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.