ARCTIC SEA ICE –BARNEO 2016–THE MYSTERY OF THE MISSING JET–

 

Things are a bit dull, at the moment, up at Barneo. (Not for the people up there, but for onlookers like myself). Huge jets are air-dropping cargo, which holds the housing for scientists, soldiers, and tourists (who will pay over $30,000.00 for a certificate that states they stood at the North Pole). This cargo must be retrieved from 1500 pound polar bears (who think it is for them),  unpacked, and then erected, and, because the start of operations is behind schedule, all bodies up there are likely are as busy as bees, and have little time to blog or post on Facebook.Barneo 2B 12938328_977836602285489_5091821605559718540_n910Barneo 2C 11140098_977836658952150_7239834978044090855_n943

You can see the base is located farther from the Pole than usual, towards Russia.

The choice may seem odd, for the ice actually looks thinner in that direction. The 90 degree longitude line is straight sideways in the map above, but straight up in the map below.)

Thickness 20160404 arcticictnnowcast

The reason for avoiding the thicker ice at the Pole was because it had been shoved north over the winter, and was crisscrossed by pressure ridges (seen below). Not only is it hard to build an airstrip when you have to level pressure ridges, but the pressure ridges also represent a fault in the ice, in a sense like a polar version of the San Andres Fault in earthquake-prone California. In the case of multi-year-ice, some faults are active and some are inactive, but it is taking a chance to build  an airstrip across one.  I imagine considerable thought went into the choice they made.

Barneo 2D 1934634_1004573596286405_5270321295161880015_n

You can see (above) that at this point in the season the ice doesn’t look like it is any sort of  “Death Spiral”. The temperatures stay below freezing deep into the month of May, and the melt-water pools usually don’t start to form until late June. It is in the month of July that the melt-water pools get common and the Media gets its sensationalist pictures, that support the “Death Spiral” stories. This can be seen from the view below, (which I think is taken from a far lower altitude), and was likely taken in late July or early August.Barneo 2E image307244_cf7a94da3dd81e6a854b7d12adf0e02b

This slushy, summer ice is not necessarily “rotten”, and often can still support considerable weight.

Barneo 2F image307244_3ad7ff4f49b720ee7020160619421018

In terms of the arctic environment, the Russians tend to be too messy for most environmentalists, especially Alarmists. While Russians are realists, Alarmist tend to be surrealists.

Barneo 2F CfG1rGPXIAAv8DD

Therefore many have been highly critical of the Russian clean-up the the Barneo site. Largely the Russians do a good job, but have been known to burn things rather than to carry everything in plastic bags back to the mainland. Pictures like this one can cause the tops of some environmentalists heads to explode.

Barneo 2G image307244_3570365d266b388089103eafec8d8301

To environmentalists, the very word “exploit” has an unsavory sound, but Russia fully intends to exploit its arctic resources, and when Greenpeace tried to get in the way of Russia’s exploration and exploitation, Greenpeace’s members were arrested and spent time in Russian jails. Therefore the two sides are at war, (albeit a war of words, for the most part).

Consequentially there has been a great deal of focus on the whereabouts of a certain jet, that showed how strong the ice was last year, by coming down so hard on the ice the landing gear crumpled, without cracking the ice.

Barneo 2A 10310

At first the word was that the jet would be repaired on the site, and flown off. However the damage was serious.

Barneo 2H 8955

At this  point the plan changed, and it was decided to remove the jet in bits and pieces, by icebreaker.  Environmentalists worried whether oils would be spilled, and wanted to know every detail of the project, but Russians (and even the Ukrainians, who actually owned the aircraft), felt their business was their business, and went ahead without giving the media the satisfaction of press releases. Basically the evironmentalists conservationists like myself who were interested had to scrutinize websites and search for pictures, and come to their own conclusions.

The best job I have seen done was by the blogger “Patrick” at the “Arctic Sea Ice Forum” here:   http://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/topic,1505.0/nowap.html   The links he supplied are a mother-lode of pictures, and supplied me with many for this post. I was not willing to arrive at the conclusions he arrived at, regarding the missing jet. As usual, I avoid concluding much of anything, but hope readers think for themselves.

The Borneo base itself is a hive of activity for the month of April, but shuts down around Mayday. Then the base changes its name, and becomes a quieter base, inhabited by scientists as the ice slowly drifts towards its eventual doom in Fram Stait and the North Atlantic. They stay well into the melt season.

Barneo 2I IMG_4246

These fellows stay long after jets can land on the slushy landing strip (though an airplane with skis might attempt it in an emergency). They are supplied by helicopter, and in the end are evacuated by a huge Russian icebreaker, which is big enough to have its own cargo helicopter. Barneo 2J image307244_0463887d529d2be034724ad1ee54cabd

It was during the process of removing the parts of the base last summer that pictures were taken that seem to show parts of an airplane being removed as well.

Barneo 2K image307244_3f57c09f1f9453d0c44d128c1768faa9Barneo 2L image307244_d6192f4639dd8d5e8074879387edbe76

Of course the most valuable, and heaviest, parts are the engines. The picture below seems to show the ghostly imprint of the fuselage, with the engines still sitting.

Barneo 2M IMG_4248

And the following picture seems to show an engine in the background of objects awaiting removal.

Barneo 2N sp-camp-28.07-b

The blogger “Patrick” concluded the engines were removed and dragged off, because he does not see engines on the wings of the jet in this bird’s eye view, but only “scorch marks” made by a welder removing them. (I can’t tell, and leave the decision to experts, but I do notice there are no melt-water pools, and conclude this picture was taken early in the season, no later than the middle of June). (The jet is at the bottom of the picture, and the various houses for scientists are out of view, further down.)

Barneo 2O 0531-west-side

 

“Patrick” then concludes only a few fins and flaps of the jet were removed, and the rest of the jet fell through a crack and sank to the bottom of the Arctic Ocean. He sees a lead in the bird’s-eye-view below. The jet’s parking place is to the top of the picture. No jet remains, at this point. (My assumption is that the icebreaker’s path is invisible because it berthed off the margin of this picture, to the lower left.)

Barneo 2P sp-camp-31.07-c

To my eyes the only active “crack” runs along the bottom of the picture. Other cracks look to be inactive, and perhaps turned into the lazy melt-water streams, (that roam across the summer ice until they find a route down through the ice). It also looks to me like the Russians did a fairly good job cleaning up, though they did make the ice a bit dirty, and perhaps could have bagged all that dirty slush and moved it south, to make Greenpeace happy. But I think that isn’t high on their list of priorities. (There seems to be something they left behind at the center, which I suppose is a weather station.)

Lastly, “Patrick” discovered an interesting Russian “chat room” which hold the suspicious comment  “It was decided that the aircraft will not be repaired, it will remain on the ice, and later fell through the ice.” The problem with making too much of this comment, and later comments on the comment, is that the initial comment was made on April 28, even before the final tourist left Barneo.  However the forum is well worth visiting, because there are later videos, in Russian, from TV newscasts about the decommissioning and evacuation of the base, with some good footage.  The forum is here:

http://www.polarpost.ru/forum/viewtopic.php?p=61069#p61069

Anyway, this mystery-of-a-missing-jet annoys outsiders, who are suspicious of the Russians. A Norwegian Newspaper, the “Svalbardpostan” is especially interested in a pristine arctic, and has been following the issue of the missing jet from the start.

http://svalbardposten.no/index.php?page=vis_nyhet&NyhetID=5776

http://svalbardposten.no/index.php?page=vis_nyhet&NyhetID=6329

Their most recent post was this past March 11th, and seems to suggest that if the fuselage did sink to the bottom, the Russians should still crank it back up and remove it. (Not going to happen.)

http://svalbardposten.no/index.php?page=vis_nyhet&NyhetID=6971

Speaking for myself, to me it seems the Russians might have actually removed the jet. What I’d really like to know is how in the world they removed those jet engines. They were big suckers, and how to budge them must have been something the Russians thought long and hard about.

Barneo 2Q image307244_74b1ce7f97f8b128f6a43f11d5797852

TEASER FOR NEXT POST:

Barneo Base-camp reports, on April 5:

This morning at the Barneo ice floe broke. From the band left 650 meters. So many titanic work days for nothing. Helicopter pilot flew to look for a new ldinu.Nachinaem over.
Space for the new runway Barneo ice airfield was found. Right next to the camp.
Stay tuned.

 

AMAZING CAPE COD SEA-ICE

These amazing pictures are from the Dapixara Blog at:  http://www.dapixara.com/News/files/Human-Size-Icebergs-In-Cape-Cod.html

Cape Cod iceberg2 Cape Cod 2 iceberg

I lived on the coast of Maine during the very cold winters in the late 1970’s, and never saw the sea-ice this thick, though it was thick enough back then to allow me to walk from Freeport to Eagle Island out on Casco bay.  These pictures are from further south, on the “inside” beaches of Welfleet, out on the forearm of Cap Cod. Though the beach pictured is on the “cold” side of Cape Cod, it is not as cold as Maine.

What we are seeing is (hopefully) a once in a lifetime event. I find it amazing.

Even over on the “warm” side of Cape Cod, down on the Island of Nantucket, it was cold enough to form “slurpee surf” of slush, back in February.

Slurpee Waves B-zUYWaUEAEJnt9

Shortly after the above pictures were taken, the surf froze solid.

For this to be happening out on Nantucket, which after all is not all that far from the Gulf Stream, is amazing to me.

However there was something even more amazing. It was the attempts of Global Warming activists to blame the freeze on some freakish side-effect of a “warming world.”

One of my favorite attempts was by Dr, Michael Mann (of “hockey stick graph” fame). Shortly before the seas froze up as pictured above, he blamed the blizzards Boston was experiencing on extra moisture put into the air by warmer-than-normal waters off Cape Cod.

The timing of these fellows is simply amazing. They are the only people I know who manage to shoot themselves in the foot at the same time it is in their mouth.

If that water is warmer-than-normal, I’d sure hate to see it turn colder.

Mann Tweet screenhunter_7071-feb-11-22-19

ARCTIC SEA-ICE MAXIMUM —WHY SO LOW?—

I have been urged to put aside my novel for a day, and comment on the sea-ice maximum. I only do so out of fondness for old friends, for I have personally become more interested in what I discovered while studying sea-ice than the sea-ice itself.

What I discovered was that both the science involved in the so-called “Arctic Death Spiral”, and the media’s efforts involved in reporting the “Arctic Death Spiral”, were shoddy at best and highly suspect at worst. Truth did not seem to matter as much as selling a particular political view, and, because I feel that any political view that disregards Truth is doomed to disaster, this behavior seemed like that of lemmings rushing towards a cliff.

Therefore my mind is more interested in contemplating the apparent madness of my generation, than it is in studying sea-ice. My novel looks back to when my generation was just stepping out into the world, and it contemplates how my generation’s sweet and naive hope for “Peace, Truth and Understanding” could, in some cases, be amazingly corrupted.

However I still do watch the sea-ice, as it ignores all politics and reflects the Truth of the Creator, and its motions can rest the mind with the same sort of serenity one derives from laying on ones back and watching clouds.

I’ll pick up from where I last left off reporting after Christmas, with the post:   https://sunriseswansong.wordpress.com/2014/12/28/arctic-sea-ice-recovery-sneak-attack-onto-europe/

At that point a surge of mild air up towards the pole ahead of several North Atlantic Gales had relapsed or sagged back south in the north flow behind the gales, as the storm track of those gales slumped down into western Siberia. The flood of cold air built an elongated east-west ridge of high pressure over Europe. To the south of the ridge cold winds from Siberia flowed west, and there was snow even on the north coast of Africa. But our polar-view maps see only the milder west winds bringing Atlantic air east over the top of the elongated high. This mild air is clashing with cold air over the Pole, and brewing a storm over Svalbard. Across the Pole Pacific air has been pulled through the Bering strait and generated a nifty storm north of Alaska.

This was one of the few times all winter the Pole’s temperatures were below normal, but the pool of cold was being eroded from both sides.  .

DMI2 1229B mslp_latest.bigDMI2 1229B temp_latest.big

By Dec 31 the gale over Svalbard had grown, while the Pacific storm faded south and strong high pressure built. Mild air was dawn up into Barents Sea, as cold air flowed south through Fram Strait down the east coast of Greenland. More cold air is being exported south to Hudson Bay. Less usual is the reverse cross-polar-flow, from Alaska back to Siberia, north of Bering Strait.

DMI2 1231 mslp_latest.bigDMI2 1231 temp_latest.big

By January 2 that reverse-flow has vanished, replaced by Pacific air pouring north through Bering Strait as Atlantic air pours north over Svalbard. These influxes warm the Arctic Sea’s surface temperatures, but only south of Bering Strait and south of Svalbard is the warmth enough to melt sea-ice.

I think these influxes represent cooling, for the planet as a whole, for this is occurring during the darkest days, and much heat is lost to outer space. The sea-ice may be split and tortured by the shifting winds, but it is largely pushed towards the Pole, and compressing. Less than normal amounts are being flushed south through Fram Strait, as is shown by less ice moving down the east coast of Greenland, but that flow has increased at this point, as the North Atlantic gale is in a sort of “normal” position, bringing gales down Greenland’s east coast..

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By January 3 the amount of very cold air over the Pole has decreased, due to the Pacific and Atlantic invasions. This is an indication we are not seeing a “Zonal” flow, where winds go around and around the Pole, and the cold is contained up there. The invations of warming-than-usual air we are seeing up towards the Pole are matched by exports that cause arctic outbreaks further south.

In terms of sea-ice, there is a great deal of movement. The ice is split apart, forming “leads” which swiftly freeze over (but lose a lot of oceanic heat in doing so) and then are slammed together again, forming “pressure ridges” which are like mini-mountain ranges of sea-ice, ranging from only knee high to over fifteen feet. Not only do they extend upwards, but have roots extending downwards (because 9/10th of an iceberg is under water.)

During the summer stormy conditions can reduce sea-ice, especially if the water is stratified and a layer of warmer water lies below. During the winter stormy conditions likely increase sea-ice by exposing more water to temperatures well below the freezing point of salt water. Also the wider leads allow water to be to some degree churned, which prevents stratification, and allows the water to be more efficiently chilled.

The invasions of oceanic air likely increase snowfall, which actually may decrease the amount of sea-ice by insulating the ice, and by slowing the growth of ice on the underside of flat areas of ice. On the other hand, as soon as the sun rises at the Pole on the spring solstice, that same snow-cover protects the sea-ice, by reflecting the sun’s rays.

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On January 5 the invasions of oceanic mildness had generated a genuine arctic gale. These storms stress the sea-ice a lot. I’ve also noticed that, while they represent updrafts of mild air, they are often followed by increasing cold. They may lose a lot of heat, but how this might be done generates a lot of debate.

DMI2 0105B mslp_latest.big DMI2 0105B temp_latest.big

By January 7 the gale has faded down towards the Kara Sea, but high pressure is bulging north from Alaska, and the pressure gradient between that high and the weakening gale is quite strong, and pulling Siberian air across to Canada.

When a strong flow like this gets going the cold air screams off the Siberian coast with such power that the ice is pushed away from the shores of the Laptev sea. There can be open water when the Siberian winds are down near seventy below. Of course this open water freezes swiftly, but even as a new skim of ice forms it too is pushed out to sea. During these situations the Laptev Sea creates and exports amazing amounts of ice. This winter this ice-creation also occurred along the coast of the Kara Sea.

This process of ice-creation actually can make it look like there is less ice, on the “ice extent graph.” The graph shows less ice along the Siberian coast, as the ice has been pushed towards Canada. The thinner ice along the Siberian coast is easier to melt away in August. However what is difficult to measure, in terms of “extent”, is all the ice crushed up against Canada by the Transpolar Drift.

A very strong gale off southeast Greenland is creating a wrong-way flow up in Fram Strait, halting the export of sea-ice.

DMI2 0107 mslp_latest.big DMI2 0107 temp_latest.big

By January 10 the cross-polar-flow is being interrupted by new invasions of Pacific and Atlantic air. The wrong-way flow in Fram Strait is weaker, but continues, and there are even weak impulses of low pressure heading that way, rather than taking the more normal route between Svalbard and Norway.

DMI2 0110 mslp_latest.big DMI2 0110 temp_latest.big

By January 12 a final, weak wrong-way low has moved to the northwest of Greenland, as a more conventional gale is moving up between Iceland and Norway.

What is interesting to note is what has become of all the oceanic air imported to the Pole. It has chilled down. This is the fate of all air, in 24-hour darkness.

Also the Siberia-to-Canada cross-polar flow has reappeared.

DMI2 0112B mslp_latest.big DMI2 0112B temp_latest.big

By January 14 the Atlantic Gale is weakening, and the cold keeps building over the Pole.

What is interesting about these gales is how different they are from last winter’s. Last winter’s tended to stall further south, and I said they should be dubbed “Britannic Lows” rather than “Icelandic Lows.” Because they were positioned further south they tapped into the Azores High and brought up mild southwest winds, giving even Finland a milder winter. This winter it is as if the Azores High is walled off. Instead the big gales tap air from either side of Greenland and from Labrador, and even after crossing thousands of miles of water warmed by the Gulf Stream they make a far colder southwest wind, when they get to Europe.

The cross-polar-flow is starting to break down. Watch how it collapses towards Iceland.

DMI2 0114B mslp_latest.big DMI2 0114B temp_latest.big

By January 16 the old gale has drifted off to the Kara Sea and weakened, and has been replaced by a new gale, as the cross-polar-flow has swung down to Iceland.   Watch how that flow continues to collapse down towards England. (This is a lot like what happened around Christmas.)

DMI2 0116B mslp_latest.big DMI2 0116B temp_latest.big

By January 17 the flow is down the coast of Norway towards England, and the new gale is weakening and sagging south. In essence, the storm track has swung clear across the Atlantic, from aiming the wrong way up Fram Strait over Greenland to crashing into Europe. As this dramatic sway has occurred, the Pole has been left alone, and cooled to normal.

DMI2 0118 mslp_latest.big DMI2 0118 temp_latest.big

DMI2 0120B meanT_2015

At this point something else dramatic was occurring that doesn’t show on the maps. It was of great interest to me, because I wondered if it might occur over a year ago. (I’m not sure where I wrote the thoughts down; it may have been while chatting with someone in the comments section.)

Last winter, when the Atlantic Gales stalled-out so far south and east that I dubbed them the “Britannic Low”, it may have brought benign mildness to the east of the centers, but to the west north winds rushed south over Iceland and vast stretches of the Atlantic, including the Gulf Stream. It may have seemed like the arctic air was spent harmlessly over waters where no one resides,  but I wondered what effect all that cold air, which rushed south week after week even as Europe enjoyed week after week of low-heating-bills, might have upon the sea water’s temperatures. It seemed the north winds must chill the Atlantic waters, and do so to considerable depth, because some of the gales were enormous and the seas must have been gigantic, and stirred the waters deeply.

Although the water was cooled thousands of miles from Europe’s coast, all that water is on the move. True, it moves less than a mile per hour, but a layman like me can do a back-of-an-envelope calculation, and I figured the cold water would arrive off Europe in around a year. There was nothing very scientific about my calculations. It was more of a wondering than any sort of theory.

Then, around a year later, the sea-surface temperatures cooled surprisingly swiftly towards Europe , compared to normal. You can bet my eyebrows mooned, when I noticed this. It effected the calculations used to determine the AMO (Atlantic Decadal Oscillation). Although that oscillation was not expected to switch over to its “Cold” phase for several more years, this January saw it plunge to levels on the “Cold” side not seen in decades.

All bets are off. This is a big shift, and the last time it happened was before we had satellites. We are entering Terra Incognito.

Not that the maps got all that dramatic. January 19 showed things seeming to swing back to another wrong-way flow up through Fram Strait, and, even as cold east winds afflicted areas of Europe and the Mideast south of these maps, new invasions of milder air were gathering to attack the Pole from both the Atlantic and Pacific side.

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January 21 shows the invasive process continuing.  The cross-polar-flow is less obvious, for rather than a stream of isobars it is shown by blobs of cold high pressure moving from Siberia to Canada.

DMI2 0121B mslp_latest.big DMI2 0121B temp_latest.big

At this point large gaps appear in my notes. I apologize, but we were getting clobbered by blizzards in New Hampshire. Survival, at least in a business sense, focused on snow-removal, and if I was going to stagger indoors and record anything for posterity, recording how a New Hampshire town battled a severe winter seemed more newsworthy than arctic sea-ice far away. However I did note a few things.

On January 26 another big Gale was crossing the Atlantic, as a very cold high pressure sat atop the Pole. Between the two they created a strong wrong-way flow through Fram Strait.

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On February 1 the gale is cetered south of the Baltic and the high pressure has shifted towards Svalbard, Franz Joseph Land and Barents Sea, but the flow is still the wrong way through Fram Strait.

This stuff matters, if you are accounting for sea-ice. The ice that doesn’t come down through Fram Strait does two things. One, it makes the “ice extent” graph look lower, because there is less ice drifting down the east coast of Greenland. Second, because that ice only heads south to be melted, it means there is more ice left behind up in the arctic, which may mean the “ice extent” graph will show more ice in the summer, many months away.

For only the third time all winter, temperatures neared normal in the arctic.

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DMI2 0201B meanT_2015

By February 3 the wrong-way flow was bringing mild air up west of Svalbard to nudge against very cold air, which always seems a recepie for storm to me, but I didn’t expect the storm that developed.

DMI2 0203 mslp_latest.big DMI2 0203 temp_latest.big

February 6 shows the Noodle Storm, pulling very mild air right past the pole, driving a cross-polar-flow from Siberia to Canada, and also a “correct” flow, for a change, down through Fram Strait, and then down to Scandinavia.

It would have been fun to study this in greater depth, but at this point winter was using the people of New England as a punching bag.

DMI2 0206 mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0206 temp_latest.big

By February 8 the Noodle Storm was sagging south into Europe, and the cross-polar-flow was pronounced, and winds were dropping to a calm in Fram Strait. The Pole is doing a good job of cooling all the mild air brought north.

DMI2 0208 mslp_latest.big DMI2 0208 temp_latest.big

(There is quite a gap here, as I figured I didn’t have enough to do, and should also write a novel.) The February 15 map shows what I think is left of the Noodle Storm has drifted to central Siberia, bringing its milder air with it. Cross-polar-flow continues, now bringing arctic highs across Bering Strait. A powerful gale is hitting Iceland, but will you look up in Fram Strait? Everything is going the wrong way again.

DMI2 0215 mslp_latest.big DMI2 0215 temp_latest.big

By February 18 the gale has passed well north of Scandinavia, and the flow is the right way in Fram Strait. Mild air is pouring towards the Pole from both the Atlantic and Pacific sides, but blobs of cold high pressure continue to march from Siberia to Canada.

DMI2 0218B mslp_latest.big DMI2 0218B temp_latest.big

On February 23 a micro-gale caught my eye, as it approached the Pole. Not that I had time to study it, though they are an interesting Polar phenomenon,  and may be like hurricanes. As you can see, I couldn’t get my act together enough to save a temperature map.

DMI2 0222B mslp_latest.big

I did remember to get a temperature map twelve hours later. I didn’t like the looks of that blob of Siberian high pressure being squeezed across to Canada. I likely should have paid more attention to the powerful gale southeast of Iceland. However mostly I wondered what the mirco gale was doing to the sea-ice at the Pole. The isobars are packed and the winds must have been strong.

DMI2 0223B mslp_latest.big DMI2 0223B temp_latest.big

Twelve hours later I forgot the surface-pressure map, and only got the temperature map. (By this point most of the population of New England was approaching delirium, as snow depths passed six feet in places.) It does show how that mirco low sucked milder air right up over the Pole. It also shows mild air coming through Bering Strait from the Pacific, and the cold cross-polar-flow bringing more air from Siberia to Canada, and then down to New England. This was starting to annoy me. I mean, enough is enough.

DMI2 0224B temp_latest.big

By February 26 the first Gale has weakened, taking the route north of Norway, as the mild Pacific air has generated a storm of its own. Between the two the cross-polar-flow looks to be weakening. A powerful gale approaches Iceland from the west.

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Four days later it looks like the Pole has stopped exporting cold, and is gathering its resources. A final glob of cold is passing into Alaska, but sucking Pacific air north in its wake. North Atlantic low pressures extend all the way to central Siberia, and have pulled some milder air up the entire eastern side of the North Atlantic.

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On March 3 the Pacific invasion has started again, and the Atlantic invasion continues despite the swiftly weakening low and the building high pressure north of the Kara Sea.

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By March 6 the Atlantic surge has become impressive as the Pacific surge retreated. Once again cross-polar-flow is developing.

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March 9 shows the Atlantic invasion at its high point (I think.) A sprawling gale is over Svalbard, wheeling mild air up over the Pole itself. However it is still dark over the Pole for another eleven days, and that mild air can only chill.

A meandering cross-polar-flow persists.

DMI2 0308B mslp_latest.big DMI2 0308B temp_latest.big

The invasion of Atlantic air spikes the arctic temperatures.

DMI2 0308B meanT_2015

And now, at long last, we look at the ice extent graph:

DMI2 0309 icecover_current_new

Hopefully by subjecting you to all these maps I’ve shown that edge of the sea-ice has been eroded north a lot this winter by influxes of Pacific and Atlantic air. Also, because the bitter Siberian air headed across the Pole towards Canada, there was less bitter cold air left behind to create sea-ice off the Pacific coast north of Japan, (where there is much less ice than normal.) However the fact remains: There is less ice at the maximum.

The question immediately asked is: Does the lowness of this graph indicate the world is warming?

No. It means the cold air was distributed differently this winter. If the flow was “zonal”, the cold air generated by sunless winter days in the arctic would have stayed up north, and frozen northern waters. However the flow was radically “meridinal”, which means the cold headed south. As a consequence warm air has repetitively flooded up into the arctic, on both the Atlantic and Pacific sides, and frayed the outer edges of the sea ice, on those sides. Meanwhile there was significantly more ice on waters that are not used in the calculations for the sea ice extent graph. For example, take the Great Lakes:

Great Lakes Feb 26 glsea_cur

Or take the saltwater bays off the east coast of the USA.

East Coast Sea Ice b-umfxaciaa2qmm

The freezing of these waters, which ordinarily are not ice-covered to such an extent, could be used to argue the world is in fact colder, if one wanted to go that route.

The exact same “albedo” equations used up at the Pole can be used on the Great Lakes and the East Coast of the USA, and could demonstrate a huge amount of sunlight is being reflected back into space. After all, there is no sunshine at all at the Pole right now, but the sun is high in the sky further south. By the time the southern ice is melted it will have reflected a sizable amount of heat, but don’t ask me to fool around with the numbers. It would take a lot of “absorbing” for northern ice-free waters to counter that “reflected” deficit.

And that doesn’t even consider the surplus ice in the waters around the South Pole. It doesn’t take a lot of brains to compare the areas of ice, and the latitudes the ice is at, and determine the “albedo” arguments simply don’t add up.

In order for the “albedo” argument to work, there must be less solar radiation reflected and more absorbed, resulting in increasing temperatures. The problem is, the idea doesn’t work even if you utterly ignore the Great Lakes and the East Coast of the USA and the Antarctic. In order for it to work, the ice must decrease at the North Pole.

Even after a winter like this, where the arctic was robbed of a lot of its cold, there are some signs that the ice is increasing. Less ice seemed to be flushed south through Fram Strait, and more ice seemed to be packed together at the Pole. However in order to see these signs you have to do your homework, and become acquainted with individual chunks of ice.

For example, consider the buoy 2012G, which is tracked by the purple line in the map below.

Army Map Active_track

For over three years I’ve watched this buoy as it has wandered the Arctic Ocean, part of a mass of ice that has more than doubled its thickness, from less than six feet to more than twelve. Watching it does not give one the sense ice is getting thinner and weaker.

Another buoy, “Obuoy 9”, past roughly the same area by the Pole two years later, but took a radically different course, and is now north of the Greenland coast. ( See map at  http://obuoy.datatransport.org/monitor#overview/gpstracks  )

If you do your homework and follow such buoys, (many of which have anemometers, thermometers, barometers, and cameras attached), you swiftly learn how mobile the sea-ice is. One buoy I followed began close to the Pole in April and grounded on the north coast of Iceland 8 months later. Most of the ice on the Arctic Sea has a life expectancy of less than two years, and the ice at the edges seldom lasts longer than a few months.

More than half of the ice melts every year, and one year it was three quarters. Then it grows back. You can write both the screaming headline “67% Of Arctic Sea-Ice Melts!” and the headline “Arctic Sea-Ice Triples!” on the same year, and not be a liar.

Considering these amounts are so huge, it is a bit ridiculous to obsess about small seasonal variations in the maximum and minimum extent. They have nothing to do with either a coming “Ice Age” or a coming “Death Spiral”. They have everything to do with the planet’s futile but constant effort to achieve balance, when it it is constantly knocked out of balance by sunspot cycles, and also the simple fact Earth is tilted, and we have seasons.

As the planet attempts to arrive at equipoise it manifests various actions and reactions, and the PDO and AMO are such actions and reactions. Those who want to understand why the ice comes and goes the way it does would do well to study those cycles, and what causes them.

Two major things are likely to influence the melting and reformation of sea-ice over the next few years. The first is the switch of the AMO to its “cold” phase this past January:

AMO January amo(2)

The second is that the sunspot cycle is reduced, and we are seeing a “Quiet Sun.”

DMI2 0224 sunspots latest

My private wondering is about how the “Quiet Sun” may alter the PDO and AMO. They may not behave as we’d expect them to, if they were following a stable 60-year-cycle, because the sun was far from “quiet” 60 years ago.

However if things behave as they behaved in the past, I would expect the shift of the AMO to “Cold” to result in a swift increase of sea-ice on the Atlantic side, over the next year. There is no sign of this yet.

THINGS TO WATCH FOR

As more than half the ice melts away this summer one can measure whether the melt is above-normal or below-normal by visiting a Cryosphere Today page that graphs the melt of all the various Seas, and whether the melt is above or below normal. For example, Hudson Bay can be viewed here:  http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/recent365.anom.region.13.html

If you scroll down to the bottom of the Hudson Bay screen you can see a handy map that allows you to swiftly click to the graphs for other areas.

I chose Hudson Bay because it will be interesting to watch. Usually it is entirely ice-covered by now and entirely ice-free by August, however on rare years not all the ice melts away. Last year the ice barely melted away, but the water was quite cold to begin the winter, and froze swiftly. Now the ice is thick and has piled up deeply against the south and east coasts. The refreeze of Hudson Bay means a lot for the east of the USA, for until it freezes its open water moderates the temperatures of arctic air coming south, and it serves as a buffer. It would not bode well for the northeast coast of the USA if a winter began with ice already in Hudson Bay.

Another place to watch will be Barents Sea north of Scandinavia. Last year, with the AMO only briefly dipping to the “cold” side, the ice actually increased in Barents Sea even as it retreated everywhere else. I am not sure how this is even possible, with the temperatures rising all over the arctic to above the freezing point of salt water. It must be that the ice that already exists drifts south. In any case, it may happen again. If it does happen, it may explain the surprising increases of ice hinted at, in that area, by old, Danish maps showing where the edge of the ice was as the AMO turned “cold”, back in the days before we had Satellites to watch with.

Happy ice-watching!

ARCTIC SEA-ICE RECOVERY —Neglected Ice—

I have neglected to report on the sea-ice since November 11, as the subject draws little attention when the sea ice is growing by leaps and bounds. It is hard for the media to inspire panic about a “Death Spiral” when the sea-ice is doing what it does every year, which is to triple in its extent.  Also I have been fighting an arctic invasion in my own back yard. Lastly, my favorite DMI site was down for a while.

Now I have been nudged back into action, partly because I have a bit of free time and simply enjoy the arctic, but also due to being aggravated by an article I read on “The Weather Network”  that contained the usual misinformation. One paragraph stated:

“For example, after the record melt of Arctic sea ice in the northern summer of 2012, the melts in 2013 and 2014 were more in-line with the years prior to 2012 (and very close to what was seen in 2009). Although some have claimed this to be a ‘recovery’ of the Arctic, the 2012 melt was due to a combination of the warming trend in the climate and a specific worst-case sequence of weather events during that summer. Since that sequence of weather events didn’t repeat in the years after, the ice extents didn’t reach as low. However, the ice that grew back after 2012 was far thinner than was there before that melt, so the overall volume of ice – the total amount, rather than just how much ocean it covers – is still at a record low for the Arctic.”

This is just plain incorrect. The ice that grew back after 2012 was quite average, but was pushed towards Canada and piled up against the north coast of the Canadian Archipelago in a manner that made ice thicker for hundreds of miles out to sea, in a manner we have not seen for years. Furthermore, while “volume” is notoriously hard to calculate, indications are it is increasing, largely due to the increase of multi-year ice north of Canada.

This is something you know if you simply watch the ice. I’ve been doing so for years, and therefore misinformation leaps out at me.  Appeals to authority cannot cancel what my lying eyes have seen, and I am unimpressed by any sentence that uses the words “studies show” or “scientists say” without referring to actual data, or at least to papers that hold the data.

In any case, the article can be found at:  http://www.theweathernetwork.com/news/articles/submersible-robot-first-3d-map-reveals-antarctic-sea-ice-thicker-more-deformed/40744/

I get the feeling the more evidence proves that the idea of a “Death Spiral” is incorrect, the more we will hear these excuses. However the good thing is that is gets me so steamed I am motivated to continue to study the ice.  When you can’t rely on the media you must rely on your own eyes.

Since November 11 the rest of the Kara Sea has refrozen, the rest of the East Siberian Sea has refrozen, and Hudson Bay is freezing up a little ahead of schedule. The flow of ice down the west side of Baffin Bay is behind schedule, while the flow of ice down the east coast of Greenland, which was very much behind schedule, has nearly caught up to normal. The most noticeable deficit of sea-ice is in the Chukchi Sea north of Bering Strait, while the most noticeable increase from last year is in the northern waters of the Barent Sea, which are back to normal.

Watching these fluctuations in the growth of the ice give one hints about weather patterns and the state of the AMO and PDO, and have little to do with any Death Spiral.  The only way to call the current levels “unprecidented” is to studiously ignore history. The Danes kept careful records all the way back to the 1890’s, but these are repressed by people who seem determined to advance an agenda. I myself would like to see sea-ice retreat to the levels the Vikings saw when they grew barley in Greenland, because that would be a kinder climate here in New Hampshire, however people with an agenda likely would use the warmth as an excuse to increase my taxes.

You can open the maps below to new tabs to enlarge them, and then click back and forth between the tabs to watch how the ice grew between November 10 and November 29.

Extent 20141110 arcticicennowcastDMI2 1129 arcticicennowcast

Back on November 11 cold air was building over the Pole, as the Atlantic was blocked and pouring most of its milder air east into Europe.  The main entrance region for milder air was through Bering Strait. Cold Siberian air was draining north into the Laptev Sea.

DMI2 1111 mslp_latest.bigDMI2 1111`temp_latest.big

Five days later the Pacific air has curled along the Canadian coast to the Pole, generating rising air and low pressure, which creates a return flow back to Canada. The air is in essence sloshing back and forth, but a cross-polar flow like last winter’s, from the Laptev Sea to the Canadian Archipelago is developing on the Pacific side, as a weak cross-polar-flow heads the other way north of the Atlantic. (Last year I called this “The Two Way Highway”.)

DMI2 1115 mslp_latest.bigDMI2 1115 temp_latest.big

DMI2 1116B mslp_latest.bigDMI2 1116B temp_latest.big

By November 18 the cross-polar-flow from Siberia to Canada is quite clear, and, like last year, not only air is moved but also the sea-ice is moved, to join the mass of multi-year ice already piled up north of Canada. Meanwhile, on the other side of the “highway’, a west wind blows across the north of Europe, keeping the Siberian cold at bay.

DMI2 1118 mslp_latest.bigDMI2 1118 temp_latest.big

By November 25 the cross-polar flow has largely broken down.  A storm rolling along the Eurasian arctic coast has brought some Atlantic air up to the Pole, but the Pole is much colder, as it is sloshing between patterns, and isn’t exporting much cold.The cold air it is exporting is back down to be recycled in Siberia. This will generate storminess as the cold air clashes with the Atlantic air.

DMI2 1125 mslp_latest.bigDMI2 1125 temp_latest.big

Currently the storminess has taken over the entire Atlantic side of the Pole, and a great rush of milder air is being drawn up to the Pole, even as the same general flow draws the coldest air of the season north from Siberia across the Laptev Sea. This clash will be interesting to watch.

DMI2 1128 mslp_latest.bigDMI2 1128 temp_latest.big

The current invasion of warm air will of course make the graph of temperatures north of 80 degrees latitude spike upwards.

DMI2 1129B meanT_2014

These spikes in temperature might seem like they would indicate less sea-ice forming, however, as the maps show, they are often indicative of storms at the Pole, and storms often smash up the ice and expose waters to temperatures which, as the graph makes clear, are well below the freezing point of salt water. Perhaps a small amount of ice is melted if the water is stratified and if warmer water is stirred up from below, but such melting is more probable in summer storms. In winter storms the ice cracks to “leads” of open water which swiftly freeze over, or else these leads slam shut, creating “pressure ridges” of piled up ice.  After last winter, which was quite stormy, the new ice was not very flat, and contained more mini-mountain-ranges of piled up ice, which suggests storms increase the total volume of ice over a given area. It likely also chills the water more, as the water is exposed to the sub-zero air more often.

To get an idea of how much the ice is shifted about it pays to keep an eye on how the ice is moving, and I find this animation helpful:

Arctic Sea Ice Speed & Drift – 30 Day Animation

Because the Arctic Sea is constantly losing heat, if not through the open water of leads then through the ice itself (especially when the ice is new and only a foot or two thick,) now is the time we see the tables turned, and the Pole becomes a source of warming for the Tundra, and the Tundra becomes a source of cold for the Arctic Sea. The exact opposite is true during the summer, and it can be a bit hard to get your mind around which is effecting which, as the seasons change. It is especially hard because whichever is colder will tend to generate sinking air and high pressure, and whichever is warmer will tend to generate rising air and low pressure. It is great fun trying to keep track of it all, as long as you don’t mind seeing your assumptions are incorrect on a regular basis.

The only certain thing is that it is darn cold up there, and the sea is freezing over.  Where there isn’t ice, ice will appear, and where there is ice, the ice will get thicker. You can keep an eye on the thickness here:

Arctic Sea Ice Thickness – 30 Day Animation

The best collection of arctic information I know of has been compiled by Anthony Watts on his Sea Ice Page, which can be seen here:

http://wattsupwiththat.com/reference-pages/sea-ice-page/

ARCTIC SEA-ICE RECOVERY —SURGES AND OUTBREAKS—

The very cold air over the Pole and Siberia has moderated.  When there is a rebound of temperatures, one has to do some detective work, and see where the cold air has gone.

DMI2 1110B meanT_2014

Below are the DMI arctic maps for November 7th, 9th, and 11th. (Barometric pressure to the left, temperature to the right.) If you focus on the temperature maps you can see the deep blue fade away north of Greenland, as an invasion of milder air comes north through the Bering Strait.  Whenever there is an invasion of air there is usually an arctic outbreak somewhere else. Seldom do the opposing forces politely mix.

In this case the invading Pacific air split the cold air into two parts, the Eurasian part and the Canadian Part. The Canadian part is stronger, as is shown by the high pressure building there. The Eurasian outbreak is not as obvious, for a lot of the outbreak poured down the east coast of Greenland and out into Fram Strait, giving Svalbard very cold temperatures and chilling the North Atlantic. As soon as such air gets over open water it rapidly  warms at the surface, and appears to “disappear” from temperature maps, though in fact it had a lot to do with the series of storms rolling along the arctic coast of Eurasia.

DMI2 1107B mslp_latest.big DMI2 1107B temp_latest.big

DMI2 1109 mslp_latest.bigDMI2 1109 temp_latest.big

 

DMI2 1110B mslp_latest.bigDMI2 1110B temp_latest.big

The storms that have been rolling along the north coast of Eurasia have been interesting, for beneath them they carried a huge shot of milder temperatures on west winds.  This surge A.) led to some thawing of the Siberian snow-pack along its outer edge, B.) bumped some very cold air into the Pacific where it met a typhoon and became a huge gale, and C.) has a backwash of cold east winds to its north. The current temperature map of Asia still shows the milder air attacking the east Siberian cold from the southwest, as the backwash starts to  build a new pool of cold air in central Siberia. (Map created by Dr Ryan Maue at the Weatherbell site.) (Click to enlarge and clarify)

DMI2 1110B gfs_t2m_asia_33

 

Europe needs to keep an eye on the backwash. As the Siberian cold builds the west-to-east surges settle south, and the east-to-west back wash can extend to Scandinavia and even Britain, giving them their most frigid winter temperatures.

The cold air pouring out over the Pacific is messing with my head big time. I have been relying on my memory of 1976-1977’s brutal winter, rather than digging up old maps, and that is obviously a mistake, as things are not happening as I remember them happening.  Rather than cold air crossing over to North America just north of the Bering Strait, mild air is pouring north in the Bering Strait, but the arctic outbreak is coming south in North America just the same.  It is obviously time to shut up, and just observe.

There was a lot of incorrect blather  in the media about the huge gale that brewed up, incorperating all the juice of a typhoon into one of those amazing North Pacific monster storms. They are so big they make a super-typhoon look small, and though they may not have a core of 100+ mph winds, they can have winds of hurricane force over an area far larger than a hurricane does. (More Maue maps from Weatherbell.) The first map shows the gale near its peak, and the second shows it starting to fill and weaken now. (Click to enlarge and clarify; open-to-new-tabs to compare.)

DMI 1109 gfs_mslp_uv10m_npac_1

DMI2 1110B gfs_mslp_uv10m_npac_1

It is fairly obvious the winds from such monster storms are not going to allow air to cross the Bering Strait west-to-east.  Instead Siberian air charges east beneath such storms, to chill the north Pacific but to be much moderated before reaching North America.

(The winds were so strong as they poured off the Asian mainland that they actually warmed the coastal waters, despite being frigid, for they pushed the surface water out to sea and caused up-welling along the coast. This led to odd sea-surface temperature anomaly maps. While the frigid air chilled the western North Pacific, making parts to the west shift from above-normal to  below-normal, and be tinted blue on maps, right along the coast there was a strip of bright crimson, due to the up-welling. Bright crimson represented three degrees above normal, but normal is very cold in those waters. Usually the sea water is below the freezing point of fresh water and about to freeze. So don’t be fooled by the bright crimson and think that water is hot. However do be aware that the refreeze of those waters, [called “The Sea of Okbotsk,”] may be briefly delayed, despite very cold winds pouring over those waters.)

These giant Pacific gales suck up huge amounts of heat into the upper atmosphere, and all that rising air must descend somewhere, and therefore these storms tend to “pump the ridge” of high pressure in front of them. It is the other side of that ridge that is now delivering the very cold air south through Canada to the USA. However I have to put on my thinking cap, because the origins of that cold air are not from where I supposed.

In like manner huge gales blow up in the North Atlantic, and pump ridges in front of them. This currently seems to be happening over towards Europe. The first map shows the big but diffused gale stalling south of Iceland, and the second map shows the storm still stalled but high pressure building over Scandinavia, with cold air coming south on its eastern flank.

UK Met 1110A 20012543 UK Met 1110B 20016441

Last year the North Atlantic gales were bringing vast surges of mild air up their eastern sides, and flooding Europe with merciful southwest winds. Although the winter pattern hasn’t locked in, it is starting to look like this winter will be very different.

What does all this mean in terms of sea-ice? (I actually don’t care all  that much, as I have to attend to staying warm here in New Hampshire, and things freezing here matters more than things freezing thousands of miles to the north.) Currently it means there is a delay in the increase.

DMI2 1110B icecover_current_new

Extent 20141110 arcticicennowcast

 

ARCTIC SEA-ICE RECOVERY —BUILDING COLD—

I haven’t been able to study arctic maps to the degree I did last year. I only am able to allot so many hours a day to daydreaming and goofing off, (which is what studying weather maps boils down to, when you don’t get paid for it,) and this year I have other things to daydream about, and to goof off doing.

I figure it isn’t so urgent to study the arctic any more, as the idea that the arctic is in a “death spiral” has been slinking away in shame to the shadows, where it will lurk and await the next thaw, (or perhaps the next warm PDO.)  In fact it now is starting to seem incredible that  the “death spiral” idea was ever taken seriously, and that people became so indignant when I (and many others) dared challenge it.

Those clinging to the idea of the “death spiral” now need to cling to the hope the current “warm” spike in the PDO is more than a spike, and is in fact a freak occurrence of the PDO switching back to a long-lasting “warm” phase a decade earlier than usual. They also must hope the AMO stays in its “warm” phase as well.

This Alarmist dream likely will not come true, but even if it comes true it will not make the arctic be ice-free, as they predicted, but it might result in ice-extents low enough for them to point fingers at, and wave arms about.  Otherwise such people appear to be malingering, (which is, “to avoid work by feigning illness.”) The illness, in their case, is the “fever” the planet supposedly has, and the work they are avoiding involves facing the facts they fail to look at.

Having spent nearly a decade attempting to see the facts, (despite the smoke-screen some Alarmists have created to hide evidence from honest eyes,) I’ve fallen into the habit of observing the planet from the top. Even as it becomes less politically important to do so, I think I’ll continue to do it, for the top-down view possesses a fascination quite free from politics, and owns a beauty all its own.  I won’t do it to the degree I once did, but will continue to be an observer. While I may not demonstrate the rigor of a true scientist, I will continue to be a witness.

Over the past two weeks the extent of sea-ice has increased very swiftly. It always does, as the sun sets for six months at the Pole, but this year has seen the increase be especially fast. We are all set to surpass last year’s levels, because last year the ice extent actually decreased, briefly, at this time:

DMI2 1102 icecover_current_new (click to enlarge)

Much of this increase is due to the fact a large area of open water north of the Laptev Sea, (which I called, “The Laptev Notch”), and the Laptev Sea itself, froze over.  Compare these two maps, the top being from two weeks ago, and the bottom being the current situation:Extent 20141022 arcticicennowcastDMI2 1102 arcticicennowcast

It is important not to get too swept up in the hoopla about this increase, for such hoopla is only a response to the hoopla about decreases in ice being a “death spiral.”  The open water of the Laptev Notch was an anomaly largely created by winds, but did allow a glimmer of hope to brighten the gloom of those hoping the Pole would become ice-free and the end of the world was nigh.  The “Laptev Notch” could not last, and it was to be expected that it would swiftly refreeze, that the world wouldn’t end, and that those avoiding getting a real job because the end was nigh would have to get real jobs.

The above maps also show the open waters off the north coasts of Alaska and Canada have rapidly refrozen, adding to the swiftness of the increase in the ice-extent graph. However at this point we are running out of waters easy to freeze. There may even be a “pause” in the refreeze, much like last year’s, as we run out of easy-to-freeze open water.

It should be noted we still have more open water than last year towards Bering Strait, especially in the East Siberian Sea. Without a lick of scientific data, I would suggest this coincidentally matches the “warm” spike of the PDO, and is suggestive of an influx of warmer Pacific waters.

Also it should be noted there is more ice than last year east of Svalbard in the northern reaches of Barents Sea. Without a shred of scientific data, I would suggest this coincidentally matches a down-spike of the AMO last spring and summer into its “cold” phase.  In fact there was more ice along the north coast of Svalbard during the warmest days of summer than there was in the dead of last winter. Now the AMO has settled back into its “warm” phase.  When you compare the two maps above, what do you observe?  You observe there is a little less ice along the north coast of Svalbard, despite the fact ice is growing everywhere else, up in the arctic.  Coincidence? Or proof the AMO governs the amount of sea-ice?  That is not for me to say. I am just a witness.

Sometimes my curiosity gets going, and I yearn for more stuff to witness, and more time to witness stuff with. When I’m rich I’m going to hire a “go-for” to hunt up graphs and charts and old weather maps for me.  Even so, I doubt I’ll qualify as a true scientist. However I’ll be a better witness.

As the Arctic Sea refreezes the refreeze is influenced by the weather, and the weather is influenced by the refreeze. It is a chicken-or-the-egg thing.  Weather patterns influence the snow cover and the ice extent, but the snow cover and ice extent can influence the weather patterns.  For example, a certain pattern will dump snow over Siberia, but, once Siberia is snow-covered, it allows radiational cooling to generate cold high pressure, which must influence the pattern. In the same manner open water in the Arctic Sea allows more warm, moist updrafts, reletive to ice-covered water and  snow-covered land, and such updrafts are far more likely to feed and encourage low pressure systems. Storms have a way of following the edge of the ice, but a week later, when that same area is totally ice-covered, a similar storm will weaken.  So who is controlling whom?  You decide. I am just a witness.

Two weeks ago, on October 22, high pressure had been sitting up near the Pole for a week, and the air beneath cooled until it was the coldest of the season, and then a gale charged up from Iceland to budge the high south towards Siberia. As this cold air passed over the Laptev Sea it had a lot to do with the swift refreeze of the open waters.

DMI2 1022B mslp_latest.big

As the cold air settled over Siberia on October 26th the flow behind that high pressure, (between its high pressure and the Icelandic low), brought a flood of milder Atlantic air rushing north over Scandinavia, with a tongue of that mildness extending past the Pole on the Eurasian side, however this flood of warmth was about be swiftly pinched off by new high pressure advancing north from Canada.

DMI2 1026 mslp_latest.big

By October 27th the advance of the Canadian high pressure was starting to divert the flow of Atlantic air back towards Greenland, even as the advancing Icelandic low was shunted away from the Pole towards Scandinavia. This shoved the Siberian cold east. Meanwhile an Aleutian low was squeezing that cold from the other side, before it too was shunted eastward into Alaska by the Canadian high. During the brief period when the Siberian cold was getting squeezed from both sides it poured vast amounts of very cold air into the Pacific, behind the Aleutian low.

(This verifies a pet rule of mine:  If mild air floods up towards the Pole, cold air will be surging away from the Pole somewhere else.)

DMI2 1027 mslp_latest.big

As the Siberian cold poured out over the Pacific it cooled the water, which has been at “above normal” levels, to levels “below normal,” especially along the Pacific coast of Asia.  I think we shall see this continue this winter, and have a hunch it will end the “warm” spike of the PDO and return it to its more typical “cold” pattern by spring. However it also, (and this strays miles off topic,) apparently exposed some problem with how “above normal” and “below normal” are determined.  The problem manifested in very different sea-temperature-anomaly maps being produced by the same data, and is discussed here: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/11/01/on-the-recent-unisys-sea-surface-temperature-anomaly-maps-and-cooling-of-northern-hemisphere-ocean-surfaces/

 

DMI2 1028B mslp_latest.big

Briefly the Canadian high pressure at the Pole was creating a zonal flow, with low pressures rotating politely around it, but by Halloween it was falling apart, as a new situation developed. The high pressure was settling south over Scandinavia, which was getting north winds, even as south winds approached ahead of the next Icelandic low.  On the Pacific side another Aleutian low approached Bering Strait even as the last one weakened moving east across Alaska to northern Canada.

DMI 1031B mslp_latest.big

By November 1 the winds were swinging around to the south in Norway, but this time the flood of milder, Atlantic air is not penetrating to the Pole, but rather is swung back towaeds Greenland. The only significant south winds invading the Pole are from the revitalized low in the Canadian Archipelago, and they are not all that balmy. For the most part the Pole is quiet and calm and losing heat, which creates cold at the surface. So is Siberia.

DMI2 1101 mslp_latest.big

This brings us to today.  I’m at a loss to explain why the low pressure is extending north of Eurasia the way it is. It is time to simply watch, and be a witness, and be glad my livelihood isn’t dependent on predicting what happens next.

DMI2 1102 mslp_latest.big

However, as a witness, I’ll note the air over the Pole is the coldest we’ve seen all autumn:

DMI2 1102 meanT_2014 (click to enlarge)

DMI2 1102 temp_latest.big

Furthermore Siberia, which was milder after discharging so much cold air over the Pacific, has recharged itself and is again loaded with cold:

DMI2 1101 cmc_t2m_asia_1

When this much cold air builds up, it seldom sits up there. It is heavy, dense stuff, much heavier and denser than air to the south, so it is likely to sink under the air to the south and cause uplift and storms and arctic outbreaks.  The question then becomes, “Where?”

My guess is a lot of the Siberian air will again spill into the Pacific, but a little further north than last time, as we progress towards a winter pattern that will see Siberian air spilling across the Bering Strait into Alaska and then south.

I also guess a surge of relatively mild westerly wind will cross Europe, hinting at a winter storm track that will see the westerly winds sink south as the cold builds to the north,  until easterly winds north of that storm track start transplanting air from Siberia across the north of Europe, so that Scandinavia, which saw southwest winds from the Atlantic for much of last winter,  will see the east winds of Tolkien’s Mordor freezing their socks off.

Lastly, the cold over the Pole, separate from Siberia, will leak south into Canada behind the low in the Archipelago. I guess this is a temporary event, and part of a transitory autumnal pattern.

I confess this guess-work has great gaps and holes. For example, while I’ve figured out where air will exit the arctic, I know it must be replaced by air entering, but haven’t a clue where that would be. Either side of Greenland?

In the end, guess-work is but guessing, and I’ll likely stand corrected. Actually I look forward to correction, for I would rather stand corrected than fall. And, even without the comments of fellow bloggers to correct me, simply being a witness supplies me with more corrections than a school-teacher with a lot of red pencils, in the form of that great correcter called “Reality.”

 

SIBERIAN SNOWS BREEDING BITTER COLD

(Please note that this post is dated October 25, 2014. I have had a number of hits on this old post today, October 19, 2015, nearly a year later, and fear people may be taking last year’s information as being up-to-date and current. That being said, it is indeed interesting to compare the two years.)Siberian snow Nov 2 ecmwf_snowdepth_russia_41__4_(1)

(CLICK MAP TO CLARIFY AND ENLARGE) The above map jumped out at me as I prowled the web for news. I found it among the heaps of information Joseph D’Aleo provides at his blog at Weatherbell, and is one of the thousands of maps Dr. Ryan Maue provides at that site. It shows the snow-cover in Siberia building to cover most of Russia by November 2. (Please note this article was written in 2014, though it in some ways also applies to this autumn’s situation [2015]). This year the early snow seems centered more towards western Russia. Check the top of my website for the latest post on Europe.)

This is a lot of snow for this early in the winter, and does not bode well for all northern lands.  Snow-cover allows Siberia to lose heat through radiational cooling, and the area “produces” cold, pressing down as high pressure which then then moves outwards in all directions. The earlier the snow-pack forms, the earlier pools of extreme cold can be created. Already temperatures in east Siberia are touching that magic number of minus forty, where both Fahrenheit and Celsius agree. (The Maue-made temperature-map below is in Fahrenheit.)

Siberia 2 cmc_t2m_asia_1 (click to enlarge)

Freezing temperatures (below 32 Fahrenheit) are shown where sky blue turns to pink, and extend from Finland to Manchuria. Where Fahrenheit temperatures change from above zero to below zero (-18 Celsius) are shown by the deep blue areas within the pink turning to gray. When the gray blackens and then turns back to sky blue again, in the very center of the cold, we are seeing temperatures of minus forty.

These areas will enlarge as winter comes on, for Siberia experiences the coldest temperatures seen in the northern hemisphere, and can get down to minus seventy. The Arctic Ocean cannot get so cold, due to the warmer water under the ice, and only gets down to minus fifty on rare occasions due to Siberian air pouring north (and more rarely Canadian cold pouring north.)

This early in the dark days there is still open water along the Siberian coasts, and the temperature contrast is huge. The unfrozen water heats the air to plus thirty as the air over the land is minus thirty, and this sixty degree difference results in a Land-Breeze, with cold air sinking and rushing out over the sea, as the air over the sea rises. This swiftly freezes the sea, but also pushes the new ice north towards the Arctic basin, especially in the Laptev Sea.

The cold air also pushes east over the Pacific,  cooling its waters, and south into China and west into Europe, cooling lakes that, until they freeze over, remember the summer’s warmth and act like small radiators.  Once they freeze over, and once the Siberian coastline freezes over, the cold becomes more able to expand.  To have this process well underway in October is not a good sign.

You can see the warming effect of the sea on the Pacific coast, and north of Scandinavia, and to a lesser degree over the Laptev Sea.  This effect will diminish as the ice builds.  Ice seldom forms north of Scandinavia, due to tendrils of the Gulf stream, but the freeze-up of the Pacific coast is amazing, and extends out for miles. The arctic coast freezes up early, but the winds off Siberia can be so strong that ice is pushed away from land, and slightly warmer water up-wells as surface water is pushed north, and polynyas if open water can form even when temperatures are fifty below, especially in the Laptev Sea.

What I watch for is a cross-polar-flow, which brings the Siberian air to Canada and Alaska.  Though this air is warmed to some degree as it crosses the relatively mild ice on the Arctic Sea,  the warming can be a thin layer at the surface, with the bulk of air entering North America as a frowning Siberian high. This then gets even colder over the American tundra, especially as the northern Canadian Great Lakes, (Greater Slave, Lesser Slave, Bear, and Winnipeg) freeze over in October, and even more when Hudson Bay freezes over later in October into November.  The earlier the lakes and bays freeze the earlier nasty cold can build, and come howling south, and clash with moist air coming up from the Gulf of Mexico, and breed our blizzards.

What you want to see, if you want a mild winter, is a shallow Siberian snow pack that forms late.  You don’t want to see over a foot of snow covering large areas of Siberia when it is still October.

When I was young I’d be clicking my heels and anticipating snowstorms cancelling school, but those days are long gone.

UPDATE—OCTOBER 29

Over on his excellent blog at Weatherbell, Joe Bastardi today noted that we are now up  among the top three on terms of world-wide snow-cover, at this date, early in the season. Not only is most of Russia covered, but a lot of Canada and Alaska as well.

Then he did something I lack the time to do, which was to check the history.  It is important to see what the “precedent” is, before you use the word “unprecedented.” It is also helpful to know what to expect. What Joe found surprised me, for he found some winters that started out like gang-busters, in terms of world-wide snowfall, and then backed off and became unimpressive winters. He also found winters that began with little snowfall that were late starters, and became severe later.

This throws a monkey wrench into  the works of my idea that snowfall is a feedback, and that a lot of snow creates an Asian high pressure of sinking, cold air that creates more ice and snow, and therefore more cold, in a sort of vicious cycle.

Unfortunately I don’t have the maps of the winters that disprove my theory, and therefore can’t study what the heck went on. When I’m rich I’ll hire some eager, young go-for to look all that stuff up for me.

However Joe also mentioned that one of the top three years, in terms of snowfall on October world-wide on October 29, was 1976.  There’s that year again. The winter of 1976-1977 was the worst, in terms of cold, and in terms of sea-ice along the east coast of the USA, that I can remember. So…we definitely shouldn’t lower our guard.

UPDATE #2  —NOVEMBER 2, 2014—

Here is a map of the actual November 1 snow-cover, to compare with the forecasted map I posted above.

Snowcover 20141101 ims2014305

Siberia exported its first batch of very cold air largely to the east, out over the northern Pacific ocean. Those waters, which were largely at above-normal temperatures during the summer, have been cooled and now are below-normal towards the Pacific coast of Asia.

A new batch of very cold air is pooling over Siberia:

DMI2 1101 cmc_t2m_asia_1 Watch to see where this batch of cold air goes. If it heads east again it will be starting to resemble the flow in 1976-1977, which often came across the Bering Strait and down into Canada and eventually the USA. Ar the moment the water in the Bering Strait and East Siberian Sea is open, (likely due to a “warm” spike in the predominately “cold” phase of the PDO),  and the Siberian air is being warmed by that water on its way to North America. Once those waters freeze, look out!

ARCTIC SEA-ICE MINIMUM —CONCLUSIONS—

Extent March 18B map N_bm_extent_hiresDMI2 0923 N_bm_extent_hires

Once again we have watched two thirds of the ice at the Pole melt away, and now are seeing the ice once again start to triple.  It is time to draw some conclusions from all the observations, but I am not in the mood. It is dangerous to leap to conclusions, as ice is slippery stuff, and I will wind up abruptly seated if I leap, (or else all wet, especially when the ice is thin.)

Not that sitting and watching ice melt hasn’t shown me things. As usual it has shown me beauty, and the wisdom seen when watching clouds, however observation also tends to teach me some basic science. I need more time to think about the basic science I’ve seen.  (My life has other elements, besides watching ice melt, and these other elements sometimes don’t understand the importance and necessity of watching ice melt.)

One thing I have mused about is the fact that science isn’t owned by scientists. When I was young I painted houses with a boss three times my age who, in the winter, hunted wildcat for their fur, and who to this day, forty years after his death, still holds the record for the largest wildcat bagged in New Hampshire. (91 pounds.) I doubt there is a biologist alive who knows half of what he knew about wildcats, though he was unschooled and didn’t live to see a computer. All he did was observe, observe, observe.

Yesterday I was chatting at a wedding with a man in his seventies who “only has a high school education,” yet is sought out by young men who hold graduate degrees at MIT and Harvard, because he spent his entire life in the world of surgical tubing. He got a job right out of high school at a place that made surgical tubing, and simply was curious about the subject,  and never stopped learning. Now, though he is old enough to be fully retired, he still works, (though not in a nine-to-five manner.)  He chuckles at the irony of being an “uneducated” man who is sought out by the “educated,”  when there are problems to solve.

I don’t think his value involves technical details as much as it involves his attitude. After all, the technical details evolve with such speed these days that the computer I now work on is out-dated and “archaic,” though not all that old. There is something about problem-solving that is timeless, and beyond being up-to-date about the latest gizmo.

I like to muse about things that are timeless, and my musing wonders if part of learning simply involves observing, and noting what you didn’t expect, and, rather than feeling threatened about being “wrong,” cultivating a sense of wonder.  It certainly is more fun to wonder about things, rather than cringing in shame over being mistaken.  Rather than feeling chagrin, you feel wonderful, as you are full of wonder.  That in turn is more conducive to finding an answer.

In any case, the whole political world of Global Warming, the “Death Spiral” of arctic sea-ice,  and the spectacle of egotistical, grant-hungry scientists insisting “the science is settled”, seems a bit of a farce to me.  I want nothing to do with it, and again and again have tried to slip out the back door and avoid it, but it keeps hounding me.

I think one is suppose to state a conclusion about the sea-ice minimum because we are midst a political battle, called “The Climate Wars,” but part of that battle is against insane pseudoscience, wherein one is suppose to pretend they have authority no mortal man has. As a way of fighting that stupidity it seems wise to simply refuse to draw any conclusions or theories, and instead to wonder about what I didn’t see coming, about my predictions that failed, and about things that surprised me.

I think the biggest surprise over the past year was to have both the PDO and the AMO flip. The PDO, which is in a long-term “cold” phase, spiked in a “warm” way, while the AMO, which was in a long-term “warm” phase, spiked in a “cold” way.

I like to see order appear in chaos, but often chaos appears in order. The beautiful, structured spiral of a gale or hurricane may appear out of chaotic fronts, but then that ordered spiral falls apart and goes back into chaos. In the same manner the nice, oscillating order of a “cycle”, such as the sunspot cycle or the PDO and AMO, appears out of the chaos of our gathered data, and seems like something we can depend upon,  until it isn’t dependable.  It is oscillating nicely like the flub-dub of a heart beat,   but then that heart skips a beat, (or briefly fibrillates.)

At this point some seem to like to freak out. They run about in circles like chickens and use the word “unprecedented” a lot. I far prefer the attitudes of Josph D’Aleo and Joe Bastardi over at their site at http://www.weatherbell.com/ .  What they tend to do is to start digging through old maps, looking for the last time the “heart skipped a beat.”

In actual fact each day’s weather map is as unique an individual’s fingerprint. No two maps are exactly the same, and therefore every map is indeed “unprecedented”. However one can find old maps quite similar, if not identical to, current maps, and this often takes the panic out seeing something you didn’t expect, unless, of course, it happens to be map nearly identical to a map preceding a past calamity, (for, example, the 1938 hurricane.)

The current antics of the PDO and AMO are not something that has never been seen before, in a general sense. The north Pacific was roughly as warm (though we lack precise data) back in 1918; the PDO had a “warm” spike during a “cold” phase at the end of the 1970’s; and the AMO record is full of brief spikes the “wrong” way, each with a complimentary growth or shrinkage of sea-ice, in the limited records we have (due to the hard work of Scandinavians, especially the Danes), going back to the late 1800’s.

One thing is in fact unprecedented, and that is the detail we are now able to watch the sea-ice with, due to buoys and satellites. We are witnessing things for the first time. Because the satellites first started allowing us to see right when the AMO was switching to its “warm” cycle,  we have largely been watching the extent of ice shrink as the years pass. This led some to conclude too quickly that we were in a “Death Spiral.”  Now we are watching the AMO near the end of its “warm” phase and start to turn towards its “cold” phase. We actually have little idea what we will see, because we simply have never seen it before. It is fun to guess what will happen, but to express certainty seems to me to be sheer folly.

Therefore it seems wiser to simply state what I didn’t expect.

I didn’t expect the ice to melt as much as it has in the area around and north of the Bering Strait. It went from above-normal two winters ago to below-normal last winter. This seems to be in response to the PDO spiking “warm.”

I definitely didn’t expect there to be more ice around Svalbard last summer than there was last winter. That was a real eye-opener, and seems likely to be a response to the AMO briefly spiking “cold” during the first half of the summer.

I didn’t expect there  to  be a notch of open water extending towards the Pole from the Laptev Sea. Wondering about this led to a delightful mental journey to Siberia, and study of the the Laptev Sea, and the Lena River basin.

That could well be a post in and of itself, but in a nutshell I learned the Laptev Sea is a major creator and exporter of sea-ice.  Off shore winds create polynyas of open water even during the coldest winters, and ice is constantly exported out into the arctic basin. Some winters less ice is exported, but as much as three times (and possibly four times) as much ice can be created and exported during other winters.  This constitutes a variable I never knew about, in the determination of water-temperatures and sea-ice amounts, and also can result in the ice in the Laptev Sea being very thin at the start of summer, and very easy to melt away.  (Then a hasty thinker, glancing at an extent map and seeing the open water,  might conclude the open water suggested a warming Pole, when in fact it suggests more ice was created, and more sea-water was chilled.)

Seeing what I didn’t expect doesn’t cause me to sulk. Perhaps this is because I am not dependent on grants, and only watch ice melt for the sheer wonder of it all. In fact, seeing what I didn’t expect gives me all the more reason to sit back and wonder all the more. That is actually my pay.  Where a Climate Scientist might be in danger of losing funding for cameras, buoys and satellites (and vacations) if they expect a Death Spiral and the unexpected occurs, the only danger I face is if I wonder too much, and forget to mow the lawn.

THE ONGOING ARCHIVES —DMI MAPS—

This post will simply be a presentation of the Danish Meteorological Institutes arctic maps, with the most recent at the the top. I find that simply by scanning the maps one is able to create a sort of mental animation of what is occurring at the Pole, in terms of temperatures and weather.

During the winter  one is wise to keep an eye cocked to the north, and to be aware when the arctic is discharging in your direction. As a very general rule, when the Pole is importing air to your north you are more liable to get a thaw, and when it is exporting air to  your north you are more liable to get a freeze.

There are of course subtleties that make that rule look foolish. Part of the fun is noting what can divert the cold air, or retard it. However one thing I have noted is that as soon as the air starts to bulge south to your north, when the actual arctic air is still thousands of miles away, there can be a change in your local weather. I haven’t a clue why it happens; perhaps it is like the skin on one side of a balloon expanding when you compress the opposite side.

The corriallis forse can curve the cold air from a north-to-south vector to an east-west-vector, or a lifting gale can sweep an entire air mass that was headed your way to the east.  Also lighter winds can have the air-mass slow and pause and build over the snow covered tundra, with the chill at its center increasingly cold and ominous, before it charges down to get you, or is inhaled back north by the Pole.

Until they freeze over, any body of open water will have a warming effect on an air mass, but as the winter passes and lakes and Bays and seas freeze over the north is increasingly able to generate cold, (or to lose heat.)  This ability tends to peak in early February, but still occurs after the sun first peeks over the polar horizon in late March.  Temperatures well below the freezing point of salt water persist through April, and the actual thaw never begins before late May.

I like the DMI maps because they are simple, but it is important to remember winds do not always obey isobars. Once in a while it pays to check out more detailed arctic maps, especially in the case of an arctic snow.  The best maps can be had for the price of a cup of coffee each day at the  http://www.weatherbell.com/ “premium site.” Dr. Ryan Maue produces maps that show the runs of various modles in 3 hour increments, and if you look at the “initial” map you can get an idea of where the winds are strong and where they are aiming.

Also, of you are in a hurry and don’t mind maps that often mislabel highs as lows and lows as highs, you can check out http://www.weather-forecast.com/maps/Arctic?over=pressure_arrows&symbols=none&type=wind.

It is important to watch Siberia,  as it creates the coldest air in the dead of winter. I get nervous when that air becomes a “cross-polar-flow” heading my way.

I am just going to post the maps here. I no longer have the time or energy to name storms and marvel over their doings. Hopefully I’ll find time to post every week or two about that the Pole is doing, but it won’t be in this post.  This post will simply archive maps, and allow one to observe.  (I will continue to observe, even if it is in silence.)

Once again, the most recent maps will be on the top, and the oldest maps on the bottom.

DMI2 1018 mslp_latest.bigDMi2 1018 temp_latest.big

(ONE DAY GAP)

DMI2 1016B mslp_latest.big DMI2 1016B temp_latest.big (1)

(FIFTEEN DAY GAP)

DMI2 1002 mslp_latest.bigDMI2 1002 temp_latest.big (1)DMI2 1001B mslp_latest.bigDMI2 1001B temp_latest.big (1)DMI2 0930B mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0930B temp_latest.big (1)DMI2 0930 mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0930 temp_latest.big (1) DMI2 0929B mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0929B temp_latest.big (1) DMI2 0929 mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0929 temp_latest.big (1) DMI2 0928B mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0928B temp_latest.big (1) DMI2 0928 mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0928 temp_latest.big (1) DMI2 0927B mslp_latest.big DMI2 0927B temp_latest.big (1) DMI2 0927 mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0927 temp_latest.big (1) DMI2 0926B mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0926B temp_latest.big (1)DMI2 0926 mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0926 temp_latest.big (1)DMI2 0925B mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0925B temp_latest.big (1)DMI2 0924B mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0925 temp_latest.big (1)DMI2 0924 mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0924 temp_latest.big (1)

ARCTIC SEA ICE MELT –Flat-lining Death Spiral–July 15-27, 2014

This is the continuation of a long series of posts, the last of which can be found at:  https://sunriseswansong.wordpress.com/2014/07/01/arctic-sea-ice-melt-crunch-time/

I usually begin these posts explaining why I started studying the melt and refreeze of arctic ice,  and you should look back to earlier posts if you want to see my views evolve. I now have reached a point where, like a flea on an elephant, I feel equipped to call the government’s bluff.

To be blunt, I feel the government wanted to put forward a policy it felt would be unpopular, and rather that doing the honest thing, which would be to be forward and blunt and state what it wanted to do, it took a dishonest and cowardly route. Rather than treating the public like adult men and woman, and debating man to man and woman to woman, it treated the public like suggestible children that are easily manipulated.

What it did was to create a threat, called “Global Warming,” and to rally the people to face the threat. The people trusted, and did not think their leaders would pay scientists to falsify public records and data to “prove” Global Warming was real. However I increasing feel this is exactly what happened.

When you lie, your lies have a way of haunting you and tracking you down. Over and over we have seen a thing called “Truth” expose “Climate Science” as a sort of sham.  One such example involves the ice in the arctic sea. It’s normal decrease, due to the warm cycles of the AMO and PDO, was called in dramatic terms, “A death spiral.” Doom and gloom was suppose to occur when the Arctic Ocean became ice free.

Because I have studied the Greenland Vikings a lot, I wasn’t the slightest bit worried about an ice-free Pole, because I knew the Pole was largely ice-free back when those Vikings farmed fields which now are permafrost that would blunt a plow. However so determined were the politicized scientists to alarm everyone, they attempted to erase the warmth of that Halcyon time, (called the Medieval Warm Period), and to say it was warmer now.

It was at that point I began to call their bluff, despite the fact they assured me 97% of all scientists agreed with them.  I’ll skip the details of the battle, and simply state we are now looking at an Arctic Sea that is not ice-free.  It is not I who calls their bluff. It is Truth, in the form of Mother Nature.

Originally their attempts to inspire hysteria stated that the decrease in ice would have the effect of accelerating the melt of ice, and the Pole would be ice-free by now. They asserted 97% agreed with them. In which case 97% were stupid dunderheads.  The Pole is not only not ice-free. The ice is actually increasing.

There is one government model which I doubt, because it states the increase will be up to above-normal levels. Here are the most recent predictions of the CFS V2:

Extent CFS model July 15v sieMon (Double click to fully enlarge)

The top graph shows the extent, by the start of August, being 0.2 million km2 above normal.  The bottom graph shows that at the end of the summer melt the ice will be at nearly 7 million km2, which would be extraordinary. (I’m out on a limb, predicting 6.1 million km2, and more scientific models, such as the UK Met, predict 4-5 million km2, which is still far from being an “ice-free pole,”  but at least is “below normal”.)

This CFS V2 model has backed off from even higher and more extraordinary predictions, as the El Nino did not develop to the levels it predicted, however even its reduced, current  prediction is a shock to all who rallied around the banner of Global Warming, feeling their sacrifices were worthy and saving the planet. What has happened to the “Death Spiral”?

The Death Spiral may well be dead. It is another casualty to Truth. However it will be proven to be dead if it flat-lines, and to flat-line the ordinary sharp decline of sea-ice during this time of summer thawing at the Pole must abruptly go sideways, even more than it did last year.  So far it hasn’t:

DMI2 0715 icecover_current_new (click to enlarge)

In this post we will be watching this graph carefully.

I will try to also post maps and pictures from the Pole twice a day.

JULY 15 —AFTERNOON DMI MAPS—

DMI2 0715B mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0715B temp_latest.big (1)

These Danish Meteorological Institute maps are put out at midnight and noon. I call them “morning” and “afternoon” maps because that is when I look at them. Because we are looking down on Earth, noon is at the bottom and midnight at the top in noon maps, such as the above map, and the opposite is true in maps from twelve hours later. Though diurnal variation of temperatures has little effect in the 24-hour-a-day sunshine at the center, it does have an effect at the edges of the circle shown by these maps. For example, in the above map it is midnight towards Bering Strait, and the little pockets of sub-freezing temperature you see up there will vanish in the next map, and then reappear in the following map.

Although it annoys some people, I tend to name storms for the fun of it, and also it helps me keep track of them. From this angle of the earth it is possible to track the same system as it evolves, all the way around the planet. During the evolution systems go through during such journeys, I tend to have systems keep the same name even when a stricter meteorologist would say the original died and a secondary took over. (To them I say, this is my blog, and I’m boss here.) (Furthermore, I’m more reasonable than your boss, with his Global Warming fixation.)  I very loosely follow a convention where secondary and tertiary storms on a front gain the suffix “son” and “three,” as they travel up the cold front, but when storms occlude and kick a storm ahead along the warm front I call it a “zipper” and use the suffix “zip.”

In the above map four storms are rotating around the high pressure at the Pole, which is a textbook situation, (and unusual for this year, for we have often had lows over the Pole and then you can then throw your textbook out the window.)  The low over Iceland is “Thur” and is stalled and fading, and the one in the Kara Sea is “Art” and also weakening. They are two faint memories of Hurricane Arthur. (Get it? Art and Thur?) The one over east Siberia is “Sib,” and the one approaching the Canadian Archipelago is “Tev.”  Some models are showing Tev moving east as Art fades west, and a low of their merge forming over the Greenland icecap,  which is unusual as high pressure likes to sit there. Rather than north winds on the east side of a high pressure, there will be south winds on the east side of a low, and rather than sea-ice flushing out of the arctic through Fram Strait, it may be jammed back north. I use the word “may” because models are not always right, and also winds don’t always obey the isobars.

The sub-freezing temperatures over the Kara Sea have been persistent this summer, even in the afternoon.

CRUSHED CAMERA REPORT

The original point of these posts was to enjoy the views of the North Pole Camera as it drifted south, however we have had bad luck this year, as camera one was knocked over by a polar bear and camera two crushed by a pressure ridge. However the weather station is still working, and I give reports on what we are missing.

As the building polar high pressure shifts over towards Scandinavia we are experiencing changing conditions, before I expect we will be blown back north.  Winds dropped to nearly calm, as the pressure crested at 1017.7 mb and then dipped to 1016.1 mb at noon. Winds fell to a long period of nearly calm conditions, and then rose to 10 mph at noon.  The temperatures fell from noon yesterday’s high of +0.8 to a low of -0.2°C at midnight, recovered to +0.3 at 6:00 AM but dipped back to -0.2°C at 9:00 AM, before returning to zero at noon. These temperatures are below normal, though I expect they will rise as winds become south.

Our steady progress south and west was halted. Our southward progress halted at 84.799°N at midnight, and we were bumped north to 84.804°N at 6:00 Am, and then sagged back to 84.799°N at noon. Our westward progress halted at 12.109°E at 3:00 AM, we were jostled back to 12.195°E at 9:00 AM, and then nudged west to 12.181°E at noon. With all these shifts occurring you can understand the floes do a lot of crashing and smashing, and see why our camera may have been crushed by a pressure ridge. There is nothing neat and tidy about the Arctic Ocean this year, and one adventurer described the situation as “crazy ice.”

NEW CAMERAS

Originally these pictures merely supplimented the Noth Pole Camera, but now they are my fix of cool pictures in hot summer weather. They are from the “O-buoy Project.”  The first is Camera Nine, which has drifted from over towards Bering Strait, and is now passing quite near the Pole on the Canadian side, at 88 north latitude. Originally the camera looked over completely flat ice, but the stresses of the winter built the small pressure ridges. I expect melt-water pools to be appearing soon.

webcam

The second picture is from Camera Ten, which is much further south, a little south of 77 degrees latitude, north of Alaska. As best I can tell, the ice is nine feet thick, but as you can see the summer thaw is in progress.

webcam

JULY 19   —DMI Morning Maps—

DMI2 0716 mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0716 temp_latest.big (1)

Weak storms circle much like they were doing yesterday, however the high pressure north of Scandinavia is stronger, creating south winds in Fram Strait that will push ice north and may reduce “extent” by compressing the ice like an accordion. When that ice spreads out again it will be the same amount of ice, (or a little less due to melting), but the “extent” will increase in that area. What really melts ice is to have it flushed south down the east coast of Greenland into the warmer Atlantic. I think that melts more ice than the secondary cause, which is milder Atlantic water being pushed north under the ice. That can’t happen as much when surface winds blow north and east at the top of Scandinavia, pushing the northernmost tendrils of the Gulf Stream back south.  Melting at the surface due to sunlight and warm temperatures comes in a distant third, when it comes to the icecap melting, but we might as well check the air temperatures up north of 80 degrees latitude, and note how they have been below normal all summer.

DMI2 0716 meanT_2014 (click to enlarge)

 LOCAL VIEW JULY 16  —Record cold to our west—

I haven’t been able to keep up with my posts about my little town, which some miss.  However it is summer in New Hampshire, and the North Pole usually doesn’t effect us that much. However it managed to discharge enough cold to drop temperatures to the verge of frost in the northern midwest, (37 degrees Fahrenheit [+2.8 Celsius] in Tomahawk, Wisconsin this morning.) What that means here to the east is a southern surge of moist air before a cold front, lovely soft thunder high  in the sky during the night, and beneficial rains. The air-mass will likely be warmed by the time it covers us tomorrow, but be crisp and dry.  My little patch of corn is loving it, and despite the retarded spring is waist high.

When the Pole exports its cold it usually gets milder up  there. And it actually was as cold in Tomahawk, Wisconsin as it was around 90 miles north of our crunched camera, at  Buoy 2014E:

Here is our local map, with the front passing through and warm summer rain falling outside:

LV 140916 satsfc (3) (click to enlarge)

NEW CAMERAS   —CRACKING ICE—

The northern camera shows the crack just behind the yellow “plug” is opening slightly, due to the shifting winds as the high pressure builds over towards Scandinavia. Considering how smashed up the ice is up there, after all the winter gales, I would not be surprised to see a lead open up, and open water appear, which would be wonderful to watch. My best guess is that the ice is about five feet thick here, which means only six inches would be above water, and we could see some sloshing before this camera bit the dust. It is a rough year for cameras in the north.

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The southern camera has thicker ice, and it may take a while for the melt-water to find channels down through the ice. The ice tends to be close to the freezing point of salt water not very far down, and when fresh water trickles down the cracks it freezes, plugging up the cracks. I’m hoping this will allow another “Lake North Pole” to form. Then what tends to happen is the ice shifts, and a six inch wide crack forms, and all the water gurgles down at once.  This is what we saw happen to “Lake North Pole” last summer: “LAKE NORTH POLE” VANISHES

webcam JULY 16  —DMI AFTERNOON MAPS—

DMI2 0716B mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0716B temp_latest.big (1)

CRUNCHED CAMERA REPORT

Our mangled eyesore upon the pristine arctic ivory did start north and east, but ran into other ice and/or a weak front around 3:00 AM, when it reached 84.833°N, before hesitating southward slightly to end the 24-hour-period at 84.828°N, 12.752°E. The barometer dipped slightly then, to 1015.6 mb at 6:00 AM, before rebounding to 1016.2 mb at noon. The temperature also dipped, from the high of +0.8°C at 9:00 PM to the low of -0.2°C at 9:00 AM, before getting back to zero at noon. The winds, in the 10-15 mph range, seem to have swung briefly from southwest to west-northwest, but were swinging back to the west-southwest at noon, and I expect the northward drift to resume. Alas that the camera is gone, for some interesting weather passed through.

JULY 17 —DMI MORNING MAPS—

DMI2 0717 mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0717 temp_latest.big (1)

“Thur” is fading away over Greenland as “Art” drifts from the Kara to the Laptev Sea, eastward on the Siberian coast. Neither is liable to be very noteworthy over the next week, and in fact the models have stopped showing a low over Greenland, and instead show a more traditional high pressure cell there, though they do not show its wind extending east into Fram Strait. Instead the high pressure north of Scandinavia, which I now name “Scant,” [for “Scandinavia Top”] looks to be the lasting feature on the Atlantic side, as “Sib” mills around and is a feature this week on the Pacific side.  “Tev” is sliding south into Canada and may brew up a decent storm tucked in north of Hudson Bay,  sort of hidden but able to import warm air north through Baffin bay west of Greenland, and also able to export polar air south to the USA, and cool my summer here.

The sub-freezing temperatures in the Kara Sea have persisted all summer, but I was curious about that little noodle of cold aiming from Greenland towards our crushed camera, so I went to the Weatherbell site and looked at other views of the arctic from among Dr. Ryan Maue’s excellent maps (free week trial available.) This only makes my confusion worse, for the initial run of the Canadian model always shows the Arctic Sea colder than the DMI map, and this time it shows some significant cold just across the Pole: (Ignore the glitch that makes a smudge of zeros and nines on the left side, and remember temperatures are in Fahrenheit.)

DMI2 0717 cmc_t2m_arctic_1 (double click to enlarge fully)

My confusion is furthered by the fact the GFS model’s initial run doesn’t show this pool of cool. (Their map is upside down)

DMI2 0717 gfs_t2m_arctic_1 (double click to fully enlarge)

The best I can do is to try to go see for myself.

NEW CAMERAS VIEWS

The northern camera’s bleak view still gives me the impression the ice is trying to crack up, but the surface looks more like frozen slush than thawing slush. When I check the site’s temperature graph it shows a temperature a hair below freezing, but when I check Buoy 2014E: this morning, (between this site and our crushed camera,) I see it is a surprisingly low  -2.01° C. (perhaps it is in the noodle of cold shown on the DMI map.)

webcam

The southern view is interesting because the lens is just starting to get covered, but not by drops of water. That is snow, and since I saved the view the lens has become totally obscured. Heck of a way to run a thaw, if you ask me, even down at 77 degrees latitude. When I checked the temperature graph it appears to be a hair below freezing, and the closest other buoy I can find, Buoy 2013F: (at 77.06° N, 156.79° W) is coming in at -0.01°C. I get the feeling there is cold air lurking about up there which I was unaware of.

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Sometimes a fall of snow up there can have an interesting effect on the “extent” graphs, especially if they are derived from satellite data, and the satellite is confusing melt-water pools with open water.  Abruptly the pools are covered with white snow, so the satellite abruptly sees open water as ice-covered, and there is a strange up-tick in the graph. I was actually expecting a down-tick, as winds compressed the ice back north towards the Pole, but now I’m going to be on the lookout for the opposite. There is no sign of it yet, however the snow is just starting to fall:

DMI2 0717 icecover_current_new (click to enlarge)

The only other news to report is that an interesting area of ice-free water is appearing in Fram Strait, against the northeast corner of Greenland, due to the fact sea-ice is not being flushed out of the arctic, and rather is being crunched back in. I don’t recall seeing that last year.

CRUNCHED CAMERA REPORT

Our useless heap of scrap floated steadily east, while curving south to 84.823°N and then back north, finishing further north than we began the 24-hour period, at 84.837°N, 13.022°E.  The breeze was steady at around 5-10 mph, picking up slightly at the end of the period to around 12 mph. The barometer took a sharp dive between noon and 3:00 PM, from 1016.2 mb  to 1012.7mb, and then remained fairly steady, finishing at 1012.2mb. The temperature rose from zero to +1.0°C during the period.

JULY 17  —DMI Afternoon Maps—

DMI2 0717B mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0717B temp_latest.big (1)

A revived “Tev” is in the Northwest Passage. “Sib” sits north of Alaska. What may be a bit of  “Thur” sits atop Greenland, across the Pole from weak “Art.” Alas! What a fate to befall a once mighty hurricane!  The high “Scant” sits over northern Finland, and may bring the east winds back to the Baltic, although the source region doesn’t look as warm this time.

Sub-freezing persists in the Kara Sea, and on the midnight side of the map (top), although the sun barely dips below the horizon even south of the arctic circle, in high summer. However the days are getting shorter, and the time for thawing is running out.

NEW CAMERAS

Our northern camera continues to show a bleak view, woth ominous cracks, but no obvious melting.

webcam

Our southern camera shows all the slush covered with fresh snow. I hope all the Albedo-feinds are noting this, and adjusting their equations. Nothing reflects sunlight better than freshly fallen snow. It may be back to slush tomorrow, but this does slow the thaw’s progress.

webcam

JULY 18 —DMI Morning Maps—

DMI2 0718 mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0718 temp_latest.big (1)

“Tev” is a decent storm in the Northwest Passage. I wonder if it is cracking up the ice. Soon we may get reports from adventurers attempting the Passage, though usually they wait until late July to start.

“Sib” is stalled and hanging in there north of Alaska. “Art”, (or perhaps his zipper,) is pushing into east Siberia, with a trailing trough of low pressure than now cuts across the Pole to the faint memory of “Thur,”  which although very weak is yet another low attempting sit atop the world. They have divided “Trans” into a weak high towards Bering Strait and the stronger one northeast of Finland.  South east of that high is a vigorous inland low (perhaps a reincarnation of “Spinthree”), but which I’ll dub “Artson,” which is doing interesting things in some models. They see it cruising along the Arctic coast, swinging across Bering Strait and then attacking the Pole from Alaska next week. However the models change their minds a lot, like one of the sexes. (I am too smart to say which.)

One of the mildest temperature maps we’ve seen so far, though I should report Buoy 2012G: north of the Canadian Archipelago reported -2.22° this morning, and Buoy 2014B: north of Bering Strait at 75.21 N, 170.66 W, reported -0.47°.

NEW CAMERAS

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We have the same dreary view, with some sort of warm front pushing moisture in aloft from the south, I imagine. It is likely the warm-up that reached our crushed camera yesterday has not made it this far north, for Buoy 2014E: was reporting -0.09°.

One slight change is we can see more of the top of the yellow “cork” than last week. I wonder if the wind swings it slightly, or if it has some sort of mooring line dangling through the ice to the water beneath.

Further south our southern camera was showing a lot of fog earlier, but now is showing fresh snow, getting soggy over the melt-water pools:

webcam

This camera was deployed with Buoy 2014E: which was showing a temperature of -0.08° this morning. Here is a map of how they have drifted over the past ten months: (Double click to fully enlarge.)

Drift map July 18 2013F_track

CRUNCHED CAMERA DATA   

The most interesting data is that temperatures remained fairly flat through most of the 24 hour period, only sinking three tenths of a degree to +0.7°C at 6:00 AM, and then sank more swiftly to -0.1°C. The wind had shifted to just north of west, and as the eastward drift persisted we stopped moving north at 6:00 Am at 84.892°N and by noon had settled back to 84.887°N, 13.717°E. The pressure remained very steady at 1012.3 mb.

JULY 18 —DMI AFTERNOON MAPS—

DMI2 0718B mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0718Btemp_latest.big (1)

Not much change, except a bit colder than yesterday on the Pacific side.

NEW CAMERAS  —Friday night and not much change—

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AN EXCELLENT CONCEPT   –Compare area to extent to determine compactness–

I wander a bit on the web in my search for fresh data, and lurk at sites that tend to take the Alarmist view that the Pole is melting away and in a Death Spiral. Some repel me and I have no desire to visit ever again, (Skeptical Science is such a site, especially because at times it hasn’t just snipped comments, but has altered them to make the person commenting look like a dope.)  However (so far) I haven’t been particularly repelled by this site, “Arctic Sea Ice Blog,” although I disagree with the bias. (I have a thick skin about bias, as I recognize my own.) http://neven1.typepad.com/blog/2014/07/asi-2014-update-5-low-times.html#more

They have come up with the following chart that compares extent with area, and gives an idea of how compact the ice is. (I have mentioned how the same amount of ice can be compacted, or spread out like a small pat of butter on a large piece of toast, and how this influences “extent”.) Judging from the graph they came up with, the ice is quite compacted this year.  I think it a great concept, and give credit where credit is due.

CAPIE20140710

JULY 19 —DMI MORNING MAPS—

DMI2 0719 mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0719 temp_latest.big (1)

“Tev” continues to keep conditions uncomfortable for anyone attempting the Northwest Passage, as together with “Sib” towards Alaska, they make low pressure on the Canada-Alaska side mesh with high-pressure on the Scandinavia-Siberia side, creating a general Atlantic to Pacific flow which I imagine will keep sea-ice from being flushed out into the Atlantic. I am going to watch to see if ice gets blown into the ice-free areas of the Laptev Sea. You can see the ice-water boundary marked by that little necklace of sub-freezing temperatures. The Kara Sea continues to have sub-freezing temperatures, but the diurnal variation is quite obvious towards Bering Strait on this temperature map, where it is noon towards the top. In the last map, when it was midnight towards the top, there were patches of sub-freezing temperatures, but now they are not to be seen.

The “Art” and “Artson” area of low pressure is difficult to see, but models continue to imagine it will redevelop, swing around across the Bering Strait to Alaska and then up to the Pole by next Wednesday, and continue to be a top-of-the-world storm into next weekend.

NEW CAMERAS  —Gray days return—

Our northern camera has been showing a lot of fog, though now it looks like the sun is trying to burn through.  Fog may mean milder Atlantic air is trying to push north on south winds from Fram Strait, though Buoy 2014E: in that direction is reading a cold -0.25°. The hope of real thaw is on the north coast of Greenland, where Buoy 2014D: is coming in at a toasty +3.02°.  It looks like we have one little melt-water pool forming in the lower, right foreground, but it better hurry up because we are running out of time.

webcam

Our southern camera seems to suggest slush is eroding the fresh snow, and that it is foggy there as well.  I haven’t noticed any up-ticks in “extent” graphs caused by the fresh snow, but the blogger Max™ shared a couple maps I’ll post. The first shows this area as only 60% ice, while the second shows it as having ice six to nine feet thick. It does make me scratch my head and wonder if the satellite is seeing slush as open water. What I really want to do is get some clear weather, so we can study the visible satellite image.

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Extent July 19 cryo_compare_small

Thickness July 19 arcticictnowcast

CRUNCHED CAMERA REPORT

Winds shifted from the northwest to the southwest and temperatures rose a little, from -0.1°C at noon yesterday, to +0.7°C at 9:00 AM today. We progressed steadily east, but our southward drift ceased at  84.881°N at (:00 PM last night and we moved back north to 84.893°N, 14.020°E at 9:00 AM.  The barometer dipped to 1011.8 mb  at 3:00 AM and then rose back to 1012.4 mb at 9:00 AM.  It is like a very faint front pushed north.

I’m not sure why the final entry was 9:00 AM, and not noon. Likely someone had better things to do on the weekend than tend to a defunct camera. I hope the sensors didn’t get crunched along with the camera. I find it interesting we are heading east north of Svalbard rather than south to Fram Strait.

JULY 19  —DMI AFTERNOON MAPS—

DMI2 0719B mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0719B temp_latest.big (1)

NEW CAMERAS   —Sunshine soon?—

Our northern camera is showing some blue sky, but the low scud is keeping the sun fairly dim.  The sun is fairly low up there even in the height of summer. Buoy 2014E: is showing a temperature of +0.13° C, which is just barely a thaw. It really takes some sunshine to get things going.

webcam

Our southern camera has just a hint of blue in the gray overcast, as if the clouds may be thinning. The DMI map above shows the low “Sib” has some cold air in it, so if any clouds wrap around we might see more snow. The thermometer associated with this camera site, on Buoy 2013F: , is actually the only above-freezing reading from the Beaufort Sea, just barely, at + 0.01° C. To the west Buoy 2014C: is coming in at -0.75° C and to the west Buoy 2014B: is coming in at  -0.15° C.

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ANOTHER BUOY BITES THE DUST?

I’ve been relying on Buoy 2014D: to tell me the conditions just off Greenland’s north coast, where a warm up has been occurring, however there is no report this morning, and when I check the temperature graph it looks like a berserk spider took over the data:Berserk 2014D_temp (click to enlarge)

The ice is quite a jumble of pressure ridges up there, and my fear is that the buoy met an untimely end. It is a rough year for ice apparatus

My hope is that the buoy is OK, and the scambled data only means that somebody, somewhere, drank too much beer this weekend.

The weather station at Nort, at the northeast tip of Greenland, reports a balmy 41 degrees this morning. (5 degrees Celsius)

JULY 20  —DMI Morning Maps—

DMI2 0720 mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0720 temp_latest.big (1)

Not much change. “Tev” continues to whirl over the Northwest Passage. Canadian Ice Service maps don’t show much break-up of ice plugging the center of the route. The only adventurers I’ve found look like they are touring the top of Baffin Bay, and haven’t attempted the passage.

“Sib” continues to sit north of Alaska. Warm air north of Greenland is rising, keeping a faint memory of “Thur” alive.  Weak low pressure sprawls across the Atlantic south of Iceland.

The real news is “Scant,” which is what I dubbed the Scandinavian High.  It reaches all the way east to central Siberia, but its core looks like it will back west into the Atlantic, which will continue the wrong-way flow from south-to-north in Fram Strait, and will continue to push ice to the east north of Svalbard.  I’m watching to see if it pushes ice into the Laptev Sea’s open waters, which could cause an uptick on “extent” graphs.

“Scant” also has brought east winds back into the Baltic. The intrusion of Atlantic air I mentioned last week looks like it was short-lived. Nice dry air from Siberia’s summer (utterly different from winter east winds) can filter west. My main question now is whether the winds will turn northeast and come off the cooler Arctic Ocean, as “Scant” shifts west. It looks like “Scant” will persist right through the oncoming week.

I’m puzzled by the patches of sub-freezing temperatures by the northeast corner of Greenland, where I expected it to be warmer. The Kara Sea shows no sub-freezing temperatures, which is unusual for this summer.

In east Siberia “Art” is reforming, and is liable to swing around and reinforce “Sib” by midweek, moving out towards the Pole. By having them meshing with “Scant”, a flow from Svalbard to the Laptev Sea looks likely.

NEW CAMERAS  —The gray goes on—

Our northern camera shows a bit of ice formed around the edge of the small melt-water pool in the lower right corner. Last year’s North Pole Camera already showed a large melt-water pool by July 20. I recorded the growth of the pool in this post: https://sunriseswansong.wordpress.com/2013/07/24/north-pole-ice-melt-watching-the-summer-thaw/

That buoy had drifted down to 85 degrees latitude by then, which means the camera was roughly 200 miles further south. Maybe that explains the lack of pools this year. I’m still expecting to see some grow. This gray weather may be due to south winds and overriding moisture.

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Our southern camera down at 77 degrees latitude is snowing the fresh snow is reverting to melt-water pools. Buoy 2013F: indicates the temperature is + 0.24° C

webcam

Mostly this ice thins from the bottom up, as the spike in the PDO from “cold” to “warm” allows more north Pacific water to invade through Bering Strait and get under the ice. However the ice is fairly thick.  The Navy graph suggests the ice may have thinned as much as six feet in places, yet still is six feet thick. I doubt it. It takes a lot of heat to melt ice, as the heat becomes latent heat in the phase-change. Also the graph from Buoy 2013F: deployed with this camera indicates the ice at this site began thinner than the Navy map led me to believe, (5 feet rather than 10 feet,) but has only melted to down to 4 feet thick.: (Red line is snow atop the ice; blue line is the bottom of the ice.)

Thickness July 20 2013F_thick (click to enlarge)

QUICK GLANCE AT UK MET

UK Met July 19 16399316 (click to enlarge)

I haven’t checked these maps in a while. The high “Scant” has blocked thing again, making Scandinavia an independent island, and causing a traffic jam in the Atlantic. I’m not sure where that new low south of Greenland came from, so I’ll just call it “Newl”, (for “new low”). It will stall around Iceland as “Thur” did.

The main difference is that there is no Spinthree south of the Baltic Sea adding to the easterly flow.  Spinthree devided, part moving northwest off the coast of Norway, and part fading away east to become part of…..oh heck. I just realized I went dyslexic with the names of my storms. That storm in eastern Siberia is Art, not Thur.  Now I have to go back through this post and correct everything.

********

There.  That’s done. Where was I?  Hmm. I suppose I was just saying the position of “Scant,”  and the east winds over the Baltic, are going to be interesting to watch. If “Scant” moves west Scandinavia could get a more northerly flow off the Arctic Sea.

UPTICK IN SEA-ICE EXTENT

The blogger Max™ pointed out the newest DMI map shows the uptick I was wondering might occur, due to the snowfall over towards Bering Strait.

DMI2 0720 icecover_current_new

This is not to say I’m sure I was right. Perhaps the ice is spreading out into the Laptev Sea, or some other place. However it is interesting to watch, as it may hint at the graph “flat-lining”.

CRUNCHED CAMERA REPORT

Our battered camera is being repaired by polar bears drinking coca cola, but they are not done yet, so you will have to take my word for it. Meanwhile it drifted slowly west and as far north as  84.906°N, before backing off slightly  and winding up at noon at 84.900°N, 14.537°E. Back on June 23rd it was at 85.022°N, 14.599°E. So a months of steady drifting has swirled us around in circles, and we are less than ten miles from where we started.

Not much happened, though we had a 27 hour day, due to the unexplained end of yesterday’s report at 9:00 PM. The temperature and barometer were flat, with the temperature only moving a tenth of a degree all day, from +0.7°C to +0.6°C. and the barometer starting at 1012.4 mb and ending at 1012.3 mb with diurnal quirks in between.

The winds slackened off to around 5 mph. I think this is the calm before the storm, for things look they will get interesting by mid-week.

JULY 20   —DMI AFTERNOON MAPS—

DMI2 0720B mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0720B temp_latest.big (1)

“Tev” remains stalled over the Northwest Passage, though expanding over Baffin island. “Sib” is weaker and quite cold, north of Alaska, and is going to fling “Art” right around in some Fujiwhara dance, as what looks to be a decent storm over the Pole by the end of the week. The meshing of that storm and the high pressure system “Scant” over Scandinavia ought create strong flows in the general direction of the Laptev Sea. Likely the ice extent will lessen at the Atlantic edge but expand at the Laptev edge. How this will all play out in terms of the “Extent” graphs will be interesting to watch.

I am surprised by the amount of sub-freezing air that has appeared on the Pacific side, and also north of the Canadian Archipelago and northeast of Greenland, where I expected it to be warmer. I suppose warm air rises, but I’ve noticed such cooling before, in the wreckage of dying storms. (That area holds not only  weakening “Sib”, which was cold to begin woth, but also the faint memory of “Thur”.)  To try to study in greater detail I turned to the Gem model, which Dr. Ryan Maue makes available at the Weatherbell site.  The same maps as above look like this:

DMI2 0720B cmc_mslp_uv10m_arctic_1DMI2 0720B cmc_t2m_arctic_1

(As with the DMI maps, you can click these maps to enlarge them, but these maps can be clicked a second time to enlarge them further.)

I’m not sure that seeing in greater detail increases my understanding, but it does increase my wonder. The remains of “Thur” can be seen to be three seperate swirls, each with sub swirls. (Would you expect less from a former hurricane?)

The Canadian temperature map is always colder than others, but it shows the cold isn’t drawn from some place else. The cold is created (or the heat is lost) in a home-grown manner, by the arctic itself. I’m always reading about 24-hour-sunshine and albedo and melt-water pools, as if the arctic summer is nothing but warming, warming, warming. However here we see some cooling is going on. Why doesn’t anyone write about that? Oh…I just did.

NEW CAMERAS  —Struggling to thaw—

Our northern camera shows the struggle to thaw continues. The temperature graph shows we dropped below freezing for much of the day, and have only just struggled back to zero. This is no way to  run a thaw. However the temperature further south towards our crunched camera is up to +0.64° C at Buoy 2014E:, so perhaps some mildness is working north.

That black crack to the right and behind the yellow “cork” looks less obvious, as if there might have been some sleet blurring the sharpness of the details. Either that, or the ice shifted a little.  I imagine it could start shifting more and even break up by mid week.  Stay Tuned!!!

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Our southern camera, which seemed to be seeing the thaw nicely underway, is now experiencing a refreeze. Conjunct Buoy 2013F: is reporting a temperature of  -0.44° C, and the melt-water pools are taking on that milky look they get when they skim over with ice.

Again, this is one heck of a way of running a thaw. I want my money back. How am I get fat and lazy, sitting around watching ice melt, if the darn stuff keeps refreezing? I’m losing weight!

(Actually a lot of melting has occurred, this far south. Back when the winter snow first melted off the camera lens, at the end of April, the deep snow was up to where the yellow turns to black towards the top of the buoy in the distance.  If it is a buoy. It might be a robot, you know. Several groups deployed things at this site, and maybe they all assumed the robot was another group’s object.  Actually it might be a probe from the planet Kal-zeediff, sent to earth to try to figure out what we Earthlings are doing, out on the arctic ice.  They are all scratching their heads at their mission control, as we make no sense to them. Many have concluded arctic sea ice is a religion to Earthlings. (hmm….) )

 webcam

CFS V2 GRAPH MODERATES ITS TONE

Extent CFS July 20 sieMon (Double click to fully enlarge)

The CFS V2 Model is backing off its shocking prediction of there being above-normal sea-ice at the minimum in September. (It has also stopped predicting a “super El Nino,” and is now predicting a more modest El Nino Modoki, which is bad news for my neck of the woods, as it may give us a winter like 1976-1977.)  Rather than a minimum of over 7 million km2, it is predicting 6.4, and rather than 0.70 million km2 above normal it is only predicting 0.15. Still, for ice to be above normal would cause the “Death-spiral” crowd to sulk for at least six months, though hope would bloom eternal for them by next spring.

Why would anyone root for a “Death Spiral”? When I look back to my youth, I think normalcy was quite unattractive. Normalcy meant I’d have to get a real job, but if the world was coming to an end, working for a pension was like brushing your teeth on the steps to the gallows. It made no sense. That is why my friends now have pensions and I will be working until I drop. However, what the heck. I took my retirement when I was young and could enjoy it.

JULY 21  —DMI MORNING MAPS—

DMI2 0721 mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0721 temp_latest.big (1)

“”Tev” is moving into Baffin Bay, likely giving gloomy weather for the sailors thinking of attempting the Northwest passage. Quite a gale is heading north where air is squeezed against the west coast of Greenland. This may push mild, uplifting air into the Canadian Archipelago and promote low pressure up that way, and even some Chinook warming where the air sinks down to the Arctic Sea.  Buoy 2012G: is coming in at a mild + 0.96°C there.

“Sib” is swinging a revived “Art” across Bering Strait, incorperating some Pacific juice and likely pushing sea-ice away from the coast of Alaska, where Barrow was showing sea ice at the shore a couple days ago.  http://seaice.alaska.edu/gi/observatories/barrow_webcam

JULY 19  Barrow July 19 screenhunter_1129-jul-19-08-29

JULY 21  Barrow July 21 00_33_44_220_ABCam_20140721_0019 

To get back to the subject, at this point the isobars between the low “Sib” and the high “Scant” are loose and winds are not strong. I expect that to change by Wednesday.

Notice how in the above maps, where noon is towards the top and Alaska is in its afternoon, the sub-freezing temperatures have vanished. They are still reported at a couple buoys, though.  Buoy 2014C: north of Bering Strait at  74.49° N, 149.75° W is coming in at  -0.11° C, and Buoy 2013F: conjunct with our southern camera is coming in at  -0.25° C.

Speaking of those cameras…

NEW CAMERAS   —Gloom persists—

Somewhere some scientists must record how much sunshine and how much cloudiness the Arctic gets. I’d like to see if this summer has been cloudier. I think it has been cloudier, at the scattered places I observe. (Most of the year clear skies make it colder at the Pole, however I’m not sure that is true during high summer. Likely there is debate about the effects, and the effects of high clouds versus low clouds. In any case, I miss the views of turquoise and silver.)

Our northern camera still looks cold. Notice the melt-water pool in the lower right corner has a skim of ice around the edge. Its graph shows temperatures a hair below freezing, and Buoy 2014E: at 86.24° N, 1.06° W (roughly 125 miles towards Fram Strait) is coming in at  -0.08° C.

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Meanwhile the thaw remains on hold at our southern  camera, with the melt-water skimming over with ice:

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SAILOR TRAPPED IN SEA ICE IS RESCUED

Some of the best information about sea-ice comes from adventurers in the north. It doesn’t matter if they are Skeptics or Alarmists, their cameras tend to hint at actual conditions. This fellow got trapped in sea-ice north of Barrow, trying to sneak through the ice that os pressed against the coast there, and find a way to open water to the east. After ten days the coast guard broke through 40 miles of ice to get the guy.  Full story: http://www.sail-world.com/index.cfm?Nid=124426&refre=y&ntid=0&rid=4

Arctic Sailor July 21 Alt_Altan Girl trapped1Arctic Sailor July 21 Alt_Altan Girl under tow1

CRUNCHED CAMERA REPORT

We continued to drift slowly south, but our eastward drift ceased at 14.665°E at 9:00 PM last night, and we have slipped back west, finishing the day at 84.842°N, 14.542°E. Temperatures hit their high of +0.7°C at 3:00 PM, and have trended downwards in the northeast wind, winding up at +0.2°C. The barometer has continued flat, finishing at 1012.1 mb at noon, and the light breeze has been in the 5-10 mph range.  A rather quiet and boring day.

NO DMI MAPS, SO I’LL SUBSTITUTE MAUE MAPS

DMI2 0721B cmc_mslp_uv10m_arctic_1DMI2 0721B cmc_t2m_arctic_1

These maps are created by Dr. Ryan Maue out of data from the Canadian “JEM” model. You can see them and thousands more at the Weatherbell site. (Free week’s trial available.) Remember the Canadian tends to read colder than the Danish maps.

I have to run to a meeting soon, but hopefully can comment later.

NEW CAMERAS

The northern camera looks gray and dull. Maybe the ice at the edge of the melt-water pool in the lower right has melted back just an inch.  It’s hard to get excited about that.

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It looks like the melt-water pools have frozen over, with just a dust of snow on the ice, at our southern camera. The conjunct Buoy 2013F: is reporting -0.66° C. Further west, north of the Bering Strait,   Buoy 2014B: is coming in at -0.41°C, while to the east   Buoy 2014C comes in at -1.46°C. The Beaufort Sea is cold.

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JULY 22  —DMI MORNING MAPS—

DMI2 0722 mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0722 temp_latest.big (1)

“Tev” is weakening in northwest Hudson Bay, but not before bringing some mild air up into Baffin Bay, As weakening “Sib” swings “Art” around and over the Pole, it may tap into that milder air, and also mild air inland in Alaska,  The Beaufort Sea has warmed today, and the Canadian Archipelago is milder than it has been. Interestingly, one of the colder places up there is northeast of Greenland, in south winds. I haven’t a clue what the “source region” for that cold air is  I suppose it must be Greenland’s icecap, but when air descends 10,000 feet usually a Chinook effect kicks in and it is mild.  I have more learning to do.

There is only a few day window when “Art” will blow ice into the Laptev Sea, according to the changing models. Now it looks like “Art” will swing the winds around, and be blowing the ice the other way by Friday. So the the “extent” graph may have up-ticks and dips. At the moment it has such a big up-tick that some are saying the satellite must  be faulty:

DMI2 0722 icecover_current_new (click to enlarge)

NEW CAMERAS  —Clearing skies?—

It doesn’t look like the thaw has quite resumed yet, at our northern camera, though it seems it should, as “Art” brings south winds as it approaches.  However it is still -0.45° C at Buoy 2014E: .  Also the little pool in the lower right of the picture still has ice around its edge.

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At our southern camera temperatures have risen above freezing. Our conjunct  Buoy 2013F: is reading + 0.12° C, and other nearby buoys are above freezing as well. Partly this is due to  the fact we are far enough south, at 77 degrees latitude, for the sun to be higher at noon and a slight diurnal variation to kick in, however I think the passage of “Art” may have also stirred up  the air; broken the inversion and brought milder air down from above.  Mild air may have been transported in as well. We’ll see if temperatures stay up as the sun dips toward the horizon at midnight.

Though “Art” has passed right over this area I see no fresh snow, so it must be a fairly dry storm. It still looks cold, but I now expect thawing to resume. The sky looks blue in the upper right, and sunshine would speed up the melt.

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CRUNCHED CAMERA REPORT

Changing conditions made for an interesting day. the winds shifted from generally northeast and light to southwest and stronger, (from less than 5 mph to  more than 14 mph), and as a consequence our westward movement stopped at 14.507°E at 3:00 PM yesterday and our southward movement stopped at midnight at 84.826°N, and we picked up speed north and east, finishing the day at 84.841°N, 14.854°E.

Temperatures dipped to a low of -1.1°C at 3:00 AM but then rebounded to +1.3°C. The barometer crested at 1014.6 mb at 6:00 Am but then fell to 1013.1 mb by noon.

We may be in for a bit of a blow.

JULY 22 —DMI Afternoon maps—

DMI2 0722B mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0722B temp_latest.big (1)

With “Newl” stalled south of Iceland and “Tev” stalled south of Baffin Island, the big players at center stage are the storm “Art” approaching the Pole from Canada and the high pressure “Scant” probing toward the Pole from Norway. The flow between them woll shift, and be worth watching.

The warm air over Scandinavia seems like it will just sit and stagnate, but the blonds on Baltic beaches will not call stagnation a bad thing.  I’m not sure why “Scant” isn’t pumping warm air up over the Pole, and should likely look at the UK Met.

A QUICK GLANCE AT THE UK MET

Not much help here, for the min thing I see is stagnation.  Compare today’s map with Friday’s forecast map, and little has budged.

UK Met July 22 16478277UK Met July 22 Fri forecast 16485096

“Newl” just fades away southwest of Iceland. “Tev” and family whirl away, stalled off Newfoundland’s north coast. A newcomer to the lower left, “Newc”, gets half way across the  Atlantic, and then it too stalls. Th fronts back up off Great Britain, west into the Atlantic as “Scant” sits happily atop Scandinavia. Some mild air must be leaking north, but north of Scandinavia it looks like west winds keep Atlantic air from rushing north.

NEW CAMERAS 

Our northern camera is still gray, and it doesn’t look like much thawing has occurred, though wisps of passing fog suggest some milder air is about.

The small melt-water pool in the lower right may now be open, but the ice around the edge is whiter, as if it has been peppered by sleet a some point.

There are pockets of cold air around. Buoy 2014E: is reporting in at  -0.57°C.

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Our southern buoy is still refusing to thaw even enough to get us back to where we were ten days ago. The conjunct Buoy 2013F: is reporting -0.65° C.  I think it may have been warmer earlier, and opened the ice to the right of the largest melt-water pool, but it also looks like we’ve had another dusting of snow.

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The hint of blue sky in this picture was gone the next time the camera updated (around every ten minutes.) I can never remember a summer when the camera so often showed a gray world up there.

INSOMNIA REPORT   —Snow at southern camera—

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JULY 23  —DMI Morning Maps—

DMI2 0723 mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0723 temp_latest.big (1)

“Scant” remains strong high pressure over Scandinavia, as “Art” is a 987 mb low north of Canada. A decent southwest flow over the North Atlantic is trying to bring warmth north, and has reached Svalbard, but it seems it will not get far north of there before being turned southeast towards western Siberia. The current flow into the Laptev Sea will rotate clockwise into the Kara Sea an then Barents Sea.

Noon is at the top of the above maps and midnight at the bottom. Despite the night, note how mild it is in the Gulf of Bothnia, an despite the day, note that there are still sub-freezing temperatures off the North Slope of Alaska.

Models suggest the status-quo, with Scant and Art, will fade away by the weekend. Interestingly, a new storm looks likely to aim for h Pole. The question is whether it will head north from Siberia, or the North Atlantic, or both.

Models also show temperatures over the Beaufort Gyre remaining below normal.

FLAT-LINING CONTINUES

DMI2 0723 icecover_current_new

NEW CAMERAS  

The nearby buoys haven’t updated this morning, but neither view shows evidence of thawing. The temperature graphs show temperatures right at freezing.

Remember we are at the height of the thaw. Last year the North Pole Camera showed that splendid melt-water pool called “Lake North Pole.”

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CRUNCHED BUOY REPORT

In the past 24 hours our blind squirrel searched for the nut mostly to the east, getting as far north as 84.874°N at 6:00 AM, before veering a little south and ending the day at 84.867°N, 16.175°E. We are about halfway between the Pole and Svalbard, at a longitude roughly a third of the way across the top of Svalbard. Only in 2006 has a North Pole Camera wandered so far east.

We ended yesterday with temperatures at +1.3°C, holding the promise of thawing, but the 3:00 PM report came in with temperatures back to zero. Temperatures were just above zero until after midnight, when they fell below zero and were at  -0.3°C at 6:00 Am, winding up at -0.1°C at noon.

The breeze was quite fresh during the the start if the period, up around 18 mph, but gradually slackened off to 9 mph at noon.  The barometer steadily fell to 1001.5 mb.

JULY 23  —DMI AFTERNOON MAPS—

DMI2 0723B mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0723B temp_latest.big (1)

“Art” approaching the Pole and king-of-the-world status, as “Scant” remain comfortably parked over Scandinavia.  Sub-freezing pocket over towards Bering Stait and back into the Kar Sea, but oddly none shows in the vincinity of our North Pole Camera, though it was reporting -0.1°C at the time this map is suppose to show.  (You can see the tendril of cold air from St. Nort in Greenland to the vicinity of our crunched camera.)

Not a terribly cold map, but definitely not a warm one either.

NEW CAMERAS

The northern camera shows a situation that is basically unchanged.

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The southern view shows the melt-water pools are definitely refrozen, which is note worthy at the height of the melt-season.  However I can’t comment further, as a big thunderstorm is approaching this obscure corner of a big planet.

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JULY 24  —DMI Morning Maps—

DMI2 0724 mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0724 temp_latest.big (1)

“Art” is weakening up over the Pole, bit will continue to mill around up there into the weekend. (It will have various part and pieces, but I haven’t he time to name them all.) Meanwhile “Scant” continues to give Scandinavia mild weather, but it too will weaken, and there are hints that a weak low over the Baltic will tun into a home-grown storm at the start if next week, moving north into the Arctic to reinforce the remains of “Art.”

The warmth in Scandinavia can’t make it up to the Pole, as it is bent east. The Pole has a rough zonal flow, (albeit backwards from a textbook polar high pressure,) and is keeping its cold air.  A pocket of sub-freezing exits even in the afternoon, towards our southern camera north of Alaska. The northern parts of the Kara Se are sub-freezing again as well.

Thee is still plenty of time for a thaw, but the temperatures usually are just passing their peak by now. We are just touching normal, in our DMI graph of temperatures north of 80 degrees latitude, for the first time all summer. (We did this last year as well, twice, before the early and abrupt plunge in August.)

DMI2 0724 meanT_2014 (click to enlarge)

It is interesting to compare this graph with the graph from 1979, when a far colder winter led to a much milder melt-season, that extended into the fall.

DMI2 0724 meanT_1979  (click to enlarge)

NEW CAMERAS  —Blue skies at last!—

For some reason the army mass-balance site isn’t updating its buoy data, but judging from the graphs attached to our cameras at the O-buoy sites, both of our sites are experiencing sub-freezing temperatures. This is no way to run a thaw, but the sunshine might get the thaw back on track, during the short time we have left before the refreeze.

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FLAT-LINING CONTINUES

DMI2 0724 icecover_current_new (click to enlarge)

IMPORTANT TO REMEMBER WHEN LOOKING AT DMI TEMPERATURE GRAPH

The DMI temperatures-north-of-80-degrees-latitude graph, which finally, finally, finally made it briefly to normal, only measures temperatures north of 80 degrees.  If you look at Dr. Ryan Maue’s representation of the Canadian “JEM” model initial run, (available at Weatherbell; one week free trial,) you notice the heart of the current cold over the Arctic Ocean is located south  of 80 degrees. (80 degrees is the circle of latitude that just clips northern Greenland.)

DMI2 0724B cmc_t2m_arctic_1 (Double click to enlarge fully.)

JULY 24  —DMI AFTERNOON MAPS—

DMI2 0724B mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0724B temp_latest.big (1)

NEW CAMERAS VIEW  —This is more like it!—

The northern Camera has an ice-bow in the sky. Some slight thawing appears to be starting in the nonstop sunshine.

webcam The southern view is also sunny, but with little sign of thawing yet.

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temperature-1week

 

For some reason the Army mass-balance temperature data for various buoys has been off-line since July 22, so I am resorting to the temperature graphs attached to the O-buoys to get a feel for the cold pool over the Beaufort Sea. The above shows our southern camera keeps seeing temperatures dip below freezing.

I wonder, in a worry wart sort of way, if having a system off-line screws up the initial runs of various computer models.  After all, they have limited observations on the surface to begin with, and to some degree have to fill in the blank areas between. If they don’t get the data, or, far worse, keep receiving data from July  22 long after the fact, then they foll-in-the-blanks incorrectly.

I was wondering this because the Canadian “JEM” model keeps showing sub-freezing temperatures persist over the Beaufort Sea, especially towards the edge of the ice where you’d think it would be warmer. I am a Doubting Thomas, at times. This graph reassures me that, for he time being at least, no computer glitch is involved.

CRUNCHED CAMERA REPORT

Our heap of junk experienced a lull, as winds dropped to nearly calm conditions. Our westward motion ceased at 16.271°E at midnight, and at the end of the 21-hour period we has floated back to 84.860°N, 16.172°E. (For some reason the final repoert was from 9:00 AM and not noon.)

Temperatures rose from just below freezing to +1.4°C at 9:00 AM. The pressure fell to 1000.2 mb at 6:00 AM and then rose to 1001.2 mb at 9:00 AM. Down here, halfway between the Pole and Svalbard, temperatures are back to normal an the thaw has resumed.

JULY 25  —DMI Morning Maps—

DMI2 0725 mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0725 temp_latest.big (1)

“Art” is weakening and filling in over the Pole, as “Scant” weakens over Scandinavia and the North Atlantic.  Sub-freezing temperatures have reappeared in the eastern Kara Sea, even as a low moves up that way from the hot Steppes to the south. (I’ll call that low “Stepper”).

I’m watching the Baltic Sea to see if a low develops there, and watching the Pole to see if the in-filling of “Art” creates cold, as some storms do when the weaken and fade up in the arctic.

(I just checked the models, and the Baltic storm seems to have vanished from the “solutions,” at least until next week.)

NEW CAMERAS  

The northern camera continues to show the views of turquoise and silver I come to Pole to see, when the desire to escape reality hits me.

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Despite the bright sun it doesn’t look like much thawing has occurred yet.

To the south, clouds have returned to our southern camera, which suggests warmer air is moving in aloft, though the surface remains just below freezing.

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CRUNCHED BUOY REPORT

Our pathos continued south in a serpentine fashion, first moving east to 16.038°E at 6:00 PM, then west to 16.097°E at midnight, and then east to finish the 24 hour period at 84.806°N, 16.033°E at 9:00 AM.

Winds were light until after midnight, when the breeze began to pick up, especially at the last report at 9:00 AM when the breeze had stiffened to over 15 mph.

The temperature yo-yoed through some surprising antics, bouncing up to +2.0°C at 3:00 PM, sinking to  -0.1°C at 3:00 AM, bouncing back up to +0.5°C at 6:00 AM, and then sinking back to zero again at 9:00 AM.

Pressures bottomed out at 1000.6 mb at 3:00 AM, and then rose as “Art” weakened to the north, up to 1007.5 mb.

JULY 25  —DMI Afternoon Maps—

DMI2 0725B mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0725B temp_latest.big (1)

“Art” continues to weaken over the Pole, as “Scant” remains parked over Scandinavia. “Stepper” is moving up towards the boundary between the Kara and Laptev Seas. As it embarks towards top-of-the-world status its warm south winds will be over the ice-free Laptev Sea, as its colder north winds will blow down into the more icy Kara Sea. Sometimes storms like to use preexisting boundaries.

The subfreezing air is obvious up towards midnight and the Bering Strait. Despite the fact much of it is south of 80 degrees, the air over the Pole, while above freezing and officially a “thaw,” is below normal:

DMI2 0725B meanT_2014 (click to enlarge)

JULY 26 —DMI Morning Maps—

DMI2 0726 mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0726 temp_latest.big (1)

Though the temperature map shows subfreezing have vanished at the top of the map, (where it is noon), the Canadian JEM map shows it colder up there, and still below freezing at places. (Our Camera in the Beaufort Sea shows no thaw.)

The innocuous, unnamed low over Svalbard may be hinting at a new storm track over the top of “Scant,” which now looks like it will retreat southeast, allowing Atlantic storms to start clipping the top of Scandinavia by midweek.

NEW CAMERAS  —Thaw on hold—

This is the sort of beautiful view I like to escape to, when life gets hard. (And it is a bit hard now, as I’m facing two separate funerals.) However there is no sign of thawing, despite the bright sun, and the temperature graph at the northern camera shows temperatures below freezing and sinking.

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temperature-1week

 

The southern camera shows a grayer view with light fog, which suggests milder air may be trying to press north, but the frozen melt-water pool shows the thaw hasn’t set in yet, and the temperature graph attached to the camera shows temperatures remain just a hair below freezing. (Temperatures from the Army Buoys remain off-line.)

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temperature-1week

(You can click these pictures and graphs to get clearer images)

RE-RE-RE-RE-READJUSTED CFS V2 FORECASTS

The model has now completely backed off its formerly dramatic forecast of above-average ice extent this September, but is still saying it will be normal, which is a far cry from a “Death Spiral.” It is now forecasting a minimum of 6.3 million km2, as opposed to my out-on-a-limb forecast of 6.1 million, which is far above more expert forecasts of 4 to 5 million, which is far above “an ice-free-Pole”.

Extent cfsv2 July 26 sieMon (click twice to fully enlarge)

A QUICK LOOK AT CANADIAN “JEM” MODEL’S VIEW OF ARCTIC COLD

These maps are produced by Dr. Ryan Maue at the Weatherbell site. Besides the “JEM” model you can see many other models. Besides the maps I show (initial and 12 hours from now,) there are maps of foretasted temperatures out to 240 hours from now. So that is 26 maps right there. Then there are maps for other things the “JEM” model considers, such as pressure, humidity, and stuff I don’t claim to understand, such as “500 hPa Wind Speed & Geopotential Height”.  There are 22 things to look at. So now you have over 400 maps to look at.  And that’s just the “JEM” model. there are around 40 models, or versions of models, to look at, so we are now up over 2000 maps. So be forewarned. You have to practice self control, or you will get lost at that site, and may never be seen again. (You can sign up for a week-ling trial offer.)

The first map is the initial 1200z run, which has noon at the top of the map. Above freezing is pale blue and below freezing is pink. Temperatures are in Fahrenheit. You click these maps once to enlarge them, and click them a second time to enlarge them further.

What I notice about the first map is how much below freezing air has moved north of 80  degrees (which is the circle that just clips northern Greenland.)  The DMI graph may show a further down-tick.

JEM July 26 cmc_t2m_arctic_1

The next map shows the temperatures 12 hours later, when noon has moved (clockwise) to the bottom of the map, and midnight is at the top. You can see how much colder the ice has become towards Bering Strait. This is no way to run a thaw.

JEM July 26 cmc_t2m_arctic_3

(I don’t know why they can’t fix the glitch that has all the 9’s and 0’s on the left side of the map. I’ve learned to ignore it.)

CRUNCHED CAMERA REPORT

The ice our junkpile rides upon continued its disconcerting shifts and changes of direction. It moved west to 15.912°E at 3:00 PM yesterday, and then started east, and it headed south to 84.741°N at midnight, then shifted north to 84.754°N at 6:00 AM, and then was nudged south, ending the 24-hour-period at 84.750°N, 16.606°E.

Temperatures followed similar antics, falling to -0.2°C at 3:00 PM yesterday, rising to +0.7°C at midnight, and then falling to -0.3°C at 9:00 AM.

The breezes were steady and brisk at first, around 15 mph yesterday before slacking off to 8 mph around midnight and then picking up to 13 mph at the end of our reports.  As the wind slackened the pressure peaked at 1009.5 mb, and then began to fall to 1008.4mb as the winds resumed. However the winds never really slacked off, as they do when a high pressure crests overhead.

JULY 26 —DMI AFTERNOON MAPS—

DMI2 0726B mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0726B temp_latest.big (1)

Polar low and Scandinavian high, Art and Scant, do not want to leave the stage.

The increase in sub-freezing temperatures, though partly due to night falling on the Bering Strait side of the Pole, also seems to be a home-grown chill, as there is no other place the cold can come from.

NEW CAMERAS  —clouds return—

I am watching the crack behind the yellow cork with interest. Does it seem wider to you? I went and checked out the satellite view of this spot, and the ice this far north looks much more unbroken than the ice down by our crushed camera, which appears amazingly fragmented and pulverized, though all the bergs are tightly packed together. Up here I could see no cracks from the satellite, tough our camera sees them.

Temperatures remain below freezing.

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Not much change at the southern camera. Less foggy; higher ceiling; pressure rising.

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JULY 27  —DMI MORNING MAPS—

DMI2 0727 mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0727 temp_latest.big (1)

“Art” remains stubborn over the Pole, refusing to weaken as much as forecast, however the influence of “Stepper” over the western Kara Sea is converting the circumpolar circulation into a trough poking north from Asia. Some milder air is being drawn north in the Laptev Sea, and any ice that was pulled down into the Laptev Sea last week is now being blown out, which likely will reduce the “extent” graphs.

The real news is that “Scant” is fading southeast towards Poland, allowing weak low pressure to form along the north coast of Scandinavia. A new storm barely visible off the south tip of Greenland should be passing Iceland by Tuesday and start effecting Norway Wednesday. Rather than stalling in the middle of the Atlantic, as most storms have done all summer, this storm looks like it will continue across the northern tip of Norway, and continue on northeast, perhaps reaching the Pole itself next  weekend. I am going to dub this low pressure “Gus.” (For “August.”) It will briefly bring southwest, Atlantic winds to Scandinavia. Then likely winds will again turn to the east, as high pressure builds in the wake of “Gus”, however whether the old pattern will reestablish itself, or whether “Gus” is the harbinger of a new pattern, remains to be seen.

A QUICK LOOK AT THE UK MET

It is amazing how stalled the situation has been, since we last looked on July 20.  The front over Great Britain is the same front, though it did back west of Ireland for a while. The low “Newl” took all week to get to the lower left-center margin of the map. The high pressure “Scant” has stood stubborn over Scandinavia.  The occluded front over the Baltic is basically a home-grown folding of the atmosphere (which some models thought might become an interesting storm, but it didn’t).  The new fellow on the map is “Gus,” off southern Greenland, roughly where “Newl” was a week ago.

INITIAL MAP:       UK Met July 27 16627671 

When we look ahead to the forecast for Wednesday, we see “Gus” didn’t get stuck like “Newl” did, and is off the coast of Norway.  (Summer will not last forever.)

1300 WED MAP:UK Met July 27 Wed Forecast 16633805 

NEW CAMERAS  —Fresh snowfall at Pole—

Please remember, folks, what we were told. We were told that a significant decrease of ice would increase the amount of darker open-water, which would absorb more heat and melt more ice, creating a “Death Spiral” which could very well lead to an ice-free Pole by 2013. And what are we seeing instead? We are seeing snowfall at the height of the summer thaw-season.  Nothing, I repeat, nothing, reflects solar radiation better than freshly fallen snow.

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Looking at our southern camera, it looks to me like, after the warmest part of the day down at 77 degrees latitude, the ice on top of the melt-water pool in the lower right may be melting a little. However there isn’t suppose to be any ice on top of those puddles. They are suppose to be expanding and achieving “Lake North Pole” status.

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There is still enough time left in the thaw season to get some decent melt-water pools going, however we are running out of time and are past the point when temperatures at the Pole begin a gradual descent towards freezing. If you bet your last dollar on the Pole being ice-free by the summer of 2013, I’d say things look very grim for you. In fact it looks to me like I should tempt fate by starting a new post titled “The Death Spiral’s Debunking”.

MORE LIGHT ON THE SUBJECT (2 hours later)

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It looks more like May than July, up there.  Compare it to last summer:  “LAKE NORTH POLE” VANISHES  Oh well, maybe we’ll get some melt-water tomorrow.

I will continue this post with a bit of a rave at, ARCTIC SEA ICE MELT —The Death Spiral’s Debunking—