ARCTIC SEA ICE –Disappointing Sunshine–

For those-who-hope-for-an-ice-free-Pole, the sun has become a traitor to the cause. They are all but shaking their fingers at it. They have wished for certain events, and all they have wished for has happened. They may even be starting to think they can control the weather, so many of their wishes have come true. But…I probably shouldn’t say that. Only very simple people believe they can control the weather by throwing virgins into a volcano or purchasing curly light bulbs. Surely educated people do not indulge in such preposterous claims. I apologize.

In any case, it sure has been a year to remember, when it comes to afflicting the icecap on the Arctic Sea. To begin with, there was a lovely, warm “super” El-Nino that set records (at least in the central Pacific, if not in the east), and it exploded umpteen Hiroshima’s worth of energy into the atmosphere, (in the form of non-radioactive cumulus in the middle of a pristine ocean). There is no way for this huge energy to dissipate into outer space by normal means, so, after the allotted amount is lost upwards, the remainder of the heat must head north for the Pole (if not south to the other Pole) to be dissipated up (or down) there.

It is important to knock it through my thick skull how huge this northward-bound energy is. You, who are thin-headed, probably already understand this, but a layman like myself tends to have these silly ideas, and thinks a degree of temperature is the same in the tropics as it is up at the Pole.  Not. In the tropics the warm air is loaded with water, and to raise it a degree involves warming all the attached water, while at the Pole the air is bone dry, and warming the air ten degrees can involve less energy.

How to explain it to a layman?  Well, to imagine all the energy pent-up in tropical air, imagine a juicy air-mass of 90° bumping against a cooler air-mass of 80°. Only cooling the air ten degrees can result in stupendous thunderstorms. But then imagine a Siberian air-mass of -70° bumping north into a Polar air-mass of -40°. In this case the air is cooled thirty degrees, but there isn’t even a cloud in the sky as the air-masses clash, because both air-masses are bone dry to begin with. Conclusion? Water matters. Second conclusion? Air- made-two-degrees-warmer by an El Nino is loaded with energy which air-made-seven-degrees-warmer at the Pole utterly lacks.

Third conclusion? Temperatures should be “weighted” in some way, to show the energy they hold. Otherwise you might behave like a silly layman, and just average all the temperatures together, giving the dry air at the Pole the same weight as the juicy air at the tropics. Ha ha ha ha ha! Who could be so stupid!?

In any case, all that juicy air from the tropics headed north to the Pole, and cold air from the Pole headed south, and there were wonderful collisions and confusions last winter, and record warmth north and record cold south, the first recorded snow in Kuwait and thin ice in Norway, which all seems to be an attempt on the part of the atmosphere to achieve a state of boring blandness. The atmosphere wants peace, and is in a constant state of war to get there. It is almost human.

The Pole did not escape this confusion, and a series of storms, (which my peculiar sense of humor made generic and called “Ralph”), tore at the sea-ice. Leads opened, and in cases grew to be many miles wide. When this happened the winter atmosphere, rather than touching an  ice-surface chilled to -31°, was touching open water chilled to +29°.  This is a sixty degree difference, and so of course the water warmed the arctic air further.

So how much warmer was the arctic air?  With exposed water heating it from below and El Nino air-masses surging north from the south?  Thirty degrees above normal? No? Twenty degrees? No? What the heck!!?? Ten degrees!?  No?  What are you saying? With all this assistance it could only manage 5-7 degrees above normal?

And that 5-7 degrees of slightly less-frigid,  slightly less bone-dry air called “Ralph”  was what made the entire planet be above normal in a “warmest evah” manner?

Oh well, never mind that. The important thing is that the ice was bashed and crashed and lots of open water appeared all through the winter, and increased through the summer, reaching near record levels by September. Right? After all, once the deep blue of open water is exposed it will absorb the sun much better than the white of sea-ice will. Right?

Wrong. And this is where the sun is a traitor to the cause. Everyone has worked really, really hard to expose that open water, but all the work is in vain, because the sun gets coy and insists upon bouncing off the water, despite the fact the water is deep blue, and sea-ice is white.

Actually, this late in the summer, the sea-ice isn’t so white any more. All sorts of crud dirties it, ranging from soot from coal-fired plants in China, to volcano dust from Iceland and the far east of Russia, to algae that grows on the bottom of bergs that see the light of day when bergs are flipped like pancakes. In actual fact the bergs are so dirty that they can absorb more sun than the deep blue water, and utterly screw up the calculations of overly-simple “albedo” modeling.  Why?  It is all because of this dumb graph:


The above graph shows how much sunlight penetrates water, as the angle at which the sun strikes the water increases. (It has an idea of “normal” as being when the sun is directly overhead. This is only at noon, south of the Tropic of Cancer, on certain days of the year, but never happens north of there. Odd sort of “normal”, if you ask me.)

What you should notice is that, when the sun gets down close to the horizon, the water does an increasingly  bad job of absorbing the sunlight.  Around now, even though the sun is still up 24 hours a day at the Pole, it is down so low on the horizon that all it does is make the open water spangle and glitter, as nearly all the sunshine is repelled from the sea into our poor eyes. It is not warming the open water in the proper manner, to the proper degree.

In fact, despite the fact the sun is still up 24 hours a day, temperatures are rapidly plunging at the Pole.


These temperatures are so low salt water will start to refreeze. Not only has the -5°C  isotherm reappeared, but the -10°C isotherm is rearing its head.


What this means is that the open water we have worked so long and hard to create is not making the Pole warmer, as some suggested, but is losing heat. It may even be losing heat at an “unprecedented” rate. Why? Because not only does open water have a higher “albedo” than dirty ice, once the sun gets down to 5° of the horizon, (85° from zenith, in the above graph), but also open water loses much, much more heat from the Arctic Ocean than ice-covered water does, and that heat is not returned to the equator in a manner that can warm the earth, but is largely lost to outer space.

In other words, all the wishing people did for open water, (perhaps using uncanny powers of wish-fulfillment,)  may have an opposite effect than the effect they envisioned. The bad people who refused to buy curly light-bulbs may have made the arctic ice-free, but open water may be cooling the planet, rather than leading to “runaway warming”.

You want proof?  If I give you proof you’ll call it circumstantial evidence, but take a gander at the open water O-buoy 14 saw on September 4.

Obuoy 14 0903C webcam

And then take a gander at the scene on September 7.


(I apologize for not saving the view from September 9, at 02:31:24, when the sea was surging slush.) Now look at the view from tonight, (early on September 12, camera time).

Ask yourself, “How much heat did the open water absorb?”


Forgive me for using my lying eyes, but the open water didn’t seem to absorb diddlesquat of heat. In fact, the entire idea of a “Death Spiral” seems even more idiotic than ever.

I know the above is circumstantial evidence, but at least it is evidence. The “Death Spiral” crowd has “some ‘splainin’ t’do”. They can blather all they want about a “consensus”, but the above makes the “consensus” look like the flat-earthers  who said Columbus was wrong.

The “Death Spiral” crowd has had everything they could have possibly wanted, to make the arctic Ice-free, this year. When the cards were dealt they got ace after ace.  El Nino, PDO, AMO, storms to smash the ice. What more could they ask for? (Likely more sunspots.) Yet, even with nearly all going for them, they couldn’t set a record, in terms of there being less ice than 2012.

They assured us that it was an escalating situation. Less ice would make waters warmer, which would lead to less ice. Even with conditions most favorable, it ain’t happening.


Now don’t get me wrong. I am not down on the “Death Spiral” people because they proposed a hypothesis that isn’t working out. That is actually a sign of science at its best. You have the guts to stick your neck out. You walk out on a limb. And (hopefully in a merciful manner) your peers test your ideas, expose your perfectly human weaknesses, and you see your theory fall flaming to earth. This is how progress occurs. Imperfect idea after imperfect idea, increment after increment.

However I am very down on the “Death Spiral” crowd when they insist they are perfect. They are part of “settled science”. They are of the “consensus”. Worst of, some of them even  start saying anyone (like me) who dares suggest they aren’t more perfect than God should be punished, for I am one of the no-good “deniers.” Me? Punished? For pointing out what I’ve pointed out?

I am very, very down on any Death Spiral person who resorts to that sort of defensive behavior. They have been paid lots of money to propose an incorrect hypothesis, while I have never earned a red cent for attempting to help them improve their science. They make ten times as much money as I do, being politically correct (and scientifically incorrect), yet they have the nerve to say I am a lackey of “Big Oil” or “Big Coal” or “Big Something-or-another”. Balderdash. Let me repeat myself. I have never earned a red cent for attempting to help them improve their science.

I am sorry if I inadvertently attack their livelihood, and threaten to deprive their children of the luxury of a father with a six figure income. But I just have this idea science isn’t about money. It is suppose to be about Truth. Once filthy lucre gets involved, people sniff a stink, and rather than seeing the scientist as wearing a white coat they see a scientist with a red cloak, as a “junk-scientist”, as “post normal”,  and lastly, rather than as “inquiring”, instead as part of a cruel, red-cloaked “Inquisition”.

I am down on this sort of response to criticism because it is not merely arrogant, but it is a thing few dare say:  It is evil.






Ordinarily this is a fairly quiet time of the year, in the world of ice-watchers, which is a world far less stressful than the world of bird-watchers, if you can avoid the politics. The temperatures tend to slowly edge up towards freezing, with only an occasional thawing spike that barely softens the crisper drifts of snow, despite 24-hour sunshine.

Obuoy 14 0517 temperature-1week

Obuoy 14 0517 webcam

Even though the snow at the very top of the ice warms (at this point to around -4°C) it is still colder than the sea-water under the ice, which is around -1.8°C.  What is even more interesting is that the ice between the top and the bottom “remembers” the cold of winter, and in places is around -20°C. Though this colder ice is being warmed from both above and below, it supplies a sort of drag or delay to the warming. It also makes sure that, rather than the ice melting and thinning, sea-ice in the Central Arctic keeps right on getting thicker, despite the fact temperatures are warming, and despite the fact ice way down south at the periphery of the sea-ice is melting away. This thickening can be seen in Mass Balance Buoy 2015F.

2015F 0517 thickness 2015F_thick

It came as a surprise to me, years and years ago, when I was still wet behind the ears as a ice-watcher, that the ice was still getting thicker in May. After all, the ice-extent graph is plunging, and there tends to be a certain degree of hoopla about ice melting away. Who would ever dream it was thickening?

Scientists would, for they are the ones who, through considerable effort and some degree of risk, installed the buoys that gave us the actual data, including the above chart.

Now that I am an older and wiser ice-watcher, I have learned a thing or two from the genuine scientists who actually study the ice, and know this is a pretty boring time of year. The really important melt, in terms of theories such as the “Ice Free Pole” and the “Death Spiral”, involves the Central Arctic, and that melt hasn’t even started yet. I even feel a little embarrassed about how excited I used to get about the melting away at the edges, in April and May.

People who do get excited tend to be rookies, like I once was, or the sensationalist media (who sadly are too often more interested in titillating readers, and too often know diddlysquat about science,)   and politicians who are, too often, even worse than the media, and (with blessed exceptions) primarily out for themselves.

Not that I don’t pay attention to the retreat of the ice at the edges, as it can tell you things about the sea-surface temperatures. In the end, the ice at the edges will all be gone by September, and is gone every year, but how it retreats can be interesting. This year I have been watching Bering Strait, because earlier the seawater was a full two degrees colder than 2015, and even though the sea-surface temperatures have now equalized I am watching to see if the earlier, colder waters had an effect. (This may or may not have an effect later in the melt-season, as those waters move under the ice and melt from below.)

I like to compare the NRL “thickness” maps from the same dates in 2015 and 2016, and to see what changes the passage of a year has brought about.


The best way to compare these maps is to hope the blogger Max™ drops by and does it right in the comments, but in the meantime what I do is open the two maps in two new tabs and then click back and forth between them.

2016 has been different from 2015. In 2015 a cross-polar-flow brought Siberia to Canada and later to Boston, and lots of ice was exported from the Siberian side of the Pole and crunched up against Canada. In 2016 the cross-polar-flow was far less and actually reversed at times, and as a consequence there is less ice towards Canada but much more towards Siberia. I doubt very much the melt along the Siberian coast will be as swift and extensive as it was last year, especially if any of the two-degrees-colder water got sucked north through Bering Strait.

I think that is what serious ice-watchers are focused on and are debating, but I am increasingly concerned that the media and politicians are screwing everything up. How? Well, because they are so concerned about how they look, rather than how things are down deep, they are more interested in superficial things rather than the deeper truths scientists are after. Scientists often are so focused on their study they forget to comb their hair and are a bit disheveled, while politicians have every hair in place.

You really don’t want politicians pressuring scientists, threatening to withhold funding if scientists don’t promote some superficial political policy. No wise king would ask that either of his wizards or of his jesters. A wise king wants the Truth, but a fool tells his wizards and jesters what to say. This is foolish because kings cannot control the powers of nature, King Canute could not control the tides. You want honest scientists who report what is actually happening, not rump swabs who tell you what you want.

There is an old saying that “fish rots (or stinks) from the head down”, which insinuates a bad leader will make those beneath him bad, or at least less good. Hopefully those good scientists beneath a bad leader will push back, and resist the corruption. Increasingly there are signs there is trouble in paradise, and all is not well in the back corridors of academia, especially in the world of sea-ice. Cameras are poorly placed, the “North Pole Camera” wasn’t even funded this year, only a single O-buoy camera still works, only a single Mass Balance Buoy still functions, and the satellites that determine sea-ice-extent are all out of whack.

Brouhaha 1 seaice.anomaly.arctic

Things simply are not as well-run as they once were. The site,     pointed out a seemingly glaring discrepancy today, basically showing that, to quasi-quote Shakespeare, “Something stinks in Denmark”, because things don’t add up. The DMI extent graph shows ice-extent plunging like this:

Brouhaha 2 2016-05-17-02-17-51

But the host of that Realclimatescience site, well aware of all the problems going on with satellites malfunctioning and so forth, decided to use the DMI maps to do a simple thing. Compare the map from May 12 with May 16, show where sea-ice increased as green  and where ice decreased with red, and he came up with this:

Brouhaha 3 2016-05-17-02-14-03

When some eyeball this DMI-extent-map, it does not look like it matches the DMI-extent-graph. I myself don’t want to join this argument, for, as I said earlier, the ice-loss at the edges in May doesn’t really matter that much, as ice-gain at the center is still going on. However, considering this time of year is usually dull for ice-watchers, I must confess the bickering makes for an interesting scientific sit-com.

In the theater in France back in the 1500’s the audience liked it to be made plain who the good-guys were and who the bad-guys were. Therefore, when a member of the clergy was actually doing the work of Satan, he made a sound that let the audience know he was crooked to the core. The noise was, “Brouhaha.” (In my mind’s eye I see an officious and pompous person, clearing their throat.)

That seems to be the noise we are getting from sea-ice-scientists. A brouhaha is going on, behind the scenes, even to the point where the equipment is not properly maintained and is breaking down. In their meek and inhibited way, scientists are having some sort of full fledged brawl.

Meanwhile, up at the Pole, the weather is indifferent to our human Perils Of Pauline. Truth is what Truth does.

High Pressure over the Pole weakened to a ridge and then finally collapsed over to the Canadian side, as Siberian and North Atlantic lows joined forces. Now we have a Pacific-to Atlantic cross-polar-flow, with temperatures close to normal.

Besides the fact the flow at the Pole looks more meridienal than zonal, things look fairly dull. But when the media has no news to report, it, in a seeming desperation, makes itself the news. And when politicians join this foolishness, things can become exciting.



As the sun beams down for twenty-four hours a day in the arctic, the Pole simply cannot get as cold, and the clash between the arctic and the tropics grows less. Not that the clash can’t still generate notable storms, but they grow less common. In fact spring is kinder than the autumn, because in the fall the abrupt end of all sunlight, and the cold which sunlessness creates, clashes with waters and landscapes that retain and “remember” the summer warmth, and such clashes can be extreme. In the spring the abrupt cessation of darkness cannot create such a clash, for the gradually warming arctic is rubbing against waters and landscapes that still retain and remember winter cold, and at times they are basically the same temperature, and the clashes are nonexistent.

The results are the unexciting maps we are witnessing.  (Dullsville, man, dullsville).

This is as close as we have seen to a textbook “zonal” pattern in a long time. I may have to look about in the shrubbery for that textbook I threw out the window, for having a high pressure sit on the Pole obeys the textbook idea of the “Polar Cell”, with air descending at the Pole, and storms wheeling about the periphery, pumping the air aloft that comes down at the Pole.

Polar Cell cells_mod

An interesting side effect of this kinder and gentler pattern is that currently there are no above-freezing temperatures at the Pole. Dullsville can’t do that, until June. When else can it thaw besides the midsummer? Ironically it took the the coldest temperatures of the entire winter to derange things into a non-zonal and “meridienal” state, and suck a brief plume of above-freezing temperatures north, last Christmas. In fact it took temperatures so cold it was the only time they dipped “below normal” in El Nino winter (north of 80 degrees), to suck the plume of brief “warmth” north. (The extreme cold shows as a couple dips below the “green line”, just before temperatures spiked at the end of the year, in the graph below.)

DMI3 2015 meanT_2015

To witness the nature of the clash, the maps from Christmas are required, but unfortunately I am a sentimental fool. Rather than being disciplined. and saving the maps from Christmas, I was attending to foolish things like family, friends, and plum pudding. Therefore I confess I only saved the maps from the day before and the day after Christmas.


It sure wasn’t Dullsville, back then! Huge storms were roaring perilously close to the Pole! These gales flung Atlantic air right over the Pole, (and you can still see the remnant “warmth” (in fact below freezing by the 26th) to the Pacific side of the Pole, in the second map).

At the time Alarmists were dancing in the streets, because temperatures may have nudged above freezing, if not on the Pole itself, then at a buoy very close to the Pole. It was an event worth Washington Post headlines. More quietly, under the froth of headlines, a scientist named Wendy gathered solid data and shared it with us here:

If the Washington Post was interested in both sides of the story it might report that, despite twenty-four hour sunshine, the Pole can’t get above freezing, now.  But The Washington Post won’t. Why not? Because it is Dullsville.

Let’s face it, the dull stuff, which is what scientists must drudge through most if the time, doesn’t make headlines. The media wants every day to be Christmas, when we can skip the hard work of recording maps, and temperatures, and just be enthusiastic. Yippee! Yahoo! Like a cowboy in town on a bender. Not like the cowboy riding and herding cattle day after day in the driving sleet and parching dust. However if that cowboy didn’t ride the range through all that sleet and dust, we’d have no beef on our table, and he’d have no time on the town going yippie-yahoo. In like manner, scientists could never lift their index fingers and utter their flabbergasting revelations if it were not for long times spent in the tedium and drudgery of Dullsville.

And Dullsville is where we are at, right now, as we attempt to be informed voters, and watch the sea-ice, in order to separate the science from the sensationalism.

Usually this time of year is always fairly dull, but also we get our best views of the sea-ice now, and can use the images to play Sherlock Holmes and deduce what happened when darkness hid all last winter.  We get our pictures from cameras on buoys, and from cameras held by adventurers on the ice, as it is now that adventurers dare go out on the ice because the sun is brightest and the ice is firmest. However something odd has happened the past few years. The cameras on buoys have all vanished, except for O-buoy 14’s. Also the adventurers have quit their adventuring, as few fund them, (and/or fund the air support they require). This makes the dull time waiting for the ice to start thawing even duller, because we don’t even get any pictures, and can’t even argue about what the pictures show.

I confess I have a suspicious side. I would call it a paranoid side, but unfortunately my suspicions have too often proved true.  However, before I go into my suspicions, I should simply report the facts, and show O-buoy 14 shows a dull waste of white, without the thaw starting.

Obuoy 14 0506 webcamObuoy 14 0508 webcam

And that is all I can post. Some unnamed person cut the funding, so I can’t post any pictures for the “North Pole Camera” this year. Nor does it seem that anyone found the funds to place cameras beside Mass balance Buoys, north of Alaska, this spring. Where has all the money gone? It makes me suspicious.

I also find it suspicious we have lost all but one of the Mass Balance Buoys, and also O-buoys 8b, 13 and 15.  Why? Because I think the wiser Arctic-Sea-Ice scientists would not have placed the buoys in foolish places where they would obviously be prone to being destroyed. (In one place the ice broke up only hours after the camera was placed). Whether the buoys were instead placed by a know-nothing political appointment who was too stupid to chose the better places, or were placed by a devious manipulator who intended for them to fail, (perhaps because higher-ups disapprove of eyewitnesses seeing the ice isn’t melting away as expected), the fact remains they are all gone, and rather than having buoys increase our knowledge, we are now left in the dark. (We do have some satellite views, but the buoys often proved “modeled” satellite data was incomplete and inaccurate, and even non-modeled visual satellite pictures were from too far away to capture important details.)

I would rather rely on facts than suspicions, but I am denied the facts. I am reduced to a view not much better than midwinter darkness, and a level not much higher than the media’s, and the media cared more for sensationalism than facts right from the start.

Therefore you must forgive me for creating a media-like sensationalism of my own, without facts. It is tantamount to this suspicion:

Some people are dependent on a sensationalist illusion, which suggests the sea-ice is melting away. They are paid for promoting the hoop-la about a polar “Death Spiral” that hasn’t occurred. They therefore dislike the cameras and buoys and adventurers they formerly funded, for such buoys, cameras, and people are not supporting their sensationalism that the Pole is in a Death Spiral. They see old friends as foes. In fact they may dislike even an Alarmist website like the notorious “Nevin’s”. Why? Because even “Nevin” likes to use actual data and actual pictures from actual cameras as he, with his filter of bias, sees what he wants to see. Why dislike “Nevin”?  Because even as an Alarmist his honesty grates against the sensationalist meme that the ice is melting away, and he is too honest about the fact the ice isn’t gone, even as he assures everyone it will be, it will be, it will be, tomorrow, tomorrow, tomorrow.

Too many tomorrows have come and gone, and the ice is still there.  The sensationalist illusion has been utterly undermined.  The people dependent on a sensationalist illusion may even be starting to understand  their days are numbered. They were the “insiders”, but may be on their way out.

The American voters are seeming to riot as a rabble against the demure assurances of “insiders”, preferring a Trump to the “insider” Bush, and a Sanders to the “insider” Clinton (and even to be pissed off at the current president, because such voters only voted for the president because they “hoped for a change” but instead got an even greater dose of “more of the same”.)

The “consensus” sensationalist illusion can not stand up to the hard Truth of reality, in all areas, including the obscure subject of arctic sea-ice.  The writing is on the wall. The “insiders” think they are the “consensus”, but the Majority know the word “consensus” means “insiders”, and doesn’t include the Majority that is increasingly fed up, to a degree where grumbling is becoming a growl.

My final suspicion is this: Some can see the writing on the wall, and know it is time to take the money and run. If they take the money for themselves and run, then real scientists suffer from a lack of funding, and buoys and satellites break down, which is what we are seeing.

However I confess that is mere suspicion, on my part. I would be glad to see it is paranoia, but I doubt it is.  The blatant hypocrisy of those who have used immortal beauty as a thin veneer over mortal lusts has been so absurdly and clearly obvious for so long it has become laughable, and the practitioners are swiftly becoming jokes. Already their rats are deserting their ships.

On the other hand it may be that the buoys and cameras and satellites are failing for some other, logical reason. I can’t explain the satellites, but the sea-ice is not as smooth as it used to be. Maybe it is getting crumpled up, compressed like an accordion, and destroying Mass Balance Buoys and Cameras as it increasingly buckles and bulges.

If this is the case, the resultant thickening ice is not the same as ice thinning, melting away, and leading to an ice-free Pole and a “Death Spiral”. In such a case both Skeptics like myself and Alarmists like “Nevin” would like to discuss what the evidence of thickening sea-ice means. Yet it is hard to do so when some unnamed person somewhere in Washington fails to maintain (or even fund),  buoys, cameras, and even satellites.

Dullsville may not turn out to be so dull after all.


ARCTIC SEA ICE —Let the nonsense begin—

After yet another crack shortened yet another runway, the Russians cleverly extended the far end of the runway and are back in business up at Borneo. Care to spend $20,000 to run in a race?

Barneo 6B 12985391_985486534853829_8800052741671977950_n425

I have to admit I do enjoy the shenanigans of people up there. It does seem a bit outrageous that some have such extraordinary amounts of money to burn, but it also seems like a form of reverse-snobbery for me to get too high and mighty, and to disapprove of it. One needs to be careful, because it might be jealousy one is feeling. Often our lower side likes to pose as a virtue, like a coward posing as a pacifist.

Suppose it was playful otters I was watching, sliding in the snow. Would I fume and fret about them making better use of their time?

Is it nonsense when people have fun? Express joy? Dance? Sing?

No, that isn’t as much of a nonsense as it is to put on a garlic face and see evil in innocence. And therefore the real nonsense is perhaps in those who are already commenting on how “warm” and “thin” and  “weak” this ice is. Once again the “Death Spiral” crowd is in full chorus, like the spring peepers in a nearby pond shrilling as I type. Once again Alarmists are determined to see doom and gloom and the end of the world, and setting themselves up as petty judges with their petty gavels, hammering the bench and pronouncing others “Guilty! guilty! guilty!”

I know a fair amount about this mindset because, back when I was in my early twenties, I tended to have big dreams that crashed and burned with dependable regularity, and then would spend time getting my act back together in my Mom’s basement. There was something humiliating about “living with Mommy”, even when I paid my share, and even when nobody mocked me I felt defensive and prone to counter-attacking. Some of my worst writing dates from those periods, and it is because I wrote like  a petty judge with a petty gavel.

There is something nonsensical about offering wisdom when you are unwise.  It seems adolescent, and perhaps explains why protesters are so often students. This is not to say food riots are not justified when you are starving, but too often the people protesting and judging and sentencing others to punishments have no real reason to complain. They are just spoiled, and feeling vaguely guilty about “living with Mommy”.  Even if they aren’t living with their biological mother there is something about their lives that makes them feel ashamed, so they counter attack.

Or that is my take, and my best effort to play the psychologist, in order to explain how on earth some Alarmists can look at this ice and call it “warm” and “weak.”

Barneo 6A 12718046_955455544523595_7535793996447659035_n-2512

Barneo 6D 13001059_984272628308553_6249309421780325228_n342

(The picture above is of some cross-country skiers out for a jaunt in a new place, called the Pole.)

The oddest thing is to lurk at Alarmist sites and see how they seize upon the slightest things to justify their belief we are seeing the “Death Spiral.”  Some of the things they dig up are so obscure they are actually fascinating. For example, one fellow was going on at length about how “warm” ice is less strong than “cold” ice. Not that he listed temperatures taken of the ice a foot down this year, as opposed to other years, but the strength of ice at various temperatures did make for an interesting topic. The only problem is that we have pictures like this one, from 1987.

Barneo 6C 3-subs-north-pole-1987

Please note the above picture is not from late August or early September, when ice is at its yearly minimum, but rather from May 18th, a mere month from now, when our more recent North Pole Cameras have never seen a melt-water pool, (though they have seen distant leads.)

Can you imagine the trouble the Russians would have had building an airstrip in 1987?  Not that they wouldn’t have been able to find a pan of more solid ice, somewhere away from this site, but this picture does make much of the current fuss made by certain Alarmists look silly. Why? Because, in order to make this year look like “the worst ever” and part of a deteriorating “Death Spiral”, they have to see conditions this year as being “worse than” 1987.

In essence they have to ignore melting where it is, in 1987, and see it where it isn’t, in 2016. To me this seems nonsense. In some ways this nonsense is more interesting to watch than a North Pole Marathon, but it seems to be much less fun, for the people doing it. At times they seem so miserable I fear they may be contemplating suicide.

Unfortunately the ice-melt should be fairly decent this summer, due to the after effects of the El Nino. This will only encourage Alarmists to fret and worry more. What they need is what will likely follow, as a strong La Nina sets in.

The only thing that will end their nonsensical pain is such a growth of sea-ice that their worry seems absolutely impossible. That will be like the bullet that puts a horse out of its misery. Expanding sea-ice will then end the nonsense and be an example of nature’s kindness. It’s the only merciful thing to do.




ARCTIC SEA ICE –Beaufort Sea Crack Up–

Beaufort Crack Up 6a0133f03a1e37970b01b8d1ba3a52970c-800wi

Most of my attention has been focused on Barneo, due to my interest in the North Pole Camera, and up there the ice has been converging much of the winter, and building pressure ridges, due to what I called “The Swirl” in my last post. In this post I’ll look at a place where ice often diverges.

My reason for doing this is not because I am fair and balanced. God forbid! I must be honest with you and state my honest intention to oppose the dishonest. Some, and Mark Serreze in particular, have been so incredibly unfair and incredibly unbalanced that the only way to respond seems, in a sense, to be as unbalanced in an equal and opposite fashion.

Of course this is neither spiritual nor scientific. However I pretend to be neither a saint nor a scientist. What I desire to be is an American thing called “a humorist”, and my chief weapon is to reduce my opponent’s arguments to absurdity.

This is not very hard with Mark Serreze, considering he is on record as saying the Arctic would be ice free by now. He is a person who  has reduced his own arguments to absurdity, and the fact he is still paid a six figure salary is proof the government cares little about Truth. In fact it seems an exercise in futility, and also absurdity, to continue arguing.

We already had the argument about Beufort Sea ice crack-ups back in February of 2013, when this splendid crack-up occurred:


I described all the hoopla that occurred back then about midway through my post “Fun With Sea Ice” (which was eventually printed over at “Watts Up With That” in January, 2014),  so if you are interested in all the details they can be found here:

But we have already been through that, and I think the more serious Alarmists know it looks a bit silly to get too excited about a Beaufort Sea crack-up. These things are bound to happen, due to the motion of the Beufort Gyre.

Transpolar Drift 360px-BrnBld_ArcticCurrents.svg

It is the flow of the Beaufort Gyre that tends to crunch ice up against the north coast of the Canadian Archipelgeo, and rip ice away from its west coast, creating massive leads and polynyas.  It also rips ice away from the Mackenzie Delta and north coast of Alaska, and piles it against the north coast of East Siberia.  To get a true feeling of this ocean in motion the current NRL animation (past thirty days) is helpful.  (Bering Strait in lower left corner; MacKenzie River in lower right corner.)


This animation shows high pressure north of Alaska swirling the ice around, and creating large polynyas northwest of Alaska and north-northwest of the McKenzie Delta.

It is interesting to debate how thickly theses open areas will be skimmed with ice, whether that ice will be black ice that allows sunlight to penetrate, or snow-dusted ice that reflects sunlight, and how much these areas might speed the summer melt. (It should be noted that if a low pressure replaces the high pressure, all the ice could turn right around and come crunching back to the coast.)

I myself am looking further south, into the Pacific, as I wonder about this coming summer’s melt. What was called the “Warm Blob” seems to have been largely replaced by a “Cold Blob.”


To me it looks like the waters south of Bering Strait are a full two degrees colder than last spring. I should hasten to add that these anomaly maps can change as spring shifts to summer, but if this “Cold Blob” persists, it can and will slow the ice melt north of Bering Strait.

Just something to chew upon, as we ponder the situation.

ARCTIC SEA ICE–video of jet landing on cracked sea-ice–

This video, from the jet coming in for a landing, (likely on April 4,2016) gives one a clear idea of the state of the ice up there. Cracks can already be seen on the ice-runway. (Single frame of above video seen below)

Barneo 3D Screen-Shot-2016-04-05-at-16.21.20-831x560

Here is a ground-level picture of the further “cracking” on the runway which closed the ice-runway after the jet landed. (I think the jet took off again, and no jet is currently “stranded”.)

Barneo 3A 12963854_1012982345445530_8510285427436507738_n

This looks more like the formation of a “pressure ridge” than the opening up of a “lead”, which means, (if one wants to get into semantics), that the problem is that the ice is getting thicker, not that it is thinning out.

The ice remains active, even as they frantically work on a new runway nearby. This morning (April 6) a translation of the official report reads,   “He said that early in the morning seen from the eastern side in the distance a strong ridging, active processes of moving ice masses continues.”

It seems every available hand is working on the new runway.

These problems explain why some Russians are pushing for a sort of sea-ice aircraft carrier to be built. (It wouldn’t need to be all that much larger than some their humongous ice-breakers.) If such a beast-of-a-boat was built they wouldn’t need to bother with the fickle nature of sea-ice.

Below is a recent picture of an area where, rather than pressure ridges forming, leads are forming. In some places the ice is converging (pressure-ridges) and in other places it is diverging (leads). Both events are the status quo within what is, after all, an ocean, and always in motion. It also should be noted that even after the sun rises air temperatures have been recorded down near minus 40 (which is the same both in Fahrenheit and Celsius) so the new leads swiftly skim over with ice, because the exposed water is right at the freezing point. In the picture below new, slightly skimmed and skimmed-and-snow-dusted leads can be seen.

Barneo 3B 12916847_978986505503832_6932671061554628725_o515

Correction—The above picture is from the Barneo Facebook page, and, because it is beside a picture of a chef in the Barneo kitchen from two years ago, it may also be from two years ago.  I apologize for saying it was “recent” when I am in fact unsure when it was taken.

Explanation—The Arctic Sea is an “ocean in motion”, and the “speed and drift” of the sea-ice can be seen in the Naval Research Labs maps provided on their wonderful site here:

The most recent map, below, shows examples of both convergence (which will create thicker ice and pressure ridges), and divergence (which will create thinner ice and leads of open water.)

Barneo 3C arcticicespddrfnowcast

If you look at the above map at the site of Barneo, above the Pole, you can see the ice is slowing down. Light blue is turning to darker blue, and longer arrows are running up against shorter arrows. It may be helpful to think of traffic during a rush hour, and what happens when fast traffic comes to slower traffic, but imagine the bergs have bad drivers and no brakes. Pile-ups are occurring, called “pressure ridges”. All in all, the ice is actually getting thicker.

Then look north of Alaska, where strong winds are speeding the ice away from shore. Open water will appear between the shore and the departing ice. This open water is called a “polynya”, when it is next to shoreline, and a “lead”, when it is next to slower ice. (If you look ahead of the Alaskan ice,  you will see the red giving way to blue, which indicates a pile-up is occurring north of Bering Strait.)

Forgive me if this is boring, but I feel a need to educate the public, which is at times being grossly misinformed by sensationalist branches of the media. You may see pictures of open water and be told it is due to CO2, when it is in fact due to the wind. Then you may see pictures of thickening ice and hear it is due to a coming ice age, when in fact it is once again due to the wind.

Once you are educated to the true nature of the sea-ice you escape the attempts of the media to milk you as a chump, and can instead laugh at their pathetic attempts to bolster unsubstantiated politics with feeble propaganda. In doing this you will honor the belief our forefathers had that an educated public is a good thing.

I should add that, because winds can swiftly change in the arctic, the above map can change swiftly. Converging ice can become diverging ice, and then converge again. The Arctic Sea is an ocean in motion.




ARCTIC SEA ICE —The 2016 Maximum–(March 13-29, 2016)

We are approaching, as taxpayers, a crucial moment during the “warmest year ever” (which is only “warmest” according to adjusted statistics involving a thin layer of air, and only includes recent years).

This moment is not really crucial, however if the “warmest year ever” can’t make a considerable dent in the amount of arctic sea-ice, then the entire concept of a “Death Spiral” of sea-ice will look even sillier than it already looks. And then it will be that much harder to convince people that “Global Warming” is really a reasonable excuse to take away people’s right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. In fact, rather than Global Warming seeming like a danger that should inspire us all to sacrifice for a common cause, it will look like an evil fraud perpetuated by power-mad, imbecilic idiots.

I understand “idiots” is a harsh word, but the consequences of abusing the public’s trust are, by nature, harsh.  History demonstrates over and over there is a price to be paid for abusing power.  Tolkien used “the Ring of Power” as a symbol for what is a psychological, political and spiritual reality:  If power is a thing you seize (rather than accept), you have sold your soul to the devil, and the devil will have his due. Only an idiot would chose such a fate.

When I was young I was in many ways just such an idiot. Rather than honoring elders I distrusted them, (“Don’t trust anyone over thirty”), and I resented the fact they had power I lacked. I refused to see that much of the power (money) they had was gleaned through decades of very hard work, and assumed I could have the same power through hardly working. I felt I could “seize power”, through what I called “The Revolution.” It took me years to be educated,( by being knocked about by the School of Hard Knocks), to a degree where I saw that what goes around comes around, you reap what you sow, and the power you receive in life is, for most of us, quite modest (and yet often is more than we can handle).

Some would like to be young again. Not me. I don’t want to go back to that ludicrous mentality, where you think you have the right to boss teachers around. I shudder to think of how close I came to being like Mao’s “Red Guard”, and part of what was basically a riot that robbed China of a generation of its teachers. The sad thing is: In many  cases it was those very same Chinese teachers who fostered the very mentality that led to their own demise.

At times I fear the same could happen to the teachers of the United States. Youth holds great power simply through its youthfulness, and when youth feels their trust has been abused by false teaching, and they have been “suckered”, their wrath can be frightening to behold. “Global Warming” is only one of a number of issues which youth is increasingly aware they have been misled about. They feel suckered. To burden them with college loans larger than a mortgage, and, after promising them college would get them a high-paying job, to give them no job better than dish-washing, is not conducive to moderate politics, (especially when the teachers themselves have jobs and pensions and insurance and long vacations).

Therefore, to return to the topic of sea-ice, we can see what is “crucial” is not the well-being of the planet. What is “crucial” is keeping the fools fooled. If the fools wise up, (as I once wised up), there are many who will face a down-turn in their political and financial fortunes. It thus is important to perpetrate the myth of the “Death Spiral”. Sea-ice is not “crucial” because it matters a hill of beans in reality, but rather because it matters to the fiction of a con-job. Therefore Truth is the enemy of some, and the Best Friend of others. In conclusion, as we blather on about sea-ice way up where nobody lives, it only matters because it is the tip of an iceberg.

Let us glance at the data, for what it is worth, and see what the “warmest year ever” has done to the sea-ice. Looking at the DMI ice-extent graph, we see the extent is low, but it isn’t the “lowest” extent.DMI3 0314B icecover_current_new (1)When you look at the MASIE extent graph, you again see that last year there was less ice.


This is somewhat surprising, because the El Nino we have just been through has warmed the planet’s thin layer of air a lot. Avoiding the “adjusted” temperatures, and simply using the actual data they feed into the weather computer for its “initial” run (and this data had better be accurate if they expect the following runs to produce accurate maps) the spike in temperatures is obvious.Record Surface warmth cdas_v2_tropics_2014

CORRECTION, (March 15). The above graph contains a glitch at the end, which exaggerates the warming. Hat tip to Chris Beale (@NJSnowFan) for pointing it out. The correct graph is below:Temperature Correction cdas_v2_tropics_2014(Please note I do not hide my blunders, like some whom we could mention, and this demonstrates I am quite noble (most of the time).)

If you have been following my observations on this site during the past winter, you will have seen how often this relatively milder air seemed to rush up to the Pole, as if in a hurry to be lost to the dark skies and and chill of outer space. One would assume this air spiraling up to the Pole, largely through the North Atlantic, would have led to less ice. It continues even in the most recent DMI maps

DMI3 0313 mslp_latest.bigDMI3 0313 temp_latest.big

.DMI3 0314 mslp_latest.bigDMI3 0314 temp_latest.bigDMI3 0314B mslp_latest.bigDMI3 0314B temp_latest.big

In the temperature maps (to the right) one can see the wedge of milder air pushed up towards the Pole through Barents Sea, and the isobars (the maps to the left) suggest south winds pushing the sea-ice north as well. Yet the MASIE data suggests there is more ice in Barents Sea this March than last March.

Here is where it gets interesting, for other maps suggest differently. For example, below are the NRL maps for ice-thickness for this date (March 14) last year (left) and this year (right).

Thickness 20150314 ictn2015031318_2015031400_040_arcticictn.001 Thickness 20160314 arcticictnnowcast

(The best comparison is seen by opening each map to a new tab, and then clicking back and forth between the two tabs.)

I notice three things. 1.) Less ice in Barents Sea. 2.) Thicker ice on the East Siberian and Laptev coasts of Russia. 3.) A huge increase of sea-ice on the east coast of Russia in the Sea of Okhotsk. Where is the Sea of Okhotsk?240px-Sea_of_Okhotsk_map

In some ways the sea-ice from the Sea of Okhotsk is a unimportant figure, for the ice is thin and will be gone by the end of May. Also a single storm out there can have a huge effect, and look what is brewing up, out there, in the next 24 hours. Top map is now; bottom map is 30 hours from now. )

Okhotsk 1 gfs_mslp_uv10m_npac_1Okhotsk 2 gfs_mslp_uv10m_npac_6

Besides showing you how swiftly storms can blow up in the North Pacific (and Atlantic) this also should demonstrate how the political futures of those banking on the “Death Spiral” can hinge upon a single storm’s winds shifting 50 miles east or west, and whether they swing to the northeast or northwest. This storm close to the Sea of Okhotsk, (and not CO2), could make a big difference in the sea-ice extent, and this year’s “maximum”, over the next two days.

In like manner, if you look up to the DMI maps, you’ll notice a low pressure drifting from Canada towards Russia, past the Pole. As that low sinks down through the Kara Sea and moves ashore in Russia it could get quite strong, bringing gales south across Barents Sea. Besides giving Scandinavia some cold weather, this could shift ice south in Barents Sea, increasing the sea-ice extent and causing politicians great suffering.

I’ll update further over the next few days, but my main point for tonight is that what is crucial for politicians isn’t necessarily crucial for the climate, or for us mere poor, taxpaying  mortals.



The Tuesday morning DMI map shows the polar low stalling and weakening as a secondary cruises towards Kara Sea and gets stronger. The winds in Barents Sea are still west and strong, and are not yet spreading out the ice, and the ice-extend graph continues to drop.

DMI3 0315 icecover_current_new (1)However watch how winds swing around to the north in Barents Sea over the next 36 hours, and stay stuck in the north, as that storm goes ashore in the Kara Sea and stalls there. (These are Dr. Ryan Maue’s wonderful maps from the “models” tab of the great Weatherbell site.) (7-day free trial available.)

CURRENT MAPBarent Flip 1 cmc_mslp_uv10m_arctic_1   36 HOURSBarent Flip 2 cmc_mslp_uv10m_arctic_7   72 HOURSBarent Flip 3 cmc_mslp_uv10m_arctic_13

At the very top of these maps you can see the Pacific gale nibbling away at the ice at the edges of the Sea of Okhotsk, but it will be countered by sea-ice being shoved south into Barents Sea. What happens to the sea-ice extent over the next few days will be interesting to watch.

As the winds stay north over much of Europe, (a high pressure will park over Britain and refuse to budge), temperatures will crash, especially to the east over Russia. Finland will tough it out, as they are not yet in spring mode, but to the south of Russia the spring wheat is already poking up, and the apricots are blooming, and the cold will be bad news. Look at how much colder it gets by next week.

6 HOURS FROM NOWBarent Flip 4 cmc_t2m_arctic_2  144 HOURS FROM NOWBarent Flip 5 cmc_t2m_arctic_25

This seems to demonstrate how, when a big push of Atlantic air punches up to the Pole, the cold gets “nudged” south. Another blob of cold is heading down into North America, and in a week we could be having a snowstorm here in New Hampshire, though the crocuses bloomed outside the local bank last Saturday. Crocuses IMG_1901


Those who have been watching the sea-ice along with me are familiar with the flow of ice down the east coast of Greenland. This flow is opposed to the Gulf Stream and the Coriolis effect, and is commonly seen in-close to east coasts of oceans.  Cold in-shore currents from the north are seen all the way down the east coast of the USA, though they get less dramatic as one moves south. Only to the north do they contain ice bergs. They often are indicative of locally severe winters, and can chill coastal waters significantly.

Perhaps the most wild example occurred after two enormous volcanic eruptions (noted in the ice cores in Greenland) around 1810 (from an unknown volcano) and 1815 (from Tamboro) caused such a disturbance in the ordinary weather patterns that a massive amount of the North Pole’s ice was discharged down the east coast of Greenland, causing icebergs to ground in Ireland and (apparently) so chilling the North Atlantic that Europe suffered “The year without a summer”, but whalers enjoyed nearly ice-free arctic waters.

Last year we saw such a in-shore current ground bergs on the inner side of Cape Cod, after a brutally cold winter.

The in-shore chill that resulted did not seem to last all that long, but I wonder if it didn’t dilute the warmth of the Gulf Stream and contribute to the “Cold Blob” currently seen in sea-surface temperatures south of Iceland.

A similar flow pushes large amounts of ice down the east side of Baffin Bay, and contributes to the tourism of Labrador by dotting summer waters with big bergs (that likely are not true sea-ice but chunks that broke off glaciers).  It would be interesting to see if there is any correlation between Atlantic surface temperatures and the amount of ice exported from Baffin Bay.

There is also a lot of ice exported down the east coast of Asia from Bering Strait. This winter, which has seen less ice exported down the east coast of Greenland, has seen a lot more ice exported down the east coast of Asia. (The Sea of Okhatsk is tucked away behind islands and is largely protected from this flow, though it may contribute to the ice on winters like this one, when it has a lot of ice.)

The blogger “geran” sent me a link to some superb pictures provided by NASA  of a chunk of the dense ice north of Bering Strait breaking off and joining the flow. This ice is part of a highly mobile flow I’ve watched this winter, from east to west, from the mouth of the Mackenzie River along the coasts of Canada and Alaska and across the mouth of Bering Strait, and piling up against the north coast of Asia south of Wrangle Island. It is densely packed, with the waters between the chunks of sea-ice frozen by temperatures that have ranged between 20 and 40 below all winter, and is on average around 6 feet thick. The ice you can see south of Bering Strait is subjected to less cold and is on average 2 feet thick. Just as thicker ice than is produced locally comes down the east coast of Greenland, and also Labrador, this ice is starting its way down the east coast of Asia. The chunk that is breaking off is roughly the size of the (tiny) state of Rhode Island.

Bering Break-off March 10 artic-ocean-ice-chunk-side-by-side-bering-strait-sea

This addition of slightly thicker sea-ice in the flow doesn’t show up very well in NRL thickness maps. However the thirty-day-animation below shows the speck pushing south of Bering Strait, and another speck the size of Rhode Island that is crimson, (12 feet thick) whisking towards Bering Strait along the north coast of Alaska.

(For some reason the March 30-day animated map failed to show here. Instead an animation appeared from February, so I deleted it. To see the correct map  go to    Look for “ice Thickness” on the left side, and click “last 30 days”) (This is a great site, by the way.)

If I were a businessman seeking specks, which might influence my business interests, I’d be wondering if the addition of this extra sea-ice in the flow down the east coast of Asia might chill the water, and counter the effects of the “warm blob” in the Pacific.  I’d want the Truth.

However, if my business was dependent on a false interpretation of the Truth, because I was selling wind turbines and solar panels and other unwise investments, I’d speak of the above pictures as proof that the “warmest winter ever” was causing the arctic to “calve off” a Rhode Island sized portion of its “immobile glacier” into the Pacific. This would be an absurd portrayal of how sea-ice actually behaves. It would be a misrepresentation of Truth, and you’d likely think no person could ever slink to such a low level.


Read this from the “Business Insider” website, and weep.  (Of course, the writer looks at the above pictures, and, after displaying gross ignorance concerning the nature and fluid movements of sea ice, and proving they have never bothered use their lying eyes to actually watch what happens, the inevitable conclusion is, “If this isn’t a wake-up call, we don’t know what is.”)

All I can say is “we” do know what it is, and that businessmen who turn to the above website for the “inside scoop” are likely to be the sort of sucker that is supposedly born every minute.  But I wasn’t born yesterday. This sort of lame proclamation is getting old. Here is an absurd example of Michael Mann making just such a proclamation last winter.

In the end, these poor fellows simply cannot fool all of the people all of the time.

My attitude is now to watch and wonder. I am not going to allow the misbehavior of some to spoil my enjoyment of the majesty, which the Creator shows those who keep honest eyes open, and simply witness.


(As an aside, as the old low over the Pole fills in, watch to see if the air temperatures get colder. Even in the summer, in 24 hour sunshine, I have seemed to notice that filling storms “create cold.”)

The ice-extent graph is showing a tiny uptick.DMI3 0316 icecover_current_new (1)

Without fresh imports of Atlantic air, the air at the surface of the Pole is swiftly cooling.

DMI3 0316 meanT_2016

Blocking high pressure will form a wall between Britain and Iceland, preventing mild Atlantic air from coming north and east.UK Met 20160316 32568453

The cool-down in Europe, especially to the east in Russia, will make headlines by Sunday, as to the north sea-ice is pushed south in Barents Sea. (Colder temperatures in the maps below are represented by deepening shades of pink and rust. )

CURRENT MORNING MAP   Europe cold 1 gfs_t2m_eur_1SUNDAY MORNINGEurope cold 2 gfs_t2m_eur_17


The gale’s winds are from the cold west to the south, drawing ice off shore. Only to the north is the ice compressed. The strongest winds are outside of the Sea of Okhotsk, and the storm will move away to the west and rapidly weaken. (Interesting new gale exploding south of Alaska.) (I’m wondering if it will teleconnect to a gale exploding off the east coast of the USA this coming Sunday, but never mind that.)Okhotsk Gale 1 gfs_mslp_uv10m_npac_1

Okhotsk Gale 2 gfs_mslp_uv10m_npac_3


Far from the sea-ice, the snows continue in Mexico, as they have all winter. I don’t claim to fully understand how the cold gets down there, but note the sheer loopiness of the pattern. One could note down a sort of general maxim, “When the mildness assaults the Pole, look out below.” 1 jalisco-snow-4 (1)Mexico 2 jalisco-snow


Another place that has seen a rough winter is Turkey. A spring mild spell brought out their almond and apricot blossoms, and now late snows dust those trees. This is occurring even before the current blast works its way south from Finland.

Turkey Spring Snow 2034039

To learn about these southern snows, which the mainstream media prefers to be blind to, it pays to lurk at the Ice Age Now site.

However what I’d be most interested in is a discussion of the meteorological factors involved in the loopy pattern, especially the creation of the snows in Mexico. I haven’t found any.


The low over the Pole continues to fade as the low over Russia grows, and the winds remain north over Barents Sea. As of now there is no upturn in sea-ice extent. High pressure is building over Canada. I’ll watch for south winds in Bering Strait, and look to see if any remnant of the Pacific gale moves north from the Sea of Okhotsk to the very top of these maps.


The narrow slot of open water north of Svalbard should not last long, with the ice coming south, and the ice in the Sea of Okhotsk looks likely to spread west.Speed and Drift 20160317 arcticicespddrfnowcast

You should be asking yourself whether it really makes that much of a difference, if the same amount of ice is moved to different places. It makes a difference in terms of the “extent” graphs, which typically measure the area of the ocean that is “ice-covered”, and call the ocean “ice-covered” even if it is only 15% ice and 85% water. Therefore a small area of 100% ice can be spread out to a much larger area of 15% ice, and cause a jump in the extent graph, and a jump in the heart-rate of those who want the extent graph low, in order to prove a “Death Spiral” is occurring.

In actual fact when the ice spreads out it creates more open water, which loses its heat to the atmosphere, which loses its heat to outer space. That water then swiftly skims over with a thin layer of fresh sea-ice due to the extreme cold up over the Pole, which persists right into May. In such cases the 15% ice swiftly becomes 100% ice which, if dusted with snow, has the same “alebdo” as much thicker ice, though it is so thin it can kill unwary Climate Scientists, who walk on it and fall through (as sadly happened last year).

So far the ice-extent graph is showing no rise, but it soon should. If no rise occurs, we will have to look to see where it melted away elsewhere.

FRIDAY UPDATE  —Slight Rise In Ice-Extent—

DMi3 0318 icecover_current_new (1)

The DMI Maps continue to show the low south of Kara Sea pumping north winds down over Barents Sea, likely shifting ice south. The fading low over the Pole continues to cool, but air over towards East Siberia is less cool, as the weakening low stalled by the Sea of Okhotsk has pumped Pacific air on east winds into East Siberia. This is the first time in a while that south winds  moving out into the Arctic Basin from East Siberia are less than bitter cold.

The low south of the Kara Sea has managed to pull a tongue of its warm sector air up into the central Kara Sea, but the Kara Sea is still colder than it was in the maps we looked at as we started this post, when it was invaded by Atlantic air. Any open water will be freezing, with temperatures well below the freezing point of salt water.


With the polar sunrise still four days away, the Pole still “creates” cold, and without an Atlantic invasion temperatures are dropping up there.DMI3 0318 meanT_2016


It continues to get colder over the Pole, with the ironic possibility that the coldest temperatures of the winter won’t occur until the first day of Spring. Strong high pressure is building over the Pacific side. (That blue area isn’t an ozone hole,but rather is pressures above 1050 mb.) Winds continue northeast over Barents Sea, but the sea-ice extent continues rather flat.

High pressure  continues to block the North Atlantic, with the arctic air exported down over Europe. They can have it. We have enough of a blob of cold coming down our way in North America already, that was nudged south last week. At the moment the only milder air being imported to the Pole comes overland, either Pacific air that has to cross cold East Siberia, or vastly moderated Atlantic and Mediterranean air that forms the warm sector of the storm milling about south of the Kara Sea, (with a secondary now in Barents Sea). For a while all northern storms will need to be home grown, for it won’t be until Tuesday that an occluded Atlantic storm tries to squeeze by the blocking high pressure on the north side of Iceland.

UK Met 20160319 32642946

As we teeter at the maximum ice-extent, it is interesting to compare the current situation with the highest extent in recent years, 2012. (2012 is to the left).

The most obvious difference is that there was more ice south of Bering Strait, due to the cold PDO at that time. The ice had been thickening at the surface for several years, and I did not at all expect the ice extent the summer of 2012 to be the lowest we have seen in recent years. What was not apparent, looking only at the skin, was that there was a layer of milder water that had slid in under the ice like a card into a deck, retaining its identity due to its salinity, so that when a summer gale churned the waters that milder water melted the ice in a most amazing fashion.

What I don’t know, and can’t see with my lying eyes, is the current state of the stratification of the waters of the Arctic Sea. My hunch is that those waters are more churned and less stratified, but that is purely a guess. They have new and interesting thermometers that run up and down cables beneath buoys in the arctic, and likely there is data for a few locations for the past few years, but I haven’t been able to lay my hands on the data. Perhaps it is hoarded like a miser’s gold. If anyone knows where it can be obtained, I’d owe them a debt of gratitude, (but only pay some pork chops from the freezer, if they can manage to drop by the farm.)


There looks like there is some disagreement about the ice-cover of certain areas, even within organizations. For example the NRL Thickness-map shows thin ice filling the water north of Svalbard, while the Concentration map shows that area as open.

The main loss of extent occurred in the northern part of the Sea of Okhotsk, where strong east winds crunched the ice to the west. If you open the thickness map to a new tab and squint, you can even see a pressure ridge formed as that ice was heaped up (thin dash of blue at 150E). It may be the same amount of ice, but when it is crunched into a smaller area it reduces extent. It looks like this decrease may have countered the increases as ice moved south in Barents Sea.

High Pressure remains parked over towards Bering Strait as the storm continues to mill about in western Russia. Slight warming is occurring at the Pole due to very modified Pacific air moving all the way across East Siberia and then north.

The DMI ice-extent graph’s update has been released, and shows a dip in the ice-extent. I figure that, if the north winds in Barents Sea couldn’t supply a final peak, we are over the hump and past the maximum. (My saying that may hex things. Once the clouds clear away they may adjust for what they can actually see, and there may be a late peak.)DMI3 0320B icecover_current_new (1)One thing apparent from the above maps is that the air streaming north from Siberia does not have its murderous chill anymore. Not that it is warm, or even thawing, but the fact days are now as long as nights, and getting longer, forbids the power Siberia had in January to generate super cold high pressure. As an aside, look at the difference in East Siberia now between night (left) and day (right).

(If this stuff interests you, the best way to compare these Dr. Ryan Maue Weatherbell maps is to open them to new tabs, and then click back and forth.)

We are still a long way away from the actually melting of the Siberian snows, and the amazing floods of northern Russian rivers into the Arctic Sea. Those rivers are still so frozen the water barely flows, and in places the ice is frozen right down to the riverbeds. However we can no longer count on Siberia for super-cold air, and are reaching a point where, though the arctic is still cold enough to kill, it is less so. Consequently the sea-ice stops expanding, and begins to shrink.

It is at this point I usually joyfully await the instillation of the North Pole Camera.  You can imagine my deep despair when I heard it might not happen this year. You can see the bad news in the face of an arctic-loving  Russian fellow who appropriately does not have the name of “Warmingarov”, but rather “Chilingarov”. In the pictures below happier days are to the left, and the current gloom is to the right.

The gloom is because Russia may not fork out the money for a base at the pole this year.

Maybe Chilingarov is gloomy because he gets a kick-back from all the tourists paying between $15,000.00 and $40,000 to visit the base (Google “Barneo”) but I prefer to think he simply loves arctic research like you and I. In which case we all need to boo this fellow, who seems to be gumming up the works. His name is Sergei Donskoi.Sergei Donskoi 221213

Boo!  If we don’t get a North Pole Camera this year it will because this guy is a penny-pincher. Boo!

Someone needs to inform Sergei that if Russia doesn’t want the 200 tourists paying tens of thousands of dollars to camp at the Pole, then Norway or Canada or perhaps even Finland will do the job for them, and, because they have the base at the Pole, maybe they will be able to claim that they, and not Russia, deserve to call the Pole “their territory”.

(Territorial ownership of the Pole gets some Russians more interested in spending money than a more altruistic love of Truth, regarding the motions, growth, and thawing of sea-ice.)

In any case, if there is no North Pole Camera this year, I’m up shit creek, considering that is what this post is based about. I’ll have to be like a Global Warming Alarmist, to get people to visit this site, for I’ll have to attract them to something that doesn’t exist. Oh! The irony!

MARCH 22 UPDATE  —A QUIRKY LATE MAXIMUM—DMI3 0322 icecover_current_new (1)This small uptick in the ice-extent graph is most likely due to ice being shifted south in Barents Sea, and also by the fact winds have slackened over that sea, allowing the cold air brought down from the northeast to skim open areas with ice. Also the thinnest ice is close to slush, and it is difficult to see, from outer space, whether it is open water or ice. When a dusting of snow falls it can change how an area is viewed.

Of course, in the total situation such skims of ice are a fleeting phenomenon, quick to disolve back to water or be crunched up between thicker bergs into pressure ridges, which reduce area and extent graphs, but not volume.

Although ice starts to melt away at the edges of the arctic around now, the ice towards the Pole is still getting thicker, and continues to get thicker in some cases right into May. So, in terms of Volume, the ice can still be increasing, even when it starts shrinking in terms of area and extent.

Ice is also expanding south in the Bering Sea south of the straits.

The high pressure that has been blocking the Atlantic is starting to fade south, but it looks like the North Atlantic will become a mess of stalled and relatively weak storms, rather than invaded by a monster. The big storm will be off Newfoundland, and only slowly work its way south of Greenland towards Iceland by the weekend.

One interesting aside is that the persistent off-shore winds have apparently created a polynya along the shore of the Laptev Sea. That Sea is a great exporter of ice, but hadn’t exported as much this winter. Now there will be skim of very thin ice along the coast, which will swiftly become open water as the melt season begins. However temperatures won’t be warm enough for that until May.

Another interesting aside is that the big, north-flowing rivers will be especially prone to flood this year, due to deep snows in Siberia. These rivers effect the melt of sea-ice, especially in August and September. Most people are unaware of the tremendous power of these little-known rivers. For example, the Lena River is nearly frozen to the bottom right now, and only a small percentage of its yearly flow occurs in the winter months. Once the snow starts melting from south to north the waters start riving, and the water can be 60 feet deeper in August, when as much as a third of the yearly flow charges down the river all at once.

Besides planning a major engineering endeavor, which is to bridge the Lena River in the north despite these floods, Russia is also planning to engineer a platform that can survive the stresses of sea-ice, freely floating in the Arctic Sea. Russia plans 100 arctic expeditions a year by the year 2031. “In addition, Russia plans to implement a self-propelled ice-resistant platform project in the Arctic. Scientific stations deployed on such floating platforms will make it possible to conduct year-round research.” Thus says our friend Sergei.Sergei 2 155397

To this I say, talk is cheap. All I really want is one small North Pole Camera. 

Not that I have time to study as much as I like. Spring arrived Sunday, and Monday morning the entrance to our farm-childcare looked like this:Spring Snow IMG_1976Yes, I did shovel by hand, as the 4 inches of snow was light and fluffy and I was looking for an excuse to avoid doing my taxes. But now I have to face them.

MARCH 24 UPDATE  –Awaiting the downturn–

The sun is up at the North Pole, though still so low on the horizon that it cannot penetrate any open water in any leads it may find. The albedo of glassy water is actually greater than even that of pure, white snow, when the sun is right on the horizon. Therefore the Pole is still quite capable of “creating cold” (losing heat). But the likelihood of deep blues on the DMI map decreases, as the lands further to the south increasingly are warmed, and that milder air increasingly comes north.

This is especially noticeable in the air coming north from Siberia.  In January such air can be far colder than the air over the Arctic Sea, which is “warmed” even through thick ice by water slightly above freezing, while the bottom can fall out of temperatures over Siberia. At times the air pouring north can be down around -70 degrees. However those days are done. If you have ever been outside when the sun peeks over the horizon after a winter night, you know the effect of its light on your face is immediate. Of course, your face is tilted to catch the light, while the flat ice and snow is not, but the sun never sets at the Pole, and down in Siberia the days are swiftly growing longer than the nights. The air coming north on the Siberian side of the Pole, in the maps below, is far less cold than we’d see in January.

The big low over the Kara Sea is winding down, and the high pressure blocking the North Atlantic is being squeezed south, and the north winds between the two are fading away. While they did bring some cold to Europe it didn’t make it as far west as I thought, as a decent little storm rolled through the Mediterranean. What is odd to me is how the cold gets shunted southwest rather than west, and cold temperatures are seen in the Middle east and north Africa. (But that is a side-track in discussions of sea-ice.)

The huge low south of Greenland is actually  the little low that zipped up the east coast of the USA a few days ago. I’m glad it waited before becoming so enormous. It will turn the North Atlantic into a tangle of occlusions over the next week. A lot of arctic air is being drawn south into North America behind it.

The ice-extent graph is teetering at the brink. There is still a chance for another late uptick. Not that it matters much, except in terms of gloating rights for those who become involved in the hoopla about the graph. Last year was humorous, for there was a lot of hoopla about how low the maximum was, and how early it had happened, and then the graph stopped dropping and rose to a later maximum. Live and learn. It is likely best not to venture forecasts about what the ice will do, unless you don’t mind humble pie.

DMI3 0324 icecover_current_new (1)

EASTER EVE UPDATE  –The Calm of Dawn–

This post has gotten rather long, but the the ice extent refuses to turn down, and there still is a chance, albeit small, that there could be a final uptick, surging us up to a late “maximum.”

DMI3 0326B icecover_current_new (1)One thing conducive to a late maximum is the calm that has descended over the Pole. I’ve often noticed a stillness at dawn where I live, between night breezes and daytime gusts, and I don’t see why it shouldn’t happen at the Pole, though at the Pole there is only one sunrise a year. Though there was an invasion of somewhat milder air from the Pacific, it was well below freezing after its overland transits, and now is cooling further in the calm.DMI3 0326B meanT_2016


The stillness shows in the lack of isobars at the Pole in the DMI maps. The only big gale has been down by the southern tip of Greenland, and all our northern home-grown storms have faded away.

Calm conditions might allow a thin skim of ice to form where winds would otherwise stir up the waters and dissolve any ice.  Such fragile ice might not mean much in any scientific measure of how strong and lasting the arctic ice might be, but it does effect the ice-extent graph, and therefore the politics of the Global Warming idea.  It is a case where calm can shake the foundations of the mighty.

EASTER SUNDAY UPDATE  –The End Of Ice Expansion In Sight–

As has happened so often  this winter, another nudge of Atlantic air seems to be being sucked up to the Pole. Although perhaps less dramatic than others, the DMI maps seem to again show the north winds in Barents Sea giving way to south winds, which will likely push the sea-ice north and reduce the extent. Again we see the mild wedge poke north over the Pole.

The culprit behind the change is low pressure that was finally able to shove high pressure south and battle its way across the North Atlantic to the waters off Norway. You can see the wedge of milder air penetrating right up to the Pole in the temperature maps. However perhaps a hint that this was coming is the letter “S” made of deep blue cold temperatures in Saturday’s final temperature map. To me that is indicative of some sort of spiral, perhaps a whirlpool, draining the planet’s heat up to outer space. Such a whirlpool would be situated in a position where it would assist the lows in the North Atlantic, and in a sense create the in-flow of more warm air, to also be lost to outer space.

I must confess I just made this idea up. Or, to be more accurate, it again occurred to me. It has occurred to me many times this winter that the Pole is squandering the heat given to the planet by the El Nino. If the El Nino is the faucet pouring heat into the atmosphere, the Pole is the drain, letting it out.

This is just a perception I have, watching the highly meridienal flow this winter. Likely my idea is too simple, and can be shredded by more qualified scientists, but it seems that the obvious needs to be spoken in these days, when qualified scientists have to share the airwaves with politically-minded buffoons in white coats. The buffoons create such a murk and confusion with computer models that it takes a simpleton like me to remind people of what is occurring outside the models, in a place called reality.

People seem to focus only in two directions, the Pole and the belly of the Pacific where the El Nino is occurring. Both are warmer than normal. However the milder air nudging up to the Pole keeps bumping colder air south into the spaces between the milder Pole and the Milder El Nino. To a layman like myself this has seemed to cool the waters between the two milder areas. Perhaps this is merely a temporary situation, but look at last week’s map of the ocean’s temperature anomalies. SST 20160324 anomnight_3_24_2016

The El Nino is still apparent, but look at the north Pacific. What has happened to the “Warm Blob”?  And look at how the modest “Cold Blob” south of Iceland has expanded.

It is important to understand that sea-surface-temperatures (SST) can be fickle. A week of strong sunshine can change the maps. However at this point it looks like there was a price to pay for having the cold air bumped off the top of the earth. And when you add to that the fact the El Nino is in rapid decline, and a La Nina may turn the equatorial parts of the Pacific swiftly to a shade of blue, you can see why a layman like myself might suspect the air temperatures at the surface of our planet may plunge.

With an election coming up, there may be an attempt on the part of some buffoons in white coats to “adjust” temperatures in a way that would “hide the decline,” for purely political reasons.  However their past “adjustments” have already stressed more honest scientists to the breaking point. It could be unwise to try to completely hide what could be a steep decline.

Most of us have been in positions in our life where we push our luck. Then we reach a point where we are not willing to push our luck any further. (In my own case, it is because my wife gives me a certain look.) I think the politically-minded buffoons in white coats are aware they have reached this point.

Some buffoons will say they are captains who are going to go down with their ship, and will accuse other buffoons of being rats who desert the ship. However others, even if they are rats, will wonder which ship is more likely to go down: Will it be the ship of political nonsense, or the ship of scientific truth? Even rats have a shred of common sense, when they are cornered, which is why they are so seldom found on sinking ships.

In any case, it will be an interesting summer, and likely be full of furor. Enjoy this quiet while it lasts, as the ice-extent hesitates before its yearly plunge.DMI3 0327B icecover_current_new (1)


Irina Orlova: Ice floe found for Barneo 2016 expedition


Ms Orlova, on March 18, two helicopters flew to find an ice floe on which the Barneo camp can be built. Did they find it?

I’ve just spoken with the head of the helicopter crew Yevgeny Bakalov who said they are going to drop equipment on a new floe. I don’t yet know its precise location but it’s about 70 km from the pole.

What kind of an ice floe can accommodate the camp?

A camp primarily needs a runway — 1,200 meters long and no less than 40 meters wide. It is pitched near the runway. So, an ice floe should be at least two kilometers long. Last year we found a very good ice floe, about five to three kilometers.

How do you deliver equipment for building a camp?

When a befitting ice floe is found, an IL-76 flies from Murmansk and delivers two tractors to it. They even out the runway where an AN-74 will deliver equipment. This is a technical flight and it carries an employee who approves the runway. Then the expedition center’s team begins building a camp. Some materials for the camp are just dropped while others are carried by next flights.

More here:


The DMI ice-extent graph still refuses to crash.DMI3 0328B icecover_current_new (1)This has allowed the ice to reach the “average” for the past ten years, (the blogger “ren” posted this graph on another site. The date is March 23)DMI3 0328B ren sea_ice_only

I notice this is MASIE data, so I hurry over to Ron Clutz’s site “Science Matters”, because he is good with MASIE data, but he has only updated to March 25.


In any case, three days ago the ice was expanding at a time of year it usually starts to shrink. Likely when Ron updates we will see the levels flattened out, but still that would make the ice “average” for the past decade, despite the fact we have experienced a strong El Nino and the planet’s air temperatures have been through a warm spike. The question then becomes, “Why hasn’t the extent decreased?”

It is sort of entertaining to watch the Alarmists wriggle. I imagine we soon shall see them start popping out excuses like a schoolboy with his homework undone.

Meanwhile I confess to being surprised the decline hasn’t begun. It seems a decent nudge has pushed towards the Pole from the Atlantic, and that usually crunches up the ice and reduces extent. It also often nudges a big blob of cold air south towards the USA, and using the highly scientific technique of checking the weather on my cellphone I moan slightly, for the cold looks like it will come back down here next weekend, with snow on Sunday and Monday.

Grumble. Grumble. It is not so entertaining to have to listen to all the schoolboy excuses for April snows when the snows are happening out your window. By the time April rolls around I’m completely convinced Global Warming is a good thing.

April is actually a fun time to study the sea-ice, because there are actually days and nights, unless you stand exactly on the Pole. In the summer it is all saylight, and in the winter it is all darkness, but in April there is a sort of daily whiplash, which shows up in the temperature charts of the O-buoys that still work (even if their lenses haven’t yet melted clean.) For example, look at O-buoy 14 temperature graph for the past week. The only sign of level temperatures is on cloudy days.Obuoy 14 0328 temperature-1week

Even though it is still very cold up there, there is a mildness swinging around and around the Pole with the sun. It introduces an interesting complexity, as you look at maps, for you need to calculate where high noon is, and where midnight is. In the DMI maps noon is at the top of the map at 0000z, and at the bottom at 1200Z.

In the above maps you can see the cold grew north of Alaska. Don’t get too excited. In the first map that area is in the height of afternoon, and in the second it is in the wee hours of the night. Meanwhile Svalbard looks warmer in the second map, but it may only be because it is midnight there in the first map and noon in the second.

It looks like the North Atlantic low is looping the loop and stalling over Svalbard. Ice ought be pushed north in Barents Sea and flushed south in Fram Straight. Apparently, in terms of ice-extent graphs, they are balancing each other out.

FINALLY!  The Downturn begins.

DMI3 0329 icecover_current_new (1)The DMI Maps show low pressure stalled over Svalbard, with a decent flow down through Fram Strait. The weak low across the Pole has been persistent for its size, but will gradually fade and be replaced by high pressure.  The Altlantic low (or lows) will wander east, and the flow between that low pressure and the high will generate a cross-polar flow from Siberia to Canada.

Here’s a picture of the ice-extent at its peak.

Concentration 20160327 arcticicennowcast

You could write a blaring headline, “Ice Extent More Than Doubles!”  However that wouldn’t be politically correct, so instead we’ll hear Mark Serreze (who made the term “Death Spiral” famous),  going on about how the ice was at its lowest levels ever.

And here is a fine rebuttal: