dirtied it up with all your dratted ink.”

It used to really upset me, when people didn’t see what I could see, but gradually, over the years, my ego grew so punctured it couldn’t puff up so much and be such a problem. Gradually I realized I myself didn’t create the beauty of the sunrise, and, what’s more, even the ability to appreciate the beauty was a gift given to me, and not really mine. Lastly, I realized that my artwork was like a scrawl on tracing paper, a rough facsimile of what I was attempting to copy, and once the sunrise was gone the tracing paper I was left with could never remotely approach the beauty it attempted to match.

In a sense I feel science resembles art, once we are dealing with a subject such as meteorology,  which involves so many variables that we soon are dealing with chaos beyond the ability of even computers to calculate. There are times when, midst the chaos, amazing beauty is revealed to us. Even in the destructive swirls made by a gigantic storm which gathers into concentrated power out of amorphous chaos, beauty appears, and this is especially true when we see a sort of logic and reason in the chaos. We glimpse a simplicity in what is complex, an elegance in what seems random and reasonless,  and it is when a forecaster gets such glimpses he is able to foretell the future. However even his best efforts are like a piece of tracing paper with a scrawl, and is but a crude facsimile of the beauty weather actually is.

Of course, I am seeing meteorology through an artist’s eyes. I simply loved to watch the clouds out the classroom window, and seldom attended to the blackboard. Looking back, I  actually preferred Science class to English class, but there was only a single science teacher in twelve years of school who ever made the blackboard as interesting as clouds. If I have any aptitude towards science at all, it is due to his class, a River Jordan I crossed as a Freshman in high school. If I’d had that teacher for further classes it might have been a fork in my road, and I might have developed different disciplines than I did. As it was school went back to being an exercise in monotony until an English teacher made a blackboard as interesting as clouds, when I was a senior. But what mattered most was the clouds.

As I take notes on what is happening up in the arctic I don’t pretend to be a true scientist. Hopefully I entertain scientists, with my observations, by sketching on tracing paper the beauty which astonishes and refreshes me. What is going on reveals the magnificence of our Creator, and all I am doing is going, “Oh Wow” like a lamebrained hippy. But, sometimes, simply by saying, “Oh Wow”, even the weary and jaded look to see what is worth the fuss, even if they only look to have the fun of belittling it.

I’m fairly certain wise meteorologists, if only they had the capacity to utilize the English language, could do a far better job of explaining what is occurring at the Pole this year, but few do. Therefore, in my mischievous way, I jot down my observations.

I noted a persistent swirl of low pressure lurking around the north Pole, even when the AO was negative, and dubbed the swirl, “Ralph.” Then I nourished a bias that allowed me to focus on where Ralph lurked, even when he was shoved off the Pole, (and even, some would say, he didn’t exist at all.) (A bias is a great toy.)

I also noted Ralph needed pulses of milder and moister air to feed him, and for a time dubbed these “Reinforcements”, and numbered them. Once I got to R-22 or so, I got tired of the math, and just called them “feeder-bands”.

Lastly, I noted these feeder-bands didn’t always come north at the same place, and it began to occur to me that they rotated around the Pole in a clockwise manner, as if they were in the polar easterlies, and amounted to a sort of portal, or hole. I’ve dubbed this portal the “Arcticorf”, (for the “Arctic Orifice”), and am currently nourishing an enjoyable bias which allows me to to see the Arcticorf,  even when it is more or less invisible, and an element of my imagination.

When I last posted the Arcticorf had entered its invisible phase. As it crossed Bering Strait it could send Pacific air north as a “Hula-Ralph”, but then it had to swing clockwise across the vast expanse of Siberia, which has zilch to offer in terms of the warmth and moisture necessary for any sort of decent feeder-band. The power of Ralph continued to try to draw air north, but, lacking any help from the Arcticorf, it split the difference, and you got two feeble attempts, one Pacific and one Atlantic. Then, as the Arcticorf approached Europe, the Atlantic input increased, but the heat leaned towards the coast of Eurasia, and also the storms developed down in the Atlantic and used up heat off the coast of Norway:

 

(Missed 12z maps)

By January 14 the Arcticorf had managed to create a weak “Ralph” by the Pole, but the gale off the coast of Norway had stolen a lot of the northbound mildness, and therefore the Atlantic “surge” was nothing like the two prior “surges”, as the Arcticorf crossed the Atlantic. In fact the gale off the coast of Norway brought a sort of anti-surge south, and Iceland had its coldest air of the winter.

But here is where it gets interesting. As the Arcticorf completed its crossing of the Atlantic, seemingly blowing its chance to fuel a third “surge” feeder-band,  an amazing storm took an impossible route, right over Greenland, from south to north. We are talking about a massive obstacle, when we talk of Greenland, with a lot of Greenland’s icecap over 10,000 feet tall. However the amazing storm didn’t give a bleep, (obviously due to help from the invisible  Arcticorf):

Now what are we left with? A new incarnation of Ralph, basically fed by a feeder-band that took an impossible route, coming the wrong way up through Fram Strait, and creating a gale with pressures below 960 mb.

I seem to remember that last summer, when we saw a gale with pressures around 960 mb, there was a lot of talk about how it might be the “strongest ever” or “second-strongest ever.”  Well, the current GFS “initial” map shows a dual centered gale with one center down to 958 mb.

jan-17-ralph-gfs_mslp_uv10m_arctic_1

And will you look at the winds?  The sea-ice is being shoved and crunched and ground up and pulverized by winds between 20 and 40 knots, over a vast area.

I’ll update this post when I get time, and talk about what satellites can see of the sea-ice in the pitch dark, but for now I feel I should just tap a few shoulders and say, “Hey fellas, I know I’m sort of a clown and buffoon compared to you Oh-so-wise authorities, but maybe you should take my nonsense a bit more seriously. Ralph is back, and he’s back with teeth.

What I would ask you to consider is this: Do you think the current derangement of the sea-ice situation at the Pole is due to a difference of a few molecules per million, between this year and last year, in terms of CO2? Or do you think maybe we should consider the possibility the giant star, that heats the whole bleeping planet, has gone quiet?

 

LOCAL VIEW –Boys and Mud–

Moths are drawn to light. Boys are drawn to mud.
It really makes me wonder at men’s reasons
For delight. You can sample people’s blood
And study chromosomes, blame the seasons,
Suspect treason, scowl at boy’s hormones
And still you find your logic hits a wall,
For boys find comfort in oozy, brown zones
That are not really comfortable at all.

Don’t I always warn them, “Do not go there”,
But does mischief ever wisely listen?
They sneak to the mire. Mud-balls fill the air.
I shake my head, wondering what I’m missing.

Soon they’re cold and wet, punished for desire,
And must be bathed clean, and warmed by a fire.

I, as a so-called “Child Care Professional”, (AKA “Babysitter”), am suppose to have the patience of a saint, and will never publicly admit I am otherwise. After all, I might lose my customers if I allowed little children to cause me to bust a blood vessel. Instead I smile as if all is sweetness and light. Some parents become downright indignant if they hear their little angel is a little bastard, and the State?  Well, I would lose my licence. Therefore, in public, I am such a saint that I am sometimes surprised I don’t levitate right up into the clouds. But it all a pretense.

When I want to be more honest about my true feelings, I go to church. This surprises some people, who think church itself is a place of pretense. Many people think church-goers are the snooty hypocrites, with holier-than-thou attitudes, but church involves this thing called, “confession of sin.” It springs from the first chapter of the first letter of Saint John, where he states, “If we say that we have no sin, then we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.”  John goes on to state that if we pretend we are perfect we are basically calling Jesus Christ a liar, and that is no way to score points and gain benefits, spiritually.

Therefore, if you are doing church right, you are in essence standing before God naked, with all your hidden blemishes glaringly obvious, and that includes the fact that, although Jesus stated we should “suffer the little children”, there is a secret part of me, (if not you), that deems them little bastards and wants to throttle them.

Not that I can match the animosity of WC Fields towards children. He was famous for his line, “Go away kid, Ya bother me”,  (later used by Bugs Bunny), and he must have touched a nerve the public recognized, for the public roared with laughter as he behaved like the worst “Child Care Professional” imaginable. Here is an example of him caring for his nemesis, “Baby Leroy”, when what he really wanted to do was play golf.

wc-fields-baby-leroy-fcfc0477a900f360e085678efe76a48f

WC Fields might now be arrested for child abuse. Legend states he once grew so frustrated with Baby Leroy throwing tantrums, as they were trying to film, that he put gin in the child’s baby-bottle, (and that the child performed superbly afterwards). I hate to think what would happen to any modern Child Care Professional who tried such a remedy, (though people do currently turn a blind eye, when children get drugged.)

Those were harder times, as may be seen by thinking about the following testimonial to WC Fields by  Leo Rosten in 1939: “The only thing I can say about Mr. W.C. Fields, whom I have admired since the day he advanced upon Baby LeRoy with an icepick, is this: Any man who hates dogs and babies can’t be all bad.

This is complete and utter blasphemy, in the modern world of a Child Care professional. It just goes to show you that Hollywood was back then as it is now, (IE: inhabited by people who will clap and cheer at statements that will make people slightly ill, outside that particular, Hollywood, space and time).

In any case, I do like dogs and babies, which I suppose proves I can’t be all good. However, as is the case with all affection, there are thorns on the roses. Lord Jesus would not have said we should “suffer” the little children if the little angels didn’t sometimes make you want to scream.

For example, just focus on the fence rail in the background of the picture below:

mud-1-img_4240

I replaced that rail today, (you can dimly see the pressure-treated replacement rail on the ground), and I think it is the twentieth rail I have replaced. I made a mistake, when we opened our Farm-Childcare, because I thought the Childcare would be a brief episode in the farm’s history, as we paid our way towards being a farm that focused on organic produce and goat’s milk. Therefore when I built the fence for the playground I bought the cheaper, untreated rails, though I bought pressure-treated posts. It saved me five hundred dollars back then, and would have been a good idea if we only ran the childcare three or four years, but now it is a decade later and a  major problem, because pine that is not treated with chemicals does not stand up well to rot. (The rails are sound except at the place where they join to the post. That is where the rot sets in.)

Now, despite the weakness of the rails, the rails would hang in there a lot longer if children would obey the rules, and not climb them. They have all sorts of climbing toys, and I also let them climb trees out in the woods more than my wife likes, but when it comes to the rails of the fence, I stand like Moses and command in a deep, booming voice, “Thou shalt not climb the rails!”

But there is one young fellow who doesn’t care a hoot about Moses. He has some gene that makes him inclined to climb fence rails, no matter what. He did so, and broke three rails, at age three. He did so, and broke five rails, at age four. Furthermore, for every time he was reprimanded for actually breaking rails, there are countless times when he was sternly reprimanded for climbing rails when they didn’t break.  Let’s call it 207 times, for the sake of this discussion.

After the first hundred times or so I got a bit exasperated, and the young fellow was punished with a “time out”, especially when the rails actually broke. He was undeterred. The young fellow seemed to figure the odds were against the rails breaking, because they only broke 8 times and didn’t break 207 times. The odds were with him, as he played this Russian roulette, until the rail pictured above broke, and he hurtled backwards and slammed his innocent skull on the frozen ground.  Then his wailing woke the bears.

At this point I think one is expected to rush up and say, “Oh deary me, did the itty bitty boy get a boo boo?” But I am more inclined to walk up with a grim face, and to hold the tearful child’s cheeks in my palms, and to check to make sure the pupils are not crossed or unequally dilated, and, once I am certain there is no brain damage, to ask an amazingly politically incorrect question, namely, “How many times have I told you not to climb those rails?”

What I actually said will remain a mystery, for I don’t want any lurking lawyers to see an opportunity for a lawsuit. I figure I’d lose a lawsuit, as a lawyer would insist I was to blame for not having a perfect fence. Such lawyers think they are a benefit to society by making people find remedies to potential hazards, but I think they are a benefit to insurance companies. Life has more hazards than before, because such lawyers are a hazard, and people are poorer after paying liability insurance, and can’t afford to fix fences.

In the real world, I am eye to eye with a young male who is recognizing I am a worthy adversary, who actually teaches there is such a thing as “accountability”.  There is such a thing as reaping-what-you-sow, such a thing as action-and-reaction, and such a thing as slamming your head on the frozen ground if you ignore the advice of tiresome grown-ups.

Many parents do not agree with my ideas about “accountability”. They make babies and hand them to me, because they have no time to raise their own children. Both parents must work long hours to pay for huge houses they seldom inhabit, to purchase wide-screen TV’s they seldom watch, to buy two amazing cars that commute ten thousand miles a year just to pay for the vehicle, and, lastly, to afford downloading their children onto a cantankerous old coot like me, who actually does like children and dogs.

The hypocrisy involved in the above paragraph is, to me at least, beyond surreal. It is downright splendid.

To return to the subject: In the above photograph, besides the busted fence-rail in the background, you may notice some mud in the foreground. That mud happens to be what, year after year, I work to make lawn, and which, year after year, I tell small children not to tread upon, when conditions become muddy, and which, year after year, children turn into a quagmire that kills the turf I have labored long and hard to establish.

Not that I really care all that much about lawns. I’ve made a lot of money caring for other people’s lawns, but have little time to fuss about my own. But this small area, at the entrance to my place of business, is important not only in terms of my image, but also because if it becomes a quagmire all sorts of slop gets tracked indoors, and my staff has to work overtime cleaning.

Therefore I not only lecture small children to take the long-way-around the area, but I erect barriers of stakes and tape to protect those few square feet of turf, but children are children, and “the shortest distance between two points breaks the law”.  I got tired of being upset all the time, and now take it for granted that the turf will be destroyed on a yearly basis.

Usually that happens in Mud-Season, which is in late March or early April, in New Hampshire.  However this year we are experiencing a full-blown “January Thaw”, which creates a short mud-season in the dead of winter.

A full-blown “January Thaw” makes me nervous, because in my long experience it means winter will come roaring back with a vengeance. [As a teen (in the 1960’s) I recall taking my shirt off to sunbathe by a reservoir in late January, while walking home from school, and then, when I got home, complaining to my mother’s “cleaning lady” about the lack of snow. I still recall the way the wise woman turned and spoke with great authority: “This sort of thaw breeds big snows.” And she was right. We got clobbered that February.]

Therefore I should be repairing my snow-blower and moving firewood onto the porch, making ready for feet of snow, and the last thing I want to spend my time doing is to remind little children over and over and over to stay out of the soft turf by the walkway.

But, of course, kids are not as far-sighted as I am.  They see mud as interesting stuff.  I mean, look at it, by the walkway:

mud-2-img_4241

Don’t you just want to dig your hands into it and make a mud-ball?

Probably not, because you are old and stodgy. But, if you were a boy, you would, even if it was forbidden.

The above picture was far darker a day earlier, as the warm air streamed north and the rain poured down. Darkness was already deepening as the children poured off the school bus at my Farm-Childcare. The above mud was wetter, and more oozy.

My job, at that point, was to stand in the screen-porch and intercept certain children, predominantly boys, who should not go indoors. They had already spent far too much time indoors in rows of desks in classrooms, listening to a droning teacher, and could not have possibly withstood it for six hours without being drugged, but now the medication was wearing off.

To take such children indoors is an exercise in insanity, in my humble opinion.  If you attempt it, you see them bounce off the walls and things get broken. Therefore I make them don proper rain-gear, and we go out into the downpour, and they go wonderfully nuts.

Unfortunately there are certain parents who utter limp-wristed statements such as, “I never thought you’d go outside in today’s rain.”  How the heck they can say this, after enrolling their child in an “outdoors oriented” childcare, which uses the old Swedish motto, “There is no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing,” is beyond me. In any case, some kids arrive in summer dry-weather clothing, and I have to dress them in “loaner” clothing before we can go out to do the neat stuff we do in rainy weather.

This creates a brief gap between the time the children get off the bus, and the time we head out. During this time I am identifying the children wearing short sleeve shirts, and hustling indoors to find them a “loaner” raincoat.  Each time I leave the children unsupervised is likely grounds for a lawsuit, for they sure as heck are up to mischief.

I zipped indoors to grab a raincoat for a whining boy who complained “I have no jacket”. Upon my return I witnessed an amazing thing you cannot see, in the above picture of the attractive mud by the entrance to my Childcare. What I saw was boys wearing mittens scooping up mud.

I likely blurted some dumb question such as, “Didn’t I say to stay out of that mud?” An eight-year-old who likely will grow up to be a lawyer replied, “You said we could not walk on it, but we are not using our feet.”

I was in a hurry, and didn’t have time to think up a profound response, and merely growled,  “I don’t care. Stay away from the mud!” Then I rushed in to find “loaner” boots for a child who arrived in sneakers.

I swear it was less then a minute before I returned to find the children who obeyed me were plastered by mud thrown by the ones who disobeyed.

This mud-ball fight likely has symbolic significance,  for it shows that those who obey wind up muddy, while those who disobey get the pleasure if hurling mud. I may write a sonnet using that theme. However I had no time for sonnets. Instead I had seven wailing children who all wanted to go in and get washed.

There was no way I was allowing the little slobs in my nice, clean Childcare. Instead we headed away into the purple day, where fog we call “a snow-eater” was streaming above the shrinking snow-pack. I figured that if they kept wailing we’d turn back, but once we got moving the wailing ceased as if a switch was clicked. Wet snowballs began flying. At first the snowballs were a bit brown, but very quickly the weather and play cleaned the mud off the boys.

The only person who seemed at all cold was me. In the woods I had cut some pine boughs, and the boys hauled them about constructing a shelter of sorts, as the day darkened to a purple evening, and then my cellphone began chirping, as the staff texted me that parents were arriving. We all went trooping cheerfully back, washed by the rain, and more mellow than before, now that the pent-up energy was expended.

Of course, when we got back to the mud at the front walkway, one lad just had to impress his young mother by taking a big jump dead center into it, splashing some mud onto the legs of her fashionable pants.  All she did was speak his name in a pained voice, and then turn to me and sigh, “His medication is wearing off.”

I wanted to say, “Mud makes a better medicine.”

Instead I said, “Moths are drawn to light. Boys are drawn to mud.”

And that is how a sonnet began.

ARCTIC SEA ICE –The Greenland Anomaly–

One very interesting aspect of the floods of milder air surging up to the Pole the past fall involves the fact that on the western side the winds have often been south on the east coast of Greenland, where winds are usually north. This creates all sorts of confusion, in the contentious world of sea-ice debates, as the south winds have effects counter-intuitive to what I would initially expect,  (which is that south winds are warm winds and lead to less ice.)

It is undeniable that a lot more mild air headed up to the Pole than we have ever seen, since records began to be kept in 1958. The temperatures-north-of-80°-latitude is quite impressive, in terms of warmth as winter approached.

dmi4-1231-meant_2016

There was a lot of Alarmist hoopla about this warmth, as there should be, as it represents a change in usual patterns. I have talked about how the Quiet Sun might be the cause, rather than CO2, in prior posts, but prefer to think in new directions in this post.

One graph I would like to see produced is a graph of temperatures between 70° and 80° north latitude, as well as one for temperatures between 60° and 70° north latitude. The trouble with the above graph is that it is focused in the center of the Arctic Sea, and many times this past autumn the coldest temperatures were around the edges. In fact the coldest temperatures, well below normal, were south of 70°, especially in Asia, where records for cold were set. Therefore the above graph is not seeing the big picture.

However the above graph does demonstrate an “unpresidented” (since 1958) surge of milder-than-normal air was brought up to the Pole. (When  we say “mild” we need to remember “normal” on the Arctic Sea is -30°C, and therefore temperatures can be twenty degrees above normal, and still cold enough to form sea-ice.)

The primary cause of reduced sea-ice extent has not been the lack of ice forming, but rather that the thin skim of ice at the edges has been smashed north by the strong south winds both in Barents Sea and in Bering Strait. (At times those winds have been above freezing when they first arrive at the Pole, but the primary reason for the retreat of the ice is that it is smashed north. After all, when the ice first forms it is only inches thick, and we are talking about gales with waves 15-25 feet tall.) As soon as the winds shift to the north the sea-ice expands south with remarkable speed, amounting to many miles each day, but then it just as swiftly retreats north again when winds turn south again.

It is good fun to watch those who cheer the growth of ice and those who cheer the reduction of ice, because their mood swings can be tremendous in such situations. I guess you could call them bipolar (Ha ha).

In actual fact the “surge” creates all sorts of changes that are somewhat hideously complicated, involving changes in the amount open water, the structure of that water, the currents of that water, and the structure of the ice atop that water when it at last forms. Allow me to quickly list some, as they occur to me, off the top of my head.

A.) Open water loses more heat than ice-covered water, and therefore the water may be at a lower temperature when it is finally frozen over.  This means a lot, for most melting comes from beneath, the following summer, and waters even a half degree colder will melt the ice more slowly.

B.) Protected waters are able to stratify, and layers of milder but less saline water can move considerable distances north, to hasten the melt the next summer. However wind-churned waters are less able to stratify, not only due to turbulence at the surface, but also because when the wind shifts to a frigid direction and the water is cooled and frozen with great speed, plumes of saline, super-cooled water sink.

C.) Regarding the sinking waters, if they are sinking in areas where not much sinking usually occurs, (for example further north when water is open further north), it disturbs the ordinary flow, and makes a mess of my nice, neat charts.

D.) Regarding the flow and my nice, neat charts, having water exposed to strong winds allows surface waters to, at times, move opposite to the ordinary flow of more usual currents. On occasion this can transport ice as well, and if the ice melts it cools the water in its new location, as well as making the water less saline. (A good example occurred last winter in Fram Strait, where usually a cold current drives south, carrying ice down the east coast of Greenland, as a warm current drives north on the east side of the Strait, keeping the west side of Svalbard ice-free. However last winter unusual west winds shifted masses of ice across Fram Strait, from the cold west side to the warm east side, where the ice swiftly melted, reducing the sea-ice extent but greatly cooling the warmer current, even to a point where sank beneath northern waters further south than usual.)

E.) A final effect of the “surge” is increased precipitation, which is almost always snow during the winter. The Pole is described as a “desert”, and often sea-ice has very little snow on top of it. Increased snow has contrary effects, making the ice less-thick during the winter because the snow insulates the sea-water under the ice and keeps the ice from thickening, but during the summer snow reflects the sunshine and slows the thinning of the ice, (and also, even when it finally turns to slush under the 24-hour-sunshine, it uses up a lot of available heat, turning it into latent heat during the phase change from solid to liquid.)

F.) I’m sure there are other complexities I’ve forgotten. (Evaporation on open waters springs to mind.)

It is the subject of increased precipitation that has grabbed my interest today. I’ve read several Alarmist posts about how mild it has been up in Svalbard, and how the waters around the island are all but ice-free, but I’ve read little about the effect all the moist air, and its result snow, will have.

For one thing, any snow that falls on land seems to be dismissed from most Alarmist calculations, concerning the albedo of ice and its ability to reflect sunlight during the melt season. Currently there is no or very little sunlight to reflect to the north, and to the south above-normal snows are reflecting a lot of sunshine, but I see no calculating being done on how this could be cooling the planet.

Secondly a great deal of stress is put on Greenland’s icecap melting away, by some Alarmists. The “surge” is not having that effect.

The “surge” has at times extended to the east coast of Greenland,  and this indeed does reduce the ice-extent graph, for the southbound current on Greenland’s east coast is slowed or even briefly stopped (at the surface) by southerly gales. The sea-ice that flows down that coast is slowed, and this reduces the “extent”. However that leaves more ice to the north to make extent’s higher next summer. (I should note that the “surge” has also been mild enough to slow the growth of “home grown ice”, which does not come from the northbut grows in place, along Greenland’s east coast.)

However the “surge” has also blown huge amounts of moisture inland in Greenland. Wven south winds accomplish this, but the passage of gales up the coast (part of the surge) has turned those winds southeast and even due east. The snowfall over southeast Greenland has greatly increased the amount of the “icecap”.

greenland-2-20170112-accumulatedmap

In fact, just as the mild temperatures at the Pole are “unprecedented”, so too is the yearly increase of mass atop Greenland accumulated at an “unprecedented” rate.

greenland-1-20170112-accumulatedsmb

I should mention Greenland is shaped like a bowl, and the icecap makes it like an overfilled bowl. Ice cannot “slide” off Greenland any more than ice can “slide” out of a bowl of ice-cream (unless you mistakenly fill your bowl when it is upside down). Most ice escapes Greenland’s bowl because it is heaped up to over 10,000 feet high, which creates such pressure that it is squeezed between the mountains around the edge as massive glaciers that reach the sea.

Judging from the above graph Greenland is in no danger of melting. If anything it is increasing, and the glaciers around the edge will be exuding more and not less ice. The only hope the Alarmists have is to point out places where the ice extends out to sea, for if the ice is exuded faster then more great icebergs will break off, and Alarmists can point at them and draw the wrong conclusions.

 

 

ARCTIC SEA ICE –A Third Surge–(With Updated Update late Thursday night.)

I should begin by mentioning the sun has gone spotless for 31 days, using the “layman’s count”, (which doesn’t include sun-specks that would not have been visible with older telescopes.)

spotless-20170109-20170108

Although for years I have heard Alarmists state that the variations in the sun’s output are not enough to cause variations in our weather here on earth, I have seen too many  studies that suggest otherwise, to swallow the idea that the only thing influencing our weather is CO2.  (Exhibit A is the coincidental matching up of the Maunder Minimum with the Little Ice Age).

I should also state I do not think we really understand the engineering involved. It seems hideously complex to me, and to involve a lot more than visible light. The number of cloud partials created by cosmic rays changes, the chemistry of Ozone in the upper atmosphere is effected by shifting levels of infrared radiation (or is it ultraviolet?), and even the frequency of volcanic eruptions at high latitudes increases (due to things I can’t fathom.)

In some ways a Quiet Sun is a wrench in the works of our efforts to comprehend various actions and reactions we thought we were starting to get a handle on. Various cycles and oscillations now are liable to go out of sync,  with the addition of a new factor. (For example, I’ve been waiting patiently for the AMO to move into the second half of its sixty year cycle, where it switches from “warm” to “cold”, but I confess to a certain unease, because the Quiet Sun may mess it all up.)

It was while straining to get my little mind around the enormity of the factors involved that I found myself becoming increasingly aware what a small factor CO2 is, in the totality of the scheme of things. Water is by far the most dynamic and vital greenhouse gas, and is so quick to respond that it likely erases any effect a slight alteration of a trace gas like CO2 has.

However the trivial effect of a rise of  four molecules per million of CO2 in the atmosphere is not trivial in the minds of Alarmists. Sometimes it seems they see absolutely everything as being caused by CO2. If you hit your thumb with a hammer, CO2 is to blame. And therefore, even if CO2 doesn’t effect the physical atmosphere, it sure does effect the mental atmosphere of science and art and politics and even Superbowl parties.

Therefore I am nervous about the hoopla likely to arise when the effects of the Quiet Sun start to manifest, for, as certain as winter follows fall, every cotton-picking thing the Quiet sun causes will be ascribed to CO2. The Alarmists simply will not be able to help themselves. They have been expecting things to go haywire, and therefore when things do go haywire they will congratulate themselves and feel certain they know the cause, when they  don’t. (It is a bit like the mother of ten who stated she knew the cause of pregnancy was pink champagne.)

In any case 31 days without a sunspot is something to sit up and take note of. The sun is most definitely going “Quiet”.

One effect of less energy coming from the sun may be less energetic winds, which produces an effect quite contrary to  what one might expect, namely: Warmer waters.  It is when the Trade Winds get strong that the warmer surface waters get pushed west to Australia, and there is up-welling from the cold deeps off the coast of Peru, and we see the cooler temperatures of a La Nina. When those winds weaken the milder surface water sloshes back east towards Peru and we get the warmer temperatures of an El Nino. Considering the last El Nino was warmer than expected and the current La Nina is not as cool as expected, the Trade Winds would seemingly be the culprit and be weaker, but of course Alarmists immediately blame CO2, not the Quiet Sun.

Then, as soon as you have warmer tropics against a general background of a cooler planet, you can get some rip roaring winds going, further to the north, and also the jet stream may become more loopy, to transport the excess heat north and bring things towards the elusive balance the planet can never achieve (because the sunhine keeps seasonally flipping back and forth from Pole to Pole.) (They haven’t blamed CO2 for that…….yet.)

The loopy (meridional) jet stream has brought a lot of mildness up to the Pole this year, including two remarkable “surges” I have described in these notes, and now it looks like a third is trying to set up.

When I last posted the general area of low pressure I called “Ralph” has at long last been pushed off the Pole by high pressure I dubbed Fred.  The question was whether Fred could hold his ground, and allow some cold air to build over the Pole, or would a new incarnation of Ralph manifest with more mild air rushing north to be squandered to the depths of the arctic night. Right off the bat a pacific “Hula-Ralph” appeared and drew a feeder-band north of Alaska, and Fred slowly backed towards western Russia and weakened.

 

Fred did manage to keep a north Atlantic gale from coming north, but as that storm sank southeast through Scandinavia it pumped high pressure in its wake, and that high pressure slid swiftly to Scandinavia and, on its west side, south winds began to create a new “surge”.  In that surge low pressures began to pop up.

Meanwhile very strong high pressure grew on the Pacific side, and between that high and what was left of Hula-Ralph and the new Atlantic lows a strong cross-polar-flow began to develop from Siberia-to-Canada. This was a complete reversal of the Canada-to-Siberia flow of only a few days earlier.

By January 7th some purple can be seen on the coast of the Laptev Sea, in the temperature map, representing -50°C air pouring off the Tundra. Close to the surface this air is swiftly warmed, for the Arctic Sea is at -1.9°C, just the other side of ice only around 5 feet thick, and compared to -50°C that is like a warm radiator. However not much higher up the air is not warmed much, and it is never good news for North America to see purple in the Laptev Sea and a cross-polar-flow.

Today’s map shows a string of Atlantic lows feeding into the Pole, plus some new Pacific air coming in from the other side. Ralph is back, and the planet continues to squander its reserves of warmth.

The pause between surges did allow temperatures in the Central Arctic to dip with five degrees of normal, but now we shall see if this surge can raise them, and generate more Alarmist hoopla.

dmi4-0109-meant_2017

The extent graph shows a new dip, caused by the erosion of ice in Bering Strait due to the invasion of Hula-Ralph.

dmi4-0108-osisaf_nh_iceextent_daily_5years_en

Between now and the maximum the ice that forms is outside the Arctic Sea, and is fleeting stuff that never lasts very long into the spring. The place most interesting to watch will be Barents Sea. The Atlantic surges have made it hard for ice to expand south there, and Svalbard is experiencing a nearly ice-free winter so far. (I’ve seen Alarmist headlines focusing there.)

concentration-20170109-attachment-1

While there is likely to be all sorts of hoopla about the edges of the ice, and how that effects the extent graph, what I am interested in is whether the “surges” will cause the ice to be thinner.  To me it seems only logical that the imports of milder air should make the ice thinner, (though it might increase the depth of the snow on top of that ice.)

Below is a comparison with last year, at this date. 2016 is to the left and 2017 to the right.

The ice definitely looks thinner on the Pacific side and north of the Canadian Archipelago (except right by the shore), but there is a tongue of thicker ice this year from the Pole towards the New Siberian Islands that is a bit of a surprise to me. I’ll need to think about that.

In earlier posts I’ve commented that when a surge rushes up to the Pole a sort of “backwash” occurs further south. The “Ice Age Now” site is a gold mine of stories about the current “backwash”.

https://www.iceagenow.info/

I like this picture of Istanbul, Turkey:

backwash-2-gettyimages-631224640_master

I’ll likely update later, after I research the Sahara. What is a sea-ice post without a mention of the Sahara? I did notice the cold front marking the edge of the “backwash” was getting down that way, a couple days ago:

backwash-2017010612_eu_analyysi_fi

Notice in the above map it is warmer in Scotland than in Sicily. Scotland is in the “surge”, and Sicily in the “backwash.”

SLOVAKIA 15 DEGREES COLDER THAN NORTH POLE (-35°C VS -20°C)

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SNOW ON GREEK BEACHES

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REFUGEES SUFFER IN GREEK CAMPS AS FUNDS ARE MISHANDLED

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https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/dec/22/thousands-of-refugees-left-in-cold-as-un-and-eu-accused-of-mismanagement

MEANWHILE, BACK ON THE RANCH…

Across the Pond, in North America, a record-setting cold wave has broken, with the arctic outbreak surging all the way to the Carolina’s with sub zero temperatures (-17°C), only, like a big wave followed by a big undertow, to be followed by a surge of mild air up the east coast of the USA. This “January Thaw” is likely the next “surge” headed up to the Pole, as the pattern remains meridional.

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Temperatures where I live in New Hampshire have risen from -2°F (-19°C) two days ago to 41°F (+5°C) this morning. As the warm air pushed north we had a brief blast of heavy wet snow, and the roads were treacherous last night, but this morning it is sunny and breezy and the wet roads are nearly blinding when you need to drive into the low sun. I am enjoying the mildness while I can, because I don’t trust this back-and-forth weather at all. I can recall two winters back when I was a teenager (1960’s) when we had January Thaws so mild I was able to take off my shirt and sunbathe, and both were followed by major snowstorms in February. (One being the “Hundred Hour Snow”.)

LATE THURSDAY NIGHT UPDATE

I’ve had to attend to “important stuff”, which basically boils down to worldly responsibilities (yawn) that one cannot neglect without spiritual repercussions and even spiritual harm. So only now can I stay up late and try to catch up on the cloud-watching I have missed. It amounts to dreaming, so I don’t think it will hurt me all that much if I miss a little sleep.

The “backwash” is a huge distraction. I am suppose to be focused on Sea-ice but the snows that have fallen on the islands of Greece are amazing. Postpone your vacation there, until further notice.

There is other interesting “backwash” news as well, which you can study if you visit the “Ice Age Now” site. But I need to grit my teeth and discipline my mind to focus on the Pole.

The problem is that, though this post is suppose to be about a “third surge”, so far the surge has been a bit of a dud. To really generate sensationalist headlines you need arctic temperatures (in places) thirty degrees above normal, but the best we can seem to manage (so far) is a lousy seven degrees above normal.

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In case you are wondering why seven degrees above normal is no big deal, you should understand the green line in the above graph describes more ordinary and “zonal” conditions at the Pole, when conditions are basically windless and cold air can sink and pool as high pressure. As soon as it gets more windy the air gets more “mixed” and temperatures jump. Therefore to be seven degrees above normal when, rather than “zonal”, conditions are “meridional”, is nothing to write home about. In fact it is a bit boring.

How could this happen to me? I am being embarrassed by this unruly weather!  Here I go to all the trouble of posting a blog with a sensationalist headline, and the weather can’t even bother to do the decent thing, and obey me? What gives?

To find out, I suppose I should look at the maps.

When I began this post we had a lovely train of Atlantic lows training up in what I call “Ralph’s signature hook” to the Pole:

What I failed to notice was in the temperature map. The relatively mild air was not heading straight up to the Pole, but was deflected east along the shores of Siberia.

(Missed Map)

The above map shows a low exploding off the coast of Norway, which involves more heat not making it to the Pole.

In order to visualize the warmth being used up off the coast of Norway, and not making it up to the Pole, it is helpful to look at the UK Met map:

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All the pink fronts in the above maps are “occlusions” which are, in the simplified world of North American weather, basically the warm sector of our tidy weather systems lifted off the ground. Across the Pond, they seldom have tidy weather systems, which likely explains why their better forecasters never have time to comb their hair and look slightly demented. (I call the above map more of a mess than a map.) All I can deduce is that a heck of a lot of milder air never made it to the Pole, and instead is wound up in occlusions off Norway’s coast.

Also the above maps show that the North Atlantic lows have established a more normal north-to-south flow in Fram Strait, and sea-ice can finally progress down the east coast of Greenland.  As was pointed out by the blogger “Fred4d” in the comments of this post, truly cold air is finally getting down to Iceland.

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However the cold is transient, and just as temperatures where I live went from -2°F to 55°F, the slug of mild air passing over me now will reach Iceland by Sunday:

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While this mildness is coming north over the Atlantic, the actual center of the low will crash into Greenland, and transit the over-10,000-foot-tall icecap through what I call “morphistication”, and continue on to be the next incarnation of “Ralph” at the Pole. (If you can believe computer models, that is.)

If this actually happens, it will add to the unreal, “unprecedented” snows they’ve been having on Greenland, which had been experiencing a lull:greenland-1-20170112-accumulatedsmb

Furthermore, it will add to my wonder: I’m puzzled by the fact some of these surges make no headway, and wind up as a tangle of occlusions off the coast of Norway, while the next surge finds the 10,000-plus icecap of Greenland no problem whatsoever and (if the models are correct) traipses right up to the Pole.

Some talk of “blocking high pressure”, but my imagination is thinking about something that doesn’t allow a block, and rather offers an opening. I decided it needed a name, and decided to dub this figment of my imagination an “Arcticorf”. (Short for “Arctic Orifice”.)

Now, we are accustomed to think of storms moving west to east, in the Westerlies, but when they get far to the north we notice over and over they screech to a halt and do a little loop-de-loop, before they fade and our attention is diverted to the south, to a secondary on their cold front. However why do they screech to a halt?  I assume it is because they have left the Westerlies, and are into the rather tenuous Easterlies that irregularly rotate clockwise around the Pole.

The “Arcticorf” is a nebulous opening rotating clockwise around the Pole in the Easterlies (in my imagination) that allows storms to penetrate the Easterlies and reach the Pole, or even continue right across the Pole.

How to test this theory out? Well, lacking the fabulous amounts of money granted to people who are politically correct, I merely keep track of when and where the “feeder bands” of warmth, (in a meridional pattern) make it north to feed the next reincarnation of “Ralph”.  And indeed, the “feeder bands” seem to rotate clockwise around the Pole (and run into problems when crossing the vastness of moisture-less Siberia, but then reappear once they reach the Atlantic).

I am fully aware of how bias will cause me to see what I want to see, but feel I should note that, while the “Arcticorf” was crossing Siberia, the “surge” could not penetrate to the Pole, however, (if computer models are correct), the next surge will have no problem, just when the “Articorf” reaches the Atlantic and makes it possible.

Just sayin’.