ARCTIC SEA ICE –Dawn’s Dusk–Updated

It has been two weeks since I’ve posted on Sea-ice.  Plenty of distractions inflict me as I attempt to squeak by, running a Farm-childcare, not the least of which is the tantrums and accusations and threats.  And no, I’m not talking about the children. I’m talking about Washington DC.  (When voters demand the swamp be drained, leeches that live in the swamp will feel threatened, and will fight for their lives, claiming they are protected species in protected wetlands.)  I find it all disconcerting, like the rumbles of thunder over a distant horizon. If my government is going to dissolve into civil war I had best know about it, especially as some on the left have suggested Climate Change Skeptics should be executed.

More than ever I need to get away to gaze at clouds and sea-ice. I do so with a wistful feeling, for two reasons, the first being that I have a sense funding for arctic research will dry up. There may be no cameras this summer. The left no longer needs to do a bad job of being coy, as it promotes balderdash, and arctic scientists, having served their purpose as useful tools, will abruptly be cast aside. The debate will likely shift from whether the world is threatened by Climate Change to whether the world is threatened by Donald Trump, who looks like he wants to make the left  stop hiding its cards. If the situation disintegrates arctic sea-ice will be of far less importance. (A bit like having a holiday at a summer cottage on the beach was more important in 1938 than in 1940, when the beach faced the English Channel.) And that is the second reason I am wistful. There comes a time to put away our joys the same way we put away our toys.

Winston Chruchill wrote,


but he had to put away his brushes in 1939. Apparently only once, during the duration of the war, did he find time to paint, and even that was, perhaps,  politically motivated. In 1943, in Marrakesh, he sat down before an empty canvas to paint something for FDR.


And here is his lone wartime painting:


My life is far less grandiose, but there have been times simply surviving took priority. During my drifting days it seemed every winter involved long months when I simply put my small, portable typewriter away in its case, and didn’t see it until spring. If course, eyes go right on seeing the beauty of Truth and the vulgar ugliness of falsehood,  but at best you can only scrawl notes on the back of an envelope. Most of your brain gets used up by more mundane stuff.

I have a melancholic sense we may look back at our days of looking at sea-ice with wistful nostalgia. Hopefully I worry too much. In any case, I look north with the special relish one has, when one feels they may be doing something for the last time.

When I last posted on February 20 Ralph (the persistent low pressure at the Pole), had gone on vacation, and the calm had allowed the cold to build to normal levels for the first time all winter.

I am just going to publish the maps, and hopefully find time for analysis later. The main things to note are that the high pressure on the Pacific side never positioned itself in a way that tore ice away from the north coasts of Alaska and Canada (as it did last year), and so far no polynya has formed offshore of the Mackenzie Delta, and instead ice has been crammed into that entrance-region of the Northwest Passage.  (This does not bode well for our intrepid adventurers, this summer, though there is still time for a polynya to form.) Second, despite the fact there has been no true “surge” there has been a sort of “seep”, creating very weak versions of Ralph, as well as Ralph’s “signature” on the temperature maps. Third, the extreme cold towards the Pacific has thickened the ice over there a lot. (I hope to add comparison maps later.) Fourth, there have been lulls in the extreme snows over Greenland, but also whopper-storms, (I hope to add a graph later).

With any luck I’ll update this afternoon, but now it is time for church. Bitter cold here, after nice thaws last week. Down to 1° F (-16°C) at daybreak.

Missed maps


For some reason I can’t access the Nanal Research Lab maps, buy using the most recent maps I’ve saved you can see how swiftly the ice has thickened up towards Bering Strait, even two weeks ago. (January 20 to the left, February 20 to the right.) In average it is three feet thicker.


Here is more recent the DMI “modled” thickness map.


We now can get some visible satellite imagery from those waters, and they seem less broken up than recent years, which I find a bit surprising, considering some incarnations of Ralph were fairly powerful gales. If you zoom in to the limit you can see some leads that have frozen over, but these are minor compared to the hundred-mile-wide leads seen other years.


The Barrow webcam at the top of Alaska see motionless fast-ice along its shoreline.


It is still early, but I have the sense the ice, even if not thicker, is more rigid than last year, and so far is without the polynyas of open water along the shores.

The ice has been more active in the Laptev Sea. The older the ice is the whiter it looks in the image. The whitest lobe at the top is not land, but land-fast ice, with a narrow polynya of open water at its edge. However the polynyas are minor, compared to some years, when constant off-shore winds from Siberia make the Laptev the greatest contributor of exported ice that crosses the Pole and piles up on the Canadian Archipelago coast, but leaves the Laptev with nothing but a skim of baby ice at the start of the summer melt.


The “surges” that fed Ralph did a good job of smashing the ice up to the northwest of the Kara Sea, off Novaya Zemlya, but it has constantly been refreezing.


The most mobile ice is the ice streaming south along the west coast of Baffin Bay and out to sea along the coast of Labrador. Some of this ice even starts up in the thick ice along the north coast of the Canadian Archipelago, and gets squeezed through Nares Strait, the narrow channel between the Archipelago and Greenland. Although this ice contributes to the dynamics of Atlantic currents, especially the cold Labrador current, it will nearly all be gone by September.


The “seep” of milder air that shows up in the temperature maps also shows up in the temperature graph as a slight spike upwards, nothing like the earlier “surges”. It remains very cold up there despite the increasing daylight. The night is still constant at the Pole, and at the Arctic Circle the nights are still longer than the days, and when the sun is up it is still low.


Last but not least, there is the extent graph that tended to generate a hubbub this time of year, especially as it is at low levels, largely due to the “surges” repressing growth in Barents Sea. Personally I don’t think it matters much, for a lot of the ice is fleeting and in places like the Gulf of Saint Lawrence or the Sea of Okhotsk, where it never lasts long into May. However the hubbub can be entertaining, (largely due to the people involved), so, stay tuned!


P.S.  If anyone becomes aware of any new drifting buoys, with or without cameras, I’d be interested in hearing about them.


The Navy maps are back on line. Here is a comparison of January 20 (left) with March 5 (right).

Comparison with last year’s map. (2016 to left and 2017 to right). Besides the obvious thicker ice last year, (yellow on Canadian side of Pole), notice thin ice ( as little as six inches) northeast of Mackenzie Delta in Canada, and Northeast coast of Alaska, and west coast of Hudson Bay, in 2016, that is 2-6 feet thicker this year.

Thickness 20160305 Attachment-1thickness-20170305-attachment-1



21 thoughts on “ARCTIC SEA ICE –Dawn’s Dusk–Updated

  1. You are -16C and I am -14C …. we are getting cheated by GLO-BULL warming and a double cheat is that I never did get any of the Big Oil cheques that us deniers are suppose to be receiving 😦

  2. “I find it all disconcerting, like the rumbles of thunder over a distant horizon.”

    Caleb, if you hear distant thunder, it is because the Leftists are caught in a “perfect storm”. Their world of pseudoscience, false religions, hypocrisy, and lies is getting pummeled by high winds, huge hail, heavy flooding, and terrifying lightning.

    So, as you enjoy the sea ice, enjoy the distant thunder.

    I think it is called “schadenfreude”.


    • Schadenfreude is fine if the wicked are getting their comeuppance, for that suggests there is such a thing as Truth, and just deserts, and Justice. It is not unspiritual to be happy over another’s pain in such a case, because Justice is actually a process that brings one around to repentance, which leads to rehabilitation, (if one is genuine and not merely faking it.)

      What I find most alarming about some members of the left is that they appear to believe there is no such thing as Justice, beyond this “End” (which they never, never arrive at), which makes their illegal and unjust “Means” somehow “justified.” They don’t blink at breaking any and all laws, for their “End”.

      We have seen this ends-justifies-the-means mentality in our little microcosm of arctic sea-ice, when the left falsifies public records “for the cause of saving the planet.” This is an anathema to true Science, which is suppose to be all about Truth. (It also happens to be against the Ninth Commandment, “Thou shall not bear false witness”, but I suppose that means nothing to the sort of atheist who lack a conscience (some are very conscientious) …unless they happen to find out they were wrong, before a Throne, after they die.)

      In any case I do not expect the left to go gently into the good night of Justice. They will fight and claw and kick and scream and use every trick in the book to avoid Justice. If need be, they will take down the entire Nation with them, which makes me most nervous. Some members of the left sound like a person on the verge of a murder-suicide, and they would be quite glad to see a civil war.

      • They might be fighting themselves or thin air, as we sit back and laugh. A call to block the prez’ twitter a/c. Truth hurts aye! Sort of sounds like near – surrender?
        Impressive ice photos. That stuff appears to mean business.

      • Block his twitter? That would be an odd way to promote “Freedom of Speech”, if even the elected President was silenced.

        Actually many on the left achieve a peculiar deafness even when you speak. Perhaps they put their fingers in their ears and go, “La-la-la I’m not listening.”

        Try visiting a left-wing site and having a discussion. If you are not merely immediately snipped, you get hit by all sorts of abusive name-calling, and they never discuss a single point. (Some are better, and will enjoy the broadening landscape of shared thought, but sadly they are an exception to the rule.)

        The prophet Isaiah, speaking of the “chosen people”, his own society, anguishes, “They have eyes but cannot see and ears but cannot hear.” Perhaps we are experiencing something similar.

        Pray constantly for a Great Awakening.

        Sometimes I just need to get away and look at clouds and sea-ice.

  3. At the risk of repeating myself, I first saw this from the marxist group (PYM) running NZ’s anti-Vietnam rallies. Utterly foulmouthed and abusive. They are no different now. Not able to create, only destroy. Shows who they work for. I console myself by thinking of how feeble they are really, almost all of them. While Trump and May get the job done, and the snowflakes yap away. Most amusing, and amusement sure is needed…..
    Down to -57C today in east AA,3rd or 4th cold snap as the sun gets near setting.

    • Thanks. It will take me a while to get to know the buoys and to figure out how to download data, but all information helps. Too bad there is so little on the Russian side.

      What I miss most is the cameras.

      • Several nights ago I was bugging my wife about watching her “home renovation porn” on TV and I just had the thought that your missing cameras are depriving you of your arctic sea ice porn 😉
        Calgary is stuck in the deep freeze mode. It is nice to see the sun up before 7 and the longer days and there is warmth in the sun …. very noticeable when u park a car in the sun while shopping and yet we stay in the – 10 to -15 C range and are to be stuck here for another week at least. Hard on the wallet as the furnaces seem to run endlessly (but I am toasty warm).
        My second home is hitting its winter groove with just over 8 metres of snow to date and nothing but more storm systems moving in off the Pacific in the forecast. Had some great powder skiing the past week before handing the condo over to my son and his friends for a boys ski break. Some of the guys had never seen Fernie at it’s best and were blown away by all the snow in the high alpine. This is a true winter in western Canada … the east not so much.

      • It is a bit surprising to me that you’ve had such a cold winter. Maybe we always see the world through our own situation, but, just glancing at the maps, I was noticing your Chinooks and missing your snows. I’m glad you got some glorious skiing. Now it looks like winter is going to remind the USA its still around.

        Be careful about teasing your wife about her “home renovation porn”. We always see our spouse’s addictions, but they see ours in return.

        I looked in the mirror to see what I might give up for lent, and decided I’d give up my evening cocktail. It turned out denying myself that simple pleasure is making me surprisingly crabby, but I’m sticking to it. I figure we should not let anything get too great a hold of us, not even Arctic Sea-ice.

        A local radio host is giving up drinking Diet Moxie, for lent. He figured that would be safest, because he never drinks it to begin with.

        I think we are all put together to prefer some things and shun other things. As far as addictions go, skiing is likely one of the better ones, akin to an addiction to beauty and music. But if the addiction had too great a hold on you, you’d never hand over the condo and let your son ski. Obviously you have some qualities that may get you nominated for sainthood.

  4. If the so-called alarmists had played it straight and practiced science rather than religion, we would all pretty much be on the same page, trying to do what scientists do, namely seek the truth with no preconceived notions.

    Instead, they chose to play fast and loose with both the data and the scientific method to promote a trillion dollar doomsday scam. Telling the ignorant to pay the piper and give up their rights, or die. Sort of like when the bandit says “Your money or your life!”

    With their iron fisted control of the media and academia, they thought no one could ever successfully oppose them. They could get away with any lie under the guise of science. No lie was too blatant or ridiculous not to be foisted on the public.

    Unfortunately for them, lots of people like me and you started smell testing and checking the actual facts. We quickly began to realize that we were being lied to. Big time! Thanks in large part to the Internet and blogs like yours, the truth is now winning out.


  5. All the “twitter spats” is a smokescreen. Trump is doing fine with the real work. Any M&A guy will tell you that, after a takeover, one third of the people in the target will be GONE within six months. Hatchet guys like Pruitt at EPA are experts in breaking peoples’ spirits and making fools quit in an orgy of self-destructive pomposity.

  6. @bea: Quiet dogs, quiet sun? It just faded here in the Sth Pacific too. Past experience leads me to expect some late activity into winter. However, the present
    may prove to be new territory……

    • I read a comment over at WUWT suggesting that the Quiet Sun might enhance tropical storm activity. I should have saved it. I think it was something about a Quiet Sun creating a calm upper atmosphere. (Less sheer?) But I’m not sure about that. If the Quiet Sun slows the Easterlies at the equator then the upwelling of cold water is less. That should make it warmer at the equator even as the Quiet Sun makes it colder at the Pole, which might make more sheer, as the jet stream could get meridional to try to balance things out.

      I suppose, as usual, we’ll have to sit back, and wait and see.

      • Yes, the equator-poles gradient is positted to rise because output potential is unchanged (to space at 3K), while input is lowered slightly. But indeed, it takes time, ie a lag before effects are apparent. We may have been getting the meridionality for a year or two. Wind-based tropical effects may be starting already eg quick change to El Nino. But that’s a toss-up still. Same for cyclones.
        Definite AA sea ice extent increase yesterday at last.

  7. I was looking with awe at the current and upcoming weather. Like -6 in Frenchville, ME during the warmest time of the day! It looks almost certain that you will be well below 0 tonight.

    Even we in DC should be in the teens tonight. Good bye cherry blossoms!

    Then it looks like a foot of snow Monday night and Tuesday from us all the way up to you.

    No real warm up this upcoming week with more snow due late in the week, thought that is always questionable, that far out in time.

    All totally consistent with catastrophic global warming (right!)

    • Sad about the cherry blossoms getting ruined. But perhaps that is what it takes to get the attention of the “our children will not know what snow looks like” crowd.

      We only got a dusting as the last storm passed out to sea south of us, but then got some squalls as this cold air moved in. I woke up to an unexpected two inches of powder snow this morning. The winds were nasty, and at the side of a big corn field I drove through a drift a foot deep the wind had made of the two inches.

      I was telling the kids at our childcare to stay out of the mud on Thursday, and it was solid as rock on Friday.

      Some runs of the models are showing us getting two feet, as the storm loop-de-loops in the Gulf of Maine, moving inland over Portland. Grumble-grumble-grumble. But I suppose it could be worse. The Blizzard-of-1888 gave us four feet, with winds gusting to sixty, and drifts right over houses. (New York City also got 4 feet in 1888, but Boston only got 2 inches of slush.) That was March 10-14.

      Winter is never over until it’s over.

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