ARCTIC SEA ICE –The 2023 Maximum and the Ilk of Al–

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:

ARCTIC SEA-ICE –Volcano Under The Ice?–

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.

ARCTIC SEA-ICE –Fram Slammer–

“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.

Stay tuned,.

ARCTIC SEA-ICE –Manifesto after decade of research; 2012-2022–

Sea-ice debate has lost much of its appeal. The Alarmist spreaders of the false sea-ice narrative have pretty much admitted they can’t debate. How so? By silencing the voices who would debate with them.

This childish, “la-la-la I’m not listening” attitude was always there, in the debates between sea-ice Skeptics and Alarmists, especially on Alarmist platforms and within Alarmist websites, but on some non-Alarmist sites an Alarmist once could be lured into an old-fashioned, all-American debate.

I use the word “all-American” because lively debate has been one, major reason the United States rose to prominence in the way it did. Prominence was a direct consequence of Freedom of Speech. Debate is the anvil on which great ideas are hammered out. Whether the debate occurs in the Ivory Towers of academia, (through the process of truthful peer review), or in the down and dirty Corridors of Power (among pugnacious politicians), or even in a fair marketplace where shoppers can prefer a small company’s product over a large company’s, the clash of debate is a good thing, as long as both sides honor and respect each other.

“Honor and respect” suggests both sides have allegiance to a common ideal. In England the ideal was symbolized by the king, and those who opposed the party which held power were referred to as, “the loyal opposition”, because they remained loyal to the king, (even while not exactly loyal to those in power.)

In my America we replaced loyalty to a mortal king with loyalty to immortal God, or at least to that which our “Creator” had “endowed” to us as “certain inalienable Rights” (with “Rights” capitalized). This loyalty to a higher ideal infers respect towards those with whom you debate. You allow them Freedom of Speech as they allow you the same.

Unfortunately, at first in the obscure world of Arctic Sea-ice, and later spreading like cancer throughout American society, I’ve seen some felt they didn’t need to respect the Freedom of Speech which allows healthy debate.

I think this occurred, in the world of sea-ice, because Alarmists lost the debate about sea-ice with Skeptics. This did not occur because the Skeptics persuaded the Alarmists. (Even when Skeptics won specific arguments, Alarmists refused to concede.) What really defeated Alarmists was the sea-ice itself, which obstinately refused to behave in the manner Alarmists foretold, and instead made them look like flaming morons.

You think I exaggerate? Please consider how foolish the Alarmists must now feel, after having bought into the idea that the North Pole would be ice-free by the summer of 2008.

Or by 2010:

It becomes obvious, after nearly two decades of failed forecasts, that the Alarmists are full of -bleep-. This year is no different. The extent of sea-ice, though low, is not as low as other recent years, and shows no signs of vanishing completely.

In a saner world Alarmists would admit their forecasts were wrong. We all are humbled in such a manner as we bungle through life. We all make mistakes, and hopefully learn from our mistakes. (The world’s best weathermen became the best from being mistaken, to some degree, every day for decades. Weather forecasting defies perfection.)

However, if you refuse to be humbled, you do not admit your forecasts are wrong. Instead, you hide the evidence you were in error, and that sometimes includes attempting to hide, erace or “disappear” the very people who, often very gently and kindly, attempted to point out that you were mistaken. You hide them by censoring them. You ban them. You muffle their voices, deny their funding, isolate and marginalize them. Once the informed are “disappeared” you attempt to make the uninformed continue to believe your “side of the argument”, (which isn’t reality), is reality.

Sorry, but reality is reality. Truth remains true even if not a single mortal has the guts to say so. Sea-ice does not obey politicians, but the Almighty. And it just, plain ain’t melting away. And eventually even the uninformed notice.

Outside of the world of sea-ice the uninformed are noticing other narratives are failing to be confirmed, especially regarding the coronavirus, and this is making the censorship of skeptical voices increasingly look foolish. Polls have shown an alarming lack of trust, on the part of the general public, towards what the news reports. In some circles it has even reached a point where whatever is reported on the news is instantly regarded as being some form of disinformation, and the opposite is taken to be the actual fact.

This is of course very frustrating, to the honest, who like to be objectively informed. Some of us like to bring actual facts to the table and to share them with others who bring other actual facts showing other things, and then to attempt to make heads or tails of any variance that becomes apparent. There is much about the expansion and contraction of sea-ice which is worthy of wonder, and deserves further research, but censorship prevents it.

Currently there is a narrative being bleated which perpetuates the tired, dogeared fear that the sea-ice is going to melt away this summer, (with dreadful, doom-and-gloom consequences), despite decades of evidence to the contrary. This blather is allowed and even encouraged on certain platforms, while even attempting to counter such blather, (blather which at this point has so lost scientific credibility that it has gained the status of being pure propaganda,) will get you promptly censored or at least shadow-banned from those same social platforms.

In like manner, regarding the coronavirus, it was scientifically known right from the start that masks would do little to halt the spread. Anthony Fauci himself quoted the peer-reviewed papers which established this truth. But somehow a political narrative made masks far more advisable than they ever actually, scientifically were, and Anthony Fauci flip-flopped to support this political narrative, and anyone who stated masks were basically useless was banned from social media. As with sea-ice, even the uninformed eventually became leery of the “official” line, but the “official” line remained the accepted propaganda.

All of this nonsense has made a mess of the natural process enacted by healthy debate. We should be able to talk to each other about what we have observed in a manner which combines our observations into a sum far greater than our individual efforts. Indeed, that is what Freedom of Speech is all about. Censorship denies us the Liberty of speaking our minds, substituting the slavery of propaganda.

What foments the nonsense? I suppose it is that when we “speak our minds” we have minds which are imperfect, and which to some degree are selfish. And it is the nature of selfishness to want its own way, even at the expense of others. In other words, our minds do not merely contain the altruistic concept of Freedom of Speech, but also a less patient side which just wants to tell others to “shut the f— up”.

There are those who believe that the “shut-the f— up” impatience is good governance. It is foundational to the ideas behind any dictatorship. It sees opposition as a wrench-in-the-works of progress. Dictators are certain that the way to progress is to remove the wrench. And so it is that dictators tend to remove even their closest comrades from the picture.

While such an approach may lead to great power, it tends to leave one very alone and without advisors, and a lack of advisors is bound to leave one ill-advised.

The United States embarked on a different policy, which accepted differing opinions, and allowed people to be a wrench-in-the-works. (This is drifting far from the topic of sea-ice), but it is interesting to go back to the early days of the United States, when the idea of Free Speech was still in its infancy. People were aware how novel the idea of Free Speech was, and relished it, and even small towns had gatherings where people vented their views, and eventually this became the local event called a “Lyceum”. (Abraham Lincoln’s first public speech was at a Lyceum in 1838.)

Lyceums were the internet of those pre-electricity times, and some individuals made a good living just traveling town to town and speaking. Of course, certain subjects were taboo, and even back then there were some who wished to censor certain speakers, but they lacked the ability of modern censorship. If banned, even outlandish speakers (or snake oil salesmen) could just move on to the next town. For the most part the public displayed a thirst to hear new ideas of all sorts, and illiteracy greatly declined. Back then I might have traveled from town to town, speaking all I know about sea-ice, without fear of being “shadow-banned”, (IE: seeing all my writing, even my posts which have nothing to do with sea-ice, [such as my most-popular “Why We Don’t Domesticate Deer”] sink from view on search engines.) Lyceums occurred during an age which was innocent, in some ways, though back then Americans were also well aware the idea of Free Speech tread upon new and dangerous ground, full of patches of thin ice and slippery-slope pitfalls.

The danger became almost immediately apparent when France attempted to copy us, replacing its King with a republic, and saw things spiral into The Terror. Their guillotine made it apparent American Liberty and Freedom required guidance. What had lead France astray?

This brings me back to the selfishness I spoke of earlier; a selfishness we all own. A guillotine is just a way of saying “shut the f— up.” Even in our homes, any time we are tempted to say that, whether it be to a parent, a spouse, or a child, we’re in a sense anti-American, for we’re denying Free Speech.

Considering I myself have been told to “shut the f—up” for stating obvious truths about sea-ice, I hope you will forgive me if my interest strays, (away from the sea-ice maximum), to the despotic maximum we are now experiencing. I will return to the actual subject of sea-ice before the end of this post, but I digress into the subject of Free Speech because I am confronted by it’s destruction. We are all confronted by it. Cancel Culture is in-your-face censorship, basically saying “shut the f— up” to us all, and we need to deal with it.

At this point it is interesting and perhaps instructive to look back to at the lyceums at the beginnings of the United States, and see what was the motivation behind many of the ideas.

After much thought I decided the motivation boiled down to putting food on the table. It may sound a bit lowering to state so much depends on a man’s stomach, but the gut is a great motivator of both hard work and revolution, and thrones become hot seats when the commoners go hungry. Therefore, it follows that much that Free Speech debates about, concerning the high-sounding word “economy”, involves how a society keeps its people fed. The basis of all high principles and lofty ideals is basically dirt, and also the brine fish are netted from. This low-seeming fact is an inescapable truth people in Ivory Towers can become blind to. In a computer age a majority of society can live in Ivory Towers, seemingly divorced from dirt and salty spray, but in truth still trapped by the simple realities of Earth.

When I state putting-food-on-the-table is man’s motivation, it sounds as if man would be easy to manipulate, like a donkey tricked into plodding forward by dangling an apple on a string just in front of its nose. In actual fact putting-food-on-the-table has always involved a thing called “risk”. The risk might be a swarm of grasshoppers eating your entire garden in a couple of hours, or a storm sinking your fishing boat, or, (if you were a caveman), the woolly mammoth you just hurled your spear into turning around and stamping you flat.

Once you add “risk” into the equation you create a sort of schizophrenia. How so? Because putting-food-on-the-table is “security”, and “risk” is the opposite of “security”. This creates a tension between two sides, and a reason to debate. One needs to weigh the “risk” involved in achieving “security.” Is the safety worth the danger? Is the danger worth the safety?

In the eyes of academics in Ivory Towers, the people who created the United States were very unsafe people. Academics have tenure and can’t be fired even if they are obnoxious, possess plump pensions, and have health insurance which allows them to be sicker than dogs and never lose a cent. They are exceedingly safe, and therefore must be forgiven if they cannot comprehend the unsafe people who created America, people who hoed their corn with a flintlock nearby in case war whoops sang from the woods, or sailed ships without engines or GPS’s through dangerous seas to net or long-line codfish.

Going to sea was, with 20-20 hindsight, a high-risk activity, considering the nature of the flimsy ships, but involved a thing called “trade”. Trade could put food on the table without one needing to grow food or net food. Therefore, one might, from an Ivory Tower, think man had escaped the power of the stomach, but it is interesting to note the trade-items most desired by Native Americans were copper cooking pots, (preferable to birch-bark stewpots and more durable than pottery), for cooking, and iron axes for cutting the wood people used to fuel cooking fires with. The gut still ruled.

So important did “trade” become that three of the ten largest cities in the future United States were crammed together on the coast of Massachusetts: Boston, Gloucester, and Newburyport. Their affair with the ocean involved a great deal of “risk”, and many died at sea, but the gamble was obviously worth it to those who survived, which caused those three cities to prosper and be among the largest. New Englanders become skilled traders, and Cod was king, and a wooden codfish was hung as a sort of false god in the city hall of Boston.

Meanwhile, in the South, Cotton became king. This involved the small farms moving from hiring farmhands to buying farmhands from Africa. This involved all sorts of risks, but they seemed worthwhile, even before the cotton gin was invented in 1797 and made cotton so profitable other crops were abandoned.

Thirdly, to the west, were lands the indigenous population seemed to use unwisely. Where they used a thousand acres in a manner which could feed few, settlers could use the same thousand acres in a manner that would feed many. The settlers therefore could outnumber the original inhabitants, and overran them, resulting in wars, which the indigenous and outnumbered natives lost. However, risks remained. Out of every ten farms started by homesteaders, five failed, resulting in bankruptcy for people who had gambled all, and lost all. Risk.

All three developments, North, South and West, involved problematic situations, with inherent frailties. Debate was needed. But in those days not that much breathing space was allowed for American people to discuss the spirituality of their behavior in a leisurely manner. Fights were breaking out on all sides, involving Indians to the west and Europeans to the east, and Barbary Pirates. Therefore, the three regional developments accepted risks and developed responses without much thought beyond survival, as the United States staggered through a precarious period when even the White House was burned, and the United States faced, with a Navy of only six big ships, a British Empire with six hundred.

Those odds have always astounded me. How was it the United States wasn’t crushed? The odds were a hundred to one.

The answer seems to have been that the ordinary risk-taking nature of American seaports produced sleek, swift merchant ships which, with a few added cannon, became “privateers”. Privateers are basically pirates with a license for piracy given by a government. American privateers gave the six-hundred-ship British navy fits. In my view privateers saved the United States from being reabsorbed, as a mere formerly-rebellious colony, back into the British empire.

Not that piracy is spiritual, or anything a society ought to encourage. But in a warring world full of risk, it was a necessary evil. And one redeeming element of America’s piracy is that its pirates desisted from piracy the moment the war ended. (The same cannot be said of other privateers in other places, for when their governments revoked their licenses to steal, they were too addicted to theft to stop.) (See John Ward, [who inspired the Disney pirate “Jack Swallow” in “Pirates of the Carribean”].)

As a child of the North, I was brought up to understand the North had little to gain from the War of 1812 and was reluctant to face the ruination of its trade. The main gripe of the North was that its sailors were impressed by the English navy to crew its six hundred ships to fight Napoleon, but Napolean had done the same thing to crew his French ships, and war with France had been avoided by Jefferson. Negotiation was preferable with the French, (especially when the Louisiana Purchase was thrown into the bargain,) and therefore it seemed negotiation should be preferable with the British. It was the South and West that blustered most loudly against the British and dragged the nation into a war that ruined the economy of the North. By 1814 there was even talk of the North quitting the United States, but in the end the North remained loyal to the Union and fought the British to a draw at sea. The British blockades were eluded by swift American privateers who brought home loot seized from British ships bound for Canada, (and often the ships themselves,) and these swashbuckling privateers even made it unsafe for traders to sail from port to port on the coast of England. At that point sane economic policy in England made it seem wiser to avoid risk and to call the stupid war off. The war was, if not won, most definitely not lost, and the United States had defended its right to exist among nations, when the peace treaty was signed.

News traveled slowly, and it was after peace had been officially declared (but not ratified) that the South and West fought a battle which may have had no significance in terms of written treaties, but had huge significance in gray areas outside of treaties.

Because Napolean had been defeated, the treaties he had made while in power were to some degree vetoed, and this included the Lousiana Purchase. Napolean had won this vast area from Spain and then sold it to the United States. There was some thought among thinkers in Ivory Towers that this land should be returned to Spain. Of course, such thinking was countered by realities on the ground, and the reality was that the United States occupied New Orleans, but England had sent 8000 of its best soldiers to retake it. An English occupation would basically create a situation where it would be hard for the United States to prove its claim that it “owned” the Louisiana Purchase. New Orleans itself was in a panic, for the soldiers advancing on their city were the same men who had defeated Napolean, and the city only had roughly 1000 official soldiers to defend it, and these soldiers knew little of fighting as Europeans fought.

It turned out to be a good thing they didn’t fight as Europeans fought, though it made a mess of the calculations made in Ivory Towers.

What happened was a thing called a “militia” appeared, coming down the Mississippi by the thousands, from as far away as Kentucky. Also nearly 500 freed slaves, as well as fierce warriors from Native American tribes, swelled the ranks. There were even some Cajun-French pirates from the delta rushing in. Soon the English were facing a substantial army, led by a very hard-nosed commander, Andrew Jackson. The British were demoralized by the fierceness of the resistance, as they had been led to believe the attack would be a cakewalk.

It might have actually been a cakewalk, as the British came precariously close to penetrating the American lines in the skirmishes leading up to the battle, but they snatched defeat from the jaws of victory by safely retreating from those skirmishes. Then, in the actual battle, the British suffered a terrible trouncing. Facts and figures vary, but British casualties were around two thousand, while the Americans lost nineteen dead.

This seems so much like American propaganda that even as a schoolboy I scratched my head and wondered if it was true. Such staggered odds demanded an explanation. The explanation is that the European battlefield tactics were basically neutered by the American defenses.

The Europeans relied on a barrage of bullets delivered by Brown Bess muskets, which was followed, if necessary, by a charge with fixed bayonets, but the Americans had erected breastworks, in some places made of bales of cotton, behind a canal they had deepened, and this kept the American’s safe from both a barrage of bullets and a bayonet charge. In actual fact the British milled about awaiting their lousy logistics to catch up to the troops with ladders to cross the canals with, as the American artillery lobbed grapeshot into their ranks. (Grapeshot was horrible stuff, because it threw shrapnel, including lengths of chain, when it landed and exploded.) The British were suffering terribly even before the battle officially began. Then, when they finally drew close enough to the Americans to actually shoot at them, the Americans, who had been waiting, got their barrage off first, and it was far more effective than Napolean ever managed against the same troops.

Why? This is actually a footnote, for only around five minutes of the actual battle involved soldiers actually shooting at each other, but a British sergeant noted that an amazing number of his men fell with bullet holes in the center of their foreheads. Americans did not merely shoot “towards” the foe, in the European manner. Americans actually aimed their guns, because the American militia included marksmen from the frontier who had to hit a squirrel, if they shot at it. This was no big deal in the American west, but to the British sergeant it was astounding to see a single barrage mow down so many of his men.

In any case, in barely more than a half hour the history of North America was utterly changed, for the English understood winning New Orleans was not a cakewalk. They headed back to their ships and sailed off to safer ports in the Caribbean. This meant the Western border of the United States did not halt at the Mississippi, and that the Sioux were not ruled by England or Spain. The Louisiana Purchase, for better or worse, was America’s problem.

What were the problems? The problems were, if you are sitting in an Ivory Tower as safe as can be, fairly obvious: IE: If you truly believe all men are created equal, you should not buy farmhands from Africa as the South did, nor should you believe you have more right to lands than Indians do, as the West did. However, if you live in an Ivory Tower, and believe all men are created equal, you should believe all men deserve Ivory Towers. All men deserve tenure, even if their ideas are stupid. Fishermen deserve codfish, even if they sail smack dab into a reef. Farmers deserve bountiful crops even if they sow in September. Right? No, wrong, and in the cutthroat reality of the time people did not live in an Ivory Tower. They lived a tough reality where existence, even the existence of the United States itself, was day to day.

Just consider this factoid: At that time a man could work all day and be paid ten cents. At the same time a strong, young African slave cost $2000.00. Therefore, if you were an employer who needed some strong man to do a risky job, (for example, dig a New Orleans canal where the mucky walls might collapse and drown the diggers in ooze), who would you rather risk? Your slave who cost $2000.00? Or some immigrant who cost ten cents? Obviously, you would not expose your slave to such risks, but would expose the immigrant. Take this one step further and you can argue the slave-holder-south treated enslaved-workers better than the anti-slavery-north treated its freedmen. But that assumes Freedom of Speech allows such topics to be discussed. During the desperation of those times there was little time to sit in Ivory Towers and hold such discussions.

Yet I believe there was some spiritual ideal whispering in the ears of Americans at that time, despite all the chaos people were amidst. Not that they could not be savage in battle, but within the risk-taking they took, they risked being idealistic. This idealism’s hard to describe, but it is very different from what is described by Critical Race Theory, which denies the idealism.

It is quite easy to sit in an Ivory Tower, taking no risks, and sneer at the risk-taking of others. But those who stay safe on shore eating sardines should not sneer at those at sea netting the herring. Those who currently desire seafront cottages cannot imagine a world where entire coastal communities were abandoned, because Barbary Pirates might swoop in to grab people to sell to the Ottoman Empire as slaves. Estimates of how many Europeans were enslaved by the Barbary Pirates can surpass a million, and this factoid is a handy tool when debating Critical Race Theory. Just mention that in the year 1619 there were far more white people enslaved in Africa than there were Africans enslaved in Europe. But that is assuming people who dislike debate would dare debate.

Don’t get me wrong. I believe all men are created equal and am dead set against slavery of any and all sorts. I have a high (and some would say naive) idealism which envisions bosses caring for employees who care for bosses. But I have worked for some tough bosses and have a hard-nosed acceptance of how brutal making a dollar can be. There is a tension between reality and idealism verging upon hypocrisy, involving the clash between security and risk. This friction is necessary for traction necessary for progress, but it needs to be exposed and talked about, It should be discussed and debated. There needs to be lyceums, and censorship is a bad thing.

One theme which appears in truthful debate is that to make an endeavor successful one wants to pay as little as possible while charging as much as the market will bear. A boss would actually prefer having devotees to having employees, because devotees are cheaper. A boss would also like to have customers dependent on him, and have competition banned, (and, if at all possible, to have his product be addictive). However, such selfishness would likely be bad for society as a whole. How so? Well, an honest debate would bring up historical examples of times bosses got what they wanted, and what became of the societies they ruled. Some came to a bad end. The Terror in France was an example much discussed in the lyceums during the childhood of my nation. But there were other dangers to avoid, amidst all the risk-taking.

Critical Race Theory seems to be based on the idea that people of that time sat around in Ivory Towers like modern Critical Race professors do, planning how to be exploitive. In actual fact society was reeling from calamity to calamity, fighting for its very existence, and what is amazing is not that they were in some ways savage, but that they so often were noble savages. You may say there was merely honor among thieves, but there was definite decency even among the pirates. In fact, “honor” was a very big word back then, even among slaveholders, even among factory owners who employed little children, even among those who stole Indian’s land, and, if you offended a gentleman, you might be challenged to a duel. (I suppose a pistol was the Cancel Culture of that time.) The point that I am driving is that despite all the brutality of that time, idealism persisted. Likely it was what saved my homeland from extinction when it was young, though Karma could be a bitch: (The very people who built mansions on the land grabbed from Cherokee in 1835 saw Sherman’s troops burn down those mansions, only thirty years later…….so there is no need for restitution now, when Karma has already been so vicious.)

Idealism seemed to manifest, even as the burned White House smoldered, with the appearance of three gifted individuals who personified the South, the North and the West, and who for four decades glorified Congress with the brilliance of Free Speech. They represented very different parts of the growing nation, and agreed about very little, except the value of Free Speech (and perhaps, for a time, about the fact President Andrew Jackson needed to be restrained.)

(Judging from their faces, I wouldn’t pick a fight with them, even regarding something as nonconsequential as Arctic Sea Ice.)


These three men, Calhoun, Webster and Clay, began representing the South, North, and Frontier at a time that the experiment called the United States was less than forty years old. The concept of Freedom of Speech and “lyceums” achieved a high point as they debated, usually disagreeing. Hushed crowds swarmed the galleries of Congress just to listen to them. They debated from the War of 1812 to their final compromise in 1850, which they hoped would prevent the nation from fracturing into Civil War. If truth be known, they prevented the Civil War, but only for a decade, by which point they were long gone, as all three perished by the end of 1852, before that national catastrophe occurred.

Their departure left a void none stepped forward to fill. People seemingly became afraid. The nation walked on eggs, and leaders adopted a go-along-to-get-along policy of refusing to deal with the issues, (Northern, Western and Southern), that loomed, blacker and taller, like approaching thunder. America elected weak, go-along-to-get-along presidents who quailed from leading, from grabbing the bull by the horns, preferring men who petted the hamster of the status quo. As Freedom of Speech withered due to gutless politicians, censorship entered government, and it was actually forbidden at that time to bring up the subject of slavery (or its abolition) in the halls of congress, because it was too contentious. They feared they might start a war. They may have caused it.

How so? Because, as a child of New England, I know how badly the war of 1812 hurt my ancestors, and how close the North came to seceding from the union at that time. However Freedom of Speech and fiece debate (and God’s grace) preserved the union in 1815, and the North did not have to fight the South at that time. In like manner, if people had the balls to actually talk, and penetrate the clouds of selfishness to the illuminated facts of how-to-treat-employees, a series of step-by-step compromises might have been arrived at between the Missouri Compromise and the national meltdown in 1860. (I confess my idealism, but nearly anything seems better than the fate the nation actually chose.)

It is interesting to study this period of history because we are in strangely similar shoes, with our nation again heading towards an apparent catastrophe, and people again rendered mute by Cancel Culture and by the sheer ugliness of the discussions which do occur, when debate is allowed.

One thing apparent, looking back to the past catastrophe, is that people were given time to face their problems, between the Missouri Compromise of 1850 and the outbreak of war in 1860, but they frittered away that time in a strange state of paralysis wherein no one wanted to rock the boat. They were years “eaten by locusts.” People clung to the security of the status quo even as the risks involved ripened like an abscess swelling with pus. Each area, the North, the South, and the Frontier, was on some level aware their successes involved exploitations which eventually would have to be paid for, through some sort of reform, but… But reform is like a New Year’s Resolution, easy to speak of in an Ivory Tower, but hard to bring into the harsh daylight of January Second. It was easy for the North to say the South should renounce slavery, and it was easy for the South to say the North should renounce child labor and sweatshops, and it was easy for people with property to say homeless settlers shouldn’t settle. Morality is easy from afar.

However, when some outsider came in and told people to give up their way of making a good living, people tended to become as angry as the original natives were, when settlers came in and told them to give up their way of making a good living. It was not enough to merely have a vote, for the settlers outnumbered natives and could outvote the natives, and the Northerners could outnumber and could outvote the Southerners.

Had the Northerners been outvoted, (perhaps with an allied combination of Southerners, Settlers and Native Tribes), and had outsiders told the Northern factories they had to shut down because child labor and sweat shops were immoral, it would have been the Northern states which would have talked about “nullification”.

“Nullification” was the idea that no outsider (IE: The Federal Government) should be able to cancel the “States Rights” of local people. However, because the Northern states were not the minority and could outvote the south, it was the South that brought up the idea of “nullification”, which, in a sense, every single Native American tribe agreed with. Indeed, the issues involved in “nullification” were deeply discussed and debated while Calhoun, Webster, and Clay were alive. Upon their demise, a silence descended, and the abscess swelled until it erupted as war.

My homeland’s first Civil War was terrible. More Americans died in it than in all other wars the United States has been involved in combined. 620,000 soldiers died in a nation with a population of 31 million. In modern terms, it would be as if we had a war where seven million men died. (And, because modern war involves women and children, the numbers would be far higher.)

No American escaped unscathed. A few profiteered, but it was at a terrible cost. Intellectuals in Ivory Towers can speak of the high-sounding “principles” involved, (such as the preservation of a union and of liberty for all), but that involves a complete blindness to the actual slaughter, mayhem and heartache of war. Every small town in New England, far from the battlefields, contains a monument to young men who never “came marching home again”, and who are buried far away. And why? Because Freedom of Speech failed, and “Shut the f— up” won.

Now we are facing a second catastrophe, involving subjects such as how we should heat our homes, whether fossil fuels are bad, whether we should eat meat or not, whether we should have old fashioned families and marriages or be freed from such disciplines, and similar debates about similar constraints, and people have no idea of the danger they face when they abandon civil procedure and resort to “shut the f— up”.

Particularly repulsive is the strategy of simply talking-over the person you are debating with, which seems to inevitably force the person being talked-over to reply in kind, and to talk-over the talk-overer. (sic). I never thought I’d see the day when an interview of a point-counterpoint nature would devolve into two people simultaneously talking as loudly and as rapidly as possible, yet now it has become painfully common on news broadcasts. It solves nothing.

Such behavior is not civil. It is incivility. It is an abandonment of the idea we all are created equal, because it dismisses the idea the opinions of others have value.

(It is absurd to make this point, but I’ll make it because some novice might need it.) The opinions of others have value because others are positioned differently, and they have views we are not privy to. For example, if the lights went out in a dark cave, and we had to find our way out, and only one person was positioned where he could see a glimmer of daylight in the distance, that lone person would be the minority whom the majority should heed. Conclusion? Love your neighbor. Listen to the minority.

Unfortunately, dictators always assume that they themselves are that one person in the cave who sees the daylight no other can see, and that this justifies their ignoring the views of everyone else. This may indeed be true, for a short while in a cave, but do we want to live forever in a cave? Eventually we emerge into daylight, and at that point the dictator should be humble and revalue the views of others.

But what is the solution?

The solution, as always, is Truth, and the golden Liberty to seek Truth with Free Speech. The concept of propaganda needs to be repudiated in all its guises. The idea that any good can come from intentional falsehood needs to be soundly rebuked. Those who lie for a living need to be made ashamed. “Fake News” must be abolished, not by censorship, but by a rising-up of masses who are utterly sick of it.

On our smallest coin it states, “In God We Trust.” And what is God, but Truth? Truth should be what we honor, even to a degree where dishonest advertisements are altered towards honesty, and even to a degree where politicians avoid hyperbole. This should be done because we are witnessing the alternative, and it is utterly repulsive.

Why is it repulsive? Because it is in some ways itching to start a Second Civil War. The erection of razor wire around the Capital shows how certain some individuals were that Second Civil War was upon us. The exaggeration which described an extremely peaceful post-election protest as an “insurrection” once again shows that some feel so guilty that they expect the backlash of war. Much to their amazement, (and I admit also my own), the public refused and refuses to act as the paranoid expect. Apparently, the public prefers peace to a Second Civil War.

I find this very inspiring and beautiful. It seems to indicate the uneducated public, which largely knows little of the history I’ve taken pains to share with you (in a Reader’s Digest way), nor which cares a whit about sea-ice (which I’ve taken pains to describe in past posts), has an ability, free of all intellectual garbage, to recognize crap is crap, and to prefer Truth.

I sometimes think there are other, contrary people who do desire the death of millions in a Second Civil War, because they live in an Ivory Tower so detached from reality that they can believe the death of billions would be a good thing, as they believe the current population of earth is too many. What gives them such authority I cannot say.

Obviously, they don’t believe, as I believe, “the more the merrier.” They see no value in others. They think countless throbbing hearts are just an excess the world would be better off without. They speak of risk with an icy detachment born of their Ivory Tower’s divorce from what risk actually entails, and they like to smugly say things such as, “You can’t make an omelet without breaking a few eggs.”

Actually, that saying is French and had to do with making pancakes, not revolutions. It apparently first entered the English language (in its revolutionary sense) via François de Charette in 1786, and he was a Royalist talking back to revolutionaries when the French revolution was merely murmurs in the wings, as France faced financial ruin and its king considered calling an Estates General. (1788) When Charette spoke of “breaking a few eggs” he did not dream of what The Terror unleashed. (1793)

People in Ivory Towers always seem to take being respected for granted. They are aghast when one of the first things dismantled by revolution is Ivory Towers. How surprised the leftist college professors of China were when Mao sent the Red Guard marching into their classrooms, and nearly every teacher China had was sent off to be “reeducated” in the rice paddies. Likewise, the intellectuals of Cambodia were shocked when Pol Pot decreed literacy was “counterrevolutionary”, and consequently having a writer’s callus on your middle finger became a crime that carried a death sentence. But, until the storm breaks upon them, inhabitants of Ivory Towers feel wonderfully immune, and think, “It can’t happen here.”

There is something downright flippant about the heartlessness of people who deem the death of millions “a statistic”. Considering how horrible such concepts are, you might expect an equal and opposite backlash. Some Elitists in Washington DC apparently did, erecting the aforementioned razor wire after a questionable election. They apparently expected a Second Civil War, and perhaps even the death of millions. But the American public refused to be so stupid.

How did the American public remain calm and sane? I don’t know. They just did it. Whatever the opposite of stupid is, that was what they were, and I think their sanity has made a mess of the plans of some who thought the public was boorish and predictable. All attempts to control the public like sheep went astray, because people are not sheep. Powerful people discovered they are not the only power, and that apparently some other Power is in control.

What Power might this be? Truth. It stands on Its own, and no amount of propaganda can alter It. The powerful fear It, and can attempt to quell It with things such as a “Disinformation Governance Board”, but such efforts are like shouting at the wind. Truth cannot help but be true, and facing this almighty Truth is part of the “risk” we need to face if we are to achieve “security.”

And with that I return with a thump to the truth about sea-ice.

I’ll begin by discussing the increase in sea-ice volume, which has been impressive. Here is a chart from my Post of sixteen months ago, showing that at the start of 2021 the sea-ice volume was at the very bottom of recent years, at roughly 17,000 cubic kilometers on January 1.

Now compare that with the same chart from this year, which shows that….hey! Wait a cotton-picking minute! What did they do to the 2021 figures? Rather than showing 2021 began with a volume of 17 cubic kilometers they are now showing it as 14.8! (Turquoise line.)

Now how do you suppose they misplaced 2.2 thousand square kilometers of sea-ice like that? Even a single square kilometer is no small thing, and nothing you’d ever be likely to see slip away behind your living room couch cushions. Yet the Danish meteorological service managed to lose 2,200 of them? Amazing.

The “adjustment” obviously came after the fact, because, if the volume had been reported at 14.8 thousand km3 in January of 2021, you can bet there would have been a wild uproar among Alarmists, as it would have verified their dire predictions that sea-ice was dwindling away. As it was, even at 17.0 thousand km3 the total was close enough to “lowest ever” to generate some interest among Alarmists, but, as the year progressed, interest faded, for the 2021 volume climbed with remarkable rapidity, rising through the ranks until it was above all recent years and even approaching the gray line which represents the mean, and then, just before that 2021 volume became “above normal” for the first time in a long time, the “adjustment” was mysteriously made, and 2.2 thousand km3 of sea-ice mysteriously vanished, not merely at that time (which might have produced a suspicious down-jag on the graph) but including the past as well.

I have never heard any explanation of how this “adjustment” came to pass. Perhaps there is an explanation based on some error made in the observations, starting back in 2019. But the real explanation may sadly be that having sea-ice be “above normal” simply didn’t fit the political narrative. Then maybe, just maybe, the scientists at DMI faced an angry bureaucrat who stormed in and demanded they “fix” their graph. I know such a response sounds absurd (to some), but such things can happen when socialism goes awry.

When I was a boy, my father was a surgeon at the Massachusetts General Hospital, which at that time led the world in terms of many medical advancements. The hospital freely shared its advancements with doctors from other lands, even (because science was supposedly above politics) with our political foes behind the Iron Curtain. Due to this generous policy a doctor from communist Poland visited at some point, and one evening he came to our house in the suburbs for dinner. After dinner he sipped an Old Fashioned or three with my father in our comfortable Library. He mentioned he found America’s generosity and openness remarkable, and said he was not able to be so open in Poland.

Because my Dad had a insatiable curiosity, which at times approached rudeness, and because the Polish doctor had been plied with liquor, the Polish doctor eventually did open up and did confess what it was like to be a scientist in a nation where the bureaucrats held the power in hospitals.

He said the bureaucrats would bully and bluster about the most absurd and unscientific things, and he had to simply nod and smile. For example, he should not call a red corpuscle “diseased” because that made red, the color of communism, look bad, and therefore he must change the wording of his report and state the red corpuscle was exposed to “counterrevolutionary factors”. And that was on the better days, when the bureaucrats were at least making a pathetic attempt to look like reason prompted them; on the worst days they were just throwing their weight around.

At times the poor Polish doctor found it very hard to smile and nod. He felt like either bursting into crazed laughter, or else strangling the bureaucrat on the spot, but, for his wife and children’s sake, and for the preservation of his job and life, he smiled and nodded, and looked up towards a cleft in the molding which ran about the edge of the ceiling in his office. Unbeknownst to the bureaucrat, the doctor had placed a tiny crucifix up there, and it calmed him to think Christ was looking down at him, and also down at the bureaucrat, as he suffered.

As he heard this tale my Dad looked baffled. It made no sense to him. How could people who knew nothing about medicine walk into hospitals and boss doctors around? The Polish doctor looked at him and smiled a gentle smile, and simply said that’s how it was in Poland: The communists ruled, and you had better obey, or else.

It sad to think of the same dynamic appearing in the Danish Meteorological Institute, and of science being vetoed by politics. Science always gets the short end of the stick, in such situations. In fact, science can even cease to be science, as was the case in Russia with Lysenko.

Of course, just because you disappear 2,200 km3 of sea-ice on a graph, it doesn’t disappear in reality, in the Arctic Ocean. Or…well…perhaps a few square inches are melted by the heated balderdash of political hot air…but satellite views didn’t show the abrupt disappearance of 2,200 km3. Nor did the NRL (Naval Research Lab) thickness map. There did seem to be a thinning of sea-ice in the modeled DMI map, on the Russian side of the Pole, which would make sense, for if your model disappears so much ice the tweaking of data should also appear in the model’s thickness maps. However, the steady growth of the sea-ice’s volume couldn’t be entirely denied, and continued, and a comparison with the 2021 line with the 2022 line shows a current increase of what appears to be more than the 2,200 km3 that was subtracted, (which suggests the bureaucrats might have to again beat down the data).

This divergence between what it politically correct and what is scientifically correct is bound to lead to embarrassments. Increased volume of sea-ice may not be politically correct, but, should the Danish fishing fleet run into some of that thicker sea-ice, survival is at stake, and reality throws political correctness right out the window. Should calamity ensue, then there is a mad scramble among bureaucrats to find a scapegoat, and sadly they all too often do not face the Truth and blame themselves, but rather find some poor professor or scientist to serve as their scapegoat.

This only makes the divergence worse, and the calamities worse, until it becomes impossible to avoid the facts. (For example, though Lysenko’s bizarre genetics were politically correct, and pleased Stalin, Russia’s wheat crops suffered, and people went hungry. This was embarrassing because the United States held genetic theories which were shamefully incorrect, in Russia’s view, but America produced bumper crops. Eventually pragmatic bureaucrats in Russia decided they’d like to have bumper crops too, and suddenly Lysenko slipped from favor.)

One of the oddest aspects of the divergence between political correctness and scientific correctness is how the politically correct insist they are avoiding calamity when they cause it. After all, the very label “Alarmist” indicates people are alarmed about a catastrophe they imagine they foresee and seek to avoid. However, their way of avoiding the catastrophe is to often to leap to a conclusion, and then ban all further discussion.

The sort of erroneous conclusions one can leap to can be found in Paul Ehrlich’s book “The Population Bomb”, which was a best-seller in 1970, when I was a senior in high school, and which influenced the way many of my generation thought. It contained the idea that the planet’s resources were limited, and once the world’s population passed three billion there would not be enough food (and other resources) to go around. He predicted terrible famines. He most definitely did not predict that a major problem, as the world’s population passed seven billion, would be obesity.

Ehrlich’s attitudes are basically Malthusian, and doubt the ability man has to solve problems, when man simply faces the Truth and studies Truth. In a sense it belittles Truth and mocks all who get down on their knees before Truth, seeking an answer, and indeed such pessimism is automatically a sort of Atheism even if you attend Mass. It assumes Creation is cruel, and Truth is cruel, and there are no answers. However, the Truth is benevolent and does supply humble seekers with answers, which people tend to call “ingenuity”.

For example, thousands of years ago it was seeming like the Bronze Age was going to have to end, because in order to harden copper and create bronze you needed to add tin, but the tin mines were running out of tin. According to Mathus and Ehrlich, progress had reached a high point and the only course of action was retreat. However, some scientist back then went forward, not backward, and an entirely new metallurgy, a new process of turning iron ore into iron, began, and stunned the status quo and began the Iron Age. IE: “Ingenuity” manifested.

There is an interesting incident in the Bible from around this time, where the Jews had gotten lazy and forgotten to pursue the Truth, while the Philistines, in a less devout way, had pursued the Truth. The result was that the Hebrews got their butts kicked in battle after battle. The deciding factor seemed to be that the Israelites had swords of soft metal while the Philistines fought with new-fangled iron. (I imagine it can be discouraging in a swordfight to have your foe cut your sword’s end off, as if you fought with a stalk of celery.) But what gave the Philistines this advantage? Was it not because they had pursued Truth, albeit secular and scientific Truth, with a zeal that brought them into the Iron Age whilst that lazy generation of Jews dawdled back in the Bronze Age? (Spoiler Alert: After getting their butts kicked clear up into the hills, the Jews got down on their knees and apologized to Truth for skipping church for…um…well… decades, and Truth then enabled them (in a way I can’t explain in a secular, scientific manner), to create a “thundering sound” which so demoralized the Philistines that they turned tail and ran clear back to the sea, when the Israelites came charging down from the hills.)

To me it seems history shows us adversity is not a problem which cannot be solved, and in fact Truth enables us to overcome adversity. It is therefore wrong to see adversity as an iron-clad fact which cannot be opposed. It is not wrong to see adversity, and to face adversity, nor is it wrong to be alarmed about adversity, but it is wrong to call adversity almighty.

In like manner, when Ehrlich wrote “The Population Bomb” he gloomily foresaw the world running out of farmland. He could see only famine lay ahead. He didn’t foresee the ingenuity of “Green Revolution” scientists, such as Norman Borlaug. Simply by developing a semi-dwarf, high-yield, disease-resistant variety of wheat, it is estimated Norman Borlaug saved a billion people from starvation.

It is interesting to compare the two men. In “The Population Bomb” Ehrlich proposed castrating the men of India and Pakistan, to lower populations. Meanwhile Borlaug enabled the men of India and Pakistan to double their wheat production. Basically, it is the difference between a can’t-do and a can-do attitude.

I assert Truth is a can-do reality. If you don’t repress Free Speech, and embrace civil debate, answers can always be found to impossible-seeming problems.

For example, once upon a time lamps were lit by whale oil, but the supply of whales was running low. What to do? Return to smokey, tallow candles made of lamb’s fat? Or dig wells and look for what made the dirt of Pennsylvania so oily? Or, for another example, when I was a teenager Ehrlich stated it was a scientific fact we would reach “peak oil” by 1980. What to do? Return to “sustainable” wood? (Which is what I did.) Or use ingenuity? (“Fracking” had already been invented, but few dreamed of its potential.) Lastly, as a final example, if we actually did run out of fossil fuels, technology has produced small nuclear reactors for ships, and technology could further this science and create thorium reactors so small (and incapable of meltdowns) that every town and indeed even every neighborhood might have one, which would greatly reduce the need for power lines, as well as the ugly and environmentally-damaging eyesores created by solar and wind “farms.”

After fifty years of doom and gloom it has occurred to me that nothing in Creation is truly “sustainable”, because Creation always changes; Creation is more like a kaleidoscope than like a stagnation. The very concept of “sustainability” is a mentality like treading water; it goes nowhere. “Sustainability” seeks to find a sort of equipoise which avoids the challenges of life; it quails from change and flinches from Free Speech; it clings to tenure, to the status quo of an Ivory Tower, and dislikes the pitching decks and salty spray of “risk”.

It seems to me the only truly sustainable thing seen over the past fifty years has been Ehrlich himself. On the half-century anniversary of Earth Day (Lenin’s Birthday) he still insisted, at age 87, that his forecasts were correct, (only just delayed a little-bitty bit). The Green Revolution was not sustainable, and we still are going to all starve. (And if people insisted upon being too ingenious and resourceful and refused to starve, President Biden would have to step in and legislate the starvation.) (No; that’s sarcasm; Ehrlich didn’t say that.)

Perhaps the saddest part of the divergence between political correctness and scientific correctness is the beauty which is not seen, when Truth is censored. As John Keats concluded 200 years ago:

‘Beauty is truth, truth beauty,—that is all
Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.’

Keats, who himself would die at age 26, was well aware much in life is unsustainable and perishable, but while looking at an artifact two-thousand-years old, a Grecian vase created by a forgotten potter, he glimpsed something lasting. He called it Beauty and Truth.

That beauty is not merely in poetry, which some hard-nosed people call prissy, but also in the cold science of sea-ice. There is much to learn, but political correctness is so defensive, and so protective of its narrative, that anything outside of its preconceptions is seen as a wrench-in-the-works of progressive thought, an obstacle which must be removed.

Therefore, not only must be the increase in the volume of sea-ice be subtracted from volume graphs, but anything other than atmospheric CO2, which adds or subtracts from that volume of sea-ice, must also be denied attention. This includes some very cool stuff. For example, it includes amazing volcanoes two miles down on the Gakkel Ridge, on the floor of the Arctic Sea.

These volcanoes are fascinating because they are able to explosively erupt, leaving large craters, (including one of the largest super-volcano craters on earth), down so deep in the ocean that pressures are extreme. Indeed pressures are so extreme two miles down that CO2 exists in a liquid form, and the boiling point of water is increased by 350 degrees Celsius. There was some debate as to whether lava could do more than ooze from fissures, under such extreme pressure, for it seemed difficult to generate the gasses needed for explosive eruptions, but the curiosity of scientists in 1999, concerning a swarm of earthquakes in the Gakkel Ridge area, led to research which ended that particular debate around 2007.

Modern, submersible vessels were able to descend to great depth and investigate the area of 1999 earthquakes, and they discovered shards of pyroclastic deposits spread out over nearly four square miles. For an eruption to spread fragments, when the fragments must travel through dense water and not thin air, filled the scientists with awe. Various theories about the gases involved in such a blast were proposed, and one scientist (WHOI geophysicist Rob Reves-Sohn, chief scientist of the 2007 expedition) ventured, “This means that a tremendous blast of carbon dioxide was released into the water column during the explosive eruption.”

 And then? And then, in my imagination, a bureaucrat came rushing into the room shaking his finger and scolding, “You are spoiling the narrative! Don’t go there!” I imagine this because, after a flurry of articles in 2008, a dead silence fell. Why? Well, I suppose it can be imagined that the volcanoes would be a sort of wrench-in-the-works, because they both created CO2 in a way that did not involve fossil fuels, but also melted sea-ice in a manner that did not involve fossil fuels. So, we were left with a nearly forgotten map of three undersea volcanoes named Odin, Thor and Loke, and a dearth of follow-up research.

Bathymetrische Karte vom Gakkel-Rücken

The lack of follow-up was noticable to me because my curiosity had been piqued by the original event, and the flurry of debate it sponsored. For example, here is a blog-posting from 2008 where a gentleman states a volcano the size of Mount Saint Helens would only melt 300 km3 of ice, and make little difference to the big picture:

Back in those good, old days there were of course many counter arguments, and Free Speech sponsored lots of healthy debate which included observations and insights which intrigued me. I was alerted to other earthquake swarms in the area, and occasional holes that appeared in the sea-ice over Gakkel Ridge for a day or two, over the ensuing fourteen years, but there was never any further follow-up by the scientific community. Discussion only occurred in the comments-sections of websites, and the websites which encouraged such exchanges tended to suffer from shadow-banning and fade towards obscurity. However, the arctic does what the arctic will do regardless of censorship, and last summer a hole appeared over Gammel Ridge and lasted a lot longer than a few days. It lasted weeks, and didn’t move as the ice moved, but rather seemed to be bored, as if from a laser beam of heat, from somewhere beneath

This phenomenon was particularly interesting to me because it didn’t facilitate a decrease in the volume of the sea-ice, but rather seemed to be conjunct with an increase. This forced me to put my thinking-cap on.

One hypothesis I arrived at was that such an upwelling of water would completely derange the currents of that area. This is especially true when you consider it is an area where water ordinarily is cooling and sinking. Because the water sinks it must be replaced by water moving in from the side, at the surface, and one main supplier of surface water in that area is a northernmost tendril of the Gulf Stream called the WSC (West Spitsbergen Current), which flows north through the east side of Fram Strait. Interestingly, the WSC seemed to lose a lot of its impetus last spring, as the hole appeared above Gakkel Ridge. It only returned to its ordinary flow when the evidence of a warm upwelling faded away. I hypothesized the ordinary themohaline circulation had been deranged by the volcanic upwelling.

Another derangement would involve the freshwater lens, which ordinarily protects the sea-ice from below. This protection is provided because the water, though colder than the water beneath, is more buoyant, partly because fresh water is more buoyant than salt water, and also because, (if the fresh water is truly fresh and not merely brackish), it has a quality which saltwater lacks: Namely, very cold fresh water, close to freezing, adopts the ice-like quality of floating above less-cold water. These two qualities allow the sea-ice to avoid both warmth and salt which otherwise would melt it. However a plume of saltier and slightly warmer brine rising from beneath would hit the bottom of the sea-ice and flatten out like the top of a thunderhead, effective sweeping the protective freshwater-lens from a large area. And indeed, to my eyes, the sea-ice to the south and east of the Gakkel Ridge hole did seem to thin and melt away with unusual abruptness last summer.

So far my ideas seem to only decrease the volume of the sea-ice, but now comes the counter-intuitive ideas, which lead to increased volume.

The simplistic view is that there are two routes sea-ice can take. It can either stay up at the Pole by remaining in the Beaufort Gyre, or exit the Arctic by riding the Transpolar Drift down through Fram Strait.

The above mapping of currents seemed to fit the “narrative” back in 2007, (when there were actual scientists writing the narrative, and, if bureaucrats were involved, they largely stayed in the background). The Transpolar Drift flushed an extraordinary amount of sea-ice south in 2007, setting a modern-time record for low extent (though I would argue a greater flushing led to sea-ice beaching in Ireland in 1817, and whalers reporting waters were open north of Greenland). (There may not be satellite records for 1817 but there are plenty of written records.)

The Beaufort Gyre was said to hold, spiraled-in and mounded-up at its center, something like 10% of the arctic’s freshwater, injected by rivers and creating a vast Freshwater lens to protect the sea-ice. However, to perpetuate the gyre a clockwise high pressure was required above it, and some Alarmists theorized Global Warming would position a low pressure over the area, reversing the spin, and consequently allowing the Freshwater Lens to slosh outwards and perhaps even gush south into the Atlantic, creating theoretical disasters by halting the Gulf Stream, among other things. This was all very interesting stuff, in terms of Freedom of Speech and honest debate, and so everyone chimed in with what we should expect to see, to prove the theory, and what might disprove the theory.

For whatever reason, (not necessarily Global Warming) there did seem to be an increase in gales over high latitudes, and in August of 2012 a monster gale seemed to affirm many Alarmist ideas, for it so churned the sea-ice that it mixed the cold Freshwater Lens in the Beaufort Gyre with warmer and saltier water beneath, resulting in an amazing melt of the sea-ice above, and even less sea-ice in the arctic as a whole in 2012 than in 2007. A new record low extent was set.

At this point things began to go awry, in terms of the Alarmist narrative, because rather than continuing to shrink, sea-ice levels bounded back unexpectedly. Personally, I think it was because the 2012 storm not only wiped out the Beaufort Gyre Freshwater Lens, but it also wiped out the layer of warmer and saltier water under that lens. With that layer of warmer and saltier water erased, when another huge gale formed over the same spot in 2013, the sea-ice was tossed to and fro but hardly melted at all. I personally was astounded. The lack of melting was in some ways as astounding as the increased melting had been the year before.

I think it was at this point, nearly a decade ago, that I first started to see the bureaucrats get impatient with the science. There were some goodly scientists who had a certain bias towards the Alarmist beliefs who had no concept of an Alarmist agenda. They just loved the subject and were as astounded as I was by the amazing variability which Truth was showing us, and who were as eager as I was to debate what the Truth might be showing us. But these scientists became strangely absent in press releases. Increasingly the “authorities” dismissed the really cool and astounding stuff. They preferred to stick to the stuffy subject which was their narrative.

The narrative liked the simplistic Wikipedia presentation of a complex situation.

Brn-Bld, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

In actual fact Truth is not so simple. The Russians, (who had far more experience, when it came to the movement of sea-ice, for they had actually built floating bases on the ice for decades before the satellite era), had noticed drifts other than the Transpolar Drift. While usually their bases took the route of Nansen’s Fram, basically from the New Siberian Islands to Fram Strait, occasionally their bases would head straight for Canada, which Russia found uncomfortable and embarrassing, for reasons pertaining to the Cold War. In essence, during those unusual circumstances, the Beaufort Gyre expanded right to the New Siberian Islands, temporarily erasing the Transpolar Drift, and sucked all sea-ice towards Canada. (Here is my simplified map of such an event:)

Of course, sea-ice does not move in a straight (or curved) line like this. The above just shows the sum total of a great deal of erratically shifting sea-ice. I highly recommend the NRL 365-day-animation of sea-ice-thickness, if you want to gain a true idea of how sea-ice pulsates like an ameba, with surges like a heartbeat’s. But the sum total showed a sort of opposite to 2007. Where in 2007 a lot of sea-ice was flushed from the Arctic down into the Atlantic, in 2021 a lot of sea-ice was kept in the arctic, as it was shoved across the Pole towards a collision with sea-ice already in place towards Canada. The net result was that the sea-ice in the Central Arctic thickened and the Volume Graph showed an increase, when compared to prior years.

The question then becomes, could this shift in the movement of sea-ice have anything to do with the derangement of currents caused by the apparent eruption on the Gakkel Ridge?

I confess my bias, which thinks there is some linkage. But I also sorely miss the good old days, when I could confess my bias with people who were as interested as I was (and am), but who were biased differently. They always came armed with insights and observations which added to my knowledge, and often supplied me with links to papers and articles I’d never before read. Just as two eyes possess a depth perception which a myopic cyclops can’t even imagine, I always found the views of others deepened my understanding in a way the shallow cannot concieve.

For a final example, one beauty of those days was that the people handing out the money were apparently convinced Global Warming was established fact and that the scientists they sponsored would only verify what was a foregone conclusion. Many scientists tried very hard to please their patrons and developed a refined and, in some ways, laughable skill at making the final paragraphs of their papers make it sound like what they had discovered verified Global Warming, even when in fact their discoveries were a wrench-in-the-works.

A lot of their work was dangerous and grueling, for it involved working on shifting, grinding sea-ice in the general vicinity of 1500 pound man-eating bears. In the glaring sunlight of summer, they could suffer sunburn and frostbite on the same day, with some snow-blindness thrown in on the side. But, due to the flood of money supplied, they were able to bore holes in the ice and take measurements at various depths under the water and to travel in icebreakers to put in place entire arrays of buoys, all of which gathered wonderful data never before seen by man.

One fabulous amount of work traced the movement of Atlantic water into the Arctic Sea through Fram Strait, and followed it through various branchings, and shifts in depth, all around the Arctic Sea until it exited, on the far side of Fram Strait. This beautiful work was briefly accepted as if currents were riven on stone, but the next summer, to the dismay of some, the hard-working scientists discovered currents wander and meander. In fact maps of such currents may be much like a map of upper air jet streams: As honest and truthful as they may be on a Monday, things may be very different by Friday.

Such variances and subtleties are par for the course for an honest student of Truth, who is accustomed to facing wonder, but for a patron expecting proof of a foregone conclusion such honesty is annoying, and a good reason to invest money elsewhere. (Where there was the money for something like eight buoys-with-cameras bobbing about the Pole in 2012, now there are none.)

At this point it is helpful to look back in history (for the last time, I promice you.)

The ground-level meteorologists had to struggle even to create ground-level maps, back when they first formed into a weather bureau at the time of the Civil War. However even in the 1860’s, when only connected with telegraph, they were well aware a whole world of weather lay above them. They could see what sea-captains saw: That the high clouds moved differently from the low scud. They longed for inventions such as weather balloons, perhaps thinking they might achieve perfection in their forecasts with more data. Rather than perfection they tended to discover greater complexity, and increasing numbers of variables, which either depressed them deeply, or else filled them with wonder. Even the relatively recent adoption of Doppler Radar failed to live up to its promise, for rather than seeing thunderstorms as simple entities which it was easy to track, it reveled complex combinations of updrafts and downdrafts which could allow intense areas of storminess pop up and then swiftly vanish, making forecasting like the game of “whack-a-mole”.

In a sense sea-ice scientists area going through a similar period as upper-air meteorologists went through in the 1860’s, only they are looking down towards the depths rather than up to the firmament. Just as it must have been hard for scientists in the 1860’s to find people to fund research of the upper atmosphere, it is hard for sea-ice scientists to find people who will fund research of the deeps. For example, brilliant scientists like William Gray spent decades attempting to get the government of the United States to research thermohaline circulation, but was stonewalled by politicians like Al Gore, who deemed William Gray a wrench-in-the-works.

I think one thing that has recently made actual research look bad was the simple fact research made models look bad. After all, models are based on the hard facts produced by prior research, and when actual research amends prior research, then the models are based on bunkum. There is no evil intent in this ruination. It simply shows a weakness in the models. After all, if the models are based on Monday’s jet-stream, and are not tweaked to understand the jet-stream will be different by Friday (as atmospheric models actually are) then the model will be doomed to failure.

The fact of the matter is that the makers-of-models should welcome actual research, for it offers them an opportunity to tweak their models and make them better. Sadly, some makers-of-models failed to see things in this manner. They were as eager for funding as actual researchers were, and I fear at times they resented any who made their models look imperfect and threatened their funding, which made them see the Truth gleaned by actual research as a critic and as a threat. Because these computer geeks apparently had more political clout, a situation arose where computer models created by geeks (who had never stepped onto sea-ice in their life) got more funding than the actual researchers (who had). In cases where the computers were gigantic and even more expensive than actual arctic expeditions, the millions spent learned more about computers than about sea-ice.

Perhaps the last hurrah of actual research was the MOSAiC expedition, which parked Northstern in the Sea-ice in September of 2019 to drift roughly the same route Nansen did in the Fram. The leader was full of political savvy, and did a fine job of making the show politically correct, even as his underlings discovered wonder after wonder which were not.

For example, the Northstern in 2019 drifted faster than the Fram did in 1893, and this enabled the leader to announce that this proved Global Warming had made the sea-ice thinner and “more fluid and therefore faster”. I think this definately scored him points in the political circus, (which is too dense to see that, if the Northstern had set sail in September of 2020, it would have realized Nansen’s dream by drifting right across the Pole, but by now might be in serious trouble, jammed in thick ice somewhere north of the Canadian Archipelago.) But I admire the MOSAiC leader for he allowed his scurvy crew to gather all sorts of actual data, much of which was beautiful and wonderful and so unexpected it not only upset the conventions computer models are based upon, but the preconceptions my own ideas are based upon.

Coolest was the appearance of a seal chasing arctic cod in a deep camera’s video, in the dead of winter. It is theoretically impossible for a seal to even be there, for seals need to breath air, and theoretically the sea in January is lidded by thick ice. Of course, it is also was recently theoretically impossible for the cod to be there, as only twenty years ago it was a “scientific fact” that the Arctic Ocean was a sterile and basically lifeless desert, away from its shores. The MOSAiC expedition proved the underside of ice, like the underside of a ship far at sea, attracts all sorts of life, including long festoons of algae, and this under-ice ecology makes the Arctic Sea the richest and most-alive ocean, (away from shorelines), on earth.

Also very cool was their discovery of turbulence in the supposedly calm waters under the sea-ice. This likely wrecked some computer models by wrecking the assumptions of calm plugged into such models. Yet what they saw was so obvious I slapped my own forehead for not seeing it myself, earlier.

The turbulence was based upon the simple fact that nine tenth of an iceberg is underwater, and therefore where a satellite shows a fifty-mile-long pressure ridge, ten feet tall, there must be a fifty-mile-long keel to that pressure ridge, sticking ninety feet down. And when winter gales hit that fifty-mile-long sail sticking up at a perpendicular angle, the area of ice is pushed by that gigantic sail, and the ninety-foot-deep keel of that gigantic ship moves sideways. The keel becomes like the blade of an unimaginably big spoon, stirring the water it moves through. This reality made utter mincemeat of the idea I held, which was that the waters under the ice were quiet and calm, because the ice protected those waters from the wind.

Formerly I imagined the only source for turbulence would involve waters becoming open, or at least open enough to allow the wind to create waves. But this created a problem at times, for a wave on the surface doesn’t stir water below it all that deeply. I noted submarines could avoid the waves of a gale by traveling only a hundred feet below the surface. The energy of waves twenty feet tall diminishes rapidly beneath the churned surface, and the “wavebase”, (which is a point where waves do not even stir the sediment on the sea bottom beneath) is roughly half the distance between two waves.

This caused me troubles in my back-of-an-envelope calculations regarding the 2012 gale, because the sea-ice melt seemed to require more turbulence than waves could generate. This trouble occurred because that melt truly did employ more turbulence than waves could generate, in and of themselves.

What a dope I was. I should have remembered the “keels”, for the submarine skippers I liked to refer to often mentioned keels of surprising size below the largest pressure ridges, and how American and Russian submarines would use such down-thrusting keels to hide behind, when playing Cold War games of hide and seek.

Now it is blindingly obvious such keels, thrusting down sometimes over a hundred feet, are able to stir waters surface waves can’t even touch. This explains a lot about the 2012 gale, especially the early stages where there was still a lot of sea-ice. It was not the waves of open water which so stirred the undersea that the Beaufort Gyre Freshwater Lens was basically destroyed due to being turbulently mixed with warmer and salter water beneath. Rather it was giant “spoons” stirring the sea. Considering the blades of these spoons were at least at a depth of ninety feet, one concludes the agitation was starting there and extending some distance below.

Besides exposing sea-ice to salt and warmth in the 2012 gale, and leading to that summer’s astonishingly swift melt, it also can be seen such “big spoons” would disturb the carefully calculated and painstakingly measured currents under the sea-ice. Nature seemingly has no regard for the hard work of scientists. Scientists can risk the wrath of 1500 pound bears researching and mapping currents in 2011, and with the whim of a single storm all that research is rendered obsolete, and further research is needed.

It also can be seen that when computer models depend on hard data, they can, and in fact must, become unreliable when the hard data gets mushy. This is not a disgrace for either the researchers gathering the hard data, nor the computer modelers utilizing the hard data, for neither has been dishonest. They have merely assumed things were less variable than things are. Corrections are needed and further funding is needed for further research.

In terms of the jet streams of the upper atmosphere, and the research done since the first attempts to map the weather after the Civil War, there have been many advancements, and each advancement involved the abandonment of prior assumptions. This is no disgrace upon the early meteorologists. The upper air maps created in the 1880’s are amazing, when you consider the fact the first weather balloon never set sail until 1892 in France, and the earlier meteorologists had to depend on kites which couldn’t fly when winds were too weak (or too strong) and couldn’t ascend above roughly a mile and a half (3 km). Much was assessed by men with craggy eyebrows simply squinting heavenwards and gauging the speed and movement of the highest cirrus, in the manner of sea-captains and shepherds millennium into the past. Yet there was always the desire to get better data, and somehow the meteorologists eager to learn were always able to scrounge up funding and find patrons.

Apparently, the patrons of yore didn’t mind when new discoveries made shambles of old ideas. Perhaps they were warmed by the glow of being part of a discovery, or perhaps they were more demanding and wanted a better product, a better forecast, and, as imperfect as forecasts always are (and likely always will be), there can be no doubt that (in my lifetime) they are improved.

I am often amazed when the vast learning of decades of research is compressed into a computer model, and that model sees a storm five days in the future I cannot see in the current maps. However, the same computer will over and over create a hurricane in the fifteen-day-maps, and, when that hurricane over and over never appears, it is called a “glitch” of that particular model. It is a “bug” that needs to be worked out, and a reason for further funding. There remains plenty of room for wonder, and for admission of error.

However, for the patron who expected proof of a foregone conclusion, the only wonder felt is a wonder whether he is wasting his money. He doesn’t like “admission of error” nor feel the new data is “cool”, in the manner I do. He only feels it is cool because his approval cools. When he spends his money he expects results, and he does not approve of Truth when it counters what he wants.

How sad. Such a person cannot see Truth is Beauty, and only desires the verification of a preconception. It is particularly pitiful when the preconception was incorrect. Yet some believe what is incorrect is to their advantage, and feel untruthfulness is “politically correct”, and even desire to cancel any who threaten their preconception, even if their preconception is a baseless infatuation. For this reason they threaten scientists who depend on them for funding with an end to funding, demanding those scientists abandon Truth to arrive at the “foregone conclusion”. Even those scientists who secretly believe Truth is cool can understand it is not so cool to say so. They must nod and smile, like the doctor from communist Poland I met in my boyhood.

How am I able to call such discoveries “cool”? I suppose it is because I have a fairly good relationship with Truth. You may say this is only possible because I am not a scientist, and my livelihood isn’t threatened. I beg to differ.

I can call Truth a “wonder” when it counters what I formerly believed, (my “foregone conclusion”), because I have had to see my ideas were wrong over and over in my life. It has always been for the best, though in the short term it could get me fired. For example, I’ve learned bosses do not appreciate truthfulness when you confess you were wrong in your estimation of their integrity. They would prefer you to kiss their ass.

To some degree I must have taken this ability to confess that I’d made a mistake too far, for I managed to offend so many people I wound up sleeping in my car. Few people like being called a mistake. I would have been wiser to call them human, for no mortal is perfect unless they have achieved the level of the Christ, and few will claim they’re Christ, if you corner them. They just don’t like being called a mistake.

Having confessed that mistake I made, I should also confess a pride I felt to be sleeping in my car. You may wonder how I could feel it was “for the best”, but I truly did feel there was no other way to go. Not that I didn’t wrestle with bitterness, but it was a proud bitterness, like the bitterness of Bob Dylen’s song, “Like A Rolling Stone,” which has the strangely sane diatribe:

Ah, princess on the steeple and all the
Pretty people they’re all drinkin’, thinkin’ that they
Got it made

Exchanging all precious gifts
But you’d better take your diamond ring
You’d better pawn it, babe

You used to be so amused
At Napoleon in rags
And the language that he used
Go to him now, he calls you
You can’t refuse

When you ain’t got nothin’
You got nothin’ to lose
You’re invisible now, you got no secrets
To conceal

Actually, to comprehend the pride in the bitterness its likely best to hear the then-young man singing.

Of course, Bob Dylan’s honesty made him millions, (which likely exposed him to a whole slew of troubles only he can talk about). For most of us honesty tends to get us fired. We tend to “kiss ass” only up to a certain point, after which job-security can’t outweigh “risk”, and we stand by Truth. We are not honored with millions of dollars, but I do assert we are honored.

Why? Because if we Stand by the Truth, then Truth will stand by us. Not that we achieve some sort of euphoric nirvana, but rather we feel decent. There is a certain well-being involved in decency many wealthy, famous and powerful people know very little about.

I could go (and have gone) on at great length about my life as an artist, and how, despite short-term poverty, standing up for Truth was always for the best. But such digressions involve seeking Truth as an artist, which is a different path from seeking Truth as a scientist. In some ways I think it is easier for an artist to be a dishwasher, after telling a prior boss he will not kiss that boss’s ass. It’s not so easy for a scientist. A scientist needs his microscope in the same way the Polish doctor needed his hospital. Despite the insultingly stupid bureaucrats, they have to kiss ass longer than artists do. If they really love Truth, they suffer more than poets suffer.

Just as doctors, who love the beauty of healing, suffer when some bureaucrat makes healing harder, sea-ice scientists must suffer when some bureaucrat makes study of the variables involved in the growth and melting of sea-ice harder. The study of sea-ice is far behind the study of the upper atmosphere, and in some ways its progress and development is analogous to where the study of the upper atmosphere was when the first weather balloons were launched in 1892. It’s far harder to take soundings downward in the frigid Arctic Sea than upwards among the lovely cumulous of sunny France. But the discoveries are of Truth, and of a beauty that is never-ending.

Who in their right mind would renounce such never-ending beauty for the sallow corruption of politics? Apparently, some do, but it is only because they are ignorant and do not know what they do. They think they gain when they are missing so much that is beautiful.

The Coronavirus hysteria hit even as the Polarstern drifted, and I must admit the MOSAiC expedition did a fine job of remaining scientific under extreme pressure, but since they made it back to their home port I have seen little in the ways of true science from the arctic. Blame the conflict between Russia and Ukraine if you will, but people have greater concerns than sea-ice. (Personally, I am concerned about food prices, and despite my vow to retire from farming, have felt compelled to plant enough potatoes to keep me fed next winter.) With such concerns at the forefront, what does sea-ice matter?

And my answer is? It never mattered, in terms of daily bread. If you look back to my first sea-ice post, you will see it confesses I was avoiding the harsh reality of my life, like a schoolboy looking out the window of an Algebra Class at the beauty of clouds. Back then, in the 1960’s, that now-long-dead teacher clashed the venetian blinds closed and shook her finger at me, warning me if I didn’t attend to Algebra I would wind up as a dishwasher and sleeping in my car. And she was correct. But it was worth it.

To me, sea-ice has never been about money, but rather about beauty. The more I study the Truth involved the more beauty I see. Yet it seems the most amazing thing to me that my admiration of something so divorced from my humdrum life should matter at all to anyone but me. Why should anyone care? It is as if I was a schoolboy gazing out the window at a thunderhead as it billowed in the sky. Why should anyone else care for that cloud?

I suppose people simply like beauty. I’m not the only person who saw better things out the window than on the blackboard, in school. I’m not the only one who watched clouds in wonder. And therefore, a young punk like Bob Dylan can utter a diatribe of brutal honesty, and much to his own astonishment find himself amazingly popular. Why? Because Truth is Beauty, and in his brutal honesty there was something people found beautiful. In like manner, in my early sea-ice posts, back when I was just learning about the subject, my simple honesty abruptly gained me hundreds and sometimes thousands of “views”. But this in turn led to censorship and shadow-banning, so now I’m lucky to get fifty “views.”

It doesn’t matter much to me. I’ve never had a “tip jar” on this site and do not write for money. I write to think deeper and see deeper and, by tracing beauty, to understand beauty better. And I must admit that my study of sea-ice has allowed me to see Truth better. Not only truths about sea-ice but truths about people. I also must say that having a website is superior to writing in a diary, because feedback stimulates thought, and even the most troll-like comments have led me to treasures.

However, the censorship and shadow-banning does make me sad, for obviously some are missing the beauty I see, and the beauty that true scientists see. It forces me to contemplate what gain they imagine they could get from so much loss. It is an oxymoron. How can they gain from loss?

They can’t. And midst the current collapse of decency, which we are all experiencing, I think there may be a sort of final admission we cannot gain from loss. The bully thinks he may gain the respect he desires from bullying, but in the end always learns all he gets is disrespect, when he behaves that way. The rapist thinks he or she will draw closer to the man, woman or child he or she abuses, but ends up far from humanity. The bureaucrat thinks….(oh, who the hell knows what nonsense they think)…but they think those who don’t work should be paid by those who do. It can’t continue. We’ve been given a long rope to hang ourselves with, but even a long rope is too short when the hanging draws nigh.

What has this to do with sea-ice? Very little, and that is what it so interesting about the times we are in. In some ways there is no escape:

When I was younger, to talk about religion or politics was dangerous, but to talk about weather was safe. To talk about the weather at the North Pole was doubly safe by being far away. But little did I know, back when I first posted about using sea-ice as a personal escape in 2013, that I was not going to escape. I could not have chosen less wisely. I chose about the most dangerous topic I could have chosen.

In some ways I wish I had chosen a better escapism: Perhaps the subject of the way frogs sing in the spring, and how their populations fluctuate, and how some springs are louder as populations surge, and then how the music changes as there are variations in which populations are surging, so sometimes the shrill frogs outnumber the low strummers. Maybe that would have only gotten me ten “views”, but at least I would not be shadow banned.

In other ways I’m glad I chose the escapism I chose, despite the furor it involved me with. Why? Because it taught me how much better it is to seek Truth than to obey propaganda. The propaganda in 2022 is the same boring stuff I heard in 2008, “Sea-ice may melt this summer and woe to all of us,” but actual study has taught me so much more.

In actual fact we are infants, and our study of sea-ice is in its infancy. We fans of sea-ice are like atmospheric scientists were in the 1880s, with primitive kites measuring the upper atmosphere. But we are learning. We see more and more. Much is astounding. Much is amazing. Much is stuff we have never seen before.

For example, one way of looking at things sees only a very slow and gradual decent of warm and salty water, after it is pulled to the north. Call this the “slowly-slanting” path. But other ways of looking at things see waters dive more directly, for example when sub-zero brine is created by freezing. And waters may also arise in a “non-slowly-slanting” manner, above volcanoes in Gakkel Ridge. In other words, you must devise a computer model that has both “slowly-slanting” and also “non-slowly-slanting” currents, and the model must allow for the fact such currents are not steady, but turn on and off with seasons, and also abruptly appear due to the whims of volcanoes.

This could verge us on despair, for there are too many variables, and how the heck can one forecast volcanoes? However, another discipline of science is doing exactly this.

Initially I thought such people were whack-jobs, especially when they talked about “solar cycles”. How could anything as gentle as a sunbeam effect anything so gigantic as a Krakatoa? However, because debate was allowed, and Freedom of Speech was allowed, I was alerted to certain correlations. And yes, “correlations are not causations”, but saying, “correlation is not causation”, is no reason to ignore correlations. In fact, it gives one an area to focus upon.

One thing much debated was the effect of the “Quiet Sun”, and one thing noted about past “Quiet Suns” was that they coincided, between 10 and 20 years after their onset, with massive volcanic eruptions. For example, the ice-cores from both Greenland and Antarctica show two layers of volcanic ash, over a decade after the start of the Dalton Minimum. One is associated with the massive Tambora eruption of 1815, but geologists are uncertain where on earth the earlier, equally massive eruption occurred, around 1810. I’ll leave that wonder to the geologists, and instead attend to wondering if the Modern Minimum will have two massive eruptions. It seems a good test of the correlation but leads us to yet more wonder.

More? Yes, for there may have been two massive eruptions already, only they didn’t show their stuff where the news media could see, but two miles down in the sea. One may (or may not) have made waters unexpectedly warm east of New Zeeland in 2020, and the second may have occurred on Gakkel Ridge last spring.

Is there even more? Yes, for the sheer number of wonders steers us to another wonder, which is that, when variables are so numerous, digital computers have a weakness. They can handle “either, or” but have a harder time with the “either, or, or, or, or, or,” of many variables. This may explain why they work so well in the five-day-forecasts, but so poorly in the fifteen-day-forecasts. And this leads us to consider whether we need to invest in analog computers, which are in a way much better with variables. How so?

Well, consider this: The injection systems in our vehicles are of a digital nature, while the old-fashioned carburetors they replaced worked in a more analog manner. We may prefer the exact nature of digital devices, and prefer injection to carburetors, but a carburetor only costs a hundred dollars while an injection system costs thousands. Hmm. One might be tempted to reconsider carburetors, when dealing with “security” and “risk,” while designing a better engine. At the very least it should be debated under the auspice of Freedom of Speech.

Much of this technical stuff is above my head, (especially stuff concerning computers), and I leave such stuff for younger minds to debate. I urge them to do so, even without my attendance, and even if such debate is deemed “politically incorrect” by the internet gangsters. Form a secret underground society which allows Freedom of Speech, for all the reasons I outline in this essay. I strongly believe that, if you do so, the thing called “ingenuity” will manifest. If you seek Truth it does not matter how far apart your fields of study may seem to be: It does not matter if one has walked the sea-ice and another has never left his computer; it does not matter if one studies sea-ice and another studies lava; varied views, when they kneel before Truth, wind up spliced into a beautiful braid, and “ingenuity” manifests.

But such debate requires Freedom of Speech. The only thing worthy of censorship is censorship itself.

This well may be my last sea-ice post, but, if I am bidding adieu, I must offer a final observation of the wonders of the actual ice.

(This is just an example of me sharing an observation I find “cool.” I am not saying I am any sort of authority, but I am a viewer, and while we may not be in a cave and I may not be the only person seeing daylight, I think even trivial views matter. That has a ring to it: “Trivial Views Matter.” (TVM) (Send funds.))

The wonder I’ll share has to do with a quirk in the “extent” graph which occurred at the end of January.

Back around 2005 such quirks were great fun, for back then Skeptic and Alarmists were like cheerleaders rooting their team, and when a graph quirked up like this the Skeptics would cheer wildly, but when it plunged the Skeptics would chew garlic as the Alarmists all went crazy with elation. Everyone was so wet-behind-the-ears back then that the line on the graph was all they attended to, but Freedom of Speech and debate made both Skeptics and Alarmists wiser, as they eventually sought the reason for the quirk.

Yowza! what a storm! Check out the central pressure. It’s below 940 mb, or 27.70 inches of mercury. Few hurricanes or typhoons ever get so low. When they do, (for example the Labor Day hurricane of 1935 dropped at least to 26.34) they have unbelievable power, (the 1935 hurricane blew locomotives off the rails.) It is fortunate the super-storms of the arctic effect so few people, but they do effect sea-ice.

The initial advancement in the intelligence of both Alarmists and Skeptics involved the birth of an awareness that sea-ice “extent” was at times like an accordion. The accordion can stretch out or squeeze shut, but it is the same accordion. “Extent” can rise and fall utilizing the exact same amount of ice. This prompted increased interest in both “area” graphs and “volume” graphs, which are far harder to create and involve guesswork that has difficulties withstanding harsh criticism. However, the advancement continued.

One thing apparent was that when the “accordian” of sea-ice spread out, it created areas of open water (visible even in winter darkness with infrared satellite imaging.) Open water in the dead of win ter initially produced wild cheering from the Alarmist cheerleaders. Further cheering was heard because open water immediately spiked surface temperatures. However, debate followed and both Alarmists and Skeptics learned more and more.

For one thing, the infrared imaging showed the open water nearly instantly froze over. Within hours there was sea-ice thick enough for 1500 pound bears to gingerly walk across, but such ice could not withstand the pressures created when gales shifted winds and the “accordion” squeezed shut. Then rather than a wide area of open water turning into smooth “baby ice” there was a narrow pressure ridge of crushed, mangled and jumbled sea-ice. (In fact the NRL animation shows even the area of thin ice created over Gakkel Ridge last spring became an area of thick, jumbled sea-ice, thiker than other nearby ice, only a few months later.) This awareness produced a wonderful contradiction leading to wonderful debates between Alarmists and Skeptics. Contradiction? Yes, for open water had led to thicker ice.

A final topic for debate was the fact that open water was not always a sign of warmer water, but sometimes a sign of chilling water. In fact, polynyas of open water, when blasted by midwinter cold, disturbed “slowly slanting” currents with downward-moving spikes of brine extracted from the swiftly freezing salt water, creating what some droll person in Antarctica dubbed “brinicles.”

Cool, aye? But the point is that, if there is no sea-bottom to halt the “brinicle”, it jabs straight down as a “non-slowly-slanting” current and makes modelling all the more challenging.

But my point is not that the challenge may make one want to fling their hands up in despair. My point is what fun it was back in the day when Alarmists and Skeptics had the Liberty of Freedom of Speech. Even when on opposing sides of a debate we in a sense were all on the same team, for we were all engrossed in the same Truth. In a sense there was the eagerness of children without the childishness of children. There was an eagerness to see the next discovery, without the childish demand that one get-the-credit for making the discovery. Getting-the-credit was in some ways out of the question, like taking-the-credit for a sunrise.

Of course, such fun had to be paid for, which introduced the topic of funding, which was quite a different matter. It was then people had to adopt attitudes and take credit for sunrises they didn’t create, and wear white lab coats, and make authorative statements about unproven hypotheses with a raised index finger, because some bureaucrat wanted that hypothesis stated as an established fact. In other words, the rot set in.

My point is that, once you abandon the joy of Liberty, it is as if one denies themselves the vast scope of thought which accepts wonder, and for what? For a mere myopia. One becomes like a cart horse wearing blinders, only able to see a narrow lane ahead. Not only does this pinch a person’s horizon down to a dot, but it denies the process that occurs when many views are involved, which results in “ingenuity”, and in solutions to problems which seemed insolvable.

Such a grievous loss is worthy of our grief. It should be nothing anyone desires. Any who see differing views as merely a wrench-in-the-works, worth the harsh treatment of Cancel Culture, needs to be gently reminded what they are in fact losing when they resort to such behavior. (People think differently if they see they lose more than they gain.) Even though the actual wrench-in-the-works of free discourse may be the Cancellers themselves, their view needs to be respected and they need to be gently persuaded to step from greater ignorance to lesser ignorance. For all are ignorant in some way. What matters is how civil we are about it.

Perhaps the best response is to simply defy censorship and form groups of thinkers who understand the joy of free thought, and to have a good time enjoying the Liberty of Freedom of Speech. Onlookers cannot help but notice the aura of light, and be drawn in. Furthermore, Truth benefits those who bow before It and honor It. And if you haven’t seen this for yourself yet, you’ll just have to take my word for it: If you stand by the Truth then Truth will stand by you.

ARCTIC SEA ICE –Arguments For Reversing Currents–

Here is a nice, current example of the Beaufort Gyre reduced and the Transpolar Drift enhanced, leading to sea-ice being flushed down through Fram Strait, which is occurring today, (January 3).

It is important to remember the motion of sea-ice is in constant flux and varies from day to day. For example, only a few days ago the condition was reversed, and it was the Beaufort Gyre that was greatly expanded, to a degree the Transpolar Drift was erased and replaced by what I call the “Cold War Current” (because this variance from ordinary currents would cause Russian “spy” ice-bases to drift from locations easily resupplied from Russia, and away towards Canada, leading to spy vs. spy shenanigans; [see CIA operation “Coldfeet” in 1962].) (For the opposite situation, wherein a USA “spy” satellite fell on sea-ice where Russians might get at it, see the fate of the satellite Discover 2 in 1959, [which prompted the movie “Ice Station Zebra” in 1969].) Here is an example of that “Cold War Current” from December 29:

The fact that the sea-ice is whipped first one way and then another, first speeding up and then slowing down, is the reason the sea-ice surface is twisted and contorted into piled-up pressure ridges separated by flat areas of thinner ice, where “leads” of open water have swiftly refrozen in the Arctic night. However, notice that in both of the above maps the sea-ice is heading down through Fram Strait and the east coast of Greenland. This is called the Greenland Current, but I call it the “Fram Flush”.

Not that even the Fram Flush ice-flow can’t be reversed. An example of such wrong-way-flow occurred back on December 2. (It also is a fairly good example of the “Cold War Current”.)

Now I should confess something which I don’t understand. It is this: Most of the studies I have perused which attempt to map the currents under the ice fail to show any such variability. This may be due to the limited amount of data available, and the limited amount of time data has been able to be collected. Besides an array of fixed buoys across Fram Strait, there have only been limited expeditions taking actual measurements, strings of readings from icebreakers which may number scores or even hundreds of individual readings, but each such reading is one-time-in-one-place, which cannot be compared with measurements in the same place weeks, months, years or decades earlier. This sparce information is fed into computer models which may then create a stability where stability does not exist, (accidentally enacting GIGO). I also assume this false sense of stability is to a degree necessary. Why? Because models are already smoking, just dealing with the variables they already accept, and to include additional variables might make them be too big to buy and too expensive to run. In any case we are left with a seemingly impossible situation: The currents under the ice are steady while the icefloes atop those currents are erratic.

Don’t get me wrong. I don’t mean to downplay the herculin efforts of the men who gather the actual data, often in extremely uncomfortable environments and even at risk of their own lives from frostbite, thin ice, or 1500-pound polar bears. Furthermore, I assert every scrap of data they gather has value. But I do feel puzzled by some of the conclusions arrived at, even early on in the discovery process. In a sense it is as one found apples and attempted to attach them to the branches of a walnut tree.

For example, a certain, inherant doubt in the idea that the erratic-movement-of-sea-ice is not reflected in the currents under the ice was created by the O-buoys, which sent out signals indicating their precise location, and through which it could be seen the sea-ice in Fram Strait pulsed in a zig-zag manner, responding to the tides. (Obuoy 9 was fabulous in this respect, as it arrived in Fram Strait. Even during a spell of calm winds, when only the currents under the sea-ice could move the ice, the buoy zig-zagged.) Also, on certain other, earlier occasions the famous “North Pole Camera” drifted upwind, moving against the wind, which had to have involved the power of a current under the ice. Yet the idea the currents were steady, even as sea-ice moved erratically, persisted.

Forgive me for this suspicion, but I got the feeling that the concept of “steady currents” was one of those so-called “narratives” which a young scientist would be ill-advised to question, if he wanted funding. I haven’t a clue why “steady currents” might be more “politically-correct” than “variable and meandering currents”, but it did seem that evidence “for” was welcomed as established fact, while evidence “against” vanished into the dustbin of unfunded and disdained ignominy. Perhaps someone can explain to me why “steady currents” were preferred. But it does seem that one reason that funding for drifting cameras on the sea-ice was discontinued was because such cameras (and attached instruments) gave the general public too many reasons to question the various “narratives”, while doing too little to actually support the various “narratives.”

One reason to support the “steady currents” narrative was that, while gales might rage to hurricane force above the sea-ice, waters beneath the sea-ice were sheltered by the ice and were tranquil and still. I myself accepted this as a logical deduction. However, the MOSAiC Expedition noted “unexpected turbulence” under the ice. What was unexpected manifested in the following way:

Apparently, a large pressure-ridge that thrusts up twenty feet is like any iceberg, with nine-tenths of its bulk underwater, and therefore must theoretically thrust down 180 feet. Such a pressure ridge, many miles long, is in essence a boat with a sail twenty feet high, and an oversized keel. When winds of hurricane force hit the sail, the keel also moves, and has an effect like the blade of a spoon, stirring the water it moves through. In cases where that “spoon”, 180 feet deep and many miles long, moved across or against the existing “steady current”, the result was “unexpected turbulence.” The MOSAiC researchers dared not go any farther than that, in their conclusions, for one does not want to stir the waters of the accepted narrative.

Truth, however, is constantly stirring the waters. It cares very little about what we think. (In fact, when Truth actually does respond to what we think it is often called “a miracle.”) (When personal preference effects science it is deemed “bias”, a forecast becomes a “wish-cast”, and ordinarily we expect failure.)

Truth does what is Truth, and is most harmonious to the entirety of Creation. Truth sees the Big Picture. And the Big Picture often allows meandering and seldom lets the straight remain straight, (or a “steady current” remain steady).

Think of a meandering stream, on those occasions when the meander abruptly becomes an oxbow lake, as the river cuts a corner. Or think of the jet-stream doing roughly the same thing, when a loop becomes a “cut off low” as the jet resumes a straighter course. And then assure me arctic currents never, never do the same? I’ll politely nod, but privately entertain doubts.

At this point I feel I should take a hard look in the mirror, and confess my own unwillingness to have my own ideas poked and prodded by doubts. Just because something makes no sense to me, doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. For example, take a platypus…

That being said, let me say another maxim of the idea of “steady currents” seems to be “thou shalt not include seasonal variability.” This knocks me backwards flat on my butt, for there is no place on earth where seasons are so exaggerated and extreme as the arctic, as it shifts from total 24-hour darkness to total 24-hour sunshine. It shifts from temperatures which (almost) never allow melting to temperatures which (almost) never allow freezing. A factoid of the not-many-people-know-that sort involves the extreme heat at the Pole when the sun is at its highest: On the summer solstice the Pole receives more heat than the equator.

This factoid strikes some as sheer nonsense. After all, on the equator the sun beats down from 90° while at the Pole it slants down from 23.5°. However it takes the tropical sun an hour and a half to rise above 23.5° in the morning, and it spends its last hour and a half below 23.5° in the afternoon, and then it does not shine at all during the twelve-hour tropical night, as the polar sun just sits at 23.5° 24 hours a day. In other words, the tropical sun only beats the polar sun for nine hours a day, and during the other fifteen hours the polar sun accrues enough hourly energy to beat the equator. It’s a race where the turtle beats the rabbit, in the end.

In any case, during the polar summer the Pole recieves a big shot of energy, while during the winter it receives no solar energy at all, (except as imports from southerly winds and currents). “Seasonal variability” is extreme. How can currents not reflect such extremes, especially when our understanding is that freezing and thawing in some ways partially fuels such currents?

The “cause” of currents is a weave of many variables, the most stable (and easy-to-model) of which is likely the Coriolis effect. But let us pick another variable thread from the weave: Part of thermohaline circulation involves cold water sinking at the Pole and being replaced by warm water rising and coming north from the equator. (Yes, it is far more complex than that, but we are examining only one thread.)

One major contributor to the sinking water is salty brine exuded from the sea-ice as it freezes. Such brine is especially cold and especially salty, which makes it especially dense. (Such brine is even exuded from the so called “freshwater lens,” for such lenses are actually “brackish-water lenses” due to diffusion and the mixing caused by turbulent storms. Where “seawater” has roughly 33-35 parts per thousand of salt, I have seen water with as high as 32 parts per thousand called a “freshwater lens”.) In any case, most of the freezing occurs in a rush between October 1 and January 1, which would mean most of the cold, salty and dense brine sinks in a surge at that time. Conversely, during the height of summer enormous melting occurs and little brine at all is contributed to the thermohaline circulation, though (because sea-ice has earlier been liberated from much of its salt) a lot of relatively fresh water is added to the freshwater lens. Therefore it “should” follow that, because brine is added in such a pulsing manner, a current ought to pulse, and have a sort of heartbeat. Do they? Not according to the “steady current” school of thought. “Seasonal variation” does not exist.

Another seasonal surge is water added to the “freshwater lens” by the flow of arctic rivers. With the exception of the Volga, nearly the entire northern half of Eurasia floods into the Arctic, but not during the winter. During the winter the water is largely locked up as ice, and precipitation locked up as deepening snow. Even the world’s tenth largest river, the Lena, dwindles away until its waters can drop as much as sixty feet, and only 1% of its yearly flow reaches the seas in March. But when spring comes, look out! All that snow melts under the powerful summer sunshine, and the river rises back sixty feet. The chart below shows that one June the flow of the Lena exceeded 100,000 cubic meters a second, which is five times the flow of the Mississippi.

From “Siberian Lena River hydrologic regime and recent change” Yang et al

Other great arctic rivers show the same sort of surge in flow in the spring. For example, the Makenzie River rises from a flow of roughly 3400 cubic meters per second in March to roughly 20500 in June. This represents an enormous inflow of fresher and warmer water, basically all at once, to the Arctic Sea. Then the cessation of this flow is nearly as abrupt, in October. And I am asked to believe the flow of associated currents remains steady?

Considering a first surge of sinking brine occurs October to January, and a second surge in the size of the freshwater lens, due to both melting sea-ice and river-water, occurs May through August, I am not only surprised currents are expected to be steady; I am also surprised currents don’t reverse course entirely. After all, a lot of sinking brine creates a very good reason for water to flow in at the surface, but adding as much as a quarter million square meters of river water to the freshwater lens per second, at the surface, seems to give surface waters ample excuse to flow out of the Pole. After all, the river waters raise the physical level of the Arctic Sea, so it must depart, due to the law of gravity. The only explanation I’ve been able to invent may be sheer poppycock: The thickening of the freshwater lens presses down like a sort of CPR onto deeper waters, pushing the flow along the same route the brine takes.

At this point I feel I need to throw yet another wrench into the works. In the above case the thermohaline flow involves the decent of waters at the Pole, however lava at over 1000 degrees would create a plume of rising water right where it is supposed to be descending. This scenario seems to happen in the area of Gamel Ridge, close to the craters of three volcanoes two miles down called Thor, Oden and Loke.

As an aside, the discovery of these craters discredited a view held by some geologists that explosive eruptions could not occur under the extreme pressure created by having two miles of water overhead. Explosive eruptions occur when a volcano is uncapped like a bottle of soda, and bubbles form in the lava in the same way bubbles form in soda pop, only on a far larger scale. However, pressures are so great two miles down that CO2 exists in its liquid state (as it does inside a pressurized fire extinguisher) and dribbles of liquid CO2 have actually been seen exiting deep-sea vents. The assumption was that pressures were so great lave could never fizz like soda pop, and therefore explosive eruptions could not occur. However, a swarm of earthquakes in 1999 led to a sonar investigation of the sea-bottom by the icebreaker Healy and the submarine Hawkbill, and the existence of the craters was revealed. Obviously, the lava did more than ooze out. Further investigation seemed warranted, and funding was procured, and in 2007 cameras were sent down, and revealed the eruptions were so violent that despite the pressure and the density of water pyroclastic debris was thrown a mile from the craters.

A paper was published in 2008, and then something odd happened. Silence descended. Funding ceased. Forgive me for again being suspicious, but I can’t help but think that certain “narratives” were threatened. After all, it messes up nice and neat concepts when descending currents abruptly put on the brakes and become ascending currents.

“Nothing to see here, folks. Please move along.”

This brings me to a couple of events I observed last spring. First, an odd hole melted in the sea-ice over the Gammel Ridge, and continued to be melted independently to the shifting of the sea-ice. Concurrent with that event, the WSC (West Switzenberg Current) seemed to lose its power to melt the sea-ice on the west and north sides of Svalbard, as if that current had been weakened. It made a sort of common sense to me that the two events might be related, and that if waters to the north stopped sinking then waters to the south would be less inclined to be drawn north. But what do I know? Let me simply present the observations.

First hint of hole on March 27

Hole on April 20

Hole enlarging and melting “backwards”, (independently of ice’s drift). May 20

WSC melted ice well north and west of Svalbard on February 27

Ice advancing towards north coast on April 20

Thick Ice on north coast and thin ice on west coast on June 20

I should note that if the sea-ice had been similar back in the year 1596, Willem Berentz’s discoveries along the north coast of Svalbard could not have happened. And you have to admit that, if there was less sea-ice in 1596 than in 2021, it harms a certain “narrative” which stresses sea-ice is currently at “unprecedentedly” low levels.

I cannot help but wonder if other innocent observations of Truth, of fact, of what is happening right before our eyes, also threaten the “narrative” in ways I can’t even see. Perhaps the idea of huge amounts of lava under the sea suggests there are other factors besides CO2 involved in the shifts we see to our climate, and introducing new variables in some way threatens the focus on CO2 and CO2 alone. I can’t say.

In any case, variables do exist, whether we include them in computer models or not.

I’ll conclude by returning to how variable the drift of sea-ice is right now, and to my original maps of how that is currently moving. Today’s map (January 4) shows an Aleutian Gale has drifted north across East Siberia, and, nourished by a nice feeder-band of Pacific air, has become a “Ralph” of low pressure over the Pole. This has completely reversed the normal drift of the Beaufort Gyre.

The above is interesting, for ice from Russia is not heading towards Fram Strait, which makes it a “Cold War Current”, yet ice is also being pushed into Fram Strait, which makes it also a “Fram Flusher”. Having one does not disqualify the other.

My conclusion? Variations happen. Sit back and watch. To turn a blind eye because it violates some narrative or pet theory is to miss the wonder.

Stay tuned.

ARCTIC SEA-ICE –Fram Flushing–

A fascinating change in the pattern at the Pole is occurring, involving the winds in Fram Strait switching from south winds, which prevent the sea-ice from exiting the Arctic Sea, to north winds, which flush the sea-ice down into the Atlantic.

One interesting example of the bias of Alarmists is that both south winds and north winds are a sign of Global Warming. South winds bring milder air north, which is proof the Pole is warming, while north winds flush sea-ice south and reduce the amount of sea-ice in the Central Arctic, which is proof the Pole is warming.

In any case I’ll start with a bunch of maps, which will show the switch. We’ll begin back on March 18, when high pressure over Norway and low pressure north of Greenland had south winds in Fram Strait, and a clear “feeder band” of milder air probing up towards the Pole.

The “feeder band” fed the weak low north of Greenland, and it took an unusual route over Svalbard, strengthening and switching the winds from south to north in Fram Strait.

The storm became quite strong, but notice how the “feeder band” fades. Despite the sunrise at the Pole, the warmer air is still lost to outer space, and the temperatures at the Pole remain close to thirty below.

The storm fades into western Russia, but a small low follows over Svalbard, keeping the flow of cold air south through Fram Strait.

At this point I am noticing the low down by Iceland, and wondering if it will disrupt the pattern by taking a more traditional route. High pressure is being pumped behind the prior storm, over Scandinavia.

In the above map I am already noting that the Icelandic gale will not behave as I expect, as the prior low has pumped a ridge over Scandinavia, blocking the Icelandic gale. It will be deflected towards Fram Strait. This could get interesting.

Another big low moves up from Cape Farewell at the southern tip of Greenland to Iceland, and runs up against the blocking high over Scandinavia. That high is expanding south and west, growing into what would be a northern positioning of the Azores High, if it was warmer, but it is not a balmy high pressure.

The gale has managed to squeeze over the top of the high pressure, weakening a lot, and the flow in Fram Strait is now east to west, flushing out less ice. The blocking high has forsed the next gale up the west side of Greenland, into Baffin Bay.

As the Baffin Bay low transits the high icefields of Greenland it sucks a new “feeder band” up through Fram Strait, fueling a “Ralph” (Anomolous area of low pressure) over the Pole, as the old Atlantic gale sags into Russia. At this point I am sitting back and quite confident the flow down through Fram Strait is over. The blocking high pressure is bulging north south of Iceland, forsing a second Gale west up into Baffin Bay.

Only a day later and I am scratching my head, for again there are north winds in Fram Strait, despite the Baffin Bay low approaching from the west, which I thought would create south winds. However I figure the north winds will soon shift south, and my attention is diverted to the speed at which the “feeder band” is cooled, as it fuels the “Ralph.”

The Baffin Bay low fights its way over the blocking high and the 10,000 foot high icefields of Greenland, and is in Fram Strait, where winds are nearly calm. High pressure builds in its wake. I pay little attention. I am thinking of writing a post on how the “feeder band” cooled despite the fact the sun has risen, which shows the Pole is still losing heat to outer space. I am watching “Ralph”. Fram Strait is not a focus of my attention.

Yowza! What the heck happened!? Crossing the northernmost north Atlantic the Baffin Bay low totally exploded, and the high behind it became totally pumped, and the winds are screaming south in Fram Strait. Who the heck cares about the dwindling “Ralph”, or about “feeder bands” you can barely see any more?

The Baffin Bay low, (which now perhaps qualifies as a “Barents Sea Blaster”) never sunk down into Russia, but rather wobbled about southeast of Svalbard, helped by a Fujiwara dance with another Atlantic low which managed to squeak over the blocking high. The maps below basically demonstrate we have seen six days of roaring north winds in Fram Strait. (And many other things as well, but one needs to limit ones focus, at times.)

At this point we perhaps can sit back and attempt to see what the effect of six days of Fram Flushing has been. One rather cool effect is that the sea-ice, formerly crushed west into the east coast of Greenland, has been spread out, forming polynyas of open water or very thin baby-ice along Greenland’s coast, but actually crossing the Denmark Strait and touching the north coast of Iceland in two places.

However, before you plan to saunter from Iceland to Greenland, it is important to be aware “thickness” maps exist in a dream-world of “averages” and the average of a few big bergs and much open water is six inches. There is in fact no six inch thick ice to stroll upon, and you’d better be prepared to hop like a super-kangaroo to get from big berg to big berg. A satelite few of the ice-edge between Greenland and Iceland will give you a good idea of the conditions we are dealing with.

Of course, with ice being flushed south in Fram Strait, one looks north to see where the sea-ice is coming from. And indeed some big leads have opened north of Greenland. (Greenland coast at lowest right corner.)

If you look at these leads you will notice they are dark on their left sides and more milky to the right, which shows you how rapidly sea-ice forms with temperatures still down close to thirty below. In some ways leads may increase the production of sea-ice, especially in April. (In July it is totally different, with air temperatures above freezing.) To be honest, I am uncertain if exporting sea-ice through Fram Strait decreases the amount of sea-ice, or increases it.

In the short term the more sea-ice you flush down into the Atlantic, the less your total will be, because the Atlantic swiftly melts the bergs. However there are long-term consequences as well. What happens if you chill the Atlantic?

In the winter of 1816-1817 there was apparently such an amazing Fram Strait flushing that it seems pure hyperbole. The sea-ice didn’t just reach the north coast of Iceland; it reached Ireland.(Never seen since). So much ice was flushed south the waters north of Greenland were wide open. Coastlines never mapped before were mapped, and one whaler claimed he sailed up through Fram Strait, westward over the top of Greenland, and down through Baffin Bay. The English Navy was galvanized, for it seemed a Northwest Passage might be opening up. But the same time saw a “year with no summer” in western Europe, because the Atlantic had been so chilled by the discharge of sea-ice. (Meanwhile Eastern Europe was warm; apparently the chilled Atlantic caused the summer jet stream to dig unusually far south over Western Europe, but to loop north in the East.)

In any case, the current flushing (so far) is small potatoes compared to 1817. But it is interesting to think about the factors involved.

One factor is that if you greatly cool the Atlantic you also cool the water that ordinarily melts a lot of sea ice, when it enters the arctic as the northernmost tendrils of the warm Gulf Stream. If you cool those tendrils they can melt less ice, which leads to more ice and colder temperatures which leads to even more ice. In fact the very low sea-ice of 1817 sent the 600 ship British Navy, (recently unemployed with Napoleon defeated and the conflict with the United States ended), exploring open Arctic waters which they then saw become increasingly ice covered. In 1819 William Parry was able to sail far west in the sound which now bears his name, yet the Franklin expedition perished, trapped by ice in the same waters thirty years later. It might be that a discharge of sea-ice through Fram Strait is a sort of “tipping point” or “trigger”, which sets off cooling. Or maybe not. But it should at least be considered.

Fram Strait is important because it is the only deep connection the Arctic Sea has with the rest of the world’s oceans. The arctic cools vasts amounts of water, and cold water sinks, drawing warm water north to replace it. As the warm water comes north the colder water must exit south, but has difficulty doing so in shallow waters of the continental shelf, such as Bering Strait or the waters east of Svalbard. Only west of Svalbard is there a deep channel for cold waters that have sunk deep. Even so, some cold water spills over the shallow waters of the continental shelf on the Greenland side of Fram Strait, but, as soon as that water has a chance, it plunges downwards. South of Fram Strait, where the continental shelf draws closer to Greenland, there is a sort of underwater Niagara Falls, where huge amounts of cold water plunges down over the edge of the continental shelf.

As this cold water plunges down it is removed from the influences that control weather at the surface, and, though part of the thermohaline circulation, it cannot effect temperatures at the surface for hundreds and sometimes thousands of years, when it reappears as an upwelling at some other place on the planet. However if that water comes south with a bunch of sea-ice, the sea-ice cannot sink down to the abysmal deeps, but merrily continues to bob south at the surface, and consequently continues to be able to greatly alter weather at the surface. Those who sail northern fogs state you can feel the chill of an iceberg long before you can see it.

Despite six days of frigid north winds, current anomaly maps do not show much cooling of the north Atlantic.

I think ice-water causes problems for the models that produce such maps. Technically ice-water is as cold as water can get, for it is where ice and water coexist. Therefore, because water any colder would not be water but rather ice, ice-water cannot be “above normal”, because that would suggest a “normal” where water was fluid below freezing. However I have often seen such models describe ice-water as a degree, (and in one case three), above “normal”. Impossible. But in any case I am expecting to see the models catch on later in the season, and to see the North Atlantic cooled. Currently the cooling is only apparent east of Iceland.

Another effect the north winds have is to slow the flow of warmer waters to the arctic. The major warm tendril of the Gulf Stream in Fram Strait is the WSC (West Spitsbergen Current), which bounces off the coast of Norway and travels north roughly along the line of ten degrees longitude. This mild current is responsible for ice-free water on the east side of Fram Strait, and ice-free waters north and northwest of Svalbard, sometimes even in the dead of winter. However this water is only held at the surface because it is warmer than than surrounding water; in terms of salinity it wants to sink, because evaporation down in the tropics makes it saltier than surrounding water, and salty water wants to sink below fresher water. Therefore when the WSC chills to a certain point it sinks below the surface, and can melt sea-ice no longer. Six straight days of being blasted by northern winds likely has chilled the WSC more than usual. It may dive beneath the surface prematurely, and allow sea-ice to persist north of Svalbard.

Interestingly, the WSC remains recognizable even after it dives under the surface, due to its salt content and temperature, and hard working scientists have traced it as it describes a complete circuit of the Pole and exits, still different from colder water, on the west side of Fram Strait as part of the ice-clogged, southbound EGC. (East Greenland Current.)

I am somewhat amazed by the hard work done, getting beneath the sea-ice to measure these currents, especially as such study discovers no gold and isn’t profitable in any immediate worldly sense. I’ve noticed the discoveries don’t always jive with prior discoveries. I don’t think this is due to one scientist being “right” and another “wrong”, but rather because the currents wander. After all, like the jet stream high overhead, currents have no restraining banks like a river has, and are free to meander whither they will. What I imagine is needed is a salesman to sell the idea of under-ice sensors as numerous as weather balloons are above the ice, to trace the meanderings. Hmm. Good luck with that job.

Another effect of the north winds howling south through Fram Strait for six straight days would likely be to slow the speed of the WSC northward, while increasing the speed of the EGC southward. This creates interesting pneumatic problems, for water doesn’t compress and cannot stretch. Initially I would think that slowing the speed of the WSC by a tenth of a mile per hour would only delay the arrival of the water in Fram Strait slightly, but the effect upstream might in some ways be immediate. When you press a brake pedal the pneumatic effect takes no time to reach your brakes. The only give in the Arctic Sea pneumatic system is the level of the sea, and if the WSC is importing less water north as the EGC is exporting more water south, the level of the Arctic Sea should theoretically drop. And if it is then lower than surrounding seas, would that not increase the tendency of water to pour into the arctic in other places?

Lastly, the tundra and taiga are just starting to see days longer than nights, and snows are just starting to melt, which means arctic rivers, frozen to a mere trickle by the bitter winter cold, are just beginning to rise. The increases are astounding. For example, the largest river, the Lena, can rise sixty feet in spring floods. The import of fresh water into the Arctic Sea goes from near zero to vast amounts. This fresh water tends to form a “lens” atop the saltier water, and freezes more easily than salt water. Therefore the import of water to the Arctic Sea switches from largely being saltier water from the tropics in early April, to fresh water from rivers in June. Put that in your pipe and smoke it, (or put it in your climate model and watch the computer smoke and melt down).

The more you study sea-ice the more you become aware the variables are multitudinous, and perhaps chaotic to all minds but the Creator’s. Every year 20 thousand cubic kilometers of sea-ice are created, only to melt away every summer down to around 5 cubic kilometers that remain. By the end of summer the sea-ice is splotched with meltwater pools, and in places broken into slabs.

The satellites tend to see meltwater pools as open water, but the scientists slogging about collecting data (and rescuing equipment before it sinks) know such pools are usually but puddles on firm ice (though a few can reach down through the ice, holes down to an open sea a mile deep.)

It is a beautiful landscape. I wish we still had the Barneo polar tourist-trap and jetport, the floating buoys with cameras, and the intrepid adventurers skiing past polar bears, but pictures are getting harder and harder to find. Right now we’d be seeing the floating bergs were now firmly fixed in the winter’s new baby-ice.

We could examine where leads had opened, frozen swiftly over with baby-ice, and then clapped shut, stacking the baby-ice like plates.

All these images strike me as beautiful, and inspire no dread of a “Death Spiral”, nor of a planet broiling and boiling. A quick glance at the “volume” graph shows we have more ice than last year, and indeed more than in 2017, so it’s hard to fear it is all melting away.

In fact, rather than inspiring fear, the sea-ice inspires a sense of wonder. It is amazing how our Creator designed our planet to work, with its seasons and its ebbing and flowing. My mind is more inclined towards awe than towards dread, which makes the pseudo-scientists hired by politicians seem all the more like purveyors of panic porn. They make it their business to inspire fear, rather than appreciation of how well the world is made. They want to sell vaccines, rather than appreciate the excellent antibodies made by immune systems we already possess, so they downplay wonder and stir up dread.

God’s beauty currently does not manifest in Washington D.C., but it does manifest at the Pole. If you want to feel uplifted, shut off the Fake News, and study the clouds, or sunsets, or sea-ice.

As a final aside and wonder, I’ll point out that the current flushing of Fram Strait has drained the Pole of a lot of its cold air, exporting the cold all the way south to April snows in England. Yet despite the export of all this cold air, temperatures at the Pole are not all that far above normal, and indeed are closer to normal than they were at this time last year.

It will be interesting to watch the arctic for further developments. Stay tuned.

ARCTIC SEA-ICE –Shift in the Drift–

Last post I talked about my yearning to see the Russian records of how the sea-ice drifted, in the cases of their 41 Arctic Ocean Bases, going all the way back to  1937, (as well as the 14 Barneo floating tourist-traps for the ober-wealthy, since 2002.).  Unfortunately such information is in some ways “top secret”, (in terms of industrial espionage, if not military). Because of this hidden record-keeping some shifts in the flow of sea-ice are described as “unprecedented” when in fact they have been seen before. The Russians themselves described two general flows of the sea-ice, translated as “circular” and “wash out”, yet the more political side of NOAA made a big deal of a change in the flow during the very-low-sea-ice year of 2012:

If that shift-in-the-drift was a sure sign of Global Warming, as certain Alarmists suggested when the above video was published in 2012, then surely the shift-in-the-drift away from that pattern to what we see now must refute Global Warming. Except it doesn’t. Alarmists either have very short attention spans, or have such overpowering confirmation-bias they’re blinded, or perhaps both.

The current drift is shown by the movement of the Polarstern and MOSAiC expedition, and is quite like the movement of Nansen’s ship “Fram” 130 years  earlier. (Blue line is the Fram after it was lodged in sea-ice).

This similarity is a little embarrassing for Alarmists, (especially when NOAA was stating currents had dramatically changed, only eight years ago). Fortunately for Alarmists, the Polarstern is moving much faster than the Fram did, and likely will cross a similar distance in perhaps only a third of the time it took the Fram. This can be used to suggest that the sea-ice is more “rotten” and that there is less of it, which may well be the case. (Although it may also be that the Polarstern is in the middle of the Transpolar Drift, while the Fram was closer to the Eurasian coast and may have been slowed by a counter-current which runs close to the coast.)

I tend to look about for other reasons the sea-ice may have been thicker in Nansen’s time. One thing that many have noticed is that the sun was “quieter” back then, if you look over the previous five decades. Nansen sailed the Fram at the end of sunspot cycle 13.

The very high sunspot totals (and low number of “spotless” days) of cycles 18 through 23 represent a time our Sun was quite energetic and pouring extra heat on the planet. Though we are now returning to quiet conditions, the arctic is currently still cooling from the warmer times which are called “The Modern Maximum”.  In Nansen’s day, however, the arctic was warming. In fact the high totals of “spotless days” before Nansen sailed are likely not as impressive as they look in the above graph, when you compare the above upward blip with the greater Dalton Minimum which preceded it, and the Dalton was preceded by the Maunder Minimum which is even more impressive. As measured by Carbon 14 in tree rings,  the energy of the “Modern Maximum” is especially impressive. (The graph below ends with the year 1950.)

I can’t help but wonder if Nansen and the Fram were sailing in an Arctic Ocean which “remembered” far colder times, whereas the MOSAiC scientists and the Polarstern are sailing in an Arctic Ocean which “remembers” warmer times, though those warmer times are now over.

Therefore I have a confirmation bias all my own. I am keeping a sharp look-out for changes which shift away from the lower ice-extents of the present to the higher extents of the past. For there can be little doubt the sun has gone quiet.

(Above from Joseph D’Leo’s blog on the Weatherbell Site.)

As my confirmation-bias looks for increases in sea-ice I often see the exact opposite of what I expect, because my thinking is too simplistic. Some of the ways the planet responds to a “quieter” sun are not what you would expect, and are counter-intuitive. Here are two I’ve mentioned in past posts:

First, you’d think less energy from the sun would make air colder and therefore drier, but instead the air gets warmer and moister, because the surface of the sea is warmer and more moisture evaporates. How can this be? I think this occurs because less energy from the sun also makes the winds less, and without strong Trade Winds the very cold waters can’t up-well along west-facing coasts as surface waters are blown off-shore. Therefore the first response to a “quiet” sun would be warmer seas (and El Ninos) and moister, milder air.  And Indeed the El Ninos have been strong and the La Ninos a bit feeble recently, and to this day the planet looks above normal at the equator.

However such warmth draws upon the bank account of the past, robbing from Peter to pay Paul, and there are indications that, in the Pacific, it is superficial, and is currently being eroded away from below:

Only when the cold water reaches the surface and a La Nina occurs is my bias confirmed.

Second, one would think a “quiet” sun would immediately create more sea-ice in the Arctic Sea, but in terms of an important component it creates less.

The captains of icebreakers in the arctic keep a sharp lookout for “biggy bergs”, which are different from sea-ice of the same size and thickness. When an icebreaker nudges against typical sea-ice seven feet thick the sea-ice is a conglomerate, made of a multitude of thinner slabs, and the bow of the icebreaker finds it easy to break apart the many smaller slabs. However when a seven feet thick section of ice has broken from a glacier, it is rock solid, and the icebreaker gets quite a jar, meeting a “biggie berg”, even if the icebreaker doesn’t sink like the Titanic.

What is interesting about “biggy bergs” is that they are more common when the arctic is warming, and are few and far between when the arctic is cooling. And every Alarmist knows why: Warming causes glaciers to calve more. When times get colder the glaciers stop calving, and extend out to sea more, in some cases becoming shelves of ice.

During the “Modern Maximum” some of the big shelves created by the “Maunder Minimum” broke off, creating handy platforms for the spy-vs-spy bases of Americans (for example “Fletcher’s Ice Island”) and Russians  (for example the basement of their base “NP 22”, which was occupied more than eight years.) However, besides these large “ice islands”, which are few and far between, there are a great many “biggy bergs” deposited into the arctic ocean from glaciers that face north, and whose calving ice is not swept south in Baffin Bay or south along the east coast of Greenland, and instead bobs about in the Arctic Ocean along with more ordinary, conglomerated sea-ice, which is formed yearly by winter cold.

To me it seems “biggy bergs” must have an influence on both “volume” and “extent” of sea-ice, and it seems counter intuitive to me that the colder it gets the less they are seen (because north-facing glaciers cease calving them as it gets colder).

There is a third counter-intuitive thing happening I haven’t yet been able to put my finger on. All I know is that once again my confirmation bias has been sat backwards onto its butt. It has to do with how fast the Polarstern has been progressing across the Pole, and what this means in terms of Svalbard. With so much sea-ice rushing towards Fram Strait, by April 1 sea-ice surrounded Svalbard to levels I’ve never before seen.

The build up of sea-ice around Svalbard is a little embarrassing for Alarmists, for a few years ago the situation was reversed, and south winds had pushed the sea-ice north of Svalbard even on its eastern side, which is relatively rare, and which Alarmists took to be a sign of Global Warming (and the doom of cute baby polar bears).  Now the sea-ice has returned with a vengeance, as have the highly adaptable bears (though hopefully the bears feel no vengeance).

Alarmists likely want to look away from Svalbard, but actually should take heart, for the “second lowest sea-ice extent evah”, in 2007, was achieved largely because a great deal of sea-ice was flushed south through Fram Stait. (Sea-ice south of Fram Strait is doomed to melt in southern waters).

(The site “Polar Bear Science” has a good post on the recent high sea-ice Svalbard situation here:)

Highest Svalbard sea ice since 1988 with Bear Island in the south surrounded

The problem with comparing the situation now with 2007 is that…well…it isn’t the same. That is what is troubling me, and I can’t quite put my finger upon.

Some things are similar: For example 2007 was also close to the minimum of a sunspot cycle, however 2007 was coming off a high maximum while we are now coming off one of the lowest maximums in the past 200 years. Also 2007 was at the heart of the “warm” AMO, while there are indicators suggesting we are now at the very end of the “warm” AMO.  Lastly, while Alarmists like to show decreasing sea-ice by starting their charts in the high sea-ice year of 1979, even their charts show things bottomed out around 2006-2007, and there has even been a slight rise, if you begin the “trend line” at that time rather than at 1979. For example, here is graph for extents in the month of March.

March 2020 average graph 1979-2020 NSIDC

You can’t help but notice the extent is now higher than 2006.

However what was most puzzling to me on April 1 was the sea-ice to the west of Svalbard. That should make any sea-ice geek quirk an eyebrow, for that area is nearly always free of sea-ice. That is where the Fram popped out into open water after crossing the Pole, 1893-1896, and that is where Willem Barentsz “discovered” Svalbard (Vikings likely were there earlier) in 1596. The water is usually open there because a northernmost tendril of the Gulf Stream, the West Spitsbergen Current, bounces off the coast of Norway and heads a little west of due north, entering the Arctic Sea on the east side of Fram Strait.  This current usually has a very impressive ability to melt sea-ice.  I have witnessed strong west winds push large masses of sea-ice across Fram Strait, and seen (in satellite photos) the entire mass of ice shrink and vanish in a few days. But this year hasn’t seen that. What the heck?

My guess is that the WSC (that is what we true geeks call the West Spitsbergen Current) has been cooled this year by the powerful storms we (last winter) saw not stall by Iceland (as is more ordinary) but remain huge into Barents Sea and even the Kara Sea. When such “Icelandic Lows” stay by Iceland, surges of mild air are brought north, sometimes all the way from the balmy Azores, on the storm’s east side. But, when the storms are displaced east, as they were this year, the same waters get north winds on the gale’s west side. This year we saw the waters that hold the WSC blasted by north winds gusting to hurricane force, with waves up to forty feet tall. Not only would this churn and chill the WSC, but it would physically transport the water at the very surface of the current in the wrong direction.

This moves us into an interesting topic, if you are a true geek, involving a sort of water budget.  It must be balanced. The water entering the Pole must be balanced by by water leaving the Pole. The WSC entering the Pole is more than matched by, on the far side of Fram Strait, the very cold EGC (East Greenland Current). More water leaves the Pole by sea than enters by sea, for evaporation is low due to sea-ice and cold temperatures, and much extra water enters via some of the world’s biggest rivers, as well as glaciers.

What is most fascinating is the fact various currents often (but not always) keep their identity as they travel around under the sea-ice. Water from the south tends to be saltier, but is made less salty as it melts sea-ice, yet can still be identified as a separate current.  Some currents dive beneath other currents, because the buoyancy of a current is determined by its salinity and its temperature, which are always changing. When waters are quiet, undisturbed by storms under ice, they can stratify into various layers, with each layer part of an identifiable current. Therefore the WSC, after passing through Fram Strait, forks into the Yerkmak and Svalbard branches, which can be traced all the way around the Pole until they exit as the RAC (Return Atlantic Current) which heads south in the middle of Fram Strait between the Colder and less salty  EGC heading south to the west and the milder and saltier WSC heading north to the east.

To make things either more interesting or more annoying, (depending on your temperament), is that, when you return the following year, things may have changed. For example, the WSC may have three other branches (perhaps more) besides the Yermak and Svalbard branches, but they are not seen every year.

In my humble opinion the study of such currents, and the way they change, is very important. Why? Because they set up certain areas of sea-surface-temperatures (such as the “warm blob” in the Pacific) which have been seen to have a major influence on the route taken by atmospheric jet-streams, which can determine things such as which-crops-are-wisest-to-plant-where.

One such change is the shift in the AMO from “warm” to “cold”, which we know little about because the last time it occurred satellites had barely been invented. It involves some major shifts-in-the-drifts which we will in many ways be seeing for the first time (by satellite, at least). The scant records we have from the past indicate the changes are major. For example, the prime fishing grounds for herring can shift hundreds of miles.

The above newspaper article from 1922 describes how swift and dramatic the change from a “cold” to “warm” AMO was around Svalbard, however it took more than a decade for the warming to start reaching the Russian coast and making the Northeast Passage more passable. (It was fortunate the sea-ice was still low when Hilter invaded Russia, for the British learned it was suicide to attempt to send Russia supplies via the arctic routes during the broad daylight of summer, and despite Stalin’s objections the British only dared do it in the darkness of arctic winter. Had sea-ice been more formidable then supplying Russia might have failed and Hitler might have succeeded.) But, to return to my point,  I assume the change back from “warm” to “cold” might also be swift and dramatic, and might also be first seen around Svalbard.

One major element of the shift-in-the-drift involves a simple fact: Cold water sinks. When the EGC brings cold water south along the east coast of Greenland it stays at the surface because the shallow continental shelf keeps it from sinking, and also to some degree by the fact less saline water is more bouyant than more-saline water, even if it is colder. However down around the latitude of Iceland the bottom falls, and so does much of the EGC.  In a manner that makes niagra falls look like a trickle, humongous amounts of cold water plunge to the ocean’s abyss, and seemingly such cold loses all ability to influence the surface.  But does it?

Allow me to subject you to a simple thought-experiment. Imagine a large box of water is plunged downwards. What will this do to waters at the surface, and what will this do to the waters beneath?

At the surface it is obvious that waters must rush in to replace the water that sinks. But what determines whether it will be warm water rushing up from the south, or cold water rushing down from the north?  History hints both have happened, and that what determines the flows of waters is as varied as what determines the flows of air on a surface weather map. But, on occasions when the flow of waters is increased from the north, the EGC transports south cold water that refuses to sink, called sea-ice. This sea-ice at the surface can change the temperature of sea-surface water hundreds of miles further to the south, changing air temperatures and the weather of lands downwind, and also causing more waters to chill and sink.

Beneath the sinking cold waters is the abyss, which we know little about. However we do know water can’t compress, and when water presses down from above the water beneath must move to make room. Some of this movement is explained by deep sea currents. However such currents are very slow, nor do they vary much. When a charge of bitter cold arctic air causes much more cold water to sink, the deep sea currents don’t speed up, (as far as I know, at this time.)  Therefore things are not adding up. When water presses down from above room must be made for it, but where is the room made?

Two ideas have occurred to me. One idea is that room is made by bulging the thermocline upwards, but this bulge would become a sort of wave moving away through the thermocline like the ripple from a splash, an undersea phenomenon which as far as I know is undocumented, but which, if it did exist, would have some effect when the wave hit a distant coast. A second idea is that, just as when you push a brake pedal an immediate effect is seen in rear brakes far from the actual pedal, when cold waters sink south of Fram Strait, an immediate up-welling effect might be seen in some place far away, because water can’t be compressed. I am well aware this second idea is outlandish, but is it as outlandish as this: (?)

Patient, hard-working scientists have mapped the slow currents of the abyss, and to some degree have mapped the undersea rivers which connect where waters sink and where up-welling brings deep waters back up. Yet none of these rivers ends at the biggest up-welling, off the coast of Peru, which is part and parcel of the switch from El Nino to La Nina.

Thermohaline circulation - Energy Education

Only recently have maps started to include a branch of the thermohaline circulation past the coast of Peru, but this shows a warm surface current and not the cold up-welling so vital to the creation of La Nina’s (and to the fisheries of Peru.)


The generally accepted idea is that the up-welling off the coast of Peru is caused by strong offshore Trade Winds blowing from South America westward into the Pacific. These winds blow the warm surface water towards Australia, which causes cold, nutrient-filled waters to be drawn up from the depths to replace the displaced surface water.  The problem with the idea is that the up-welling has a degree of independence from the wind. At times the up-welling can even occur before the increase in the Trade Winds, in which case the colder water appears to be causing the increase as much as the increase causing the colder waters. This has two effects. First, it makes El Ninos and La Ninas notoriously hard to forecast, and second, it allows madmen like myself to suggest that pushing water down in Fram Strait can cause water to up-well off the coast of Peru.

In any case the shift-in-the-drift off the coast of Peru has major repercussions, in terms of the world’s weather, just as the shift-in-the-drift in the North Atlantic associated with the switch of the AMO from “warm” to “cold” has major repercussions, in terms of the world’s weather. Such major repercussions are interconnected in ways we do not yet understand. Inquiring minds want to know. Scientists state “further study is needed”, holding out a cupped palm for money.

In my opinion the late Bill Gray’s desire for funding to better understand thermohaline circulation was intuitive genius, while Al Gore’s petty prevention of such funding was the initial travesty which has seen Global Warming politics befoul science. Money which could have been wisely used to further our understanding has been redirected to political hacks. Things important to study have been neglected to study the incidental. Not that I have anything against the study of polar bears, but bears can’t determine which crops to plant in Kansas, while the shift-in-the-drift can.

In order to redirect funding in unproductive ways, politicians always seem to need to invent a crisis, whether it be acid rain, or ozone holes, or global warming, or a corona virus pandemic. The problem is that when you are too unproductive you wind up broke.

End Rant.

In any case it will be interesting to watch the sea-ice in the North Atlantic as the winter gales die down and the quieter summer weather arrives. For five years now the two long-term measuring points of the Norwegan Current, which feeds into Barents Sea, have been noting a decline in water temperatures:

Sea-ice extent is within two standard deviations from normal, and high for recent years, though still low.

DMI 200424 osisaf_nh_iceextent_daily_5years_en

Both the Kara and Laptev Seas have seen a lot of sea-ice exported north into the Central Arctic this winter, and thin baby-ice now skims them, so I expect a fair amount of Alarmist hoop-la to occur when they become ice-free this summer. This may be reflected in a plunge in the extent graph, as they melt. However the hoopla may then die down as the extent graph flattens, as other parts of the Arctic Ocean see sea-ice more stubborn. If the PDO remains in its “cold” phase it will be especially interesting to see if sea-ice remains stubborn north of Bering Strait.

The “volume” graph is currently very low for this time of year, likely due to the thin ice in the Laptev and Kara Seas, and also due to an incapacity inherent in measuring the volume of pressure ridges, which are numerous in the Central Arctic due to all the sea-ice transported north from the Kara and Laptev Seas. I expect the “volume” graphs to become more normal later in the summer, when pressure ridges tend to crumble and spread out, and be included more easily in the totals.

The MOSAiC expedition is now experiencing 24 hour daylight, and I am enjoying the pictures I crave, which have been sorely missed since the camera-buoys stopped being funded. The scientists are enjoying the one part of the world without corona virus, and witnessing first hand how very dynamic the sea-ice is. A large lead snapped the cables powering one of their remote station, forcing them to operate at a reduced capacity with generators for around three weeks until they were able to lay a new cable.

MOSAiC lead Screenshot_2020-04-23 MOSAiC(1)

Other leads have opened and crushed shut again, forming pressure ridges.

MOSAiC Pressure ridge 4-20 Screenshot_2020-04-23 MOSAiC(2)

MOSAiC Pressure Ridge 4-16 Screenshot_2020-04-23 MOSAiC

Some of the things they are studying are fascinating, such as the biology under the ice. Other studies seem based on the Global Warming narrative, and make me want to roll my eyes. (I will bite my tongue, regarding measuring the nearly non-existant amounts of nitrous oxide exuded by the Arctic Ocean.) (Of course, data is data, and when I was young I would have counted the number of leaves on a tree, if it let me avoid getting a Real Job.)

What really interests me is the shift-in-the-drift, but things do get more tranquil in the summer, and the currents slow down. (The WSC north through Fram Strait nearly halts at times.) While the Polarstern had been making steady progress towards Fram Strait, it recently experienced a bit of “wrong way” drift.

MOSAIC wrong way Screenshot_2020-04-23 MOSAiC(3)


This expedition is experiencing some interesting resupply problems they are not talking about, due to the rest of the world going crazy due to the Corona Virus. If they dawdle too much, getting down to Fram Strait, their story could get interesting.

Stay tuned.

ARCTIC SEA ICE –The Surge Snipped–

The Pole continues to make for interesting theater, though the drama has died down from what it was a week ago, when temperatures were soaring to 35 degrees above normal and the ice at the north edge of Barents Sea was retreating. Fueling this weather was a strong south wind from the Atlantic that at times pushed right past the Pole towards the Pacific, thus confusing everybody, because a south wind became a north wind without changing direction.  This flow achieved its peak around November 14:

By November 16 the flow was pushing an Atlantic low and its secondary up through Fram Strait, whereupon, due to the strict laws of this website, they are automatically dubbed “Ralph”. The southerly flow, while remaining southerly, had swung east, and was now coming less off the Atlantic and more off shore from Europe, but it nearly was able to push above-freezing temperatures to the Pole.

So strong was this flow that the sea-ice, which usually is expanding south as a thin sheet of ice, was pushed north by strong wind until it was briefly well north of Franz Josef Land, and unable to refreeze because temperatures were above freezing in that area. This produced a brief and unusual dip in the ice “extent”graph, which usually is rocketing upwards at this time of year. However the ice swiftly grew back down to Franz Josef Lands’s north coast as conditions began to change, and the graph resumed its upward climb.


The surge from the south had raised eyebrows by raising temperatures to unprecedented levels (in a history that goes back 58 years).


However my eyebrows were raised by the steep decline that followed.


This interested me because, whereas other places can get colder air from lands further north, there is no place north of the North Pole. Therefore it must get cold air imported from colder tundra to the south, but I didn’t see any strong flow from such tundras. This meant the cold must instead be home grown. Or, to put it more scientifically, the heat was lost locally, radiated upwards into the unending winter night.

Still, it seemed odd to me that the warm southerly flow should just turn off like a spigot. My curiosity sought reasons, for the cessation was obvious as early as November 17, because the first and second lows, following a storm track straight north to the Pole, (incarnations of “Ralph”), weakened with surprising speed. It was as if they were cut off from their warm inflow of mild, moist air, while the third storm in the sequence came to a dead halt and refused to head north, and just sat off the coast of Norway and twiddled its thumbs, remaining fairly strong.

I wondered if the stalled low off Norway might be consuming all the available energy, but this didn’t satisfy me, for the isobars in the above map still indicate a strong flow from the south. Why wasn’t the warmth heading out over arctic waters? The temperature anomaly map still showed the above-normal temperatures moving north in central Europe, but then being bent east at the top. What was stopping the import of heat north to the Pole?


I’d likely still be mystified, but dawn broke on Marblehead when I visited Joseph D’Aleo’s blog over at the Weatherbell Site, and during the course of one of his elegant descriptions of complex situations he turned on the light-bulb in my noggin.

Just as a meandering stream straightens its course from time to time, cutting across the neck of a loop and leaving an oxbow lake behind


So too can a loopy jet stream decide to straighten up its act, and the “surge” was part of a loopy jet:


When a jet straightens up it act, the cut off part of the stream is not called an “oxbow”, but rather a “cut off”, (which shows that meteorologists are occasionally more sensible than geologists).  By November 23 the upper air maps showed the “cut off low” was sitting down over Spain. Over Spain a large part of the surge was no longer heading north, but caught up and going around and around and around, like a taxpayer caught up in a bureaucracy.


You will notice that at the top of the above map the jet is basically zooming west to east. The surge from the south has vanished, making a mess of all my forecasts that calculated the surge would move east this far one day, and this far further east the next. The surge simply disappeared, or at the very least fell over and surged west to east. It was confusing. (Actually the same thing happens when I straighten up my own act. It confuses people who depend on me to be loopy.)  In any case, this morning’s surface map had a reflection of the cut-off-low stalled over Spain, but what about the North Atlantic low? It will plow west-to-east across Scandinavia in the jet, nothing like the lows that headed straight north, last

The tipped over surge can be seen giving some relief to central Asia in the temperature maps.


In the anomaly map the west-to-east surge looks like an arrow, making a layer cake out of the map (to mix my metaphors). The old cold is to the south, still capable of generating a few headlines, but likely to be slowly moderated out of existence. The new cold is along the top, and likely needs to be watched, for it seems likely to be a lasting feature. The “surge” itself seems likely to linger but weaken, but will remain interesting to watch.  At the very least it will give some Asians a break, after they have been through an autumn colder than some winters.


But this is all off the point, which was (in case you can’t remember), that the mild air is not surging up to the Pole any more, and that the vast pool of mild air that was transported up there is slowly cooling, day by day.

I should note that Joseph D’Aleo mentioned that when a jet really gets roaring west to east it can act downright human. (After humans have straightened out their act, what tends to happen next? Answer: Their resolve buckles.) In like manner, we should be on our toes, watching for where the jet will next buckle, and get all loopy, (like a human falling off the wagon after keeping a New Year’s resolution as long as they can bear it).   However, for the time being, up at the Pole, “Ralph” has little hope of reinforcements from the Atlantic.

Not that “Ralph” has vanished completely. Largely he has retreated to the Canadian Archipelago, as high pressure dominates the Arctic. At the end of my last post there actually was a small ghost of Ralph by the Pole, and hint of Ralph’s “signature” in the temperature map, hooking mildness towards the Pole, despite the power of the expanding high pressure. (See the tiny low by the Pole?)

The next day Ralph’s ghost was just a dent in the high pressure’s isobars. Freezing temperatures had snuck down to the northeast coast of Svalabard.


The next dawn Ralph, like all good ghosts, was vanishing, because that is what ghosts do at dawn. (If you you squint you can still see a microscopic low under the Pole.) The only real import of air towards the Pole was from central Siberia.

The following dawn saw an odd dimple in the high pressure’s isobars, on the Canadian side. It looked like (if you use your imagination) a face, that the ghost of Ralph had punched. Freezing temperatures were engulfing Svalbard. By evening the ghost of Ralph reappeared, (as good ghosts do at dark), just north of the Canadian Archipelago.

Today saw the freezing isotherm slump well south of Svalbard, and Ralph retreat and regroup north of Canada. Models are suggesting Ralph will soon start attacking the Pole from the Canadian side, though with colder air than before. The North Atlantic flow is totally from the north, and Scandinavia looks likely to get a dose of north winds.

The north winds are allowing the sea-ice to build south again where the “surge” had forced it to retreat, in the north part of Barents Sea, and sea-ice is again touching the north coast of Franz Josef Land. There was also a slight reduction on the Pacific side, due to strong south winds and a brief mild inflow a week ago, but that has been more than made up for by regrowth, which has now engulfed Wrangle Island.


A major difference from last year is that Hudson Bay was half skimmed-over last year, and the refreeze hasn’t even started this year. I think this will soon change. The Bay’s waters are shallow, and it tends to freeze over with remarkable speed, which contributes to the speed of the growth of the “extent” graph.  I’ll bet a nickle the Bay is entirely frozen by Christmas.

Even though the flow from central Siberia has been weak, it appears to have nudged the thicker ice just off shore, in the Laptev Sea. Watch for the formation of polynyas along the shore there, for that is indicative of the export of ice into the Central Arctic Basin.

Baffin Bay is swiftly icing over, but remains behind last year’s rate of growth..

The Kara Sea’s sea-ice shrank back before the “surge”, but that sea has since swiftly grown sea-ice on its eastern side.

The reversing winds have seen multi-year ice start down through Fram Strait, along the east coast of Greenland, but the ice down towards the coast opposite Iceland in Denmark Strait is largely home grown.


I’m not sure how it is possible, but some models see a colder version of Ralph moving up from Canada to regain complete control of the Pole in a week to ten days. Stay tuned.

ARCTIC SEA ICE –Yet Another Swirl–

Well, it is happening again. Warm air has swirled up to the Pole, where of course it rises, and forms low pressure right where the textbooks say the air should be sinking, and there should be high pressure. At the risk of boring those who visit this site often, here is the textbook idea:

Polar Cell cells_mod

This winter there has often been rising air, rather than descending air, over the Pole, because the Creator doesn’t need textbooks. In fact He never bothered go to college, because according to stuff I’ve read He was something called “omnicient” even back before He invented time. I wouldn’t know about that, because I do need to study, and even then I don’t know all that much. But I do know when the textbooks are wrong.

I think they have been wrong this winter because the El Nino pumped a lot of extra heat into the atmosphere, and, because our planet is always trying to smooth out the difference between hot places and cold places, the jet stream had to become more “loopy” (meridienal) to transfer the heat to the Pole. Rather than low pressure parading around the Pole in a nice, orderly “zonal” manner, lows have headed right up to the Pole itself.

At times it is possible to use the above textbook diagram, even with a low sitting atop the Pole. You just assume the descending  air has been displaced, and look for a high pressure area away from the Pole, and call that the “new center” of the above diagram. But the problem is that sometimes there are two, three or four high pressure areas, and they actually seem to be parading around the low pressure at the Pole, as if the above diagram needs a fourth circulation and a fourth cell, (to the left of the polar cell) called the “super-polar cell”, for at times the theoretical “high pressure at the Pole” has a hole of low pressure in the middle, like a doughnut.

Other times I think that towards the Pole the Coriolis effect is different, and the atmosphere can’t be bothered parading around in circles. If it has a job to do, it takes the shortest route. If it has El Nino heat to be rid of, it just heads to the Pole and gets rid of it, and to hell with the textbooks.

The current map has a bit of the “doughnut” look, with a ridge of high pressure being pumped across the northmost North Atlantic behind the polar swirl, though the storm will not linger at the Pole long. The “swirl” shows up nicely in the temperature map.

Be that as it may, everything is about to change. Even before we have figured out what happened we’ll be busy figuring out a new thing that is happening. First, we are approaching a very small window of time when the Pole isn’t constantly losing heat, but briefly gains heat from 24 hour sunshine, (and winds have to alter to get rid of the extra heat, for a few midsummer weeks). Second, the El Nino is no more, and a La Nina is rapidly appearing, which will greatly decrease the amount of heat the atmosphere has to get rid of, by sending it north to the Pole. If less heat heads north, what might the effects be?

In other words, the swirl we are seeing may be the last one. One feels a certain melancholy, as if saying goodbye to an old friend.

As this low swings up to loop near the Pole and then falls away towards Siberia I’d like to point out a few things Alarmists seem to miss, in their joy over El Nino effects. (They are pleased because the meridienal flow brings warm air up to the Pole, and slightly decreases the extent of sea ice at the edges. This seemingly, and perhaps only briefly, verifies their theory that the Pole is warming, is in a “Death Spiral”, and the Arctic Ocean will be ice free and absorb so much sunshine that we’ll all suffer terrible consequences.  Why this pleases them I don’t know, but it does.) (Maybe “misery loves company”.)

The problem is that a meridienal flow doesn’t just bring warmth north, but also brings cold south.  There have been snows in places that don’t see much snow, such as Saudi Arabia and Mexico, the past winter. And even when such places melt away the snow in a single day, the “albedo” of snow is particularly gigantic in southerly places where the sunlight is intense. In fact Saudi Arabia reflected more sunshine back to outer space in five minutes last January than the entire North Pole did in the months of December and  January. When this data was plugged into an Alarmist computer model, the government threatened to cut off their funding, (or so I have concluded, perhaps unfairly.)

This last fling of the fading El Nino, with its final low at the Pole, seems to not only be bringing snows to France in April, but even to me, here in New Hampshire in North America. Even if the snow only whitens the landscape for an hour, the amount of sunshine reflected as it melts will make all the “albedo” models change their conclusions, or they would change their conclusions, if the people plugging in the data were allowed to include all the data.

For what its worth, here’s the radar shot of the  snow and sleet  over New Hampshire this morning.

20160426 rad_ne_640x480

And here’s a forecast map of the frost (pink) over Britain, France and Germany tomorrow (Wednesday) morning.

Europe Frost April 27 gfs_t2m_eur_5

The simple fact of the matter is our planet has myriad ways of balancing things out.

The meridienal pattern has also made the arctic stormy, and winds have shifted the sea-ice about and caused much cracking of the ice. Open water has appeared even when temperatures were down at midwinter depths, approaching -40°.  Alarmists like this, as they assume this shows the ice is weak, and will melt more easily in the summer. In actual fact exposing the sea to the cold may warm the midwinter air, but it cools the sea, and also creates more sea-ice.  You see, a lead five miles wide cannot form without piling up five miles of ice at some other spot in the arctic, and at the same time exposing sea-water to freezing, forming five miles of new ice in an area which, if it was protected by a roof of ice, would have formed far less ice. In actual fact, in the past we have seen that a lot of lead-formation (which seems to prefer the Beaufort Sea), actually creates so much extra ice and so cools the waters that the summer melt is reduced, not increased.

Lastly, Alarmists seem to rejoice when north winds flush sea-ice south into the warm tendrils of the Gulf Stream that enter the arctic either side of Svalbard. They are happy because you can see the sea-ice melt very quickly, with satellite views. What they do not seem to calculate is how much colder these currents become, if forsed to melt so much ice, and what effect that may have on the current’s ability to melt the bottom of the sea-ice, when the current gets farther north. Furthermore, the same north winds that bring the sea-ice south to the milder currents are bringing cold air to ruffle the top of the currents, not only chilling the top-most water, but reversing the direction of the topmost water.

Alarmists should hope for south winds between Norway and Svalbard, to hurry the tendrils of the Gulf Stream north. When those waters see north winds, as are blowing now, the Gulf Stream is not being assisted. Its waters are being chilled, and the topmost part of the current is actually blown south, which creates all sorts of interesting turbulence between south-moving surface waters and north-moving depths.  It is not a situation conducive to hurrying warmth north and speeding the melt of sea-ice.

In Conclusion, I’d say the effects of the El Nino are nowhere near as simple as some make them out to be. Already I’ve been proven wrong about some of my assumptions. Who would ever assume increasing the heat in the atmosphere would give Kuwait its first snowfall we have records of?

And, if increasing the heat can increase the snowfall in an ordinarily hot desert, might it not increase the sea-ice in an ordinarily cold sea? I’m not saying it will, but I am being humble and saying I’m not sure the after-effects of the El Nino will decrease the sea-ice extent this summer. In fact I’m betting my nickle that the sea-ice extent minimum will be the same as last year, next September, (and I think anyone who bets more than a nickle is a fool.)

The coming La Nina will decrease the heat. We need to be humble about our certainty (or lack of it) about the effects that will have, as well. If the atmosphere becomes more zonal, than general cooling will make sub-polar regions warmer.

By the way, O-buoy 13 shows moisture is being drawn north through Bering Strait. This will dust the black-ice of the new leads with white snow.

Obuoy 13 0426 webcam

The moisture hasn’t made it further east to O-buoy 14, so new leads near it will still have black ice.

Obuoy 14 0426 webcam

With black ice here and white ice there, can you imagine how difficult it would be to create an “albedo” model that was truly accurate?









ARCTIC SEA ICE –Insomnia Cure–

I was laying in bed last night contemplating customers, carrots and other things I’m suppose to consider, during the spring on a Farm-childcare, when sea-ice came drifting through my consciousness. It’s usually a sign sleep is creeping up, and worldly worries are melting away. Last night it led to some delightful, dazing dreaminess I doubt I can fully replicate, but which show the complexity of even a thing as simple as water.

Yesterday I was briefly discussing how a tendril of the Gulf Stream, coming north, for a time rides at the top of the ocean, but then takes a dive under the colder waters. For a time it is less dense than surrounding waters, but then it becomes more dense.

This occurs because there are two variables involved. First, there is temperature, and second, there is salinity. The Gulf Stream is more salty than surrounding waters, because it was subjected to a lot of evaporation down in the hot tropics before it came north. Salty water wants to sink. However the Gulf Stream is much warmer than surrounding waters. Warmer waters want to rise.

An analogy is needed. Imagine the water coming north is a bunch of hot air balloons. As long as the air in the balloons is hot, the balloons remain high, but gradually they cool, until they reach a momentous occasion where they take a dive.

It is a simple enough thing to model this on your multi-million dollar computer. First you need to loot the wallets of drained tax-payers, and then you convince the government to print up some extra money. Easy as pie, when you are falling asleep and in a dream world, but I find it easier to command the non-virtual reality in dreamland, and to model the two variables outside computers in the fresh air.

Instantly Fram Strait is experiencing complete calm. What’s more it has been doing so for weeks. The Gulf Stream, coming north, does so in a glassy stillness, and the point where it dives beneath colder water can be seen by the way sea-gull feathers drifting north in the current come to a halt.  The waters to the north are still, even stagnant.

IE:  In dreamland we have simplified things to a degree where slowly moving water is sliding beneath still water. If course we can’t have water coming in without water going out, but let’s have that happen someplace else, so it won’t mess up our dreamland model. Also, of course, you can’t have a fluid in motion moving past a still fluid without this annoying thing called “turbulence” making little whirls along the boundary, like little storms along a front. Fortunately our dreamland model has a “mute” key that dampens that stuff away. In the end we have a nice simple scenario.

Now, as we slip deeper into dreamland and our brains gain super-powers, let’s have a little fun by adding another variable or two.  Let’s reduce the amount of warming due to sunlight, as winter comes and the sun sinks  low.  Or let’s chill the air. This cools the Gulf Stream tendril coming north more quickly, so it reaches the magical point where salinity trumps heat five miles further south.

Oh oh. Problem. If the water sinks earlier, the completely static water which it is sinking under has to move, doesn’t it? Doesn’t it have to move south to fill in the space above the sinking water?

Or suppose we change the salinity of the Gulf Stream heading north. How?  How about a tropical storm dumping a foot of warm rain. Now the tendril wants to come further north before sinking. Would not it plow into the static surface water, and make it move?

But how about both chilling the water and reducing the salinity? How are we going to manage that?

What’s that you say? Why don’t we redirect all the sea-ice heading south along the east coast of Greenland, in that cold current, and push it across Fram Strait into the warm current heading north?  That will both cool the northbound tendril of the Gulf Stream, and make it less salty, you say?

Funny you should say that, for that is exactly the scenario we were looking at yesterday, as vast amounts of ice were melted just west of Svalbard. Svalfloe 3 svalbard 15

Ordinarily it is at this point I get a headache, but when I am falling asleep the implications have a nice way of knocking me over the brink into unconsciousness. Sort of like an uppercut to the jaw. As I pass out, I am usually pondering one of three things.

First, if you cool the water heading north, and lower its salinity,  how will this effect the melt from beneath to the north? In Theory, if you dumped enough ice into the northbound water, you could so cool and so dilute the current that it wouldn’t be all that different from the water to the north, and could skip the bother of sinking beneath it. What effect would that have on surface currents, and submarine currents?

Second, how many more buoys will the taxpayers allow before they come with burning torches? We don’t need a mere string of buoys across Fram Strait. We need north-south strings. We need surface reports and reports at depth, so we can have a 3-D picture of the daily fluctuations of temperature, salinity, and the speed the water is moving, like the weather-maps we get for the air above.

Lastly, what does it mean if ice does not travel in the cold, southbound current to the southerly tip of Greenland? Through much of the winter the ice levels were low, because ice was held back at the Pole, and much of the ice off the east coast of Greenland was “home grown”. Now even more ice is being deprived of it’s right to take the normal route because it has headed across to the wrong lane of the two-lane highway in Fram Strait. Will less ice off the south tip of Greenland make that water warmer?  (Currently there is a fringe of warmer-than-normal water right along the Greenland coast, but then waters are colder-than-normal clear across to Spain.)

Usually thinking about all this is quite enough to cure insomnia. If necessary, you can add another variable: Wind.  A strong wind can move surface water. What effect does a cold north wind have on a current coming from the south? Do you have a current heading south at the surface even as it heads north deeper down? Oh oh. Time to hit that “mute” key again, as I see turbulence rearing its head.

In the end I think very few things travel in the nice neat lines shown by textbooks. I am old enough to remember the way the Gulf Stream was portrayed in textbooks before we could see the surface with heat-sensitive satellites. It was nothing like this:

Gulf Stream images

I have a vivid memory, from back in those pre-satellite days, of attending a class held to make the general public more aware of beach erosion and why we should alter our attitudes about where we built marinas and beach houses. It was taught by a knowledgeable young scientist, and in the audience was a garrulous old fisherman. For some reason the subject got off the topic of beaches and moved out into the Gulf Stream, and at that point the fisherman began to talk about “warm whirlpools” and “cold whirlpools” and how he’d use them to hunt the best places to fish, and the young scientist rolled his eyes, as if the old man was talking nonsense, and finally the young man cut the fisherman off, making it obvious he felt the man was inventing tall tales. Later I always wondered what the scientist thought, when he saw the first satellite images come in, showing exactly what the old fisherman had described.

Perhaps it is for this reason that I, meaning no disrespect to scientists, am less than certain the map below is fully accurate.

Svalfloe 4 svalbard current

The thing I am watching for are the changes fishermen described the last time the AMO shifted from “warm” to “cold”. They were dramatic.

In any case, I highly recommend thinking about this stuff next time you have trouble sleeping.

In more mundane matters,  The DMI maps continue to show the high pressure over towards Bering Strait, and the low nudging toward the Pole, but weakening.

I’m worried they may have had troubles with the airstrip at Barneo, as there have been no reports since the 18th. You can see the ice is “active” across the Pole in the NRL “Speed and Drift” map from yesterday.

Speed and Drift 20160422 arcticicespddrfnowcast

This map also shows ice is likely moving away from the northwest coast of Hudson Bay.

In terms of the Northwest Passage, the western approach looks like it is opening up nicely, with ice moving away from the coast of Alaska. However the ice in Baffin Bay seems to be being crammed north into the eastern approaches.

Lastly, it looks like ice continues to be exported to the “wrong side” of Fram Strait.

The thickness map shows an odd little mountain range of thicker ice crossing right over the pole. (Not really a mountain range, but worth noting: 9 feet thick rather than six feet thick.)

Thickness 20160422 arcticictnnowcast


Lastly the “Race Against Time” expedition has been reporting struggling over a lot of pressure ridges as they approach the Pole from the Russian side. Mark Wood mentioned the ice was much flatter when he skied the route two years ago. At last report they had crossed 89 degrees north. Unfortunately they only report by satellite phone, without pictures.



ARCTIC SEA ICE –Killing Fields–

The true “Killing Fields” were places in Cambodia where innocent people were slaughtered by the insanity of the Khmer Rouge genocide, back when I was in my early twenties. It was a horrible place and time, and a bitter disillusionment for those who felt peace would come if American forces withdrew from Southeast Asia. “Killing Fields” are two words which should be accorded respect, not because genocide has a shred of dignity, but out of respect for the more than a million innocent people who died. “Killing Fields” are not words which should be used to describe an area where sea-ice melts.

But Certain Alarmists are not known for having good taste. John Cook, creator of the Skeptical Science website, and creator of of the preposterous “97%-of-all-scientists-believe-in-man-made-Global-Warming” soundbite which even the American president quotes, seems to find the Nazi uniform either humorous or attractive. There used to be plenty of examples of this “humor” at his website, but they were removed due to embarrassment, but the web never forgets, and they were preserved here:

Skeptical Science takes ‘creepy’ to a whole new level

However a single picture of John Cook from his own website will suffice to make my point about bad taste.

John Cook Nazi1_herrcook

Considering one reason I was originally attracted to the subject of sea-ice was because of the sheer beauty of the snowscapes, there is something repellent in the connection some Alarmists make to the most foul episodes of human history. The simple fact I am dubbed a “Denier” epitomizes the bad taste, for that word formally was reserved for those who denied the foulness of the Nazi genocide.

In actual fact I think associating those-who-point-out-the-obvious (that the sea-ice has failed to melt away as predicted) with mass murderers is more of an example of “denial” and “fascist behavior” than any of my own many examples of bad manners, (due to my short temper). It denies there is a difference between the honesty involved in being forthright, and the brutality involved in killing those who disagree. Nor does it just water-down this difference. It becomes the very  ugliness it accuses others of being.

I can endure being told I’m mistaken. In fact, once I smooth my ruffled feathers, I actually admire the people who correct me, for I am big and can have a fierce face, and sometimes the people correcting me have been quite small and by nature timid. The fact they have the courage to tug at my sleeve and, in a most polite manner, tell me I’m a fool, is something that touches my heart. It moves me.

I am moved in a different manner when Alarmists say Skeptics should be prosecuted, imprisoned,  and even shot. I understand they think they are saving the world, but so did the Khmer Rouge.

Therefore, besides mentioning it to make the above point, I am not going to use the words “Killing Fields” to describe places where the sea-ice melts. To do so seems bad taste. Why? Because the Khmer Rouge took pictures of their fellow Cambodians, who they were about to kill; their actual neighbors who might be guilty of only having a writer’s-callous on their middle finger (which proved they were “guilty” of being “polluted” by Western concepts), and I have seen those pictures, and the eyes of those innocents haunt me.

We need to remember them. We need to stand up to bullies, even when they claim they are “saving the world”. This is not a time when silence is golden. Rather silence is a sin.

To avoid losing my temper and raving like a lunatic, what I am going to try to do is simply point out the beauty inherent in the Truth.  I’ll start by avoiding using the phrase “Killing Fields” and instead using something that means “Areas conducive to sea-ice melt.” I suppose I could use the acronym ACTSIM, but we already have too many acronyms.  I’m just going to call them “melt-areas”.

The best way to become aware of where they are is to go lurk at Alarmist sites. Doing so is sort of amusing, because Alarmists huddle over sea-ice maps like generals over maps of a battlefield. It is as if they are waging a war over sea-ice, and cheer the melt of the smallest ice-cube. (It has never made much sense to me, as they also assert less ice is a bad thing.)

There is often a bit of confusion apparent, as open water can appear in the arctic that involves no melting at all. A wonderful example is currently occurring off the northwest coast of Alaska. High pressure has been parked over the Beaufort Sea for a fortnight, bringing that area winds steadily from the east.

The movement of the ice can be seen in the NRL map:

Speed and Drift 20160420 arcticicespddrfnowcast

Strong winds like this do not melt ice. They move it. When it moves away from shore an area of open water forms. It is called a “polynya” if it is close to shore. In the dead of winter it swiftly skims over, but now, with the sun up and days longer than the nights, temperatures are not so cold and the open water skims over more slowly.

In the past, north of Alaska this has tempted adventurers to make an early start at the Northwest passage. The only problem is that, if the winds shifts, the ice can come right back to shore. A couple of springs ago one such gutsy sailor found his boat suddenly surrounded not only by sea-ice but by curious polar bears. He stuck it out much longer than I think I could have managed, but after a harrowing ten days the coast guard sent out an ice-breaker to rescue him.

That being said, a look at the NRL map shows the pocket of light purple northwest of Alaska, indicating a skim of thin ice six inches to a foot thick (and likely slushy “pancake ice” as well).

Thickness 20160421 arcticictnnowcast

What is less apparent is that the “missing” ice hasn’t melted. It has been crunched up over towards Russia. The Alarmist sites are not big on mentioning this, and tend to crow about the thinner ice, and how swiftly it will melt in the summer.

It may, but we shall see. As soon as the ice gets dusted by snow it is just as white as thicker ice, and reflects sunlight just as well. The real melt comes from below, from the Pacific, and the Pacific is two degrees colder than last spring, south of Being Strait.

Another interesting area is the northwest side of Hudson Bay. There the ice has been pushed away from the coast as well, and the new ice is thin. However, like last year, all that moved-ice is crunched up to the southeast.

But none of these areas involves melting, this early in the spring.  If you want to see a real area of melting you need to travel to the east side of Fram Strait, right off the west coast of Svalbard. A warm tendril of the Gulf Stream moves north there, often keeping the east and northeast coasts of Svalbard ice-free even in the dead of winter, even when the north winds are cold and bringing the sea-ice south. This is a true “melt-area”, where you can watch sizable ice floes dissolve. (You can see the streamers of cloud made by the cold winds as they shift from west to north, in the pictures below.)

Svalfloe 1 svalbard 11Svalfloe 2 svalbard 13Svalfloe 3 svalbard 15

It should be obvious the melt is not due to the very cold winds, nor to trace amounts of CO2. It is due to the marvelous meanderings of the Gulf Stream, and the fact a tendril passes that way.

Svalfloe 4 svalbard current


The yellow dot in the above map is where the warm water takes a dive, and starts flowing under the cold water. If you wonder how warm water can sink and cold water can rise, it is due to the salinity. Salty water sinks and more brackish water rises, and the yellow dot represents where the salinity starts to trump the temperature.

What is fascinating is how variable this “yellow dot” can be. If more ice moves over that warm current it makes the water both fresher, as it melts, and colder.

This is what people should be focused on, and not the obscure and likely inestimable amount CO2 effects the temperature of ocean currents. Why? because, with the AMO wavering on the verge of shifting from the “warm” to “cold” phase, the ingredients that go into where the current takes a dive and the “yellow spot” will be located  will also change.  That in turn will effect where ice forms and where it melts, which in turn will effect the weather, and where fishermen can fish, and even where the fish will be.

Some big changes are already starting to appear in the sea-surface-temperature anomaly maps. The biggest is the bit of blue just off the coast of Peru, indicative of the El Nino fading into a La Nina.

SST 20160418 CgahiESWwAAuZoW

Also notice how the “Warm Blob” in the north Pacific has eroded, and now in some ways is becoming a “Cold Blob”, while the odd “Cold Blob” south of Iceland has spread over to the coast of Spain. The AMO is still “warm” due to the milder waters north of Norway, but this is not a typical “warm” AMO.

Lastly, look at the chart of the AMO below, and consider the year 1975. What changes might we expect, if those conditions return? How might the “yellow spot” by Svalbard shift?

AMO 201603 esrl-amo-thru-mar-2016