U.S. soldiers who served in Korea know how cruel the winter gets, when the monsoon shifts winds to the north in November, and brings bitter air from Siberia south.
To the west of Korea is the Yellow Sea, shallow and stained yellow because it is filled with the nutrients and silt of great rivers. Formerly it was excellent fishing grounds but now is over-fished, formerly it possessed coastlines of rich marshes but now, with much of that land reclaimed, marine species are in danger. Environmentalists cringe, with oil rigs popping up to the north on the coasts of both China and North Korea, and crowded Chinese ports bustling with trade for densely populated areas on the west coast. However, winds from Siberia can throw a wrench into all the bustling, by creating sea-ice, though the Yellow Sea is at the latitude of Chesapeake Bay and Washington D.C.
Struggling with the sea-ice tends to be part of life. Here is a picture from Bonhai Bay two January’s ago:
The struggles created involve energy supplies, as both coal and natural gas must be unloaded, and the oil rigs can have problems if too crunched by ice. Here is an article from the Financial Post, describing the struggles in 2021:
This winter I heard there was record-setting cold in northeast China, so of course I wondered how they were getting along in Bonhai Bay. Unfortunately the people who map sea-ice care little for either Bonhai Bay or Chesapeake Bay. For example, look at the map below.
You can barely see Chesapeake Bay in the lower left corner, and Bonhai Bay is pressed against the very top, in the upper right. Furthermore, they don’t bother to put any white sea-ice in Bonhai Bay, though I suspect it is there. Why? Call me a suspicious old coot, but I don’t see how that water cannot freeze, when they get hit by record-setting Siberian air.
Even Bloomburg, not noted for reporting cold waves, reported on the cold in China. Of course, they do not call cold, “cold”, though they do call hot, “hot”. They can be depended upon to waffle up a sentence like this: “Indeed, climate change is causing an increase in both average temperatures and the frequency of extreme weather events around the world.” Get it? Rather than “cold” they say “Extreme Weather Event.”
Be that as it may, at least they did report the cold in China.
Also, I can go to the Weatherbell Site and look at the anomaly for the past ten days in the Bonhai Bay area, using their excellent maps.
The docks may not be as far below normal as inland sites, but even normal can freeze the Yellow Sea. The influx of river water makes the water less salty to the north, and easier to freeze. And the computer models show no sign of the cold easing. American soldiers who served in Korea remember how relentless the northern monsoon was, and this year eastern Siberia seems particularly loaded with cold air.
Suppose the cold continues. (And indeed, computer models show no above-normal temperatures for northeast China well into March.) Suppose the sea-ice gradually increases, bit by bit. Eventually it becomes annoying, even creating situations such as the situation a decade ago:
Considering there is an extra-large demand for propane and coal due to the extremely frigid temperatures in inland areas, this is a winter where the oil rigs need to operate at peak efficiency in the northern Yellow Sea, and the unloading at the docks must proceed smoothly. Otherwise, China may have problems keeping its people warm.
I understand we are at war with China, in a weird way; a way like no other war. But that does not mean I wish that the people of China have problems staying warm. I don’t wish such discomfort on any man anywhere. However, there are a few men, likely way up in skyscrapers, who are cold to begin with, way down in their hearts, and they perhaps could do with a ride in an elevator down to a place where it is said to be very warm.