ARCTIC SEA-ICE –LONG HAULS AND SHIPWRECKS–

I am not of the Global Warming Skeptics who immediately mock all who sail arctic waters as being silly Alarmists aboard a “Ship Of Fools”. Why? For three reasons.

First, I was once young, hot-blooded and very foolish, and went to sea. The sea is a hard taskmaster, and has a way of jarring your mentality from foolishness to reality. I cannot say that what the sea does is to make you more “grounded”, for such speculation is groundless, as the sea is. The sea wakes you to way of being beyond the ken of bankers, for there can be no fences, no acres bounded by lines on a deed, nor any of the neat calculations made by the material-minded.

Therefore, when anyone one gets off their under-exercised posterior, and stops their armchair speculation and goes to sea, I intensely envy them. I know their eyes are about to be opened.

Second, one way to have your eyes opened is by on-the-scene reporters.  This is why I bewailed the de-funding of the North Pole Camera and the wonderful “O-buoys”. They were the on-the-scene reporters which tended to counter “Fake News”. They were the “Free Press” the Founding Fathers sought to protect with the Bill Of Rights, for they produced pictures that tended to counter the “satellite data”. Not that the satellites lied, but the data they produced had to go through a filter called a “model”, and this had to be interpreted in a certain way to produce a “satellite map”,  and then the media would focus in on certain parts of that map and exclaim the North Pole was melting, but the North Pole Camera was politically incorrect, and showed it wasn’t melting, by showing melt-water pools freezing over with ice.

What do you do, when on-the-scene reporters report data that differs from what politicians believe is true? In a healthy society you take the politicians to task.  In an unhealthy society you get rid of the reporters.

Forgive me if I seem overly suspicious when I note that four years ago we had seven cameras floating on the ice, and now we have zero.  But it doesn’t really matter, for now we have actual people up there. In some ways they are better than having cameras up there. No one cares much if cameras vanish, but if actual people are threatened, interest is heightened. Awkward questions get asked:  How can sea-ice, which Al Gore suggested would be gone by 2014, be threatening lives?

Allow me to digress at this point, and counter an incorrect impression many have about the North Pole. They feel it was formerly rock-solid ice, and only now is there melting, and open water between shifting floes. History tells a different tale, which brings me to my third point.

If you look back into the mists of time you learn that, because whales tended to frequent the rich waters where sea-ice meets the open sea,  and because whales could make a man rich, men have pushed their luck and sailed north to the sea-ice as far as we can look, using the paperwork of port officials who taxed the whaling ships when they arrived home. It may well be that sailors did things under the table, without reporting to government officials, but we have official records of where the “edge of the sea-ice” was right back to the 1500’s. We know there was open water  on the west coast of Svalbard, because ships found it more economical to land there and process whale oil there, so that the master painters of the materialistic Netherlands could use their imagination to portray what was described by whalers in taverns.

Whale 6 1024px-Walvisvangst_bij_de_kust_van_Spitsbergen_-_Dutch_whalers_near_Spitsbergen_(Abraham_Storck,_1690)

I could go on.  England did not become a world power because they sat back and speculated in armchairs. Back when they were nobodies, just an obscure island off the edge of Europe, they had sailors seeking the Northeast Passage over Scandinavia and Russia. But I will skip that sea-ice data from the 1500’s, beyond stating it exists.

Instead I wish to stress that, for literally hundreds of years, sailors in the arctic have known “open” water can close in like the jaws of a hyena and crush a ship. Not that it stopped them, for they had guts, but it was common knowledge. That is why Nansen designed the Fram to be an odd, round-bottomed tub. When the ice came crushing in the entire ship was lifted. (Building such a ship was an amazing display of fund-raising with no profit in sight.)

The USS Jeanette was not so lucky, and was crushed by sea-ice close to the New Siberian Islands in 1881. The crew was able to cross sea-ice to the New Siberian Islands, but had to cross open water to reach the Lena Delta, which gives us an idea of the sea-ice conditions in 1881.

Meanwhile crushed parts of the Jeanette moved east with sea-ice across the Pole to Fram Strait, and then down the east coast of Greenland, and were found WEST (!) of Cape Farewell on the southern tip of Greenland, in 1884. This shows us the ice was mobile back then, as it is today.

It also is what gave Nansen the idea he could lodge the Fram in sea-ice and simply drift with the highly mobile sea-ice to the Pole.

Why do I bring this up? It is to show what we already know, which certain Alarmists refuse to admit.  To be blunt, they behave extremely indignant when you talk about stuff that happened 137 years ago. They you call you a “denier” for bringing up history, and therefore they cannot be students of history.

Therefore I tend to think that they would not be the best people advising you, if you were sailing north last spring. They might fail to mention how sea-ice can shift, and crush ships.

Therefore when a yacht does get crushed, and sinks, who is guilty? Is is not the people who called me, for stating what history teaches, a “denier”? Are they themselves not the true “deniers”, for failing to mention how sea-ice can shift, and crush ships? And instead entertaining a malarkey which states such worry is not to be heeded?

I have no desire to sit on a high horse, and judge Alarmists, though they have sat on high horses and judged me.  Let God be the judge. And God speaks from the non-banker wisdom of the sea. The truth of the matter is this: If you mess with the sea, the sea messes with you.

https://wattsupwiththat.com/2018/08/30/arctic-ice-claims-another-ship-this-time-with-a-sinking/

But don’t get me wrong. I don’t scorn these two fellows who got their yacht sunk. I envy them. They dared leave their cozy couch of armchair speculation, and be real. They learned what the sea can teach, in a beautiful landscape:

Arctyic ruin 1 9_cb6470ffac

And they took this beautiful ship to the eastern mouth of Bellot Strait, (which is a wonderful short-cut which past explorers didn’t know about, and which has made possible Northwest Passages which past explorers could not achieve) and there they learned what the sea teaches. In a matter of minutes they went from being two guys aboard a plush yacht to being two guys standing alone on sea-ice,  praying like crazy others paid their taxes, and a helicopter might arrive to rescue them. And boy were they happy when, after hours and hours, they heard the sound of the approaching helicopter.

In like manner another politically-correct ship set sail full of teachers and students brimming with a liberal desire to document the demise of sea-ice in the Northwest Passage due to Global warming. All had a preconceived notion of what they were about to witness, aboard their mighty ship.

Atctic Ruin 2 arctic-propaganda-ship-768x432

How embarrassing.  This big ship apparently had to maneuver to avoid the very sea-ice they were suppose to be documenting declining, and ran aground.  Students and teachers had to be rescued by helicopter.f

https://wattsupwiththat.com/2018/08/27/another-ship-of-fools-gets-stuck-in-arctic-ice-needs-rescue/

In other words, if you want to prove what you already know, stay at home. Sit at your computer. Never go to sea, for the sea will shatter your preconceptions.

Oddly, though this trip advertised they would transmit many pictures of their journey, there seems to be a strange absence of on-the-scene pictures of the grounding. Perhaps they fear lawsuits. But I find it annoying that despite having on-the-scene reporters we recieve no on-the-scene reports  from Kugaaruk.

Information is power, and I can’t help but wonder if certain information is withheld because it fails to support “the narrative”. The teachers and students were not going to sea expecting to have their eyes opened, but rather to “further” knowledge they already had. They thought they already knew. But when information is disinformation, one is denying oneself the power information offers.

We have actually known since spring the sea-ice was thicker this summer. The information has been available. The Canadian Coast Guard recently texted:

“Good morning, Due to heavier than normal ice concentrations in the Canadian arctic waters north of 70 degrees, the Canadian Coast Guard, recommends that pleasure craft do not navigate in the Beaufort Sea, Barrow, Peel Sound, Franklin Strait and Prince Regent. CCG icebreakers cannot safely escort pleasure craft. Operators of pleasure craft considering a northwest passage should also consider the risk of having to winter in a safe haven in the Arctic, or in the case of an emergency, be evacuated from beset vessels. Safety of mariners is our primary concern.”

It was for this reason the Dogbark, a yacht attempting the Passage from the west, turned around to the east of Barrow and headed back.  Information gave them power, and after scooting through Bering Strait they have had a cozy stay in Nome and now are heading south towards warmer waters.

It is sheer foolishness to suppress information, whether it be current or the history of the Jeanette in 1871. Yet we have seen the promotion of a narrative involving an “Arctic Death Spiral” long past its expiration date.  It included the idea the sea-ice was formerly solid, extending from shore to shore in the arctic, when we already knew the Arctic Ocean has always been riven by leads.  Even in the dead of winter, at temperatures far below zero, these frozen-over leads were thin enough for submarines to surface through in the 1950’s.

During the slushy summers areas of open water can become as large as small seas, far from where boats could reach, but were seen by the earliest Nimbus satellite pictures. The Nimbus picture below is from close to the sea-ice minimum, September 9, 1969, and shows a vast “hole” of open water, surrounded by sea-ice, north of Alaska.

To suppress such information is to create misinformation, and generates the narrative-supporting illusion that such sea-ice conditions are a new thing. However we do have three sailors navigating the ice and open waters seen in the above picture, 49 years later. Their description (translated) of conditions on an ice floe in a gale is hair raising:

Last night was very rough: in the late afternoon, our plate breaks in 2 in the swell despite being more than 3 miles from open water. Then the swell forces, the forecasts indicate a max towards 23 hours, the night will be long, it is gray, dark and wet … We take care as we can not to think too much about what is happening outside ; with Eric, we play a game of chess but we have trouble concentrating, the plates bump and move, it’s rather tense, we end up making quarters to monitor. 

But then conditions improved:

At 2 o’clock, it finally calms down and, in the morning, we discover a chaos of ice all around us, all the ice is broken, crushed.
We leave, there is still a little swell, it is not very comfortable in the middle of the ice then we navigate in open water for 5 hours and finally, we find the pack ice, first well broken then the plates become more in more beautiful. Under a beautiful sunset, it is difficult to stop and we are super happy to find the safety of the ice away from the open sea. Tonight, for the first time in a long time, we do not hear the water or the plates banging, we will sleep well! 

The great thing about these on-the-scene reporters is that they do not filter the truth. When it’s thawing they report  thawing, when it is freezing they report freezing. When it snowed in July they reported snow, when the above gale sucked Pacific air north they reported the rain. They have no preconceived narrative to cling to, and are immersed in the narrative called “present-tense reality”. They have their hands full dealing with the Truth the sea presents them with, hour by hour, and are having their eyes opened as only the sea can do.

We too are having our eyes opened by their reports, or should have our eyes opened if we have eyes to see with. For one thing, the “Death Spiral” is again debunked. Why? Because it is suppose to be an accelerating phenomenon; it is suppose to feed off itself; open water is suppose to absorb more sunshine making more open water. The death spiral is not allowed to go backwards. To have levels of sea-ice increase ruins the theory.

Instead of clinging to a failed narrative, and making somewhat absurd efforts to erase evidence that the narrative has failed, it would seem wiser to face the Truth, and cast about for a narrative that works better.

To seek a better narrative is in some ways to “fight city hall”, when the old narrative has involved considerable investments of money, power and prestige. Some say “you can’t fight city hall” and “if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em,” and in the eyes of such people to be a Skeptic of the “Death Spiral” is foolishness, and even a sort of social suicide. But I’m an old man, and can’t be foolish by going to sea anymore. So this offers me a new way of going cruising for a bruising.

A better narrative? Well, perhaps the sea-ice comes and goes due to influences of the AMO and PDO. (Tap tip to Joseph D’Aleo.)

 

Perhaps the sea-ice shrinks when the AMO is warm, and, on the Pacific side, when the PDO is warm. And perhaps the sea-ice grows back when the AMO and PDO turn cold. And guess what? Both cycles have recently moved from warm to neutral.

Stay tuned.

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ARCTIC SEA-ICE –Beaufort Gale Endangers Sailors– (Updated)

The anomalous area of low pressure I dubbed “Ralph” has strengthened into a gale, placing our on-the-scene reporters in danger.

When we last checked in on August 23 the high pressure “Sven” ruled the Beaufort Sea as a weakening “Ralph” ruled the Pole.

 

As both Sven and Ralph weakened winds slackened over the Beaufort Sea, but Ralph was recieving reinforcements, arriving from Barents Sea and bringing Atlantic moisture to feed Ralph. By August 26 our sailors knew they were in for a blow.

 

The past two days have seen winds increase over the Beaufort Sea, and I suspect our sailors are too busy to report. Prayers are in order.

 

 

 

As they made their way south they reported conditions similar to what the O-buoys showed us, which are not what some Climate Scientists portray. Sitting in warm offices the “experts” describe the areas of open water as places “absorbing heat”, and pontificate about the high albedo of unmelted sea-ice being replaced by the low albedo of open water, stating this will lead to Global Warming. People on the scene describe a situation that is anything but warm. Sebastien described the splashes of salt water freezing to his dry suit and the deck becoming very slippery.  Also the reflectivity of sea water rapidly increases as the sun lowers to the horizon, surpassing the reflectivity of dirty snow.

Albedo 375px-Water_reflectivity

The open water experienced, in reality, is not a warm place, by the end of August, and the man at the helm likes his hot soup.

B1 img jour65

They seem to depend on flat bergs of ice to haul up on, in order to rest.

B2 img jour66

However at this time of year the bergs are still melting from below, and rest can be disturbed. (Notice the snow is not slushy, but has a crust.)

B3 img jour67 bis

A flat expanse of ice they pushed the boat over can crack up in a matter of hours. (Notice the twin trails made by the catamaran hulls do not match up.)

B4 img jour67

As the ice breaks up what appears as 100% ice on a sea-ice map is no longer stuff you can pull a boat up upon to ride out a storm. In fact it becomes a churning, grinding mess you don’t want your boat to be in, in a storm.  (Notice the slush seems to be refreezing.)

B5 img jour69

At last report they were skirting the edge of this ice, heading east-southeast, looking for a larger and more solid berg to haul up on and ride out the storm on. If they find one, there is a chance it will break up under the duress of oceanic swells moving under the ice. If they can’t find one I doubt they will stay midst the grinding. They will have to face the storm on the open water, either hove-to behind a protective berg, or running downwind under a storm jib.

I don’t know what they expected to do, if they had actually crossed the Pole, and reached the Atlantic north of Svalbard.  The North Atlantic is not for sissies, yet they do not seem to have faith in their craft, in open waters in a storm. But sometimes you have to have faith in your boat even when you entertain doubts, and it is amazing what a small boat and stout men can get through. I hope this is not the last picture they send.

B6 img jour70

In their warm offices, sea-ice experts are likely hoping this storm churns the sea-ice and reduced the wiggly line on “extent”, “area”, and “volume” graphs, for they are worried they may lose funding if the so-called “Death Spiral” fails to manifest.

They have no idea what real life worries are.

UPDATE

They reached the edge of more solid ice, which is drifting east. They have decided to not risk the water, and instead to haul the boat over the ice to Sachs Harbor, 183 miles to the east. Fortunately the sea-ice is drifting that way, and if O-buoy 14’s history is anything to go by, they will continue to drift that way at this time of year (which is not the direction the Beaufort Gyre drifts; perhaps Bank’s Island forms an eddy.)

The drift, nearly a mile an hour, will slow as “Ralph” weakens, but today they will drift twenty miles the way they desire. Not bad.

Sachs Harbor has a population of 900, but does have an airport. They inhabitants will likely be delighted to see three Frenchmen appear out of the frozen sea, providing a Polar Bear  doesn’t find them first.

They’ll likely fly out, parking the boat there. Then the question will be, will they return and try again next summer?

But first they have to get there.

B7 img jour71

ARCTIC SEA ICE –Trapped Ships–

Whalers 2 1871_Whaling_Disaster

One great source for pre-satellite-era records of sea-ice is the logs of whaling ships. Alarmists of the sea-ice-breed are made very uncomfortable by the fact that greed, and daring, and desire-to-support-families, led whalers to seek the whales at the very edge of the sea-ice, which happened to be where plankton was prolific and life was lushest and whales tended to congregate.

When sea-ice Alarmists estimate the state of sea-ice in pre-satellite times they make some assumptions which likely are audacious and incorrect, such as that the extreme extent of 1979 was the “norm”.  The data we have, as a basis for old maps, is sparse, and sea-ice Alarmists infill areas that we have no data for with solid ice. Then they have big trouble explaining how it was sailing vessels were hunting in areas they claim were solid ice, considering a wooden whaling ship, powered by flapping sails, had none of the powers of a modern metal-prowed  icebreaker, powered by diesel or even uranium.

Whalers 1 whaling-disaster-pack-ice-300x211

The simple yet driving motivation was that back then whale-oil was a superior form of lighting a home. It was cleaner and brighter than tallow candles. Tallow was basically sheep-fat, and few purified it to lanolin. The poor burned tallow and the wealthy paid much more for whale oil. For a young man whaling was a more exciting and lucrative way to earn a living, than herding sheep.  Consequently men went to sea for whales, and the wealthy had whale oil lamps. Somewhat accidentally, in records of whaling clear back to the 1100’s, we have records of the edge of the sea-ice back to the 1500’s as whalers sought the northern seas where whales congregated, and from the old records we’ve gleaned sea-ice trivia, such as that there was open water by Svalbard in the early 1600’s.

Whale 6 1024px-Walvisvangst_bij_de_kust_van_Spitsbergen_-_Dutch_whalers_near_Spitsbergen_(Abraham_Storck,_1690)

The failure of sea-ice Alarmists to study history often gets a bit embarrassing.  They speak with supposed authority, and make asses of themselves. This has happened again, with the past summer’s Atlantic-to-Pacific flow pushing the sea ice away from the North coast of Greenland, and the media, with the help of discredited “experts” such as Peter Waldhams, blazing headlines about the open water north of Greenland being something that has never been seen before.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/aug/21/arctics-strongest-sea-ice-breaks-up-for-first-time-on-record

Whalers 6 greenland-north-open-water_13-aug-2018-nasa_nsidc-15-aug-2018-report

Peter Waldhams has garnered a lot of free publicity by, year after year, stating, in April. that the Pole would be ice free the following summer. Year after year he is proven incorrect. As people pay less and less attention to him he gets more and more desperate to attract attention, and this year he employed the emotional topic of cuddly polar bear cubs,  stating the polar bears cubs would starve, due to the ice shifting away from Greenland, (though he knows less than I do about polar bears).

Dr. Susan Crockford, who likely has scrutinized every published paper written about polar bears in English, as well as many in other languages,  promptly took him to task. Apparently polar bears simply do not live in northern Greenland, (nor do seals, nor, for that matter, do Eskimos).

Sea ice silly season: Wadhams spouts fake facts about polar bears of northern Greenland

I would like to add, to Susan’s excellent rebuttal, a few comments concerning other times the sea ice was absent on the north coast of Greenland, as was noted by Whalers of the past. (It gets a bit tiresome belaboring these old points, but the Waldhams of the world never listen, and my hammering-away never penetrates their thick skulls, so I have to be repetitive to counter their repetitive guff.)

Back around 2004 the late John Daly noted on his site that the British admiralty records of November, 1817, contain a statement that begins:

“It will without doubt have come to your Lordship’s knowledge that a considerable change of climate, inexplicable at present to us, must have taken place in the Circumpolar Regions, by which the severity of the cold that has for centuries past enclosed the seas in the high northern latitudes in an impenetrable barrier of ice has been during the last two years, greatly abated….”

I found this statement odd, for this disappearance of sea-ice occurred at the same time as very cold conditions occurred in Western Europe (though not in Eastern Europe) called “The Year Without A Summer”. I sought help in my quest for answers with this Post on “Watts Up With That” in 2013.

https://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/07/08/1815-1816-and-1817-a-polar-puzzle/

The comments from that post were wonderful and of great help to my continuing education. In a nutshell, what I have learned is:

Sea-ice usually piles up against northern Greenland due to the Transpolar Drift, and then either crunches west along the coast of the Canadian Archipelago or else east, where it is ordinarily flushed south through Fran Strait and down the east coast of Greenland. However this flow is by no means steady. O-buoy 9 taught us the sea-ice not only surges and retreats with every storm, but also with every tide.  In Fram Strait the  progress south is anything but regular, with “wrong-way” flows possible if the ordinary high pressure over Greenland’s icecap is replaced by low pressure. And, last but not least, there can be a major derangement of the ordinary flow, brought on (apparently) by volcanic eruptions and the onset of a “Quiet Sun”.

A highly unusual situation was created in 1816 by the onset of the Dalton Minimum coinciding with two of the millennium’s largest volcanic eruptions, in 1810 and 1815. The atmospheric flow, usually around the planet, was so perturbed it came right over the top and flushed a very large amount of the Pole’s sea-ice down into the Atlantic, so cooling the Atlantic’s water that Western Europe had a cold summer (sort of the opposite of this summer, when the water by Britain was warm.) Meanwhile the whalers, heading up into Fram Strait, were astonished by the lack of ice. Many parts of the North Greenland coast were first seen, explored, mapped and named, at that time. One whaler commented that, if his job was exploration and not hunting whales, he could have sailed to the Pole. Another apparently circumnavigated Greenland,  heading north through Fram Strait and then west and then south through Nare’s Strait into Baffin Bay.

In other words, two hundred years ago the sea-ice wasn’t merely nudged north from the north coast of Greenland. It was completely gone.

These reports greatly excited the British Admiralty, which had high hopes the climate was changing and a new trade route could be established over Canada to China. With the great war with Napoleon finished, they had a 600-ship-Navy sitting about doing very little, and therefore it was possible to embark upon a great 30-year period of exploration, seeking to find a Northwest Passage. Besides leading to the Franklin tragedy, it gave (and gives) us many other sea-ice observations, (which the likes of Peter Waldhams steadfastly and obstinately ignore).

Meanwhile it was getting harder and harder to find whales. One of the last places where whales were common was the North Pacific, up in Bering Strait. In 1846 the North Pacific fleet of whalers numbered 292 ships, but couldn’t supply enough oil. Prices were very high, and whaling was worth it. But so was seeking other sources of oil. Then, in 1858, a new supply became available in Pennsylvania.

Whaler 3 1862 Earlyoilfield

By 1871 the North Pacific Whaling fleet had shrunk to around 40 ships. Prices had crashed, and it simply wasn’t worth spending two years at sea getting oil, when railways had been built to Pennsylvania, and the new supply was just hours away.

In 1871 the final fleet, perhaps desperate for profits, was pressing it’s luck, north of Alaska in late August, and, on September 2, 33 of the ships were trapped by a wind shift that brought ice south against the shore of Alaska to their west, and then pressed more sea-ice in on them. A ship was crushed and a few others developed leaks, and the captains met to make a decision on whether to wait for the wind to shift, or to abandon their ships. On September 12 they chose to abandon their ships and travel 70 miles by longboat to the seven ships safe in open water, on the other side of where the ice was jammed against the Alaskan shore. (If they had waited two weeks a wind-shift would have opened a channel along the shore, but with the open water already starting to skim over with ice they were not willing to gamble.) They then enacted an amazing escape, with over a thousand people (including the wives and children of some captains), escaping to the seven surviving ships, which dumped their cargoes to make room for the people, and brought everyone safely to Hawaii in October. Not a life was lost, though whaling was basically finished, as a profitable business.

Besides being a good story, this history tells us there was open water north of Alaska in 1871, and makes sea-ice Alarmists look a little foolish when they suggest such open water on that coast is a new thing. How could it be a new thing, considering the Eskimos themselves were whalers, and went out whaling to the east of where commercial whalers dared to go? And also considering that the whales themselves need air to breathe and do not travel under solid ice? (Larger whales can break through ice that is a foot or two thick, but don’t like to trap themselves in such a predicament. When trapped by swift movements of sea-ice they remain trapped in areas of open water rather than diving under the thicker ice, even when attacked by polar bears at the edge.) (How whales know how thick the ice is, I can’t say.[sonar?])

My personal guess, judging from all I’ve read, is that the sea-ice is currently somewhat further from the coast of Alaska than “normal”, considering the PDO has been in it’s warm phase and we are still in the lagged-period after a “super El Nino” and a “noisy sun”.

People use the odd word “recovery” for the increase in sea-ice, when more sea-ice is usually related to periods of hardship for humanity. I think true “recovery” is less ice, and that we have been in a long-term “recovery” from the Little Ice Age, but I worry that the decrease in sea-ice that we have benefited from may be coming to an end, with the sun going “quiet.” The PDO has recently sunk back from its “warm” phase.

PDO June pdo_short

Also there are more obstructions to those seeking to complete the Northwest Passage this year than last year. Forgive me if I sound like a Global Cooling Alarmist, but there is thick sea-ice against the coast east of Barrow, thinner ice along the coast by the Mackenzie Delta, and a major plug of ice in Franklin Channel, preventing the use of a favorite shortcut.

 

Whalers 4 FullSizeRender

At this point we turn to our on-the-scene reporters, such as the family aboard the “Dogbark” (Hat tip to Nigel for supplying the link.) They found mostly ice-free water as far as Barrow. (Notice fresh snow on the roof, and ice on the distant horizon.) (Note: I  was unaware when posting that this picture automatically updates.)

Barrow Webcam

However east of Barrow they started to see more ice.

And then they received news Franklin Strait was starting to refreeze already, and also that a small boat, further east than they, was trapped.  So they chose to head back. They had discovered the arctic was not as “ice-free” as they supposed.

https://saildogbark.com/2018/08/22/dogbark-turns-back/

Meanwhile the three adventurers in the iceboat-catamaran we’ve been following are making excellent time, now that they chose to head back. The wind that opposed them is now with them. They are also moving into an area with scattered ice and much open water. They actually don’t want too much open water, as that allows seas to build and their craft is small. But the ice is drifting the right direction now, and they made nearly ten miles of progress one night, hauled up onto ice and sleeping. However the nights are swiftly getting longer and the cross-polar-flow puts them on the cold side of the Pole. They still face the danger old whalers faced, of being frozen to a standstill, and faced with a long hike.

This brings up an interesting point about the “extended summer” at the Pole, as seen by the DMI temperature graph.

This mildness at the Pole is largely due to the Atlantic air flowing that way, displacing the colder air towards Alaska and south of 80º north latitude (which is south of what the DMI graph measures.) The map below shows the sub-freezing temperatures displaced towards Bering Strait. (You should remember warm “noon” is up, in the map below, and cold “midnight” is down, towards Svalbard.)

The above shifting-of-cold-off-the-Pole made me wonder if a warmer Pole might be a sign of a colder autumn and winter, in places further south, because cold air wasn’t hanging around up at the Pole, and instead was exiting south. So I decided to compare the DMI gtraphs for one of the warmest autumns I recall, when there was no frost (in my garden) until mid-November (on the coast of Maine), to the following year, when it was so cold there was already sea-smoke in late November. The two autumns were 1975 (left) and 1976 (right).

 

 

In this example, when it was colder at the Pole it was a warm autumn on the coast of Maine, while, when it was warmer at the Pole, Maine experienced an early onset to winter.

While this is admittedly a single example, it does suggest (to me at least) that we are better off further south when the cold stays up at the Pole. However this August the cross-polar-flow is continuing on, past the Pole and past Alaska, all the way south through Montana to Texas, which creates a reactionary flow up the east coast of the USA, and makes it amazingly wet and muggy here in New Hampshire, in the summer, (but suggests coastal snowstorms for our winter). For summertime, when the storm-tracks usually stay quietly demure to the north, the current storm-track seems loopy and winter-like,

Of course this pattern can change. I should leave the long-range stuff to the masters like D’Aleo and Bastardi.  In fact there already seems to be a shift in the cross polar flow, from Atlantic-to-Pacific to Siberia-to-Alaska. Not that we haven’t seen some Siberia-to-Alaska stuff all summer, in the form of weak versions of “Ralph” (low pressure) swinging across in a fight with the Siberian”Igor” (high pressure), for domination of the Pole.  What has been most striking (to me) is that things don’t travel around the Pole, and the flows seem far more meridional (loopy) than zonal.

Most recently we saw a shift. Rather than high pressure from Siberia we saw a Scandinavian high “Sven” head north behind the last Siberia-to-Alaska”Ralph”. Incidentally Sven’s appearance was what convinced our three adventurers that headwinds would defeat their effort to reach the Pole.  However Sven was followed by an Atlantic version of Ralph, and this sneak-attack-from-the-rear bumped Sven off the Pole into the Beaufort Sea, right over our sailors.

Let’s look at the maps.

On August 17 Sven expanded north as the last Siberian “Ralph” retreated down into Canada. (Ironically, Sven’s expansion briefly gave our sailors southern headwinds just when they turned south to escape northerly headwinds.)

Then, by August 20, Sven had shifted across the Pole and was scooting the sailors swiftly down towards Alaska. An Atlantic low was deciding not to do the normal thing, which would be to prefer the warm waters and updrafts over the Siberian coast, but instead to counter-intuitively head north for the  downdraft-inducing cold sea-ice of the Pole. Why? Perhaps Sven deflected it, or perhaps the old remnants of the Siberian “Ralph” across Baffin Bay attracted it, (or perhaps both), but in any case a new “Ralph” was born.

 

 

By August 22 the clash between Sven and Ralph was creating a new cross-polar flow from Siberia to Canada. Ice was being pushed back towards Greenland, rather than away. (Media crickets).  Our sailors were still getting north winds that help them. Less Atlantic moisture was being drawn north.

Noon is up, in the map above, whereas noon is down, in the map below. Notice how much colder the Pacific side is, in the map below. Night is having an increasing effect in the north, as it swings around the Pole like the hand of a clock, or like a spoon stirring a pot.

 

This morning Ralph has conquered the Pole. (I would appreciate it very much if people forgot the forecast I made last spring, stating that we would not see Ralph reappear, due to what I thought the lagged effects of the La Nina would be, for, “Thar He blows!”) (And models suggest he will stay a while.)

For those interested, here is the sea-ice “extent” graph. (Yawn.) Due to the thickness of the remaining ice at the Pole, I think the future graph is more likely to copy the navy-blue 2014 line, than the green 2016 line, as we approach the yearly minimum.

And here is the comparison of thickness between last year (left) and this year (right):

 

Generally speaking, the ice has been pushed from the Atlantic side to the Pacific side. If you are a sea-ice Alarmist I suggest you focus on the Atlantic side, and how the sea-ice has been pushed north from Franz Josef Land, Svalbard and Greenland.  Pay no attention to how this push has compressed and thickened the sea-ice in the Central Arctic, nor to how the sea-ice off Eastern Siberia and Alaska has increased, where there was open water last year.

Me? I am intrigued by the cross-polar-flows, and how they feed the creation of “Ralph” at the Pole. I am mulling it over, and comparing it with the amazing cross-polar-flow of around 1816, which dumped so much ice down into the Atlantic, to a point sea-ice even was drifting up on the beaches of Ireland.  Hmm. If that happened again it would likely involve me in all sorts of squabbles, because I’d be suggesting the Quiet Sun, and not CO2, was the boss.

I think these squabbles occur because I attend to the study of the past, whereas the Waldhams of the world have no clue what happened, and are largely inventing things out of whole cloth, because it “sounds right” and “feels right”.

But at least there is one thing we can all agree upon.  It is this: Al Gore was wrong, and the arctic will not be ice-free by 2014.

Stay tuned.

ARCTIC SEA ICE –Ice-boating Polewards–(Updated)

In my last post I touched upon the state of enchantment brought on by the sea. Bankers likely deem it a form of mental illness, but I hold that Bankers are the true sickos.  They cling to cold gold and call it “securities”, but there’s no way to keep death from knocking someday on your door, and then bankers will see just how secure they actually are. The bankers who make lots of other people insecure in their attempts to be “safe” themselves will then face a day of reckoning, like a sailor facing a storm at sea, and the form of enchantment they then experience will between them and God. But, for now, they can’t even imagine such a  world, unshackled by deeds and mortgages, exists. But sailors can, and it draws them out to sea, where there are no fences; out over swells into situations that many would shake their heads at, seeing only discomfort.

One such adventurer is named Sebastien Roubiret, who has taken it into his head that it would be fun to sail over the North Pole, from Barrow, Alaska to Svalbard in the North Atlantic.

Iceboat 1 26410445737319772004

At some point Sebastien must have noticed that an iceboat that skims over frozen lakes is similar in shape to a water-skimming catamaran, for he has worked very hard creating a craft that does both.

Iceboat 2 photo-1571-800-600-80

He traversed the Northwest Passage in 2007, in a trimaran  with no engine, which may have been the first time the Passage was made by sail alone. Then he attempted to cross the pole in 2011, an attempt aborted by various structural weakness, which he likely learned from.Then perhaps encouraged by the low-ice year of 2012, he and a friend named  Vincent attempted to cross the Pole in 2013, and swiftly learned sea-ice isn’t flat.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

There often are pressure ridges parallel to the coast of Alaska, formed by the ice crushing against that coast. Sometimes (like this year) they remain right against the coast, but other years they can be blown many miles north, while retaining their structure. In either case they present formidable obstacles, and were described by one man skiing to the Pole as “crazy ice.” Once past these mini-mountain-ranges the ice tends to be flatter, but Sebastian had to battle to get north, often making more progress due to the eastward-drifting Beaufort Gyre than northwards, due to their own efforts.

Iceboat 4 photo 26 juillet 2013

Whatever you may say about the sanity of such adventurers, they do serve as on-the-scene reporters, and innocently describe things which flummox both Alarmist and Skeptics alike. No satellite could see the 50°F (+10C°) temperatures they experienced in the middle of thick and very dirty ice, one day.

Iceboat 5 photo 20 juillet 2013

The dirtiness of the ice, so far from shore, sparked interesting debate, largely between those who thought it was pollution from Chinese power plants and those who felt it was volcanic ash. However a new idea arose that it was algae that grows on the bottom of the ice, incorporated into ice when it freezes and thickens in the fall, and concentrated when ice melts and becomes multi-year ice., and sometimes brought to the top of the ice when ice is flipped like a pancake by storms. It did seem to so darken the ice that more sunshine was absorbed and local temperatures were higher, but there was some consternation among Alarmists in 2013 because, despite all this surface heat, the ice was refusing to melt in the manner they expected. Likely the big storm in 2012 used up and disturbed all the slightly warmer water in the pyctocline, and the water under the ice was colder, but whatever the cause was, the sea-ice refused to melt in 2013 as many Alarmists had confidently forecast.

As August passed the boat struggled north, making better time on flatter ice, as much as 35 miles in one day, but temperatures drop rapidly in August, and hoarfrost grew on the boom and rigging.

Iceboat 6 photo 11 aout 2013

They continued to battle north. As I watched the big gale of 2013 brew up, and saw it fail to melt ice in the manner of the 2012 gale, and typed comments from my cozy computer, they were out in that gale. They struggled on as temperatures dropped below zero (-17°C) in early September, passing 82°N latitude,

Iceboat 8 photo 26 aout 2013

But finally they had to give up and accept an ignominious rescue from the Russian icebreaker Admiral Makarov.

Iceboat 7 photo 8 septembre 2013

The log of their 2013 attempt (in french) can be found here:

https://www.sebroubinet.eu/english/la-voie-du-pole-logbook.html

If you think that adventure would be enough for any man, you don’t know sailors. Sebastien got to work crowd-sourcing, and finding sponsors (such as the makers of the solar panels on the side of the boat, and the people advertising on the sails), and worked on a new and improved craft, and this time he found two crewmates willing to go on an adventure.

Like last time, the ice is worse than the year before, with sea-ice right up against the shore in Alaska. (2017 left, 2018 right)

 

 

Again they’ve had to battle through pressure ridges to find flatter ice.

Iceboat 9 img jour10

 

Again they’ve experienced summer warmth that will be good publicity for those who wish to promote the idea of Global Warming.

Iceboat 10 img jour25

Above is a great publicity shot for Alarmists. Not that Sebastien has bought into all that. He’s been dealing with the arctic at least since 2007, and likely knows there is more sea-ice this year than there was in 2007.

I just pray those fellows don’t get too cavalier about the dangers they are midst. Just a few years back we lost two experienced scientists who were careless, skiing across ice in their long underwear on a hot day. The water under the ice is salt water, chilled below the freezing point of human blood, and a man can die in five minutes in such water. These three have described breaking through rotten ice up to their thighs. But perhaps I’m a worry wart and a party pooping old pill.

They certainly seem happy.  They are finally making some progress north over flatter ice.

Iceboat 11 img jour31

 

The most recent log posting seemed especially joyous.

It was not until the afternoon, after 8 miles on the ice, to begin to see darker clouds, which means that there is water below! We aim directly at the dark gray and we find … water!
it’s done in two stages: we sail on the water for a short time before returning to the ice.Then, we find the water with the fog. At this point, we are far from imagining that we will sail until late in the evening. And that’s what we do. There is almost no more ice and we are looking for fresh water to drink (water from the melt lakes on the ice). Who would have believed it ?
Tonight, we sleep above the 71 ° North and it became difficult to find a correct plate to install the camp. 
The day is not over because Seb must get to work to repair the saffron, nothing serious but it must be done!
We can not wait to be tomorrow.
The icing on the cake: we had the company of belouga and seals all day, it’s beautiful, we never get tired in the Arctic.

Iceboat 12 img jour33

Who do you suppose is richer: These young men or a banker?

(We’ll see if they’re singing the same tune a month from now, when temperatures start to plunge. But, for today, I envy them. Not that I don’t also pray for them.)

You can follow their log, in French, here:

https://www.sebroubinet.eu/la-voie-du-pole_nouvelles.html

(Hat tip: Stewart Pid)

Tuesday Night Update

They are well north of 72° latitude now, picking their way through scattered bergs, which is likely a great relief after dragging their boat over ice. (I get the feeling their craft doesn’t often coast over ice like an iceboat on a lake.)

The fact they are now boating north exposes some misconceptions we get from maps we use. Maps often show solid color for an area a boat can get through, for example, “50% ice”. That is also an area that is 50% open water. By carefully steering (and also by having a drone that can fly ahead to scout out the best routes) one can get around the bergs, and need not spend 50% of their time dragging the boat over bergs.

The “thickness” maps have several problems. First they tend to average out the thickness, so that an area that is 50% covered with 6 foot bergs will look entirely covered by ice three feet thick. An area 25% covered by 6 foot bergs will look entirely covered by ice 18 inches thick. Second, there is the constant confusion between melt-water pools and open water. I have observed melt-water pools, especially when they have black stuff on their bottoms, (soot, volcanic ash, algae, or all three), melt down until the bottom fell out and they were round windows to the deeps. Imagine how difficult it must be to determine when a pool is atop ice, and when it is open water, from miles away, up where satellites fly.

For this reason it is far better to have a “reporter on the scene.” If we can’t have our O-buoys and North Pole Camera, then we will have to settle with what we can glean from icebreakers and adventurers.

I’d also like to respond to some who seem to think the three men aboard the boat are silly tree-huggers. Wrong. Perhaps they are young and foolish, but they are aware they are at risk. They may be enjoying themselves, but it isn’t a game. Most tree-huggers don’t have encounters with 1500 pound bears, as Sebastien had in 2013.

Iceboat 13 photo 3 aout 2013

This particular bear was apparently untroubled when peppered with bird-shot, but did amble away when they shot a flare at its feet. But that is history. The point I wish to make is that Sebastien has been here before, and is well aware the halcyon days of summer are short lived. He is under no illusions about what lies ahead in September, when temperatures plunge. Currently temperatures are slightly below normal, but above freezing. But look ahead and see how they plunge in September.

DMI5 0724 meanT_2018

The DMI maps show us that already the below-freezing isotherm is becoming a little more common. Also the anomalous low pressure I’ve dubbed “Ralph” keeps attempting to knock more typical high pressure from the area. The last “Ralph” is fading into the Canadian Archipelago, but a new one is deepening and taking the same route, from East Siberia to Canada, ahead of them. While it has been assisting them with following winds, they are about to be faced with head winds.

Stay tuned.

ARCTIC SEA-ICE –Marooned–

In my old age I am becoming a bit of an armchair adventurer. My armchair makes me like a man marooned on an island; it may be tropical and comfortable, but it’s darn boring. I want to quit the island and go to sea, but old men become too feeble to crew. Then, because I lack the stamina to go out and get myself in trouble any more, I instead read about others going out and getting in trouble. This then gives me bits of factual trivia, which I can then use, to get in trouble from the supposed safety of my armchair.

When my Dad was old his manner of “livening things up a bit” was to annoy someone like my older sister by being atrociously politically-incorrect. He wasn’t very racist, but would intentionally make some statement that made my sister’s hair stand up. Of course, when she was younger she had a militant zeal that made it very easy to offend her. I used to do it all the time innocently, without meaning it. For example, one time I called a man from China a China-man, and my big sister exploded, “What do you mean by that!?” Backpedaling across the room and looking for a window to escape through, I quavered, “A man from China?”

I’m getting a bit like my Dad, in that I backpedal less, and tend to just be amused when others get mad. For example, one way to get people fuming is to call an Eskimo an Eskimo. You are suppose to call them “Inuit”, and if you use the word “Eskimo” it means you lack spiritual grace. I then beg to differ, by hitting them with some armchair trivia:

The word “Eskimo” means “People who lash on a snowshoe”, and it is a good, solid, Native American word. I see nothing racist about it, unless it is racist to notice a neighboring culture is different. It was used by the Innu to describe outsiders, and likely specifically applied to the Micmac to the southeast, but also more generally applied to my Abenaki ancestors to the south and to what are now called Inuit to the north.  The original word sounded something like “ayasâkimew”, and it took the French to mangle it into its current form in English. In any case, I don’t think it bothers Eskimos to be called Eskimos, as much as it bothers university prigs, (who dislike being called “university prigs” even more than they dislike Eskimo being called Eskimo.)

I respect the word “Inuit”, as the word Eskimos use to describe themselves, and also respect the word “qallunaat”,  which is the word they use to describe outsiders. It means, “People who jump to conclusions”, which some prigs might say is a heck of a lot more racist than “People who lash on snowshoes”. But I don’t take offence at all.

When I lived out west I spent a lot of time living with Navajo, and discovered their name for themselves was “Dinè”, which means “the People”,  and their word for white Europeans was “Belighana”, which meant, “People who we fought”. I never got in a single fight with the Navajo, and sure wasn’t going to start one, about what I was called. I don’t object to how words are defined, for I tend to feel language is a beautiful thing.

In fact, if I was going to quibble with the Eskimo it would be that they don’t show proper respect for the English language. A sacred English-language tradition I was taught by my elders is that the letter “Q” must always be followed by the letter “U”. Because the pen is mightier than the sword, great power is involved, and you sure don’t want to mess with a power more mighty than a sword. (Of course, it was probably university prigs who mangled the spelling of Eskimo words.)

As a person uneducated by university-morality, but taught by Masters about the power of the English word, I advise Eskimos to reject the misuse of the letter “Q”. (It doesn’t even make sense, as the word “qallunaat” sounds, to the average ear,  like it begins with a hoarse “H”.) I hereby warn Eskimos that it is very bad luck and “bad medicine” to use a “Q” without a “U” following it. Bad things happened to me when I tried it, in school. And just look what has happened to the nation of Iraq.

In any case, you can perhaps imagine the trouble I can get into, sitting here in my armchair, when I ventilate such views. Perhaps it is not as much fun as sailing in a stormy sea, but it does “liven things up a bit”.

One rule I try to uphold, while trying to stir things up, is to stick to the Truth. There is no need to use any sort of falsification, to get people going.

I see this all the time when discussing Global Warming. Truth drives people absolutely wild, and in many ways they seem to prefer to be told bunkum. Why does this happen? I suppose this phenomenon occurs because, once we have used a smattering of data to create the assumptions we call “a belief”, it is annoying to have to dismantle the assumption and start all over again.

The more data that goes into making the assumption, the harder it is to dismantle. It doesn’t matter if the belief is in “God” or is in “There-is-no-God”, people resist seeing their belief dismantled, and when their belief is dismantled they can experience trauma and even go into shock. Therefore it may seem cruel of me to “liven things up a bit”. I try to know when enough is enough, and not to “liven things up too much.” However there are some people who deserve a shock close to that of an electric chair. They are often either “university prigs” or “overbearing Christians”, and can be so rude and obnoxious, when pontificating how righteous their beliefs are, that they deserve to be shocked by Truth, and having their high-nosed utterances exposed as being balderdash and blather. And this is precisely what Jesus did, when he tore a strip off the Pharisees (Matthew Chapter 23), poking fun at their ostentatious tassels and phylacteries, and saying they “strain at a gnat and swallow a camel”. Of course, he did get crucified, which may explain why I am more of a coward. I just speak itty-bitty Truths, about far-away sea-ice.

Besides those (like me) who get in trouble for questioning Global Warming, there are those who get praised for speaking bunkum. This is called “supporting the narrative”. People are placated and feel soothed when they hear things that they already believe. This is why some websites (both Alarmist and Skeptic) are basically echo chambers full of parrots, and delete differing views. They don’t want anyone “livening things up a bit”. But I find such sites more boring than the company of a corpse, for, even though a corpse has nothing to say, it at least scares you a bit. The only thing scary about an echo-chamber-website is that the people in it find delusion soothing. Far better are sites alive with discussion.

One bit of silky-smooth, scientific-sounding bumkum I once heard, regarding sea-ice, was after a very low sea-ice extent, the summer of 2012. Basically the premise was that the ice would be even less the following summers, and be largely gone by the summer of 2015. We now know such a premise is bunkum, for the sea-ice is still with us, but the premise sounded feasible at the time. However what seemed most impressively scientific-sounding was the “mechanics” involved, supporting the premise.

The suggestion was made that, because so much new “baby-ice” had formed during the winter of 2012-2013, the summer of 2013 would see more melt-water pools. Why? Because old, multi-year ice was crumpled and uneven, and melt-water would run off surfaces with a pitch, but baby-ice was nice and flat, and many more pools would form. Why would this speed the melting of ice? Well, melt-water would be darker than white snow, and would absorb more heat from the sunshine. It was an eloquent explanation. But then I came along and spoiled things with the Truth.  What Truth did I state? Well, there were cameras bobbing around on arctic buoys, and they did not show smoother ice. In fact there were more pressure-ridges than were seen before. There were also adventurers out on the ice, and the pictures on their Facebook pages did not show smoother ice. In fact one adventurer stated he had never before seen sea-ice so riven and tortured, and he dubbed it “crazy ice”. These observations revealed that the above-described “mechanics” of the original premise, although silky-smooth and scientific-sounding, was built upon bunkum.

Just in the past few weeks a silky-smooth hypothesis has been offered for the very thick sea-ice that piled up on the coast of Newfoundland, which caused problems for the fishermen up there. It was explained that the striking increase in thicker amounts of piled-up sea-ice seen on the Newfoundland coast was due to Global Warming melting sea-ice. (Huh?) A lovely explanation then was given, stating the phenomenon was like Styrofoam in a bathtub. (Eh?) If the bathtub was full of Styrofoam from side to side, you could puff at a piece of the foam and the Styrofoam wouldn’t budge, for there was no space for it to move. However if the tub’s surface was only half full there would be space for Styrofoam to move, and when you puffed at a piece of Styrofoam it would scoot over the surface. Less was more, for less Styrofoam meant the Styrofoam could move more. And this explained how less sea-ice could move more, down to the shores of Newfoundland and, in that one place, “look” like more, though there was in fact less.

Don’t you just love it when a scientist comes down to our level and explains things in terms we little children can understand? We should all nod and wear enlightened expressions and say “eureka” and nod some more. But then I came along and spoiled things with the Truth.

It just so happens that, due to the need to resupply the Hudson Bay company trading posts, we have 350 years of records of sea-ice conditions in that area. There were also whaling ships that sailed further north after whales, and we can consult their ship-logs. Also British explorers, who sought ways through the Northwest Passage, kept surprisingly scientific records, and American explorers who wanted to be the first to reach the North Pole also kept records. And finally, because I, in my armchair, like to get away on vicarious adventures  involving the daring exploits of sailors, I have perused these stories, and consequentially (and somewhat accidentally) my memory owns all sorts of trivia about sea-ice conditions of the past. Therefore I immediately recognized the bunkum involved, in the statement that sea-ice is now more mobile than it once was,  due to Global Warming.

One adventure I was awed by was that of a group of men camped on the sea-ice beside a ship, who woke one morning  to see the ice they were on had broken away from the ship, leaving the sailors and their Eskimo guides marooned on sea-ice, far from their ship. This occurred at the very top of Baffin Bay, by Nares Strait. Then these men drifted over 1800 miles south aboard their berg, to a rescue by sealers off the coast of Newfoundland.

Crunch 6 Polaris_Expedition_route

 

This adventure does tend to suggest that sea-ice moved in the past as it moves today, and that history, in turn, suggests that such motion is not merely a modern thing, and is not caused by Global Warming, and, in conclusion, that suggesting otherwise is pure bunkum.

But I gained other trivia as well, for one does wonder why the men on the ship didn’t pick up the marooned crew. One scrutinizes the history for the reasons. And it turns out the expedition was government-funded science.

Oh boy, can I ever have fun with this!

Unfortunately I don’t have time, at the moment. As a teaser, I’ll just state the captain was murdered, there was a lot of drunkenness, half the crew drifted off on an iceberg, the boat later sank, but (miraculously, considering how unforgiving the arctic can be), no once else died.

The moral of the tale I hope to tell will be that a ship needs one captain who is obeyed, and that to sail by a bureaucratic committee is bound to be a debacle.  Politics always complicates leadership, because in-fighting and jockeying-for-position results in either overt, or subtle and secret, mutiny.

And Science? Science involves all sorts of debate, but there should be no doubt who the captain is. The captain is Truth.

Truth is not honored when the second half of this motto is followed: “If you can’t dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with bullshit.” And bullshit is just another word for bunkum. And, sadly, climate science has allowed political and financial pressure to make bunkum just another word for Global Warming.

(If you are interested in the men marooned on the iceberg, check out this old book, written in 1874, and containing views that are likely not entirely objective. (But are we ever?) The time adrift-on-a-berg begins in chapter sixteen.)

https://books.google.com/books?id=LkANAQAAIAAJ&pg=PA421&lpg=PA421&dq=Emil+Bessel&source=bl&ots=y7DLxblPf6&sig=001dhyOkOWFivQDA4eq2xTfU228&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjijrvrt4zaAhVr64MKHa-SAHQQ6AEINjAE#v=onepage&q=Emil%20Bessel&f=false

 

 

 

 

ARCTIC SEA ICE –Whaler Gales–

The modern millennial likely would not approve of the life Whaler’s lived, seeing them as back-stabbers, but Whaler’s lived in a society where if you did not produce food, clothing and shelter you would not receive food, clothing and shelter. The choice was quite simple, back then: Work your ass off, or freeze and starve in rags. It was downright Biblical, “For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat.”

Given this choice, men and women in the times Whalers sailed were motivated to do far more than the millennial mentality allows. There were no trophies for “participating,” for life was clearly a matter of life or death. Winning was life, and losing was death, and it was left to the angels in heaven to decide whether the dead got a “participation trophy.”

Not that people back then didn’t believe that certain losers, called “martyrs”, did get a “participation trophy” of far greater value than the plastic objects handed out to modern losers. However it was because they had given the ultimate sacrifice, their own life, so that others might live. Life and living was still the focus, and there was the awareness that in order to give, and be charitable, you must have. And in order to have, you must work your ass off. You must have a life worth living in order to perform the ultimate charity, and give your life away as a martyr.

Millennials seem confused about the basic premise which states one must have something to begin with, in order to be charitable. Some millennials indeed have things completely backwards. Where, in fact, an act of charity leaves one with less materially than one started with (though one may be richer spiritually), millennials feel they should wind up with more materially, if they are charitable. They only “give” because the pay is good; a “non-profit” should be highly lucrative; a “public servant” taxes those he supposedly serves. This colossal ignorance represents a complete redefinition of the word, “charity.”

This can only have occurred because millennials were misguided. Somehow they were misled into thinking you could give without first working your ass off. Perhaps this ignorance began with the ability of governments to reap without sowing, by printing money that didn’t exist. Who knows? I wasn’t there and I refuse to take responsibility for starting it.

I will accepts a certain amount of responsibility for perpetuating the lunacy of thinking charity is profitable. After all, I am a “Child Care Professional”, which means I profit off caring for small children. It is a shameful profession, for little children have no wallets, and to make money off innocents is surely a vile exploitation. The only redeeming factor is that the pay stinks, so I don’t share the shame of those who get filthy rich being “charitable.” However far better was the old ways of the old days, when a mother charged nothing for her milk.

Some of the worst offenders are psychiatrists, who do get filthy rich by helping the troubled. Likely they are aware of the shame involved, for no other adult occupation matches their rate of suicide. However, until they crack up, they like to sit in their stultifying offices and criticize whalers sailing out in the open air. They like to raise their noses and invent fancy words that demonstrate their contempt for honest men working honest jobs. To harpoon a whale is “sadism”, and the suffering of life on the pounding sea is “masochism.”

This only demonstrates their appalling ignorance, for they can have no idea how wonderful the wildness of whaling was, and that the people involved lost fortunes as often as they made them, but chose that life because a Nantucket sleigh-ride was the opposite of stultifying.

Arctic Whalers 2 1000 dpi un framed

Even though it did not always end well.

Arctic Whalers 3 3ae5bc1d-052d-40e0-80c5-83bff1f82e77

In any case, the daring lifestyle of Whalers took them to where whales congregate, and one such place was the edge of the arctic sea-ice.

Arctic Whalers 1 Arctic-Whalers

It is from these men we learn most about how the sea-ice has expanded and contracted in the past. Because whales like to push their limits, (because the edge of the ice hold the richest foods), and because even whales sometimes pushed their limits too far and were trapped in pockets of open water and eventually killed by expanding ice, (because whales cannot breath if they have to swim too great a distance under ice),  whalers were tempted to pursue the whales into compromising situations. Whaling ships were also trapped, and crushed, and crews only survived by hauling lifeboats south over sea-ice to land, or to open water.

Some captains, such as William Scoresby (Junior), kept amazingly scientific and accurate logs, but most captains had no idea we intellectuals-of-the-future would ever wonder what they saw, and bicker about what the sea-ice was like back then.  Their logs are far less scientific, yet we can learn much from them.

For example, in 1871 forty ships sailed north of Bering Strait in June, and proceeded to hunt whale along the coast of Alaska nearly as far as Barrow during July and early August, but then the winds shifted and the ice came crushing south and trapped all but seven of the ships. 1219 lives were on the line.

At this point I suppose certain people of the “vegan” persuasion are clapping their hands in glee. They hate the idea of men stabbing whales in the back, and if you visit their websites you discover their hatred does not frown upon wishing death upon fellow humans, if those humans feed children with meat. Nor would it trouble them much to learn that some captains had their sons and even wives aboard, so the 1219 doomed people included women and children. Certain vegan types basically loathe humanity, preferring beasts, and snicker when true saints weep.  The fact whales also were trapped by the southern surge of sea-ice wouldn’t trouble them much, as it would be well worth the glee of seeing 1219 evil “hunters”die.

Some of these people would also be glad to see so many ships destroyed. Even though they were mass-produced very cheaply in the shipyards of those times, they were worth roughly a million dollars each (in modern dollars), (though you could never build such a ship for a mere million dollars today.) (Each ship must hold a crew of 25.)  In any case, 33 lost ships represented a loss of 33 million dollars for the investors. The vegan mentality claps its hands in glee, for, though some have never made an honest dollar in their lives and dwell in a mother’s basement, they prefer to avoid their own motivations and instead accuse others of “greed”.

The problem with this idea is that, if greed alone was the motivation, many captains would have gotten out when the going was good. Having made their fortune, they would have stayed home. They were well aware of the risks involved. Why should they risk losing a fortune they’d already made? Yet some of the captains involved had made and lost fortunes more than once. This suggests something besides greed was involved. It suggests men might live for something other than profit. It suggests men might rejoice in the sheer challenge of the sea.

Not that some of the “vegan” mindset can comprehend the joy of such danger. A person who loves danger will seldom hide in his mother’s basement, (unless he understands that is a dangerous place for a man to be).

(As a daredevil who has experienced both storms at sea and living in my mother’s basement, I will testify the sea has a beauty and joy which basements utterly lack, and for that reason a basement may be more dangerous. But the basement’s chief danger involves cowardice, while the sea brings out your courage.)

It is the courage of the doomed 1219 that really stands out. They knew, as the sun sank and September chills filled the air, and the ship’s timbers moaned under the stress of the increasing sea-ice, that the sea-ice wasn’t going to miraculously open and allow them to sail to unload cargo at the home port. It wan’t going to be a happy, profitable voyage. It was going to be one of the unprofitable ones they’d heard tales about. From members of the crew. If not the captain himself. So they knew it was time to abandon ship. They lowered the lifeboats, but not to water. The lifeboats went “clunk” on hard sea-ice, and then served as sleds, as 1219 doomed people headed south for land.

1219 made it to land, and then headed southwest along the Alaskan coast, to where the sea-ice didn’t crunch against the coast. And what did they find there? They found the seven smart captains who had escaped the sea-ice. They were the seven winners, and faced a choice of what to do with the 33 losers.

Now, if the seven winners happened to be like some “vegan” I’ve known, then when faced with 33 loser “meat-eaters” in dire danger, they would not lift a finger to help. They’d likely shriek, “Die! Die! Die! For you deserve it, because you are greedy and cruel to whales!”

In actual fact the seven smart captains may have made a choice that the stock-holders far away frowned at.  They dumped the entire profits of their voyages overboard, to make room for the 1219 lives they saved.

The end of the story is that millions of dollars were lost, but not a single life. The 1219 all arrived safely in the sunny south, to bask beneath the palms of Honolulu.

Knowing this, perhaps you can understand why I am less than trustful of those who write a sort of revisionist history, describing Whalers as being wicked, sadistic, greedy men. Surely they were not perfect, but they had a class you seldom see these days.

Consider, if you will, the class displayed by the seven captains who saved 1219. Talk about charity! They could have been rich, but instead chose to be poor and save 1219 lives.

And then consider how different are seven Climate Scientists. They have been nowhere and done nothing, in reality, though they may have jet-setted to Bali and Paris, spending other people’s money to talk nonsense they could have just as well talked (with less expense)  at home. All their adventuring is in a mother’s basement, with the “mother” being the funding of a government which cannot make money, and instead must print it. It is a landscape devoid of the reality where one must actually catch a whale. And, rather than demonstrating sacrifices they themselves must make to save people, they instead utter strident cries that others should sacrifice, so they (and hypothetical future generations) can profit and do “further research”. It is an intellectual world so divorced from catching whales, from hard facts, from food, clothing and shelter, that I can only conclude it is stark madness.

It is perhaps fortunate that I wasted a winter in my mother’s basement long ago, for I know how the mind can stray from reality in such circumstances, inventing excuses for not leaving shelter, concocting elaborate blamings of others for ones own spineless reluctance to go out into the cold. But I got sick of it, and faced a stark dawn where the choice between fresh air and stultification, between sanity and insanity, was blatant. So I stepped out into the cold, and discovered something that surprised me: Life is a blast. One may not be able to sign up to crew on a whaling ship any more, but there is plenty of fresh air out there, if one only leaves the basement.

Perhaps there are now simply fewer opportunities for millennials to work meaningful jobs, where they can see they actually produce food, clothing and shelter. A lone man in a tractor can now do the farming and produce the food which once would have taken hundreds, if not thousands, of toiling farmers to produce. Robots now do the tedious toil, but should not this allow people to be poets? To study Truth? Instead many just become nasty, and disingenuous, and more prone to con-artistry than to art.

It is for this reason I distrust ideas that seem to be produced in a setting like a Mom’s basement, and have a greater trust of ideas that seem from the decks of ships at sea. I am skeptical of data from models, and more interested the raw facts from “field studies”. And this is most especially true when the maps and graphs produced by professors in cozy offices differ significantly from what is shown, (often without comment) by their interns out on the ice. Or by the floating cameras out on the ice. Or by the adventurers out on the ice. Or by the historical records of Whalers who sailed long ago, and never dreamed a society could exist that is in the state ours is in.

This at long last brings me back to the topic of sea-ice, and the fact one can compare computer-generated ideas of what the sea-ice was like, back before we had satellite pictures, with the records kept by sailors. One discovers the two views disagree. Ships were sailing where the computer-generated maps state they could not have sailed. After all, William Parry observed a sailing ship could be brought to a halt by as little as an inch of sea-ice, unless there was a strong following wind. The people back then were not aboard icebreakers that smash through six feet of ice with impunity. Therefore their reports of open water are not “modeled”, but based on actual fact.

Even the old Danish sea-ice maps, which are decent regarding where the sea-ice lay on the European side of the Pole, tend to overdo the historical amount of sea-ice on the Pacific side. The old Eskimo (Inuit) spoke of whaling every year along the same coasts the Danish maps show as being gripped by ice. One surmises the Danes were just guessing, but the Eskimo, (perhaps the most gutsy whalers of all), not only spoke from experience, but their very survival was staked on there being open water. (One reason the Inuit replaced an earlier people called the “Dorset Culture” may be because the Inuit could hunt from kayaks while the Dorset required sea-ice, which in turn suggests times of thicker ice was advantageous to an earlier people, but losing that ice (perhaps during the Medieval Warm Period) put them at a disadvantage.)

The computer models, for some reason, show more sea-ice in the past than the Danes and Inuit reported. To me it seems the modelers have been so eager to demonstrate that sea-ice is decreasing, and in a “death spiral”, that they ignored the eyewitnesses, and the models became an example of “garbage in, garbage out.”

To get around such bias I have always preferred the eyewitnesses, whether they be Eskimos, Whalers, Explorers, O-buoys, Satellite pictures, or modern adventures sailing those waters.

The modern adventurers often are full of zeal, when it comes to promoting the idea that sea-ice is in a “death spiral”,  but that never bothers me, for they can talk the talk, but they also walk they walk. Often they inadvertently share a picture worth far more than a thousand words, for they share pictures of persisting sea-ice, even while agonizing about an ice-free Pole.

I am of the opinion that the Arctic Sea was at times ice-free, or nearly ice-free, as recently as the Medieval Warm Period. Though sea-ice has increased since then, it has not done so in a steady fashion, and the reports of whalers like William Scoresby seem to suggest there was one summer, around 1817, where there was less ice up in the Arctic Sea, on the Atlantic side, than we have ever seen, during our Modern Climate Optimum.

This pits me against some computer models, and it also, (to those who have great faith in those models), makes my observations seem a sort of heresy.  I try to point out that the models do not match the historical record, but some simply refuse to hear such a possibility can even exist.

I also try to point out that a return to the relatively sea-ice-free summer conditions of the Medieval Warm Period would be good for humanity,  but this also seems like sacrilege to those who think a decrease of sea-ice signifies doom.

In the end time will tell. I just watch what happens, and rue the fact we have so few cameras this year, (for the funding of eye-witness views seems to be greatly decreased).

Because we have so few cameras I am thrilled that a group of sailors, calling themselves “Arctic Mission”, are thinking of attempting to sail several boats north as far as they can:

https://www.facebook.com/ArcticMissionUK/

These are fellows following in the footsteps of the whalers of Yore, and testing the limits of the edge of the ice. I am not particularly concerned about their politics, (one fellow suggests there may be less sea-ice this year than any summer in 120,000 years), because Truth is better than politics, and these fellow will report the Truth.

A slight problem has occurred, as Truth doesn’t always involve fair weather. They were planning to have left Nome, Alaska by now, and to have headed up through Bering Strait, but rather than the summertime calms they expected, there have been gales in Bering Strait. So they are delayed.

Hmm. Is it just me, or is there some irony in the fact that in 1871 forty whaling ships made it north of Bering Strait in June, but these guys are delayed in August?

But I will not deny these fellows have guts to be attempting what they are attempting. They have not the vegan-mentality that stays at home. I’m a little worried they may get trapped up there. But they will give us eye-witness accounts of what the sea-ice is up to, and I personally value that more than any model.

In terms of weather, “Ralph” continues to storm up at the Pole, but high pressure pumped up over Siberia may be swung around to Bering Strait and give “Arctic Mission” some sunny sailing.

Subfreezing temperatures are becoming more common.

DMI4 0811 meanT_2017

Waters are open north of Bering Strait, but “Arctic Mission” should start meeting sea-ice at around 75° north latitude. (For some reason NRL hasn’t updated its maps for three days.)

Thickness 20170811 Attachment-1

Our lone camera shows the thaw has resumed after a sharp freeze, south of Parry Channel. The melt-water pools briefly skimmed with ice, but now are again expanding. Much of the melting now comes from beneath, and the ice should soon break up even if a freeze occurs above the ice.

Obuoy 14 0811 webcam

Stay tuned (even if hurricanes to the south get more interesting.)

 

 

 

ARCTIC SEA ICE –Beaufort Buildup Bedlam–

Way back in the year 1247 some goodhearted monks created a place for deeply troubled individuals called “Hospital of Saint Mary of Bethlehem”. Over the years the local folk shortened the name of the place to various versions of the word “Bethleham”, and finally wound up with the word “Bedlam.”

I have decided we need a similar place for people deeply troubled by sea-ice. After all, sea-ice is a sort of Rorschach test. Look at this and pretend it is sea-ice, and tell me what you see.

Rorschach test InkblotTest

If you see “the end of human existence as we know it”, there are various Bedlams I can suggest you be committed to. If course, you do not want to go into an asylum run by a madman, and therefore I suggest you avoid sites run by people who enjoy  dressing up in Nazi uniforms.

Skeptical Science Nazi Herr Cook

It is better to commit yourself to a Bedlam run by a compassionate monk, and the best Bedlam I have found is “The Sea Ice Forum”, run by the good monk Brother Neven.

Mind you, just as the original Bedlam back in 1247 was stilted towards Catholic ideas, you need to expect a modern Bedlam to be stilted towards the modern religion of Global Warmingism. Just as, concerning a subject we don’t scientifically know about, such as life-after-death, a Catholic will speak with great authority, so too will an Alarmist speak with authority about sea-ice before the satellite era, though we truly know next to nothing about it.

The little evidence we have needs to be ignored by certain inhabitants of Bedlam, in order to continue to see “the end of human existence as we know it”. What is kept behind blinders are geological studies of shorelines, certain core studies of the sea-bottom, and, most interesting to me, the places where whalers and explorers found open water. For example, the doomed Franklin expedition found open water one year (1845) and not the following two years.

Franklin Map Franklin's-Lost-Expedition

To me it seems a certain suspension of cynicism must be involved, to believe the situation at the Pole is dramatically different this year (as some Alarmists believe it is).  It is sort of like, when you read “Lord of the Rings”, you suspend your doubt that trees can walk around and talk to you. Such belief may be fine in a fantasy, but it is not so good when it involves spending billions of tax dollars. Yet somehow I can’t seem to penetrate an Alarmist resistance to seeing there may have been times of open water in the Arctic Sea in the past. Even photographic evidence fails to get behind the blinders. I can show them that even in the spring, when sea-ice is thick and only starting to fall from its maximum, submarines apparently found open water at the Pole on March 17, 1959

Sub at Pole 1959 download

And on May 18, 1987.

Sub at Pole 1987 3-subs-north-pole-1987

And yet this year we have jets landing up there on April 16, 2017.

Barneo E5 17952888_1341818589228569_6926960017063686340_n

Of course, when I speak about such things I really do come across as a wet blanket and something of a party-poop. If you are going to participate in Bedlam you are suppose to get hugely exited about every little crack in the ice, as if it a “sign.”  You say, “It’s a sign” and make your eyes very round, and nod. That is the way to gain acceptance.  Also you can gain a lot of status if you monkey around with data and make a graph (unless you are a party-poop and point out the data is upside down, as Michael Mann’s graph was.).

Therefore, when you visit Bedlam, my recommendation is that you keep your lips buttoned. Be a so-called “lurker”.  It is well worth the visit to a good site, partly because ( I confess) there is something fascinating about weirdos,  and no one can see you are gawking, when you silently lurk.

One thing that is fascinating is how they constantly stroke each other for reassurance. It is downright touching. (Pun). However keep your tongue firmly planted in your cheek when they pull out their graphs. The graphs will always draw a line showing how much sea-ice there was in the past, as if they knew. In fact it is what they believe, and they arrive at their belief  via dubious means. I tend to roll my eyes when presented with a graph like this:

Extent Polyak et al 2010 fig2a

The problem I have with such graphs is that, before the satellite era, there is only airplane data, and, before the airplane era, there is only data from the edges. The Nimbus 5 satellite only began collecting pictures in 1972, and the Nimbus 2 pictures only reach to 1966. Long distance aircraft were not developed until World War 2, and had little reason to fly over the Pole at first. A few zeppelin flights explored the arctic, (for example the Norge in 1926 and the Italia crash in 1928), but they had no idea our bedlam would require specific details about the exact area of open water versus solid ice. Before that we have only scattered reports from brave and sometimes doomed men. For example, from the diaries of the failed Arctic Balloon expedition of 1897 we know the sea-ice north of Svalbard was not solid,  “Andrée called it ‘dreadful terrain’, with channels separating the ice floes, high ridges, and partially iced-over ice-ponds”.

Andre 1897 image

Nor did Nansen, traveling over the ice in 1895, neglect to bring along the kayaks that in the end saved his life. Considering we have so little data, and the data we do have does show that the ice had leads of open water, all calculations which assume the Arctic Sea was shore-to-shore ice are highly suspect. If we instead estimate and subtracted the unseen areas of open summer-water from the total extent, (as we now do), the extent of some years would obviously be lower.

(The belief the Pole was sheeted with solid ice before 1979 is a belief that is ironically diametrically opposite to a prior incorrect belief from the early 1800’s, which suggested that the center of the Arctic Sea was open water.)

But zip your lip about all such uncertainty, in Bedlam. If you yap you will only spoil their awe over standing, in real time, this very moment, as wonder-struck witnesses to “the end of human existence as we know it”.

And actually the inhabitants of Bedlam are quite good, when it comes to noticing the smallest patch of open water, now. This keenness of eyesight makes them useful, even if what they conclude may be the wildest of speculations.

For example, high pressure can stall over the Beaufort Sea, in which case it is called the Beaufort High, and if it is properly located it will create polynyas of open water called the West Beaufort  and Bathurst polynyas. If you spot this happening now you are welcome in Bedlam, but if you point out it happened in 1975….not so much.

Beaufort Polynyas poly-3-bathurst-and-w-beaufort-polynyas_1975-vs-2015_polarbearscience

However, if, rather than the Beaufort High, a low pressure called “Ralph” stalls, then rather than a clockwise gyre you get a counter-clockwise eryg, as I described here:

https://sunriseswansong.wordpress.com/2017/04/05/arctic-sea-ice-demise-of-the-beaufort-eryg/

And the result will be that, rather than the ice being pushed away to form a polynya by the shore, the ice will reverse and be piled up against the shore. This will create a very different deployment of sea ice, as can be seen by comparing the ice of late March in 2016 (left) with 2017 (right):

It does not make people in Bedlam happy when ice is crunched up against the coast like that, but they have seemingly inexhaustible hope. As I mentioned in an earlier post, there was a chance the eryg was turning back into a gyre, and indeed a Beaufort High has formed and the ice has moved away from the shore. It is nothing like last year, but gives cause for bedlam in Bedlam. (One funny thing is that some begin their observations with, “Ugh Oh!”  Actually they are celebrating the fact they have a sign of imminent doom, but it would be danged improper to go “Whoopie” about “the end of human existence as we know it”.) In any case, they save some wonderful satellite shots of the polynyas starting to form, which is a very real reason to visit the Sea Ice Forum site. The image below was offered by Brother Neven himself:

Bering Strait is to the upper left. Notice that the West Beaufort Polynya forming up there is larger than the Bathurst Polynya, to the lower left, and the Bathurst Polynya is nowhere close to the size of last year’s.

Hopefully below you will see some lovely satellite views of the West Beaufort Polynya forming, submitted to the forum by the blogger “JayW”. Superb submission! This is why it is so worth visiting the Sea Ice Forum. (Bering Strait is at the bottom.)

The question that arises in my mind is, “Is this open water evident from shore?” So I turn to the Barrow webcam, looking north from a place higher than men could stand, back in the old days.

Barrow 20170418 07_27_39_65_ABCam_20170418_152400

And the answer is a simple “No”. The only movement that can be seen out to sea is the movement of shadows as the sun swings around in the arctic sky. (Temperature is -2° [-16°C])

My next question is, “When they say the ice was wall-to-wall in a long-ago-year, such as 1912, are they merely guessing? Are they assuming because it was stuck fast to the shore in Alaska that it extended as a solid sheet clear across to Russia? How do they know what was occurring out of view?”

The humble answer is, “They, and we, don’t know”. Graphs that use proxies are largely guess-work, and are at risk when the grafters are more liable to get grants if their guess-work is in a certain direction. However the graphs are gospel in Bedlam.

Me? Oh, you know me. I’m as gentle as a lamb and never raise a ruckus, and only confide my private views in the confines of this obscure blog, and even then I’m astonishingly spiritual and modest, if you want my opinion. I just sit back and watch, and, if I chuckle, well, sometimes you just can’t help it.

Below are the sequence of recent DMI maps. They basically show the Beaufort High forming and stalling. It is interesting to see that the high fails to really develop the southeast gales last year’s did, and is displaced to the west more, so that the region where the Bathurst Polynya might be expected to form may even get north winds, bringing the ice back in to shore. This would be bad news for those hoping the entrance to the Northwest Passage clears out.

The temperature maps are interesting for they, at first, show cold builds at the Pole even though the sun never sets. The sun is simply still too low to warm the arctic, and the arctic continues to lose more heat than it receives. Later the temperature maps show the Pole warming, but this seems to be because the stalled Beaufort High is bringing a steady flow of Pacific air north through Bering Strait.

If possible I’ll update later. If not,  I’ll make up a good excuse.