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