ARCTIC SEA ICE –Icebreaker Rescued–

The Kapitan Dranitsyn left the MOSAiC ice floe with the team of leg 2 on 4 March and met Admiral Makarov at 84°48′ North and 42°35′ East on Saturday, 14 March. (Photo Credit Steffen Graupner)

This episode is interesting because it demonstrates the sea-ice is thicker than exspected up towards the Pole. The Kapitan Dranitsyn, in successfully resupplying the MOSAiC expedition, was forced to plow through thick sea-ice at times, seeking the thinner refrozen leads, and consumed far more fuel than expected. It did not have enough fuel to plow its way back to Russia. (One does not want the gas gauge too close to empty, up on the Arctic Sea, for the fuel must be used for heating as well as powering the engines. At some point one must chose between powering forward and avoiding freezing to death.)

When it became apparent Kapitan Dranitsyn did not have enough fuel to make it back the Admiral Makarov was sent north to refuel it. After the ships met refueling took three days. I am curious how they handle diesel at temperatures when it tends to jell, (and it becomes obvious why the Russians turned to nuclear powered icebreakers.)

Rather than poking fun at the Russian’s struggles with the especially thick ice and especially cold temperatures, I tend to marvel that they can travel through the Arctic Sea in the dead of winter. The United States has no such ships nor such experience. I’m not sure of the state of the “Space Race”, but Russia is winning the Ice Race.

The MOSAiC site was hit by strong winds from another big storm in Barents Sea, and a lead formed that intersected the ship.

This crack should be handy, for they have been trying to study the gases released from the water in such leads, which involved dangerous hikes far from the ship. Now they hardly have to leave the Polarstern at all. However I wonder what stresses this puts on the ship’s hull.

Likely some Alarmists will suggest such a crack proves the sea-ice is thinner, but such leads open and then clap shut (forming pressure ridges) all over the Arctic Sea every winter, and by spring it is hard to find flat areas of sea-ice large enough for blue-ice airstrips.

The storm that stressed the sea-ice by the Polarstern did bring some slightly warmer air north, but temperatures remain cold up there. The coldest temperatures have swung around to the Atlantic side, and though a bit above the 1958-2002 mean overall, they remain colder than they’ve been in recent years as a zonal flow keeps the cold locked in the north.

The “extent” remains the highest in five years.

Stay Tuned.

ARCTIC SEA ICE –Icebreaker Trapped Resupplying MOASiC–

In my last post I mentioned that the Russian icebreaker  Kapitan Dranitsyn had to battle thick sea-ice to resupply the Polarstern at the MOSAiC site. Contact was successful, and cranes began to  unload and load supplies that were hauled by tractor between the two ships.

PS1 polarstern-1-e1583402517868

A fresh crew of scientists relieved the crew that has been working there.

PS2 polarstern-unloading-2-credit-michael-gutsche

With temperatures down around -30ºC, the open water in the wake of the Kapitan Dranitsyn froze over swiftly. Men could walk on the new ice within 24 hours.

PS3 polarstern-and-icebreaker.1f7f58

By the time the transfer of men and supplies was complete the ship was frozen so fast it could not extract itself. The news is now that the Russians are sending a second icebreaker, the Admiral Makarov, to help the first icebreaker free itself. (Note the twilight in the above picture. The are located close enough to the Pole to see a very swift transition from noontime night to midnight day. Currently it is dark at midnight, but the twilight is bright enough at noon to read by. In around a week the sun will peek over the horizon, and a few weeks more will see the daylight become constant. But the chilly sun remains so low that no thawing occurs until the end of April.)

Despite the ice trapping the icebreaker, it is important to remember we are talking about sea-ice, a mass of ice in constant motion with enough “leads” (cracks) to allow seals to breathe and be seen hunting arctic cod, by the MOSAiC underwater cameras. Sea-ice is by no means stable. The Polarstern radar recently saw a lead open roughly a mile from the ship.

And the infrared view of the Pole shows plenty of cracks in the sea-ice,

.PS4 go.nasa.gov2TJSpHR-shears-

In other words, sea-ice is not the same thing as the gigantic icebergs that make life interesting for fishermen in Newfoundland, icebergs that are so vast that they can run aground in water 300 feet deep.

Newfoundland Icebergs view-of-twillingate-harbour

Newfoundland Iceberg u41bdg57z4k41

These giant, awesome bergs calve off glaciers, (largely Greenland’s), and, while they have been seen in the Arctic Ocean, they usually head south down either side of Greenland, and are rare up north. For the most part the sea-ice affecting the icebreakers is thin in comparison, roughly six feet thick.

The problem is that, besides cracking apart, which is helpful to icebreakers, the ice claps back together again. In such cases the baby-ice which swiftly forms in the open water, (as we saw in the wake of the Kapitan Dranitsyn), has little hope of resisting the compression it undergoes; even if it is two feet thick it is clamped in the jaws of ice at least three times as thick, which has the power of wind pressing across miles and miles of fetch. Consequently the new ice in leads crumples up like eggshells between elephants, and what was open water on Monday may become a pressure ridge of crumbled slabs of ice by Friday. And, because this process goes on all winter long, the surface of the Arctic Sea is far from smooth. There are smooth areas, basically big slabs, but finding a smooth area large enough for the yearly Barneo blue-ice airstrip often involves a considerable search.

Considering the sea-ice is constantly tortured and contorted, the “thickness” maps portray an average, for in fact the ice can vary between open water and a towering pressure ridge in a hundred yards. (This was made visual back in the days we had cameras on buoys bobbing about the Pole.) Because both pressure ridges and leads are often too narrow to be seen by satellite, and also because how numerous they are varies a lot between stormy years and calm years, a certain amount of guess-work (also called “modelling”) goes into the creation of “thickness” maps…..which in turn leads to disagreements. For example the NRL map can show ice six feet thick

Thickness 200303 arcticictnnowcast

Whereas the DMI map shows sea-ice twelve feet thick:

Thickness 200305 CICE_combine_thick_SM_EN_20200305

These disagreements suggest the captains of icebreakers face uncertainty, as they face the sea-ice.  Not only are the captain’s initial maps to some degree “modeled”, but the circumstances they are sailing into are in constant flux. Though their radar may show an open lead ahead, a shift in the winds may turn that lead into a pressure ridge in a mere hour.

One then is led to wonder why these icebreakers are not ever crushed like a nut in a nutcracker. The compression involved when wind-shear creates two masses of sea-ice converging is hard to imagine. We are talking about fifty miles of ice colliding headlong with fifty miles of ice; even sea-ice nine feet thick can buckle, creating the arctic’s biggest pressure ridges, thirty feet high and (because nine tenths of an iceberg is under water) with “keels” extending downwards 270 feet. A 1880’s ship like the Jeanette, with a greatly reinforced hull, might survive 21 months clamped in sea-ice, but it stood little chance when the sea-ice concentrated its squeeze. (Descriptions of the moaning noise the Jeanette made as it went down are amazing.) Therefore men learned to structure hulls in a manner that caused squeezing from the side to lift the ships upward, rather than crushing inward. Icebreakers utilize such uplift, as the entire ship rides up and over the ice, which is then crushed down and broken by the sheer weight of the ship.

The Russian icebreakers are huge. The Kapitan Dranitsyn has seven stories of windows above the main deck. Let’s look at the picture again:

PS3 polarstern-and-icebreaker.1f7f58

Besides riding up over the ice moving forward, such ships are designed to ride over ice when moving astern. When the ice is especially thick they can back up and plow forward repetitively, crunching the ice downwards and making their way to where radar indicates a lead may provide an easier path.

The fact Kapitan Dranitsyn requires help indicates, to me at least, that the sea-ice is especially thick in the Central Arctic this year.

Stay tuned.

 

 

 

 

 

ARCTIC SEA-ICE –The 2018 Minimum–

Yawn.  Yes, we have reached and passed the minimum. Ho hum.

It should be obvious to even a mentally handicapped amoeba that the arctic is not remotely close to being ice-free. This in and of itself disproves a lot of the theorizing that was rampant more than a decade ago. This current decade is nearly over, and all the prophets of last decade have been proven false. I think I have been the epitome of tolerance and patience because, according to Moses, when prophets prove themselves  false they should be taken to the town square and stoned to death.

Somewhat amazingly, some of these false prophets are suggesting that I am the one who should be taken to the town square and be stoned to death, because I am a “denier”.

If I am a “denier “, it is because I denied the idea the arctic would be ice-free by 2014.  It wasn’t. Nor was it by 2015. Nor was it by 2016, Nor was it by 2017. Nor was it this year.

This argument is getting very old, if you ask me. I’m tired of explaining why I doubt the arctic will be ice free in 2014, when the proof that I am correct has been apparent for four years.  Alarmist’s homework was due four years ago, but I, like a patient and tolerant teacher, have listened to Alarmist’s lame excuses, and waited to see if they could hand in their homework late. They haven’t.

It is Alarmists who need to do some explaining. Instead they seem to resort to accusing.  It doesn’t seem to matter how polite and long-suffering I have been, they are unimpressed by my kindness, and prefer to be mean.  Brett Kavanaugh has only had to put up with a month of such meanness, while poor, old Sea-ice skeptics like me have had to put up with it for over a decade, and in some cases over two decades.

When we are discussing sea-ice, the subject should be sea-ice. It doesn’t matter whether I was a virgin Mommies-Boy, or a drunken rapist, as a teenager.  It is totally off the topic to attack my character, yet, over the past decade, I have been accused of both being a virgin Mommies-Boy, and a drunken rapist.

I have denied nothing, so there is no reason to call me a “denier.”  There is no reason for entities like Google and Facebook to see me as a threat, and to opine that my obscure website is an evil which should be made hard to find, if not entirely censored. All I have done is point out facts of two types. First, I have pointed out sea-ice that hasn’t melted away, and second, I have pointed out historical evidence that sea-ice did melt away in certain locations, in the past.

While doing so I have tried my best to be polite, and to jolly those who hold incorrect views into seeing more clearly. Look through my old sea-ice posts, and see how patient, careful, and humorous I have been. One good post was this old post from 2015:

https://sunriseswansong.wordpress.com/2015/08/03/arctic-sea-ice-not-all-its-cracked-up-to-be/

One attempt at humor in that old post was a mention that the words “climate optimum” were never used in the Bible. However the Bible’s ancient writers described holy lands as being green, and those lands now are brown. Therefore, in terms of the narrow confines of those specific, biblical lands, it very much seems that less arctic sea-ice back in the past’s climate optimums was a good thing.

Why? Because dry wastes in the Mideast were rained upon during climate optimums. Streams brimmed with sparking water. And efficient people like the Romans built bridges over those rivers. Now their bridges look silly, as the rivers are dry:

In fact evidence indicates that, when the Arctic was most free of sea-ice, at the height of the Holocene, not only was the Mideast lush, but the Sahara Desert was green, with hippos and crocodiles.

Therefore, judging from the past, any warming of the planet could potentially allow the Sahara Desert to be farmed. The desert would bloom. It would be the reverse of what initially gave the pharaohs their power.  6000 years ago a vast population of refugees moved from the drought-stricken Sahara to the Nile River. The reverse would see the vast population of Cairo moving back out into greening sands.

Not that all parts of the world would be effected positively. Greenland might again become green and grow barley, but the bread basket of the USA might become a desert. Overall, however, my assumption is that the world would likely be kinder place if it was warmer.

Considering I own this premise, as a hypothesis to be tested, it should be obvious I prefer warming, and own no huge bias that would make me prone to see cooling where it does not exist.  What I prefer is the facts.  What annoys me is to be slammed for presenting the facts. There are wonders to study. Who the heck wants to bicker and brawl?

            MARS PROWLING

Old men are pacifists, though I dare say
I might still surprise a young whippersnapper
With a flurry of trick jabs, but I’m gray
And, halfway through the first round, a dapper
Lawyer would appear in my expressions
And I’d negotiate an armistice real fast,
Or else soon see green comets and blue suns
Converse with canaries. Such fun’s in my past,
And therefore I dislike the rising red star.
I’ve dumped all old hippy astrology,
(Preferring reading tree-leaves), but few things are
As bad as having that red eye glare at me.
I hear you, old Mars, proclaim in the night
That even old men must stand up and fight.

It seems to me that the battle we are facing actually has little to do with sea-ice. Rather it is with a mentality that seems to believe excuses are more important than facts. Because this post is about sea-ice, I’ll leave this discussion largely alone. But allow me to say excuses don’t matter much if a fifteen foot tsunami rolls into town.

And if you have engineered an eight story hotel to withstand a 7.0 quake, and a 7.3 hits, excuses don’t matter to the people upstairs.

(Indonesian earthquake and tsunami pictures from “The Sun”.)

Someday we all will stand face to face with Truth, and I doubt our excuses will matter much. However some people seem to spend all their time making excuses, involved in a sort of pea-in-the-shell game they call “politics”. They tell me, “Caleb, you just don’t understand politics,” to which I reply, “I’d rather understand Truth.”

In terms of the sea-ice, excuse-making has moved from “extent”, (when “extent” failed to show continuous decreasing), to “volume”, but then “volume” failed to show continuous decreasing the past summer:

Volume 20180930 FullSizeRender

At this point the excuse-making becomes a bit sad. It reminds me of a few years ago when the increase of “extent” over a prior year was excused by calling the new ice “rotton” ice. It was deemed shoddy, low-quality sea-ice that didn’t count as much as the earlier sea-ice, and therefore even though the sea-ice increased it supposedly counted as a decrease.

This year, in a somewhat poignant manner, there was a lot of attention upon the “lateness” of the minimum. I thought I detected a wild hope that the sea-ice would continue to shrink right into October. Then there was sadness among Alarmists when it began increasing, as it always does.

Personally I was interested in the lateness of the minimum because it was largely caused by what I call “feeder bands” which fuel anomalous low pressure I call “Ralph” at the Pole. During September the “feeder bands” were particularly clear, gushing past Iceland and north past Svalbard:

The most recent “feeder band” shows up quite clearly on the DMI temperature-north-of-80º-latitude graph:

DMI5 0930 meanT_2018

I don’t claim to have any special understanding of “Ralph”. Mostly I take the Bob Tisdale approach of simply observing what I see, and pointing out when what-is-observed fails to live up to certain Alarmist preconceptions. Ralph is interesting because:

1.) Ralph fails to live up to the elegant global-circulation idea of there being a Polar Cell, with descending air and high pressure at the Pole.

2.) Ralph’s feeder-bands increase Polar temperatures, and although the Pole represents only 4% of the surface, a big fuss is made about “the warming Pole”. I think deeper thought is necessary, as it seems more heat up there means more heat lost. We may be seeing how the planet keeps things in balance.

3.) Ralph’s feeder bands also means more snow at the Pole, which influences the formation of sea-ice because snow insulates, and also snow complicates the ice-thickness measurements done by satellites, in at least three ways. (I’ve explained in prior posts.)

4.) We may need to adjust our nice, simple idea of “either/or”, regarding whether the flow is either “Zonal” or “Meridional”. At times Ralph seems to create a micro-environment where the Pole is meridional while the flow is zonal further south.

These are just four ideas off the top of my head, demonstrating how much more there is to study. Some Alarmists seem to take the attitude the study is complete.

Besides disturbing some Alarmists I also disturb some Skeptics, who seem to fear that I am “switching sides” when I state that the sea-ice is currently at low levels. But, to me, it simply seems to make sense that it should be at low levels, considering we are coming off a mini-climate-optimum, and there would be a time of lag before the “Quiet Sun” effects began to kick in.  In any case, I use Nimbus satellite pictures (that Alarmist ignore) to compare current sea-ice north of Alaska to 1969’s: (Sept. 9, 1969 left; Sept. 22, 2018 right.)

To me it looks like, despite the big areas of open water north of East Siberia and out in Beaufort Sea in 1969, there was more sea-ice in 1969, especially along the Alaskan coast.

(I should state that some Alarmists don’t like the Nimbus maps because it makes their computer simulations of past sea-ice conditions look wrong; the 1969 Nimbus picture shows far too much open water.)

But I think we need to use what we have. 1969 was a very interesting summer, especially as the flow over the arctic was likely zonal: (The DMI temperature graph shows a cold spring and summer, and Fletcher’s Ice Island was to the north of the “hole” in the satellite picture, and not in any hurry to depart through Fram Strait.) Also the PDO was in it’s cold phase. So there was no obvious reason for there to be so much melt. For me, this is a clue, hinting at a power effecting ice-melt we don’t grasp. Such clues should be seized, not discarded in the  “we need to erase the Medieval Warm Period” manner of certain Alarmists, (who seemingly see history as a political foe).

A comparison with last year shows a decrease of sea-ice north of Svalbard, and north of the  Barents, Kara and Laptev Seas, with more sea-ice towards East Siberia and the Alaskan Coast. (2017 to left, 2018 to right).

For Alarmists the late minimum and decrease on the Atlantic side is reason to hoot and holler. For Skeptics the increases on the Pacific side and increased thickness in the Central Arctic is a reason to hoot and holler. Both sides are focused on the wrong metrics, (which I think are largely politically-determined and have little to do with whether deserts will bloom), and because of this both sides are ignoring the elephant in the room, which is good old “Ralph.”

What would you expect, if the feeder-bands I mentioned earlier persisted? Would you expect:

1.) The northward push of relatively mild air to push the ice-edge north of Svalbard, and north in Barents, Kara and Laptev seas?

2.) All this ice being pushed north to crunch and thicken the sea-ice in the Central Arctic?

3.) The pushing of sea-ice from the Atlantic side to increase sea-ice on the Pacific side?

4.) Remember the fuss about open water north of Greenland earlier this summer? That was due to ice being pushed north, and not due to melting. (Also it was somewhat disingenuous of Alarmists to act as if open water up there was unheard of,  when Nord Station up there can be resupplied “by sea” every five to ten years.) Would you expect that ice to be pushed north?

All in all it seemed, to my little mind, that the feeder-band for “Ralph” persisted even when I myself theorized it would quit (because of La Nina coolness further south.)

Due to my observations of the Pole, and other observations further south, my little mind has come to the conclusion that the initial effects of a “noisy” and “quiet” sun are quite opposed to what many expect. Why? Because the sun effects the trade winds.

It seems to me the noisy sun increased trade winds, and the quiet sun decreased them. More energy from the sun therefore initially makes things colder, while less energy initially makes things warmer. Why? Because stronger trade winds increases the likelihood of La Ninas, which creates cooler air temperatures, while weaker trade winds increases the likelihood of El Ninos, which creates warmer temperatures. Therefore, initially, we have the counter intuitive situation where more energy makes things cooler, while less energy makes things warmer.

The place farthest from the trade winds is the Pole, where we seem to see a more intuitive responce: A “noisy” sun leads to warmer summer temperatures whereas a “quiet” sun leads to cooler summer temperatures.

If the above proved true, then it seems to me that a “quiet” sun might create a colder Pole at the same time as it created a warmer equator.  This seems like an imbalance that nature would seek to remedy. But how?

I’m not in charge of such things (thank God), but if I was, one thing I would do would be to get rid of the heat with feeder-bands to a low called “Ralph” at the Pole.

Genuine “climate scientists” should be considering such things. It is absurd that such ideas must instead come from a lowly “Child-care-professional” on an obscure farm in an obscure place on an obscure website, namely mine.

Millions, if not billions, have been spent to advance a preconception that made little sense to begin with, and which makes less sense the more you actually look at it. This preconception, (I will not even dignify it by calling it a hypothesis), states that the sun has no effect, and rather the trace gas CO2 has thrown the arctic into a so-called “Death Spiral”, and the arctic will be ice-free by 2014.

On one hand you have people wallowing in money, and on the other you have honest bumpkins like myself. They ruffle money at you, and I have nothing to offer but Truth. Be honest. What do you prefer? Money or Truth?

And I know, I know, I know. There are people who claim bumpkins like myself are paid by “Big Oil”, or “Big Childcare”, or some other “Big Wig”, but I swear before God I have never received a cent for my views. Mostly I get grief from mortal humans for my views. However I do get a genuine bliss from Truth.

In any case, in terms of sea-ice, the sea-ice is growing. An ice-free Pole is a mute point, until next June. For nine straight months ice will get thicker and thicker. If you include all lakes, the area of water covered by ice will triple in size. And Alarmists will do what?They will stay warm all winter by railing the ice is not thick enough.

Meanwhile, in northern apartments, elders will have to chose, during the next nine months, whether to pay for food or heat. Some will die, needlessly. But the meanest Alarmists will rail it is better that elders die, as they are “excess population”, and that it is better for grandchildren to watch grandparents freeze, as all the money Alarmists themselves are making off solar and wind power investments is “for the children.”

Excuses.

What do you chose? Money or truth? If you chose money, I assert a day will come when the nice new car you drive will meet the tsunami of Truth.

Until then, stay tuned.