In past posts I’ve gone on at length about how much of the warming seen at the Pole is due to a small increase in humidity. Over the past ten years I’ve described “feeder bands” of moisture sucked up into a “Ralph” (Anomalous area of low pressure) within the Arctic Circle, and we’ve seen temperatures jump as much as twenty degrees. One December temperatures near the Pole rose a hair above freezing, leading to a wondrous slew of headlines about how Santa Claus might drown because the North Pole was melting. Besides traumatizing children, which some Alarmists are too good at, (and should be ashamed about), the sensationalism didn’t make much sense for the “warmth” swiftly was lost to the dark skies of the long arctic night. However as that moisture met the cold it was precipitated out, releasing its latent heat, (that much more “warmth” lost to outer space), and flakes fell, amounting to a startlingly small amount of snow. The arctic is basically a desert, and some “Ralphs” might only drop a tenth of an inch of snow.
A bit of simple arithmetic tells me that, at a ten to one ratio, a tenth of an inch of snow only amounts to a hundredth of an inch of rain. Yet that tiny amount of moisture can raise the temperatures ten to twenty degrees in the arctic. Such a minuscule amount of moisture would have no such effect in the jungles at the equator. Quite obviously something is going on beyond the scope of simple arithmetic.
When I attempt to apply my small mind to the problem I run up against all sorts of oddities which are fascinating, and I can’t explain. Between sunrise and noon, in jungles at the equator, temperatures rise ten to twenty degrees, but moisture increases through evaporation, and the air gains water, holding far more water than arctic air can hold. Some of this air billows up as dramatic thunderheads which pour down inches of rain which (at a ten-to-one ratio) would translate to feet of snow, but there is no warming to be seen. In fact there is cooling (especially when hailstones are mixed in with the downpours.)
In conclusion, it is obvious humidity is a metric which eludes measurement by a simple thermometer. A degree at the Pole is not the same as a degree at the equator. To treat them the same is accepting a misnomer; it is like giving a square foot of feathers the same weight as a square foot of lead. I may not understand “saturation mixing ratios” but I have gathered that a certain absurdity is involved when polar temperatures are given the same weight as temperatures at the equator, when creating an “average” for earth.
In fact the use of such polar warmth to tilt averages seems to suggest some scientists have brains like coal mines, for they claim such temperatures are canaries in a coal mine, and they are obviously bird brains.
Sorry about that. Lord, forgive me, for I have sinned.
To be more humble, there is much that baffles me. I can’t explain what I see. For example, cold and dry Polar winters seem to lead to warmer summers, especially the month of May, whereas moist and relatively “warm” Polar winters seem to lead to cooler summers, especially the month of May. For example, compare 1960’s temperatures
By the way, 2015 was the coldest May at the Pole on record, until this May,
I should confess that both this spring and 2015’s make a mess of a theory of mine. Why? Because I was playing around with the idea that the “Quiet Sun” could explain the recent sightly-cooler temperatures at the Pole. The effect couldn’t appear during winter, when there is no sunshine, but would appear in the summer, when there is sunshine 24 hours a day. The slight decrease in the sun’s radiance would therefore be seen as a slight decrease in temperature. But a problem appears when the Quiet Sun is most “noisy”, at the peak of the sunspot cycle. At that point the slight-cooling should be slightest, but instead we see it set records, at least in the month of May.
Joseph D’Aleo, on his Weatherbell blog, mentioned warming associated with peaks in the sunspot cycle, back in February. He said often they occur simultaneously with an El Nino, and stated it looked like it might happen again.
And an El Nino has appeared right on cue.
So we have a repeat of three events. The solar cycle peaks, an El Nino appears, and a record cold month of May occurs at the Pole. I suppose it could be a coincidence, but it sure would be nice if we could discuss possible connections between the events, like responsible adults with active minds. Unfortunately immature adults censor and shadow-ban you, if you suggest anything but CO2 from fossil fuels cause anything to occur. If their daughter gets pregnant they blame…
Sorry. That was uncalled for. Forgive me, Father, for I have sinned again.
The cooler Pole may have slowed the start to the summer melting to some extent, in terms of the “extent” graph. The extent went from the lowest recently recorded around March 15 to the highest recently recorded on June 1.
One reason for the low maximum extent was that, right at the peak of the ice-growing season, storms shifted north winds to east winds in Baffin Bay, pushing the sea-ice, which had been spread out past the 50-50 latitude-longitude, back towards the coasts of Labrador and Newfoundland. Such compression doesn’t lessen the volume, but definitely lessens the area the sea-ice covers, reducing “extent”.
The same thing happened off the east coast of Greenland, and there, while the compression doesn’t lower volume, the export of ice through Fram Strait and down through Denmark Strait has a considerable effect on the volume of sea-ice left, back up in the arctic. This has been an impressive winter, since around the end of January, for exports. Currently Denmark Strait is filled with sea-ice from Greenland to Iceland, something rarely seen even in midwinter, and some forecasts suggest the ice may spread along Iceland’s north coast this coming week.
These large exports of sea-ice is starting to have an effect on the (adjusted) DMI “volume” graph.
I have been watching to see if the sea-surface temperatures in the North Atlantic dropped, for in the past great discharges (especially around 1816-1817) have cooled the North Atlantic to a degree where it made the summer in Western Europe colder. There is some colder water between Iceland and Norway, but nothing dramatic.
What baffles me is the very cold water east of New England and south of Newfoundland. You can see the warm Gulf Stream worming its way through the cold, but I should think the current will be significantly chilled on its way to Europe. I assume the chill is an up-welling, though perhaps it is a counter-current, some expanded form of the Labrador Current. In any case, all these currents wind their way north and eventually reach the edge of the sea-ice boundary between Svalbard, Frans Josef Land and Nova Zemlya.
Lifting our eyes that way, I point out the sea-ice crushed up against the north coast of Svalbard. Also the streamer of thicker ice exiting the north Kara Sea by Severnaya Zemlya and making a beeline to Fram Strait. Only recently were these easterlies replaced by westerlies, pushing ice the opposite way and creating the polinyas on the east sides of Frans Josef Land and Severnaya Zemlya.
The ice crunched up against the coast of Svalbard shows the ice is thicker there in 2023 than in 1596, for on June 17, 1596, Willem Barantsz discovered Svalbard, arriving not at the south but at the northwest tip, and three days later discovered what is now called Raudfjorden on the north coast. The two, small wooden ships they sailed were by no means ice-breakers, and it must be assumed the waters were open, which leads one to assume the WSC (West Spitsbergen Current) was in its warm phase. Currently it is not as warm, or that ice would be swiftly melted from beneath, along Svalbard’s northwest corner.
Traveling further east along Russia’s arctic coast we discover a point where conflict between the westerlies and easterlies created a divergence, thinning the sea-ice in the Laptev Sea. Less ice than usual was exported from the Laptev Sea this winter (as more than usual left the Kara Sea) but now the divergence has thinned the ice in the middle, increasing the prospects for a “Laptev Notch” of open water aiming towards the Pole this summer. West of there the sea-ice is significantly thicker, and includes some multi-year ice.
The East Siberian Sea will be interesting to watch this summer, to see if the multi-year ice can survive another summer. This is an area where sea-ice should increase, if sea-ice amounts come and go in a cycle, especially as sea-ice persists more in this area during a cold PDO, and because we just had three La Ninas in a row. But with an El Nino coming on, there may be a set back to growth. That is what I’ll be watching.
I don’t call an increase in sea-ice a “recovery”, as my study of history seems to show there is less sea-ice during climate “optimums”, and humanity is happier during such times. And…
Forgive me, Lord. I know I didn’t say it, but I did think it.
I thought I’d begin with a picture of actual sea-ice, looking out to sea from the top of a bank building in Barrow, Alaska. Barrow is located north of the Arctic Circle, and, while they still experience night, they already experience a sliver of twilight even in the darkest hours, as they move towards the midsummer days when the sun never sets.
The Barrow webcam is an interesting site to visit, for the sea-ice usually breaks up in the summer, and boats attempting the Northwest Passage stop there. At the moment, however, the sea-ice is “fast ice”, which means it is fixed to the shore and motionless. This is not always the case. Some years you can watch it go grinding by, westbound some days and eastbound others, and even move away from shore, exposing open water, before crashing back, heaping ice on the beach. Back in the day, when we actually discussed such matters, Alarmists and Skeptics would cherry-pick which images to copy and use. Alarmists would sensationalize pictures of the open water as Skeptics countered with pictures of the ice piling up on the beach. It was good fun, and between the two sides you glimpsed an accurate picture of what was actually going on. I miss those days.
I especially miss the pictures of the sea-ice. That was what attracted me in the first place. In a heat wave in New Hampshire in July it is good to contemplate sea-ice. Only later do you start to realize the stuff rivals clouds, in terms of sheer beauty. And back in those days there were pictures from the two “North Pole Cameras”, and various drifting “O-buoys”, and from the websites of crazy dudes attempting to ski to the Pole, or paddle to the Pole, or traverse the Northwest Passage on a rubber duck. Then the pictures oddly all vanished. I miss them.
The maximum “extent” was on the low side this year. It did display a reluctance to fall and now is higher than recent years.
However, during the moment of the maximum, the sea-ice extent was nearly “the lowest ever”, yet there was a disappointing lack of fuss among Alarmists. I miss that as well. Why the lack of hoop-la?
I wondered if any Alarmists had awoken to the fact that cancel-culture cuts both ways, and they too are getting the ax. Like the loyal teachers who taught Mao’s “Great Leap Forward”, perhaps even some of the most faithful Alarmists are getting purged by the following “Cultural Revolution” of “Cancel Culture”.
Sea-ice Alarmists were very important ten years ago, and were flattered for their opinions, but now nobody cares, (in the same manner that formerly-newsworthy lesbians now get media’s cold shoulder, for daring to say there is a difference between women and men.) It is hard to have been popular, but to fall into disdain and disgrace. Everyone cared, but now nobody cares.
But I care. I believe in the two-party-system. Without the left eye the right eye has no depth perception. I miss those annoying Alarmist trolls.
I suppose one reason they have been hushed is because their forecasts have failed.
The above article was after the low-sea-ice summer of 2007. 2007 set a record, but the “history” the “record” was based upon only went back to 1979. If you went back to even 1976, 2007 might not have been a “record”. This led to wonderful debates between Alarmists and Skeptics. I miss them.
My own Skeptic path has been to go further and further into the past, and to see that, while we may not have always had satellites, we do have some early data about when the arctic sea-ice was extensive and when it was not. And we even have some very interesting early Nimbus satellite data showing gaping areas of open water north of Bering Strait, way back in September, 1969.
I used such early satellite data, along with the non-satellite data gathered by the Polaris debacle in 1871 and not gathered by the Franklin debacle in 1845 (because they all perished) and wonderfully gathered by the Parry expedition in 1819 and even by Barantsz in 1596, as ammunition in my debates with Alarmists. But I also enjoyed peering into the wonders of what men did in the past. The more I studied history the more I was amazed.
However the odd thing about cancel culture is that it goes the other way. It allows less and less history. Just as Stalin purged his closest confederates
And just as Mao sent the loyal teachers, who taught his way, to reeducation camps far from schools, using their own students, (the “Red Guard”, whom Mao later also sent to reeducation camps,) as enforcers, many Alarmists are now discovering they too are unwelcome midst those they taught. They have been around too long and know too much. About what? About Arctic Sea-ice.
What do we know? Well, we know it will not be gone by the summer of 2008, to begin with.
Dire warnings get old. It is like the tale of the boy who cried wolf. Even if the wolf comes, no one listens any more. And I did notice a lone voice stating that this year’s low sea-ice maximum meant the wolf had finally come. His theory was that the arctic had a sort of “reserve” of cold, but the “reserve” had been used up, and now, at long last, we’d see the sea-ice vanish this summer.
Sigh. One more dire warning, when all other prior dire warnings have busted. All I can say is that this wolf-crier better have a darn good reason behind his Chicken Little hysteria. But…when I probed I saw nothing…..behind the vague idea of a “reserve.”
To be vague in this manner is a bit of an insult to those true scientists who have suffered hardship gathering actual, specific data in the Arctic, and know about all the nuances involved. They know how the sea gets layered in terms of temperature and also salinity, and also what disturbs such layering. They know how currents flow at various depths when things are “normal”, but they also know nature has a sumptuous variety which makes “being normal” downright rare.
We are always attempting to reduce chaos into a predictable pattern, and it is a noble endeavor, but for every rule there is an exception. We do our best to figure things out, but reality throws a wrench into the mechanics of our theories. A true scientist actually delights in seeing his theory destroyed by chaos. It is like coming up with the theory no man can walk on water, and then meeting a Man who can do so. Is your theory so important to your ego that you do not want to meet such a Man?
Cancel culture does not want to meet even the most ordinary and boring and stultified scientist. In fact, cancel culture makes even the stultified look alert. Cancel culture is a broom that sweeps the stage clean of all actors, and asks us to gaze at a stage with a spotlight with nothing in it, like a big, bright zero.
I would far rather look at a Chaos that can walk on water, than gaze at a big, bright zero.
Chaos is a reality that constantly tests you and keeps you on your toes. The big, bright zero states the tests do not exist and there is no reason to stay on your toes; there is no such thing as the reality of such testing.
Such tests cannot exist? Why? Because “the science is settled”, and nothing is allowed to challenge it. There is nothing new to be discovered. Progress has reached the finish line, and is over. Oddly, the people who believe they know it all, and further learning is unnecessary, and progress is “done with”, call themselves “progressive.”
Progress is not “done with”. Life is an advancing stream. Yet some attempt stagnation. They tend to be people who “have it made” in some mundane manner, who cling to their brief moment “at the top”, which is an absurd thing to attempt. The very word “top” is dependent on a “non-top” to attain its importance. It requires a “non-top” before it is attained, and the assumption would be that such a mountain peak would involve a “non-top” afterwards. To stay forever “on top” is like climbing Mount Everest and then making the peak a plateau. True, you might not have to come down, but what a horrible plateau that would be! People do not climb mountains to stay there. At 29,000 feet nothing grows, and you can’t breathe for long without an oxygen bottle. And nothing is green. After reaching the top of Mount Everest sane people want to climb down
To ridicule the idea of staying “at the top” further, forgive me for being crude and physical, and for simply bringing up the fact that the one physical event many call the “best” of all physical events is sexual orgasm. It tends to be brief, but…..suppose you could stay there.
How long would you endure those convulsions of the physical body before you started to say, “OK, enough is enough.” ???
I will leave the answer to that question for others to contemplate and discuss, simply suggesting that it may be worth climbing certain mountains without intending to stay on top.
(There is a highly unromantic assertion that a man’s first thought after orgasm is, “Now, how do I get out of here.”)
However the entire premise behind cancel-culture, and “settled science”, and all the balderdash which society is currently being bombarded by, is that certain boobs in high places have “arrived at the answer.” And their smug certainty is so firm that they are set in cement, and they deem themselves beyond all reproach. They think they are beyond improvement. They think they are at the pinnacle of progress, beyond which is no more progress.
Now, if such leaders actually had achieved such a God-like status you would think their ideas would stand the tests of time, and the tests of skeptical critics. The fact is, they haven’t and they don’t. With each passing year the Malthusian premises much of their grim prognosis is built upon is rendered laughable and blown to smithereens, but they have invested too deeply and cannot give it up; they refuse to come down from their positions of power.
With each passing year the sensationalism which made Ehrlich’s, “The Population Bomb” such a good read when I was a teen in 1969 looks dumber and more stupid. Ehrlich thought humanity was too ignorant to solve its problems, and shortages were inevitable, but it was he who was the dumb and stupid person, and the shortages involved his brains, his inability to think up solutions, and his lack of faith that others would be gifted with inspiration even if he himself refused to open his mind.
Every problem Ehrlich stated could not be solved has been solved. His pessimism was unfounded. We didn’t run out of food. The “Green Revolution” made India an exporter of food, and obesity more of a problem than starvation. We didn’t run out of copper wire; fiber optics was invented. We didn’t choke with the smoke from burning coal; smokestack “scrubbers” were invented, and coal became “clean”. And on and on it goes.
To me this suggests that, for every problem mankind is faced with, God provides an answer, often using a small group of people or even a single individual to serve as His conduit. In some cases the answers are spectacular; for example, in the case of the Green Revolution it has been suggested that the work of Norman Borlaug saved a billion people from starvation. But in most cases the answers are quiet and often unnoticed. God’s conduits are all around us, for every person is born with a gift.
To me this also suggests that the pessimistic ideas Ehrlich preached were not “of God”. At best they may have been warnings or concerns about possible dangers, but worry can be a danger in and of itself, especially if the solutions you propose as an “answer” are as drastic as Ehrlich’s were. He basically proposed the castration of the male populations of India and Pakistan. That was his solution to a worry that wasn’t real. No starvation occurred, and both nations soon were exporting grain. Where some people accuse little old ladies of being prone to excessive worry, I think this historic example proves intellectually smug men like Ehrlich (and Al Gore) are the true culprits.
This moves us on to the subject of the “Club of Rome”, who were a group of wealthy men operating in the same intellectual gloom Ehrlich operated in. While I remember 1969 as the “Summer of Love” there were some extraordinarily cynical types active back then, with much more money and free time than was good for them, planning out a brutal future for humanity, for “humanity didn’t know what was good for it”. However these fat-cats in their comfortable club thought they had “arrived at the answer”. They had no faith God could, and would, provide a less drastic answer, a more loving answer.
What amazes me most is that even when reality proved their premises were incorrect, they stuck to their guns. Even when humanity solved problem after problem without their help, their egotism crowed that their help was crucial. If humanity would not starve as they predicted, they would damn well create starvation, just to show ignorant slobs who was boss. And why? Because only a starving humanity would be desperate enough to accept the dunderhead, medieval social-order they proposed.
What has this to do with sea-ice? Very little, and the truth of the matter is that I originally fled to the North Pole to get away from what struck me as pessimistic and cynical and ungodly. I was an escapist. I had no desire to argue about religion or politics with anyone, and assumed weather was a safe subject.
But so all-pervasive is the poison of cancel culture that even a basically withdrawn person like myself can’t duck their tentacles. They pick a fight with you, and when you cheerfully agree to beat their brains out with Truth, they cancel you. You get shadow banned:
Believe me, none of this was what I wanted when I began discussing the wonderful world of sea-ice. In many ways it is all a side track and off the subject. What do I care about the Club of Rome and their silly idea they can make life better by making it worse? Why can’t they just stay in Rome and do what Romans do, and leave the North Pole alone? I have no interest in such boobs. But apparently they are interested in me. (Why else would they cancel me?)
It reminds me of a situation one might see at a nightclub. A person might arrive because he or she is very interested in the music, and especially the saxophone’s. They are not as interested in the player as a person, as they are interested in the saxophone, and they sit down to study the nuances of the songs. Then a second person thrusts themself into the first person’s field of vision and asks them to dance. The first person politely declines but the second person persists. Eventually the first person is bound to become annoyed, but the second person is a pest and even insists they are in love with the first person. When whining and groveling don’t work, they threaten.
In this situation the second person’s desire is not love, for if they loved they would at least pretend some interest in saxophones. Rather their desire is infatuation, disconnected from reality and divorced from Truth. It is is a preconception that exists without regard to the first person’s attributes and interests, a sort of hypothesis without foundation, a selfishness demanding to be the center of attention, wanting to be a boss but actually enslaved, captivated by a preconceived desire that isn’t even real.
Such infatuation is sheer imagination. It’s like a worry that doesn’t happen, like Ehrlich’s insistence India was going to see widespread starvation in the 1970’s, or Alarmist’s insistence all sea-ice would melt by the summer of 2008. And the joke of such witless infatuation is that the more the infatuated insist they are the boss the more they prove they are enslaved.
I am like the person who went to the nightclub to study the saxophone, only I want to study the sea-ice. I have no desire to be captivating; I wear no make-up and dress like a slob; I don’t want to be the center of attention, and want the sea-ice to be the center of attention, but these cancel-culture idiots get in my face and insist that I dance with them.
The last twenty paragraphs have been my form of dancing. Sorry if it resembles judo and karate chops. Now hopefully we can work towards getting back to looking at sea-ice. Unfortunately this involves dealing with the stumbling block put in place by Al Gore.
I’ve quoted the premise that the sea-ice would be gone during the summer of 2008. This premise has been proven incorrect, and as it went down in flames some of the Global Warming theory that spliced into it has also gone down in flames. But not all. Some good ideas sprung from the discussions, as is usually the case when people have a civil meeting of minds. But first I’ll go over what went down in flames.
What went down in flames was the idea that the consequences would be “catastrophic” if sea-ice melted. This idea suggested a “feedback loop” would get going once a “tipping point” was passed. Less ice would result in warmer water which would melt more ice, resulting in more warm water and even less ice, until there was no ice at all to cool the planet, which would allow warming to get out of hand. This did not occur. There was no acceleration of how much ice melted. In fact the exact opposite occurred. Rather than more ice melting more ice formed. This in itself was a total repudiation of the “Death Spiral Theory”, and caused sensible people to look for other causes for the warming. The warming was real and could be documented, and must have some cause. Unfortunately some in power were not sensible people.
Chief among those who were not sensible was Al Gore, whose interest in science was genuine, but superficial. At Harvard he majored in government, not science. However he did take a class taught by Roger Revelle in 1968-1969 which excited Gore by introducing him to the idea of Global Warming. He also heard ideas about the future of computers and the internet that excited him. Therefore, when he first ran for Congress, Gore was seen as a breath of fresh air, an innovator. And he may very well have had the best of intentions, but his focus was on government and not science, which led into the swamp of power, rather than up to the highlands of Truth.
The thing about science is that it is never completed. One may indeed reach a point where elements are identified, and hydrogen is identified as the smallest and most simple atom, but that only opens the doors to what atoms are made of, and to the whole world of sub-atomic particles. (The closest thing to an absolute I know off is “absolute zero”, which turns out to be a temperature which can never be entirely achieved.) Scientists never really feel science is “settled”, and this is is especially true of science that is not simple and which involves multiple variables, such as Meteorology.
As “the grandfather of Global Warming”, Gore’s guru Roger Revelle does not strike me as a man who had the slightest desire to “cancel” in the way Gore has advocated. Quite the opposite. He wanted to increase research in all areas, and Global Warming was actually a minor focus, compared to the geology, oceanography, and meteorology he enthusiastically pushed. And by “pushed” I mean to say he himself couldn’t always do the research himself, but he wanted to put others in a position where they could do the research.
For example, as a scientist working with the navy during the A bomb tests on Pacific islands he looked beyond the immediate effects, and arranged study of the longer term effects on atolls, right from the start. Not only that, but he saw that such violent explosions would allow geologists to better understand the earths crust through “seismic studies”. One can only imagine him explaining to men of a hawkish, military mindset they should delay an A-bomb test even a day, so geologists on the far side of the planet could ready their seismographs, but he did such things.
Then he moved from those events of the 1940’s to being very involved in the buildup to a beautiful moment in human history, the “Geophysical Year” in 1957. What was beautiful was that scientists stated politics could be damned; the Cold War could be disregarded; the increase in human knowledge mattered more than petty fights between Capitalists and Communists, and to an amazing degree scientists used all the technological advancements progress put at their fingertips to discover things without caring at all about politics.
Perhaps the most notable discovery was that “drifting continents” was not some hare-brained theory of a glassy-eyed geologist, but an actual reality proved by “sea-floor spreading” along a mountain range that ran along the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean called the “Mid-Atlantic Rift.” Yet no one got all that rich from this huge scientific advancement, (and no politician tried to use the discovery to panic the public and sell curly light-bulbs and electric cars). Those were more innocent times.
Riding the crest of this wave, Roger Revelle next set out to create an entire institute of further discovery in California, and there he perhaps first saw the rot setting in, for after working so hard to create the institute, he assumed he would be its head, but (perhaps due to antisemitism) the petty politics of academic creeps bumped him out of the picture. He did not run the institute he created. Which coincidentally placed him across the continent, and in a position to influence Al Gore, at Harvard.
However, though by then Roger Revelle surely was made aware of the petty politics of academic creeps, he apparently saw such bad behavior as the lower side of human nature, which had no effect on the higher side of scientific discovery. He continued to support a wide variety of research, involving many curiosities, only one of which was the increase of CO2 in Earth’s atmosphere. Although he is called “The grandfather of Global Warming” he in fact simply wanted further research to be done. He found the idea of CO2’s effect on climate interesting, but only months before he died in 1991 he stated, “The scientific base for a greenhouse warming is too uncertain to justify drastic action at this time.”
By this time Al Gore was already running for vice president. Part of his personal platform was that he cared about the environment. To some degree he had bought-into the Malthusian mentality of Ehrlich and others. He was apparently convinced we were destroying our planet, and he wanted to save it. Very noble. However it is at this point Gore veered sharply from the sanity of Revelle, for Gore did justify “drastic action”.
This actually came up in the 1992 vice-presidential debates, along with Revelle’s quote, “The scientific base for a greenhouse warming is too uncertain to justify drastic action at this time,” and Gore’s response was to say the quote was “taken out of context.”
I’m sorry, but there was very little “context” involved. Either you have “scientific base” or you don’t. Yet where Revelle was very involved with the “scientific base” Gore was only interested in a “political platform.”
That occurred over 30 years ago, in 1992, just after Revelle himself died, and in those thirty years I don’t think Gore has done a thing to build the actual “scientific base” for “greenhouse warming.” How could he? True science, with true research, would have undermined his political “platform”. Once you adopt an, “If you are not for me you are against me” attitude, you have abandoned science.
Even back 1992 there were major truths which lessened the status of CO2 from a “major” to a “minor” contributor to climate change. For example, even then it was known that historical increases in CO2 didn’t precede historical examples of warming, but rather followed the warming, which would suggest warming increased CO2, and not vice versa. This was a full ten years before Gore was involved with the movie, “The Inconvenient Truth,” where Gore insists that CO2 caused the warming. Gore cannot plead he “didn’t know.” In essence, Gore lied.
The actual inconvenient truth is that Gore had a great teacher, and Gore knew damn well that Revelle believed research should involve a wide splay of topics, but Gore had shifted to a political mindset that grotesquely narrowed the focus. Basically it was narrowed to, “Are you for the environment, or against it?” It took a vast, and multifaceted, reality and reduced it to, “Are you good and on my side, or evil and my foe.” What Gore apparently didn’t understand is that such an attitude, in such a situation, is evil in and of itself.
In a sense Gore enacted, or at least supported, what amounts to the exact opposite of the International Geophysical Year which Revelle supported in 1957. Rather than increasing the funding of many topics, Gore sought to cut the funding of any and all who were not “on his side.” Considering his side was “wrong” (sea-ice didn’t vanish in 2008) he was cutting the funding of any and all who were “right”.
One example involved the study of geology in Northern Greenland. The area is fascinating because, due to isostatic rebound, the land has risen faster than the seas have risen. In most other places the shorelines of past times have been hidden by seas which rose hundreds of feet when ice-age glaciers melted, however in Northern Greenland the ancient shoreline was lifted above the current shore. I personally was fascinated because along this ancient shoreline were traces of charcoal from the fires of ancient people. Why not fund further study? There were things to be learned!
It can be expensive to conduct research in a place where there are no airports or towns within hundreds of miles, but someone funded the beginning. The results were amazing. Surely further funding was due. But Gore and his ilk quashed the research. Why? Because apparently an ice-free Arctic Ocean creates a shoreline geologically eroded very differently from an ice-filled Arctic Ocean, and this study suggested the Arctic Ocean 5000 years ago was ice-free and yet the world didn’t suffer any dire consequences. That didn’t fit the “platform” (or “agenda” or “narrative”) that Al Gore wanted called “truth” even if it wasn’t true. So, because he had the power of the purse-strings, he cut the funding of that wonderful research.
Perhaps the most shocking display of Al Gore’s nasty funding-cutting meanness involved the brilliant scientist Dr. William Gray, a contemporary of Revelle’s who might be called, “the Grandfather of modern hurricane forecasting”. He had been doing excellent research as head of a university department in Colorado since 1984, and in 1992-1993 Al Gore, as the new Vice-president, sought his support concerning drastic action to combat Global Warming, and Bill Gray was open and honest and stated what Revelle had stated, basically that CO2 was a minor and not a major influence on climate. Al Gore promptly cut his funding, not merely for a year or two, but for the rest of his long life.
What was Bill Gray’s crime? It was to seek for a reason for the warming seen in the seas by studying the seas, rather than studying the effects of a trace gas in the upper atmosphere. Where Gore claimed he already had the answer, (banning fossil fuels). Gray was more humble and wanted to seek an answer. He wanted to study “thermohaline circulation”, and was scornfully advised, “Stick to hurricanes, Bill.”
So here we are thirty years later, and we still can’t explain the warming of the oceans. There are some good theories, involving things such as the sun and volcanic activity, but there has been a dearth of actual research, because Al Gore preferred a “platform” to preferring actual study and hard work. To be brutal, Al Gore prefers to stay stupid.
This is fine, if it just involves depriving himself. People have the right to believe whatever they want. However, at first through the power of the purse strings, and now through actual censorship, Al wants to keep everyone stupid.
This demonstrates the evil of seeking power without being grounded by Truth. It is like the effect the “ring of power” had on innocent Hobbits, in Tolkien’s “Lord of the Rings”. And in a sense Al Gore, who once began so idealistically concerned about the environment, has been reduced to a Gollum, killing whooping cranes and right whales with his wind turbines, enslaving children in lithium mines and shredding the Freedom of Speech, becoming a horrible parody of his own idealism. (And here we could go on a long sidetrack about the insidious effects of power, and how we should pity men so unmanned, and of antidotes to the addictive poisons they’ve ingested, but it all boils down to sticking to the Truth, which returns me to the subject of sea-ice.)
Sea-ice, as a focus, has actually backfired on true believers in Global Warming, for any who focus honestly upon the topic soon (or, in some cases, gradually) become aware sunlight and air are not the greatest factors, when it comes to melting the sea-ice. This cuts the legs right out from under the “Death Spiral Theory”.
How so? Well, what melts ice is heat, which either comes from sunlight or from warmer molecules bumping against colder molecules.
Sunlight only has a significant effect for around sixty days when the arctic sun is at its highest, and during this time the melting at the top of the ice is significant. In June more heat beats down at the Pole, during the 24 hour day, than beats down at the equator, during a 12 hour day. However soon that time passes, and by late August the sun is so low at the Pole that, even though it still shines 24 hours a day, it arrives at such a shallow angel, with the sun down towards the horizon, that most of its heat is bounced back to outer space, and the meltwater pools at the surface of the ice start to freeze over. However the sea-ice continues to melt, from the bottom up, usually past the middle of September. Some of the biggest areas of open water appear after the sun has ceased to have an effect.
This blows a big hole in the idea that the melting comes from above. CO2 can do whatever it wants in the upper atmosphere, and it has little effect at the surface where sea-ice actually melts. In fact, air temperatures at the Pole during the summer have gone down as CO2 levels in the atmosphere have gone up. Air temperature, and radiance from above, (whether it is sunlight or the bounce-back of greenhouse gasses) are not the boss, and are in fact minor players, when it comes to melting the ice.
This makes sense, when you consider that air is so thin, compared to water. Air at 33 degrees only has scattered molecules to bump against ice and lose heat, whereas water at 33 has a whole army. Air temperature is swiftly changed by passing over water, as the water is only slowly changed by even the coldest air passing over it.
It is a matter of numbers. If a law of thermodynamics states that “heat cannot pass from one body to a hotter body”, heat must be passed from warm molecules to colder molecules, and who has the most molecules? The air or the water? The water utterly overwhelms the air. Therefore we should study the water, not a trace gas in the upper atmosphere. Which is what Dr. William Gray suggested we do, all those years ago, and is what Non-doctor Al Gore demanded we avoid.
I would like to suggest we listen to the late Dr. William Gray, and study what he wanted studied, rather than listen to a Gollum named Gore.
Alarmists like to say the sun doesn’t matter and volcanoes don’t matter; only CO2 matters. Yet there are far more curious correlations involving the sun and volcanoes than there are involving trace gases.
One correlation (which I originally thought was stupid), suggests that a gentle sunbeam could cause an earth-shaking volcano. Ridiculous. However, as the sun passes through various sunspot cycles it sometimes passes through times described as a “Quiet Sun”, and during such times the Earth’s geology is not quiet at all. Call it coincidence if you will, (and it is true “correlation is not causation”), but when the sun gets quiet the lava starts to flow.
Roughly fifteen years into the period of Quiet Sun called the “Dalton Minimum” layers of volcanic ash in ice-cores in both Greenland and Antarctica show tremendous volcanic eruptions occurred only five years apart. One layer we can identify as Tambora’s in 1815, but the second is a mystery. The eruptions apparently had a huge effect on the climate and the sea-ice in the first half of the 1800’s. I posted an article on WUWT which stimulated a wonderful discussion in the comments, back in 2013:
The suggestion is that solar forces effect the earth in some way that links a decrease in sunspots on the sun with an increase in volcanic activity on earth. Obviously more research is needed. But the eruptions I mentioned are obvious because they throw ash into the air for all to see, yet they only amount to around a quarter of all eruptions on earth.
Deep sea eruptions are different, and less obvious. If the oceans warm or sea-ice decreases, would it not make as much sense to look down as it does to look up? I briefly discussed such a possible eruption two years ago:
I was hoping to stimulate a lively discussion, and was somewhat surprised at the silence that ensued, which may have influenced the (somewhat caustic) tone of a second post I wrote regarding the effect of undersea volcanoes on sea-ice eight months later:
While I did receive some good geological information from the commenter “Stewartpid” after this post, it was also at this time I became aware that “shadow banning” was seriously effecting my “visibility”, as a blogger. I suppose I should have been flattered by the attention, but I was also dealing with what we all were dealing with, (basically a highly unscientific and political over-reaction to the China Virus), and like many small businesses my livelihood was on the line. Survival took both brains and brawn, and I had little left over for sea-ice posts, and for wondering about the effects of deep sea volcanoes on the thermohaline circulation.
Yet there is something about wonder that cannot be denied. I’ve read that even in Hitler’s death camps the doomed somehow formed orchestras and played Beethoven. And my own small mind, in its small way, keeps playing with ideas involving geology and oceanology and meteorology, even when I’m under the kitchen sink because I can’t afford a plumber. This may explain the jet of water squirting into my face, but never forget Newton was foolish to sit under an apple tree without a helmet, but good came out of that apple bonking his brain.
I got bonked this past spring by an observation which refuted my earlier tentative hypothesis. Unlike Al Gore, I am not threatened when proven wrong, but rather am interested in what is being revealed.
While I no longer am able to jot down all my observations here in my posts, I continue to make them in a hasty way, swiftly glancing at maps and graphs when I find time.
There were a number of things I observed this past winter that fit in with what I expected. For example the increase of sea-ice in the East Siberian Sea, including some multi-year ice, fits in with what I’d expect when a La-Nina reinforces a “cold” PDO for three years, (though perhaps the sea-ice increase was less than I expected.)
Also, at the start of the winter the sea-ice was not heading down through Fram Strait, but that changed and there was a lot flushed south the second half of the winter, at times crowding the north coast of Iceland. This interests me due to the fact fishermen of the pre-satellite era portrayed the waters north of Iceland as too dangerous to venture into, but it is unclear how thick the sea-ice actually was. This past winter seemed to demonstrate the ice can be less than 15%, and appear as “open water” on some modern maps, but still be enough to make fishermen leery of sailing such waters. After all, if you are a fisherman sailing in the gloom of winter and thick fog, you don’t dismiss sea-ice for being bergs far smaller than the glacial monster that sunk the Titanic, nor do you pis-tush waters only 1% ice-covered. You don’t want to slam into even one, lone berg, unless it is small enough to fit in a cooler. Fishing is a gamble in the Atlantic winter even without bergs. I put this awareness into my understanding when I look at pre-satelite maps concerning sea-ice coverage, such as this one from 1923.
The above map was produced without satellite data or even airplane data. It utilized the wisdom of a fisherman with “fifty years experience.” The fact he survived is proof he was more cautious than other fishermen, yet even in his caution he would risk sailing places he would not risk sailing at an earlier date, because sea-ice had retreated in 1923. However you should note that in both situation “A” and situation “B” he would not call the north coast of Iceland ice-free and safe to fish in.
Those same waters would not have been safe to fish in this past winter, though modern boats likely have harder hulls. But the amusing thing was how the sea-ice came and went, on modern maps, because it flirted with arbitrary guidance invented by virtual reality’s mapmakers. For example, if 15% was a dividing line, and the sea-ice shifted from 16% to 14%, the ice would vanish, as if it melted away in its entirety. Other maps tend to average things out, so a single monster berg a hundred feet thick averages out to an area, much bigger than the berg is, averaging one foot thick, but even in such averaging maps sea-ice can be there one day, gone the next, and return the third. You need to take all such things into account, assessing the actual state of the sea-ice, whether you are a fisherman risking the North Atlantic, or me working under my kitchen sink. And one thing which was apparent was that sea-ice was surging south more than usual, even along the north coast of Iceland. (A NRL map showed sea-ice along Iceland’s north coast, albeit briefly, and I’ve never seen that before.)
As the ice came down the east coast of Greenland in large amounts it did what cold water cannot do. Ice stayed at the surface whereas cold water sinks. Therefore it could move above warmer waters, even creating mini-“freshwater lenses” that, due to salinity, could move over warmer waters. So I watched to see if the Atlantic showed any signs of cooling. At first it did not. This made me wonder what was keeping the Atlantic warm, and my mind wandered to sea-floor volcanoes. There has been an increase in sea-floor seismic activity which matches the increase in sea-surface-temperatures, and is a better match than CO2 is, when looking for a reason for recent temperature-rises world-wide. But of course there have been too few studies done. All we have is the seismic records, and coincidental increases in SST.
One aspect of the past winter was that my area was largely spared big storms, as each low pressure area tended to stay small as it passed over us and to only blow up when it was well out to sea. It was a wonderful year for bombogenesis and the super-storms that boggle the mind, though they all occurred out where only men on ships notice. A few lashed Iceland heading north, and then tended to pass between Norway and Svalgard, and the powerful north winds behind them was one reason sea-ice was pulled south through Fram Strait. Also, when they first developed, these same north winds almost never reached back to my area, but did bring very cold air down into the Atlantic through Baffin Bay, down the west side of Greenland. As blast after blast of frigid air hurtled south “heavy freezing spray” warnings were over and over posted for fishermen south of Greenland (too much freezing spray can capsize a boat) and I expected the sea-surface temperatures to eventually reflect the constant blasting. To my surprise the water seemed unaffected. Instead it was the air that was affected.
This returns me to what I mentioned earlier. Air has few molecules while water has a whole army. Water easily warms air, while air has a harder time chilling water.
I’ve often noticed this, as arctic blasts head towards my area in the autumn. They often must pass over Hudson Bay, and it is amazing how swiftly below-zero air is lifted past the freezing point, passing over the waters. In effect, as long as Hudson Bay remains unfrozen, we in New England enjoy a maritime climate like Ireland’s. However Hudson Bay is shallow, and in late November or early December the entire bay freezes over with astonishing speed, and suddenly the blow zero air is not warmed as it bears down on my area. Our climate snaps from Maritime to Arctic.
This has led me to wonder about the kinder and warmer periods of the past. They are called “optimums” because optimism was ruling. People didn’t fear Global Warming. They rejoiced. And one element must have been that even shallow seas such as Hudson Bay were so warmed by summer that it took longer for them to freeze over, and peoples downwind enjoyed a maritime climate longer into the early winter.
One can see this occurring even now, in the marginal seas around the edge of the Arctic Sea. As long as there is sea-ice, the water must be ice-water, and by definition at the freezing point. But as soon as the ice is gone the shallow, coastal waters can warm remarkably. Then, when winter descends, for a time these summer-warmed waters can create a local maritime climate. However as soon as the sea-ice flash-freezes across the surface, the local climate switches from maritime to arctic.
To me it seems fairly obvious that what made Greenland far more hospitable, to the first Vikings settling there, was that Baffin Bay, and perhaps waters to their north in the Arctic Sea, were warmer. The maritime climate persisted deep into their winter, lasting so long that the soil didn’t freeze deeply enough to be called permafrost, and melted early enough the following spring for graves to be hand-dug in places that now would require a jackhammer.
This suggests that water has more influence than CO2, and causes high dudgeon in Al Gore, and among his ilk. How dare I suggest such a thing!
Well, I dare, because it is obvious, even to a bumpkin working under his kitchen sink. However other things are not so obvious, and need an occurrence to bop me on the head like Newton’s apple.
One thing, (among the many things that Al Gore and his ilk would never fund, though they deserve study), is the simple fact climate “optimums” do not last. Mankind’s history sees Golden Ages give way to Dark Ages, and often the darkness is colder. What causes the merciful climate to have no mercy? What causes the land that allowed us to be fat to suddenly beget famine?
If one truly cares how harmonious mankind is, as he dances with his environment, one should study the environment. One should have the common sense to know we do not boss about the weather, but rather are more or less victims of the weather. Therefore the best way to avoid being a victim is to study what the weather may be about to hit us with. The idea we can control the weather through prayer meetings or rain dances does honor God, who may compassionately respond, and the idea we can control the weather through carbon credits and electric cars and curly light-bulbs does honor Al Gore, who has lost his hold on compassion. (I assume he once knew of it). However it is better to accept the weather than to control it. If we could control it we’d likely screw it up. (It is said (by me) that Atlantis sunk because a lazy wizard wanted to sail his ship over a mountain, rather than take the long way around it.)
If environmentalists really cared about the environment they would not shadow ban and censor the very people who most want to study the environment. And that can include boobs, such as myself. And I want to know why the oceans have gotten so much warmer the past thirty years.
This seems important because the temperature of the air has not risen in a steady manner, matching the steady rise of CO2, but rather has closely matched the ups and downs of sea-surface temperatures, (which for the past thirty years has mostly involved ups). Despite much tweaking of data, it is basically impossible to demonstrate any connection to the warming of massive amounts of sea-water to a slight variation, one molecule in ten thousand, in the upper atmosphere. Try as proponents of Global Warming will, they can’t get around the fact water itself is a greenhouse gas when it becomes water vapor, warmer oceans create more water vapor, and the greenhouse-effects of water vapor mask and basically negate the greenhouse-effects of CO2. In other words, the oceans control the atmosphere to a far greater degree than the atmosphere effects the oceans.
I was thinking about this last winter as I watched the amazing sequence of super-storms blow up in the middle of the Atlantic. Each storm was preceded by a blast of arctic air over warmer waters. Initially the cold air was sinking, and acting as a lid pressing down on a growing layer of warm and humid air created right at the surface of the sea. But warm air wants to rise like a hot air balloon, and if the water vapor in that air condenses it goes from taking up a square foot to taking up the space of a droplet, which creates low pressure, which makes the rising air lighter and rise faster, and bombogenesis occurs with shocking speed. In other words, rather than the air effecting the water the water enormously alters the air, turning a clear, cool, sunny day into a raging storm. Joseph D’Aleo explained this process eloquently in a paper years ago.
This demonstrates that rather than the atmosphere warming the oceans, with one molecule out of ten thousand in the upper atmosphere, it is the uncountable army of molecules in the ocean that are stupendously altering the atmosphere, uplifting gargantuan amounts of heat and greenhouse gases (IE water vapor). And where are these super-storms headed? Towards the pole.
So, as best I can, I watch the storms head north. I observe.
As the storms head north they move over colder waters and become colder themselves, and one very obvious effect is that the chilling makes the water vapor condense. Enormous snows fall from such storms onto the icecap of Greenland or the peaks of Svalbard and Norway, feeding huge glaciers, or are dumped into the sea, but this also means there is less and less moisture left in the storms themselves. When one of these storms penetrate the Arctic Circle I have dubbed them (in an attempt at humor) a “Ralph”. But one thing I’ve noticed is that all the Ralphs tend to be dry. They may look large in terms of isobars, but they only drop a dust of snow. The arctic regions are basically a desert.
This makes sense, when you consider how little moisture cold air can hold. In fact I’ve heard the old-timers around here comment, “It’s too cold for snow”, which seems to suggest even laymen appreciate that cold air tends to be dry and hold little moisture. However, when a Ralph invades the Central Arctic, very cold air at minus ten is clashing with even colder air and being chilled to minus twenty, which causes tiny remnants of moisture to be wrung out as a dust of snow. As this vapor goes through the phase change from vapor to liquid, and the second phase change from liquid to solid, it releases latent heat as actual heat that can be measured with a thermometer. This causes spikes in the DMI polar temperature graph, which nicely document the passage of Ralph after Ralph.
Some of these spikes can thrust up fifteen degrees, but that turns out to be far less grand that it sounds. First, it is still far below freezing and can’t melt any ice. Second, the heat is swiftly lost in the dark winter night to outer space. Third, fifteen degrees at the Pole is a weakling compared to even a half a degree at the equator, which baffles many people who don’t take the time to think.
Think of it this way: If you drop the temperature 15 degrees at the Pole you can only precipitate a dust of snow, but if you tried the same stunt at the equator, dropping the temperature 15 degrees, you’d be washed away by many feet of rain. Furthermore, that vastly larger amount of water in the air would free up a vastly larger amount of latent heat. In conclusion, a degree at the Pole is simply not the same as a degree at the equator. It is like comparing apples with oranges. Yet polar temperatures are given the same weight as tropical temperatures in Global Warming calculations. Big mistake. But people pretend it isn’t glaring.
It takes a while for a bumpkin like myself to comprehend a degree at the equator is utterly different from a degree at the Pole, but I can do it. How? I assume it is because when you work with a misconception it is like turning a wrench the wrong way while working under a sink. Water squirts into your face and informs you that you are mistaken. So you reverse your direction.
Al Gore should reverse his direction. His ilk should reverse their direction. However they believe they are loyal and steadfast to a “platform”. They believe they are steering by a star, but it is a flickering candle’s flame and they are moths. I watch them and fear this will not end well.
When things fail to add up, using your old preconceptions, doors open in your thinking which allow new ideas, which may also be preconceptions and also prove wrong, but you are covering a lot more ground than people who haven’t had a new idea since 1969.
Watching all the bombogenesis in the mid Atlantic last winter made me wonder if the increased seismic activity beneath the seas was causing the mid-Atlantic rift to release more lava, which might warm the water above, generating more storms. Not that I had any time to research such an idea. Like I said, I barely have time to make my kitchen sink work, in the stress of these times. Nor do I expect any help from Al Gore. If he will not fund even brilliant scientists, and his ilk somehow find the time to shadow-ban even an obscure blogger like myself, hindrance is what I expect. But still I wonder, even while battling the hindrance.
And here is where I got blind-sided by a thought that never would have occurred to me without help from outside.
The outside help occurred because I seek the best guess on what the future holds in terms of running my Childcare business, which involves exposing small children to the outdoors, walks in the woods, planting in the dirt, and other things, all of which involves exposure to the weather. So I have need of good long-range weather forecasting, and find Weatherbell to be worth paying for. They are not always “right”, but have a way of presenting their forecast that allows for the possibility they might be “wrong”, and do so in a way that allows me to also take the “wrong” into account. It is utterly different from Al Gore, who can never be “wrong”.
In any case, while for the most part they stick to basics, occasionally they venture an aside of a more theoretical nature that perks up my ears. One time Joseph D’Aleo wondered about a warm area of sea-surface-temperatures appearing east of New Zealand, and whether deep-sea lava might be involved. Another time Joe Bastardi pointed out that the warm sea-surface-temperatures in the North Pacific matched the seismic region of earthquakes and volcanoes called the “ring of fire.” So I know they contemplate such things, but it is not a center of their forecasts. What blind-sided me was an aside by Joe Bastardi that went completely against what I expected. And what was the aside? It was that, rather than seismic activity increasing, to match the increase in mid-Atlantic storms, seismic activity had dropped off dramatically. It had plunged.
When Joe Bastardi posted the above graph my immediate response was denial. It had to be a mistake. Some glitch in the data. (And for all I know maybe it was.)
It was painful to have my pet theory challenged. However I have lived a long time and seen a lot of my pet theories go down in flames, and have discovered it is not good to be stuck in your ways, and is better to be knocked free of the ooze. Otherwise the swamp’s quicksand may suck you down. Standing your ground may be glorious in certain situations, but often it is better to roll with the punches, as chaos hits stagnation with ever-newness.
Once I got over my shock, the above graph’s dramatic fall in seismic activity did make sense in a way, because the sunspot cycle was at a maximum. Even though the maximum was low, befitting a “Quiet Sun”, the sun was far more “noisy” than it had been. If a quiet sun did make lava flow, the noise of a sunspot maximum should stop the lava, at least for the short term. And then, with less lava down in the depths, there should be some sort of cooling, in the short term, in the oceans.
This seemed highly unlikely, for after three years of La Nina’s chilling the pendulum seemed bound to sway the other way towards warming, and there were indications of a warming El Nino brewing. However it was just then the North Atlantic south of Greenland, smack dab over the warm Gulf Stream, abruptly chilled.
This was a second shock. After all, I’d been watching this water all winter as cold wave after cold wave charged over it, never seeming to chill it a bit, and super-storm after super-storm sucked up colossal amounts of warmth and moisture to transport north, also never seeming to chill the water a bit (despite subtracting warmth). Yet now, with hardly any excuse, the water was chilled more than a bit?
To make matters all the more inexplicable, this cooling was not occurring over the mid-Atlantic rift where lava might flow, nor downstream of the rift, but rather seemingly upstream. Of course, there might be some deep current going the opposite direction of the Gulf Stream at that locale, but, (also of course), the ilk of Al don’t want to spend any money on such study. They would rather spend trillions on unfeasible alternatives to fossil fuels.
What has this to do with sea-ice? Well, if such an area of cooling appears smack dab in the middle of the Gulf Stream, then it is on its way across the Atlantic to effect Europe, and eventually to follow tendrils of the Gulf Stream right up into Fram Strait, where a slightly cooler current can be the difference in sea-ice melting or growing.
And what will the effect be? What is my forecast?
Fortunately (for me) forecasting is not a gift God has blessed me with. I’m off the hook, in that respect. My gift seems to be in my powers of observation. I note the oddities others may not have noticed, and hand them information they may find useful, or may disregard. In the real world of how the clouds move and how the waters swirl, I am like a foreign correspondent sending information back to the capital, for the wiser men to sift through.
However the ilk of Al have no use for such information. They apparently had some sort of wonderful revelation while smoking pot back in the Summer of Love in 1969, and haven’t entertained a new idea since. They distinctly dislike new ideas. How dare you!?
However the most disturbing, and also most beautiful, aspect of chaos is its ever-newness. Life tires us out, and we go to bed weary, yet when we wake ever-newness is in the sunrise and draws us on. Or perhaps the China-virus clobbers us, and we go to bed coughing and shivering with fever, yet when healing hits us with ever-newness we arise and breathe deep. Or perhaps winter grinds us down to despair and hopelessness, and then the ever-newness of April has dead trees budding, silent ponds shrill with frogs, skies creased by honking geese and day-breaks melodious with thrushes. Ever-newness is only disturbing if you want to stay stuck in your ways.
Truth is merciful, and constantly offering answers, but if you are of the ilk of Al, you refuse them.
The sea-ice has been cruelly toying with the sensitive feelings of Alarmists, by having the “extent” graph adopt a saw-tooth pattern as we head towards the yearly maximum “extent”.
Now, you need to understand that each down-turning saw-tooth fills Alarmists with hope, for there is a chance that the maximum extent will be at a record low, which means, among other things, that the world is going to end, which is a good thing because it means you don’t need to worry about getting a Real Job and supporting yourself. Or, if you already don’t have a Real Job because you are a Climate Scientist of the unethical sort, that maybe you can glean some extra funding from politicians. But then, when the saw-tooths jump back upwards, you are plunged into gloom.
The gloom is because yet again the sea-ice “extent” looks like it won’t set any records. It will be low, as it tends to be when the AMO is in its “warm” phase, but it is refusing to plunge downwards in a “death spiral.” In fact you hardly hear that phrase used anymore, “Death Spiral”. Seems a bit odd, as it was on everyone’s lips a decade ago. How quickly they forget. Or, nowadays, bleach their computer records.
However the saw-teeth are interesting because they show how the passage of some Atlantic Storms, far to the north of their more ordinary paths, make an accordian out of the sea-ice, first compressing it, and then stretching it out.
This does reveal a weakness of the “extent” graphs and maps. To whit: The same amount of ice can have a differing “extent”. An area is deemed 100% covered regardless of whether the the ice is densely packed or thinly scattered, until sea-ice is less than 15% of the viewed water.
In other words, the condensed sea-ice may be the same amount as the the spread-out sea-ice, like the difference between a pat of butter, and that same pat spread out over toast. It will make a big difference in terms of “extent”, but in terms of “amount” there is no difference.
Over the years I’ve learned to keep such awareness in the back of my mind, as I watch the sea-ice do it’s thing. After being fooled one develops a sort of caution, and understands things my not be as they seem. A large “extent” may be largely illusion, if it is mostly water and only 15% sea-ice, while a smaller “extent” may endure, if it is 100% ice. One seeks out ways to gauge sea-ice beyond “extent” graphs.
The “volume” graphs are interesting and helpful, but, because they are models, they contain some assumptions which can result in embarrassments.
The “thickness” maps are best, though they tend to “average” thickness, so a single thick berg next to open water looks like an area of thin ice. When possible satellite pictures help verify what is actually there. But clouds get in the way.
If I get the time (unlikely) I’d love to paste pictures to illustrate what the above paragraphs describe, but for the moment I’ll just describe a couple interesting things I’ve noticed this winter.
First, the weather patterns the first half of winter have allowed an extra export of sea-ice, not only through Fram Strait on the east side of Greenland, but through Nares Strait on the west side, down through Baffin Bay. Along with the sea-ice there will be the contributions from glaciers.
This will be interesting to watch. Arctic winds do not chill the southern waters much, because for each molecule of cold wind there are thousands of molecules of warm water. However sea-ice and icebergs are different; they bring thousands of cold molecules. When the ice hits the Gulf Stream, what will happen?
This is interesting because cold currents tend to sink below warm waters, but ice cannot sink. Also fresh water has a hard time sinking in salty water, and “freshwater lenses” may accompany the sea-ice south. Can this change the Atlantic’s sea-surface temperatures to a degree where it chills Europe? (Cue ominous music.)
Another thing interesting to watch is the situation in the East Siberian Sea. Some multi-year sea-ice got swung over there, and there has been some extreme cold, and the result is that the sea-ice there is thick, and has been immobile. To be immobile is actually unusual in an ocean as active as the Arctic Sea, and even gets a special name, “Fast Ice.” And for a month the East Siberian Sea has been behaving like it is not part of the rest of the grinding, rushing, swirling ice, but is frozen solid. Not that this will last, but it is worthy of a “Hmm…”
I hope to comment further as we reach the yearly “maximum extent”. Until then…
“Bombo-genesis” has occurred in Fram Strait, creating a super-storm smack dab in the middle of a place where many of the ins and outs of sea-ice levels are determined by factors which often seem subtle and even delicate, but there is nothing delicate about a North Atlantic gale.
(At this point I could go off on a long tangent about amazing storms, and which storm was the whopper of all big-fish-stories, but I’ll try to restrain myself and just focus on this baby.)
We begin with a Labrador storm crashing into Greenland, which is 10,000 feet tall and sometimes kills storms. However other storms somehow survive the passage, (another long tangent and fascinating digression.)
Obviously this storm was a survivor.
And became a super-storm, with pressure below 950 mb (28.00 inches).
And hangs around Fram Strait as a super-storm at least twelve hours.
Then it sent some of its energy east into the Kara sea as a sort of kicker impulse along a warm front, as a couple of secondary lows developed along a cold frnt extending down the east coast of Greenland.
The energy from the secondary reinforsed the stalled low over Svalbard, as the Kara Sea kicker moved south and inland.
The last map shows the low has restrengthened and its pressure is below 950 again, with the storm’s center further east over Svalbard.
Notice how the isobars shift. Initially an Atlantic to Pacific flow is cutting Canada off from cross-polar flow from Siberia. However at the end it looks like that flow is resuming. This concerns me, as I live just below Canada, and when Siberia bumps cold into Canada I tend to experience colder weather, with a delay of four to seven days. We shall see that “tendency” tested.
In terms of sea-ice, the shift of isobars suggested sea-ice which ordinarily is flushed south through Fram Strait first faced south gales and became a “wrong-way” flow, but at the end the gale’s west-side north winds came into play and the ice resumed it’s southerly movement in the Strait. Further north the sea-ice was being rammed past the Pole into the Central Arctic. (The NRL animated maps show just such a sloshing in the strait and ramming further north occurring.)
The isotherm maps of the arctic show that this storm sent an arrow of Atlantic air into the heart of the arctic, which pleases Alarmists because it creates an upward spike in the temperature graph.
The funny thing is that, while the above graph suggests heat entering the arctic, the isotherm maps show heat lost. Yes, the Atlantic heat gets up there, but it’s life expectancy is short. Here are the isotherm maps, to demonstrate what I mean. We start with the Atlantic air thrusting north of Greenland and Canada.
But 48 hours of importing Atlantic air does not expand the area of warm temperatures, and the imported air looks like it is chilling.
And it soon becomes obvious that rather than warming the arctic, the influx of air is itself cooling. Look at the heat lost in only twelve hours:
And twelve hours later there is a mere whisper of the warmth that invaded.
And twelve more hours basically eraces that “feeder band” of warming from the polar map (although the Fram storm is surging a new band north.)
So, what became of that first band? I’d suggest it lifted, because it was warm, and eventually lost its heat to outer space. As it did so the moisture it held fell as snow. How much? A very small amount:
The above map shows how much precipitation has fallen in the past 24 hours, and grays are less than a tenth of an inch of melted precipitation. Light green indicates a tenth of an inch and darker green two tenths. It can be seen that even our roaring Fram Slammer, with a pressure below 27.90, can’t even eek out a quarter inch of rain (or 3 inches of snow) in a full day at its heaviest.
Very cold air is nearly incapable of holding moisture. Even the moisture in dry air will form a fog, which is why very cold water, exposed when the sea-ice cracks and forms a lead, steams like hot tea, and forms “sea-smoke”. It is also why we see our breath when its cold, and not when its hot. When Atlantic moisture manages to get north into such chill, and fall as snow, it tends to be a dusting, or perhaps as much as a inch in a big storm. By the time the air gets north it is wrung out.
Not far to the south, where Atlantic air crashes into Greenland, the situation is very different, though the same laws apply. The Atlantic air is different because it is far warmer as it comes off the Gulf Stream, and is able to hold far more moisture. Therefore when it crashes into an icecap, and is hoisted 10,000 feet and radically cooled, it sheds its moisture as snow, but the snowfall is measured in feet, not inches. How radical can the cooling be? In extreme cases air can drop from sixty above zero to forty below. As the vapor becomes snow it goes through two phase changes that free up heat, but the heat is swiftly lost to outer space at 10,000 feet.
When the dried air descends from the icecap it can actually become milder than one would expect, and in some ways like a far-north Chinook. (Just as air cools as it rises, air heats as it descends.) This can occasionally generate sensationalist headlines concerning slight thaws in the far north in the dead of winter, when in fact a Greenland Chinook is often indicative of enormous snowfalls that add, and don’t subtract, from the icecap of Greenland.
Once down to sea-level the air resumes its steady loss of heat to the sunless sky, and is very dry. The Pole is basically a desert. Therefore, when we think about a super-storm’s increased snowfall effecting sea-ice formation, we need to remember we are talking about small, even minuscule, amounts. If you keep track of maps like the above map, you almost never see any 24-hour-precipitation that isn’t gray over the Central Arctic; snows are usually dustings.
Interestingly, this dust mixes with salt dust, because salt cannot melt snow in extreme cold, and also salt is expelled from sea-water as it freezes. During times when temperatures rise just high enough, the salt starts to melt the snow, but then temperatures drop and the snow refreezes into a stiff, crisp form which has its own name in various northern languages. Lastly, due to the extreme dryness of the air the snow can sublimate into vapor without melting, and when it does this it leaves any salt it is mingled with behind. The salt is in a powdered form and is easily blown about and creates a haze, which is actually lifted by the bigger storms such as this Fram Slammer right to the edge of the stratosphere, where traces of iodine and bromine in the salt can attack ozone and make an ozone hole, (if you want something new to fret about.)
In any case, it will be interesting to watch this Fram Slammer as it wanders about up there. But now I’ve got to run to work.
I don’t pretend to have a system figured out, wherein I can predict as well as qualified meteorologists, but I do think it is more than coincidental that as things bump and crash, way up at the top of our planet, there seem to be reflections down below.
There seems to be a mindset that is blissfully unaware we are not Jupiter, and our planet is not stripes of circulation running east to west. Yes, there are certain forces that want to push things in that direction, but we have things Jupiter lacks, which ruin the elegance of lovely portraits of our planet that make it look like this:
That is a very pretty picture, but the problem is the planet nearly never looks like that. Why? Because we have what Jupiter lacks. And what does Jupiter lack (as far as we can see)? Continents. (Maybe Jupiter does have continents far below what we can see, in which case, several thousand miles beneath its upper atmosphere, maybe it does have the cool stuff we have, that doesn’t just run east to west. Maybe Jupiter has it’s Gulf Stream, and we just don’t see it (yet). )
In any case, because we do have continents, and because they are staggered into our northern hemisphere, there are all sorts of obstacles to things like the corollas effect, which want to turn our planet into a boring series of east to west stripes. And, due to these obstacles, we need to avoid a purely east-to-west mindset.
For example, are you prejudiced? Bigoted? Incapable of even thinking that a weather feature south of the equator could ever cross to the north? Are you so set in your ways of east-to-west or west-to-east thinking that it is taboo to keep an eye cocked, (now that we are able to see amazing views of entire hemispheres from outer space), and to see times bumps in the southern hemisphere seemed to coincide with bumps to the north?
I think I’ve seen a couple such coincidences, wherein ferocious Antarctic outbreaks seemed to use the Andes to send cold fronts closer to the equator than we usually see, and symotaniously features appeared on the north side of the equator, so the clouds in the north were actually linked to the clouds in the south. Admittedly, such coincidences have been rare, but they did make me sit up and wonder.
Far more obvious are the occasions where things ignore the east-to-west mindset and come over the top of the globe. We even have a name for it: “Cross polar flow.”
There is a lot of focus these days on the “MJO”, which involves the equator, but, while the MJO is definitely worthy of the attention it receives, it is not the whole “ball of wax”. There are things that push the MJO around. Therefore one must not become too engrossed in the MJO as a sole indicator. Other indicators also have value. For example, a “stratospheric warming event” may bring the MJO to a screeching halt, and move it in a new direction.
“Cross polar flow” is likely a response to other powers, but I’d like to show it might be useful as an indicator, because I used it to actually be right for a change. In essence, when it aimed at me I expected a bullet and ducked, and when it got knocked aside I found it was safe to raise my head. Interested?
O.K. we’ll begin with the cross-polar-flow aimed at me on January 27:
You’ll notice the isobars suggest winds move from Siberia to Canada. Did they continue? Yes. Check January 29th:
The isobars suggest that, despite features shifting, the cross polar flow persisted, and air from Siberia kept ramming down into Canada, which seemed to make it fairly obvious the cold would bulge south to my neck of the woods, which it did. We set records for cold. But even as the cold hit us, the cross polar flow was getting double crossed to our north. The map was changing. By February 5 the map looked like this:
You should note the flow is still cross-polar, but now not Siberia to Canada. Rather it is more Atlantic to Pacific, and therefore it is cutting the supply of Siberian air into Canada. This shows up very clearly in the isotherm map of the pole.
Though the flow is still cross-polar, it cuts the flow of Siberian air into Canada. To the south, in my neck of the woods, the vicious cold stopped. That is my point. Over the top stuff matters.
However to some Alarmists, all that matters is that a feeder band of warmth went north, and the Pole looks warmer. Another spike appears on the temperature graph.
Does it matter? Such temperatures are well below freezing.
To me what matters is whether it will be freezing down south where I live, in my neck of the woods. Forgive me. But I forgot about all about sea-ice when my own pipes are freezing.
After I thaw my pipes, then maybe I have the time to sit back and wonder: What will a double crossing flow do to the sea-ice?
Well, it may make me warmer down south, but it sure looks like it halts, for the time being, the usual flushing of sea-ice south through Fram Strait. Instead it redirects sea-ice the opposite way, into the central arctic. As a huge gale brews up in Fram Strait, no sea-ice will be heading south.
The current movement of sea-ice could change again tomorrow, and likely will. I’ll be watching, but actually that is not the subject of this post. What this post is about is that, when you look at the above map, the isobars do not go east-to-west or west-to east, but over the top.
It makes a very big difference, in lands to the south, whether the over-the-top is from Siberia to Canada, or from Atlantic to Pacific, but much of this is unseen by computer models which are largely designed to only see latitudinally.
A truism we are often made uncomfortable by is that, in order to build up, we often have to take down. We are comfortable with God as a creator, or sustainer, but less comfortable with God as the “dissolver” (which I prefer to “destroyer”.) However, in the end, our mortal lives do come to an end. We do get dissolved. It is part of the process, and it is best to have a good attitude about the inevitable, like the old Blood Sweat and Tears song, “…when I’m gone there’ll be one child born to carry on.”
As a student of history, I get to see across the expanse of time and watch how nations rise and fall. One develops a sort of detachment. One cannot participate too deeply in the thrill of victory and agony of defeat, because one will lose their objectivity. And, objectively speaking, many of the primary figures in history come across as very subjective, even to a degree of being buffoons. They relish the thrill of victory as they rise and agonize about the agony of defeat as they fall, and seldom have the humbleness that knows that when they are gone one little child will replace them. “What!” they exclaim. “I am irreplaceable!”
Well, I suppose it is true one is irreplicable. But so is everyone else. We are each as unique as our fingerprint, but the Creator is so creative He easily can replace the irreplaceable with the equally irreplaceable. Assyrians were replaced by Babylonians who were replaced by Persians who were replaced by Greeks who were replaced by Romans. Each were beautiful when they sprouted and budded and bloomed, and worth sustaining as they fruited, but worth pruning when they became unproductive.
A historian attempts to step back and be objective, and not to get too sucked into the affray we call “current events”. A true historian even doesn’t care about the current event called “getting paid”. He will insult his sponsors and be fired from his job, because he sees a higher truth.
It is helpful to be a poet, because then no one is paying you to begin with. You don’t have to worry about losing your position at a university, unless they hire you as a dishwasher.
As a poet I’d like to chat about a news item in the papers almost exactly a century ago, regarding fish. The paper was the Washington Times, and the date was June 6, 1922. It contained this map:
There is something fishy about this map. How is it even possible? They had no satellites in 1922. Likely they had no airplanes. It was five years before Charles Lindbergh became the first to fly across the Atlantic in 1927. Did the reporter just make it up?
Judging from the article, the reporter did consult Adolf Hoel, proffeser of geology at the University of Christiana. Perhaps Adolf sketched the map on a napkin as they chatted in a Cafe. But how did Adolf gather such data?
The reporter goes on to mention a wise old fisherman, who had sailed the waters 54 years, Captain Martin Ingarbrigtsen. Perhaps his experience contributed to the above map. The fisherman was a primary source of data for the U.S. consul at Bremin, Norway, Mr. Iffey, who relayed the information to the U.S. Department of Commerce.
What is refreshing about all this is that there is no Global Warming crap involved. There is no narrative. There is no agenda. There is no bias. There are just honest men relaying information about an interesting and perhaps extraordinary change. And what was the change?
The 1922 article states, “Formerly vast shoals of whitefish were found about Spitzbergen, but last summer fishermen sought them in vain.” Later the article states, “On the other hand, other kinds of fishes, hitherto unknown so far north, have made their appearance. Shoals of smelt have arrived, and immense schools of herring are reported by fishermen off the west coast of Spitzbergen.”
This 100-year-old data has importance to all who want to increase the amount of fish we can harvest from the sea, without overfishing. We need to differentiate rises and falls in fish populations that are natural, caused by swings of natural cycles, from those caused by overfishing, or by altering the fishes environment by reducing coastal marshes and rivers, or by destroying the sea-bottom with dragging nets.
For example, we are actually reducing our supply of protein when we “reclaim” ocean marshes to grow grain, for those marshes are so vital to the life cycle of fish that for every pound of protein we gain from grain or rice we lose ten pounds of protein we might have had from fish. Often draining marshes is not a case of robbing Peter to pay Paul; it is a case of killing the goose that laid the golden egg.
It is hard to see a smelly marsh might be better than manmade dikes and landscapes like Holland’s, and the only way to overcome such difficulty is through honestly reporting the facts.
The United States has perhaps gone too far, when it comes to “protecting wetlands”, but it has good advice to offer China about the dangerous prospect of destroying the fisheries of the Yellow Sea by developing the wide wetlands along its coast. It is a situation where China could starve its people by growing more rice.
However, in order to understand changes man causes, we must understand the changes nature causes, without any help from man.
The 1922 article may be indulging in a bit of sensationalism, for papers were guilty of that even back then, but basically, its report is describing what we now know, that they didn’t know then: The antics of the WSC (West Spitzbergen Current) can drastically change conditions, by changing where it stops being a surface current and instead becomes subsurface current. The 1922 article describes summer water temperatures switching from 5 degrees above freezing to 28 degrees above freezing.
This would explain the way sea-ice disappears, in the above map, especially along the route the WSC takes to Svalbard. It would be incidental data, from before the age of satellites.
What is most fishy is how Alarmists loathe such data and want to blot it from the record. My guess is that it spoils their narrative. They want to show current melting has never been seen before. But it has happened. It happened in 1922, and many times before. And the sea-ice must also return, over and over, for it to happen, over and over.
In 1922 the article sensationalizes the fact fishermen could sail to the north coast of Svalbard and even to Raudfjorden, but the fact of the matter is that bay was first mapped by Willem Barents in 1496. History seems to show the sea-ice comes and the sea-ice goes.
Why are Alarmists so threatened by history? God creates sea-ice, sustains sea-ice, and dissolves sea-ice. It is a cycle.
Perhaps they find it fishy. It suggests that they too are part of a cycle. They are part of a process, and were given power by God, saw power sustained a while by God, but, like the Assyrians, the Babylonians, the Persians, the Greeks, the Romans, and even little, old me, will soon face a day when power is dissolved by God.
U.S. soldiers who served in Korea know how cruel the winter gets, when the monsoon shifts winds to the north in November, and brings bitter air from Siberia south.
To the west of Korea is the Yellow Sea, shallow and stained yellow because it is filled with the nutrients and silt of great rivers. Formerly it was excellent fishing grounds but now is over-fished, formerly it possessed coastlines of rich marshes but now, with much of that land reclaimed, marine species are in danger. Environmentalists cringe, with oil rigs popping up to the north on the coasts of both China and North Korea, and crowded Chinese ports bustling with trade for densely populated areas on the west coast. However, winds from Siberia can throw a wrench into all the bustling, by creating sea-ice, though the Yellow Sea is at the latitude of Chesapeake Bay and Washington D.C.
Struggling with the sea-ice tends to be part of life. Here is a picture from Bonhai Bay two January’s ago:
The struggles created involve energy supplies, as both coal and natural gas must be unloaded, and the oil rigs can have problems if too crunched by ice. Here is an article from the Financial Post, describing the struggles in 2021:
This winter I heard there was record-setting cold in northeast China, so of course I wondered how they were getting along in Bonhai Bay. Unfortunately the people who map sea-ice care little for either Bonhai Bay or Chesapeake Bay. For example, look at the map below.
You can barely see Chesapeake Bay in the lower left corner, and Bonhai Bay is pressed against the very top, in the upper right. Furthermore, they don’t bother to put any white sea-ice in Bonhai Bay, though I suspect it is there. Why? Call me a suspicious old coot, but I don’t see how that water cannot freeze, when they get hit by record-setting Siberian air.
Even Bloomburg, not noted for reporting cold waves, reported on the cold in China. Of course, they do not call cold, “cold”, though they do call hot, “hot”. They can be depended upon to waffle up a sentence like this: “Indeed, climate change is causing an increase in both average temperatures and the frequency of extreme weather events around the world.” Get it? Rather than “cold” they say “Extreme Weather Event.”
Be that as it may, at least they did report the cold in China.
Also, I can go to the Weatherbell Site and look at the anomaly for the past ten days in the Bonhai Bay area, using their excellent maps.
The docks may not be as far below normal as inland sites, but even normal can freeze the Yellow Sea. The influx of river water makes the water less salty to the north, and easier to freeze. And the computer models show no sign of the cold easing. American soldiers who served in Korea remember how relentless the northern monsoon was, and this year eastern Siberia seems particularly loaded with cold air.
Suppose the cold continues. (And indeed, computer models show no above-normal temperatures for northeast China well into March.) Suppose the sea-ice gradually increases, bit by bit. Eventually it becomes annoying, even creating situations such as the situation a decade ago:
Considering there is an extra-large demand for propane and coal due to the extremely frigid temperatures in inland areas, this is a winter where the oil rigs need to operate at peak efficiency in the northern Yellow Sea, and the unloading at the docks must proceed smoothly. Otherwise, China may have problems keeping its people warm.
I understand we are at war with China, in a weird way; a way like no other war. But that does not mean I wish that the people of China have problems staying warm. I don’t wish such discomfort on any man anywhere. However, there are a few men, likely way up in skyscrapers, who are cold to begin with, way down in their hearts, and they perhaps could do with a ride in an elevator down to a place where it is said to be very warm.
Of the many variables affecting the creation, movement and dispersal of sea-ice, the super-storms of the northern Pacific and Atlantic have recently grabbed my attention, perhaps because the storm that made headlines off the coast of California was unusually far south, and made me wonder if unusual things were occurring elsewhere.
Not that there is much that is usual about “ordinary” super-storms. They do not get much press, because they largely live and die far from where most people live, but they are well worth watching, for they are more powerful than hurricanes and typhoons in their totality, though they lack the ferocious winds of a tropical storm’s central eye-wall.
They are strongest when the contrast between arctic air and the warm waters brought north by the Gulf Stream in the Atlantic and the Kuroshio System in the Pacific is at its greatest. They can grow with shocking speed, called “bombogenesis” by some, and sometimes fill and vanish nearly as rapidly, while other times they and their closely associated secondary and tertiary developments wobble about as features for weeks.
Because the Pacific is larger than the Atlantic, and the Siberian tundra creates crueler cold than Canada, you might think the Pacific super-storms would be larger, but in fact the Atlantic storms hold the records for lowest pressures. In some ways this makes sense, because the clash between cold and warm is crowded into a smaller area. In any case, such massive storms influence the currents and winds entering and departing the Arctic Ocean, and in this regard the Atlantic has greater power than the Pacific, at greater depths. In fact Bering Strait is so shallow that it dries up every ice age, and most water that is chilled and sinks in the Arctic departs via a deeper channel through Fram Strait. But it is the shallow currents bringing warmer water into the arctic which are most affected by the churning of super-storms, and are what originally drew my attention away from the sea-ice, southward to the storms.
One fascinating current is the WSC, which brings warm and saltier water into the Arctic equation through the east side of Fram Strait. It is complex because its warmth makes it more buoyant than colder water at the same time as its salinity makes it less buoyant than fresher water. Therefore, as it cools, it arrives at a point where it becomes less buoyant than the sea it is entering, and at that point it stops riding atop the sea, and takes a shallow dive, sliding beneath the arctic waters like a playing card sliding in to a deck. It can be followed as a submerged current a considerable distance, all the way around the Pole, even to where it exits on the west side of Fram Strait, though it is subjected to a number of variables which can change its course and even threaten its existence. It is a difficult task for scientists to measure its whereabouts because in some ways it is like attempting to follow something that wanders like an upper air jet stream, but you can’t measure it with a weather balloon, and instead have to drill through thick ice while looking over your shoulder for 1500 pound bears. Data is scarcer than most would like, and “funding is needed”. But one variable which effects the WSC is every, single superstorm that blows up in the Atlantic.
The WSC is fed by a northern tendril of the Gulf Stream which in effect bounces off Norway and proceeds north-northwest to Svalbard. If a super-storm is to the west southerly winds hurry this current on its way, but if the super-storm is to the east its northerly winds balk the current, and also chill it. This can make a considerable difference in the nature of the current as it reaches Fram Strait, and can cause the current to take its dive earlier or later than usual. Without measurements, one indication of where the current is taking its dive is where the sea-ice at the surface melts. When the WSC is at the surface the sea-ice melts away with a rapidity which astonishes me.
However all sorts of other variables need to be kept in mind. For example, melting the sea-ice adds cold water to the WSC which reduces its temperature, and also its salinity. Also the current is drawn north not merely by powers pushing from behind, but also it is sucked north by the fact polar water is sinking and water must come north to replace it. Varying such pushing and pulling will also alter the current, which affects the sea-ice. As is often the case with meteorology, if you focus on one thing you are likely missing another; (hopefully it is not a 1500 pound bear.)
When I last posted about sea-ice a powerful high pressure lay just south of the Laptev Sea, while the remnants of one super-storm dissipated in Barents Sea as a second super-storm exploded in Denmark Strait between Iceland and Greenland. Cold air was being recycled from west Siberia to east Siberia, creating a pool of air so cold records were set in places, as a second, smaller pool developed over the Canadian Archipelago.
In terms of the movement of sea-ice, the most noticeable feature (to me) was the divergence of isobars towards the Pole, with some heading south towards Fram Strait and some continuing across the Pole towards the Central Arctic, which created a split and some interesting leads of open water (which swiftly froze over). Also we noted the export of coastal sea-ice was largely from the Kara Sea, with the Laptev Sea (usually the largest exporter) relatively calm, and the high pressure actually rotating around and crushing ice up against the coast of the East Siberian Sea.
Four days later the situation had changed. The super-storm off the coast of Greenland retained its strength and wobbled east to become a Barents Sea Blaster.
This movement of a super-storm tends to drive south winds up into Barents Sea, compressing the sea-ice and crushing the edge northwards, while north winds howl down through Fram Strait bringing sea-ice south along the east coast of Greenland. But the divergance persists, and a cross-polar-flow developed from Siberia to Canada. Canada has quite enough cold air and doesn’t need imports.
The warm air shows up as a spike in the polar temperature graph, but the heat is swiftly lost to the endless night.
The crushing of sea-ice north in Barents Sea may at least partially explain the flattening of the sea-ice extent graph, when it usually continues to slowly rise in January.
The south winds eventually transported warmer than normal air into western Russia, as the rest of Russia remained below normal.
It is important to remember that, while the anomalies look red hot or even white hot, fifteen degrees above normal is still frigid when “normal ” is minus thirty. What passes for “warm” in Siberia is nothing I want to see crossing the Pole and heading my way. However the pattern persisted. Three days later saw the Barent Sea Blaster weakening in the Kara Sea, but a new superstorm brewing up in its wake down in Denmark Strait, and the cross polar flow continuing to transport Eurasian cold to North America. My only hope was that a powerful Aleutian super-storm might press north from the Pacific, create a counter cross-polar-flow, and blow all that sub-zero air back to Russia where it belongs.
The cross polar flow, and bit of a counter cross-polar-flow close to Bering Strait, were definitely effecting the sea-ice. For one thing, polynyas formed on the north coast of the Laptev Sea for the first time all winter, even as air below minus forty poured north, freezing the polynyas over in a matter of hours. (In the map below lilac to white indicates the thin ice on leads and polynyas, while the dark blue and very light blue indicates the pressure ridges, which were formerly jumbled up against the shore, being pushed out to sea. Some are over six feet thick, and are handy tracking devises that show how the sea-ice is moving, as winter progresses.)
The counter cross-polar flow has been interesting to watch, for it has robbed a surprising amount of sea-ice from the northwest coast of Alaska and crushed it against Wrangle island and the northeast coast of Siberia. (West of there, along 160 E, is a thick tendril of multi-year-ice reaching towards the Pole which will be interesting to watch.)
Lastly, all the sea-ice flushed south through Fram Strait and down the east coast of Greenland is doing something relatively rare. It is attempting to create an ice-bridge across Denmark Strait between Greenland and Iceland.
However I am not as interested in the movement of the sea-ice as I am in the transport of Siberian air over the top to Canada. I look to today’s map, hoping to see it stop…
Alas. No such luck. The storm which was in Denmark Strait has crossed to be a Barent Sea Blaster, and, while it (and its secondary) my not qualify as a super-storm, it does keep the flow going from Eurasia to Canada. Furthermore, that big blob of high pressure has high pressure because it is very cold, and cold air sinks, and presses down, making pressures higher. Let’s see how cold it is:
That is -30 degree air, (-22 degrees Fahrenheit). It is moving over a sea of water above freezing, so the water is warming it, or it is chilling the water, but in any case it is not getting colder…until…it gets on shore in Canada. Canada can home-grow its own cold, for even below the arctic circle the sun is very low at noon, the days are short, and during the long, starry nights the snow-covered ground loses heat you’d doubt could even exist in such a wintery landscape to outer space, and the air will drop to that magic number -40, which is the only time Celsius and Fahrenheit ever agree about anything. And then…
…And then, just south of Canada, is me. But it can’t possibly come this far. We’ve had the nicest January. I can walk outdoors after dark without a scarf. Even the tiny birds, which cold can kill in minutes if they don’t flit about with amazing care, avoiding wind and shadows, have been fearless. And last time I checked the long range forecast I saw no….but those computer models have a hard time seeing cold air, because it presses down so flat it sneaks beneath their radar. Let me check again.
Oh, bleep. There it is, next Saturday.
(The high temperature of 6 translates to -14.4 Celsius, and the low temperature of -14 translates to -25.6.)
The computer could be wrong, for it is still six days away. Or it could be worse; when cold air like that dives this far south it can generate a super-storm off our coast and bury us. It will be interesting to watch as it develops, but, as others look west for our next storm, it does demonstrate a reason I watch the Pole and look for things coming “over the top”.
Now that Alarmists have gone whole hog on the sheer malarkey of their non-science, it is hardly worth the time rebutting their pathetic contentions any more. This frees me up to spend more time simply watching the most splendid rebuttals of their contentions, which are the realities of the weather. Compared to the glory of nature, the propaganda of politicians seems like the nitpicking of spiders in front of a tsunami. With their tweezers they can tweeze all they want; they sound as sad as a piano with one string.
Originally I looked at the reality of the weather to ascertain if what the Alarmists claimed was truth was truly true, and when I found evidence it wasn’t, I thought they might be interested to know they were in error. They weren’t. Instead they called me a “denier”, and subjected me (and many others) to censorship and shadow banning.
I suppose this treatment did bum me out, in some ways, but in other ways it was life as usual. I was never of the “popular” crowd in school, and was not the sort of young fellow a young woman would want to see approaching, to ask them to dance. Often I wasn’t even accepted among the nerds. Therefore I had to learn how to survive without flattery. I had to play the game without cheerleaders.
I think that attempting to live midst such disdain is actually too much to ask of any man, especially a young man, for we all need, if not praise, then uplifting. And the thing I found as a substitute for public acclaim, which was most uplifting, was the reality of the weather; AKA the beautiful clouds out the classroom window.
One wonderful thing about the reality of the weather is that it doesn’t care a hoot about our politics. It does what it does, irregardless of whether we throw virgins in volcanoes or buy electric cars. The only politician who seemed to grasp this was King Canute, when he ordered the tide to stop rising, in order to demonstrate to his flattering courtiers that he lacked the omnipotence of God.
It seems Alarmists utterly lack the humbleness of King Canute, for they feel they can stop the seas from rising. This audacity would be a joke if it was not actually spoken in their speeches.
Two reasons for the awe that leads people to believe in a Higher Power, (even if they detest religion and think they are Atheists,) involve the macrocosms and the microcosms of human understanding and comprehension. Once one understands how huge our galaxy is, and how many stars it contains, and then moves on to grasping the fact our universe contains more entire galaxies than can be counted, then some part of our tweezering intellect burns out, and we just shake our heads in wonder. In like manner, when we turn our minds to minutia similar wonders overwhelm us, as we wander into the worlds of sub-atomic particles and “energies”.
Perhaps the most depressing thing about Alarmists is that they miss this wonder. They feel God is out of business, for now they control the macrocosms and microcosms. They control the weather and they control the viruses. Oh! How powerful they are! They are like the puffed-up, adolescent football stars and cheerleaders whom all other students were suppose to honor and flatter, back in high school. Only it is not high school we are talking about. It is real life, and we are not immature teenagers.
To me there is something fundamentally insane about people who think they control the weather, and have jurisdiction over who shall get sick or not. They have elevated themselves to the status of God, and in the process have dismissed God as a higher power. This is insane because, sure as shooting, a day will come when a storm they did not forecast looms, and sickness they claimed they’d cured afflicts them, and on that day they will have no one to pray to.
This is not to say that there are some others among us who are mysteriously gifted, in terms of weather and/or in terms of healing. But such such people have no need to mock God while enacting Alarmism’s mockery of omnipotence. Why deny a Creator exists, when stating that same Creator gave you a gift?
My father was a surgeon who loved science and who loathed quacks, and snake-oil salesmen, and malpractice lawyers who exploited misfortunes. A story-teller, one tale my Dad loved to tell was about a witch doctor in Africa. The witch doctor made missionaries angry by curing people with a foul, stinking tea, when missionaries could not cure the same people with prayer. As my father told the tale, there was one missionary who did not condemn the witch doctor as a witch, and actually sent his sick converts to the witch doctor to drink his putrid tea. Not only did the sick get better, but the witch doctor became much more friendly, because he had finally met a Christian who didn’t condemn him for curing people. The missionary and the witch doctor developed a friendship that lasted decades, and eventually involved them hearing the news that penicillin had been discovered in England. The production of purified penicillin involved a long and complicated process. The witch doctor, in concocting his rancid tea, also employed a process that involved many steps. But how could an uneducated man in darkest Africa stumble upon penicillin? The only answer is: It was a gift. Maybe some degree of experimentation, of trial-and-error, was involved, but the guiding light was a gift.
In like manner I’ve met some in my time (usually men who spend much time outdoors) who are gifted, when it comes to sniffing out a storm which even the weather bureau doesn’t see coming. They are gifted. When you ask them how they know, they often just shrug, or give some unsatisfactory answer such as “they felt it in their bones.” In their cases as well the gift doesn’t seem to be given without some degree of trial and error. In other words, work is involved. Yet I too have worked, and my trial and error continues to mostly involve error. I am like a person who practices the piano but happens to be tone deaf. I lack the gift.
Gifts might appear to manifest in some cases without a lot of hard work, for example in the case of Mozart writing music at an early age, but even he was not above work. After all, a child picking out chords on a harpsichord at age three is practicing, just as a child learning to walk is practicing, and practice is work. However the gifted seem to have done a lot of the work before they were even born. Is it some memory from a past life? Is it a skill picked up during preincarnation in Limbo? Is it due to the mutation of some chromosome? Heck if I know. I just work under the general principle that every child is born with some gift, and therefore has value and a part to play in creation. That statement alone can get me into enough arguments to keep me busy.
But the point I am trying to work my way around to is that the people gifted do not deny the existence of the Giver of the gift. They are humble, and lack the audacity of Alarmists. They do not think they control weather, or sickness and healing. They do not claim to be all-powerful and all-knowing. Only Alarmists are so insane.
I’m weary of their bragging insanity, and of the media blaring their braggart nonsense, so I have clicked off the news, and also have largely withdrawn from debate about Global Warming. Why plunge into fog when one can remain elevated under clear skies? Why depart from pure waters to the company of those who delight in intentionally muddying waters? Some feel one can “win” a debate about Truth with lies. It is best to just skip their juvenile reality. Far better is the beautiful reality of the weather.
The area above the arctic circle without sunlight starts as a dot at the Pole on the Autumnal Equinox and expands with surprising rapidity at first, before slowing and coming to a crawl and finally stopping at the Arctic Circle on the solstice, at which point 4% of earth sees no sunshine. North of that circle one might as well be living on Pluto, for all the warmth one receives from the stars.
Of course, the Pole does not get as cold as Pluto because on Pluto the night is endless; our sun is just another star in the night sky, albeit a bright one. (The “moon” in the picture below is Pluto’s companion planet Charon.)
The attempt may be doomed to failure, but for a time in the depth of winter 4% of our planet is making an effort to become as cold as Pluto, losing amazing amounts of heat non-stop. Resisting this effort is 96% of the planet, which still does experience the kind luxury of sunshine, and sends reinforcements of heat and moisture north, as air-masses and as currents in the seas.
In the short time (relatively speaking) we’ve been able to measure sea-surface temperatures with satellites, there has been a definite warm-up of the surface skin of our seas. It averages out to roughly a degree, and the air above that water has consequently risen a degree as well, and (importantly) also been enabled to hold more humidity.
The chicken-or-the-egg question some fret over is: Did the air heat the water or did the water heat the air? This can be resolved simply. Get a pot of water at 50 degrees and blow 51 degree air at it. How long does it take the water to rise to 51? (And make sure the air you blow isn’t too dry, as evaporation may cause the water to cool to 49, and you’ll be stuck there all day.) Then get a pot of water heated to 51 and put 50 degree air over it. In fact put 30 degree air over it. It does not take the water long to heat (and moisten) the air. So, if the air isn’t heating the water, what is heating the water?
Good question. But it likely isn’t a tiny, tiny component of the air, if a gale of 100% air has troubles warming water. I’d say the best suspects are sunshine, or undersea volcanoes, or both, but that debate can wait.
In any case, the water’s surface is roughly a degree warmer, for whatever reason. That is most definitely not enough to bring the oceans to a boil. I don’t know what in the world Al Gore is raving about. But he’s been at it how long? “The Inconvenient Truth” came out in 2006.
Maybe it simply has become habitual for him.
I actually think less sea-ice would be a good thing, and allow us to farm places on Greenland that the Vikings farmed. (I’ll get to that some other time.)
As the darkness sets in on the Pole, and outer space attempts to suck up all the heat and make it cold as Pluto, I like to watch the plumes of warmth head north and spike the temperatures, as much by bringing north moisture as by the actual temperature of the air.
This winter began that way. In the end-of-2022 graph below the green line shows the average mean temperatures settling down towards -30 Celsius, while the red line shows the actual temperatures spiking upwards four times.
Each of these spikes occurs well below the freezing point of salt water, (the spikes alternate between -25 and -15, roughly), and it can be seen how swiftly the heat is lost after each spike and how temperatures plunge. One then needs to think hard and be very observant, to determine if “less sea-ice” is actually a result of these spikes.
On one hand, milder temperatures, and a little extra insulating snow-cover on the desert-like Pole, would suggest a result of less sea-ice, but on the other hand any increase in storminess piles up pressure ridges and exposes water in leads, which suggests the creation of more sea-ice. Lastly, the jet stream that meanders north with moist, mild air tends to nudge the cold air off the Pole, and can create snows further south. For example, the Polar temperature map of New Year’s Day shows both a Pacific and Atlantic plume making the Pole “milder”, but at the same time cold waves were making the news further south.
What the cold waves may do is actually cool the planet, for not only is heat lost at the Pole by being transported up where the sun doesn’t shine, but snow-cover further south creates “albedo” that bounces away solar radiation where the sun does shine. And the records show that the extent of snow-cover was above-normal through much of the autumn.
However that didn’t last. Not that it didn’t have its effect at the time, but December’s snow extent was closer to normal. The Post-Christmas cold waves stopped making headlines, and many places in Europe, China, and Eastern North America saw the delight of a growing January thaw. Interestingly, the spikes stopped appearing in the Polar temperature graph.
This hints that the cold is staying up there. So I check the temperature map:
While there does seem to be some Atlantic mildness pressing north, that is a cold map overall. The bluest colors, striping from East Siberia to the Canadian Archipelago, is all air below -30 Celsius, which is quite an achievement for air passing over water at -1.7 Celsius, and indicates the sea-ice must be thick enough to provide insulation. I check the isobars to see if I can get a hint of what is going on:
Right off the bat I notice the very high pressure, indicative of very cold air pressing down this time of year, south of the Laptev Sea. This brings to mind my last Post, about the very cold air in Siberia.
However it is at this point my lack of skill at meteorology starts to leave me with far more questions than answers. But I’ll share some observations.
On thing I see is that the isobars suggest a flow from Siberia just west of Moscow north through the Kara Sea, and then around and back through the Laptev Sea into East Siberia. This recycling of cold air may explain why the cold is becoming so intense. It is being retained up there. But it also explains a couple of differences I’ve noticed in the movement of sea-ice.
First, usually the Laptev Sea is the biggest exporter of sea-ice of all the marginal seas. But this year it has been very selfish, and instead its the Kara Sea that has seen polynyas and ice moving away from its shores to supply the Central Arctic. This could make the Northeast Passage along the Russian north coast more ice-choked next summer.
Second, the sea-ice departing the Laptev Sea usually takes the route of Nansen’s Fram, towards Fram Strait, depleteing the amount of sea-ice by flushing it into the Atlantic, but Laptev exports can take a less common alternative route, which Nansen would have perhaps preferred, across the North Pole and into the “Beaufort Gyre” of the Central Arctic. This year Laptev sea-ice generally stays home, and the Kara ice can’t make up it’s mind, and there is a divergence northeast of Fram Strait, where some sea-ice heads south and some heads west. The divergance has created wide leads at times. A lot of thick, multiyear ice has been flushed down the east coast of Greenland, and I expect the “volume” graph to show less sea-ice in the arctic, yet, at the same time, the amount of sea-ice in the Central Arctic has been added to, and generally is looking more stout.
One reason it is looking stout is that it hasn’t been spun around by the Beufort Gyre and depleted, filling in the area north of Bering Strait, but has held back. Therefore I expected the area north of Bering Strait to be nothing but baby-ice. To my surprise a very speedy movement of sea-ice close to the shores of Alaska has pushed a lot of freshly-created sea-ice right across Bering Strait, clotting the Russian side of the strait and around Wrangles Island. Some, but not much, of this new ice has taken a right turn down through Bering Strait.
A lot of cold air rushed into the Pacific to fuel the California storms that made the news, and as they rushed out to sea the Sea of Oshkosh created new ice far faster than I’ve usually seen. It is a reason for much of the increases we see in the unimpressive “extent” graph:
However at this time of year I can’t claim I care so much about “extent” as about how much cold air is up there, and whether or not it is coming down here. I do watch how the sea-ice grows, and how it shifts, but it is more as an entertainment that distracts me from foolishly fretting about cold waves I can’t control.
The only mortal who seemly controls weather is Al Gore. Wherever he goes to speak on Global Warming seems to have record low temperatures, if not a blizzard. Surely it is not good that he is speaking of the oceans boiling. No sooner had he made that raging speech than I saw long-range maps that showed the cold dislodged from the Pole, perhaps making less sea-ice up north, but making China, making Europe, and making North America all extremely miserable.
But I’ve noticed something else. Even as I like snow and cold less and less and less, (which seems to be a commonly seen phenomenon, as people ski less, and skate less, and become codgers), there is one childlike glee that seemingly can’t be quenched. It is this: Even when the weather truly sucks, people find a way to laugh about it.