“This spring I will not write a rhapsody” I observed, scuffing the street with old man Feet, “For I’ve become like a dead tree That has no sap. No green buds ever can Gentle my claws.” I felt no great grief Commenting, and bowed no sad violins With self-pity. It seemed a fact and relief That I was too old to add further sins To my long list. The day had long passed And I scuffed through dark fog with twilight gone And then paused. All my dark thought was surpassed By a sound like many lights long before dawn. They punctured the calm my brain was self-willing. In the swamp a thousand small frogs were all thrilling.
This is the most delayed spring I can ever remember. Usually the maples tantalize, for they start to bud out in late March, but are only flirting. Most years there is a long period where the forest is hazed by golden green and purple, and has lost the starkness of winter, as every twig is topped by a swelling bud, but the buds never bust out. A sort of prolonged reluctance becomes the mood, as the world awaits the true bursting out of May in all its glory. But this year the buds remained winter gray even in late April.
Our first daffodil finally unwrapped its petals in slow motion on April 23.
The forecast is for temperatures to soar next week. Yesterday we had a hard time getting up to fifty (10°C) but next week we may touch eighty (27°C) . I fully expect to wind up dazed, as around five weeks of spring will be compressed into 120 hours.
One likes to linger over springtime, as one does a fine glass of wine, but this will be like chugging a whole bottle at once. Around here we’ll all be reeling.
At this time of year there tends to be some hubbub about places in the arctic where there is less ice than usual. This year the focus is over in Bering Strait. I really lack the time to counter such hubbubs with humor, but instead direct you to my post of last year:
That old posts contains the usual pictures of submarines surfacing in open water in the springs of 1959 and 1987, and so on and so forth. This year we have Youtube film of subs crashing up through baby-ice.
The start of the second clip has some good shots of airplanes landing on the ice, as well as areal views of the thicker pressure-ridges planes can’t land on. All in all it tends to give one a more genuine idea of how frozen the sea is, up there in April. It counters the perception some media create, that suggests the arctic is all but devoid of sea-ice.
There haven’t been as many pictures from Barneo as there usually are. Irena posted a couple pictures, one of the ice from the air:
And one picture of the jumbled ice of a pressure ridge:
There are apparently the usual problems with cracks on the landing strip.
But the problems have apparently been overcome.
We will be missing O-buoy camera’s this summer, unless we can get O-buoy 14 up and running again. It was spotted by polar bear hunters. (Hat tip to Nigel.)
I’ll add more later, but now I’m off to meet a six-hour-old grandson, because there are some things more important than sea-ice.
BRIEF RAVE RESPONDING TO ALARMIST CONTENTION I DON’T CARE FOR GRANDCHILDREN
Many of you Alarmist whippersnappers have no children, (though you may have caused or had abortions). Therefore you can have no idea of what it is like to care for a child, let alone a grandchild. Consequently your lectures about “caring” have the echo-less hollowness of a vacuum. You cannot care about what you have never known.
Alarmist thought is based on fear. It is pitiable. The pity is that much beauty is missed, when you dare not venture out from under your bed. Not that I too was not once young and in many ways petrified at the prospect of going out into the world. However I realized that hiding under the bed was a worse place to die than out under the blue sky, so I headed out to die. But I didn’t die. Instead I discovered that all the Alarmist prophets were false prophets. Life was no bed of roses, but was beautiful despite all the thorns.
What’s more, the failure promised to me never came true. It was true I never became rich, but I never starved. Where there’s a will there’s a way, and it is surprising what you can do when you have to. So what if you have to work three jobs to get by? It is worth it for the Beauty. So what if you are not fashionable? Are not thought highly of? Never get a week’s vacation? You get beautiful moments Hollywood stars and starlets never know. Holding a grandchild in your arms is a more obvious example, but, if you keep your eyes open and know how to look for them, they are gifted to you every day.
What does this have to do with arctic sea-ice? It has to do with the fact that Alarmism hides under a bed, and refuses to go out and see what it is like when you simply leave the shadows and observe under the blue sky. Instead Alarmists see the people who do go out and gather actual evidence as being evil.
After all, listen to them. Are they not saying there is no reason to come out from under their bed? The “world is going to end”, if people keep doing what people do, which is to come out from under the bed and do what it takes to raise families. Therefore it is “saving the world” to keep hiding. People who function, people who run small businesses and pay their bills, people who feed and clothe and educate their children, are “over populating the earth” and should be afraid, and be like the so-called wise, who do the wise thing, which is to hide, and never experience the joy of being an ordinary “plugger”, who does what it takes to survive.
The strangest thing is that the people hiding under their beds call those who are not so afraid and alarmed, “Deniers”. But what am I denying?
Have I not confessed I too was scared, and hid under my bed, when I was young? I don’t deny that. But then I ventured out, because I didn’t deny a simple fact: I could not be an expert on life outside of the shadows under the bed, unless I went out and investigated. Then, when I investigated, I discovered one could survive, and also that there was beauty I could not deny. Yet, because I have done the bold and scientific thing, which is to investigate the unknown, I find myself called a “Denier”, by the very people who dare not be so bold, and remain hiding under beds.
In terms of arctic sea-ice this strange mentality becomes apparent when I simply try to say what I have gone out and seen. Alarmists do not want to hear it. They are positively adamant about their blindness. After all, more than a decade has passed since I first was told what a fool I am. I was informed the North Pole was absolutely and positively going to be ice-free by 2013. It wasn’t. Yet five years later the same people are telling me the sea-ice is absolutely and positively on the verge of vanishing.
It isn’t, but I still catch hell. What am I to conclude?
In some ways I conclude some are beyond help. They are so determined to prove they are justified in hiding under their bed that they will never know the joy I have known, getting out to breathe the fresh air of the Truth.
End rave. Not as short as I intended, but over.
Now let us look at what is beautiful, which is the sea-ice as the Creator made it. Let’s compare this year’s ice with last years: (2017 to left, 2018 to right.)
What jumps out at me is that what I called “The Laptev Notch” is missing this year. I imagine the ordinary export of sea-ice from the Laptev Sea to the Central Arctic must be far less, and I therefore expect the Central Arctic to hold less ice. I’m wrong, as usual. Instead the Central Arctic holds more ice. Also there is more sea-ice along the East Siberian coast. Lastly, there is (so far) a failure on the part of polynyas to form on the opposite side of the Pole from the usual Laptev polynyas. Polynyas also tend to form at the mouth of the Mackenzie River, and at the northwest coast of Alaska.
The failure of such polynyas to form is making a further fool of me, because, according to my brand of so-called logic, if this sea-ice isn’t shifted north, there should be less ice to the north. But, when I look to the map I posted above, there is thicker ice in the Central Arctic.
What the heck is causing the Central Arctic Ice to thicken?
At this point I tend to sneak into the camp of the enemy, to see what Alarmists are making of this reality. My favorite site to lurk at is run by “Brother Neven”, who likely would never plug my site, but I will plug his, with reservations. (For example, some failure-to-communicate exists between him and Tony Heller of the “Real Climate Science” site, and I think there may also be a feud between him and Anthony Watts of the “Watts Up With That” site. Pity. For Brother Neven’s site contains a wealth of sea-ice information. I just never dare utter a peep there, fearing I will be treated like Tony and Anthony, who I greatly respect and who are smarter than I. If they get trashed at that site, I’ll have no hope, and will bite my tongue while visiting, and will quietly lurk.)
I’ve been busy and haven’t had much time to lurk much amidst the wealth of information Neven makes available. So far I haven’t yet found a “forum” even considering the fact that sea-ice is thickening in the Central Arctic. Instead I mostly find people who seem to be hiding under their beds, and desperately searching for reasons to hope the sea-ice is shrinking.
I might as well tell you where they look for hope.
First, they focus on Bering Strait. If you compare 2017 to 2018 you will notice the sea-ice is less this year south of the strait (though greater in the Okhotsk Sea), and there are holes of thinner ice north of the strait. This deficiency is explained as being due to a number of theoretical reasons, the hope being that these reasons will override every other reason, and the thin ice there will spread over the entire Pole.
A slight problem with this logic involves the PDO, which has inched (just barely) into “cold” territory for the first time in years. (Actually it should be called “neutral”) (Note the “+” at the lowest right of the chart below.)
Why does the PDO matter? Because (though I do not understand the engineering) when the PDO is positive sea-ice melts like crazy north of Bering Strait, and when it is negative the sea-ice stubbornly refuses to melt. Therefore the PDO is moving in the wrong direction to arrive at the results Alarmists desire.
A second thing Alarmists focus on is the narrow tongue of open water probing northeastwest of Svalbard. This represents a tendril of the Gulf Stream which invades the arctic there, even as a far colder current plunges south, clinging to the east coast of Greenland. Alarmists hold high hope for this warm current, and post beautiful satellite evidence of sea-ice moving south into that warmer current, and being swiftly melted. They seem to hope the warm current will melt the entire Pole.
The problem is that melting all that sea-ice cools the current. It consequently has less power as it moves north of Svalbard, Ordinarily it plunges under the colder but fresher waters north of Svalbard (because warm water is more dense than cold water if it is more salty), but now it is less likely to do so because melting ice makes it not only colder but less salty, and therefore it will have less of an “underground” effect further northeast. And, to the northeast, the sea-ice is not retreating north, but advancing south, in Barents Sea.
Lastly, Alarmists focus on the frozen-over Polynya north of Greenland, where ice is usually piled up thickly. Likely the unusual pushing of this sea-ice north contributed to the thicker ice in the Central Arctic, but Alarmists apparently hope retreat of sea-ice from the north coast of Greenland is evidence the sea-ice is in rapid retreat all over the Pole.
The problem remains that the sea-ice is thicker over the Central Arctic. My question remains unanswered, even after lurking on Alarmist sites. What the heck is going on?
I mean, just look at how the DMI chart (admittedly “modeled”) shows the volume of sea-ice increases greatly this spring, to levels higher than 2015’s.
How can this be ignored?
In case you are new to this obscure site, I should tell you that a year ago an Alarmist I nicknamed “Sty” visited this site, and ridiculed me for not seeing that “volume” mattered more than both “area” and “extent”, in terms of sea-ice. (“Volume” was at very low levels, a year ago.) Where is he now?
I sure would like to talk about what is going on, but instead I have a sense some people prefer hiding under their beds. They are so sure bad things are going on they don’t want to come out and see what is actually happening.
What’s so bad about it? It is what it is. Let’s deal with it!
I should not conclude without mentioning the AMO, which influences sea-ice on the Atlantic side. It is rising, after a remarkable plunge it took last January and February, and it remains “warm”.
However, although “warm”, it is far “colder” than it was in recent years, and therefore I assume it will be of less help, in terms of melting sea-ice.
All things considered, I will stick my neck out and venture this guess: There is no cotton-picking way the sea-ice will melt as much this year as it did last year.
Am I denying something, saying what I say? If I am, tell me what I am missing. But until I am given some information I haven’t received, I will not accept being called a “Denier”. Instead I’ll simply see myself as a fellow who didn’t like hiding under his bed.
By the way. here is the link to “Brother Neven’s” website:
Passing April 21 marks the start of the the two months before the summer solstice, followed by the two months after the solstice, and this marks the period when the sun is at its highest in the arctic sky. Although April is usually colder than August, the sun is as high on April 21 as it is on August 21.
An interesting phenomenon appears at this time of year in polar maps, because noon rotates clockwise around the maps, as does noontime heating. One needs to pay attention, because sly sorts of people can create misinformation, or at least misrepresentation, by posting maps made from arctic noontime temperatures, and neglecting to post the midnight temperatures, banking on the average man’s assumption that, because a “midnight sun” occurs north of the Arctic Circle, temperatures remain the same all day long.
Only at the Pole itself does the sun actually stay at the same height in the sky, rising slowly to its highest at the solstice and then slowly settling back down to the horizon at the autumnal equinox. Without the import and export of air-masses, the temperature at the Pole would indeed show little daily variation, and no diurnal variation whatsoever. But, as you move away from the Pole to the Arctic Circle, the sun is higher at noon than at midnight, until, at the solstice, at the Arctic Circle, the sun actually touches the horizon at midnight and rises far higher than it does at the Pole, at noon. (In actual fact the “midnight sun” lasts precisely one day, at the Arctic Circle, while it lasts 182 1/2 days at the Pole.)
The phenomenon this creates is a sort of bulge of heat rotating around and around the Pole, in a clockwise manner. I have seen this does have its effects, which I think are inadequately studied and understood. (I certainly don’t understand them, beyond noticing some weak meteorological features on weather maps are wiped out by the “bulge” passing through.)
If anything there is an attempt to turn a blind eye to the bulge of diurnal warming rotating around the Pole, in an attempt to use a so-called “average”, with a bias towards the warmer noon-time temperatures. This stilts some attempts to chart or map the start of the “thaw”. In actual fact, at first, the thaw only occurs briefly at noon, and it too rotates around and around the Pole.
On one of Nevin’s arctic-sea-ice-chat-rooms the blogger “gerontocrat” produced two maps, showing how different the arctic can look if you view it via noon-time high temperatures, as opposed to “average” temperatures. (High temperatures to left, Average temperatures to right.)
This demonstrates how one needs to be wary. The above map-to-the-left makes it appear as if it is noon all over the Pole at the same time, when it is only noon for a narrow slice. The map-to-the-right, on the other hand, makes it appear as if it is never noon. Neither map truly tells us what is the constantly changing Truth.
Both maps show it is far colder at the Pole than it will be on August 21, though the sun will be supplying the same amount of heat on August 21.
One reason for this is that the sea-ice “remembers” the cold of winter. The ice is close to freezing where it is in contact with sea-water, which is also close to freezing, but as you move away from the water the ice gets colder and more like the midwinter temperatures that froze it, and up towards the top, six feet away from the sea water, the ice may still be at minus 20 even when the air above is at zero.
A second reason is that the tundra south of Arctic Sea also “remembers” the winter, with lands snow-covered and lakes frozen, and the ice on rivers flowing north to the Arctic Sea still nearly frozen to their bottoms, and only starting to lift their ice as flood waters from melted snows further south surge north. Until the tundra becomes a mosquito-infested mire in the heat of summer it can’t assist sea-melt with much warmth.
(There are also some more subtle and variable reasons that I haven’t the time to delve into.)
In any case, though temperatures on April 21 are still far colder than they will be on August 21, they are surging upwards.
(Let me stick my neck out. I expect the red-line of current temperatures in the above graph to remain above the green-line of “average” until mid-May, when I expect them to sink below the green-line until September.)
The above graph shows that, even with temperatures soaring, they are still (on average) roughly fifteen degrees below the freezing point of salt water. Therefore, despite the fact the arctic landscape is in brilliant sunshine, any “leads” of open water created by shifting ice will still swiftly skim with new “baby ice”, unless it is high noon.
The thaw has indeed begun, at high noon, but the freeze is continuing the rest of the day. The true “melt season” never really gets going until May, on arctic coastlines, and June, at the Pole.
At this point I likely should mention one of the “more subtle and variable reasons” that can effect the thaw. It is the snow-cover of more southern lands. This year it is far above normal. It has not even melted back to the high points of ordinary years.
This failure-to-melt is especially obvious to me. On the North American side, the melt is refusing to even begin.
The above chart is bound to plunge. It simply has to. In fact I can see the snow vanish with startling speed out my window. However there is no getting around the fact it was there, and produced amazing snow-cover maps.
I can vouch for the snow in New Hampshire, but it was slushy and had no power to endure the onslaught of late April sunshine, once the sun broke out.
Already the above snow is gone, making the above map inaccurate. However it took heat to melt it, for the phase change from solid to liquid H2O makes the heat in our air become latent heat in water. Also, even as it melted, it had the “albedo” of fresh fallen snow, which is of the highest.
It is at this point the entire concept of “albedo” comes back to bite certain Alarmists who bandy the word about, in their attempts to prove an ice-free Pole wouldn’t be a blessing to mankind. They attempt to compartmentalize in a way that excludes all “albedo” but the “albedo” of open waters at the Pole, but a more universal outlook must include the snows on lands far to the south, even down at 40 degrees latitude. Already sunshine as powerful as the sunshine of a day at the beach on August 21 has been bounced back to outer space, and is of no further help to continue the thawing.
I simply feel such a loss of warming cannot be disregarded. Yes, the North American snows will swiftly melt, but still the snows will linger longer than usual, and the residual effect of a late melt will be less warmth to help the melting further north.
Consequently I feel there is no cotton-picking way the sea-ice will melt as much this year as it did last year. I know I am sticking my neck out, but that is my forecast.
My forecast includes the fact DMI models the volume of sea-ice as currently being above the past three years, with more thick ice in the Central Arctic Basin than we’ve seen in some time.
I hope to find time to add updates, but other aspects of my life are intruding at the moment.
Consider the plight of the bedraggled Daffodil, native to the sunny slopes of Spain’s South coast, with the Mediterranean’s sea-gulled Waters stretched out below, but feeling pains Known by the north, because northern women Wanted sunny yellow, and men transplanted Bulbs far from native soils. Bulbs wake and then Poke up into chill, a landscape poets ranted Was unfair in Aprils a millennium Ago, and still rant is far, far too cruel. Up comes the daffodil, and we see them And shake our heads, and call each a fool But is it their fault? Or have we recanted Belief in the blooms that we ourselves planted?
Spring continues to tantalize like the apple dangled on a string in front of a recalcitrant donkey, to keep it plodding forward. It lures from the five-day-forecast, but the present sees snow falling from leaden skies.
I do not control the sunshine. The sense of helplessness is made worse by the fact my daughter is in labor at the moment. I remember how helpless I felt when my wife was giving birth, but at least I was there, and she said she was glad I was there even though I felt useless while “being useful.” Now it seems even worse, as a grandfather. I pace about the house and look out upon a landscape of slush.
Come on, Old Sol. Burst through the clouds and shine.
Spring sprung like the squirrel’s black silhouette Through the inked claws of naked branches Against a slate sky overhead. It can’t get Any colder in April. My spirit blanches At the breeze, and the poor squirrel flees My upturned face, though I mean it no harm. It skitters tree to tree, and all my pleas That it pause go ignored. I cannot charm It, nor woo it with prayers. Where’s it going? Why won’t it stay? Cold winds keep on blowing And sleet only stops to start the snowing. Sanity ducks, and my numbed hope’s knowing A shivering song’s the best I have sung. I’ll plod many more miles, before this spring’s sprung.
This is one of the coldest springs I can remember. I can remember an April back around 2006 or 2007 that started out bitterly cold and snowy, and was actually colder than the mild January we had that year, but it relented by the middle of the month. This year there is little sign the cold will be relenting.
Not that we don’t get our spells of brilliant sunshine, but it hasn’t fooled the trees. The buds are just barely starting to bulge a bit. However it does fool the children. They explode off the school bus at our Childcare full of an energy I equate with spring, for it is boundless, though they do bound a lot.
I suppose I could plant the peas, but the rototiller has a fouled carburetor. Anyway, I have to clean up the tree damage caused by roaring winds, because March went out like a lion and April came in like a lion, and I’m not lying. The kids wanted me to leave the tree as a low budget playground toy, but it blocked an important path.
The locals call this sort of leaning tree a “widow maker”, because they can do unpredictable things as you cut them down. Not that one has ever nailed me, but I have seen them swing or roll, and I cut with care. You need to notch the top and then cut from the underside, or else the slumping log pinches on the saw’s blade and you can’t remove it. This particular tree simply thudded down at the base, with the branches still hung up in other trees, so I was presented with a tree in the same situation, only slanting a little more steeply. I kept cutting and cutting, with sections thudding down and the tree becoming tilted more and more steeply, until the tree was vertical. Then I cut a final chunk off, and the tree was dangling. Hmm. I cut logs off until what remained of the tree was at chest level, at which point the dangling section of tree didn’t seem likely to crush me, so I tugged at it and brought it down. Nor did I totally ruin the playground toy, for the children like rolling logs down the hill.
While I had the saw out I cleaned up some birches that were weakened by the goats gnawing off bark a few years ago, and couldn’t withstand the past winter.
I dragged the boughs over to the goats, who, at this point in an endless winter, appreciate any change in diet.
Already the sun was dimming, and soon the view changed from April back to February.
It turned out it was a good thing we’d cut wood, for a campfire was appreciated.
It’s especially hard to get children to wear hats and gloves in April snows. It is as if they can feel the high sun even through clouds. (I can’t).
In November such a snow can hang around for days, because the sun is so low, which is annoying if you haven’t finished raking the leaves. In April the high sun can melt such a snow in hours, which is also annoying, if you want an excuse to avoid raking the leaves you didn’t get around to raking in November.
April snows aren’t all that unusual this far north. The locals call them “poor man’s fertilizer” because some sort of reaction puts nitrogen from the air into the snow, and when the ground is unfrozen that nitrogen can penetrate down into the soil. But what was unusual this year was that the cold wouldn’t quit. Unfrozen parts of the reservoir skimmed over with fresh ice, and the children’s sand-pile reverted to “candle ice”.
Dawns saw dustings of snow.
Finally, last Friday, a warm surge from the south fought north, and the very edge of it made it to us, before the cold to the north, and the cold waters of the Atlantic, fought back with a back-door-cold-front, and with chilling winds from the northeast. It was over 80°F (27°C) in New York City on Friday, and nudged over 60°F (14°C) here. I made the children wear rain pants due to mud, but their coats were strewn all over the playground, and they relished running in short sleeves. But …..then yesterday (Saturday) saw a mild morning give way to a return to the cold,
And now the Sunday morning radar map looks like this:
That really does look like a February map. Oh well. I suppose if we are going to be miserable we might as well try to set a record, but I don’t think I’ll be putting on shorts and running in the Boston Marathon, tomorrow morning.
UPDATE; SUNDAY NIGHT
After a gray day with temperatures never above freezing, (very unusual for mid April), and a freezing drizzle glazing over everything, it has suddenly started snowing just as I was thinking of going to bed. A quick check of the radar shows this:
The snow over Boston and Hartford is unexpected, as the rain-snow line was suppose to be further north. Also the blob of moisture came straight up from the south, so you’d think it would create rain or freezing rain. But it ran into such a wall of cold air it is creating snow. Let me check the map.
The map also makes it look like we should be getting south or at least southeast winds, judging from the isobars. But we are getting “cross isobaric winds”, due to that big arctic high pressure over Hudson Bay. We are getting northeast winds. You’d think there was a storm southeast of Cape Cod, rather than a storm due west, over the Great Lakes. This is nuts.
I’m glad I’m not a weathermen. They are only now moving the “winter weather advisories” south, and still have no mention of snow. Locally it is snowing to beat the band. My thermometer must be malfunctioning. It says it is 24°F (-4°C) out. Let me check nearby official sites.
Nearby it is 25°F in Ringe, New Hampshire. Even if it warms up, it looks like a messy Monday Morning. If it doesn’t warm up….
It seems even more unlikely I’ll be donning shorts and running in the Boston Marathon.
MONDAY MORNING UPDATE
Got out of bed and checked weather on cellphone:
Hmm. More snow on Friday. But next Monday? Sunny and over sixty! Alleluia!
Well, I can dream, can’t I? But today is today. Trudge out to car:
Arrive at work:
Back roads are not suppose to be snow-covered in mid-April, but the snow fell during the night, when the sun could have no effect. As soon as the sun gets high in the sky it will penetrate the clouds and the roads will likely catch the rays and turn slushy and wet. Right now they are packed snow and very slippery. I think the road crews were caught off guard. Many trucks already had the plows removed from the fronts and the salters and sanders removed from the back. The roads were actually clearer in January.
Surprisingly, the weather is so absurdly bad people were cheerful, in a definitely ironic way. Hopefully the children haven’t put their snowsuits away, with our playground looking like this:
Hopefully this snow will be swift to melt away, though it is amazingly sleety and dense. Shoveling two inches feels like hoisting ten. But as this snow lasts, covering all of New Hampshire and much of northern Massachusetts, it may cause an upward blip in the rather amazing snow-cover graph for North America. Ice-age, anyone?
As a final note, though I know it will deeply disappoint many, I have decided against making an appearance in shorts in the Boston Marathon, today. I’d consider sled dogs, but it has turned to a cold rain down there.
Currently the snow doesn’t show on radar, but it is out there, fine like drizzle, and gusted by a nasty northeast wind. Thunder is heading up our way from down by Philadelphia. If it gets interesting, I may update again.
I confess there are times I am intimidated by intelligence. There is a certain sort of very-intelligent person who can adopt a chilling condescension which gets me ducking down like a prairie dog, and I don’t pop back up until they leave the room. This is a pity, for them, for they miss a lot, by being so smart.
This seems especially true in terms of meteorological subjects that involve many variables. The excessively-learnéd may know a great deal about a single variable, but, by dampening discussion with their superior attitude, they do not get input about variables they know less about, or haven’t even considered.
In some ways I prefer the company of the blissfully ignorant, for, in merrily bouncing impractical and impossible ideas about, they, like the proverbial hundred chimpanzees on a hundred typewriters, blunder across genius. Also, they are far happier and have more fun.
There was one occasion, around thirty years ago, when I knew a snide and overpowering individual who, after berating a timid fellow’s interesting idea, must have thought about the idea later, for he adopted the timid fellow’s idea as his own, and I witnessed him ventilate it about a week later among a different group, giving absolutely no credit to the timid one he had earlier berated. He was congratulated for “his” idea, and may have felt he was raised in others estimation, but he shrank considerably in my own.
I tend to hold the view that Truth is out there, free for all, and amazing, and that it is an exercise in vanity to take credit for It’s existence. To take credit would be as if a van Gogh, in painting a “Starry Night”, took credit for creating the stars and the night.
Not that genius doesn’t deserve recognition for seeing Truth, and for in some form communicating and/or replicating It, but Truth was there all along. For example, Bach deserves credit for seeing the mathematics of music, but those realities were there even when men beat drums in caves.
In terms of meteorology I think we are like men in caves, facing Bach’s harmony sung by angels in a vision. We are aware there is majestic perfection involved, but the meteorological violin and oboe haven’t been invented yet, and there is no way to scientifically communicate and/or replicate what we sense. But this doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try. We just need to be very humble as we try.
I got to thinking along these lines because I have been lurking around the edges of various discussions about “The Quiet Sun”, at various websites. Everyone seems to know that the variations of a variable star must have some effect, as the Sun is the greatest power in the physical solar system, but no one seems to be able to put their finger on exactly what the effect is. I’ve ventured a few ideas, but I’ve discovered that when I venture an idea I swiftly get lambasted by superior intelligence, whereupon I adopt my prairie dog strategy.
Just because I’ve ducked down into my underground doesn’t mean I’ve stopped pondering, and soon enough I poke my nose up, to see if the intelligent people have left the room, and if they have I scurry off to seek my fellow fools, who can be found at assorted websites where intelligence is measured by happiness.
One idea I’ve chanced upon explains why the effect of the Quiet Sun is so hard to see. This idea suggests the effect is hard to see because people are looking for a single “thing”, when in fact the Quiet Sun is affecting every “thing”. Because the effects are occurring at many places at the same time, the effects tend to cancel each other out, or overlap, or to appear as a confusing mishmash.
In Truth, there is no confusion. It is all a splendid harmony. The confusion only occurs in our skulls, when we try to “figure out” something so vast. Therefore it pays to just give it up, from time to time, and just sit back and enjoy the view, or enjoy the ride. However then, as soon as we are refreshed and revitalized, our inquisitive side is bound to reappear, and we then should be able to have some fun, as long as we don’t allow our pride to spoil the pleasures of intelligence.
Because we are facing something that is so vast, involving multifarious manifestations, one thing I thought it might be fun to do is to compile a list of all the things the Quiet Sun “might” be changing. We would be, at this point in our discussion, like cavemen jotting down the notes of angelic music they hear, without attempting to figure out the structures of harmony and rhythm and modulation and counterpoint that Bach understood.
My purpose, or hope, is that, in creating such a list, we would avoid focusing exclusively on any one topic, and thus avoid the myopia of specialization. Then (perhaps) we might be more able to see how the Quiet Sun’s effects mask each other, cancel each other out, or harmonize in peculiar ways.
Furthermore I think that, in order to collect as many ideas as possible, (no matter how zany the idea may initially appear), all so-called “intelligent” people should be banned from the discussion. (Or at least from deriding each other’s ideas).
I’ll begin by sharing a couple of ideas I’ve chanced upon, and then give the floor over to others.
1.) The Quiet Sun has opened the North Pole’s “damper”.
This idea is based upon the hypothesis that, with the planet losing a lot of its heat at the Pole, there may be some dynamic that speeds-up or slows-down the loss of heat. (I have also heard this dynamic described amorphously as a “background”). I originally saw it as an Alarmist idea, explaining how CO2 could make it warmer at the Pole in the winter, but the concept had trouble flying because A.) The Pole has recently been below-normal during the summer and B.) If CO2 “closed the damper”, one would expect less warm air to rush up to the Pole, but in fact we have seen a meridional flow bring more warm air rushing north during the winters, which suggests a “damper” has been opened more widely. However, if these things disprove CO2 “closed” this so-called “damper”, then they might conversely indicate the “damper” was “opened”, and the Quiet Sun seems as good an “opener” as any.
(Intelligent people will want to know how the heck such a “damper” is constructed, which is why they are forbidden from speaking until we get our list completed.)
2.) The Quiet Sun reduces energy available for winds.
The image of cavemen lacking oboes and violins might again be useful, when we consider primitive people did (and do) have drums, and flutes made of reeds. The equivalent instruments used by our modern, (yet still primitive), form of meteorology are thermometers and anemometers. Most people who are looking for effects of the Quiet Sun use thermometers, and expect them to read lower-than-normal, but perhaps they should look at the energy measured by anemometers, and see if they are lower-than-normal.
This idea came up as an ingenious way to explain why the Quiet Sun was failing to chill the planet, as some expected it would. It was suggested that if the Trade Winds slowed even a small amount it would effect the oscillations between El Ninos and La Ninas, making the El Ninos stronger and the La Ninas weaker, and this would make the planet warmer (at least at first.) This would explain the counter-intuitive phenomenon of less energy creating more energy, (because less trade winds create more El Nino conditions).
(Of course intelligent people will….but they have to observe silence, for just a bit longer.)
Now I turn the floor over to others. I only ask that they number their ideas. For example, the next idea should be “3.)” This will help us later on, when we allow the intelligent people in, to begin their usual belittling process of scorn and derision.
However no deriding is allowed, for the first eight hours. The prairie dogs will not surface from their comfortable underground bunkers, unless there are no coyotes lurking, and no shadows of buzzards. I think that if we ban coyotes and buzzards we will soon have a somewhat fantastic garden of ideas.
After eight hours all the prairie dogs can dive for cover, as the intelligent descend upon the garden with their long knives. Sad to say, but they are a fact of science, and of art, and of life.
Strange to say, but the worst of the intelligent are seldom remembered, though they think they are grandiosely trumpeting the fabulous nature of their own brilliance and fame. Copernicus is remembered, Galileo is remembered, Alfred Wegener is remembered, but who remembers the intelligentsia that mocked them, scorned their ideas, and laughed aloud at the very mention of their names? (Even when the scornful are remembered, it is not in a flattering way.)
Perhaps it is for this reason that the best of the intelligent express their skepticism with gentleness, and respect for the dignity of fellow thinkers. After all, in a world when many seldom use the minds God gifted them with, we should be glad to meet people who do use their minds, even if their ideas seem “a bit out there”.
Every year at this time a remarkable battle against the elements occurs close to the North Pole, as the Barneo Jetport and Tourist Trap is constructed, and then deconstructed, upon the shifting surface of sea-ice that covers the Arctic Sea.
Besides the battle against the elements, there are other battles, involving the greed of nations to exploit the arctic, and also the wish of some to see the arctic made into a National Park. Some who interfere, (with those seeking to exploit the arctic), are conservationists of the best sort, but others are Satan’s Useful Idiots environmentalists. In any case, it is no easy task to get the Barneo base up and running.
This year there has been a lot of polite silence about what the hold-ups are. This makes me very curious, and also to a degree suspicious.
At the risk of sounding paranoid, I will state that there are those who would like nothing better than to block the construction of Barneo. Though they may state their opposition is due to an altruistic desire to keep the sea-ice pristine and pure, and unspoiled by jet-airplane exhaust, in actual fact they indignantly dislike the fact jets land on sea-ice that they have publicly stated would be gone by now.
Jets landing at the North Pole is “bad press”. However, if they could block the construction of the Barneo base, it would be “good press”, because they would never admit that they themselves blocked the construction, by throwing hammers into the works, but rather they would insist Barneo wasn’t built because there was no solid sea-ice to build it upon.
That excuse will not work this year, for this year there is ice solid enough to build upon. Neither “Climate”, nor “Weather”, is the reason the project is ten days behind schedule. The cause of the hold-up is unexplained. In fact we may never learn what sort of crap the promoters had to battle through, but it is not the sea-ice. The ice is thicker, where they are looking to build Barneo, than it has been on prior years.
The translations of their Facebook reports are as follows: From April 7:
“N 89 * 26.72 ‘and E 129 * 42.35’ are the coordinates of Jalousie-2.
There are now 23 people there: 12 helicopters, the head of the flights, the ice reconnaissance vehicle, the mechanic tractor driver (they flew from the Jalousie-1 point) and 8 paratroopers (among them the doctor) who landed with the Il-76 along with the fuel.
Tomorrow from this small camp a helicopter will fly out to search for an ice floe under the Barneo base.”
“Jalousie” is the translation (?) of the Russian “Zhaluzi”, which is the word they use to dub the base-camps they establish before the actual Barneo base is established. As I described in an earlier post, what they do is a remarkable display of faith, for they fly helicopters out past “the point of no return”, and then the helicopters land and await more fuel, trusting people will show up and airdrop the fuel. (!). This first base is “Zhaluzi 1″. Aftwe fuel arrives they then fly on from this first base to establish “Zhaluzi 2″, and it is from that second base the reconnaissance is done that establishes the Barneo Base.
The translations from their Facebook reports of April 9 state:
“The ice floe was found near the Jalousie-2. Annual, the thickness of 180cm. Not far from this ice floe is another, reserve. Today, the guys will move from the Jalousie-2 to a new location, transport the fuel, and tomorrow, if the weather permits (it, unfortunately, is unstable), they will take two tractor and paratroopers from IL-76. And they will start building a runway.”
I hope you are able to read between the lines, and understand how gutsy these individuals are. They are way out on a limb, and when they state, with disinterested Russian Phlegm, that the weather, “unfortunately, is unstable,” it is a bit like a sky-diver saying, “the parachute, unfortunately, is not functioning very well.”
For some reason the Danish Meteorological Institute has abruptly stopped issuing its North Pole maps of temperature and surface pressures. I haven’t heard any explanation. Fortunately I can fall back on the maps Dr. Ryan Maue made it possible for the Weatherbell Site to offer. They show the anomalous low pressure I dubbed “Ralph” moving up from the Kara Sea, to become a royal pain-in-the-ass for individuals attempting to establish a resort on shifting and groaning, cracking and crunching, moaning and squealing, sea-ice at the Pole.
This is not the sort of weather you want to have, when building a tourist trap on the North Pole. However the Barneo crews are unbelievable. In past years they have seen deeper gales, and in recent years have bulldozed runways only to see the sea-ice crack, and bulldozed second runways only to see those runways crack, and gone on to bulldoze a third runway. One reason they seldom post on Facebook is because they have no time to lounge at a computer.
It looks grim to me, as they are off to such a late start, and the weather is so rotten, but I do see a few glimmers of hope. One hope is that storms that far north tend to be arid, and the current storm is only dusting the landscape with less than an inch of snow.
(Off topic, but look at that slug of moisture slamming into southern Greenland!)
Not only are the snows slight, but, (if you look back to my past Barneo posts from prior years), you’ll see these fellows have seen worse. These gutsy fellows have worked in gales, with winds gusting above 50 mph, so the current winds of 20 mph, with gusts to 30 mph, are….well….maybe they aren’t “a piece of cake”, but they’ve seen worse.
Lastly I’d like to point out a thing they mention, that Alarmists will blithely ignore. They state the sea-ice is 1.8 meters thick. (Six feet).
Hello? I know many would feel a bit queasy about landing a jet on ice only six feet thick, atop a mile-deep ocean. But they have to land on thin ice. Such thin, flat, fresh “baby-ice” is better than thicker ice, because the thicker “multiyear ice” is all fractured and crushed into an uneven mass of pressure ridges. That being said, does anyone care to mention how thin the ice, which the jets landed on in prior years, was?
>Why not? Well, it might be because in prior years the ice was only 1.2 meters thick. (Four feet). And it would not support “the narrative”, (would it now?), to say the “baby-ice” was four feet thick in 2015 but now the “baby-ice” six feet thick? Rather than suggesting the sea-ice is melting away, some might be “misguided”, and suggest that it is now thicker.
Well, it is thicker. Call me “misguided” all you want. I’m tired of listening to Alarmists gyrate their brains in order to produce their bent logic. They will point out the edge of the ice, far to the south, was pushed further north this year, and this makes this year’s “sea-ice extent” less. This is true. Yes, yes, yes, this is true. But will they raise their eyes just a little bit north to where sea-ice is 50% thicker? No, no, no.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying conditions couldn’t change by next year. Conditions vary enormously at the Pole. (For example, around 1817 so much sea-ice shifted south there was open water north of Greenland, but bergs grounded on the coast of Ireland, [and Western Europe experienced “A Year With No Summer”, likely due to a chilled North Atlantic.])
All I am saying is that we should be honest about current conditions. It is silly to only look at the edge of the ice down by Svalbard, and ignore the thickness of sea-ice where they are struggling to set up the Barneo Base. If you obey that sort of bias you are like a stallion wearing blinders; all your might is made meek.
Not that this sort of petty debate means anything to the fellows struggling to create the Barneo Base. I imagine their pay is pretty good, for a ordinary toiling Joe (though a comparative pittance, to a banker or politician.) What I can’t imagine, and envy, is the sheer struggle they experience, working under such unbelievable conditions.
I envy them because, in my younger days, I worked some horrific jobs, and the fellows I worked with did not fail, and consequently we made a little more money than other slobs. But the money didn’t matter as much as the memory. The money was soon spent, but the bragging-rights are everlasting.
For example, when you buy a tin of sardines, or some pickled herring, you likely cannot imagine the fellows unloading and tinning and pickling the fish in the dead of winter, when salt water freezes. You had to be there. And I have been there.
In like manner, the tourists spending between $30,000 and $60,000 to recline on cots in tents at Barneo, and enjoy prepared meals from a kitchen, likely feel they are experiencing some degree of hardship, for, after all, they upon the Arctic Sea. But they have no idea of the hardship experienced by the Joe’s who set up their tents and cots and cafeteria. The tourists experience mere “inconvenience”, compared to the brutal conditions experienced by the rough and tumble Joe’s, who make upper class adventures possible
If it is possible to move a thousand privileged people through Barneo in the 21 days it is open, as much as 60 million dollars will be involved. Any wonder people are willing to work their butts off? Not that the workers will each make 60 million. But they will make more than they’d make if they stayed south.
However that 60 million will not be available, if Barneo is unable to open. And therefore the workers are battling like you wouldn’t believe, fighting all the odds, to make it possible.
Man Oh Man, do I ever wish I was young again. That was the sort of fight I loved to dig my shoulder into: To make the impossible possible.
Consequently I have never understood those rich people who think it is smart to avoid hard work, and who instead think it is a sign of intelligence to trick people, and mislead people, and to say sea-ice is thinner when it is in fact thicker.
This appeared on a Facebook page called “Legal Insurrection”, and then on the “Ice Age Now” site. Apparently it is someone’s wry joke that is now going viral.
So far April in the USA has been 4 1/2 degrees below normal in the USA, which is the coldest April since 1982. Here is a map from Joseph D’Aleo’s blog at the Weatherbell Site showing how much below normal it was yesterday.
A slug of Gulf of Mexico heat will try to punch north, likely creating big storms and tornadoes down south towards the end of the week, but I doubt it will make it this far north. We just shiver and shudder and wait for May.
APRIL is the cruellest month, breeding Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing Memory and desire, stirring Dull roots with spring rain. Winter kept us warm, covering Earth in forgetful snow, feeding A little life with dried tubers…
April is a tantalizing month in New Hampshire, for it can hold the heat of summer and then see that warmth followed by snows. At times this leads to crushing disappointment, but I always disagreed with T.S.Eliot, who called April “the cruelest month”. Down deep I knew the “tantalizing” wasn’t like the Greek legend of Tantalus. It wouldn’t go on and on and never end. After all, it has an expiration date of thirty days, and is followed by a wondrous thing called “May.” But there is no getting around the fact there is a sort of madness in the air. “March madness” is followed by “April Fools.”
I blame the brilliant sunshine. At this latitude the days are getting 3 minutes longer every day, or 21 minutes each week, and the route Old Sol cruises across the sky is noticeably further north, and his brilliance is suddenly as high as it is on the final days at the beach in boyhood summers, however whereas the shortening of days brings the melancholic madness of Halloween, lengthening days brings overriding optimism.
The uplift of mood is quite obvious in the children at our Childcare, and I notice that when they aren’t bounding like spring lambs they have a tendency to sprawl in the sunshine, no matter how bitter cold the winds may be. One moment they are charging ahead on a hike, and the next I look back and see them halted by a patch of checker-berries.
The temperature swings can be amazing in April. Our record highs tend to be up around 90°F (32°C) while our record lows are down around 5°F (-15°). To our south the land is warming and fruit trees are in bloom, while to the north snows linger.
The retreat of the snow to the north is accompanied by the reverse of what you see as snows advance south in the fall. Where temperatures are abruptly colder as soon as the ground is snow-covered, temperature are abruptly warmer as soon as landscapes are are snow-free. Where a white landscape reflects the sunshine a brown landscape absorbs it, and during the shorter nights the thawing turf remembers the days warmth, but white snows still provide an excellent base for radiational cooling.
In October north winds have less power despite the far longer nights, for the northern lakes haven’t frozen and their waters radiate heat remembered from the summer. Lakes steam like soup in the chill of dawn. Now the situation is reversed, for the same lakes are ice-covered, and the ice remembers the cold. People who have measured the temperature of lake’s ice (and arctic sea-ice) have discovered the thick ice on northern lakes can be colder than both the water beneath and the air above. The ice remembers the winter, and until it is gone it has the power to resist the onslaught of spring.
Some years the ice vanishes more swiftly than others, but this year the snow is slow to go.
This is not good news if you are thirsting for spring, and also if you are thirsting for proof the planet is warming. If anything, it can be used as an indication of a coming ice-age. The longer the snows last to the north, the longer the landscape reflects the sun’s heat, and the shorter the arctic summer will be. An ice-age begins when the prior year’s snow fails to melt before the following year’s begins falling.
I don’t even want to think of such a possibility, for I’m craving warmth. And, to be quite honest, in the records available in Concord, New Hampshire, going back to the late 1860’s, I tend to see we have always had extreme variety in our Aprils. The temperatures have been recorded in three or four different locals in Concord, over the past 150 years, so the precision of the records isn’t perfect, but the record-highs and record-lows neither prove the world is warming nor that it is chilling. For example, on April 7 the record high is from 2010 (87 °F) yet the record low is also recent, from 2003 (8 °F). But then the very next day you see the record high is from 1871 (92 °F) and the record low is from 1888 (15 °F).
I know some like to torture and tease these statistics to prove temperatures have risen a few tenths of a degree, or fallen a few tenths of a degree, but my mother always told me it was rude to tease. Anyway, what’s a few tenths of a degree when the weather is wild and temperatures can soar and plunge over seventy?
I have to deal with blunter realities, watching other people’s children, and one thing I have to watch is that the little ones stay off the ice. If there is any greenhouse effect around here, it is that the ice on a pond is like a roof of a greenhouse over the water beneath, heating the water beneath so that the ice thins, even when the temperatures stay below freezing. Children, and even adults, can’t comprehend under brilliant sunshine, ice that was safe on Monday becomes unsafe on Tuesday, even when north winds blow bitter and cold.
The brilliance of the sun is intense, and I have to watch out for sunburns even when children wear mittens and hats. The soil thaws even when it is below freezing, which is quite the opposite from November, when days are four hours shorter, and under the low sun a crust of frozen soil refuses to thaw (when you want to dig the last potatoes) even when south winds warm.
And, of course, as soon as the soil thaws a primitive urge to plant awakes, and absolutely everyone wants to start digging.
I tend to resist the spring-feverish urge to plant, for I’m an old grouch and have been embittered by years of having many volunteers in April, urging ambition, and then seeing them all mysteriously vanish when the weather gets hot in June, and weeds display an ambition all their own.
Also I remember many April warm spells that were followed by snows. As a landscaper I had to develop a tactful way of reining back my elderly customers (that my wife called “my harem”) because they were possessed by a sort of panic when the weather got hot, and the tomatoes were not planted. When I couldn’t dissuade them either the tomato plants were killed by late frosts, or they turned a strange hue of purple in cold rains, and then sulked a long time, refusing to prosper even when other tomatoes, planted later, swiftly grew.
In other words, I’ve developed a whole slew of excuses that help me to avoid hard work. In actual fact the old Yankee farmers worked the soil the first chance they got, and planted things like peas, that do not mind the cold. They burned 4000 calories a day, using every hour of daylight to eek a hardscrabble livelihood from a stony northern landscape. Woe unto us, if the survivalists are right, and we are thrown backwards into such subsistence, for I have become modern in my old age. I prefer getting my peas at the grocery store, and anyway, I doubt I have 4000 calories a day to burn, at age sixty-five.
If I did farm, I’d have to wear a white suit with a black string-tie like a southern plantation-owner, and order others about. I’ve paid my dues, when it comes to planting peas in mud with red hands as wet snow flies. Now I prefer sitting back on the first warm day of April and being the voice of doom and gloom, saying, “It’s going to snow again,” and then smirking when the entire north of the USA sees snow, like it does this morning.
The problem is that, though I get better and better at avoiding work, work seems to like me. It tags along like a puppy and won’t go away.
As the warmth comes north and fights the arctic, and the arctic fights back, we can get some wonderful winds. The trees roar and sunshine flashes between sliding clouds. A million pine needles each individually glitter threads of blinding white in the dawn, doubling the dazzle, and then, as the wind roars to a crescendo, you hear a crack and crash from the woods.
Trail is blocked. Sigh. Time to get out the chainsaw.
Hmm. Maybe April is the cruelest month, after all.