ARCTIC SEA ICE —Meanwhile, in New Zealand…—

To keep these sea-ice posts from getting too boring I like to occasionally drift off at a tangent, winding up in the Sahara Desert, or some such place.

This is actually very progressive of me, because I recently read, on an Alarmist site, that sea-ice drifts to the right of the way the wind blows. (I think they accidentally misapplied the way winds blow concerning isobars, but that is just me apologizing; they never confessed their mistake.) In any case, if they can pontificate physical impossibilities, then I can digress far from the reality of the arctic, in a sea-ice post.

I tend to wind up in the Sahara during the northern hemisphere winter, describing some freaky blast from the North Pole that makes it especially far south. This past winter actually made such digression easy. A meridional flow caused some once-in-a-lifetime snows last winter, and I wound up down in Mexico, in Kuwait, and in Vietnam, Bangladesh, and Thailand.

I was curious about the southern hemisphere, where their winter occurs during our summer, because I wanted to see if the flow was meridional during their winter as well.

I didn’t expect it to be very pronounced, for they lack our vast land masses, and have huge amounts of moderating ocean.  In the northern hemisphere there is nothing between Texas and the North Pole but some strands of barbed wire, (as Texans are likely to brag, when a “Blue Norther” is blowing.)  The same can be said for Mongolia and parts of China. There are no moderating oceans, and arctic blasts can roar down to low latitudes, but I expected the tremendous areas of moderating oceans to make things very different in the southern hemisphere. I was wrong. Before winter even started an antarctic blast roared up into Brazil.

https://sunriseswansong.wordpress.com/2016/06/09/will-brazil-chill-kill-coffee/

To have an Arctic Sea Ice post about Brazil would have set a new record, but when push came to shove, I didn’t dare do it. However that probably proves I’m old fashioned and not a true progressive. When I researched Brazil I discovered they are pretty progressive, and free of the constraints that bind me to my old fashioned ways. For example, they were holding the summer Olympics in the winter. I must be pretty stodgy, because I’d find that difficult to do.

Further research taught me Brazil is also progressive because their spin is utterly backwards. Their low pressure systems spin clockwise and their high pressure systems spin counterclockwise.  Their weather maps cross my eyes. Nothing functions in a sane and sensible manner, and trying to make sense of their weather maps is difficult, though not as difficult as reading the New York Times.

It seemed amazing to me that the cold air crossed all the moderating ocean water and managed to freeze Brazil before winter officially started down there. Unlike progressive ideology, this wasn’t all talk; it was an actual action. I resolved that, if I could find the time, I’d keep an eye on the southern hemisphere, and see if symptoms of meridional flow reoccurred.

But I couldn’t find the time. That is the way of most resolutions. I didn’t even have the time to visit the Ice Age Now Site, where you learn the news about winter events which the mainstream media turns a blind eye to, (as snow doesn’t fit the Global Warming story the media, as parrots, make their copy, until reading their papers is like listening to parrots in an echo chamber.)

https://iceagenow.info/

Rather than continuing my study of the southern hemisphere my focus returned to sea-ice. Dope. I missed a amazing meridional-flow-event, because I was focused on the good ship Northabout. I kick myself. Idiot.

In order to understand how amazing this event is, you have to understand that, in the typical manner of those strange southern folk, everything is backwards down under, and to them the north is warm and the south is cold.

New Zealand consists of two main Islands, and the south one tends to be colder and get some snow, while the north one is closer to the equator and only sees snow up on the peaks. Down in the lowlands they might get a dusting every fifty years. But guess what? They got three feet in places.

Hey! This is news. This is like Miami or Cairo getting a foot of snow. But did the media so much as whisper? No. They are too fixated on Donald Trump, seeking to find a foible they can exaggerate into a war crime, to see anything else is occurring on Planet Earth. So who tells us the true news? Odd people like myself, and odd sites like this one:

What does this have to do with sea-ice? Well, rather than the typical summer pattern at the Pole, we have seen a persistence of low pressure I’ve humorously dubbed “Ralph” at the Pole. The times they are a-changing. Stuff is going on that should be called Reality and should be the News. The media turns a blind eye.

Our star the Sun is doing things it hasn’t done for hundreds of years.  In terms of sunspots, we saw a “maximum” nearly as feeble as 1798’s, which is ending far more swiftly than “experts” expected, or the 1798 cycle saw.

Sun 1 sc5_sc24_1

It makes me very nervous that this sunspot cycle is ending before they expected. At the end of July there was a nearly a two week stretch with no sunspots (and very few sun specks). It seemed way too early for that, to me. Therefore I was glad to see a little swarm appear, and rotate across the face of the sun.

Sun 2 20160814

But now they are rotating out of view, and only a little, loner spot is seen, at center stage.

Sun 3 latest

Now, there are certain Hollywood stars who think they have more to do with keeping the general public warm and cozy than the sun, and for years they have parroted the stuff they don’t understand, but know it is politically correct to echo. They have been told to say the sun doesn’t vary that much. They have been told to say the sun isn’t the variable that matters. They have been told to say the variable that matters is a trace gas called CO2.

OK. Even though I have only a dim idea of how these two variables work, I see what I see.  For year after year the microscopic variable of CO2 went up and up and up, and what happened? Diddleysquat. Then the sun changes just a bit. What happens? Deep snows in New Zealand, for the first time in living memory.

I rest my case.

(However I cannot resist adding this jibe: In terms of brightness, the politically correct, and especially Hollywood stars, are of magnitude 14. Dumb blonds are brighter, at magnitude 13.)

 

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ARCTIC SEA ICE –Spotless Integrity–

If we are to have any integrity, we must be gritty, and face what is glaring right into our face. Spotless latest

Some might say the sun’s current streak of fourteen-going-on-fifteen spotless days is a digression from a post on sea-ice, however that friendly face is now beaming down 24-hours-a-day at the Pole, and people who like to freak out about “albedo” are big on how important sunshine is up there. And, when we glance at the closest thing to a North Pole Camera we have this year, we see…

Obuoy 14 0701 webcam

…blast. I just shot myself in the foot, didn’t I? No sun to be seen. So how am I to talk about “albedo” and how important the sun is?

Well, I suppose I could mumble things I don’t understand about Svenmark and cosmic rays, and how the sun is responsible for clouds,  however it is best you consult more learned people at a more popular website, as they discuss the simple matter of how that nice warm sun in our sky effects us. (There are only 600 or so erudite and not-so-erudite comments to read, so I’ll see you back here sometime next week.)

The sun is as blank as a billiard ball, solar activity dwindling to lows not seen in 200 years

Back already? You must be a speed reader. I am not. In fact, anything beyond basic arithmetic grinds me to the speed of February’s molasses. However, rather than retarded, I sometimes think I’m lucky, because people who know about such fine things seem to be “straining at a gnat while swallowing a camel.”

Or perhaps they are “pointing out the mote in my eye while ignoring the plank in their own.” Or maybe not. But, to me, it just seems they are fretting about the tiny details, while ignoring the spotless sun glaring in their spotty faces.

(Some don’t even think the sun is spotless, for, squinting very grimly, they note some specks:)

Sunspecks 2016-07-01-HMI

Really? You are going to call those sunspots? And then compare modern-records-of-sunspots with what Galileo could see with a telescope he got at Walmart for $29.95? Puh-leez. Get real.

Whatever you may say about about focusing on the gravitation of Uranus and Neptune, you have to admit the “Layman’s Sunspot count” is a good idea. Let us use Galileo’s telescope, if we are going to compare Galileo’s sunspot-count with the modern count.  (Then, of course, you get 17 different methods.)  But just using one, you wind up with a graph like this:Layman's June sc5_sc24_1

The recent string of “spotless” days gives a June a “Monthly Mean” of around 8, and produces a downward-spike of the blue line below all the other lines on the above graph. This allows us to use that wonderful word “unprecedented.” Our current cycle of sunspots is ending more swiftly than even the other feeble cycle we know of, cycle 5, in the “Dalton Minimum.”  Heck, if things keep going like they are going, we might even challenge the non-existent records of the infamous “Maunder Minimum.”

Maunder Minimum Sunspot_Numbers

(The above chart is dubious because the more modern totals likely include “sun-specks.”)

This is a big deal because the Maunder Minimum is loosely connected to the “Little Ice Age.” In like manner, the much milder “Medieval Warm Period” is even more loosely connected to a time when we have no European Records, but cryptic Chinese records of the sun, when dust-storms of loess made it a red ball, speak of sun-spots you could see with the naked eye, in China. To a layman like me, this means lots of sunspots means warm times, and a spotless sun means cold times.

Scientists, however, are like little children. They ask, “why?” Unlike children, when you cannot supply an answer, they say it never happened, or else mumble some stuff about correlations and causation, which basically means that, just because they themselves are tone deaf, it means such a thing as a musician  can’t exist. They are big on this thing called “replication,” which means that if you are to say Jesus and Saint Peter walked on water then you yourself must do it. (Having tried, as a spiritual scientist, to prove my faith by walking on water, I must say the idea of replication is all wet.)

In any case, poor scientists can’t just say that a lack of sunspots means we need to chop some extra firewood. First they must say why fewer sunspots cause cold to happen.  And this is where things get interesting.

All I can say is that, if I had ever said, “Efftin Poyn Tzeven”, to my mother, I probably would’ve gotten strapped by my father when he got home, but scientists can graph it:

F10,7 June Screen_Shot_2016_07_01_at_6_12_27_AM

This is one of the gnats scientists are straining at even as they swallow a camel. They also strain at ultraviolet radiation effecting ozone, solar wind deflecting cosmic rays, and another garble that might have gotten me strapped by my mother herself, “Gee Oh Mattick Flucks!”

Geo June Screen_Shot_2016_07_01_at_6_12_57_AM

I don’t claim to understand this highfalutin stuff, but as an ignorant bumpkin I do notice the sun-stuff is lower and earlier than the most authoritarian scientist said it would be. So? So they are not the smartypants they think they are. They stated the sun would behave this way, but it behaved that way. In some ways they may even be as stupid as I am.

I just wish they could be humble and say they are mortal and don’t know what is happening. Instead they dig in their heels. They insist on knowing the littlest detail of cause-and-effect. If you cannot give a step-by-step explanation of how it came to be, a dog could be biting your leg, and they’d spend more time saying there was no proof the dog was there, than they’d spend shooting the darn thing and saving your leg.

Some of the most brilliant minds I know will deny sunspots influence weather, because they can’t find the step-by-step proof. There is some vauge evidence that geomagnetic solar changes prompt earthquakes and volcanoes, but the same brilliant minds will deny that a giant volcano darkening the skies world-wide has any effect, because their brains are so weak and mortal (like mine) they can’t find any step-by-step proof.

I’m lucky. I don’t need proof. Or I don’t need proof to that degree. I have no degree. I just chop extra firewood.

What does this have to do with sea-ice? I’m not sure. But I do think some of my prior assumptions were based (incorrectly) on a steady-state sun. For example, I thought the AMO would follow a nice and normal sixty-year-cycle, but that was dependent on the sun behaving itself. Instead the sun is misbehaving. To me it seems the sixty-year-cycle may have a large wrench jammed into its works, and I now expect the unexpected. I expect my expectations to be wrong.

Unfortunately, when the unexpected  happens, Alarmists will not say they were wrong, but will call the unexpected “Unprecedented”, and caused by CO2. This is their MO. To heap insult onto injury, they will also insist the sun has no effect.

The sun has a huge effect, but considering even brilliant minds can’t see the huge effect, in the step-by-step way they want, how can I expect Alarmists to see the effect? (Alarmists have minds, but can’t bother use them, instead thinking their mind should be used in being a copy-cat, a follower, a yes-man to the politically correct elite.)

(It does not matter if you want to look “fashionable” or look “cool”, or look like “a-non-conformist-like-all-the other-non-conformists”; even if you hang out with similarly-dressed people who congratulate you about how smartly you are attired, and stroke your flimsy ego and reassure you until you smile, your grandchildren will look at fading pictures how you are currently dressed and call you anything but smart. Apparently, to really be smart, involves something besides fashion.)

Alarmists are amazing, in that they can say the sun has no effect and that the sun has a huge effect. How can they do this? Well, outside the realm of arctic sea-ice, they blame absolutely everything on CO2, from floods to droughts, from booms to busts, from your manic spells to your depressed spells, and they sneer at any suggestion the sun may effect anything. (Forget the obvious fact ten cloudy days in a row makes them even worse; they still insist their rotten mood has nothing to do with sunshine, and everything to do with your daughter’s hairdryer.) However, when you talk about sea-ice, they use this word “albedo” (which my spell-check says doesn’t exist, and my mother might have had me spanked for uttering aloud), and they basically say that sunshine is the most important thing there is.

I’m sorry. You can’t have it both ways. Either sunshine is important or it isn’t.

I’d say sunshine is important, but confess that attempting to understand all the 600+ comments in the above-referenced WUWT link causes me a sensation like you get when you eat too much ice-cream too fast. Brain-freeze. I far prefer to have some older person do all that suffering for me, and to read what they gleaned from their study. Fortunately we have Joseph D’Aleo, but stupidly I never turned to the Weatherbell site until after 600+ comments caused me brain-freeze. Only then did I turn to a brief, succinct and elegant summery of the very little we know:

http://www.weatherbell.com/premium/joe-daleo/on-solar-issues-some-other-thoughts-1/

(Unfortunately the above link is to a site which is pay-to-view. There is some way to get a free trial, for a week, but I myself  am willing to pay the less-than-a-dollar-a-day to get the insights gained from experienced old-school weathermen. Assuming some can’t afford an extra dollar-a-day, or are too busy to figure out how to get a free trial, I will don my jester’s cap-and-bells and do a clumsy job of an overview.)

(But first I will say this in praise of old-school forecasters. They know the idea of consensus, concerning chaos, is bull-feathers. They know a butterfly flapping its wings can change everything, when you deal with chaos. Therefore, though it is indeed very gratifying to wake and see the morning map much like you forecast it would be, old-school forecasters were and are far more interested in seeing what they didn’t expect, as that is a clue, and evidence, and part of what will make their next forecast better.

Back before computer models, when I was a boy, I liked to switch channels between the major Boston channels, because the forecasts differed. I recall Kent, Copeland and Ward on three channels, daring to  differ. I may be remembering incorrectly, but I seem to recall that even a single station, (WBZ) had morning, evening and weekend forecasters (Kent, McDonald and a novice Shwoegler?) who dared differ between themselves when they forecast.  Occasionally one might seem way out on a limb, but turn out to be right.

One winter Copeland got onto an amazing hot-streak. His streak would make gamblers in Las Vegas envious, but I don’t think it was due to luck, but rather due to a mind working at an optimum level, and able to see the sense in chaos, albeit only for a while. The thing that may seem strange to modern minds is that Copeland didn’t keep the ideas behind his success secret, or try to copyright them. He explained them. The other newscasters drummed their fingers impatiently, because he was going ten seconds over his allotted time, but to me as a boy it was sheer heaven. What is also difficult to explain is that there seemed to be little hostility on the part of the other weathermen on other stations. They were as interested as I was.

Forgive me for sounding like an old grouch, but I am an old grouch. I have worked long and hard to be one. And in my opinion young weathermen are not worthy to shine the shoes of the old school. For one thing, the young ones never dare differ. For another thing, they bow to a false god, because if a computer model said it would snow creamed cheese in July, they wouldn’t dare say it was wrong. Sometimes, when I am feeling particularly grouchy, I think that if all the computers melted down, and the young whippersnappers had to make a forecast on their own, they wouldn’t be able to do it.

OK.  Rant over. I just wanted tip my hat to the old-school forecasters we still have with us, such as Mr. D’Aleo).

I think that the important thing I learned from these old-school forecasters (even as a person who was not fated to be a weatherman),  is that they were humble, and based much of their skill on being alert to where they were wrong and what they had missed.  They lived in the present tense, like a clipper ship captain sailing into a difficult port;  their focus was not in what they expected as much as it was upon what actually was happening. Just as a clipper ship captain had a fellow hurling a lead weight out from the bow to see how deep the channel now was, because he didn’t trust his own records of how deep the channel was the last time he was in port, because he knew the bottom was made of shifting sands, old-school weathermen were constantly measuring other “shifting sands”. I do not think there is a way to program computer models to distrust the past, in this way.)

As far as my clumsy mind can gather, most of the sun’s effects that Joseph D’Aleo could say “might” exist were absorbed by the oceans, and took a long time to manifest.  It was like dropping pellets into a glass of water. One pellet would not cause the glass to overflow. Many, many pellets, over the course of years, would cause the glass to overflow, but this would not be obvious in the short-term.

The only thing he mentioned might matter in the short term involved the effect of the solar wind. Apparently we need upper-atmosphere maps of the sun, for that level of radiance, called “the corona”, is not in a steady state, but rather has “holes” that rotate around the sun, allowing blasts of solar wind out.

To steal from a site you would learn far more from, if you paid for it, Joseph succinctly stated:

Now some solar effects happen with much shorter time periods. Low Ap as JB has conceded correlates well with blocking and a negative AO/NAO. Second Labitzke and van Loon showed the increased UV (related to flux) during solar maximum warms the upper atmosphere in low to mid latitudes (likely through exothermic ozone chemistry reactions as Shindell etal showed) leading to a shrinking of the polar vortex.

The 2001/02 non winter was clearly a super high flux winter with zonal warmth in mid latitudes and cold trapped in the polar regions. The 2009/10 winter with record cold in the south and down to Mexico and Cuba was an example of an extremely low flux expanded vortex combined with rock bottom Ap (geomagnetic) and high latitude volcanoes which both aid in high latitude blocking. BTW, the record high flux in 2001/02 winter led to poor model performance that had the meteorological world screaming at the modelers. The models assume the sun is a constant and they kept trying to liberate the cold air trapped in week 2 but the incoming UV and heating prevented it. My colleague climatologist at my former employer was able to document a one month lag in model performance due to large solar excursions like we saw that winter. I was asked to present to CPC my findings. the stratospheric and solar experts included in that meeting supported my observations and model deficiencies with regards to these factors.

BTW, other scientists have documented increased meridional flow and more persistence with low solar.

I confess a lot of this is way over my head. (The sun usually is.) However it does give credence to the idea the sun does have short-term effects beyond the “Alarmists” bland, steady-state idea of “albedo”.  To me it seems very foolish to claim there is some sort of “consensus” that feels the sun has no effect, outside of the Arctic. Obviously the sun is barely explored, and we are pioneers on a frontier. A person like the commentator-on-this-site “ren”, who displays great interest in how the changes in solar wind effect pressures at the Pole, is, in my humble opinion, a far more honest and scientific person than are the Alarmists who do not do the research, and rather regurgitate the idea that “variations in sunlight are so minor that they should not be considered.” How can they say that, if they do not bother to check it out and see it for themselves?

In any case, even though I myself cannot yet even postulate my ideas of how the “Quiet Sun” might effect sea-ice, I feel I should note we are witness to a change. Though I am very unsure what the consequences of the “Quiet Sun” will be, I am fairly certain the sun is not effected by the levels of CO2 on earth.

We should not pretend we are know-it-alls. We are facing what we have not seen before, because we now have our modern scientific satellites and other instruments. We are seeing things for the first time. We have no map. We are pioneers facing a wilderness.

If you don’t want to face the wilderness you don’t have to. Not everyone is a Danial Boone.  Some prefer to remain behind. However those who prefer to stay home should not claim they are righteous, because they are politically correct, and because they never ruffle feathers by suggesting the status quo is ignorant.

By definition, the staus quo is indeed ignorant, because they do not want to leave the norm and explore the wilderness. That is just how they are. They want to stay home.

But even as an old man I don’t want to stay home. Even if I am confined to an armchair I can roam the web. For the life of me I cannot understand  why young weathermen would use computers to be trapped, and bow to models. Computers should set us free.

I feel accepting ignorance demonstrates a lack of integrity, for integrity demands one leave ignorance and seek Truth.

And that is what the blank face of the sun is requiring of us.  It is telling us we may be facing what we have only the poorest records of: A Maunder Minimum. Now we may have modern equipment, but we are still seeing something for the first time. We are facing shifting sands.

To return at long last to the subject of sea-ice, who knows what effect the Quiet Sun will have?  Nobody. We are like a clipper ship captain sailing into uncharted waters. Sure, we have equipment better than a sailor standing on the bowsprit hurling a chunk of lead attached to a rope to plumb the depth of shoals, but we are in the same boat.

Considering no one honestly knows how currents and clouds and winds and sea-ice may be changed by the “Quiet Sun”,  it is lunacy to speak of “a consensus”, (unless the consensus is, “we are not certain.”)

However that is not the height of lunacy.  The height of lunacy is enacted by these people I meet at a cocktail party who raise a prissy index finger, and inform me, with all the authority of God, “The sun has no effect, but CO2 does.”

Allow me to conclude in prayer.

Dear God. When I meet these people at a cocktail party, please help me to behave myself.

WHO IS SMARTER? SCIENTISTS OR WHALES?

Here is another fragment cut from a prior “Arctic Sea Ice” post. (Those posts are a notebook full of observations and doodles, and can be too long-winded for some.)

What I have been noticing, but don’t see at the moment, is how cold it has been up at the North Pole this past summer. It is gloomy, as it has been all summer, but the -10°C temperatures we saw a few days ago have vanished, as a recent probe of warm air now spears the Pole.

The summertime cold air doesn’t effect the melt of sea-ice in the short term, because most melt is due to the waters under the ice, but where those waters are exposed to such cold air the waters are chilled, and this does effect the melt of sea-ice in the long run, because the waters under the ice gradually get colder.

You don’t really notice the cold unless you have been a long-term escapist like me, and watched sea-ice for years. It doesn’t show up all that well in the Mean-temperatures-north-of-80°-latitude DMI graph, (though the recent mild invasion shows up).DMI2 0904B meanT_2015

However the unexpected cold air showed up all summer, especially south of 80° over towards O-buoys 10, 11, and 12. Look at my old posts if you don’t believe me. And, as a bumpkin ruled by common sense rather than science, one thing I am highly suspicious of is the simple fact there have been so few sunspots at a time there should be a lot. So forgive me if I blare a headline:

“QUIET SUN” PRODUCES STRING OF FOUR “SPOTLESS” DAYSSunspots 20150902 If you squint at this image you may see some itty-bitty spots at the equator to the left, but they don’t count, because in the old days a small telescope could never get an image this good. They are “sun-specks”, and scientists use them to become confused. The simple fact of the matter is that they would not be seen in the old days, and if you want to compare apples with apples you shouldn’t count them, when comparing the present to the past . And, while you might not agree with the host’s ideas about planets influencing the sun, an excellent “layman’s sunspot count” cam be found here:  http://www.landscheidt.info/?q=node/50

I bring this up because, in the past, when sunspots became few and far between, the earth got cold. Modern science can’t grasp the reason, and some conclude it was therefore “just a coincidence.” This is a bit like saying it is just a coincidence that your thumb hurts when you hammer it, because you can’t scientifically prove how nerves get the message to the brain. Just because you don’t know how a thing happens is not proof it isn’t happening.

Once again lying eyes come in handy. If you stay indoors by a computer, at least visit sites that look out windows. Then maybe you will witness the thawing Beaufort Sea refreezing all summer, when it should be thawing without interruption.

Anyway, here is a graph from the above-mentioned site, comparing our current lack of sunspots with the year 1798.Layman's Comp 20150904 sc5_sc24_1It sure does look like we are seeing, if anything, fewer sunspots than 1798. Is this a hint it may get colder? From scientists all I hear is a lot of, “there is not enough evidence to verify for certain, and therefore…” Then a lot of them use even less evidence to verify that it is getting warmer.

What is a bumpkin to do? Resort to using lying eyes. Are there any signs that it is getting colder? Not if you look where most scientists look. But if you look where Polar Bears look you see them make scientists look like imbeciles on a regular basis. So look to the behavior of other sea creatures, such as whales.

One of the biggest flips from warm to cold (and from cold to warm) involves the Atlantic Ocean, and something called the AMO, (Atlantic Decadal Oscillation). When it flips there is a huge migration of all sorts of sea creatures, and in the past it was primarily noticed by bumpkin fishermen whose livelihood depended upon finding where the fish schooled.  There are great stories of fishermen finding fishing grounds deserted, searching far and wide, and discovering the fish hundreds of miles north or south of where they once were. Only recently have scientists started to become interested in what was a matter of life and death for fishermen, and in a rather snooty manner some of these scientists tend to think they know more than mere fishermen.

Only in my lifetime was it determined that what fishermen knew is factual; the AMO does flip from “cold” to “warm” and back, though why, when and where it happens is still argued about. The AMO has been “warm” for a while, and some say it is likely to turn “cold”, but the data scientists use only show it is wavering on the verge, like a top wobblng at the end of a spin.AMO Sept 4 amo_shortThis is too wishy-washy to be an answer, and therefore a person who resorts to lying eyes must resort to people who actually leave their computers and walk the beaches, and even get in the water to swim and surf. They are the ones likely to see something unusual. (Cue for next sensational headline:)

ARCTIC WHALES SEEN UNUSUALLY FAR SOUTH

For many years the Bowhead whale was just another “Right Whale”,  so named because they were the right whale to hunt, primarily because they didn’t sink when they died. They are now known to be quite different from Right Whales, and a truly arctic species. For one thing, they have heads that can butt through ice two feet thick, and for another thing, when threatened they use ice as a hiding place to flee beneath.(Photo Credit: Dennis Scott/Corbus)

There was good money to be made hunting these whales, and many of our earliest records of sea-ice were from the voyages of daring men who risked their lives in the arctic. Some were my ancestors, and I’m proud of their daring, but less proud of their greed, which reduced the population of these whales from 50,000 to roughly 5,000. In fact, were it not for the discovery of fossil oil in the earth, these beautiful creatures might be extinct, however their population has increased to at least 30,000, if not to their their original levels. Now they are only hunted by Eskimo.

“Bowhead Whale 2002-08-10” by Ansgar Walk – Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.5 via Commons – https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Bowhead_Whale_2002-08-10.jpg#/media/File:Bowhead_Whale_2002-08-10.jpg

During the recent harvests, only 20-30 per year, of these whales, very old harpoon tips have been found in the blubber. Some are of slate, or basically “stone-age”, and an unexploded exploding harpoon from New Bedford in the 1890’s was also found, suggesting these whales can live up to (and perhaps over) 200 years.

In conclusion, obviously these whales have far more experience than Climate Scientists. When these whales head south, maybe they know something Climate Scientists don’t.

Therefore I sat up in interest when off the coast of Britain, where such whales had never, I repeat, NEVER, been seen before, this picture appeared for lying eyes:Whale bowheadwhale_561024

http://www.sott.net/article/293244-Rare-Arctic-bowhead-whale-seen-for-the-first-time-in-UK-waters

Some may say it was a fluke, a young male Bowhead only 99 years old out gallivanting far from home. But that is not the only whale far from home.

Another arctic species is the Beluga Whale, which are pure white when adult, because it helps them to camouflage themselves with sea ice, when hunted by polar bears who are also camouflaged, and by killer whales. They can only break through 3 inches of ice, but will trail bowhead whales, using the holes bowhead’s break through 2 feet of ice. They are the only white whale besides Moby Dick, and are extremely obvious when away from sea ice.Whale 2 220px-Beluga_premier.gov.ru-3

Once again we turn to not scientists, but the ordinary folk in Britain. Off Northern Ireland on July 30:Whale 3 Beluga_Whale_Dunseverick_1-1024x576 Photo Credit Gordon Watson

http://www.seawatchfoundation.org.uk/beluga-rare-arctic-visitor-to-the-british-isles/

And then at the end of August two more were spotted in the North Sea off Northumberland.

http://www.sott.net/article/301038-Wrong-place-wrong-time-Extremely-rare-Arctic-Beluga-whales-seen-off-cold-beach-in-Northumberland-UK

It should be noted that there are only 17 recorded sightings of Beluga Whales off the coast of Britain, most off the Scottish coast, and none before this summer’s (that I know of) from the coast of Ireland. So, as was the case with the Polar Bears, I wonder if the animals know more than our scientists. And once again it is not scientists who give us the really interesting pictures, despite all their grants and hours spent by computers, but rather it is ordinary people who go outside and use their lying eyes.

(A hat-tip to http://iceagenow.info/ which is a great source of links to gain information such as the above news about whales.)

GLOBAL TEMPERATURES SINK SLIGHTLY —(A matter for concern?)

The UAH Satellite data is out for March, and show a slight drop in World temperatures.

UAH_LT_1979_thru_March_2015_v5

This small drop of a mere .04° Celsius might not seem like a cause for concern, however it may be hinting at a greater cooling, for there is every reason for the average temperature to be rising, now.

In my opinion this has very little to do with CO2 and “Global Warming”, although people who are rooting for evidence that their (seemingly political) theory is correct might be alarmed because by now the planet’s temperature was suppose to have risen a full degree, not the mere quarter degree which one can barely see on a porch thermometer.

The reasons for temperatures to be rising are threefold. The first was evident in the “blood moon” seen during Saturday morning’s lunar eclipse.

LUNAR ECLIPSE 635636896674534237-blood-moon-Steve-Bartlett

(Photo credit Steve Bartlett)

When the moon is this reddish hue during a lunar eclipse it indicates the earth has a clean atmosphere. When volcanoes have erupted a lot of ash into the atmosphere the moon is a sickly grey hue.  Indeed, it has been quite a while since a major volcano erupted ash.

VOCANIC ASH Screen_shot_2015_01_11_at_9_31_28_AM

(Credit Joseph D’Aleo’s blog at Weatherbell)

The general view is that ash in the atmosphere has a cooling effect, and conversely, a lack of ash should allow warming.

Another cause for warming are the sea surface temperatures, which have been generally warm, especially in the north Pacific. The ENSO index tends to make the world cooler during a La Nina and warmer during a El Nino. While we haven’t experienced a “Super El Nino”, we have been in a warmish cycle with weak El Nino conditions for over a year, which gives us a second reason to expect warming.

nino3_4

The third reason to expect warming involves the soar cycle. While the current cycle is the weakest in many years, we still are coming off the peak of it.

Sunspot February 2015 clip_image002_thumb6

Because we have three good reasons for World Temperatures to rise, it is a bit disconcerting that they remain level, and even dip slightly. (If you insist, you can add CO2 as a fourth good reason for temperatures to rise.)

The question then becomes, could these three (or four) good reasons be masking a fall in World Temperatures, caused by a dynamic we do not fully grasp?  For example, even though the sun is at a high point of its sunspot cycle, it’s “AP Index” is lower than it usually is even at low points in the sunspot cycle. (The AP Index is “a geomagnetic index driven by the Sun’s magnetism and the solar wind.”)

Sunspot AP Index clip_image004_thumb6

My honest answer to this question is “I don’t know”.  It does seem that, if the ENSO cycle moves to La Nina, and/or there is a major volcanic eruption, and/or the sun progresses on to the low point in its sunspot cycle, the “masking influences” could be removed, and our planet could see a plunge in its temperatures.

In such a case all the current concern about “Global Warming” will abruptly look idiotic. It seems that governments should at least be making “contingency plans” for earlier frosts, reduced crops, and increased heating costs.

COOL PICTURE—3 ECLIPSES

Cool Picture BusySun_slifer_960

It seems to me that some pictures deserve to be passed around the web. This picture by Doyle Slifer is one of them.

Three objects are eclipsing the the sun. First is the small airplane. Second is the streams of clouds. Third is the moon. (There is a fourth thing you can’t see; namely, specks of dirt on my computer screen.)

Above and to the left of the small plane is a group of sunspots on the surface of the sun itself.  As the sun rotated, these large sunspots swung around and pointed right at the Earth, in some ways like the barrel of a gun. There is always the possibility the spot will shoot a solar flare right at us, which can mess up our electronics in various ways.  A flare measuring “X-17” knocked out the electricity in Sweden in 2003. So far the largest this family of spots has produced is an “X-1”, and I think the nervous will exhale in relief as this swings away from us and vanishes around the backside of the sun. By the time the sun rotates around again the spots will likely be gone, or greatly reduced.

This group of spots are the largest of the current cycle, and demonstrate that even a “Quiet Sun” can occasionally make a big group. In some ways this is annoying, for once you get back in history our only records of sunspots are those that can be seen with the naked eye.

In the pre-telescope-era records from China, (the records somehow preserved from the zeal of the Red Guard, during Mao’s insane attempt to erase the past with the “Cultural Revolution”,) there are records of sunspots so large they were clearly seen when the sun was a low, orange disc, partially obscured by dust. Some assumed these historical events hinted at very active sunspot cycles,  but now we see they can occur during quiet times.