ARCTIC SEA ICE –Ralph Versus Beaufort High–Updated Sunday Night–

This will have to be quick. Certain uninformed people seem to feel sea-ice is not important. They may well be right, but they have gone to bed and I’m still up. But a certain pick-up truck, even less informed than warm and living humans, was so selfish that it blew its starter engine. Therefore I am facing a time of doing stuff that has little to do with sea-ice. But I do snatch this moment, when all are asleep, and when it is too dark and rainy to work on pick-up trucks.

The big news seems to be temperatures are below normal at the Pole. Whoop-de-do. I predicted it, but can’t claim any accolades because I predicted they would dip below normal today, May 13, and I blew that forecast, for it happened nearly two weeks ago, on May 2.

DMI4 0513 meanT_2017

I have suggested that we should not expect to see the “Quiet Sun’s” effect until the Pole has a sun that can effect it. To some this is illogical. How can the rising of the sun make temperatures below normal? Well, it is a colder sun rising, than it was in the past, and though the rising  does warm, it does not warm as much. Just look at the old graphs. Ever since the sun has gone “quiet” this phenomenon has occurred.

Some Alarmists pout and sulk about such a dip below normal. This surprises me. Don’t they know the “Quiet Sun” dipped temperatures below normal even in 2012?  And was not that the year that set the modern record for the least ice?

DMI4 meanT_2012

Before Alarmists become too manic and overjoyed, I should also point out a few differences, which make me say I highly doubt this year’s sea-ice will approach the 2012 lows.

The first is that in 2012 the Quiet Sun, though quiet, was at its maximum. It may have been a low maximum, (“unprecedented” in modern records) but it was a maximum all the same. Now we are plunging back towards the minimum, and can’t expect such a boost.

Secondly, (and this is an amateur, layman’s observation), the Quiet Sun seems have to have increased the likelihood of summer gales over the Arctic Sea. (I assume this is due to an increase in the clash between colder polar air and air to the south.) 2012 was marked by the first of a series of sub-970 mb gales, which, if I may be allowed 20-20 hindsight, are manifestations of low pressure which I in my whimsy have dubbed “Ralph”.

Not all these gales are as effective as the 2012 gale was, when it comes to melting sea-ice. There was a gale in 2013 which was striking, because it failed to melt anywhere nearly as much ice as the 2012 gale did. Why not? My assumption is that the 2012 gale was able to stir up a slightly warmer but more-saline layer of water below the colder but less-saline surface water, but the 2013 gale was unable to access such waters, because the the 2012 gale had stirred the waters so much the sub-surface layer was “used up.”

That layer may have been in some ways replenished during 2014 and 2015, especially as a feature dubbed “The Warm Blob” appeared south of Bering Strait. Therefore last summer, when not one but two sub-970 mb gales churned the Arctic Sea, to some degree the sea-ice could again be melted by sub-surface waters being churned up. However, if this idea has any merit, we now should assume the sub-surface layer has again been “used up.” In other words, the situation under the sea-ice is not the same as 2012, and should be more like 2013.

The “situation under the sea-ice” has become, to me at least, the deciding factor in the summer melt. Too many times have I seen ice refuse to melt, despite thaw, and then have seen ice melt despite freezing above. Even though I am a person who trusts my lying eyes, I have seen stuff happen that indicates something I can’t see, a sort of lurking subconscious, is in control.

There are brave scientists who seek to understand the “situation under the sea-ice.” It is no joke to go into the situations they enter to gain “data”. When most think of the word “data” they don’t conceive of the chance of meeting a 1500 pound bear, or slipping into water below the freezing point of blood, that can kill you faster than strychnine. Such scientists deserve praise and funding. When their funding is cut, while the bleating bureaucrats in Washington DC get fat, it is an insult to science.

The only reason a fellow like me can mutter conjecture about the “situation under the sea-ice” is because the fellows who do the hard work get too little funding to produce the data to shut me up. If they could only show me the facts, I’d mutter no more, but the few facts we have makes me mutter all the more.  Consider this ARGO buoy data from the north Atlantic:

Don’t get me wrong. I am no Math-whiz, and I’m not known to pinch with calipers, but the above graph does give me a layman’s sense some colder-than-we-have-seen water is heading up through the North Atlantic to be part of the “situation under the ice”.

Given this information, I can’t say the sea-ice will be in any hurry to melt this summer. I could be wrong, but I will be more surprised by a summer like 2012, and not as surprised, as some may be, by a summer like 2006, (which began lower than most winters but ended higher than most recent summers.) In fact this year does look in some ways like 2006:

DMI4 0511 osisaf_nh_iceextent_daily_5years_en

In order to see how meaningless (in many ways) such extent graphs are this early in the melt-season, look below. The dashed green line was lowest in September (2012) while the purple line was highest (in recent years) in September (2006). (Our current year is in light blue.)

Extent 20170513 FullSizeRender

Certain Alarmists, who do not look very deeply, simply looked at the situation a month ago, and, because 2017 was so very far below 2012, assumed the same would be the case in September. If I dared differ, they adopted a state of high dudgeon. However here we are, only a month later, and this year’s extent is misbehaving. We are still below 2012, but much less so, and we are ahead of 2006, which makes us ahead of the most sea-ice, for September, in recent times.

The state of high dudgeon some Alarmists are now in is mostly because they have never bothered dig deep, and don’t see the other, obvious stuff that “ice extent” involves. Instead they see a graph aim a certain way, and assume it will continue. It is absurd. It is as if a baseball player went three-for-four during the first game of the season, and was batting .750, and they then assumed the batter would hit .750 all season.

Baseball, and arctic sea-ice, is not so simple.

Tomorrow, if I have time, I’ll update this post with maps. I may not have the time, due to a pick-up truck that could care less about arctic sea-ice, and therefore I’ll now briefly summarize.

The Beaufort High has tried to assert itself, but has been bothered by ghosts of Ralph.

The first ghost came north through the western Canadian Archipelago, and a second is now coming north through east-central Siberia. Ralph refuses to be written-off, but the Beaufort high refuses to be written off either. A brawl like Hagler-and-Hearns is developing, and you don’t want to miss it.

Stay tuned.

SUNDAY NIGHT UPDATE

While updating the maps I’d like to reintroduce an idea I was toying with last summer. Like many of my theories, this idea fails to work a lot, but it works just enough to intrigue me. It is a sort of Madden-Julian Oscillation (MJO) of the far north, the Mad Old Hooligan Oscillation, (or MHO, as we in-the-know call it.) It theoretically travels invisibly around the Pole from east to west, screwing up the west-to-east motion of storms cruising northeast on the westerlies.

It is the MHO that causes storms politely traveling northeast to veer left and loop-de-loop. It is also the cause of the “feeder-bands” that peel off the more zonal west-to-east flow and stream north to feed the phenomenon of “Ralph” at the Pole.

The MHO  is least apparent in normal and more zonal flows, but becomes more apparent when the flow becomes meridional due to a Quiet Sun, or major volcano, or some other wrench-in-the-works of normal climate-functioning. Because it is so unapparent it is not included in textbooks or climate models, however the MHO explains some of Ralph’s reincarnations during these abnormal Quiet Sun times.

The MHO becomes more apparent when the winter westerlies wind down into their kinder, gentler summer state. It is then that the feeder-bands (or perhaps feeder-blobs) start to head north in a regular, nearly predicable fashion, moving around and around the Pole in a east to west manner.

For example, during the rare occasions when the MHO works without a hitch, you could expect a feeder-band from the Atlantic to be followed by a feeder band up through the Canadian Archipelago, followed by a feeder-band from the Pacific up through Bering Strait, followed by a feeder-band up through East Siberia, and then one up through west Siberia, and then one up through Europe, and finally one up through the Atlantic again.

The problem is: The feeder bands vary greatly in their nature, coming from such different backgrounds, and because some are very maritime while others are very continental, they can magnify or diminish the pulse they are part of, even to the degree that the MHO is only noticed by mad, old hooligans, which is how it got its name.

In any case, as the winter westerlies calm down I’ll point out the MHO-symptoms as I see them.

Also, because I get tired of typing “Beaufort High” I am just going to call it “Byoof”, as a sort of antagonist to “Ralph.”

I was expectring Byoof to be stronger and Ralph to be weaker, because the lagged effects of a strong El Nino have given way to the lagged effects of a weak La Nina, but Ralph wouldn’t quit. In our last bunch of maps we seemed to see the MHO start to send feeder-blobs north, right into the guts of Byoof. The first came from the Pacific and over east Siberia on April 22 and though weak wiped Byoof off the face of the map by April 24. As the MHO swing east west, another feeder-blob came north through Kara Sea and was smack dab over the Pole as a reincarnated Ralph on April 28. As the MHO continued east west the next feeder-blob came up from Greenland on May 1 and crossed the Pole on May 2 as a weak Ralph, even as Byoof  struggled to reestablish itself north of Canada, which gave us this situation on May 3:

Of course, I was interested to see if the MHO could continue around to the east west, perhaps sending a feeder-blob north through Baffin Bay. However wouldn’t you know it? DMI chose just then to go down for nearly a week. I had to go the Ryan Maue’s maps at the Weatherbell site (week free trial offered). This knocked me off stride, as did some inane comments I needed to respond to. Also temperatures north of 80° north latitude were taking a plunge below normal as near-record cold occurred south of 80° in the New Siberian Islands. (And, oh yes, there was also a small matter called earning my living to attend to.)

In any case, by the time the DMI maps were back on line I figured the MHO should have moved on west to Alaska, but instead a low was battling north through the Canadian Archipelago. It shoved Byoof right out of position and up over the Pole.

Though weakened, this low persisted north, shoving Byoof right into the north Atlantic.

By the time this low reaches the Pole it was about the most feeble Ralph we’ve ever seen. Still, it was king of the mountain. In the map below you can see a new Byoof is re-firing in Ralph’s wake, in the archipelago.  The new Ralph is cut off from reinforcements in that direction. Also, perhaps, the invisible MHO has moved on to the west, and no longer supports from Canada, as it is crossing Bering Strait. Will new reinforcements arrive from east Siberia, as the MHO gets there? Watch what happens:

Amazing. Ralph is sitting on the Pole again, and this time the feeder-blob came from Siberia.  Byoof does regain his foothold in the Beaufort Sea, but is having quite a battle keeping his dominance.

I just wanted to show you how the idea of a MHO circling the east-to-west Pole occasionally seems to make a shred of sense. We just saw the invisible make a full circuit. However now that I have pointed it out it may vanish, or become next to impossible to see. (However the same can be said of the MJO: Now you see it, now you don’t).

I’m glad we have O-buoy 14 in place, for we were able to see the feeder pulse (or pulses, for there may have been two) pass north. For a while the camera saw only gray fog, and when the sun came out the BHI effect allowed us to see brief spikes above freezing. (BHI stands for Buoy-Heat-Island, for the skin of buoys is darker than the snow, and thus warmer.)

Obuoy 14 0514 temperature-1week

Obuoy 14 0510 webcam

When the sun returned we witnessed a sparking fresh fall of snow.

Obuoy 14 0513 webcam

Within a day it was wind-whipped into the stiff, sculpted stasrugi of all the rest. The landscape is in fact very arid, and the total snowfall is in inches, not feet.

Obuoy 14 0514 webcam

For the moment this ice is frozen fast and not budging, but it is amazing where the buoy is located, at the junction of a number of important channels in the Northwest Passage. I think we could not have chosen a better place if we had airdropped it by helicopter. I hope very much it survives.

Little change at Barrow, despite Byoof bringing some east winds. It is mostly gray weather, and the ice remains frozen fast to the shore. Temperature is at 23° (-5°C)

Barrow 20170513 23_02_19_229_ABCam_20170514_065900.jpg

The dark line along the horizon may be the reflection of dark water over the horizon on low clouds. However Buoy 2017A to the north still reports ice over three feet thick and thickening.

2017A 20170513 2017A_thick

It will be a while yet before the real melt begins. Stay tuned.

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34 thoughts on “ARCTIC SEA ICE –Ralph Versus Beaufort High–Updated Sunday Night–

  1. Loss of sea ice volume since 2011 and 2006 at this time of year is 10% and 20%, respectively. Area and extent are easier to measure from space but volume tells the real story.

  2. Here you are again, back with your blather about volume. Sigh. I think you have already made your point. It is the prerogative of old men like me to be repetitive, and even then we are only allowed to do so in our own homes (and websites). You have no business being so boring.

    Just to state your point, so you feel heard, you think the PIOMAS data shows the volume is much less, so that even when things look the same visually from outer space, there is more (or less) than meets the eye. The mass of the ice is much less, and that is cause for concern.

    There. I have stated the current sound-byte that all Alarmists seem to be retreating to, now that other predictions have failed to come to pass. Happy?

    The problem is that volume is incredibly hard to measure. You need go no farther than the impossible variations in the day-to-day thickness maps to understand the difficulties involved. A thousand square miles of six-foot-thick sea-ice can become three-feet-thick over night, or even vanish completely. This is physically impossible, but is what they have got to use, to calculate volume.

    I think it is for this reason that volume calculations vary greatly, among the people attempting this difficult task. Likely this explains why the DMI volume calculation disagrees with the PIOMAS calculation you seem fixated on. Please note DMI seems to show our current volume slightly exceeds last year’s.

    Not that I think volume matters that much. It is a red herring dragged across the trail of the original debate, to distract the hounds from their quarry.

    In case you were not around back then, the original debate revolved around the word “albedo”, and involved how much summer sunlight would be reflected to outer space by blindingly white ice, as opposed to how much sunlight would be absorbed by the dark blue waters of the Arctic Sea. As such, it doesn’t matter if the ice is an inch thick or a mile thick. What matters (supposedly) is the surface area that is white.

    In conclusion, the discussion about volume is a distraction from the true topic of “albedo”.

    I should likely add that it has not been my experience that thicker ice is much good, (as insurance against melt), when the water beneath is warmer. It can melt away with surprising speed. Nor is thinner ice a liability, when the water beneath is colder. It can remain with astonishing stubbornness.

    Therefore, if you want to go on and on about volume, go somewhere else. Other things are of greater interest to me, and my time is limited.

  3. That is right. Do we care when losing all or most of the sea ice in summer would likely result in cooling of the sea over winter. It could even be blown out in winter. Antarctica loses most of its sea ice yearly, not a problem. Believing in models, that is one. The historical evidence is of massive losses at times. Wadhamising over recent decades is now a matter of ribaldry, do you get that sty? Guess not.

    • The simple fact the Greenland Vikings could dig graves and plow fields in lands that are now iron-hard permafrost should be enough. However some “have eyes but cannot see.”

      There has been an unwillingness to really study the MWP, and see what sort of shift could have caused such dramatic changes. It seems an Arctic Climate shifted into a sort of Maritime Climate, likely due to a warming of the coastal waters (at least for the first half of winter, but likely more.) Instead there has been a willful effort to turn a blind eye to the MWP, as it is “inconvenient”.

      The funny thing is that there is a real eagerness to see how an Arctic Climate might turn into a Maritime Climate, in the current situation. For example, below Sty states, “Once the volume stops dropping the energy that was earlier needed to melt the ice is available to warm something else (water?).”

      He is actually working out what happened in the MWP. Unfortunately we are not moving into a MWP (though it is much to be desired) but rather a LIA provoked by the Quiet Sun. Or so I think. Time will tell.

      • Caleb, the Southern tip of Greenland is minuscule and has close connections with currents in the Atlantic that are known to be variable. For size comparison, the continental USA covers only 1.8% of the surface of the planet…Southern Greenland is almost a point measurement. MWP is being studied and I don’t know what is the current thinking of how widespread it was (global, hemispheric or regional).

        It will take some time to see what an effect the quieter Sun will have – some for sure but is it enough to overpower other drivers of global climate? Do you think we will have an idea during this solar cycle, or is a longer wait necessary? The only way to have an idea beforehand is modelling.

      • Amazing. You cannot understand how ridiculous you sound.

        1.) You diminish the evidence you find inconvenient to a “point.” But to sail from the Baltic to the west coast of Greenland in basically open boats is a whole lot of points, commonly called “a line”, hundreds of miles long. We do have reports of the conditions back then. It was warmer.

        2.) You say the MWP is “being studied”. Good. Science is never finished. But your attitude seems a way of ignoring all the study that has already been done.

        3.) “The only way to have an idea beforehand is modelling.” You are trapped in a box you cannot think outside of. It is doing your thinking for you. I tell you, God gave you a brain for a reason. Use it.

  4. Right, from an albedo POV area and extent are super important. Cryosat has so far agreed well with PIOMAS so far, time will tell how both PIOMAS and Cryosat can deal with the rapidly.changing & thinning ice also in the future.

    Once the volume stops dropping the energy that was earlier needed to melt the ice is available to warm something else (water?).

    • “Once the ice is gone…” Sigh. We’ve been waiting and waiting. But maybe this year? Stock up on popcorn.

      I’ll bet you a nickle the extent doesn’t get as low as last year.

      • I’m just stating the obvious, if the current multi-decade trend does not stall or reverse soon the multiyear ice will be gone within a decade or two. This is apparently very difficult to forecast with models (since they cannot reproduce even the ongoing losses one cannot have much confidence in their ability to predict). Surprises are sure to happen!

      • “If the multi-decade trend does not stall or reverse soon the multiyear ice will be gone in a decade or two…”

        …and we keep waiting and waiting…and whatever happened to 2015 as the disaster date?

  5. Brett, which “massive losses” you are referring to? Regional (say, north of 50 deg) climate will surely change once (or even before) the summer and multiyear-ice have all but disappeared. That does not seem to be very far in the future, unless the trend changes soon. I think this is a realistic viewpoint.

    • We have referred you to sources that talk about low ice-extents of the recent past, but you seem to have a blind spot, preferring the single study that ignores all the other studies and states the current low extent is “unprecedented.”

      Considering we took the time to answer your question before, it becomes a little offensive that you again ask, “which “massive losses” you are referring to?”

      We are referring to the exact same references we referred to before. Been there, done that. If you don’t want to listen don’t ask.

      • (Comment Snipped. Your questions about history have already been answered. If you don’t think it happened, so be it. I’d rather discuss what happened then why things didn’t.)

  6. As Caleb has noted, I think, the idea of an ice-free pole such as seemed possible in the times of the Scoresbys, then of Nansen etc., and now Wadhams the great polar explorer, has a geographical challenge. No sun, insufficient energy. Should we see it, it would be fascinating but not toasty. Just a few people are forgetting that 7yrs is about as old as that sea ice ever gets. Quite an ice-machine…..I suppose Greenland and Antarctica show how a simple non-climatic, non-gaseous, condition makes all the difference. Two miles height of ice, when it cannot float away. Though it was not there 20 million years ago, without benefit of the terrible humans. We may be about to find out what happens very soon, when the ice machine is opened onto temperate zones. There is a reason why we put on fat, because food gets scarce on a regular basis. The obese have their darwinian niche.
    The Beaufort-Ralph axis, now this promises to be interesting too.

    • Wasn’t it about 30 million years ago the continents arrived in there current positions? Antarctica separated by water from South America and the Arctic Ocean land locked apart from an area of open water to the east of Greenland (Denmark Strait, Norwegian Sea and Barents Sea in modern parlance). I’m no climate scientist but the Icy Poles isn’t a surprise nor is their waxing and waning.

      • After God created things, he said, “It is good.” So who had the nerve to come along and say, “I think this continent would look better over there?” That is my subject to ponder, this morning.

        I may get in trouble at church for this, but I’m wondering if, early on, God didn’t create a bride for himself, and she immediately started shifting the furniture. “I think North America would look better to the west; could you put an Atlantic over here?”

      • Ben, the salient words were: ‘ Two miles height of ice, when it cannot float away.’, for the current situation. But restriction remainig from Cape Horn along with closure of the gap between the Americas, so altered ocean circulation that heat transfer to both poles was restricted (not stopped). Which is what you wrote too. Enough for the permanent and semi-permanent ice we now have to begin, waxing and waning orbitally, we think. Galactic dust bands may cause the ‘icehouse’ freeze-ups to near the equator on quasi-billion-year frequencies.

    • The earliest statues of Venus portray her as voluptuously obese. I guess, to people eking out a life in caves, fat was fashionable. It is only in a time of plenty that people manage to make themselves miserable about the phenomenon of wealth.

      I don’t see why people can’t just say, “There is more to life than bread alone,” and get on with it. Over-focusing on dieting is strangely like saying bread is the focus, rather than lifting eyes to higher and more poetic visions. And people who focus on “carbon-taxes” are just taking dieting to an absurd level.

    • Brett, it is known with high confidence that the Arctic has not been in a seasonally ice-free state during the times of the polar explorers you mention. One has to go farther back in time, at least until MWP or possibly far longer AFAIK.

      • The people who have “high confidence” are talking through their hats, and you are lapping it up like a cat laps cream.

        Fact: In the early 1800’s some whaling ships sailed up the east coast of Greenland, over the top, and down the west coast. Perhaps that was not entirely “ice free” but it is currently impossible to do.

        I have high confidence your so-called experts are turning a blind eye to history. So are you. If you don’t want to hear history, this is not a site to hang around at.

  7. If someone said 2015 and it actually happens by 2025 or earlier that is almost a spot on prediction in the geological scale. So laughing at those predictions is not that useful in my opinion.

    • I predict you will change your mind in five minutes. However I am predicting in the geological sense.

      I love the new way of conducting science. I get an “A” for being wrong.

    • Styrge as a geologist I can truthfully state that you are full of shit in talking about a geological scale prediction. Furthermore we aren’t talking geology or geological scale predictions and so your argument or point is a straw man. Anyone with half a brain and who is making predictions with a stated date is knowingly implying an accuracy of one year if they state a year … otherwise the nitwits should be predicting which decade etc etc.
      Give it up styrge, you are polishing a turd.

  8. “Fact: In the early 1800’s some whaling ships sailed up the east coast of Greenland, over the top, and down the west coast. Perhaps that was not entirely “ice free” but it is currently impossible to do.”

    This is highly interesting Caleb, and a valuable data point in itself – do you have any more information about the ship? The standard caveat does apply, namely that the data point is from one corner of the Arctic and certainly does not represent the whole Arctic area. Since there are records of temperatures covering the 1800’s we are not totally in the dark with regards to what the temperature on the planet was at that time, and what was reasonably possible for the sea ice cover. And there are proxies around the arctic rim that tell us something about the state of the ice that time (ice-free leaves marks in sediments etc.). If I can find the time I’ll try to dig up some articles about proxies and what they say and with what confidence.

    • Sigh. You obviously haven’t been doing the homework I assigned you. We have been over various historical records a lot at this site, and during some of those conversations you were present, and I gave you subjects to research. Remember?

      Anyway, here is a good place to start, though it is only a gold mine of good beginnings:

      https://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/06/20/historic-variation-in-arctic-ice/

      There is a ton of homework for you there. I can lead you to the water, but I can’t make you drink it.

      What you need to know is that some of us have been fascinated by Vikings since the 1950’s, and in that time we have done lots and lots and lots of homework. Each new tidbit of history fits into years and years of background study. When something new comes along that is a misfit, we know it. We get excited, if it is new news. But if it is a misfit because it is wrong, we know that as well, and know it more swiftly than you might think possible.

      Secondly, I do know what the word “proxy” means. It is when one thing is used to represent another thing. If I go to vote for you in the voting booth, I represent you and I’m your “proxy”. (It doesn’t mean I’ll vote as you would have voted.)

      In the case of Mann and the “hockey stick”, he used tree rings as a measure of temperature. Tree rings were the “proxy”, because they represented temperature.

      This was controversial, because tree rings also are a proxy for rainfall (and other things.) In any case, using tree rings as a proxy for temperature erased the MWP. It even showed current warming as a down-turn, but Mann decided not to use those current tree-rings, and instead used thermometer records, which showed the upturn and “blade” of the hockey stick. This was so wrong, in terms of how science should be conducted, that the “hockey stick graph” (as he prepared it) is no longer accepted. (The subsequent graphs that Mann insists reaffirm his graph are actually replications, using the same faulty proxy and same dubious data-splicing.)

      Let this be a lesson to you about “proxies”. They are not magical things that are automatically true. They can be helpful, or they can hold mistaken concepts, or they can be examples of intentional fraud.

  9. My nation, NZ, has excellent data on the climate from volcanic and pollen layers which go back to and way past the LIA/MWP. Same for other SH lands and seabeds. The T was warmer, and then colder over many recorded cycles worldwide, but for CAGW it is necessary to lie. Full stop, and aren’t the swamp critturs squealing now, a delightful sound…..
    This troll is succeeding in wasting our time however, which is part of its remit.

  10. The North Atlantic temperature data is remarkable. Unfortunately it stops at the end of 2016.

    Now considering that the weather patterns were blowing to the north and kept the Barents uncovered to radiate to the night sky during the coldest part of this past winter, and then relented to allow some ice cover to reflect the rising of the spring sunshine, I’d expect the trend toward colder North Atlantic waters has continued. Both higher heat losses and some timely resistance to the solar heat load should keep the waters a bit cooler than normal.

    Those Atlantic winds also seemed to push the MYI toward the basin throughout the winter and limited the flow out the Fram Strait. Ralph doesn’t abide that transpolar drift.

    A Quiet Sun, colder waters from the Atlantic and a healthy collection of older ice that requires higher temperatures to melt. The melt season this year should be interesting.

    • Your thinking is a lot like mine. The edge if the ice was pushed far to the north of Svalbard several times during the darkest part of the winter. So those waters were exposed to winds. They would not only be cooled, but churned to a considerable depth. Now the ice has abruptly come south, covering those waters. I may not have a computer model, but I do have a brain that does some guessing what the water’s effect will be. Now we sit back and see if our guessing makes sense.

      We need scientists who love to do field work more than models.

      • As was demonstrated by your near-real-time ascending heat flow simulations, warmth blown polewards is quickly lost to space. Air that is relatively warm (ralph?) is still deadly cold to us at those latitudes and heights. It is even admitted that any warming is only in the arctic. This is why honest folk cannot find it, because of Holders inequality (a degree in a colder more poleward place on either an airy or an airless orb being worth less than nearer to the equator. As well as their basic dishonesty, making up temps 1200mi north rather than doing the hard work. Barneo being further evidence. So many snowflakes, always being ‘surprised’ by the truth. But it is wasted on them. A troll asks for NZ data. Google Scholar is its friend if it only liked truth. Up to 1.78m papers and comments under ’60yr cycles’ was ignored, not to mention historical data. This stuff from my Uni database would be too.
        However, it is at least good that we must hammer out what is really happening and try harder to get it right against what is rather uncomfortably real ‘devil’s advocacy’.
        I think all the little bits could someday add up to a useful whole.

    • Now, now. Sty is already buried in homework, (but I’ll admit he asked for it).

      I’m currently delving into an interesting thing I didn’t know about called, “Ekman Spirals.” I’ll probably get in trouble for it, for I should be working in the garden, but it is a way water under the ice can mix and even melt the bottom of the ice, even in the dead of winter. A big stress fracture in the ice acts remotely like the blade of an oar, making those oar-whirlpools and sucking up slightly warmer water from the pycnocline. It is just one more variable, and shows how we can’t rely on models because the system is too chaotic. We need buoys, and real-time data.

      If you have the time to take a journey in wonder, check out this 2005 paper by real scientists who got out on the ice and did real work.

      http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/2004GL021819/pdf

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