ARCTIC SEA ICE –Warming Ice–

One dynamic that will cross your eyes, if you should have the time to spend attempting to contemplate all its intricacies, involves the warming of the sea-ice before it starts to even think about melting. In fact it is still freezing and getting thicker, as it first starts to warm. That alone sits one backs onto their heels. How can the ice be getting warmer if it is getting thicker?

It is rather simple, when you think that ice at the surface can be down to around -60°C when the bitterest cold howls off Siberia in the deepest dark of January. It is obvious that, should that ice “warm” to -59°C, there is not going to be much melting going on. In fact it can warm and warm and warm, all the way up to -1.9°, and the ice will blithely ignore all the warming and go right on getting thicker.

In fact the words, “warm”, “warming”, and “warmer” can be handy tools, if you own a cruel streak and wish to agitate Alarmists.   Just make your eyes round and clasp your hands and say the ice is heating up, and you’ll get to watch them rush around like chickens after corn.

However I am a kindly old man, and don’t torture people more than I have to, and if I am going to cause anyone a headache I prefer to do it to myself, simply by trying to get my mind around the complexities of what boils down (poor word choice) amounts to an ice-cube melting in a glass of water.

The warmth is coming from both the top and the bottom.  Assuming the ice “remembers” the winter’s cold, and has been chilled to -25°C , you have that temperature sandwiched by “warmer” air of -15°C above, and “warmer” seawater of -1.9°C below.

Keeping that sandwich in mind, it then pays to remember the first and second laws of thermodynamics.

A bit of thought makes it clear that the most warming of the ice comes from below, and in fact has been radiating up all winter, even as the ice has been growing thicker, and continues to grow thicker. Not only does this heat come from the water, but latent heat is released from the water as it freezes. (That’s a hard thing to get your mind around. When water is freezing one seldom extends their palms to feel the warmth radiating from the phase change.)

Eventually the ice, at the bottom, will reach its melting point, and we’ll then discuss the opposite phase change, which gobbles up available heat, turning it back to latent heat. But before we reach that point we run into a few other small problems. First, as the salt water freezes it exudes the salt, which involves a further heat exchange. Then you wind up with fresh water ice sitting in salt water. How is this a problem? Well, the melting point of fresh water is 0°C and the water is at -1.9°C. So how can the ice ever melt?

I’m getting a headache.

In any case, as you look at the maps below please keep all the above in mind.

When we last looked a “Swirl” was laughing at textbooks and sitting on the Pole. Apparently this irritated the high pressure towards Canada, who believes in doing things by the book, and it has been making a noble effort to sit on the Pole.

Now we have nearly achieved the state where high pressure sits on the Pole, and all is as it should be, according to the book.

Polar Cell cells_mod

The only problem is that the low north of Norway looks like it is going to be rude and head straight to the Pole. Besides exporting a lot of cold down towards Europe, (Joe Bastardi at the Weatherbell site points out by April 27 snow might be seen down in France and Germany),

Europe April snow ecmwf_tsnow_europe_41(15)

but also this will make life interesting for the tourists up at the Barneo camp. So far the skies remain blue and the huts have been set up.

Barneo 7A 13002551_985838608151955_7676097520744859055_o164

The airstrip hasn’t cracked lately, and the jets are landing on schedule.

Barneo 7B 13047949_985838741485275_258960100589539753_o171

Winds are light, and temperatures, which made it up to -15°C, have dipped back to -23°C, as the base drifts slowly towards Fram Strait, and the various cross country skiers, helicoptered to various points on the Russian side of the Pole, hurry to get to the Pole before the storm comes north.

Barneo 7C 13002590_985838818151934_4180146684063629281_o167

Things could get interesting up there towards the weekend.

Advertisements

ARCTIC SEA ICE —Northwest Passage Luxury Liner All Booked Up—

Luxury Liner 733

“1,700 passengers and crew” and an icebreaker to clear the way.  This is the holiday for me!

“Prices for the journey aboard the 14-deck luxury liner start at nearly $22,000 rising to $120,000 for a deluxe stateroom – and this year’s cruise is sold out, according to the company.”

Oh…well…who the heck wants to go up there, anyway.

In the wake of that ship will be the gray-water waste of 1,700 people, but in the bow people will clasp their hands and go on and on about how folk like me harm the environment, by staying home and working. Or…that’s what my somewhat grumpy imagination is thinking.

Guess who will be working as tour guides?

“Ice pilots, polar bear researchers, and veterans of other Arctic expeditions will be aboard to ensure passengers’ safety and to protect the local wildlife, environment and customs, the company said.”  (They may not call themselves “tour guides”, but I’m green with envy, so I do.) (I suppose that, if you love the arctic, you will do anything to avoid getting a Real Job down south.)

I sure hope nothing goes wrong. The big city of Nome, Alaska has only 18 hospital beds.

http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/mar/28/us-canada-arctic-cruise-ship-titanic-emergency-training-coast-guard

North Pole Camping at Barneo. Only $28,995.

Barneo jet over tent barneoicecampquarktile

Time is running out, if you want to get rid of me by sending me to the North Pole.

https://portal.quarkexpeditions.com/STW/STWProduct.aspx?Theme=QUARK&ProductCode=LND-BAR-5D2016

After all, what is a piddling $28,995 to a wealthy person like you? And there is always the hope I won’t come back, though the tour guide calls this “embracing the unexpected.”

http://www.polarcruises.com/arctic/ships/land-based-trips/north-pole-barneo-ice-camp-arctic/north-pole-express-barneo-ice-camp

Barneo route map. Map_NorthPoleExpressBarneoIceCamp

If you are a real tightwad, I suppose you can send me the cheap way, for only $18,995.

http://expeditionsonline.com/tour-148/north-pole-express-barneo-ice-camp

But you don’t really want to have people look at you and call you cheap, do you?

You had best hurry. Time is running out. Not only are all the vacancies filling up, but we all know the ice is melting away up there, and soon there will be none left to camp on.9605374252_a1551c2c48_c

http://www.icetrek.com/barneo-ice-camp.html

So please do not delay, and send your money to me swiftly.

For more on the topic of the Barneo camp, with some funny pictures,  you can check out the post I wrote last year on March 21:

https://sunriseswansong.wordpress.com/2015/03/21/north-pole-sunrise-tour-now/

And here is a report I wrote about the 2014 season.

https://sunriseswansong.wordpress.com/2014/04/13/%EF%BB%BFjets-landing-on-north-pole-ice/

And here is the report from last year, when the jets landing gear crumpled to get things off to an interesting start.

https://sunriseswansong.wordpress.com/2015/04/13/jets-landing-gear-fails-at-pole/

By the way, they wont start actually building the camp up there for another month, I think. They like to wait until sunrise, which is March 22 at the Pole.