ARCTIC SEA ICE –Pole Temperatures Below Normal–

DMI5 0529 meanT_2018

Any time one of my forecasts is correct I am struck by a sense of disbelief.

It reminds me of one time I got a long hit in a baseball game when I was twelve. I had swung the bat with my eyes completely shut, as hard as I could, and hit the ball with the “sweet spot” of the bat, for the first time in my life. When the “sweet spot” is involved the ball striking the bat makes hardly any noise, and you hardly feel it through the handle. As I opened my eyes I assumed it must be a foul tip, but moments later I heard the loud crash as the long line-drive hit the plywood wall in deep center field. My jaw dropped, and I looked towards the bench completely amazed, and by best buddy screamed, “Run, you idiot!  Run!”

In any case I said the polar temperatures north of 80º north latitude would drop below normal in mid-May, months ago,  and lo and behold they have. Perhaps they did so a few days past the middle of May, yet still, it has happened. This doesn’t mean my reasoning is correct; it may merely be a case of “the blind squirrel getting the nut”; however it does give me a chance to sit in the sun and bask in my five-minutes-of-fame.

When I was twelve, and had hit the only double of my little-league career, I was able to talk like a slugger, until the next time I struck out. In like manner, I will now pontificate like a learnéd scientist.

The Pole has been cooler than normal, starting in mid-May, in recent years, with the exception being right after a strong El Nino, and even then the temperatures only got up to normal. Not only does this throw a wrench in the idea CO2 will warm the Pole, but it also makes one cast about looking for another cause.

My idea is that the Pole, during the summer, is the one place on the planet where the Quiet Sun actually has the “cooling effect” my simple mind expected it to have. In all other places the effects are varied, and tend to muddy the waters.

A few months ago I simply inquired on my blog what effects the Quiet Sun might have, and received more comments at my obscure site than I’d ever before received. As I pondered the observations of many minds, it did occur to me that the Quiet Sun likely had more than one effect, and that not all effects would necessarily be cooling. Therefore the effects might cancel each other out at certain times and in certain places, and give some the idea the less-energetic sun had no cooling effect at all.

For example, besides measuring energy with thermometers we also measure energy with anemometers.  If the Trade Winds were at all less energetic, there might be less up-welling  of cold waters on the west sides of continents, which would warm the world’s temperatures rather than cool them. If you then threw this warming into the mix of other cooling effects the Quiet Sun may have, the result would be the indecipherable slumgullion we call climate.

But at the Pole things become wonderfully simplified in May.  Many factors ordinarily effecting the region grind to a halt. Both the air and the ice warm to close to freezing, and the water under the ice is close to freezing as well, so there is no clash in temperatures to generate uplift and storms. Also the Pole shifts from 300 days, when it is a part of the planet that loses energy to outer space, to 60 days when it gains heat from the sun, and this shift slows down ordinary weather patterns. The weather (usually) becomes quiet. (In fact this quiet was a reason D-day was scheduled for early June in 1944; the success of D-day was due to an unusual gale, and the fact the Germans assumed the Allies couldn’t invade in bad weather.)

Because other factors have become quiet, the Pole becomes a laboratory where the chief influence is the sun, and therefore the effect of the Quiet Sun can be seen in the record of temperatures. Or so I theorize. Using this theory I assumed that, as we are at the solar minimum (and also with temperatures cooled slightly by a La Nina), we would see temperatures at the Pole dip below notmal as soon as winter storms ceased and weather became calm. Sure enough, it happened.

We will have to see if this continues. I think it will. If temperatures are slightly below normal there will still be some thawing at the Pole (because there always is, with 24-hour sunshine), but there will be less than usual, which will effect the “extent” graph.

At the moment the “extent” graph continues low, but the decrease in sea-ice is largely due to areas outside the Arctic Ocean melting. It will continue to drop as Hudson Bay melts,  but the real crux of how low the minimum will be involves the Arctic Sea itself.

DMI5 0529 osisaf_nh_iceextent_daily_5years_en

When we look at the thickness map some open water is seen in the Arctic Sea, but, as temperatures have yet to rise above freezing (except briefly in a few small locations) and still often are below -5º C, this open water is not due to melting, but rather are polynyas created by winds pushing sea-ice away from land. They are now apparent in the Laptev Sea and Bering Strait, north of the Mackenzie River Delta, in the North Atlantic, (and also, outside of the Arctic Ocean, in northwest Hudson Bay and northernmost Baffin Bay.)

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Because this decrease in extent is due to winds, and not melting, it should actually be compressing and thickening the ice in the Central Arctic, and indeed this can be seen when we compare this years thickness map with last year’s, from the same date. (2017 to left, 2018 to right.)

Notice the Polynyas are roughly in the same places (though the Laptev polynya is skinned with ice last year, and more sea-ice is down in Fram Strait last year [where it was basically doomed to melt in the summer]) The big difference is how much thicker the ice in the Central Arctic is. This has resulted in a somewhat amazing increase in the “volume ” graph.

Volume 20180529 FullSizeRender

Volume is now the highest in five years, and is so close to the “normal” line that a somewhat cynical friend of mind thinks they will have to create a higher “normal”, by basing it on the years 1993-2004 rather than 2004-2013. Such monkeying-around with graphs may change the impression the general public gets from such graphs, but it cannot change the reality.

And what is the reality? The reality is that, once the ordinary melting around the periphery of the arctic is over with, the melt will slow down, as thicker ice must be melted, and the “extent” graph will flatten out, and we may see the sea-ice minimum nearly as high as in 2006.

The only hope for the Alarmists who hanker for an ice-free Pole would be the infusion of warm currents. Most of the summer melt occurs from the bottom up. Therefore I look to the NOAA graphs of the PDO and AMO, which tend to hint whether the waters entering the Arctic Sea will have the power to melt sea-ice or not. For some reason NOAA has failed to update the graphs I use since March. Perhaps they are switching to a different format, but my somewhat cynical friend would tell me (if he knew) that NOAA sure would be in a big hurry to update the graphs if there was warming to be seen, and therefore things must be colder.

Stay tuned.





LOCAL VIEW –Snarling Starling–

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A starling has nested in the outlet for the drier at our Childcare. It is able to do so because we only use the drier to dry snowsuits, and the snow is at long last gone. The children are fascinated by the process of building a nest, and now by the hoarse, creaky cries of the hidden chicks. I point out things the kids might miss, such as the fact the mother bird carries away a “dirty diaper” (fecal sack) to keep the nest clean, and also that starlings are related to myna birds, and part of their song includes noises they hear and copy. Few starlings live past age five, but a few can live over a decade, and the older they get the more elaborate their songs get, and the males with the most elaborate songs attract mates first, and have better success at breeding.

There may be a poem in that.

My mind can wander strange places, as I watch starlings, including landscapes I don’t tell the children about.

I have always had ambiguous feelings towards starlings. I blame my big sister, who had an uncanny ability to lay brutal guilt-trips, and my father, who could be brutal in his environmentalist zeal.

An example of my big sister’s power involved my butterfly collection. She did not approve of me killing beautiful bugs, but I persisted in collecting specimens, out of her view. However I could never catch a tiger swallowtail, despite hunting them with my net for several boyhood summers. (This is quite unlike my middle-son, who to my amazement would walk up to a tiger swallowtail on a flower, as a toddler, and gently cup it in his hands, and then open his hands to observe it briefly, before it winged away.) I had no such luck, as a boy. Perhaps the butterflies deduced my evil intent. I could spot a tiger swallowtail a hundred yards away, and then I’d creep up on the insect with agonizing slowness, raise my net, and it would always flit away. However, after countless failures, three summers later I at long last netted one, and walked into the house expecting some sort of ticker tape parade.  I proudly placed my catch on the kitchen table, in a jar that had holes in the lid. My sister arrived at an instantaneous decision. Without hesitating she took the jar to the front porch, removed the lid, and set my captive free. Then her blue eyes coldly  looked down her long nose at me, and she just dared me to object.

I confess I wanted to break her nose, but she was a foot taller and I knew that I’d likely lose any brawl I began.  Also she was much smarter, because she was four years older, so I knew I’d lose any argument. An example of this follows:

She liked cats, and had a tuxedo cat named James Bond, but I liked birds, and was attempting to raise a featherless chimney swift chick that had fallen out of its nest and wound up in our fireplace. Everyone told me it was doomed to die, but I was on vacation and had few chores and empty hours to fill, and decided to dedicated that part of my boyhood summer to feeding the chick every time it cried. I named it “Squawk”, and fed it tiny balls of rolled up bread mixed with the yoke of an egg. To everyone’s astonishment, the chick didn’t die, and began to grow pin feathers. But then my sister’s stupid cat decided to get into the act. When I had Squawk out for a feeding, and went into the kitchen for egg yoke and bread, James Bond leaped up on the table and began lashing at the defenseless baby bird with his wicked claws. With a scream I attacked the cat, which fled to my sister, who held it in her arms, and both regarded me smugly. My sister was very disapproving when I used the worst word I knew in 1964 on her cat. (In case you’re interested, the word was “finky”.) Her blue eyes then looked down her long nose and she devastated me with a massive guilt trip. She said, “Its all your fault. You should have never left your bird where a cat could get at it.”

I then desperately attempted to nurse Squawk back to health, but the chick had a bad gash on the back of its head. It died two days later, liberated from pain on Independence Day. I had even sacrificed going to see fireworks to tend to my chick, and that is darn hard for a boy to do. But I did leave the chick to climb up a hemlock in the back yard to see if I could glimpse the fireworks I could hear thudding in the distance, and when I climbed back down and returned to Squawk, I saw he had died. I felt horrible guilt, and have never cared all that much for fireworks ever since.

It did seem puzzling to me that my sister had no pity for Squawk, and cared so much for James Bond, as my grandmother and father both loved birds and hated cats. What was even odder was that earlier she scarred my boyhood with a spectacular scene she made in the defense of a baby bird.

This earlier event occurred because my father had a great love of bluebirds. We never saw any, because an ice-storm had reduced the population, though they had been common in New England during my Dad’s boyhood. Ordinarily their reduced population would have slowly recovered, however their nesting sites were taken over by “invasive species”, especially English sparrows and starlings. Therefore, to help bluebirds, my father devised bird houses with entrances too small for starlings to enter. English sparrows were smaller and could enter, but when my father became aware an “illegal alien” had moved in, he’d go to the bird house and, because he had added a hinged trapdoor to the bottom of the birdhouse, he could abort the nesting,  by removing the nesting materials, or the eggs, or, if he was late, the baby chicks.

It was an occasion when he was late that my sister threw her fit.  Dad worked too hard at the hospital, but finally had a May evening to potter about the yard, and my sister and I were delighted to see him and to have the chance to tag along. Or we were delighted until he removed the peeping English sparrow chicks from the birdhouse. Apparently my sister didn’t mind that bluebirds were homeless. All she could see was that my father was going to abort defenseless chicks, and she flung herself at my father with all the passion of Pocahontas defending John Smith. “Nooo! Nooooooo!” she screamed, but he went right ahead and crushed the English sparrow chicks, for the sake of bluebirds that we never saw.

At that point I found myself slowly backing away. My sister was too short to look down her nose at Dad, but her blue eyes were baleful, and his identical blue eyes looked down an identical nose, and I suppressed a scream. I think I was gifted with a sense of prophesy, and could see that someday psychologists would make a lot of money off those two.

Not that therapy did the slightest bit of good. My father went right on rubbing my sister’s fur the wrong way, and my sister  went right on rubbing my father’s fur the wrong way. I could give humorous examples that happened when he was over eighty, but this post is suppose to be about starlings.

What I deduced, as a boy, was that I had best figure out things for myself, because both my father and sister were too busy with their own politics to be kind to me. And what I deduced was that starlings might not be unmitigated evil.

I deduced this because another “invasive species” my father sought to eradicate was the Japanese beetle. Some brainless liberal introduced them to the USA because “they are pretty.” However my father loved flower gardens and lush lawns, but Japanese Beetle grubs destroyed lawns, and destroyed his flowers, and therefore part of my boyhood involved crushing beetles the same way he crushed English sparrow chicks. I kept score, and one summer I killed over a thousand beetles on flowers, but I couldn’t help but notice I didn’t kill a single grub in the lawn. What could kill such grubs? It was a “eureka” moment when I realized the chief predator was starlings.

Starlings could be “good guys”.

This was a relief to me, for, if you delete the sight chance I might be 1/16th Native American, then I too was, and am,  an “invasive species”. So what if my family tree shows four ancestors on the Mayflower? Those Pilgrims were an “invasive species”,  and even if they have lived here four hundred years, my sister felt we still should be ashamed and feel as guilty as all get out. I liked Indians a lot, and actually wanted to quit school and go into the woods and “be an Indian”. I also felt pretty bad about how they were treated, and my sister even tells a tale of stopping at the door to my room, and peeking in, and seeing me on my knees praying that Indians be treated better. But I also knew that for the first two hundred years my ancestors were in New England the Indians spent a great deal of time planning and plotting genocide, and wanted to crush my ancestors like Japanese beetles.

At age eleven I was given understanding that put me way ahead of the curve. And I think my father and sister were also ahead of the curve, for they were debating the idea of “illegal aliens” nearly a half century before it became a world-wide issue. Only now are some starting to say what my father suffered for saying. Only now are some starting to say what my sister suffered for saying. But nobody listens to me.

And what do I say? Starlings can be good guys. And your worth is not determined by what you look like or where you come from, but rather by what you do.

Some brainless liberal introduced starlings to the USA because they wanted birds that appear in Shakespeare’s writing out their American window. Those 40 birds now number in the millions. I think that, if they admired Shakespeare so much, they instead should have attempted a sonnet.

Back and forth; back and forth; mother starling
Never stops. Shrill, her fledglings’ crying maws
Gape for more and more. But you, my darling,
Are seldom so demanding, and do pause
To weigh the greenness of the lush, swift spring.
Back and forth; what quick industry bird brains
Display, without wages, without thinking
Of going on strike like a man complaining
He needs vacations. But you, now winking,
Say nothing. Back and forth; does that bird
Ever sulk, and gripe fledglings aren’t thankful?
No. Absurd’s her way to end the day. I’ve heard
Her singing! What gives? I want a tankful
Of whatever she’s drinking. You, darling?
You watch the spring and watch me watch the starling.

ARCTIC SEA ICE —Sixty Days—(Updated)

Around here folk treasure the days when the sun sets after eight in the evening. It is a brief time when life simply feels blessed. The blessing seems too short, but still it is a blessing.

At the Pole there is a similar “window of opportunity”. It is a brief period, from thirty days before the solstice to thirty days after the solstice, when, although “it is more blessed to give than to receive”, the Pole receives more than it gives away.

For most of the year the Pole is like a politician. It is giving, but not as saint, for it is not giving away what it has created. It is giving away what the south has created, in the manner a politician gives away what the taxpayer has created. However for the next sixty days the Pole does what few politicians do, it creates more than it gives away.

The fact of the matter is that, if the Pole was a vast, flat. black asphalt parking-lot,  the 24-hour-a-day sunshine would build up intolerable levels of heat. Burning hot warm-fronts would charge south from the Poles by July, as is the situation on the planet Zextar.  You should thank God, (or your “lucky stars”, if you don’t like God), that you don’t live on Zextar. Instead we live on a beautifully designed planet called “Earth” where such ferocious warm-fronts can’t happen, because our South Pole is an ice-cap up at 9000 feet, and our North Pole is an ocean covered by a skim of sea-ice. Both poles discourage the creation of ferociously hot warm fronts, but both Poles, for sixty days at opposing solstices, experience sunshine at levels ideal for the creation of pools of heat.

Back when I was a rookie, in terms of observing sea-ice, I was startled to learn it even got above freezing for weeks on end at the North Pole. Every puddle I saw seemed to support the Alarmist contention that the Pole was melting. Now that I’m older and wiser, I am surprised the Pole isn’t even warmer than it is.

In the beginning I was shocked to learn it might rain at the Pole. Now I am shocked by snow in July.

In the beginning I feared I might be losing “the argument”, and that CO2 might indeed be melting the Pole, when I heard of rain, and of melt-water pools. Now I see the argument as silly, and what I fear is getting sucked back into it.

In the beginning I had a hard time not being sucked into arguments about “albedo.” I was tricked into thinking “albedo” was what determined the levels of sea-ice. I am proud to say that, even though “albedo” has little to do with determining the levels of sea-ice, I was able to defeat Alarmists even while accepting their false premise. (Look back through five years of my past posts, for examples).

In a nutshell, the premise didn’t pan out: I saw examples where lots of dark melt-water pools and dark sea-water decreased “albedo”, but sea-ice refused to shrink, and also saw contrary examples where unusual falls of midsummer snow increased “albedo” to its highest, yet sea-ice melted like crazy. At best, the arctic cameras we once had showed albedo might have a local effect on air temperatures, and on whether melt-water pools expanded or skimmed over with ice, but albedo had little effect on the bulk and body of sea-ice, as a whole. Consequently I was forced to seek a different cause-of-melting.

As a humorous aside, I should state that it was the Alarmist James Hansen who first alerted me to a power greater than sunshine and “albedo”, when it comes to determining polar temperatures. Some Skeptic had managed to corner Hansen, and he was forced to defend colder-than-normal-temperatures at the Pole during July, and his defense involved the fact that the phase-change from ice to water “sucked up heat”. He suggested that an unnatural  amount ice had melted, and it had sucked up heat to a degree where the increased melting made things colder. In other words, as CO2 melted sea-ice it could also lower temperatures.

I may be a bumpkin, but I do know that “what goes around comes around.” If melting ice “sucks up” a lot of heat in the summer, then freezing water “releases” a lot of heat in the fall and winter.  You can’t have it one way and not the other, but Alarmists never brought up the phase-change argument when temperatures were warmer-than-normal as waters froze, and only when temperatures were were colder-than-normal in the summer.

To make matters worse, some of the most significant melting occurred after summer was over, and temperatures had dipped below freezing in the fall. The sun had dipped down to the horizon, and the “albedo” argument no longer applied. On one occasion several hundred square miles of sea-ice vanished when the sun was too low to melt it, and air temperatures were below the freezing point of salt water. It was therefore blatantly obvious that the melting didn’t involve sunshine, or “albedo”, or air temperatures, or how CO2 might effect air temperatures. What mattered most was the temperature of the water under the ice, and, when I started to investigate sea-water, I started to understand it takes hundreds and even thousands of years for sunshine and air temperatures to make much of a dent in the massive inertia of mile-deep waters.

The best way to melt a lot of sea-ice in a hurry is for winds to blow it south to places where warmer water can melt it from below, and the second-best way to melt sea-ice is for a fickle and meandering branch of a southern current to probe north into the arctic, and again to melt ice from beneath. In both cases the controlling powers are ponderous and slow and oceanic,  and have next to nothing to do with the ups and downs of breezy air temperatures at the Pole. Mild temperatures at the Pole can even be part of a pattern that keeps sea-ice from moving south and keeps warm currents from moving north, while cold temperatures at the Pole can even be part of a pattern that pushes sea-ice south and draws warm currents north. To put it most succinctly, to care overly much about what happens to the top of the ice is silly.

Despite the fact I became aware of all of this in 2013, I still miss the cameras that showed us how the sweet sixty days of heat,either side of the summer solstice, melted the sea-ice from above. There is something utterly cool about the fact the North Pole is warming the planet, not due to CO2, or albedo, or anything unnatural, but instead due to the utterly natural fact the sun is relatively high and shining 24 hours a day. For 300 days a year the Pole is sucking the planet dry, constantly squandering its heat, and one gets used to thinking of the Pole as a place of ice and snow. It takes an enjoyable flip of conventional thinking to see the Pole, even briefly, as a place that warms. It has always done so, and will continue to do so, even if CO2 is reduced to zero.

In any case, for the next sixty days the Pole is a warming place. It has been like a chimney for 300 days, drawing heat away from our home, but for the next sixty days it is like a hearth, warming our home.

This represents a major shift to the atmospheric powers-that-be. It turns the tables topsy-turvy. In terms of the normalcy of weather patterns, it is like car shifting from forward to reverse at the height of a rush-hour.

I find this switch from a chilling Pole to a warming Pole fascinating, and have yet to see any paper that addresses the switch adequately, as being a yearly event that happens with or without any change in levels of CO2. It is a yearly jolt to the status quo, and, considering it is not fully understood, it seems silly to seize upon the slightest manifestations of its occurrence, and attribute them to CO2.

If I do seize upon some occurrence I do not understand, and attribute it to CO2, I am cruising for a bruising. It is likely that the yearly jolt from 300 days chilling to 60 days warming will then proceed in a natural fashion that involves considerable variety, and the variations will make a fool of me, as my one-size-fits-all, model-derived CO2 prediction will fail to manifest. If it does manifest one year it will make an even greater fool of me, for I will be jumping up and down yelling “yippee” thinking I’m right, when it’s occurrence is due to coincidence, and the following year my diet will be sheer crow.

It looks like this summer will be just such a case. According to model-derived CO2 predictions the arctic sea-ice should have been gone by 2014, but sea-ice shows every indication of not only failing to melt away this summer, but increasing (or, as some like to say, “recovering”.)

Not that I can explain why. I am not so arrogant. I share my hunches, but hope I do so in a humble manner, and freely admit when I’m wrong.

For example, I expected polar temperatures to dip below normal in mid May, but they persist at being barely above normal.

DMI5 0521 meanT_2018

I also thought sea-ice “extent” would trend towards “normal”,  and did not think it would remain “second-lowest”:

DMI5 0521 osisaf_nh_iceextent_daily_5years_en

Lastly, I never expected increased sea-ice “volume”  to counter the decreased “extent”, to the degree it has. Where “extent” is “second lowest”, “volume” is on the verge of being “the highest in five years.”

AAA Vol May 21 FullSizeRender

This unexpected increase in sea-ice “volume” has made mincemeat of a recent Alarmist talking-point. It was stated that, although the “extent” was failing to fulfill the narrative (about the Pole’s sea-ice melting away), the fact the “volume” was at very low levels demonstrated how weak and flimsy the ice that remained actually was. It was suggested this “thinning of sea-ice” would reach a point where, though the “extent” was at the same level, the ice would be so very thin that it wouldn’t take much sunshine at all to melt it, and the entire Arctic Ocean would become ice-free in a very short period of time. Sounded good, but now the ice obviously isn’t “thinning.”

Why not? One reason is that winds have not been exporting sea-ice as much through Fram Strait, where it is doomed to melt in the Atlantic. Rather winds have compressed the ice in the Central Arctic, where the compression leads to thicker ice, and also leads to sea-ice remaining where the it is not “doomed to melt.” The thickening of the sea-ice shows when we compare last year (left) with this year (right).




In a general sense the Central Arctic ice is a foot thicker, (light blue is 6 feet while slightly darker blue is 5 feet.)

It is interesting to zoom in on specific areas, such as Bering Strait and the North Coast of Alaska. (2017 left; 2018 right.)


The fact these two maps are so similar must be disconcerting to Alarmists, because only a couple of months ago 2017 showed far more sea-ice than 2018. 2017 showed all sorts of sea-ice south of Bering Strait, in the Bering Sea, but all that sea-ice is now melted. (Skeptics could counter that, in the Sea of Okhotsk, north of Japan, 2018 was beating 2017, but there too the ice has now largely vanished.) What the Alarmists contended was that, while melting the Being Sea sea-ice in 2017 had kept the waters cooler in Being Sea, in 2018 the same waters would be warmed by sunshine and therefore warmer and therefore sea-ice north of Being Strait was doomed. But look at it. It is refusing to behave doomed, (so far).

Instead we see both maps show the often-seen polynya of open water off the northwest point of Alaska. Looking east along the coast we also see the often-seen polynya by the delta of the Mackenzie River, but here 2018 shows less of a polynya, and more ice to the north. In fact, as you look further out to sea to the north, 2018 definitely shows thicker ice (lighter blue) than 2017 (darker blue).

The thicker ice becomes most apparent when we zoom in to the Siberian Coast and the Laptev Sea.  2017 (left) shows the “Laptev Notch” while 2018 (right) shows the notch didn’t develop.


The Laptev Notch is thinner ice,. That navy blue hue represents ice that was three feet thick in 2017, as opposed to light blue ice which is six feet in 2018. The notch is created by the constant export of ice towards the Pole, due to bitter cold gales blasting out to seas from Siberia duting the coldest days of winter. Ordinarily we’d blame thicker ice in the Central Arctic on Laptev exports, but it is clear not as much ice was exported last winter, because far more ice is left behind.  Some ice has moved north, as is shown by the lilac hues on the Siberian coast, and the north coast of the New Siberian Islands. These are Polynyas of open water formed by ice shifting north to the Pole, and barely skimmed over with sea ice a foot thick. Such thin “baby-ice” often (but not always) melts quickly in the summer,  but there are far fewer such areas of thin ice to melt this year.

Scanning east to the coast of the East Siberian Sea, the ice is up to 15 feet thick (red), whereas it was only a foot thick last May (lilac).

We need new maps to compare the border between the Arctic Sea and the North Atlantic around Svalbard. (2017 left, 2018 right).

Here there was obviously more sea-ice in 2017 than 2018. Alarmists likely want to focus here, and indeed they did, during the winter, because unusual winds blew sea-ice away from the north coast of Greenland, and a polynya formed and skimmed over with new baby-ice only a foot thick, in an area where maps usually show sea-ice crushed up against the coast of Greenland, and sea-ice fifteen thick or even thicker (red). The winds have since reversed, and the ice has come south to crush up against northern Greenland again, but at times during the winter the Trans Polar Drift was reversed, and sea-ice that is usually exported through Fram Strait was pushed backwards to the Pole, thickening the ice there.

The ice pushed into Fram Strait is doomed to melt slowly or quickly. If it stays to the west it stays in a very cold current, and can make it to the southern tip of Greenland before melting. If it moves towards Svalbard it moves into a mild tendril of The Gulf Stream coming up from the south, and is eroded from beneath, sometimes with remarkable speed. 2017 shows sea-ice shoved south right up against the west coast of Svalbard, into that milder water, while 2018 shows that milder water exposed to winds and the churning of waves.

I don’t pretend to understand the difference between how the water is affected when protected by sea-ice, and when it is exposed to winds and waves. A lot of research is being done, but it is difficult to place buoys in areas where grinding sea-ice comes and goes. Therefore what follows is merely me surmising.

It seems logical that protected waters would likely be more able to create a situation where water is stratified, with milder water able to sink lower than colder water because it is saltier. Exposed water, on the other hand, would see such stratification destroyed by churning. This could change the effect of the mild current, as it gets north of Svalbard. However this is only wondering, on my part. I’m adopting a wait-and-see policy, and curiously watching the sea-ice north of Svalbard.

While winds were reversed one way in Fram Strait, they were reversed the other to the east of Svalbard in Barents Sea. The usual south winds were less common, and sea-ice that usually is pushed north at times instead spread south. However such ice is not as doomed as ice moving into Fram Strait. Not only can it turn around and head back north, but waters are generally colder, and it is slower to melt. 2018 has more ice in Barents Sea.

All in all it seems clear the past winter pressed ice north more than it spread it south, preserving and thickening the totality of the sea-ice. This is why the sea-ice “volume” has increased.

Before I depart I want to briefly discuss Hudson Bay. (2017 to left; 2018 to right).

The thaw had started last year and is barely starting this year. Last year more sea-ice was piled up against the southwest coast, and this year more is piled up against the east coast. The ice is thicker in the central Bay this year. Usually this matters little, in terms of the September minimum, because usually Hudson Bay melts away completely. Or that has been what I have observed.

However apparently the situation can change when the AMO shifts to cold. I have no clue of the engineering involved, but over at his excellent blog at Weatherbell, Joseph D’Aleo often skips the engineering of events, and simply points out that, in the past, when A happens, B follows. This drives me slightly crazy, as I want to know the “why”, however the “what” suggests a colder AMO leads to colder temperatures in eastern Canada.

The areas associated with a “cold” AMO have chilled since February.  In the map below blue shows areas that have chilled. The “cold” AMO horseshoe-signature is apparent in the Atlantic. (Off topic, but the cold Pacific La Nina is warming, and therefore fading.)

Right on cue, over the past 45 days temperatures in eastern Canada have stayed below normal:

This has me curious about whether we might see some sea-ice fail to melt on the east coast of Hudson Bay, this year. Back in the mists of history, the Records of the Hudson Bay company show some summers a surprising amount of ice lingered.

(I snitched the above maps from Joseph D’Aleo’s blog, which costs me about what a coffee costs, each day. However if you are very cheap and curious, a week’s free trial is available. His post is here:)

If even a small amount of ice remains it will increase the “extent” total in the Sea-Ice-Minimum next September, and cause some Alarmist heads to explode.

There is also Alarmist concern about the Greenland icecap melting away. So far this spring the melt has been retarded.

AAA Greenland FullSizeRender

I am wondering if this retarded melt is due to the cooling AMO. It is still early, but I am curious to see if it persists. Lastly, how will it effect the mass of ice added to Greenland?

Greenland MB 20180524 accumulatedsmb

The “wrong-way” flow in Fram Strait brought enough Gales slamming into Greenland to result in an above-normal dump of snow in the icecap this past winter and this spring. But the red line shows that 2011-12 also had above-normal totals at thyis time, yet around this time the totals began an “unprecedented” plunge to low levels that had newspapers in a tizzy and Alarmists bug-eyed. Will the same thing happen this year? Or will the cooling AMO result in no melt at all? The fate of the planet hangs in the balance! (According to some.)

Stay tuned.






Once upon a time, a long, long time ago, before men had invented boats, there was a land where people loved to play softball. They built beautiful fields and stadiums, and a whole way of life grew up around the game. Unfortunately, as tends to happen when humans become involved with anything, the rot set in. Some became ball-hogs, while others sat on the bench and hardly got to play at all. One of these bench-warmers was named Tom.

Now it just so happened that Tom got bored of sitting on the bench, and asked if he could help out by keeping score, but even the role of score-keeper was a privileged position hogged by those who knew the right people. The best Tom could do was learn how to keep score by looking over another man’s shoulders, but once he had learned everything about score-keeping he had nothing left to do but twiddle his thumbs.

Then Tom noticed an old book with yellowed pages sitting on the end of the bench, which had, in golden letters on a black leather cover, the word “Rulebook.” Fascinated, Tom opened it and started to read.

It was while reading that Tom learned softball wasn’t the only game in town. In fact softball was based on an older game called hardball. Hardball had been abandoned because it was more dangerous, but Tom found himself increasingly curious about hardball, because the risk involved benefits softball lacked. The benefits were so amazing they seemed impossible. Tom got some of the other bench-warmers interested in these benefits, and during practices they even toyed with a version of hardball they concocted, played with a softball, in the marshy area they were given to practice in, out in the weeds in deep left field by the shore of a big pond.

Then a day came when Tom and a few other bench-warmers got to play. There was a ’flu epidemic, and the entire starting team was sick. People were amazed by the dazzling brilliance of Tom’s team, which came from the way they were conditioned, and was one of the benefits of practicing their facsimile of hardball. But soon the starting team was well, and Tom’s team had to sit back down on the bench. However, as the starting team waddled back out to play, their ineptitude was obvious to the onlookers. It was starkly contrasted by what the crowd has just seen, and murmuring and grumbling began. The joy had gone out of the game, and Tom felt sad.

A lot of quarreling started, and, although arguing is very much a part of baseball, this sort of bickering was of a sort that was especially dispiriting. Some even questioned the value of softball altogether, and there were shocking rumors of secret societies that played badminton. This was blasphemy, and  the starting team decided they needed to crack down on Tom’s practices, and claimed what he and his friends were doing was evil. The said they owned all the stadiums, and took all their balls home. Tom and his friends didn’t even have balls to practice with.

The next morning, while standing dejected out in the weeds of left field, Tom and his friends suddenly heard music out on the waters of the pond. When they looked they saw a small spot of gold rolling towards them across the water. It was a baseball, smaller and harder than a softball, dimpling the water as it rolled, but remaining perfectly dry. It rolled up to Tom and stopped at his feet, and he stooped over to pick it up.

Tom and his friends had a glorious practice that morning. The benefits shone from the baseball, and all who touched it found themselves laughing in sheer delight, and they sang rather than talked.

When the starting team arrived, (late as usual), for practice, they were strangely angered to see such joy. Incensed, they raged that Tom and his friends would be banned from baseball altogether. Tom seemed strangely untroubled. He put his ear up to the hardball, listened, and then announced they were leaving to build a ball-field of their own, across the pond.

The starting team laughed, and said it was impossible, because boats hadn’t been invented yet, and there was no way across the pond. Then their jaws dropped. Tom dropped the ball onto the water, and as it rolled away he and his teammates followed, walking on the waves, until they disappeared in the distance.

There was a long silence, and then, “Good riddance to bad rubbish,” muttered the captain of the starting team.

The starting team went back to playing softball, smugly certain of their superiority, but some of them glanced across the pond, from time to time, and felt a vague curiosity. Perhaps it could even be called a longing, though they would deny it was such.

To this day there are still rumors that, if you stand on the shores of the pond and gaze west on very dark nights, a dim golden glow can be seen at the very verge of sight. Some even claim that, when it is absolutely still, faint music and laughter can be heard. Of course, such legends are discouraged as being demoralizing, when they are not derided altogether. Yet just last week it was reported that Clancy MacLobber, star player of the Lake City Deadweights, was seen gazing west on the shores of the pond during a glorious sunset. The next morning he was missing.


“When are you going to learn to keep your big mouth shut?” growled old Beef Wafflegreen, elder of the Premmiproppa Good News Church, to his equally-old fellow-elder Dusty Snodgrass. They were walking down a sunny, springtime, country road with expressions fit for February.

Dusty replied, “The Bible says we are to lovingly correct.”

“Even when it makes the new preacher look like a pedophile?”

“I never said he was a pedophile. I only said little Pumpkin was uncomfortable.”

Beef shook his head. “I always said you had the brains of a turnip.”

“Oh? Well, you’ve got the heart.”

“Best part of a turnip”, countered Beef, before continuing, “And anyway, what do you expect? Preachers are suppose to ask girls to Sunday school. Who wants that job? And who wants to be asked? Heck if I ever wanted to go to Sunday school. Of course it’s awkward. It’s bound to be.”

“You were a boy”, replied Dusty. “You’d rather be fishing. It’s different with girls.” He waved an arm while walking, becoming expansive. “Think back to a school dance when we were punks. The boys were on one side of a gym. Most would rather be fishing. The girls were on the other side of the gym. Most would rather be dancing. They were miserable because none of the boys had the guts to ask. But I said “most“. There were also a few girls who felt like the boys. They would rather be fishing. And those ones don’t want to be asked. The preacher’s suppose to know the difference.”

“Eh? What the fudge are you going on about?” exploded Beef.

Dusty adopted a slightly condescending air. “They problem with you, Beef, is that you don’t understand women.”

“Likely so. You can go all girly better than me, ‘cause you have seven daughters. But get on with it. What are you driving at? Are you saying little Pumpkin is one of those girls who don’t want to be asked?”

“Exactly. Maybe you aren’t quite so dumb as you look.”

Beef furrowed his brow. “But how the heck’s the preacher to know? It’s not like girls have labels affixed to them.”

“Sheesh Beef. You’ve got to play it by ear. Most girls glow like a sunrise when asked. But Pumpkin got all squirmy, and blushed like it hurt.”

Beef sighed. “I suppose you’re right. But the preacher’s madder than a wet hen. He says you’ve started the whole town talking, and his reputation is ruined. You know how those whack-job Flatlanders, who have moved in, are. They think all churches should be outlawed, and all preachers are creeps.”

“Well, that’s their problem”, countered Dusty. “They’re afraid to talk about anything, ‘cause it might not be acceptable. You can’t even talk about the weather any more, without them shrieking and fainting.”

“Right: That Global Warming malarkey.”

“Yup. They’re always shrieking and fainting about stuff. And they call us prudes.”

“Yup. ‘Political correctness,’ they call it. A pile of manure if I ever saw it, but they are big on it. And the preacher’s afraid he’s dead meat, if-’n’-when he don’t kowtow to that nonsense.”

Dusty winced. “A preacher’s s’pose to know better than that. Christians are s’pose to face lions. He’s suppose to set the example. We’re suppose to be able to talk about what makes some girls comfortable and some girls uncomfortable without dreading that some Gestapo will come in and arrest us.”

“I see what you’re saying,” agreed Beef, but he was still shaking his head. “Yet I still wish you had kept your big mouth shut. The preacher’s a fit to be tied, I tell you.”

The two men were approaching a quaint, old church. It had seen better days, and the paint was peeling badly. As they neared a choir ceased singing, and a slightly prissy, sing-song female voice began speaking.

“Widow Hicks doin’ the Children’s Sermon,” grunted Dusty.

“Aye-yup”, agreed Beef. “And you’ve got to credit Pastor Clinkerfuss. We went three years without a kid in our church. Nice to have some kids in the church again. That’s why you should shut your mouth. Clinkerfuss does good.”

“Taint Christian to be silent,” was all Dusty would reply, as the men entered.

The sanctuary of the Premmiproppa Good News Church would be in the National Historic Register, of anyone knew it existed. The pews were beautifully carved long ago by men who loved wood, and the stain-glass windows each told an individual story, with each elaborate. Generations had carefully cleaned and dusted the room, and despite its age it did not smell musty. It held a mood, an atmosphere, all its own.

There was room in the pews for roughly two hundred people, if the people were crowded in (and if there was no such thing as fire codes), but only forty-five sat in the church on this particular Sunday morning. Thirty were ancient people, and some had sat in the same pews for half a century. But fifteen were from three young families, and the old-timers were smiling in happy disbelief as Widow Hicks finished her children’s sermon, and nine children skipped and pranced back down the aisle to their parents. Then Pastor Clinkerfuss arose and wearily walked to the pulpit to give his sermon.

Pastor Clinkerfuss looked the way an innocent man looks, when he has been accused of being a pedophile. He was gaunt, with dark circles under his eyes, and his hands were shaking slightly. His face was an ashen gray, but when his eyes arose and he spotted Dusty Snodgrass at the back of the sanctuary he abruptly flushed bright pink. He fought himself, quivering, and then his better judgment lost.

He spoke with scathing sarcasm, “Well, well, well. Will you look who has condescended to come wandering in. If it isn’t Brother Snodgrass, the oh-so-wise elder of this church. The man who thinks he is so smart that, though he has never been to divinity school, he can correct me. The man overseeing a church sinking into obscurity, who has utterly derailed my efforts to revive it. I must defer to his great and hoary wisdom, which has landed us in utter and complete embarrassment. Brother Snodgrass, seeing as you are so ancient and so wise, will you please give the message?”

With that Pastor Clinkerfuss stalked to the front pew and sat down, looking at his toes and folding his arms.

Beef Wafflegreen hastened away to the side, and Dusty, with his eyes very round, took a deep breath. Then, in a surprisingly relaxed way, he wandered down to the front of the church and mounted to the pulpit. He tapped the outdated microphone, cleared his throat, and then began,

“Well, this is danged awkward.”

There was a ripple of laughter among the old-timers of the church. This was the most fun they’d had in years.

Dusty looked thoughtfully to the side, and then raised is palms and prayed, “Lord, you say that when we land ourselves in this sort of trouble, you will supply us with the words to say. I pray you give me the words.”

There was then a long pause, and then Dusty chuckled, “I’m still waiting!”

Another wave of laughter rippled across the pews, but it abruptly ceased when Dusty exclaimed, “Oh wow!” The silence grew as he reiterated, “Oh wow, wow, wow! Oh wow!” Then he hitched up his belt.

“I think the message is this:” he then began, with his voice full of excitement. “Truth is bound to get you in trouble. No one wants to hear it. It reminds me of a funny poem:

Give them sugar. Give them spice.
Cook them brownies that taste nice
But never, never give advice.

Yes, you laugh at that, until you think about Jesus. He gave good advice, didn’t He? But did anyone want to hear it? No. Instead they killed Him, or thought they killed Him, and why? For telling the Truth.

Back then they got to see you can’t kill Truth, ‘cause they got to see Him walking around after he was dead, but that happened a long, long time ago, and also Jesus said he’d be back again any day, and that kept folk excited. But folk now have been waiting for His second coming two thousand years, and it hasn’t happened. So maybe some are starting to think God forgot, and maybe Truth now can be killed. It sure seems that way, when our preacher lands in such a pack of trouble for trying to be kind, but instead making Pumpkin squirm and blush. Maybe being kind can even be outlawed, ‘cause it isn’t up to the standards of Flatlanders.”

Dusty rubbed under his lower lip thoughtfully a moment, before continuing, “What the Flatlanders want is no grief. I don’t blame them, but then I think about what grief has brought me. What has it brought me?”

A strange look of elation filled the old man’s face. “You know something? All the crap I take for telling the Truth is worth it, ’cause the grief makes me wiser. They say ‘You cannot sing the blues until you pay the dues,’ but it is even better than that.”

Dusty laughed a mad laugh, and continued “One funny thing about Jesus is that he said we have to lift up and carry our cross long before he actually carried his own cross. First He talked the talk, and then He walked the walk. But still the Flatlanders wonder, ‘Is it really worth it?’ Is the grief you get for Truth really worth it?”

The old man again chuckled, and then said, “They’ll never know, unless they try it. I can say it is uplifting all I want, but why should they believe me?”

There was a gasp from the congregation, and Widow Hicks fainted. Dusty Snodgrass was slowly rising into the air. He laughed in delight, “Well, this is danged awkward.”

The pity is that the congregation was so astounded that not a single person took a picture with their cell phone, which is why the miracle never appeared on Facebook.


You have dug in your heels, brother, in a way
That I have to say resembles an ass.
Please do not get mad at the things I say
For I only serve as a looking glass
That shows you the way that you may appear
To outsiders. Inside I have no doubt
You mean well, but facts are facts, and I fear
Your goodness fails to get all the way out.
The best hearts sometimes tread on a child’s toes
By mistake. Why not admit a mistake
Was made? What possible, dimly-glimpsed woes
Keep you from saying, “Sorry?” Does it take
The child apologizing for their toes
To keep your high dudgeon from thorning your rose?


Due to various interruptions I haven’t been able to post the DMI maps of pressure and temperature at the Pole. I’m now posting nearly two months worth of maps, primary as records for my notebook,  but also because it is a record of much of the 35° yearly rise of temperatures at the Pole (Celsius). A lot of interesting stuff occurs as the Pole shifts from six months without sunshine to six months when the sun is up, and the interesting stuff isn’t limited to the shenanigans of the winds and sea-ice. There are also the antics of Alarmists and Skeptics to observe.

Although temperatures rise from a mean down near -40°, it is important to remember that there are big swings in temperature during the winter, and temperatures up towards freezing are not unheard of even in the dead of the darkness. Alarmists tend to suggest such swings are a modern phenomenon, while Skeptics tend to look back at years such as 1972.

The swings in temperature are caused by surges of milder air brought up to the Pole by a loopy (meridional) jet stream, and are less common when the flow is zonal. When the south winds occur over land they can create polynyas of open water near shore, which Alarmists become wide-eyed about, as Skeptics yawn. Alarmists tend to feel the loopy jet stream is caused by a trace gas, while Skeptics feel different causes are involved, (and I personally look to cycles of the AMO and PDO, and shifts from a “quiet” sun to a “noisy” one.)

There can be little doubt that the past winter brought more surges of mild air north than we have seen in recent times. There were also surges of cold air far to the south, (but when you focus on sea-ice alone you develops a sort of myopia). Alarmists grew exited because the south winds blew the edge of the sea-ice north, especially in the Bering Sea (but also in Fram Strait, where the flushing of sea-ice down the east coast of Greenland was impeded). This led to Alarmists pointing at “unprecedentedly” low amounts of sea-ice in the “extent” graphs, but, because the sea-ice was condensed in the Central Arctic, there was an “unprecedented” rise in the “volume” graph, for Skeptics to counter with.

As summer comes on the contrast between the frigid cold at the Pole and milder oceans to the south grows less, and things calm down, but in our first map from March 19  the sun hasn’t yet risen at the Pole, though the sky is bright with twilight. Temperatures are still very cold, and great contrasts can occur.

At this point the Beaufort High becomes important, as its winds, (especially towards Alaska where it can clash with northwards extensions of the Aleutian Low), can break up the sea-ice even during the coldest winter. (This was especially notable in February 2013, when the thin “baby ice” skimming the open waters of the record-setting 2012 minimum was riven by leads of open water fifty miles wide. Alarmists felt this would hasten the summer melt, but the temperatures were at -40°, so not only were the leads swiftly frozen over, but the water under the ice was apparently chilled, so that the summer melt was less.)

The Beaufort High, if correctly positioned , can rip the ice away from the northwest coast of Alaska, and also the approaches to the Northwest Passage north of the Mackenzie River Delta. This year the Beaufort High has been smaller and weaker, and positioned in a manner where it has constantly blown ice north in Bering Strait, but has had less of an effect at the delta. In our first map on March 19 we see it in one of its stronger manifestations.







By March 20 a strong low was moving up into the Kara Sea on the Siberian coast. The south winds ahead of it bring air north from central Siberia. In the dead of winter these Siberian winds might be colder than the air over the ice, but it is a sure sign of spring (and Siberian thaw) that the maps show a plume of milder air press north in the isotherms of the temperature maps.







By March 22 the Kara low, in conjunction with an Aleutian low, have supressed the Beaufort High in a manner that creates strong winds from the south in Bering Strait, but calm and cold conditions at the Mackenzie Delta. Though the sun is peeking over the horizon at the Pole, it is still so low the plume of milder air brought north by the Kara low swiftly cools, but a new plume starts coming north from the Pacific through Bering Strait.














(Missing maps) By March 27 the Beaufort High is strung out and weakened, and its contrast with general low pressure on the Siberian side has created a Pacific-to-Atlantic cross-polar-flow. Alarmists were noting mild temperatures (for March) over the Pole, but Inuit communities in the Canadian Archipelago were experiencing record-setting cold.




(Missing maps) By March 29 a storm over Hudson Bay started pumping the cold air south, to begin building an April that had  record-setting cold in parts of North America. The Beaufort High was rebuilding, but centered with cold and calm over the Mackenzie Delta.




By March 31 the cross-polar-flow from Pacific to Atlantic is temporarily reestablished, again with south winds over Bering Strait and calm over the Mackenzie Delta. But the high over Alaska is building out into Bering Strait, and mild air will draw the low from over East Siberia towards Alaska, interrupting the flow.




This third plume of milder air coming north over Alaska creates low pressure at the Pole (AKA “Ralph”) as well as north winds at the Mackenzie Delta.



And at this point, right when things were getting interesting, DMI stopped producing its maps. At first I thought it was routine maintenance, and then that the good fellow who creates the maps was on a well-deserved vacation, and then that perhaps he retired without training a replacement. I was miserable. You never know what you’ve got ’til its gone. Also April was not at all spring-like, where I live in New Hampshire. Life was not happy.

I decided to switch over to the Dr. Ryan Maue maps produced over at the Weatherbell site. However they lack the simplicity of the DMI maps. Not that there is anything wrong with detail, but….













In any case, a weaker version of the Beaufort high  brought south and southeast winds over much of the coast of Alaska, pushing ice off shore, but again not so much at the Mackenzie delta. Also some weak versions of “Ralph” flirted with low pressure at the Pole. Then I noticed DMI was back in business.

It is notable that the darker blues are gone from the temperature map. This creates the appearance of “warming”, but in fact the Pole is simply losing heat less rapidly. The sun is still too low to overpower the heat lost to outer space, as can be seen when a plume of milder air moves up from the south. It still cools, despite being in sunshine twenty-four hours a day.


Weak cross-polar-flow from Pacific to Atlantic persists. Sea-ice shifts south in Barents Sea, and west in East Siberian Sea.  A low moves into the Kara Sea, and again a plume of milder air pushes north ahead of it.






The Kara Sea low crawls on to the Laptev Sea, and the plume of warm air ahead of it is notable. The polar flow is from Siberia to Canada. Off the map, it is very cold in the north of USA, with spring much delayed.


The Laptev Sea Low’s warm plume is a sort of feeder band which eventually fuels a weak “Ralph” low pressure at the Pole, as the Beaufort High weakens.




The weak “Ralph” continues on into the Canadian Archipelago and then the Beaufort High rebuilds slightly, as weak Atlantic lows roll east along Russia’s arctic coast.


Winds are slowing to more summer-like levels, as there is less if a clash in temperatures. A very lazy cross-polar-flow ambles from Pacific to Atlantic, but at long last this pattern starts to change., as low pressure develops in Baffin Bay and then battles over the top of Greenland.




As the low finishes its transit and starts to redevelop off the east coast of Greenland, another low is forming in the Kara Sea. As a buffer if high pressure forms between the two lows, we see wring-way winds from the South, stopping the export of sea-ice in Fram Srait, but a wrong-way north wind in Barents Sea, causing sea-ice to expand south at a time it usually retreats north. These wrong-way winds utterly screw up the careful calculations of sea-ice fanatics everywhere.







At this point the two lows have created two mild plumes, one north through Fram Strait and one north through the Laptev Sea, fueling a quasi “Ralph” north of Greenland.


(Missing maps) The Laptev low fades, and as high pressure build over the Russian coast we have a reversed flow over the pole, From Atlantic to Pacific.



A sizable plume of milder air is brought north over Svalbard, which experiences a thaw. However despite the fact it is a week into May the plume of mild air chills in the following maps. The relative warmth of sunshine, sea-water and imported air is still not quite enough to match the heat lost to outer space.

I should confess I was not expecting the plume, nor the feeder band forming a weak version of “Ralph”. Please forget my forecast of the La Nina causing a more zonal pattern. Didn’t happen.







Though the plume did give above-normal temperatures at the Pole, that heat was lost and temperatures dropped back to near normal.



I conclude these maps with a tight little low forming east of Svalbard, and a small Baffin Bay Basher, but for the most part the arctic tranquil and summer-like.










I’d comment more, but having this many maps seems to be taxing the capacity of WordPress and I’m afraid this whole post will crash. So I’ll add more with a separate post.


Godless 1280px-The_Hanging_by_Jacques_Callot

God withdrew sweet Love, and I saw how cheap
And mean-minded our church then became.
Godless, our minds swiftly became as deep
As the River Platte. Just wicks without flame,
All grabs and all wants, without any shame,
We had no sweet Love for any but ourselves
And all we had to give brothers was blame.
Deeper truths became musty books left on shelves
And the small truth we saw was selected
To accent our side of our crafty greed
And was tirelessly honed, perfected,
As if vanity was a cute pet to feed.
Unless God returns, then the egos we trust
Will make church a garden of growing disgust.

Christianity is full of errors to repent for. A group of evangelists set up a clever booth at a local fair with a large sign reading “confessional” over its door. When curious people entered, perhaps expecting to find a priest who might hear them confess about how they over-did their drinking the night before, they instead heard Christians confess about 2000 years of blunders. It was behavior in sharp contrast to the holier-than-thou behavior many expect from Christians.

It is due to these failures that Christianity is constantly attempting reforms, as churches attempt to “revive” the Spirit seen in the early church. This often creates trouble between the orthodox and those who desire reform. In Europe awful battles have occurred between Protestants and Catholics. The gruesome picture that heads this post dates from the Thirty Years War, (1618-1648), when 8 million people died in Central Europe (during a time when populations were far lower.)

In some ways I think it is out of disgust over the failure of Christians to obey Christ that some turn away from Christianity altogether, and attempt to define goodness in some New Age manner. In many ways such “goodness” is a copy of what Jesus taught, and is a plagiarism of scripture, leaving out any inconvenient mentions of the Author.

This creates a big problem, because the Creator makes it clear in scripture we are lost without Him. Our egos are a problem, and in some ways are the  problem, yet there is no way we can handle forces outside of our limited selves without an ego. The ego is like a boat we are using to cross a raging river, but as long as we are in the boat we can’t step ashore onto a Promised Land. We are all in the same boat(s), and all share the same plight, and (according to scripture) all our our best efforts to become free of our predicament are doomed to failure, for we are so attached to our boats we can only row in circles. Only the Master can walk on water and lead us to shore.

In New England the little towns were initially set up by people seeking to flee the holocaust of the Thirty Years War in the early 1600’s. The church was a central point in town. However, in the four hundred years since, the church has fallen out of favor, and many see it as backwards and oppressive, and prefer a secular idea of “goodness.” This secular idea of goodness contains some attempts at “fairness” that are as difficult to realize as any commandments in the Bible. (For example, the idea that all deserve a trophy for “participating”, and that it is somehow evil to reward success because it makes those who fail feel like failures, even though they are failures.)

Now we are witnessing secular idealism fall flat on its face, in some ways even more spectacularly than Christianity fell flat on its face. Some people want to return to the church, but they seem to prefer the so-called “mega-church” to the small-town “community church”.  In New England only some 2% attend a “local” church.

The local church has a bad reputation of holding snobs. It matters little if it is Conservative or Liberal, you are unwelcome if you don’t kowtow to some concept of “correctness”.

One then has to think hard  about what differentiates a church from a country club. After all, many of the same concepts apply. A country club needs to recruit a certain number of “paying members”, and the people attending have to agree to be nice to each other. Why should a country club have to pay taxes, where a church gets a write-off?

The difference should be that a church holds God. But this leads to the next question.

Does it really?

This must be answered on an individual basis, and at times can be difficult due to the modern concept that seeks immediate gratification, and seems to assume the only sign of God’s presence is a pack of people as blissed-out as people at country club sipping champagne.

In actual fact there is no participation trophy for church. When you bungle and fail, you may be brought to your senses by a look of disapproval from on High. Some of the greatest revivals began with a rebuke.




ARCTIC SEA-ICE –Final Surge–

This is just a quick note in a notebook, observing a somewhat unusual occurrence up at the Pole.  A surge of Atlantic air was flung north right over the Pole, which is a phenomenon I usually associate with darkness and mid-winter.

The occurrance  shows up nicely in the DMI temperature-isotherm maps of the Pole. What I call a “feeder-band” of mild air is pulled north, and makes the North Pole warmer than lands (mostly tundra) further south. But what happens to the warm air when it gets there? [May 8, 00Z to left, May 8 12z (12 hours later) right.]

[May 9, 00z left, May 9 12z (12 hours later) right.]

Judging from the -5° isotherm, a large area of imported “warm” air is shrinking. What is happening to that “warmth”? (I put warmth in quotes because -5°C is not all that warm). How can such air lose heat when the sun is now up 24 hours a day, up that far north?

The answer is that the sun is not yet high enough to truly counter the heat lost to outer space.

If you need help imagining how this is possible, think of temperatures in your own neighborhood between the hottest part of a summer day, and later in the afternoon when the sun is still hot in your face, but the temperatures are starting to drop. The sun is no longer high enough to keep temperatures as high as they were. The loss of heat to outer space is making inroads. (Otherwise temperatures would keep rising until the sun set.)

At the Pole the sun is not yet really high enough. It is low on the horizon, though higher every day. Until roughly May 21, it is not high enough to keep temperatures from dropping, though it is up twenty-four hours a day. What it does do is keep temperatures from dropping as far as they would otherwise drop.

To envision this, imagine the situation in your own neighborhood at the end of a sweltering summer night. The temperatures have dropped all night (though perhaps not enough for your comfort) and then the short night ends and the sun rises. The thermometer does not show an immediate rise. Rather the drop of temperatures slows, stops, and only as the sun rises to a certain height that you see  temperatures rise.

In other words, the ongoing loss-of-heat-to-outer-space continues, and the increasing heat of the rising sun’s sunshine must surpass it, before temperatures actually rise.

Currently the sun at the Pole is not yet high enough to surpass the heat-lost-to-outer-space. Consequently, any Atlantic heat imported to the Pole will not be warmed by 24-hour-a=day sunshine, but be cooled, at least until roughly May 21. And the above DMI isotherm maps prove what I say is true.

You can see the lost-to-outer-space dip, in the DMI map of temperatures at the Pole:

DMI5 0509 meanT_2018

I have a suspicion that losing so much heat (without melting a single berg) will have consequences in terms of forecasts made by both Alarmists and Skeptics,  but I dare not forecast myself. Instead I will sit back and

Stay tuned,


The moon stooped and peered in to my pillow
Like a dear friend I hadn’t seen in years,
An angel who children talk to, but grow
To forget. Not druid, beyond all fears,
A power acquainted with the King’s court
And yet at home with urchins on the street,
The moon dropped in to see me, and report
That nothing had changed, and all is still sweet
In heaven. The King is still King. The world
In all its madness may say otherwise,
But the King is still King. So I then curled
And could have slept in a child’s peace, but my eyes
Were filled with moonlight, so I arose
To spread the news to you, as others doze.