ARCTIC SEA ICE –A Spring Lull– UPDATED (Twice)

The weather has been fairly tranquil up over the Pole, and I suppose that is bad, if you are after sensationalism. The best I can offer is that temperatures have remained steadily below normal.

DMI4 0523 meanT_2017

We seem to be returning to an earlier pattern we saw reversed to some degree last summer. I’ll call the old pattern “The Quiet Sun Pattern”. Last summer it was reversed by an abundance of milder air left over from a major El Nino, but now that surplus is used up, and we are returning to the former pattern, after a brief interruption.

“The Quiet Sun Pattern”, as I envision it, generally involves above-normal temperatures during the winter and below normal temperatures during the summer.

The winter’s “warmth” is an illusion, as temperatures are far below freezing, and a meridional pattern brings more fuel north for more storms. The winter air has less chance to settle and let the cold sink in, because it is so windy. The sea-ice is fractured and constantly shifted, and the waters beneath the ice are far more disturbed than they are in the deep calm and cold of a more zonal pattern. (I think we need more on-ice buoys, and more research about changes in the waters under the ice.)

During the summer the meridional flow continues, albeit in a more benign manner. For the most part the winds seem to die down, but there are more clouds and more low pressure. Speaking as a merely subjective onlooker, there seems to be less of the high pressure that allows sunshine to beam down twenty-four-hours-a-day for days on end. The most wonderful pictures of melt-water pools and melt-water rivulets and melt-water drains seem to be from before the sun became so quiet. More recently the pools have displayed a disconcerting tendency to freeze over, even in July, and then be covered by drifting snow, even in July, before resuming their melt. Consequently it has become very obvious that the melt from above pales in comparison to the melt from below, concerning the total melt of sea-ice. On a number of occasions the O-buoys clearly demonstrated that the summer melt was over, at the surface, and the autumnal refreeze had begun, before the sea-ice broke up, melted from beneath.

“The Quiet Sun Pattern”, in increasing the low pressure at the Pole, has encouraged the formation of quite a number of small breezy storms, and a few remarkable gales. (By “remarkable” I mean pressures down toward 960 mb, with gale-force winds.) These storms, even the small ones, jostle the sea-ice by reversing the flow of the usual Beafort Gyre and Transpolar Drift.Transpolar Drift Working_area_groß

Besides a shift of winds reversing the movement of the sea-ice above the water, there is a stirring below the water. The Physics of the stirring is wonderful and miles beyond my comprehension. (Google “Ekman Transport” and “Ekman Spirals”).  I prefer to think of the stirring in layman’s terms: The sea-ice is like an oar in the water, and when the ice “pulls” against the water, you see the blade make whirlpools and other examples of agitated water,  This stuff happens even with the smaller storms, that barely nudge the ice. The really big gales make a shambles of the situation, and often expose the water itself to their winds. They result in extreme agitation of the water under the ice.

What does this mean in terms of the melting of the ice?  Well, usually there is a protective layer of colder water between the sea-ice and slightly warmer water beneath. If the water is agitated two things happen. The sea-ice above gets melted faster than usual, and the slightly-warmer water beneath gets chilled more than usual. (Of course, the superficial and shallow media only looks at the surface, and cannot look deeply; therefore you see lots of headlines about less ice on the surface, but never a peep about a chilled “pycnocline”,  (which is the highfalutin, lar-de-dar word for those slightly-warmer waters under the sea-ice).

There should be such pycnocline headlines, because last summer there was not one, but two bombastic gales churning the Arctic Sea in August. There were plenty of headlines about the way the sea-ice was melted, but did a single reporter shed a single tear for the poor neglected pycnocline?

No! What heartless cads these reporters must be! The pycnocline may very well be shivering, chilled to the bone, but do those snotty reporters even turn their heads to look?  No. And why? Because they are shallow people, and shallow people cannot look deeply, and see how significant the pycnocline is. Instead shallow people think a trace gas, a few molecules in a million, matters more. They traipse about like Marie Antoinette (reputedly) saying “let them eat cake”, utterly oblivious to the fact the pycnocline has power, the pycnocline will not stand being ignored,  and the pycnocline will arise and….and…(hmm….I’m getting a bit too carried away)….(delete the reference to guillotines)….melt less ice than usual this summer.

For the moment, however, the power of the pycnocline is subdued, for things are quiet at the Pole. There is very little stirring going on. A hush has fallen. Perhaps it is the calm before the storm? All await in breathless anticipation, for what occurs could be the complete ruin of investors in Carbon Credits, or make them (briefly) fabulously wealthy.

This is a time the sea-ice has strange power, for it “remembers” the cold of a month ago. It is colder than the water below, and colder than the air above. Even though the air above is warmer, it sucks the heat from that air and makes the air colder. At the same time, even though the water below is warmer, it sucks the heat from that water and freezes the water closest to the ice. In fact the ice can be getting thicker, even if the air above is above freezing, because the ice is thirty-below, four feet down.

Of course this cannot go on for long. As the ice sucks heat from the air above and the water below it slowly warms to a degree it loses its power to even stay frozen, but in May sea-ice is a strange substance that messes up common-sense calculations.

When the weather is predominantly calm, the strange power of May sea-ice resists melting, and the “extent” graph slows its decent. This aggravates Alarmists, bu they will not want to listen to the reasons, for it has zilch to do with CO2, and much to do with a lack of stirring winds.

In any case, the “extent” graph has failed to keep up with last year’s “Unprecedented” decent, (which is embarrassing to some Alarmists, who think the melt should be faster.)

DMI4 0523 osisaf_nh_iceextent_daily_5years_en

The above graph shows we are closer to the Highest September extent (2014) than we are to setting a new record, but we are also close to matching the lowest highest September extent in the last decade. (2006) [2006 lilac, 2016 red, 2017 purple, below]

2006 vs 2017 Extent May FullSizeRender

Of course, now that “extent” graphs are no longer supportive to the idea of a sea-ice “death spiral”, Alarmists will retreat to the “volume” graphs, which are very flimsy, and full of flaws, because we have a hard time measuring “thickness.” But the DMI graph shows volume greater than last year’s.

FullSize_DMI4 0523 CICE_combine_thick_SM_EN_20170523

Now, because I know how difficult it is to determine the thickness of sea-ice,  I do question some assumptions DMI makes, as they determine volume. But I would do so respectfully, for I have an inkling of how much work is involved to do what they do. Furthermore, I constantly use their insights, even if I do so with reservations. I am grateful for DMI’s hard work, even if I disagree with some of their assumptions.

Therefore I am embarrassed I have allowed a certain soul to comment on my site who spits on the DMI. You see, PIOMAS interpretations of data state that 2017 has less volume than 2016, and this certain soul has publicly stated that if you don’t agree with PIOMASS you are part of some sort of right-wing conspiracy.

I would like to apologize to all who work at DMI. I’m so sorry things have degraded to this degree. I myself praise your work, even if I disagree with some petty details, and I am hugely sorry some, in their smallness, seek to belittle you down to their own littleness.

We should stand up against those who seek to shrink us to their own shrunken state.

The best way to do this is to ignore them, in favor of simply focusing on what some make be a dull thing, “the facts”, but what is actually the beauty made by a magnificent Creator.

Each day makes us tired, and we eventually quit, and collapse into sleep. Is it over? No, because we are awakened by this magnificent thing called a “sunrise.” Can scientists capture a sunrise with calipers and thermometers? No, but artists can’t capture a sunrise either, with paint and/or symphonies.

Considering neither Scientists nor Artists can capture this thing that brings us from bed every day, how utterly arrogant and ignorant Alarmists seem, when they insist they have everything all figured out.

I do my best to oppose the flamboyant ignorance of Alarmist egotists by simply saying the Truth, as it is revealed to me. If I have time, I will continue to do so by including the DMI maps of the recent past, (which show the quiet lull that currently is upon the North Pole), as an update to this post.

However, no matter how carefully I observe, you can be sure a certain individual will reappear like a bad penny to insist his preconceptions trump my actual observations. I think I may just delete his banality, for I prefer other commentators, who comment with signs they have this thing called “an independent mind.”


As promised, below are the DMI maps for the past ten days.  In them I am looking for a couple of things.

First, I am looking to see any signs of the “MHO”, which is a concocted idea I’m playing around with which may not exist. In theory the MHO is a sort of impulse that travels clockwise (east to west) and provides an entrance for feeder bands that feed the low pressure “Ralph” at the Pole.

Second, I am watching for a certain positioning of “Byoof” (The Beaufort High) on the Canadian side of the Pole, with “Ralph” displaced on the Eurasian side, which creates a Pacific to Atlantic cross-polar-flow. A perfect set-up would look something like this:

Byoof and Ralph FullSizeRender

What this flow tends to do is decrease the ice in the Chukchi Sea north of Bering Strait, by pushing it north, and to increase the ice in Barents Sea, by pushing ice south. This happens to be something we saw develop this spring. On the Pacific side Bering Strait has less ice, while sea-ice is crunched right up against the coast of Svalbard on the Atlantic side.

Ron Clutz posted on the sea-ice in Barents Sea here:

In the comments, he shared this observation: “I note that Barents, at least in the last decade, rarely has an “average” year. Ice extents there follow a “dumbbell” distribution: either Barents melts out early and completely, or it hangs onto significant ice throughout. So maybe this year ice will hang on there.”

What I am keeping an eye out for is a sign the ice doesn’t sit where it is during the tranquility of summer, but instead continues south. Usually this requires the ice shifting towards Greenland and being flushed down its east coast, but there is lore from 1817 which seems to describe a far more general and massive discharge. (Part of me is still small boy, and prefers things to go crash and bang.)

Here is the current thickness map, showing the sea-ice pushed north of Bering Strait and south into Fram Strait and Barents Sea:

Thickness 20170525 Attachment-1


Here are the DMI maps. Hopefully I’ll find time to comment on them later.


When we last looked, the “MHO” (even if it is a sort of optical illusion) had finished a circuit of the Pole, (which was what made me notice it again and comment upon its possible existence). A new MHO feeder-band pumping north from east Siberia had allowed a “Ralph” to weakly form over the Pole. (A “Ralph” tends to interrupt any cross-polar-flow, when it sits directly upon the Pole.) This version of Ralph then weakly meandered south towards western Russia, in the very area that my MHO-theory should have had a east-to-west feeder-band pumping low pressure north.

Of course, when one is looking at ink-blots, one tends to see what their psychologist wants them to see, and this bias extends to weather maps. I creatively decided that, if the MJO (Madden-Jullien Occilation) can weaken and basically vanish from time to time, so could my MHO. The poor thing just happened to run into a particularly stout Scandinavian High-pressure, and was (make up a scientific-sounding word and insert it here.) (Hmm…perhaps it shrank up to the Pole and self-cannibalized itself. Yes…”self-cannibalized” is good.)

In any case, and on the other hand, it could be that,  maybe, perhaps, what might have happened was what was left of the MHO had continued west and was starting to influence the north Atlantic, where low pressure was becoming more obvious, though the lows did seem obedient to west-to-east westerlies, and to refuse to reinforce a polar “Ralph”, as the MHO theoretically should.

Also Byoof was being pushed north out of the Beaufort Sea by a weak low that had absolutely no business being in the Beaufort Sea. (I hate it when weather has absolutely no respect for my theories. It is like “the ugly fact destroying the beautiful hypothesis.”)

The remains of the weak Ralph’s warm sector, in the west Kara Sea, was part of what pulled a new and more vigorous low north into the Laptev Sea, with a Ralph-like “signature” making a hook in the temperature isotherms far to the east of where the MHO should be.

By this point I was ready to shred my theories and make a snowstorm of confetti with them. Byoof was so far astray it was more of a North Atlantic feature, the lows in the North Atlantic were toodling along straight to the east as if westerlies rule and there is no such thing as a MHO, there was no sort of cross-polar-flow whatseoever, and the closest things to a “Ralph” were weak lows in the wrong places (Beaufort Sea and Laptev Sea).

Anyway, by this time the so-called MHO should have proceeded west across the Atlantic and be over Greenland. So I sullenly looked that way, and lo and behold! If a little “signature” hook didn’t just then squeak up Greenland’s east coast, and a little “Ralph” appear on top of Greenland and wander towards the Pole:


Let this be a lesson to you:  If you insanely persist with a bias with dedication, you can find verification at least half as often as a blind squirrel finds a nut.

As this pathetic version of “Ralph” faded south, north of Svalbard, and was swept into the Westerlies, as a small storm in Barents Sea , the MHO theoretically would move further west to the Canadian Archipelago. Indeed a new “signature” hook appears in the Beaufort Sea temperature graph. (Ignore the man behind the curtain, who happens to be a huge gale fading in the Aleutians, whose east “warm sector” side sent a surge of Pacific air up through Alaska.) What is also interesting is how the Atlantic side of Byoof filled in, as a sort of tail ridging back towards the Pacific pumped up and became the new Byoof.

Unfortunately all the lows seem to be drifting west-to-east, as if the Westerlies are creeping north, as they do every summer. It makes it hard to talk about a east-to-west MHO when everything moves the wrong way.

Desperation is a theoretician’s friend. Please notice that the new Byoof is shaped like a mitten. The space between the fingers and thumb is low pressure, and…..Gadzooks! It is moving east-to-west! (Cue Hallelujah Chorus)  (This post is becoming a bit like a PBS documentary.)

By May 23 the old “Ralph”, still malingering in Barents Sea, combined with a low down over central Siberia, and was able to take advantage of the weakness in Byoof, formed by the faint low between the “thumb and fingers” and, in the slightly milder air brought north, a new “Ralph” forms.

Man! It sure took a lot of work, but now at long last Byoof is back where it’s suppose to be, Ralph is parked in the correct position on the Eurasian side, and we finally, finally are getting the Pacific to Atlantic cross-polar-flow I’ve been keeping an eye out for.

It’s a bit hard to explain Ralph forming where he did, using my MHO theory, as, at anything like a constant rate, the MHO would be back in Alaska, or in Bering Strait at best. But maybe I could get away with saying, “It sped up.” No? Well then, I’ll just say the old one “self-cannibalized”, and a new one formed ninety degrees west, around the top of the planet. (If I’ve learned anything from Global Warming, it is that B.S. does not stand for “Bachelor of Science.” )

In conclusion, I hope I have made a description of a dull part of the season entertaining. If you look back at the above maps you will see the isobars are generally far apart, which means the winds have slackened and the ice is shifting less. Also the minus-ten isotherm has vanished from the temperature maps, likely until September.

We are about into enter a brief time, sixty days on the sunniest summer, when the Arctic actually adds more heat to the planet than it subtracts. Not that this surplus sends warm fronts south, for it is largely used up melting ice. However, if the Arctic Ocean was replaced by dry land, warm fronts would come south, for as many as sixty days. It is a time of glorious sunshine twenty-four hours a day (unless, of course, there are clouds). Things will become more interesting. Stay tuned.


55 thoughts on “ARCTIC SEA ICE –A Spring Lull– UPDATED (Twice)

  1. It has been my habit, lately, to respond to comments about the media being shallow or having overlooked the facts. It is mostly because I am trying to do the same thing that they are doing, but not OF the same thing.

    First, you have to realize that for all intents and purposes, the “media,” or MSM are acting the part of a salesman. They are not acting the part of journalists. They are selling two products, for the most part, and they will not say anything that they see that will interfere with their sales promotions. They CAN’T say anything different, really, because to do so will jeopardize their main purpose, which is to sell the products.

    They cannot report on peace, acts of peace, or attempts for peaceful solutions because one product they are selling is war. When you look at the news reporting on the MSM and look at the alternatives on the internet, you can “see” the peace efforts on the internet, but not in the MSM. For them to report on it, it would jeopardize the war product they have been selling us for decades.

    The same is true with regards to global warming, climate change, climate alarmism, whatever you wish to call it. The data shows that overall, the world appears to be tipping towards a cooler climate, be it a mini ice age, or the “real deal.” There was enough understanding of what causes significant cycles for those in the know to recognize that there was going to be a pulse of energy from the Sun from 1980 or so to 2000 or so, that was going to bring additional warmth to the planet. The problem is, that would do something those in power didn’t want, really, and that would be allow more food to grow and thus population to grow. Even in the 1970s, there were many that believed there were too many people on the planet. A warmer, more benevolent climate would only make this issue worse.

    So global warming and crisis was born, the MSM was enlisted as a salesman, and the rest is pretty much well known. They have demonized carbon dioxide because they had to demonize carbon fuels, for carbon fuels was driving industrialization, thus population, and they wanted it to go down, not up. Since we already know that cold kills far more people than warmth does, you can see the genius in their plan. Demonize carbon, switch to sources of energy that at best are expensive, and you can put at least 50% of the population in the world in jeopardy, by making it too expensive to heat, and since the vast majority of food is grown in temperate areas, the areas that would be most affected by a renewal of ice age like conditions, even the population in the more tropical areas would be endangered since they have become accustomed to getting food to grow their population from the temperate zones. And since modern farming can’t exist without inexpensive and easily obtainable carbon based fuel, it makes it even better.

    Thus the MSM, as a salesman, MUST sell globull(s#!t) warming, because to do otherwise would help the population prepare for a cooling climate, thus NOT drive population down to the desired less than a billion or so that the REAL world leaders, those behind the scenes that own most of the governments, want. If they send any sort of a mixed message by actually telling the truth once in a while, people will wake up to the reality of their own risk of demise. That is why we have the war on “fake news” ramping up as well.

    The “product” I am trying to sell is a wakeup call. This isn’t about making more money, this isn’t about wanting more power, this is about killing off billions of people through hypothermia and starvation. The fight isn’t about saving your job or your right to travel or to live a decent life, it is about life itself, but current and future. This isn’t a battle of truth versus falsehoods, it’s about the right to draw breath and break bread with your family and friends. And if we don’t realize that and respond accordingly, we lose more than a little “freedom,” and as Barretta would have said at this point, “and you can take that to the bank.” And if you don’t know who Barretta was, you missed a helluva great characterization by Robert Blake.

    One final thought/comment. Don’t you find it moderately amusing, at least, that the once demonized satellite data that showed “the pause” is now the darling of alarmists? Since the el nino broke the pause, “the hottest month/year ever in recorded data,” that is the “satellite era,” has been the “play of the day.” And by using the satellite data, they are able to totally ignore the 1930s and every other well know hot period, and “sell” even more globull(s#!t) warming “truth.”

    • I tend to agree that there is a group in power that wants to reduce the population, and sees humanity as vermin, except for, of course, those closest to them. Such a policy is so against “love thy neighbor” and “love thy enemy” that such people are inviting the wrath of God, but they likely are atheists and have no fear of such repercussions.

      Exactly how large this group of humanity-haters is, I don’t know. I know that there are many others who are accomplices with little idea of the hatred they are partnering with. When things come to a crisis many will be horrified by what they are associated with, but for the time being they dwell in blissful ignorance and even see themselves as standing up for virtue. When you try to wake them up they roll their eyes and think you are a nut-job with a conspiracy theory.

      I have a sense things are building to a head, and all that I can do is stand for Truth and be as loving as possible. When I feel like a grain of sand up against huge power I remind myself I am not alone. There are billions of grains of sand out there, and they are not as obedient as those in power imagine. They will not go meekly to death to “reduce population,” nor be herded in the manner some envision. I fear we will see a real mess, and the people who thought they were “in control” will lose control.

      Hopefully I’m wrong. Forecasting humanity is full of the unexpected, like the weather.

      And I also believe God won’t stand idly by if all humanity is crying out for help.

  2. Caleb, isn’t strange how many people seem unable to countenance the possibility that they may be wrong. The list includes some well known names in all fields of human endeavour. So I guess your friend is another member of the majority of people who believe they are right in what they think. I find this very strange as I have spent my life finding out that I am wrong more often than I’m right. So I like your take on the DMI data, the people there have put in a large amount of work there are a few things that cause concern but it’s probably the best estimate. What else can you do, these guys have been working in the Arctic and Greenland for decades?

    I found the main part of the article interesting as usual.

    • ” I have spent my life finding out that I am wrong more often than I’m right.”

      Me too. If it doesn’t kill you, it’s a good way to learn.

      I’m planning to do a post on the DMI sea-ice map from August, 1938. Those fellows went through a great deal of work, back then, to map out the edges of the ice, and showed the ice at levels similar to 2006. However some at Cryosphere Today seemingly felt the need to supply a “correction”, and added nearly 2 million km2 to the ice-total for that year.

      This is the sort of “homework” my troll refuses to do, so I figured I might do a little for him.

      I’m glad you find my observations interesting. I fear being boring, more than I fear my errors being pointed out.

      • No, not boring at all. I eagerly await new posts for a delightful read. I’ve learned a lot and besides I look forward to the next chapter of Ralph and his(?) meanderings.

  3. Caleb / folks …interesting daily post by Joe Bastardi on the huge change in sea surface temps over the past months to a much cooler scenario now
    This has got to have an impact unless the El Nino now forming is a monster IMHO.

    • That does look cooler, though not really cold. I wonder if it is an “initial” run of the JMA and based on actual temperatures, or if it is modeled temperatures. (The models haven’t been doing too well this spring for some reason.)

    • I’m not really sure why folks are talking about a big el Nino.
      This might be wishful thinking by Alarmists wnting all that nasty blue to go away.
      In the past I have called this “Waiting for el Ninot”
      (After the Samuel Becket play “Waiting for Godot”).
      There is no sign of any letup in the trade winds.
      The Peruvian anchovy fishery is showing strong landings so there is plenty of upwelling along the eastern boundary of the equatorial Pacific.
      Also I have the sense that the Pacific has recently transitioned into a different ground state.
      It might be quite a while before we get another big el Nino.
      (But I may be wrong of course,)

      • Sorry to take so long to respond. I’ve been busy.

        Regarding the El Nino, the signals are very mixed. Thanks for the news from Peru about the anchovy fishery. It makes sense, for there was just a surge of east-to-west winds, which tends to be more of a signal for a La Nina than an El Nino, (and that booms the population of anchovy’s). However now those winds are slowing and even reversing, which is a signal for an El Nino. So your guess is as good as mine, and as good as the very different guesses of various models.

        The “Cripps” model has been taking a beating, for it predicted a “unprecedented” La Nina, which would have involved very strong east-to-west winds. So what made the winds weaker than expected? My guess is that it involves the supplier of most energy Earth owns, the sun. It became “Quiet”, so the east-to-west winds were not as strong as the Scripps model assumed they would be.

        If only the sun would behave itself, and the sunspot cycle would alternate a nice, steady way, we might get the various sloshes of the ocean down right. But the Sun is a variable star.

        If the sun was more predictable it would be like a child’s sliding in a bathtub, creating a predictable slosh that makes a mother mad. However, when the sun changes its pattern and goes quiet, it confuses the sloshes, and is like a child when the mother walks in and glares; the sloshes are less.

        That is my highly scientific explanation for why the last La Nina was not as big as expected. But what will this mean for the next El Nino? Will it be huge?

        I doubt it, because each swing seems to need , to some degree, to come from a swing in the opposite direction. The Quiet sun has stopped pushing the swing, and we may be entering a period of “La Nada”, where things remain largely neutral, neither El Nino nor La Nina.

        However this is sheer conjecture. The Reality is something marvelously different from the guesses of mere mortals. Buy some popcorn, sit back, and observe.

      • Thanks for your reply. I visit undercurrent news to check on the Peruvian anchovy fishery, since this is an accurate bellwether of nutrient rich upwelling off Peru. No upwelling, no anchovies (or fewer at least, in different places).

        I don’t know so much about the ENSO models. People sometimes talk about long term phases of more el Nino or more La Nina. However if ENSO is a key driver of global temperature trends, then it would make more sense for this to happen by alternating phases of stronger and weaker ENSO events – with el Nino and La Nina seen as two halves of the same cycle. Indeed as Bob Tisdale (what happened to him BTW?) made clear, the pulse of poleward warm water from an ENSO cycle comes from the La Nina, not el Nino.

        So if (I’m being speculative here) ENSO were to be mediating a transition from a climate warming to a climate cooling phase, I would think this would happen not by a change from an el Nino dominated to a La Nina dominated phase, but instead a transition from a period of stronger to a period of weaker lower amplitude/intensity ENSO events.

        Yes the predicted big La Nina fizzled. I would go further back and say that the 2016 el Nino was not a standard el Nino but was Modoki, since the equatorial warming was mid Pacific, not east (off Peru). There is a simple reason for this, the difference between a “real” 1997 type el Nino and the pseudo Modoki kind that happened in 2016. In the latter, the Bjerknes positive feedback between interrupted upwelling and interrupted trade winds never happened. I followed ENSO quite closely from 2015 to 2017 and the trades never weakened all that much, and came nowhere near to stopping or reversing (as happens in a real el Nino). Also the anchovy fishery wavered a little and moved south, but defied predictions of a 1982 style crash with juvenile recruitment numbers (most directly indicative of upwelling via first feeding success) staying bouyant throughout. So clearly no interruption of upwelling. So no Bjerknes. So nor really el Nino in the strict sense.

        If I had to make a prediction for what’s ahead I was also say nothing in particular, certainly no el Nino.

        So maybe we’ve entered an age of el Nada, which will reduce poleward heat transport in both Pacific and Atlantic, and cool 😎 off global temperatures a little?

      • Sorry About The Lack of New Posts
        Posted on February 15, 2017 by Bob Tisdale
        I’m on holiday. I’m having too much fun someplace where it’s warm and sunny…and my desktop and laptop with my standard spreadsheets are back home where it’s cold and snowy. I’m not sure when I’ll be back there, if ever.


  4. I don’t personally opine which direction the climate is heading, as I sense mixed signals. But I do sense something very wrong and very sinister happening to this country. I agree that the media and the establishment for whatever reasons wants to destroy America as we used to know and love it, dictate the way we all are supposed to think, and impose some type of world socialism.

    Global warming is the perfect tool to that end, people of the world supposedly needing to unite to save the planet. What the planet really needs is to be saved from these evil, lying bastards.

    Trump’s election was the real America giving their middle finger to this estabishment. Hopefully, in 2018, the real America will give an even bigger middle finger to the establishment, if the system isn’t totally rigged by then.

    • It seems to me Washington DC is disconnected from the pulse of the people. When trillions of dollars were being printed for various sorts of “stimulus” the Beltway Bunch did way too much self-stimulating, and, as all sorts of money wound up in their pockets, it seemed like a wonderful state of affairs. Various forms of self-justification were used to make the greed seem acceptable: “It’s just the way things are done.” “You can’t fight city hall.”

      Eventually it became too obvious Washington was booming as other cities decayed, but people in Washington don’t want to see their golden goose-egg killed. In DC only 10% voted for Trump.

      The writing is on the wall, but the people addicted to the luxury of the status-quo are freaking out. Some of their behavior looks a little like panic to me. To mix a few metaphors, they have painted themselves into a corner on thin ice out on a limb.

      What a complete and total mess they have made!

      • The utter panic and revultion that gripped my liberal friends in DC for months seems to have subsided somewhat. They now believe they can hold off the swamp draining, retain the status quo and regain control. To that end, they are even telling the extremists on their left flank to cool it and at least pretend to be mainstream. They believe that Trump has been painted into a corner and they are already looking forward to huge gains in 2018.

        But if the recent Montana election is any indication, they are probably deluding themselves. What plays inside the Beltway is still not playing in the Heartland.

        By the way, the reason I enjoy your blog so much is that, unlike certain others, who refuse to learn, I learn something new from it with every post.

      • I am flattered I am in any way, shape or form a teacher, because mostly I am just sharing what I myself have learned. And my primary way of learning seems to be through falling down a lot.

        There probably is some sort of wise-sounding motto we could make of that, which in actual fact makes little sense. “Unless you go down you cannot go up.”


        At best I think I sketch the outlines of Truth by crashing headlong into It a lot. Also by having a sense of humor about the Truth revealed by crashing. In days of Yore I think I would have been the King’s jester, rather than adviser.

        I think the worst failing of the left is that they seemingly can never admit a mistake. They do not understand it is actually a relief to be human. I seem to notice few on the left are able to laugh at themselves, and this makes their idea of humor a bit sad, because it is usually mocking and deriding others. That is not fun. That is sneering and bullying. Rodney Dangerfield didn’t make us laugh at others as much as he made us laugh at his own haplessness.

        The Montana election should teach the left that being human doesn’t lose votes, and decking a snide reporter is a sign of being human.

        It should teach them, but in a bizarre way they seem beyond help. How can you teach someone who has a know-it-all attitude and pretends to be perfect? In the words of the Prophet Isaiah, 2700 years ago, “They have eyes but cannot see and ears but cannot hear.”

        Thanks for being my uncover correspondent from the Beltway. I really do look forward to your insights.

  5. The beltway have also got no understanding that a swamp drains where it formed. A smallish opening at the lowest point, and the rest follows it down the drain. And I’ve seen a few. Yep, gravity sucks, very well indeed. But Physics is obviously something beyond the LGBT toilet crowd.

    • The fact that Trump is not passionate about toilet use makes him a racist, bigoted, homophobic, anti-Semitic hate monger in the eyes of the leftists. But I don’t see where he has ever expressed any hate toward anyone, except criminals and terrorists.

      • That’s right; hate the act, not the person (to paraphrase). One drainhole is funding, and its selective elimination. With some chance of re-employment in more useful pathways.

        I notice that there is little sign of Trumpian folding at G7 over the Paris deal. Nor over Nato payments: They could transfer Paris monies straight to Nato – deal done!

  6. Models using real weather cycles for a change. With the obligatory and pathetic nod to the gods of AGW, which must soon be passe:
    I have been reading a recently-acquired official RN WW2 war at sea history. The arctic ice front was of course plotted all the time eg Lat 74-75N around Bear Island in early March ’42. Maps and photos included with a timeline. Looks similar to nowadays.

    • Thanks, Brett, for the link to Tallbloke. I got quite a laugh from the way the scientists walked on eggs and genuflected desperately towards the Global Warming funds-dispensing political-machine, while at the same time trying to sneak a little scientific Truth into their paper.

      It is so unnecessarily difficult to point out there have been periods of less sea-ice in the past. We recently saw how unwilling “Sty” was to even concede there was the slightest chance of anything but a steady decline, let alone that there may have been times with far less ice than today.

      I’ve been trying to work on a post about the low-sea-ice period of late 1930’s and early 1940’s, which might have saved Russia from Hitler as winter convoys from Britain were able to bring supplies, (but which is hard to research because the Danes were occupied by Hitler and unable to produce their DMI sea-ice maps from 1940 to 1945).

      However I’ve already been there and done that, as have many others. The Alarmists just go, “La-la-la! I’m not listening!”

      Actually I’m currently more interested in what brings about the curious mental state Alarmists suffer, than I am in sea ice. I start out writing about sea-ice, but find myself sidetracked by what is either psychology or politics or….God only knows.

      Just in case I never finish my post about low ice extent in the late 1930’s and early 1940’s, here is a pretty good job of it done back in 2012 by a short-lived website called “Hide The Decline”.

      • To quote the Great American Mark Twain: “You got Lies, You got Big Lies and You have goddamm Statistics”, and most of the proof of “the warming” is in dataset and/or models that I look funny at.

    • styg

      Climatic temperature lags several thousand years behind insolation trends as Milankovich cycles make crystal clear (see Javier’s “Climate unbound”, figure 35.

      Obliquity modulated by precession / 65N summer insolation / eccentricity, causally correlates with the glacial-interglacial cycle with a lag of 6500 years. This has been known for more than half a century.

      And you were thinking that CO2 radiative forcing affects climate in real time? Seriously?

      Even if AGW is true it will kick in too late to prevent the next glacial inception.

  7. Anyone who wants to look a little, can find the evidence for a slow decline since the orbital holocene optimum, c.6000yrs ago. Including a c.1.5m sealevel drop. The LIA recovery is a lesser internal cycling, of shorter range.

    • Also I figure any changes due to “orbital forcing” are minute, on the month-to-month and year-to-year level.

      To talk about “orbital forcing” is like like talking about the normal rise of the tide, (a tenth of an inch over the next ten minutes), compared to waves of twenty feet and a storm surge brought on by a hurricane’s low pressure.

      I actually think it likely is the short-term shoves and pulls that lead to the more dramatic swings in global temperature, including the most dramatic of all: The plunge into the next ice age.

      Judging from ice-core records, the plunge occurs far too swiftly to be explained by tiny changes in “orbital forcing.” Some other factor teeters things over a “tipping point.” (And it sure as hell ain’t CO2.)

      If there is any wisdom left in this sad and somewhat crazy old world, it should be seeking the true causes of abrupt changes in climate, and the sooner we stop wasting trillions on a political gambit (which is what Global Warming largely seems to be) the better.

      To be honest, I think the subject of “orbital forcing” was brought up as a sort of red herring, to change the subject away from the failure of sea-ice to melt as swiftly as advertised, this spring.

  8. I have never heard of a truly adequate explanation of a mile thick glacier of ice down past present day Chicago and NYC. Only 10,000 years ago or so, which is the blink of the eye in geological terms! Even more remarkable is how the hell do you melt all that ice once it is there?

    In my weak mind, the best I can figure out is to watch Hudson Bay, because that seems to be close to the point of origin in terms of the glaciation. If that starts staying frozen year round, it is time to get worried.

    • Good point.

      Also I imagine we would see more mountains becoming “snow-capped”.

      On New Hampshire the tallest mountain occasionally keeps its snow all summer in “Tuckerman’s Ravine”. If that started to happen every summer, I’d take it as a hint I should consider renting rooms from you.

    • Andy – Hudson Bay is sometimes shown as the point of origin of the continental ice sheet but actually the two major ice accumulation sites are the highlands to the east and west of HB.
      These are the Laurentide dome and the Keewatin dome & these two ice centres coalesced into the Laurentide ice sheet. I can’t post the map but here is the link
      Regarding the rapid melt – don’t forget the ice sheets were always melting (in the summer) but that the winter accumulation of snow and ice was greater than the summer melting when the ice sheets are in the growth phase. Once the ice reaches over a kilometre in thickness the climate on top of the ice sheet is much different than at the start of the ice build up.
      Tough stuff to get your head around, especially the idea of a rapid onset of glaciation and a rapid melting of the huge ice sheets.

      • I imagine the floods must have been impressive, and there must have been ice dams forming and collapsing on a regular basis.

        In my boyhood I lived near Walden Pond in Massachusetts, formed by a massive block of ice sitting amidst sand and round boulders washed out from the glacier. The pond is so large and the walls of sand around one side so high that it gets you wondering about the power involved in its formation.

        When the ice was a mile high the melt might be only during the summer at the top, but when it shrank to a half mile deep the melting could occur during the winter, (for we do have winter rainstorms this far south.) Therefore once the melt reached a certain level the melt would accelerate.

        I’ve wondered why Alarmists don’t take the idea of reducing altitude increasing the speed of melt, and apply it to Greenland. (Perhaps they don’t want people noticing that the ice is no thinner. I haven’t seen any satellite altitude measurements over the course of the past decades. Maybe Greenland is six inches higher, and they are hushing the evidence up, as it spoils their sales pitch.

        The geology of glacial landscapes is wonderful. I especially like eskers.

      • That is one huge rock! But your link mentions bigger rocks glaciers have moved hundreds of miles. Yours is slightly smaller than a football field, but in Germany there are some with an area of square miles. Yikes! Memo to self: Don’t stand on Superman’s cape; Don’t spit into the wind; Don’t snatch the mask of the Old Lone Ranger; And don’t try to block a glacier, (especially with curly light bulbs.)

  9. “I haven’t seen any satellite altitude measurements over the course of the past decades. Maybe Greenland is six inches higher, and they are hushing the evidence up, as it spoils their sales pitch.”

    Dear Caleb look for the data and you might find it, scientists have been working hard:



    Did skeptics produce any altimeter datasets?

    • Thanks. I hadn’t even looked. I’m pretty busy these days, and the top of Greenland isn’t on the top of my list.

      Have you looked at the old history yet? That’s your homework.

    • Thanks again for the links, but I’m not sure what your point is. Indeed it actually looks like Greenland gained altitude in the middle, judging from your link’s noble effort at measurement. Yes, it is red (thinner) at the edges, but in the middle it is either white ( no change ) or blue, (higher). In one spot to the southeast I think the icecap is as much as six feet higher. Of course, that ice will eventually press down and flow outwards towards the coast, but, for the moment the ice at the center of Greenland is not shrinking. Far from it. It is increasing upwards.

      • The Greenland ice-sheet is losing quite a bit of thickness in low elevations (meters per year in places) especially in the west, while some areas are experiencing stable or very modestly thickening ice sheet. It’s not surprising that warming air can generate more snowfall, but this is more than compensated by increased melting and flow at the margins. Note that if the ice sheet was in “balance” the thickness would not be changing.

  10. So, in general Greenland ice is rising or stable over the main mass, an altitude and snowfall effect. And subsiding slowly around the edges, an oceanic proximity effect greatly diminished in glacial epochs. My own data sources note that at current longer term melt rates, it would take c.36000yrs to go. That sort of equates with the overall ages of the ice layers, and guess what will happen before then?. Nothing unusual seems to be going on. The crescendo of wailing while Trumpy does as he promised is also not unusual. All things considered.
    The Americas Cup is more interesting, as a Kiwi…..

  11. These ice sheets are relics of glaciations. That is all. They will eventually be lost with no problems to our descendants But not anytime remotely soon. !995 relates only to AMO cycling, now reversing again. Go away until you grow up, sty.

  12. “Not until the late 1950s or early 1960s did it become clear that the Arctic sea ice was increasing again and that sea temperatures were falling in wide areas of the North Atlantic. But by 1964– 8 the extent of the northern ice and prevailing water temperatures in most of the Atlantic were once more similar to what they had been in the nineteenth century before the decades of strong, and northward-displaced, wind circulation.”

    LAMB, H.H.. Climate: Past, Present and Future: 001 (Kindle Locations 5958-5961). Taylor and Francis. Kindle Edition.

    Just an experiment, copying from my Kindle edition of one of Lamb’s great studies. A real scientist, no qualifications either…..

  13. Brett, Greenland SMB is always positive for the winter and it looks like it has snowed a lot this past winter, looks quite normal. For the full mass-balance the outflow via ice streams needs to be factored in as well, of course (ignored by many pundits out there). As all the datasets (altimetry, gravimetry, input-output method) show that Greenland has been losing mass and thickness for a couple of decades I would not bet that the trend suddenly turns on a dime right here.

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