LOCAL VIEW –Singing In The Snow–

Sometimes I want to shoot the messenger. Ordinarily I am full of praise for the Weatherbell site, but today Joseph D’Aleo had the nerve to mention, on his blog, “Although the sun is 24 degrees higher in the sky and days are up to 3 and a half hours longer than the nights around Christmas, snows can happen in April.

I don’t want to hear that.

Then he, and also Joe Bastardi, went on in great detail about how winter, in a final fit, could delay our spring.  They were being honest, but so was Jesus when he told the Pharisees that their ostentatious outfits made them look like fools. And we know how Jesus was rewarded for his honesty, this being Easter. And I am grumpy and feel in some ways like a Pharisee.

At the same time I am perhaps less inclined to shoot (or crucify) messengers for telling the Truth, because I’ve been lambasted myself, when I simply comment on what the facts show us, in terms of all the hoopla about Global Warming.

I’m all for any sort of warming. After all, we get tortured in New Hampshire by false promises of spring every year, but the trees never are fooled, and never truly bust out until the first of May. I should know this by now. After all, I experienced my first miserable New Hampshire spring in 1972, and have more recently lived here non-stop for thirty years. However a boyish part of my heart remembers boyhood Springs, down in the flatlands of Massachusetts. Though only fifty miles away, Spring comes two weeks earlier there. And two weeks can seem like an eternity.

Not that the sun being 24 degrees higher in the sky and days being 3 1/2 hours longer doesn’t have an effect. It makes things worse. For example, look at the way the sun melts the snow away in only two days. Start here:

Singing 3 IMG_6553

And move two days on to this:

Singing 4 IMG_6587

And you’ll notice not green grass, but mud. Locals call it “The Mud Season.” In terms of running a Childcare, it means that rather than wet snowsuits I can throw in the drier, we wind up with muddy snow-suits I get in trouble for throwing in the drier. Of course I’ll also get in trouble, with the kids, if their snowsuits aren’t dry. It’s a lose-lose situation. The sooner Mud Season is over the happier I’ll be, but further frosts and further snows, as suggested by the Weatherbell site, will only prolong my misery.

Worst is that all the snow melted away back in February, and we had a day with a temperature of 72°F (22°C), and the mire was drying. All the Global Warming Alarmists were clicking their heels and joyously saying that the end of life as we know it was nigh.  But I’m no fool. The only threat to life as we know it was that they were so blind to the facts. The east coast of the USA was one of the few areas in the northern hemisphere above normal.

Singing 1 NOAA-map-land-Temp-Feb-2018

I went on to audaciously suggest that all the gray land-areas and white sea-areas in the above map, when in-filled (“homogenized”) by NOAA, would lean to warmth and hide how cold it was. This proved I was a “Denier”, though I only stated the Truth. For example,  in the above raw-data map southern India and western Ethiopia were below normal, but in the “homoginized” map below the same areas are above normal.

Singing 5 NOAA-map-blended-Temp-Feb-2018-1

Why should I get in trouble for pointing out what I just pointed out? It is right there for anyone to see. But it seems some Alarmists don’t like looking. They have “eyes but cannot see”. They prefer to “look” like they are correct, and this makes them like Pharisee in ostentatious outfits, “looking” spiritual.

Don’t get me wrong. Compared to Jesus I’m a spineless coward, and flee from any threat of being crucified. But I find it dismaying that even a spineless coward like myself can catch grief, for pointing out what a child can see. What am I denying, and why am I called a “denier”, for pointing out what is so obvious?

And let me point something else out, which I’ll likely catch heck for.

Some say land temperatures don’t matter, because they are so quick to rise and fall, and we should instead look at the sea-surface temperatures. But they distress me because they fell the past two months.

Singing 2 global

To me this is distressing because most of the sea surface is in the southern hemisphere, and they have just experienced their summer. Is something besides CO2 having an effect, (such as a less intense and “quiet” sun?)

So, the northern hemisphere, which is mostly land, looks colder, and sea-surface temperatures, which are mostly in the southern hemisphere, also look colder, but we are to believe that, overall, the world is warming? I don’t think so. And the people who say the world is warming seem, to me, to be the true “deniers”.

I have nothing to gain from seeing a colder world. I long for warmth and for spring. I am not paid by “Big Oil” (or anyone else) for stating my views. I’m just saying the Truth as I see it. What is most chilling to me is not the delayed spring I face, but the retarded intelligence I face. I feel that, if a Renaissance is a societal springtime,  societal spring is delayed, or even reversed.

An April snow? It is but piffle
Compared to the world-wide winter we’ve seen
Summer after summer. Stench? One whiff will
Cause the straight-walker to wheel and careen
Like a drunkard. Don’t try to explain it
With your politics, pitting rich against poor
And poor against rich, nor to contain it
Like an escaped genie. You cannot slam the door
On such a winter. Pandora’s mistake
Cannot be re-boxed, nor is her hope much good,
For winter causes the good hearts to break
And saints feed lions. Bow heads, as you should,
And then resort to the Last Resort, to call Spring:
In the face of the blues, sing, man, sing!

It seems a strange response to me, but there is a power in singing when all gets dark. As I pondered about this I happened to venture my ideas with a group of friends at a Bible-study, and they swiftly responded with examples of illogical singing defeating insurmountable odds.

A.) Jehoshaphat marched out to meet three invading armies with his musicians at the head of his army, and the enemy was thrown into confusion and fought each other to death, and Jehoshaphat’s soldiers didn’t need to draw a sword.

B.) Paul and his companions were thrown in prison after being severely beaten, and rather than than collapsing into exhausted sleep, they prayed (which makes some sense) and sung hymns (which doesn’t.) There promptly was an earthquake and the prison doors sprang open (which makes some sense)  and their shackles sprang open as well (which doesn’t).

C.) In Psalm 69 King David, after listing reasons for woe and stating how his foes deserve punishment, states,

...But as for me, afflicted and in pain—
    may your salvation, God, protect me.

I will praise God’s name in song…

I am not as skilled as my friends are, when it comes to quoting scripture. Instead I could only resort to secular sources, and turn to the unrecognized great American poet, Dr. Seuss, and point out that when the Grinch tried to steal Christmas, the Who’s defeated him by singing.

In any case, after talking we sang, and I have to admit I felt much better.

Afterwards I went home and dug up an old song I wrote back in 1972, after a night when I screamed into my pillow.  I brushed it up a bit, and here is the 2018 version:

You are why the night wind’s hushing.
You are why the dawn is blushing.
You are why the birds start singing.
You are why the church bell’s ringing.

The night was long and cold.
I had no one to hold.
I felt so confused
And so abused
But I refused to think that You forgot me.

You are land lost sails discover.
You are why the ill recover.
You removed every splinter.
You can end every winter.

The song you teach at dawn
Goes on and on and on.
Dark and cold starlight
Fades from my sight
And I delight the Sun has not forgot me.

You are why the night wind’s hushing.
You are why the dawn is blushing.
You are why the birds start singing.
You are why the church bell’s ringing.

In conclusion, the springtime this poor planet really needs isn’t meteorological. It needs another Easter.

 

ARCTIC SEA-ICE –Marooned–

In my old age I am becoming a bit of an armchair adventurer. My armchair makes me like a man marooned on an island; it may be tropical and comfortable, but it’s darn boring. I want to quit the island and go to sea, but old men become too feeble to crew. Then, because I lack the stamina to go out and get myself in trouble any more, I instead read about others going out and getting in trouble. This then gives me bits of factual trivia, which I can then use, to get in trouble from the supposed safety of my armchair.

When my Dad was old his manner of “livening things up a bit” was to annoy someone like my older sister by being atrociously politically-incorrect. He wasn’t very racist, but would intentionally make some statement that made my sister’s hair stand up. Of course, when she was younger she had a militant zeal that made it very easy to offend her. I used to do it all the time innocently, without meaning it. For example, one time I called a man from China a China-man, and my big sister exploded, “What do you mean by that!?” Backpedaling across the room and looking for a window to escape through, I quavered, “A man from China?”

I’m getting a bit like my Dad, in that I backpedal less, and tend to just be amused when others get mad. For example, one way to get people fuming is to call an Eskimo an Eskimo. You are suppose to call them “Inuit”, and if you use the word “Eskimo” it means you lack spiritual grace. I then beg to differ, by hitting them with some armchair trivia:

The word “Eskimo” means “People who lash on a snowshoe”, and it is a good, solid, Native American word. I see nothing racist about it, unless it is racist to notice a neighboring culture is different. It was used by the Innu to describe outsiders, and likely specifically applied to the Micmac to the southeast, but also more generally applied to my Abenaki ancestors to the south and to what are now called Inuit to the north.  The original word sounded something like “ayasâkimew”, and it took the French to mangle it into its current form in English. In any case, I don’t think it bothers Eskimos to be called Eskimos, as much as it bothers university prigs, (who dislike being called “university prigs” even more than they dislike Eskimo being called Eskimo.)

I respect the word “Inuit”, as the word Eskimos use to describe themselves, and also respect the word “qallunaat”,  which is the word they use to describe outsiders. It means, “People who jump to conclusions”, which some prigs might say is a heck of a lot more racist than “People who lash on snowshoes”. But I don’t take offence at all.

When I lived out west I spent a lot of time living with Navajo, and discovered their name for themselves was “Dinè”, which means “the People”,  and their word for white Europeans was “Belighana”, which meant, “People who we fought”. I never got in a single fight with the Navajo, and sure wasn’t going to start one, about what I was called. I don’t object to how words are defined, for I tend to feel language is a beautiful thing.

In fact, if I was going to quibble with the Eskimo it would be that they don’t show proper respect for the English language. A sacred English-language tradition I was taught by my elders is that the letter “Q” must always be followed by the letter “U”. Because the pen is mightier than the sword, great power is involved, and you sure don’t want to mess with a power more mighty than a sword. (Of course, it was probably university prigs who mangled the spelling of Eskimo words.)

As a person uneducated by university-morality, but taught by Masters about the power of the English word, I advise Eskimos to reject the misuse of the letter “Q”. (It doesn’t even make sense, as the word “qallunaat” sounds, to the average ear,  like it begins with a hoarse “H”.) I hereby warn Eskimos that it is very bad luck and “bad medicine” to use a “Q” without a “U” following it. Bad things happened to me when I tried it, in school. And just look what has happened to the nation of Iraq.

In any case, you can perhaps imagine the trouble I can get into, sitting here in my armchair, when I ventilate such views. Perhaps it is not as much fun as sailing in a stormy sea, but it does “liven things up a bit”.

One rule I try to uphold, while trying to stir things up, is to stick to the Truth. There is no need to use any sort of falsification, to get people going.

I see this all the time when discussing Global Warming. Truth drives people absolutely wild, and in many ways they seem to prefer to be told bunkum. Why does this happen? I suppose this phenomenon occurs because, once we have used a smattering of data to create the assumptions we call “a belief”, it is annoying to have to dismantle the assumption and start all over again.

The more data that goes into making the assumption, the harder it is to dismantle. It doesn’t matter if the belief is in “God” or is in “There-is-no-God”, people resist seeing their belief dismantled, and when their belief is dismantled they can experience trauma and even go into shock. Therefore it may seem cruel of me to “liven things up a bit”. I try to know when enough is enough, and not to “liven things up too much.” However there are some people who deserve a shock close to that of an electric chair. They are often either “university prigs” or “overbearing Christians”, and can be so rude and obnoxious, when pontificating how righteous their beliefs are, that they deserve to be shocked by Truth, and having their high-nosed utterances exposed as being balderdash and blather. And this is precisely what Jesus did, when he tore a strip off the Pharisees (Matthew Chapter 23), poking fun at their ostentatious tassels and phylacteries, and saying they “strain at a gnat and swallow a camel”. Of course, he did get crucified, which may explain why I am more of a coward. I just speak itty-bitty Truths, about far-away sea-ice.

Besides those (like me) who get in trouble for questioning Global Warming, there are those who get praised for speaking bunkum. This is called “supporting the narrative”. People are placated and feel soothed when they hear things that they already believe. This is why some websites (both Alarmist and Skeptic) are basically echo chambers full of parrots, and delete differing views. They don’t want anyone “livening things up a bit”. But I find such sites more boring than the company of a corpse, for, even though a corpse has nothing to say, it at least scares you a bit. The only thing scary about an echo-chamber-website is that the people in it find delusion soothing. Far better are sites alive with discussion.

One bit of silky-smooth, scientific-sounding bumkum I once heard, regarding sea-ice, was after a very low sea-ice extent, the summer of 2012. Basically the premise was that the ice would be even less the following summers, and be largely gone by the summer of 2015. We now know such a premise is bunkum, for the sea-ice is still with us, but the premise sounded feasible at the time. However what seemed most impressively scientific-sounding was the “mechanics” involved, supporting the premise.

The suggestion was made that, because so much new “baby-ice” had formed during the winter of 2012-2013, the summer of 2013 would see more melt-water pools. Why? Because old, multi-year ice was crumpled and uneven, and melt-water would run off surfaces with a pitch, but baby-ice was nice and flat, and many more pools would form. Why would this speed the melting of ice? Well, melt-water would be darker than white snow, and would absorb more heat from the sunshine. It was an eloquent explanation. But then I came along and spoiled things with the Truth.  What Truth did I state? Well, there were cameras bobbing around on arctic buoys, and they did not show smoother ice. In fact there were more pressure-ridges than were seen before. There were also adventurers out on the ice, and the pictures on their Facebook pages did not show smoother ice. In fact one adventurer stated he had never before seen sea-ice so riven and tortured, and he dubbed it “crazy ice”. These observations revealed that the above-described “mechanics” of the original premise, although silky-smooth and scientific-sounding, was built upon bunkum.

Just in the past few weeks a silky-smooth hypothesis has been offered for the very thick sea-ice that piled up on the coast of Newfoundland, which caused problems for the fishermen up there. It was explained that the striking increase in thicker amounts of piled-up sea-ice seen on the Newfoundland coast was due to Global Warming melting sea-ice. (Huh?) A lovely explanation then was given, stating the phenomenon was like Styrofoam in a bathtub. (Eh?) If the bathtub was full of Styrofoam from side to side, you could puff at a piece of the foam and the Styrofoam wouldn’t budge, for there was no space for it to move. However if the tub’s surface was only half full there would be space for Styrofoam to move, and when you puffed at a piece of Styrofoam it would scoot over the surface. Less was more, for less Styrofoam meant the Styrofoam could move more. And this explained how less sea-ice could move more, down to the shores of Newfoundland and, in that one place, “look” like more, though there was in fact less.

Don’t you just love it when a scientist comes down to our level and explains things in terms we little children can understand? We should all nod and wear enlightened expressions and say “eureka” and nod some more. But then I came along and spoiled things with the Truth.

It just so happens that, due to the need to resupply the Hudson Bay company trading posts, we have 350 years of records of sea-ice conditions in that area. There were also whaling ships that sailed further north after whales, and we can consult their ship-logs. Also British explorers, who sought ways through the Northwest Passage, kept surprisingly scientific records, and American explorers who wanted to be the first to reach the North Pole also kept records. And finally, because I, in my armchair, like to get away on vicarious adventures  involving the daring exploits of sailors, I have perused these stories, and consequentially (and somewhat accidentally) my memory owns all sorts of trivia about sea-ice conditions of the past. Therefore I immediately recognized the bunkum involved, in the statement that sea-ice is now more mobile than it once was,  due to Global Warming.

One adventure I was awed by was that of a group of men camped on the sea-ice beside a ship, who woke one morning  to see the ice they were on had broken away from the ship, leaving the sailors and their Eskimo guides marooned on sea-ice, far from their ship. This occurred at the very top of Baffin Bay, by Nares Strait. Then these men drifted over 1800 miles south aboard their berg, to a rescue by sealers off the coast of Newfoundland.

Crunch 6 Polaris_Expedition_route

 

This adventure does tend to suggest that sea-ice moved in the past as it moves today, and that history, in turn, suggests that such motion is not merely a modern thing, and is not caused by Global Warming, and, in conclusion, that suggesting otherwise is pure bunkum.

But I gained other trivia as well, for one does wonder why the men on the ship didn’t pick up the marooned crew. One scrutinizes the history for the reasons. And it turns out the expedition was government-funded science.

Oh boy, can I ever have fun with this!

Unfortunately I don’t have time, at the moment. As a teaser, I’ll just state the captain was murdered, there was a lot of drunkenness, half the crew drifted off on an iceberg, the boat later sank, but (miraculously, considering how unforgiving the arctic can be), no once else died.

The moral of the tale I hope to tell will be that a ship needs one captain who is obeyed, and that to sail by a bureaucratic committee is bound to be a debacle.  Politics always complicates leadership, because in-fighting and jockeying-for-position results in either overt, or subtle and secret, mutiny.

And Science? Science involves all sorts of debate, but there should be no doubt who the captain is. The captain is Truth.

Truth is not honored when the second half of this motto is followed: “If you can’t dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with bullshit.” And bullshit is just another word for bunkum. And, sadly, climate science has allowed political and financial pressure to make bunkum just another word for Global Warming.

(If you are interested in the men marooned on the iceberg, check out this old book, written in 1874, and containing views that are likely not entirely objective. (But are we ever?) The time adrift-on-a-berg begins in chapter sixteen.)

https://books.google.com/books?id=LkANAQAAIAAJ&pg=PA421&lpg=PA421&dq=Emil+Bessel&source=bl&ots=y7DLxblPf6&sig=001dhyOkOWFivQDA4eq2xTfU228&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjijrvrt4zaAhVr64MKHa-SAHQQ6AEINjAE#v=onepage&q=Emil%20Bessel&f=false

 

 

 

 

ARCTIC SEA-ICE –The 2018 Maximum–UPDATED

Although it is still possible to see a late-season peak in sea-ice “extent”, we are near the end of the growing-season, in terms of sea-ice.  Although a late-season surge would make for splendid debates between Alarmists and Skeptics, the debate would be in many senses straining over gnats, for the discussion at this point is largely about ice which is either at the periphery of the arctic, or even outside of polar regions. The lesson being taught by the past winter has already been presented to us, and has given us very low totals, in terms of “extent”.

DMI5 0323 osisaf_nh_iceextent_daily_5years_en

The reason for the low “extent” is largely due to low totals in the Bering Straits and the Barents Sea, which are the Pacific and Atlantic “entrance regions” to the Arctic. This leads to two vastly different interpretations. Some think there is warmer water entering the arctic and melting the ice, while some think the ice has been pushed north by south winds in these two regions. I tend to think the latter view is correct, for even as the “extent” has seen low levels, “volume” has seen a recovery, which tends to suggest the sea-ice has been compressed into the Central Arctic.

Crunch 1 FullSizeRender

In February the south winds were strong enough to push the ice away from shore at the top of Greenland, creating a polynya of open water. This swiftly froze over with “baby-ice”, but there has been confusion in some circles, and some felt the water was still open, because baby-ice looks dark in views from satellites, and some misinterpreted the darkness as being open water. However, when the south winds stopped and a more normal flow of sea-ice resumed down through Fram Strait, the baby-ice developed leads, and these cracks made it obvious the waters weren’t open (as open water does not crack.)

Max 5 no open water NE of Greenland

The movement of sea-ice down through Fram Strait is normal, but the amount of ice flushed south varies greatly. One reason for a low extent the past winter was the flushing was held at bay by the south winds. Other years have seen quite different scenarios. 2007 saw “extents” plunge from above average to below average because large amounts of ice came south, resulting in low amounts of ice left behind. During the period 1815-1817 so much ice came south it was described as “convulsions” by whaling ship captains, who noted sea-ice far to the south, off Ireland, even as there were open waters north of Greenland.  In conclusion, to say “extent” is due to air temperatures seems largely an exaggeration, as winds play the greatest part, with water temperatures second.

Regarding water temperatures, we turn to the sea-surface temperature anomaly map, and look to the Pacific and Atlantic entrance-regions.

Max 4 anomnight.3.22.2018

Both regions show above-average temperatures, though one has to be wary and not be fooled by how “hot” the bright yellow water looks. It can be bright yellow even if it is only a quarter degree above normal, and “normal” is the freezing point of salt water, around 29°F (-1.7°C). Such waters almost never appear as below normal and blue, for if they drop a half degree they become ice, and are shown as white.

In actual fact the above map is full of confusion. The cold waters on the Pacific coast of Canada are indicative of a developing cold PDO, but other waters don’t agree. The cold waters in the Atlantic by Europe are indicative of a developing cold AMO, but other waters don’t agree. The patch of warm water around the Pacific’s Galapagos Islands hints an El Nino may be developing, but the cold water clinging to the coast of Peru suggests the La Nina may persist.  In other words, your guess is as good as mine. Perhaps it is safest to call the indicators “neutral.” But it should be clear they are not unequivocally indicating warmth, this spring.

I think the warm AMO surprised people with the steepness of its recent plunge. (The final “+” to the lower right is the lowest we’ve seen in years.)

Max 3 amo_short

The PDO (which has surprised people for three years by being “warm” in its “cold” phase), is settling back towards neutral. The final “+” to the right is dipping down.

Max 2 pdo_short

The La Nina is hinting it may be ending, but this time of year is a sort of nightmare for any who attempt to predict the fluctuations between a La Nina and an El Nino. Meteorologists speak of a “forecasting wall”, and you can’t really trust forecasts until summer. In any case it is still cold, and this is indicative of a lagged cooling-effect  up in the arctic.

Max 1 nino34_short

I also distrust the modeled long-term forecasts for arctic weather. For what it’s worth, they are predicting a warmer-than-usual summer in polar regions, which is contrary to what I expect. I expect the DMI temperature graph to do what it has done in recent years, which is to remain above-normal until May, and then be a little below-normal until September. I was caught off guard when it recently dipped below normal, briefly.

DMI5 0324 meanT_2018

I expect the Pole to be below normal in the summer because the Pole is the one place, in the summer, where you can see the effect of sunshine without a lot of other factors confusing things, and I have a hunch it is where the “Quiet Sun” is most straightforward in its display of less energy. Of course, this expectation could be messed up by any sort of “noise” created by summer storms. However usually the storms cease in the north during June and early July, as the 24 hour sunshine lessens the contrast between the cold north and warmer south.

The “melt season” might get off to a fast start, due to less ice in the Bering and Barents Seas, but I expect it to slow down as the edge of the ice progresses towards the Central Arctic, and reaches the ice that is thicker than last year’s. Keep an eye on the temperature of the waters in the north Pacific and North Atlantic. If they fail to warm a half degree, you can see the “anomaly” SST map go through a drastic shift from bright yellow to blue.

I have a few more comments to make and maps to add, so I’ll update this later. Stay tuned.

********

I tend to have my doubts that the PIOMAS data can be as accurate as they strive to make it be, given the uncertainties involved in measuring the thickness and bulk of bergs, however they do offer some interesting statistics about volume, including how much is exported (or sometimes imported) via Fram Strait.

Max 6 Fram export

This graph shows the “wrong way” flow of last February. Although this flow reduced the “extent” of ice, by reducing the flow down the east coast of Greenland, in the long run it may increase “extent” later in the summer, by increasing the amount of ice “held back in reserve”.

To visualize the journey of sea-ice across the Pole and up against the north coast of Greenland, and then east into Fram Strait, I highly recommend the movie made of still shots from O-buoy 9, especially the final fifteen minutes.

http://obuoy.datatransport.org/monitor#buoy9/movie

Another way less extent at winter may lead to greater extent in the summer is by exposing the water to winter winds. If the water is protected by sea-ice it is able to stratify, with a layer of warmer but saltier water moving north under colder but fresher water, and later seeing the warmer, saltier water rising and melting ice further north from beneath. If that same water is churned by winter gales it may be warmer at the surface but it has no warmer water beneath, and the melting from beneath is less as it moves north.

An example of this occurred in 2012, when the Bering Sea was very sheltered by sea ice in the spring, and had the highest extent in the past twelve years, yet the following summer saw the greatest sea-ice melt we’ve seen in the satellite age, north of Bering Strait.  (Numbers from March 20).

Max 7 March_20_Bering

On other words, don’t judge a book by its cover, or the sea-ice minimum by its March-maximum ice cover.

*******

As a final aside, I should probably confess that, while I originally became a skeptic when I heard that the Medieval Warm Period was colder than today, when I knew darn well that Vikings in Greenland back then were able to bury their dead in graves dug by primitive shovels, in soil that is now permafrost difficult to dent with a jackhammer, I did initially entertain some foolish Alarmist misconceptions about the nature of sea-ice.

What was my misconception? Well, I imagined the Pole was covered by an ice “cap”. This gave me the idea sea-ice was like a cap I might wear on my head. I have learned no such stability is involved. Even a cap made of jello would be more stable than the Arctic Sea’s ice. Perhaps the Arctic’s ice would be best described as a “cap” made of smoke. It swirls and shifts and is constantly moving. You can see the swirls in the current thickness map.

Thickness 20180325 Attachment-1

I have spent the past five years watching the movement of sea-ice, and its thickness, and what watching has taught me is that we are not talking about a “cap”. We are talking about the skin of a soap bubble. Usually, even now, at the end of winter, sea-ice is between 6 and 15 feet thick, atop a mile-deep sea which has waves, in a gale, 30 feet tall. It is a ephemeral skin atop a mighty sea which, even in a complete calm, can shift two miles left and then two miles right, simply due to tides. In conclusion, sea ice is not stable or at all permanent. It is on the move. It always has been on the move. Siberian trees wind up driftwood on Greenland’s north shore. Wreakage from the exploration vessel Jeannette, crushed in sea-ice in June, 1881 north of Siberia, was found three years later, in June 1884,  in sea-ice off the southwest tip of Greenland, thousands of miles away. More recently the base on “Fletchers Ice Island” was blown by a zonal pattern for more than a decade around and around the Pole, before exiting down through Fram Strait, and never once stood still. If I had done my homework five years ago, I would have known better than to think the arctic had any sort of “cap”, that stood still and only melted in from the edges.

Now I have done my homework, and am annoyed by reporters who seem to fail to do the same. After all, they get paid for curiosity and I do not. Yet they persist in broadcasting a falsity, suggesting that sea-ice is a “cap” and that sea-ice is a static thing, and that any shifting of ice, and that any leads of open water, or polinyas, are a sign that the fixed “cap” is suffering serious erosion inward,  from the edges, and soon the “cap”will be no more.

Either such reporters are as ignorant as I was five years ago, or they are guilty of intentionally misinforming the naive public, and deserve to be put in the stocks and pillory and publicly humiliated. (Yes, I have Pilgrim ancestors.)

Fortunately I am not in charge of disciplining young reporters. That responsibility rests on the shoulders of editors, and in the the end it is editors will have to sit in the stocks and pillory, and be publicly humiliated, for allowing young reporters to print such balderdash. But me? I have enough trouble editing and disciplining my self.

It is through disciplining myself and correcting my self that I have come to see how mobile sea-ice is. And boy Oh boy, is it ever mobile.  Air temperature has next to nothing to do with the appearance of open water at the Pole. At this time of year open water is nearly entirely due to winds.

It is largely due to winds that the sea-ice is different from how it was last year. But what are the differences? Let us compare this year to last year. (2017 to left, 2018 to right.)

I think you can see the Alarmist talking-points, which is the decrease of sea-ice in the Bering and Barents Seas. The Skeptic talking-point is the striking increase in thicker sea-ice in the Laptev and East Siberian Sea. But me? I focus on the coast of Alaska and mainland Arctic-Canada? Why?

Well, I happen to have a fondness for the crazy people who can’t get enough of cold weather (and I am not one of them). As soon as things get nice and pleasant down here to the south they head north to freeze their socks off, attempting the Northwest Passage in all sorts of craft, ranging from luxury liners to inflatable dinghies. I enjoy these people because, posting on Facebook, they give reports on conditions in the arctic based on actual first-hand-experience, which cub reporters working for the mainstream media apparently don’t know how to do.

For this reason I do not focus on the Atlantic and Pacific entrance-regions to the North Pole, but rather the Northwest Passage entrance-regions, especially Amundsen Gulf.

Amundsen Gulf Map_indicating_Amundsen_Gulf,_Northwest_Territories,_Canada

Often entering the Northwest Passage is assisted by a polynya that appears at the delta of the Mackenzie River, but it didn’t appear this year. I was worried that the adventurous mariners I like so much might be discouraged from even attempting the passage. However recently sea-ice began to shift and groan, not at the delta, but in the Admundsen Gulf itself! (The mouth of the gulf  faces up, (west), in the picture below). (Parry Channel is also opening, to the right of the picture.)

Max 8 20180321-western-CAA-worldview-3-6-7

If you ever wanted proof the shifting of sea-ice and appearance of open water has nothing to do with air temperatures (or CO2), the above is a prime example. Few parts of the Northern Hemisphere have been so cold, but howling winds from the east will do what howling winds will do.

And please do not mention to intrepid explorers what exposing the water to cold winds might do to slow the ice-melt, later in the summer, (which I mentioned earlier in this post). Just tell them that Amundsen Gulf is opening up already, in March, and they should start packing!

The rest of us? We get to sit back and enjoy others efforts.

Stay tuned.

ARCTIC SEA-ICE –The Newfoundland Crunch–UPDATED

Crunch 1 FullSizeRender

The coast of Newfoundland is an excellent example, this year, of how the sea-ice”extent” graph can decrease even as the “volume” graph increases. In the middle of February the sea-ice had spread far from the coast, to the cross-hairs formed by the 50° W longitude and 50° N latitude lines.

Crunch 2 FullSizeRender

However a month later we see that the area the ice covered has shrunk back to the west.

Crunch 3 FullSizeRender

Initially one might think the decrease in extent was due to melting, but then we notice how thick the ice is along the Newfoundland coast. What has happened is that a series of nor’easters, which gave headline-making snows in the northeast of the USA, created persistent east winds to the waters off Newfoundland, pushing all the ice towards the shore, where it piled up. In actual fact the “volume” of this particular bunch of ice likely was roughly the same, but the “extent” was greatly reduced.

When the sea-ice piled up to such a degree it became a problem. Or actually a number of problems.

The first problem was that boats up in those waters are built to handle ordinary sea-ice, which tends to be a foot or two thick, and a bit slushy in its consistency.  It is not the same thing as the huge and beautiful icebergs that drift down to those coasts after calving off massive glaciers up in Greenland. It is sea-ice a boat can motor through. But when east winds persist the ice piles up thicker and thicker, and this year reached thicknesses approaching thirty feet. At that point the smaller boats became stuck, and a few even were sunk, and icebreakers and helicopters need to be called to the rescue.

Crunch 5 la-scie-fishermen-rescued-from-boat-suck-in-ice

This creates a second problem. Certain climate scientists have been warning that all the sea-ice was melting away and polar bears would have no ice to stand on, and would drown. To have ice thirty feet thick along the shore placed these gentlemen in an embarrassing situation. Like a boy with undone homework standing in front of an Algebra teacher, they needed to think, and think fast.

I must give the fellows credit. If they were standing before an Algebra teacher, their excuses would cause the entire class to rise and give them a standing ovation.

Basically their excuse was that less ice made for looser ice, that was more able to shift and crunch up against the coast. In order to understand this lovely excuse you need to understand the concept of “fast-ice.”

Fast-ice is actually ice that is slow. It was so slow that it was “frozen fast” to the shore, where it can remain for years, during periods when the climate is cold. When the climate warms, large areas of fast-ice can break off. It is very different from “shelf-ice”, which is far thicker and derives its origins from glaciers. Fast-ice derives its origins from sea-ice, and is seldom thicker than thirty feet. Fast-ice bergs are far more crumbly than the huge bergs than can sink a Titanic,  for they are made of compacted chips of ice and slush, as opposed to glacial bergs, which are solid ice. A slab of fast-ice tend to quickly revert to many small chips of sea-ice, and a thirty foot thick slab can then spread out like butter over bread to cover a larger area with chunks of sea-ice, causing a confusing rise in “extent” even as weather warms.

In any case, the excuse now being given for the situation along the coast of Newfoundland gets double points, for not only does it explain the ice getting there, but also explains the larger chunks of sea-ice which are in the mix.

According to this excuse hypothesis, before Global Warming happened all the ice was held to the north as fast-ice, and the thinner fast-ice formed a wall that held the thicker fast-ice in check behind it. Now Global Warming has melted the thinner fast-ice, which allows the thicker fast-ice to come south.

I hope you recognize the beauty of this excuse explanation. Now not only does Global Warming explain more sea-ice, but it also explains bigger chunks of ice in the sea-ice. Because bigger chunks may damage and even sink small boats, it becomes all the more important to raise carbon taxes on hard-working fishermen, and fund climate scientists.

But there is one small, third problem. We have the records of sailors going back into the past, and can look to see if indeed fast-ice held sea-ice to the north.

The route to the posts of the Hudson Bay Company in Hudson Bay tried to avoid the sea-ice that moves south down the west side of Baffin Bay and along the coast of Labrador, by sailing along the east side of Baffin Bay, but to enter Hudson Bay they had to cross over and penetrate the river of sea-ice. And when did these voyages start? Well, the “Nonesuch” sailed up there and then down to the very south of Hudson Bay in 1668, and founded the first post. So we have 350 years of records, showing that some years the passage was easy, and some years the passage was blocked.

“Oh, well”, you may say, “That only shows the passage was possible because the lack of Global Warming kept the thicker sea-ice trapped behind fast-ice to the north”.

But here we face a fourth problem. Besides traders after furs there were whalers after whales, and they sailed farther north. In fact, after what was likely an amazing discharge of sea-ice around 1816-1817, one whaler is even reported to have sailed up the east coast of Greenland, around the top, and down the west coast.

Also, besides the whalers, there was a whole slew of British explorers attempting to navigate and map the Northwest Passage in the first half of the 1800’s, and they quite routinely navigated through Baffin Bay.

Lastly, members of the ill-fated American “Polaris” expedition, after steaming up to the to the top of an open Nares Strait in 1871, became separated from the ship and were marooned on an ice flow at the bottom of Nares Strait in 1872. What better proof could you ask for (that the sea-ice was mobile) than to have a group of men ride it all the way south along the west coast of Baffin Bay and onward, over 1800 miles,  to where they were rescued off the coast of Newfoundland in late April 1873 by sealers.

Crunch 6 Polaris_Expedition_route

All in all, judging from the sea-ice conditions reported in the past, I have to conclude the excuse hypothesis that sea-ice has only recently come south, because Global Warming’s melting freed it, has been refuted. However I do give climate scientists an “A” for effort.

Perhaps there was more fast-ice during the Little Ice Age, but it seems the flow of sea-ice down the west side of Baffin Bay, and even through Nares Strait at the top of Baffin Bay, is a persistent geological reality, even in cold periods.   Perhaps it may briefly halt during an especially cold winter, but ice grinds south along the northeast coast of Greenland even when winds are at -40°, only rarely becoming fastened to the shore for a while, and I can see no reason Baffin Bay should differ.

In conclusion,  the flow of ice down the west side of Baffin Bay and along the coast of Newfoundland has varied, and still can vary, greatly. Some years there is little, some years there is a lot, some years the ice freezes solid to the shore and becomes “fast-ice”, some years big areas of fast-ice break lose and swirl south. The people of Newfoundland have learned to grin and bear it, but likely appreciate the efforts of climate scientists to bring reporters north, for it increases the tourist trade.

Sadly, when reporters focus in on the trials and tribulations of the people up there, when east winds pile the sea-ice up along their coasts, the climate scientists hog the spotlight, and there is hardly any reporting of what the fishermen suffer. Is it only climate scientists who deserve pity?

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/manitoba/arctic-sea-ice-research-1.4583150

*******

It took some digging, but I did finally find news about the fishermen.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/newfoundland-labrador/fishing-boats-stuck-ice-la-scie-1.4151075

Crunch 4 fishing-boats-la-scie-returning

LOCAL VIEW –Spring Snows–

I’m done my taxes, and could easily post a long rant, but I’m not in the mood. The government is wise to have taxes due on April 15, for at the end of a long winter people are at their weakest, and least likely to rebel. Rioting is reserved for the hot days of summer.

Instead I’ll quell my ire, and only allow a bit of subtle animosity to ooze by snickering, as a storm bears down on Washington D.C. Ha! Rather than the rains of cherry blossoms petals they expect, their hot air will be cooled by snowflakes. Hopefully the snow will cool their inventiveness, which all too often helps no one but themselves. They invent new taxes, such as the “Carbon Tax”, but it’s hard to tax people for Global Warming in a snowstorm. Why? Because rather than their taxing behavior seeming like “saving the planet”, it becomes too obvious what it actually is, which is highway robbery.

20180321 rad_ec_640x480

I am just glad I listened to Joe Bastardi and Joseph D’Aleo (at the Weatherbell site) back in February, when they looked a little foolish by warning winter wasn’t over, when it looked like it was. The snow was gone, and we even enjoyed a delightful day with temperatures up around 72°F ( 22°C). I felt a little foolish for heeding them, and ordering extra firewood. Now I have to dig down through snow to get the wood, (which I never had time to stack, because the greedy government cares more about doing taxes than properly stacked wood.)

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Not that I have time to stack wood. The government prefers that I squint at 208 receipts. I’m hoping the approaching storm stays south, and clobbers Washington and not me, for my porch shows I’m not ready for a storm.

Sping Snow 1 IMG_6539

Not that I have time to stack wood. I have to hurry to the Childcare. Thank God I have a staff that can keep an eye on things as I wade through business expenses for the government bookkeepers.

208 receipts. And nearly every one wrinkled. Many faded, from sitting on the dashboard of a truck, or made of some odd sort of paper that turns black when exposed to heat. Some with coffee stains, or a dog’s footprint in the center, from spending time on the seat of my truck. The government would not approve of my bookkeeping, but the government doesn’t work a Real Job. They don’t know what it is like to run a farm or a Childcare, where chaos is the rule. They expect all to be neat and tidy, and even calculate the time the paperwork should take, when they issue a new ordinance. How nice of them. I can just see them, in their cubical, figuring out it should take eighteen minutes to fill out the latest form.  They seem to think children and livestock will patiently wait, while I do paperwork. Nope. Doesn’t happen that way.

I arrive at the Childcare wondering if the children will even remember who I am, and they are delighted to see me. Funny. After a long day there is nothing I want more than to get away from the little imps, but as they rush up to hug my thighs I find myself moved. I suppose anything looks good, after government paperwork.

They are very exited and want to show me something they have done. So we head out through what passes as a springtime landscape in New Hampshire.

Spring Snow 3 FullSizeRender

Out at the bottom of the sledding hill I am shown an incredible wall built of huge snowballs.

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The energy involved must have been incalculable. I know the balls were pushed downhill, but they are bigger than the children are. The children are brimming with pride.

Spring Snow 4 IMG_6544

The snow has been frozen rock hard in the 6°F (-14°C) overnight temperatures, but the sunshine is glorious, as bright as the last day of summer’s. However I notice a violation of government regulations. All playground toys over 36 inches tall must be surrounded by a soft bed of wood-chips two feet deep. What if a child fell off these snowballs? Or, not “if”, “when”. I nonchalantly inquire if any such event has happened. My staff informs me that yes, so-and-so slipped off and got a fat lip the day before, and cried for five minutes. I look to see how traumatized so-and-so has become due to the dreadful experience, and note so-and-so is right back atop a snowball.

Spring Snow 5 IMG_6546

Still, there is simply no excuse for such violations of common-sense safety regulations. To top it all off, the wall was built right across the sledding trail. What were they thinking? Anyone sledding down the hill might experience a dreadful crash. The children must be immediately told to rip their stupid wall down. Do you want to tell them?

Spring Snow 7 FullSizeRender

Instead I want to tell the government something. The only problem is that I seem to be suffering a shortage of words that are not rude expletives.

Just let me say I hope it snows like heck on Washington D.C. today.

(Aren’t you glad I didn’t write a rave?)

My whole life’s a charitable deduction.
That’s the whole point of my poor poetry,
But the government wants a reduction,
And prefers greed, to generosity.
Golden Spring’s in the wings, and it’s waiting
For those fools to quit their contradiction.
Golden Promise is king, but abdicating
Because fools clamor for crucifixion,
But you cannot kill God. There’s no winter
That’s never ended by Spring, nor midnights
Unbroken by dawns. Icicles splinter,
Falling from eves. Drops trickle. Song delights
As even cold-hunched birds must free a sweet peep
And spring-fevered children awake from their sleep.

CLICK BAIT –Arctic Temperatures Crash Below Normal–

The DMI graph tells it all.

DMI5 0319 meanT_2018

The only reason I’m pounding a drum about temperatures being slightly below normal at the Pole is because the media made such a hoopla about the spike that preceded it. Call my post anti-hoopla, if you will.

Not that any weather can be anything other than proof of Global Warming, in the eyes of some. For example, a few weeks ago the loopy jet-stream brought warm weather to the east coast of the USA. That was proof of Global Warming. However now it is bitterly cold, but that too is proof of Global Warming. If you choose to enter that mindset, here are examples. Warm spell is proof of Global Warming? See here:

https://insideclimatenews.org/news/21022018/february-record-high-temperature-east-coast-arctic-climate-change-nws

Blizzard a few days later is proof of Global Warming? See here:

https://insideclimatenews.org/news/13032018/global-warming-weather-data-winter-storms-arctic-sea-ice-jet-streams-ocean-temperature

It is really an amazing sort of delusion, wherein there is no way to refute the hypothesis, even if it is incorrect. I am reduced to rolling my eyes.

One thing I refuse to do is to allow these poor, misguided zealots to drop the term “Global Warming.” It is their roots, and they need to stay grounded. I know they dearly want to forget their past predictions of doom and gloom and to “move on .com” to new predictions of doom and gloom, and therefore want to move to the safer topic of “Climate Change” (for the climate always changes), but they promised us a warmer world, and by gum I am not going to let them skip out on their promise. Also I don’t want them to avoid the absurdity they face, and have earned, when the weather is bitterly cold. It is a custard pie plashed into their face, and they themselves deliver it.

I have to admit they display adroit dexterity of logic, when explaining how a howling blizzard is due to Global Warming. I appreciate that sort of balderdash, for such balderdash is at the root of creative writing. Of course, mature writers know they have entered the world of fiction, and have left the landscape of science. But, before they were mature, some writers were forced to attend Algebra classes they loathed, and, when asked to explain why their Algebra homework was undone, wove such amazing webs of balderdash that the classroom hushed, and the teacher couldn’t help but smile. In the process they displayed adroit dexterity of logic. For this reason I think many Climate Scientists are actually creative writers who missed their calling.

But they do not fool me one bit. After all, I am myself a creative writer, and know all too clearly the difference between science and fiction, for in my time I too have offered bill collectors my poems, with a predictable result.

It doesn’t matter how fantastic your flights of imagination may be, (that you call “explanations”), you can’t eat them when your belly growls (and anyway, the unimpressed bill collector calls them “excuses”). A day must come when reality knocks at the door like the Grim Reaper. And, for Alarmists who are seeking to sell Global Warming, that is what cold temperatures are: The Grim Reaper (or bill collector) knocking at their door.

And that is why I am so cruel as to post the above graph. I want to be the cold slap of reality on a feverish face, and to wake people up.

I need to warn those young dreamers (who are desperately attempting to make their Global Warming creativity look like science) that they need to be careful.  They need to take care not to slip into the landscape of liars. Not that the temptations may not be more seductive than those faced by a man with an ugly wife and a beautiful secretary. But, as a creative writer, I can guarantee nothing dries up the founts of creativity faster than cheating in terms of Truth. For example, if a great creative writer succumbs to the big paycheck of working for an advertising agency,  he notices an almost immediate increase in what is called “writer’s block”, and in some cases ceases to be able to write at all.

How might such lies occur in the world of something innocuous as polar temperatures? Well, for an example, begin by looking at the color-codes in the scale of temperatures in the map below, from the recent February spike in arctic temperatures.

Sneaky TemperatureAnomaly02212018

Look at the color of -4°C. It is a blue so pale it is nearly indistinguishable from white. But then look at +4°C. It is a vivid ochre .  This visually gives more “weight” to four degrees of warming than four degrees of cooling. It is a sort of lie. And then also note how the planet is tilted, so Siberia is away from the viewer. That too makes Siberia seem smaller and gives it less “weight”, and is a visual lie. Third, the map does not reflect actual temperatures, but rather “anomalies”, which can make temperatures far below zero appear cherry red, and thus generate an impression of warmth where it is cold.

Please compare the “impression” given by the above map with the “impression” given by the map below, (from a few days later), which reflects not “anomalies”, but actual temperatures.

Sneaky 2 comment-4-gfs_t2m_nhem_2

It is difficult to recognize the maps as being from the same planet, let alone as being from roughly the same time. Considering the second map reflects actual temperatures, it reflects Truth as it actually is, while the first “anomaly”map reflects something that isn’t, a “departure”, and slips from reality towards a sort of slight-of-hand.

I appreciate this sort of cleverness, as a creative writer, but also recognize the danger. It is one thing to display adroit dexterity of logic when telling baldfaced lies to an Algebra teacher who is demanding undone homework, but quite another when you enter the adult world where a man’s word (and a woman’s word) is their honor.

What is the danger? The danger is that, if you don’t stand for Truth, a time may come when you look around for who will stand for you, and all around you will be false. Even worse, when you look within for the founts of creativity and recreation, the springs will be dried up, and all will be a desert. Indeed, while a warming world would be of benefit to many, the political dishonesty involved in Global Warming seems more likely to result in a global desertification.

ARCTIC SEA ICE –Marvelous Mutations–UPDATED

This is just a quick note to exclaim about how different the behavior of arctic systems are, compared to what traditional ideas expect. Traditionally we expect a boundary to exist between the the Polar Cell and the Ferrel Cell.

Polar cell UHCaxa7

This boundary tends to have east winds north of it (Called “Northerlies”in the above illustration) and west winds south of it (called “Sou-westerlies” above). For the purposes of simplification, let me call them the “Polar Easterlies” and the “Sub-polar Westerlies.”

When these winds behave themselves, the only sign we have of the opposing winds is when a gale tracks northeast so far in the Sub-polar Westerlies that it leaves their jurisdiction, and enters the jurisdiction of the Polar Easterlies. That is when the gales slow, “stall”, and head east, with their track often describing what I call a “loop-de-loop”.  This is commonplace.

It is more rare for the easterlies to come so far south that actual pockets of high pressure are carried east to west. In Eurasia such high pressure systems can be loaded with bitterly cold Siberian air, and be called names such as “The Beast from the East.”

Currently a second pocket of high pressure, “The Baby Beast”,  is drooping the daffodils in England, but watch what happens to the high pressure as it is caught by the westerlies.

A.) It charges west over Britain.

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B.) It runs out of steam between Britain and Iceland, and stalls.

Deranged 2 66429274

C.) It is dragged back east, south of Britain towards Spain, by the westerlies, and has in fact become part of the westerlies.

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If you go back to the first map, you will notice that when the Baby Beast plows into the westerlies the more traditional westerlies are suppressed south, as bigger than normal storms moving west-to-east through the Mediterranean. However the Baby Beast, like an oar moving through water, does not only make a whirlpool one side of its blade, but on both sides.  Storms are also suppressed and squeezed north, up the east coast of Greenland. These northern whirls are in complete denial of traditional diagrams, for they are westerlies moving north of easterlies.

This situation is such a mutation of normalcy it cannot long survive. But for a moment in time one can see the sub-polar westerlies exist north of the polar easterlies, before the situation rectifies itself by dissolving into uncommitted confusion. (Called chaos.)

When one side of the Pole dissolves into such confusion, it ceases to have as much influence over the Pole itself. Its power is in a sense neutered. This gives the other side of the Pole relative strength. Even if it was weak, it gains relative power, compared to the neutrality of confusion.

Some computer models, trying to make heads of tails of this change,  produce a remarkable solution. They replace the old polar easterlies with a new polar easterlies. Where the old were so far south they pushed the Baby Beast south over Britain, the new easterlies will be so far to the north a storm from the Pacific will be pulled north right over the Pole and down to the Atlantic.

We shall see about that. Models can be wrong. However what I wish to suggest is that the elegant idea of Polar Cell above a Ferral Cell is too simplistic to explain what we are witnessing.

Hopefully I’ll have time to add polar maps to this post, to show the view of what is occurring from above.

But, if I don’t have time, I should at least state that the newsworthy cold discharges may shift  from the Eurasian side to the North American side, very soon.

*******

When I last posted a weak “Ralpheena” situation was puncturing a zonal flow, with high pressure at the Pole attacked by both Atlantic and Pacific “feeder bands”. The  Pacific milder air is seen in the isotherm map just north of the coast of Alaska, while the Atlantic milder air pokes up to the Pole  west of Svalbard. A relatively mild current just west of Svalbard emphasizes the Atlantic mildness, and a slight polynya at the mouth of the Mackenzie River slightly emphasizes the Pacific mildness, but neither is even close to being as strong as the two flows that manifested in mid-February.

In February the Pacific band shifted towards Siberia as the Atlantic band won out, eventually  making headlines by crossing the Pole, as the entire arctic high was shifted en mass, and described a slow arc, rotating west along the coast of Siberia, through Scandinavia, across the Atlantic to Greenland, and eventually through Canada to the Canadian Rockies. (The “Beast From the East”). The “Baby Beast” described above only represents a part of the arctic high pressure, a blob of it that breaks off and leaves the rest behind. In this sense the situation replicated itself in a minor way, but also was different because the high pressure held its ground, and no cross-polar-flows astounded anyone.

The first map shows one weak “Ralph” fading just under the Pole, and a second slightly stronger “Ralph” moving north in Fram Strait off the northeast coast of Greenland. This Atlantic inflow is nudging the high pressure towards Eurasia, and the “Baby Beast” extension is swinging around through Scandinavia, bringing an Atlantic gale to a halt southwest of Iceland.

By the 16th the Atlantic inflow is blocked. The “Ralph” in Fram Strait has weakened. On the Pacific side the “Hula Ralph” north of Alaska is being fed by continental air rather than maritime air, and is flattened.

The isotherm map shows two tiny pockets of the -40°C isotherm north of Greenland. This is somewhat rare over the Arctic Sea, because the water, though cold, is relatively warm compared to the air, and this heat radiates up through ice. Also the sea-ice is in constant motion, and full of cracks that open and then crunch together, and any time a lead opens water is in contact with the air and losing heat, even as it swiftly skims over with ice. The -40°C air shows the strength of the cold that has swiftly built over the Arctic Sea, (yet gets no headlines.)

By March 17th a secondary “Ralph” has developed from the weakening low in Fram Strait, and is southwest of Svalbard. The isotherm map shows a pretty example of the counterclockwise “hook” that characterized various incarnations of “Ralph” last year, but it is making little progress towards the Pole, as the high pressure seems to be fighting back.

Twelve hours later the secondary “Ralph” is being deflected east, with the isobars indicating strong winds north of Svalbard as the high pressure fights back. The small pocket of -40°C air north of the Canadian Archipelago reaches its largest extent. The Pacific “feeder band”, though an obvious stripe in the isotherm map, is completely cut off from the Pacific.

Twelve hours later the high pressure over the Pole is pumped up and has triumphed in the battle for domination of the Pole. The “Ralph” over Svalbard is being shunted towards Norway like a more normal North Atlantic gale in the westerlies. Perhaps it “pumped up the high pressure”, as all the air its clouds hoisted aloft had to descend somewhere.

One thing unseen in these top-down maps is a constant bleeding-off of the Pole’s frigid air down through Canada, via an extension of the high pressure in that direction. As that lobe pours cold south on its eastern side some mild air comes north on its western side, which partially explains the milder air north of Alaska. But the exchange is not as dramatic as earlier this winter, when the entire Arctic Sea was divided by milder air as the mass of cold moved south.

This morning the former “Ralph” has moved southeast to northern Scandinavia, and has become a part of a conglomeration of low pressures extending all the way to the western reaches of the Laptev Sea. This power is suppose to shove the high pressure off the Pole and down into Canada. As that high pressure departs there should be a Pacific to Atlantic cross-polar-flow develop behind it, in the clash between low pressure on the Eurasian side and high pressure on the Canadian side. A small low may zip along this flow from the Pacific to the Atlantic. Not that I will have time to watch it. If the high pressure over the Pole actually does descend into North America I could very well be shoveling snow in April.

It is ironic that the coldest temperatures we have seen all winter over the Pole waited until the time we expect to see them rise.

DMI5 0318 meanT_2018

Until this cold is budged off the Pole I doubt we can officially claim the “yearly high” has been reached in terms of “sea-ice extent”. The peak has occurred later than usual in recent years. I’ll post on that next week. There is usually a lot of hoop-la about how low it is, though this year’s hoop-la might be a bit muted due to the fact the current “extent” has caught up to prior years and is no longer the “lowest evah!”

DMI5 0318 osisaf_nh_iceextent_daily_5years_en

Stay tuned.