ARCTIC SEA-ICE –A Bit Chilly–

This is just a quick post to note some stuff. First, the “extent” is not going the right way, if you are rooting for an ice-free Arctic Ocean this summer. In fact, it is at the highest level seen in recent years.

Now before we make much of the “extent”, pray pay attention to the antics of the light lime-green line, which represents 2021. Note that last year it too was highest-in-recent-years up until around June first (the dashed vertical line), yet by around June 12 it was lowest-in-recent-years. Let this be a warning to all who root for sea-ice, one way or another. If you are too deeply invested in the short-term phenomenon, you may well wind up with egg on your face.

Having wound up with egg-on-my-face on numerous occasions in the past, I would use the old adage, “Once burnt; twice shy”, but that doesn’t fit sea-ice very well. Let us just say I’ve learned my lesson, and tend to observe far more than I predict, these days. But I will admit it is good fun to watch others, who haven’t learned their lesson yet. This is especially true of Alarmists who always begin the “melt season” absolutely convinced “This the year!” Then they follow ever twitch of the “extent” graph, enacting extremely bipolar (get it?) behavior. They go through the agony and the ecstasy, the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat, and in the end the sea-ice doesn’t melt. And then, like a follower of a losing team, they state, “Wait until next year!”

I will freely admit Skeptic have been guilty of similar behavior, directed the other way. They are ever hopeful the sea-ice will rebound to 1979 levels, and at the end of the summer are equally jaded, for sea-ice doesn’t “rebound”, either. However, where there once was a lot of hooting and hollering from both sides, the Skeptics have been censored and shadow-banned, and now the game isn’t as much fun. It is as if half of the stands in a stadium have been removed.

But, if you don’t mind only hearing one side, a lot can be learned by visiting Nevin’s “Sea Ice Forum” discussions. It is interesting to see how they are handling the current highest-in-recent-years “extent” graph, and fun as well, if you go back to the start of the discussion in March.

https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/topic,3749.0.html

The site is also highly instructive because, if you ignore the obvious bias, they look at a wealth of information. I often visit the site because, even though I know better than to ever venture an opinion, I am always discovering things I didn’t know.

It is interesting to see how they are handling a period of chilly weather over the arctic. They are completely convinced the warm anomalies over the arctic are cause by Global Warming, and I’d be ill-advised to venture my own view the anomalies are caused by a “cycle” of the AMO. The North Atlantic is quite warm

The warmth in the Atlantic forms a backwards letter “C”, which is typical of the “warm” phase of the AMO, though there are a few signs (I won’t go into) that we may be at the end of the “warm” phase. But one thing the warm water does is to usher milder and moister air into the arctic. This disproportionally warms the arctic temperatures in the dead of winter, as a very small amount of moisture makes a big difference in temperatures, especially at temperatures below zero (minus 17 Celsius.) Much of the “above-normal” in world temperatures is due to gushes of moist air from the Atlantic penetrating the arctic circle in the dead of winter, showing up as spikes in the DMI temperatures-north-of-80-degrees -latitude graph.

It should be noted that the freezing point of fresh water is represented by the blue line at the very top of the above graph. In other words, these “warm” spikes are not warm at all, and, when they are accompanied by gale-force-winds, may actually create more sea-ice that a cold calm would. However, that is a topic open for discussion. The main point is that it is warmer than normal in the arctic, until the sun rises, and…

It can be seen that temperatures are failing to rise as swiftly as would be “normal.” (Green line.) Why not? Is the “Quiet Sun” failing to provide sunlight? Is the sunlight dimmed by ash from the Tonga volcano? Or is the chill in the Pacific (also likely influenced by the Tonga volcano) somehow affecting the arctic? The Pacific is stuck in a La Nina for a third year:

The blue below-normal SST curving up the coast of California and back west under Alaska is the backwards “C” of the “cold” phase of the PDO, and one thing about that “cold” phase is that often it seems to go hand in hand with increases in sea-ice north of Bering Strait.

Why? Good question. And something which requires further funding and research. The pity is that the researchers are not allowed to just do their stuff but need to jump through political hoops. Anyway, to dare a simplistic answer to the question, my guess is that a cold PDO reduces the inflow of warm water through Bering Strait. These inflows form a warm layer under the cold “freshwater lens”, and sometimes become whorls or gyres of milder water, roaming around beneath the freshwater lens. But to call them “milder gyres” wouldn’t attract funding, so the term “heat bombs” was invented. Here’s an Alarmist synopsis:

It seems obvious to me research is needed to see what influence a “cold” PDO has on the generation of these “heat bombs”. In any case, it will be interesting to be observers, and just watch the sea-ice this summer, to see if it melts less north of Bering Strait than usual.

Lastly, I’m still wondering about the after-effects of volcanoes. The Tonga eruption definitely cooled a patch of the \Pacific, which may have had an effect on the mechanism that ordinarily turns a La Nina to an El Nino, in some way delaying that process. Also, I theorize there may have been an outflow of lava over Gakkel Ridge last spring, causing a derangement of more normal currents, and the after-effects of that event may still be in effect, although the lava has likely cooled.

However, I should note that a decent 5.9 earthquake occurred a few days ago north of Svalbard.

Although this is not associated with any volcano I know about, you can bet I’m watching the sea-ice over that area like a hawk. I’ll bet some researchers, far more scientifically qualified than I am, are doing the same. They just can’t admit it.

Why not? Well, they just haven’t figured out how to make the study of volcanoes fit the political narrative. If there was some way to blame the volcano on fracking, the researcher might get some funds. But earthquakes are far too frequent, as the mid-Atlantic ridge enters the arctic:

It’s hard to blame the earthquakes on fracking because they don’t frack up there. So how the heck can we ever get any funding?

If I seem to be verging on absurdity, it is because the situation is absurd. I have great respect and feel great pity for scientists who study the artic. They have to put up with so much sheer balderdash, before anyone helps them out with so much as a dime. They are on tenterhooks, walking on eggs, when they should be free to just study. For example, watch this researcher handle (IE justify) questions about research on the aforementioned “Heat Bombs”, and tell me you don’t both admire and pity her.

In the end, the sea-ice doesn’t care a hoot about the “narrative” or require a penny of funding. The sea-ice is free. It will do what it is going to do. So, to some degree we too should be free of the narrative and of funding, and just watch.

Stay tuned.

ARCTIC SEA-ICE –Manifesto after decade of research; 2012-2022–

Sea-ice debate has lost much of its appeal. The Alarmist spreaders of the false sea-ice narrative have pretty much admitted they can’t debate. How so? By silencing the voices who would debate with them.

This childish, “la-la-la I’m not listening” attitude was always there, in the debates between sea-ice Skeptics and Alarmists, especially on Alarmist platforms and within Alarmist websites, but on some non-Alarmist sites an Alarmist once could be lured into an old-fashioned, all-American debate.

I use the word “all-American” because lively debate has been one, major reason the United States rose to prominence in the way it did. Prominence was a direct consequence of Freedom of Speech. Debate is the anvil on which great ideas are hammered out. Whether the debate occurs in the Ivory Towers of academia, (through the process of truthful peer review), or in the down and dirty Corridors of Power (among pugnacious politicians), or even in a fair marketplace where shoppers can prefer a small company’s product over a large company’s, the clash of debate is a good thing, as long as both sides honor and respect each other.

“Honor and respect” suggests both sides have allegiance to a common ideal. In England the ideal was symbolized by the king, and those who opposed the party which held power were referred to as, “the loyal opposition”, because they remained loyal to the king, (even while not exactly loyal to those in power.)

In my America we replaced loyalty to a mortal king with loyalty to immortal God, or at least to that which our “Creator” had “endowed” to us as “certain inalienable Rights” (with “Rights” capitalized). This loyalty to a higher ideal infers respect towards those with whom you debate. You allow them Freedom of Speech as they allow you the same.

Unfortunately, at first in the obscure world of Arctic Sea-ice, and later spreading like cancer throughout American society, I’ve seen some felt they didn’t need to respect the Freedom of Speech which allows healthy debate.

I think this occurred, in the world of sea-ice, because Alarmists lost the debate about sea-ice with Skeptics. This did not occur because the Skeptics persuaded the Alarmists. (Even when Skeptics won specific arguments, Alarmists refused to concede.) What really defeated Alarmists was the sea-ice itself, which obstinately refused to behave in the manner Alarmists foretold, and instead made them look like flaming morons.

You think I exaggerate? Please consider how foolish the Alarmists must now feel, after having bought into the idea that the North Pole would be ice-free by the summer of 2008.

Or by 2010:

It becomes obvious, after nearly two decades of failed forecasts, that the Alarmists are full of -bleep-. This year is no different. The extent of sea-ice, though low, is not as low as other recent years, and shows no signs of vanishing completely.

In a saner world Alarmists would admit their forecasts were wrong. We all are humbled in such a manner as we bungle through life. We all make mistakes, and hopefully learn from our mistakes. (The world’s best weathermen became the best from being mistaken, to some degree, every day for decades. Weather forecasting defies perfection.)

However, if you refuse to be humbled, you do not admit your forecasts are wrong. Instead, you hide the evidence you were in error, and that sometimes includes attempting to hide, erace or “disappear” the very people who, often very gently and kindly, attempted to point out that you were mistaken. You hide them by censoring them. You ban them. You muffle their voices, deny their funding, isolate and marginalize them. Once the informed are “disappeared” you attempt to make the uninformed continue to believe your “side of the argument”, (which isn’t reality), is reality.

Sorry, but reality is reality. Truth remains true even if not a single mortal has the guts to say so. Sea-ice does not obey politicians, but the Almighty. And it just, plain ain’t melting away. And eventually even the uninformed notice.

Outside of the world of sea-ice the uninformed are noticing other narratives are failing to be confirmed, especially regarding the coronavirus, and this is making the censorship of skeptical voices increasingly look foolish. Polls have shown an alarming lack of trust, on the part of the general public, towards what the news reports. In some circles it has even reached a point where whatever is reported on the news is instantly regarded as being some form of disinformation, and the opposite is taken to be the actual fact.

This is of course very frustrating, to the honest, who like to be objectively informed. Some of us like to bring actual facts to the table and to share them with others who bring other actual facts showing other things, and then to attempt to make heads or tails of any variance that becomes apparent. There is much about the expansion and contraction of sea-ice which is worthy of wonder, and deserves further research, but censorship prevents it.

Currently there is a narrative being bleated which perpetuates the tired, dogeared fear that the sea-ice is going to melt away this summer, (with dreadful, doom-and-gloom consequences), despite decades of evidence to the contrary. This blather is allowed and even encouraged on certain platforms, while even attempting to counter such blather, (blather which at this point has so lost scientific credibility that it has gained the status of being pure propaganda,) will get you promptly censored or at least shadow-banned from those same social platforms.

In like manner, regarding the coronavirus, it was scientifically known right from the start that masks would do little to halt the spread. Anthony Fauci himself quoted the peer-reviewed papers which established this truth. But somehow a political narrative made masks far more advisable than they ever actually, scientifically were, and Anthony Fauci flip-flopped to support this political narrative, and anyone who stated masks were basically useless was banned from social media. As with sea-ice, even the uninformed eventually became leery of the “official” line, but the “official” line remained the accepted propaganda.

All of this nonsense has made a mess of the natural process enacted by healthy debate. We should be able to talk to each other about what we have observed in a manner which combines our observations into a sum far greater than our individual efforts. Indeed, that is what Freedom of Speech is all about. Censorship denies us the Liberty of speaking our minds, substituting the slavery of propaganda.

What foments the nonsense? I suppose it is that when we “speak our minds” we have minds which are imperfect, and which to some degree are selfish. And it is the nature of selfishness to want its own way, even at the expense of others. In other words, our minds do not merely contain the altruistic concept of Freedom of Speech, but also a less patient side which just wants to tell others to “shut the f— up”.

There are those who believe that the “shut-the f— up” impatience is good governance. It is foundational to the ideas behind any dictatorship. It sees opposition as a wrench-in-the-works of progress. Dictators are certain that the way to progress is to remove the wrench. And so it is that dictators tend to remove even their closest comrades from the picture.

While such an approach may lead to great power, it tends to leave one very alone and without advisors, and a lack of advisors is bound to leave one ill-advised.

The United States embarked on a different policy, which accepted differing opinions, and allowed people to be a wrench-in-the-works. (This is drifting far from the topic of sea-ice), but it is interesting to go back to the early days of the United States, when the idea of Free Speech was still in its infancy. People were aware how novel the idea of Free Speech was, and relished it, and even small towns had gatherings where people vented their views, and eventually this became the local event called a “Lyceum”. (Abraham Lincoln’s first public speech was at a Lyceum in 1838.)

Lyceums were the internet of those pre-electricity times, and some individuals made a good living just traveling town to town and speaking. Of course, certain subjects were taboo, and even back then there were some who wished to censor certain speakers, but they lacked the ability of modern censorship. If banned, even outlandish speakers (or snake oil salesmen) could just move on to the next town. For the most part the public displayed a thirst to hear new ideas of all sorts, and illiteracy greatly declined. Back then I might have traveled from town to town, speaking all I know about sea-ice, without fear of being “shadow-banned”, (IE: seeing all my writing, even my posts which have nothing to do with sea-ice, [such as my most-popular “Why We Don’t Domesticate Deer”] sink from view on search engines.) Lyceums occurred during an age which was innocent, in some ways, though back then Americans were also well aware the idea of Free Speech tread upon new and dangerous ground, full of patches of thin ice and slippery-slope pitfalls.

The danger became almost immediately apparent when France attempted to copy us, replacing its King with a republic, and saw things spiral into The Terror. Their guillotine made it apparent American Liberty and Freedom required guidance. What had lead France astray?

This brings me back to the selfishness I spoke of earlier; a selfishness we all own. A guillotine is just a way of saying “shut the f— up.” Even in our homes, any time we are tempted to say that, whether it be to a parent, a spouse, or a child, we’re in a sense anti-American, for we’re denying Free Speech.

Considering I myself have been told to “shut the f—up” for stating obvious truths about sea-ice, I hope you will forgive me if my interest strays, (away from the sea-ice maximum), to the despotic maximum we are now experiencing. I will return to the actual subject of sea-ice before the end of this post, but I digress into the subject of Free Speech because I am confronted by it’s destruction. We are all confronted by it. Cancel Culture is in-your-face censorship, basically saying “shut the f— up” to us all, and we need to deal with it.

At this point it is interesting and perhaps instructive to look back to at the lyceums at the beginnings of the United States, and see what was the motivation behind many of the ideas.

After much thought I decided the motivation boiled down to putting food on the table. It may sound a bit lowering to state so much depends on a man’s stomach, but the gut is a great motivator of both hard work and revolution, and thrones become hot seats when the commoners go hungry. Therefore, it follows that much that Free Speech debates about, concerning the high-sounding word “economy”, involves how a society keeps its people fed. The basis of all high principles and lofty ideals is basically dirt, and also the brine fish are netted from. This low-seeming fact is an inescapable truth people in Ivory Towers can become blind to. In a computer age a majority of society can live in Ivory Towers, seemingly divorced from dirt and salty spray, but in truth still trapped by the simple realities of Earth.

When I state putting-food-on-the-table is man’s motivation, it sounds as if man would be easy to manipulate, like a donkey tricked into plodding forward by dangling an apple on a string just in front of its nose. In actual fact putting-food-on-the-table has always involved a thing called “risk”. The risk might be a swarm of grasshoppers eating your entire garden in a couple of hours, or a storm sinking your fishing boat, or, (if you were a caveman), the woolly mammoth you just hurled your spear into turning around and stamping you flat.

Once you add “risk” into the equation you create a sort of schizophrenia. How so? Because putting-food-on-the-table is “security”, and “risk” is the opposite of “security”. This creates a tension between two sides, and a reason to debate. One needs to weigh the “risk” involved in achieving “security.” Is the safety worth the danger? Is the danger worth the safety?

In the eyes of academics in Ivory Towers, the people who created the United States were very unsafe people. Academics have tenure and can’t be fired even if they are obnoxious, possess plump pensions, and have health insurance which allows them to be sicker than dogs and never lose a cent. They are exceedingly safe, and therefore must be forgiven if they cannot comprehend the unsafe people who created America, people who hoed their corn with a flintlock nearby in case war whoops sang from the woods, or sailed ships without engines or GPS’s through dangerous seas to net or long-line codfish.

Going to sea was, with 20-20 hindsight, a high-risk activity, considering the nature of the flimsy ships, but involved a thing called “trade”. Trade could put food on the table without one needing to grow food or net food. Therefore, one might, from an Ivory Tower, think man had escaped the power of the stomach, but it is interesting to note the trade-items most desired by Native Americans were copper cooking pots, (preferable to birch-bark stewpots and more durable than pottery), for cooking, and iron axes for cutting the wood people used to fuel cooking fires with. The gut still ruled.

So important did “trade” become that three of the ten largest cities in the future United States were crammed together on the coast of Massachusetts: Boston, Gloucester, and Newburyport. Their affair with the ocean involved a great deal of “risk”, and many died at sea, but the gamble was obviously worth it to those who survived, which caused those three cities to prosper and be among the largest. New Englanders become skilled traders, and Cod was king, and a wooden codfish was hung as a sort of false god in the city hall of Boston.

Meanwhile, in the South, Cotton became king. This involved the small farms moving from hiring farmhands to buying farmhands from Africa. This involved all sorts of risks, but they seemed worthwhile, even before the cotton gin was invented in 1797 and made cotton so profitable other crops were abandoned.

Thirdly, to the west, were lands the indigenous population seemed to use unwisely. Where they used a thousand acres in a manner which could feed few, settlers could use the same thousand acres in a manner that would feed many. The settlers therefore could outnumber the original inhabitants, and overran them, resulting in wars, which the indigenous and outnumbered natives lost. However, risks remained. Out of every ten farms started by homesteaders, five failed, resulting in bankruptcy for people who had gambled all, and lost all. Risk.

All three developments, North, South and West, involved problematic situations, with inherent frailties. Debate was needed. But in those days not that much breathing space was allowed for American people to discuss the spirituality of their behavior in a leisurely manner. Fights were breaking out on all sides, involving Indians to the west and Europeans to the east, and Barbary Pirates. Therefore, the three regional developments accepted risks and developed responses without much thought beyond survival, as the United States staggered through a precarious period when even the White House was burned, and the United States faced, with a Navy of only six big ships, a British Empire with six hundred.

Those odds have always astounded me. How was it the United States wasn’t crushed? The odds were a hundred to one.

The answer seems to have been that the ordinary risk-taking nature of American seaports produced sleek, swift merchant ships which, with a few added cannon, became “privateers”. Privateers are basically pirates with a license for piracy given by a government. American privateers gave the six-hundred-ship British navy fits. In my view privateers saved the United States from being reabsorbed, as a mere formerly-rebellious colony, back into the British empire.

Not that piracy is spiritual, or anything a society ought to encourage. But in a warring world full of risk, it was a necessary evil. And one redeeming element of America’s piracy is that its pirates desisted from piracy the moment the war ended. (The same cannot be said of other privateers in other places, for when their governments revoked their licenses to steal, they were too addicted to theft to stop.) (See John Ward, [who inspired the Disney pirate “Jack Swallow” in “Pirates of the Carribean”].)

As a child of the North, I was brought up to understand the North had little to gain from the War of 1812 and was reluctant to face the ruination of its trade. The main gripe of the North was that its sailors were impressed by the English navy to crew its six hundred ships to fight Napoleon, but Napolean had done the same thing to crew his French ships, and war with France had been avoided by Jefferson. Negotiation was preferable with the French, (especially when the Louisiana Purchase was thrown into the bargain,) and therefore it seemed negotiation should be preferable with the British. It was the South and West that blustered most loudly against the British and dragged the nation into a war that ruined the economy of the North. By 1814 there was even talk of the North quitting the United States, but in the end the North remained loyal to the Union and fought the British to a draw at sea. The British blockades were eluded by swift American privateers who brought home loot seized from British ships bound for Canada, (and often the ships themselves,) and these swashbuckling privateers even made it unsafe for traders to sail from port to port on the coast of England. At that point sane economic policy in England made it seem wiser to avoid risk and to call the stupid war off. The war was, if not won, most definitely not lost, and the United States had defended its right to exist among nations, when the peace treaty was signed.

News traveled slowly, and it was after peace had been officially declared (but not ratified) that the South and West fought a battle which may have had no significance in terms of written treaties, but had huge significance in gray areas outside of treaties.

Because Napolean had been defeated, the treaties he had made while in power were to some degree vetoed, and this included the Lousiana Purchase. Napolean had won this vast area from Spain and then sold it to the United States. There was some thought among thinkers in Ivory Towers that this land should be returned to Spain. Of course, such thinking was countered by realities on the ground, and the reality was that the United States occupied New Orleans, but England had sent 8000 of its best soldiers to retake it. An English occupation would basically create a situation where it would be hard for the United States to prove its claim that it “owned” the Louisiana Purchase. New Orleans itself was in a panic, for the soldiers advancing on their city were the same men who had defeated Napolean, and the city only had roughly 1000 official soldiers to defend it, and these soldiers knew little of fighting as Europeans fought.

It turned out to be a good thing they didn’t fight as Europeans fought, though it made a mess of the calculations made in Ivory Towers.

What happened was a thing called a “militia” appeared, coming down the Mississippi by the thousands, from as far away as Kentucky. Also nearly 500 freed slaves, as well as fierce warriors from Native American tribes, swelled the ranks. There were even some Cajun-French pirates from the delta rushing in. Soon the English were facing a substantial army, led by a very hard-nosed commander, Andrew Jackson. The British were demoralized by the fierceness of the resistance, as they had been led to believe the attack would be a cakewalk.

It might have actually been a cakewalk, as the British came precariously close to penetrating the American lines in the skirmishes leading up to the battle, but they snatched defeat from the jaws of victory by safely retreating from those skirmishes. Then, in the actual battle, the British suffered a terrible trouncing. Facts and figures vary, but British casualties were around two thousand, while the Americans lost nineteen dead.

This seems so much like American propaganda that even as a schoolboy I scratched my head and wondered if it was true. Such staggered odds demanded an explanation. The explanation is that the European battlefield tactics were basically neutered by the American defenses.

The Europeans relied on a barrage of bullets delivered by Brown Bess muskets, which was followed, if necessary, by a charge with fixed bayonets, but the Americans had erected breastworks, in some places made of bales of cotton, behind a canal they had deepened, and this kept the American’s safe from both a barrage of bullets and a bayonet charge. In actual fact the British milled about awaiting their lousy logistics to catch up to the troops with ladders to cross the canals with, as the American artillery lobbed grapeshot into their ranks. (Grapeshot was horrible stuff, because it threw shrapnel, including lengths of chain, when it landed and exploded.) The British were suffering terribly even before the battle officially began. Then, when they finally drew close enough to the Americans to actually shoot at them, the Americans, who had been waiting, got their barrage off first, and it was far more effective than Napolean ever managed against the same troops.

Why? This is actually a footnote, for only around five minutes of the actual battle involved soldiers actually shooting at each other, but a British sergeant noted that an amazing number of his men fell with bullet holes in the center of their foreheads. Americans did not merely shoot “towards” the foe, in the European manner. Americans actually aimed their guns, because the American militia included marksmen from the frontier who had to hit a squirrel, if they shot at it. This was no big deal in the American west, but to the British sergeant it was astounding to see a single barrage mow down so many of his men.

In any case, in barely more than a half hour the history of North America was utterly changed, for the English understood winning New Orleans was not a cakewalk. They headed back to their ships and sailed off to safer ports in the Caribbean. This meant the Western border of the United States did not halt at the Mississippi, and that the Sioux were not ruled by England or Spain. The Louisiana Purchase, for better or worse, was America’s problem.

What were the problems? The problems were, if you are sitting in an Ivory Tower as safe as can be, fairly obvious: IE: If you truly believe all men are created equal, you should not buy farmhands from Africa as the South did, nor should you believe you have more right to lands than Indians do, as the West did. However, if you live in an Ivory Tower, and believe all men are created equal, you should believe all men deserve Ivory Towers. All men deserve tenure, even if their ideas are stupid. Fishermen deserve codfish, even if they sail smack dab into a reef. Farmers deserve bountiful crops even if they sow in September. Right? No, wrong, and in the cutthroat reality of the time people did not live in an Ivory Tower. They lived a tough reality where existence, even the existence of the United States itself, was day to day.

Just consider this factoid: At that time a man could work all day and be paid ten cents. At the same time a strong, young African slave cost $2000.00. Therefore, if you were an employer who needed some strong man to do a risky job, (for example, dig a New Orleans canal where the mucky walls might collapse and drown the diggers in ooze), who would you rather risk? Your slave who cost $2000.00? Or some immigrant who cost ten cents? Obviously, you would not expose your slave to such risks, but would expose the immigrant. Take this one step further and you can argue the slave-holder-south treated enslaved-workers better than the anti-slavery-north treated its freedmen. But that assumes Freedom of Speech allows such topics to be discussed. During the desperation of those times there was little time to sit in Ivory Towers and hold such discussions.

Yet I believe there was some spiritual ideal whispering in the ears of Americans at that time, despite all the chaos people were amidst. Not that they could not be savage in battle, but within the risk-taking they took, they risked being idealistic. This idealism’s hard to describe, but it is very different from what is described by Critical Race Theory, which denies the idealism.

It is quite easy to sit in an Ivory Tower, taking no risks, and sneer at the risk-taking of others. But those who stay safe on shore eating sardines should not sneer at those at sea netting the herring. Those who currently desire seafront cottages cannot imagine a world where entire coastal communities were abandoned, because Barbary Pirates might swoop in to grab people to sell to the Ottoman Empire as slaves. Estimates of how many Europeans were enslaved by the Barbary Pirates can surpass a million, and this factoid is a handy tool when debating Critical Race Theory. Just mention that in the year 1619 there were far more white people enslaved in Africa than there were Africans enslaved in Europe. But that is assuming people who dislike debate would dare debate.

Don’t get me wrong. I believe all men are created equal and am dead set against slavery of any and all sorts. I have a high (and some would say naive) idealism which envisions bosses caring for employees who care for bosses. But I have worked for some tough bosses and have a hard-nosed acceptance of how brutal making a dollar can be. There is a tension between reality and idealism verging upon hypocrisy, involving the clash between security and risk. This friction is necessary for traction necessary for progress, but it needs to be exposed and talked about, It should be discussed and debated. There needs to be lyceums, and censorship is a bad thing.

One theme which appears in truthful debate is that to make an endeavor successful one wants to pay as little as possible while charging as much as the market will bear. A boss would actually prefer having devotees to having employees, because devotees are cheaper. A boss would also like to have customers dependent on him, and have competition banned, (and, if at all possible, to have his product be addictive). However, such selfishness would likely be bad for society as a whole. How so? Well, an honest debate would bring up historical examples of times bosses got what they wanted, and what became of the societies they ruled. Some came to a bad end. The Terror in France was an example much discussed in the lyceums during the childhood of my nation. But there were other dangers to avoid, amidst all the risk-taking.

Critical Race Theory seems to be based on the idea that people of that time sat around in Ivory Towers like modern Critical Race professors do, planning how to be exploitive. In actual fact society was reeling from calamity to calamity, fighting for its very existence, and what is amazing is not that they were in some ways savage, but that they so often were noble savages. You may say there was merely honor among thieves, but there was definite decency even among the pirates. In fact, “honor” was a very big word back then, even among slaveholders, even among factory owners who employed little children, even among those who stole Indian’s land, and, if you offended a gentleman, you might be challenged to a duel. (I suppose a pistol was the Cancel Culture of that time.) The point that I am driving is that despite all the brutality of that time, idealism persisted. Likely it was what saved my homeland from extinction when it was young, though Karma could be a bitch: (The very people who built mansions on the land grabbed from Cherokee in 1835 saw Sherman’s troops burn down those mansions, only thirty years later…….so there is no need for restitution now, when Karma has already been so vicious.)

Idealism seemed to manifest, even as the burned White House smoldered, with the appearance of three gifted individuals who personified the South, the North and the West, and who for four decades glorified Congress with the brilliance of Free Speech. They represented very different parts of the growing nation, and agreed about very little, except the value of Free Speech (and perhaps, for a time, about the fact President Andrew Jackson needed to be restrained.)

(Judging from their faces, I wouldn’t pick a fight with them, even regarding something as nonconsequential as Arctic Sea Ice.)

Calhoun
Webster
Clay

These three men, Calhoun, Webster and Clay, began representing the South, North, and Frontier at a time that the experiment called the United States was less than forty years old. The concept of Freedom of Speech and “lyceums” achieved a high point as they debated, usually disagreeing. Hushed crowds swarmed the galleries of Congress just to listen to them. They debated from the War of 1812 to their final compromise in 1850, which they hoped would prevent the nation from fracturing into Civil War. If truth be known, they prevented the Civil War, but only for a decade, by which point they were long gone, as all three perished by the end of 1852, before that national catastrophe occurred.

Their departure left a void none stepped forward to fill. People seemingly became afraid. The nation walked on eggs, and leaders adopted a go-along-to-get-along policy of refusing to deal with the issues, (Northern, Western and Southern), that loomed, blacker and taller, like approaching thunder. America elected weak, go-along-to-get-along presidents who quailed from leading, from grabbing the bull by the horns, preferring men who petted the hamster of the status quo. As Freedom of Speech withered due to gutless politicians, censorship entered government, and it was actually forbidden at that time to bring up the subject of slavery (or its abolition) in the halls of congress, because it was too contentious. They feared they might start a war. They may have caused it.

How so? Because, as a child of New England, I know how badly the war of 1812 hurt my ancestors, and how close the North came to seceding from the union at that time. However Freedom of Speech and fiece debate (and God’s grace) preserved the union in 1815, and the North did not have to fight the South at that time. In like manner, if people had the balls to actually talk, and penetrate the clouds of selfishness to the illuminated facts of how-to-treat-employees, a series of step-by-step compromises might have been arrived at between the Missouri Compromise and the national meltdown in 1860. (I confess my idealism, but nearly anything seems better than the fate the nation actually chose.)

It is interesting to study this period of history because we are in strangely similar shoes, with our nation again heading towards an apparent catastrophe, and people again rendered mute by Cancel Culture and by the sheer ugliness of the discussions which do occur, when debate is allowed.

One thing apparent, looking back to the past catastrophe, is that people were given time to face their problems, between the Missouri Compromise of 1850 and the outbreak of war in 1860, but they frittered away that time in a strange state of paralysis wherein no one wanted to rock the boat. They were years “eaten by locusts.” People clung to the security of the status quo even as the risks involved ripened like an abscess swelling with pus. Each area, the North, the South, and the Frontier, was on some level aware their successes involved exploitations which eventually would have to be paid for, through some sort of reform, but… But reform is like a New Year’s Resolution, easy to speak of in an Ivory Tower, but hard to bring into the harsh daylight of January Second. It was easy for the North to say the South should renounce slavery, and it was easy for the South to say the North should renounce child labor and sweatshops, and it was easy for people with property to say homeless settlers shouldn’t settle. Morality is easy from afar.

However, when some outsider came in and told people to give up their way of making a good living, people tended to become as angry as the original natives were, when settlers came in and told them to give up their way of making a good living. It was not enough to merely have a vote, for the settlers outnumbered natives and could outvote the natives, and the Northerners could outnumber and could outvote the Southerners.

Had the Northerners been outvoted, (perhaps with an allied combination of Southerners, Settlers and Native Tribes), and had outsiders told the Northern factories they had to shut down because child labor and sweat shops were immoral, it would have been the Northern states which would have talked about “nullification”.

“Nullification” was the idea that no outsider (IE: The Federal Government) should be able to cancel the “States Rights” of local people. However, because the Northern states were not the minority and could outvote the south, it was the South that brought up the idea of “nullification”, which, in a sense, every single Native American tribe agreed with. Indeed, the issues involved in “nullification” were deeply discussed and debated while Calhoun, Webster, and Clay were alive. Upon their demise, a silence descended, and the abscess swelled until it erupted as war.

My homeland’s first Civil War was terrible. More Americans died in it than in all other wars the United States has been involved in combined. 620,000 soldiers died in a nation with a population of 31 million. In modern terms, it would be as if we had a war where seven million men died. (And, because modern war involves women and children, the numbers would be far higher.)

No American escaped unscathed. A few profiteered, but it was at a terrible cost. Intellectuals in Ivory Towers can speak of the high-sounding “principles” involved, (such as the preservation of a union and of liberty for all), but that involves a complete blindness to the actual slaughter, mayhem and heartache of war. Every small town in New England, far from the battlefields, contains a monument to young men who never “came marching home again”, and who are buried far away. And why? Because Freedom of Speech failed, and “Shut the f— up” won.

Now we are facing a second catastrophe, involving subjects such as how we should heat our homes, whether fossil fuels are bad, whether we should eat meat or not, whether we should have old fashioned families and marriages or be freed from such disciplines, and similar debates about similar constraints, and people have no idea of the danger they face when they abandon civil procedure and resort to “shut the f— up”.

Particularly repulsive is the strategy of simply talking-over the person you are debating with, which seems to inevitably force the person being talked-over to reply in kind, and to talk-over the talk-overer. (sic). I never thought I’d see the day when an interview of a point-counterpoint nature would devolve into two people simultaneously talking as loudly and as rapidly as possible, yet now it has become painfully common on news broadcasts. It solves nothing.

Such behavior is not civil. It is incivility. It is an abandonment of the idea we all are created equal, because it dismisses the idea the opinions of others have value.

(It is absurd to make this point, but I’ll make it because some novice might need it.) The opinions of others have value because others are positioned differently, and they have views we are not privy to. For example, if the lights went out in a dark cave, and we had to find our way out, and only one person was positioned where he could see a glimmer of daylight in the distance, that lone person would be the minority whom the majority should heed. Conclusion? Love your neighbor. Listen to the minority.

Unfortunately, dictators always assume that they themselves are that one person in the cave who sees the daylight no other can see, and that this justifies their ignoring the views of everyone else. This may indeed be true, for a short while in a cave, but do we want to live forever in a cave? Eventually we emerge into daylight, and at that point the dictator should be humble and revalue the views of others.

But what is the solution?

The solution, as always, is Truth, and the golden Liberty to seek Truth with Free Speech. The concept of propaganda needs to be repudiated in all its guises. The idea that any good can come from intentional falsehood needs to be soundly rebuked. Those who lie for a living need to be made ashamed. “Fake News” must be abolished, not by censorship, but by a rising-up of masses who are utterly sick of it.

On our smallest coin it states, “In God We Trust.” And what is God, but Truth? Truth should be what we honor, even to a degree where dishonest advertisements are altered towards honesty, and even to a degree where politicians avoid hyperbole. This should be done because we are witnessing the alternative, and it is utterly repulsive.

Why is it repulsive? Because it is in some ways itching to start a Second Civil War. The erection of razor wire around the Capital shows how certain some individuals were that Second Civil War was upon us. The exaggeration which described an extremely peaceful post-election protest as an “insurrection” once again shows that some feel so guilty that they expect the backlash of war. Much to their amazement, (and I admit also my own), the public refused and refuses to act as the paranoid expect. Apparently, the public prefers peace to a Second Civil War.

I find this very inspiring and beautiful. It seems to indicate the uneducated public, which largely knows little of the history I’ve taken pains to share with you (in a Reader’s Digest way), nor which cares a whit about sea-ice (which I’ve taken pains to describe in past posts), has an ability, free of all intellectual garbage, to recognize crap is crap, and to prefer Truth.

I sometimes think there are other, contrary people who do desire the death of millions in a Second Civil War, because they live in an Ivory Tower so detached from reality that they can believe the death of billions would be a good thing, as they believe the current population of earth is too many. What gives them such authority I cannot say.

Obviously, they don’t believe, as I believe, “the more the merrier.” They see no value in others. They think countless throbbing hearts are just an excess the world would be better off without. They speak of risk with an icy detachment born of their Ivory Tower’s divorce from what risk actually entails, and they like to smugly say things such as, “You can’t make an omelet without breaking a few eggs.”

Actually, that saying is French and had to do with making pancakes, not revolutions. It apparently first entered the English language (in its revolutionary sense) via François de Charette in 1786, and he was a Royalist talking back to revolutionaries when the French revolution was merely murmurs in the wings, as France faced financial ruin and its king considered calling an Estates General. (1788) When Charette spoke of “breaking a few eggs” he did not dream of what The Terror unleashed. (1793)

People in Ivory Towers always seem to take being respected for granted. They are aghast when one of the first things dismantled by revolution is Ivory Towers. How surprised the leftist college professors of China were when Mao sent the Red Guard marching into their classrooms, and nearly every teacher China had was sent off to be “reeducated” in the rice paddies. Likewise, the intellectuals of Cambodia were shocked when Pol Pot decreed literacy was “counterrevolutionary”, and consequently having a writer’s callus on your middle finger became a crime that carried a death sentence. But, until the storm breaks upon them, inhabitants of Ivory Towers feel wonderfully immune, and think, “It can’t happen here.”

There is something downright flippant about the heartlessness of people who deem the death of millions “a statistic”. Considering how horrible such concepts are, you might expect an equal and opposite backlash. Some Elitists in Washington DC apparently did, erecting the aforementioned razor wire after a questionable election. They apparently expected a Second Civil War, and perhaps even the death of millions. But the American public refused to be so stupid.

How did the American public remain calm and sane? I don’t know. They just did it. Whatever the opposite of stupid is, that was what they were, and I think their sanity has made a mess of the plans of some who thought the public was boorish and predictable. All attempts to control the public like sheep went astray, because people are not sheep. Powerful people discovered they are not the only power, and that apparently some other Power is in control.

What Power might this be? Truth. It stands on Its own, and no amount of propaganda can alter It. The powerful fear It, and can attempt to quell It with things such as a “Disinformation Governance Board”, but such efforts are like shouting at the wind. Truth cannot help but be true, and facing this almighty Truth is part of the “risk” we need to face if we are to achieve “security.”

And with that I return with a thump to the truth about sea-ice.

I’ll begin by discussing the increase in sea-ice volume, which has been impressive. Here is a chart from my Post of sixteen months ago, showing that at the start of 2021 the sea-ice volume was at the very bottom of recent years, at roughly 17,000 cubic kilometers on January 1.

Now compare that with the same chart from this year, which shows that….hey! Wait a cotton-picking minute! What did they do to the 2021 figures? Rather than showing 2021 began with a volume of 17 cubic kilometers they are now showing it as 14.8! (Turquoise line.)

Now how do you suppose they misplaced 2.2 thousand square kilometers of sea-ice like that? Even a single square kilometer is no small thing, and nothing you’d ever be likely to see slip away behind your living room couch cushions. Yet the Danish meteorological service managed to lose 2,200 of them? Amazing.

The “adjustment” obviously came after the fact, because, if the volume had been reported at 14.8 thousand km3 in January of 2021, you can bet there would have been a wild uproar among Alarmists, as it would have verified their dire predictions that sea-ice was dwindling away. As it was, even at 17.0 thousand km3 the total was close enough to “lowest ever” to generate some interest among Alarmists, but, as the year progressed, interest faded, for the 2021 volume climbed with remarkable rapidity, rising through the ranks until it was above all recent years and even approaching the gray line which represents the mean, and then, just before that 2021 volume became “above normal” for the first time in a long time, the “adjustment” was mysteriously made, and 2.2 thousand km3 of sea-ice mysteriously vanished, not merely at that time (which might have produced a suspicious down-jag on the graph) but including the past as well.

I have never heard any explanation of how this “adjustment” came to pass. Perhaps there is an explanation based on some error made in the observations, starting back in 2019. But the real explanation may sadly be that having sea-ice be “above normal” simply didn’t fit the political narrative. Then maybe, just maybe, the scientists at DMI faced an angry bureaucrat who stormed in and demanded they “fix” their graph. I know such a response sounds absurd (to some), but such things can happen when socialism goes awry.

When I was a boy, my father was a surgeon at the Massachusetts General Hospital, which at that time led the world in terms of many medical advancements. The hospital freely shared its advancements with doctors from other lands, even (because science was supposedly above politics) with our political foes behind the Iron Curtain. Due to this generous policy a doctor from communist Poland visited at some point, and one evening he came to our house in the suburbs for dinner. After dinner he sipped an Old Fashioned or three with my father in our comfortable Library. He mentioned he found America’s generosity and openness remarkable, and said he was not able to be so open in Poland.

Because my Dad had a insatiable curiosity, which at times approached rudeness, and because the Polish doctor had been plied with liquor, the Polish doctor eventually did open up and did confess what it was like to be a scientist in a nation where the bureaucrats held the power in hospitals.

He said the bureaucrats would bully and bluster about the most absurd and unscientific things, and he had to simply nod and smile. For example, he should not call a red corpuscle “diseased” because that made red, the color of communism, look bad, and therefore he must change the wording of his report and state the red corpuscle was exposed to “counterrevolutionary factors”. And that was on the better days, when the bureaucrats were at least making a pathetic attempt to look like reason prompted them; on the worst days they were just throwing their weight around.

At times the poor Polish doctor found it very hard to smile and nod. He felt like either bursting into crazed laughter, or else strangling the bureaucrat on the spot, but, for his wife and children’s sake, and for the preservation of his job and life, he smiled and nodded, and looked up towards a cleft in the molding which ran about the edge of the ceiling in his office. Unbeknownst to the bureaucrat, the doctor had placed a tiny crucifix up there, and it calmed him to think Christ was looking down at him, and also down at the bureaucrat, as he suffered.

As he heard this tale my Dad looked baffled. It made no sense to him. How could people who knew nothing about medicine walk into hospitals and boss doctors around? The Polish doctor looked at him and smiled a gentle smile, and simply said that’s how it was in Poland: The communists ruled, and you had better obey, or else.

It sad to think of the same dynamic appearing in the Danish Meteorological Institute, and of science being vetoed by politics. Science always gets the short end of the stick, in such situations. In fact, science can even cease to be science, as was the case in Russia with Lysenko.

Of course, just because you disappear 2,200 km3 of sea-ice on a graph, it doesn’t disappear in reality, in the Arctic Ocean. Or…well…perhaps a few square inches are melted by the heated balderdash of political hot air…but satellite views didn’t show the abrupt disappearance of 2,200 km3. Nor did the NRL (Naval Research Lab) thickness map. There did seem to be a thinning of sea-ice in the modeled DMI map, on the Russian side of the Pole, which would make sense, for if your model disappears so much ice the tweaking of data should also appear in the model’s thickness maps. However, the steady growth of the sea-ice’s volume couldn’t be entirely denied, and continued, and a comparison with the 2021 line with the 2022 line shows a current increase of what appears to be more than the 2,200 km3 that was subtracted, (which suggests the bureaucrats might have to again beat down the data).

This divergence between what it politically correct and what is scientifically correct is bound to lead to embarrassments. Increased volume of sea-ice may not be politically correct, but, should the Danish fishing fleet run into some of that thicker sea-ice, survival is at stake, and reality throws political correctness right out the window. Should calamity ensue, then there is a mad scramble among bureaucrats to find a scapegoat, and sadly they all too often do not face the Truth and blame themselves, but rather find some poor professor or scientist to serve as their scapegoat.

This only makes the divergence worse, and the calamities worse, until it becomes impossible to avoid the facts. (For example, though Lysenko’s bizarre genetics were politically correct, and pleased Stalin, Russia’s wheat crops suffered, and people went hungry. This was embarrassing because the United States held genetic theories which were shamefully incorrect, in Russia’s view, but America produced bumper crops. Eventually pragmatic bureaucrats in Russia decided they’d like to have bumper crops too, and suddenly Lysenko slipped from favor.)

One of the oddest aspects of the divergence between political correctness and scientific correctness is how the politically correct insist they are avoiding calamity when they cause it. After all, the very label “Alarmist” indicates people are alarmed about a catastrophe they imagine they foresee and seek to avoid. However, their way of avoiding the catastrophe is to often to leap to a conclusion, and then ban all further discussion.

The sort of erroneous conclusions one can leap to can be found in Paul Ehrlich’s book “The Population Bomb”, which was a best-seller in 1970, when I was a senior in high school, and which influenced the way many of my generation thought. It contained the idea that the planet’s resources were limited, and once the world’s population passed three billion there would not be enough food (and other resources) to go around. He predicted terrible famines. He most definitely did not predict that a major problem, as the world’s population passed seven billion, would be obesity.

Ehrlich’s attitudes are basically Malthusian, and doubt the ability man has to solve problems, when man simply faces the Truth and studies Truth. In a sense it belittles Truth and mocks all who get down on their knees before Truth, seeking an answer, and indeed such pessimism is automatically a sort of Atheism even if you attend Mass. It assumes Creation is cruel, and Truth is cruel, and there are no answers. However, the Truth is benevolent and does supply humble seekers with answers, which people tend to call “ingenuity”.

For example, thousands of years ago it was seeming like the Bronze Age was going to have to end, because in order to harden copper and create bronze you needed to add tin, but the tin mines were running out of tin. According to Mathus and Ehrlich, progress had reached a high point and the only course of action was retreat. However, some scientist back then went forward, not backward, and an entirely new metallurgy, a new process of turning iron ore into iron, began, and stunned the status quo and began the Iron Age. IE: “Ingenuity” manifested.

There is an interesting incident in the Bible from around this time, where the Jews had gotten lazy and forgotten to pursue the Truth, while the Philistines, in a less devout way, had pursued the Truth. The result was that the Hebrews got their butts kicked in battle after battle. The deciding factor seemed to be that the Israelites had swords of soft metal while the Philistines fought with new-fangled iron. (I imagine it can be discouraging in a swordfight to have your foe cut your sword’s end off, as if you fought with a stalk of celery.) But what gave the Philistines this advantage? Was it not because they had pursued Truth, albeit secular and scientific Truth, with a zeal that brought them into the Iron Age whilst that lazy generation of Jews dawdled back in the Bronze Age? (Spoiler Alert: After getting their butts kicked clear up into the hills, the Jews got down on their knees and apologized to Truth for skipping church for…um…well… decades, and Truth then enabled them (in a way I can’t explain in a secular, scientific manner), to create a “thundering sound” which so demoralized the Philistines that they turned tail and ran clear back to the sea, when the Israelites came charging down from the hills.)

To me it seems history shows us adversity is not a problem which cannot be solved, and in fact Truth enables us to overcome adversity. It is therefore wrong to see adversity as an iron-clad fact which cannot be opposed. It is not wrong to see adversity, and to face adversity, nor is it wrong to be alarmed about adversity, but it is wrong to call adversity almighty.

In like manner, when Ehrlich wrote “The Population Bomb” he gloomily foresaw the world running out of farmland. He could see only famine lay ahead. He didn’t foresee the ingenuity of “Green Revolution” scientists, such as Norman Borlaug. Simply by developing a semi-dwarf, high-yield, disease-resistant variety of wheat, it is estimated Norman Borlaug saved a billion people from starvation.

It is interesting to compare the two men. In “The Population Bomb” Ehrlich proposed castrating the men of India and Pakistan, to lower populations. Meanwhile Borlaug enabled the men of India and Pakistan to double their wheat production. Basically, it is the difference between a can’t-do and a can-do attitude.

I assert Truth is a can-do reality. If you don’t repress Free Speech, and embrace civil debate, answers can always be found to impossible-seeming problems.

For example, once upon a time lamps were lit by whale oil, but the supply of whales was running low. What to do? Return to smokey, tallow candles made of lamb’s fat? Or dig wells and look for what made the dirt of Pennsylvania so oily? Or, for another example, when I was a teenager Ehrlich stated it was a scientific fact we would reach “peak oil” by 1980. What to do? Return to “sustainable” wood? (Which is what I did.) Or use ingenuity? (“Fracking” had already been invented, but few dreamed of its potential.) Lastly, as a final example, if we actually did run out of fossil fuels, technology has produced small nuclear reactors for ships, and technology could further this science and create thorium reactors so small (and incapable of meltdowns) that every town and indeed even every neighborhood might have one, which would greatly reduce the need for power lines, as well as the ugly and environmentally-damaging eyesores created by solar and wind “farms.”

After fifty years of doom and gloom it has occurred to me that nothing in Creation is truly “sustainable”, because Creation always changes; Creation is more like a kaleidoscope than like a stagnation. The very concept of “sustainability” is a mentality like treading water; it goes nowhere. “Sustainability” seeks to find a sort of equipoise which avoids the challenges of life; it quails from change and flinches from Free Speech; it clings to tenure, to the status quo of an Ivory Tower, and dislikes the pitching decks and salty spray of “risk”.

It seems to me the only truly sustainable thing seen over the past fifty years has been Ehrlich himself. On the half-century anniversary of Earth Day (Lenin’s Birthday) he still insisted, at age 87, that his forecasts were correct, (only just delayed a little-bitty bit). The Green Revolution was not sustainable, and we still are going to all starve. (And if people insisted upon being too ingenious and resourceful and refused to starve, President Biden would have to step in and legislate the starvation.) (No; that’s sarcasm; Ehrlich didn’t say that.)

Perhaps the saddest part of the divergence between political correctness and scientific correctness is the beauty which is not seen, when Truth is censored. As John Keats concluded 200 years ago:

‘Beauty is truth, truth beauty,—that is all
Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.’

Keats, who himself would die at age 26, was well aware much in life is unsustainable and perishable, but while looking at an artifact two-thousand-years old, a Grecian vase created by a forgotten potter, he glimpsed something lasting. He called it Beauty and Truth.

That beauty is not merely in poetry, which some hard-nosed people call prissy, but also in the cold science of sea-ice. There is much to learn, but political correctness is so defensive, and so protective of its narrative, that anything outside of its preconceptions is seen as a wrench-in-the-works of progressive thought, an obstacle which must be removed.

Therefore, not only must be the increase in the volume of sea-ice be subtracted from volume graphs, but anything other than atmospheric CO2, which adds or subtracts from that volume of sea-ice, must also be denied attention. This includes some very cool stuff. For example, it includes amazing volcanoes two miles down on the Gakkel Ridge, on the floor of the Arctic Sea.

These volcanoes are fascinating because they are able to explosively erupt, leaving large craters, (including one of the largest super-volcano craters on earth), down so deep in the ocean that pressures are extreme. Indeed pressures are so extreme two miles down that CO2 exists in a liquid form, and the boiling point of water is increased by 350 degrees Celsius. There was some debate as to whether lava could do more than ooze from fissures, under such extreme pressure, for it seemed difficult to generate the gasses needed for explosive eruptions, but the curiosity of scientists in 1999, concerning a swarm of earthquakes in the Gakkel Ridge area, led to research which ended that particular debate around 2007.

Modern, submersible vessels were able to descend to great depth and investigate the area of 1999 earthquakes, and they discovered shards of pyroclastic deposits spread out over nearly four square miles. For an eruption to spread fragments, when the fragments must travel through dense water and not thin air, filled the scientists with awe. Various theories about the gases involved in such a blast were proposed, and one scientist (WHOI geophysicist Rob Reves-Sohn, chief scientist of the 2007 expedition) ventured, “This means that a tremendous blast of carbon dioxide was released into the water column during the explosive eruption.”

 And then? And then, in my imagination, a bureaucrat came rushing into the room shaking his finger and scolding, “You are spoiling the narrative! Don’t go there!” I imagine this because, after a flurry of articles in 2008, a dead silence fell. Why? Well, I suppose it can be imagined that the volcanoes would be a sort of wrench-in-the-works, because they both created CO2 in a way that did not involve fossil fuels, but also melted sea-ice in a manner that did not involve fossil fuels. So, we were left with a nearly forgotten map of three undersea volcanoes named Odin, Thor and Loke, and a dearth of follow-up research.

Bathymetrische Karte vom Gakkel-Rücken

The lack of follow-up was noticable to me because my curiosity had been piqued by the original event, and the flurry of debate it sponsored. For example, here is a blog-posting from 2008 where a gentleman states a volcano the size of Mount Saint Helens would only melt 300 km3 of ice, and make little difference to the big picture:

Back in those good, old days there were of course many counter arguments, and Free Speech sponsored lots of healthy debate which included observations and insights which intrigued me. I was alerted to other earthquake swarms in the area, and occasional holes that appeared in the sea-ice over Gakkel Ridge for a day or two, over the ensuing fourteen years, but there was never any further follow-up by the scientific community. Discussion only occurred in the comments-sections of websites, and the websites which encouraged such exchanges tended to suffer from shadow-banning and fade towards obscurity. However, the arctic does what the arctic will do regardless of censorship, and last summer a hole appeared over Gammel Ridge and lasted a lot longer than a few days. It lasted weeks, and didn’t move as the ice moved, but rather seemed to be bored, as if from a laser beam of heat, from somewhere beneath

This phenomenon was particularly interesting to me because it didn’t facilitate a decrease in the volume of the sea-ice, but rather seemed to be conjunct with an increase. This forced me to put my thinking-cap on.

One hypothesis I arrived at was that such an upwelling of water would completely derange the currents of that area. This is especially true when you consider it is an area where water ordinarily is cooling and sinking. Because the water sinks it must be replaced by water moving in from the side, at the surface, and one main supplier of surface water in that area is a northernmost tendril of the Gulf Stream called the WSC (West Spitsbergen Current), which flows north through the east side of Fram Strait. Interestingly, the WSC seemed to lose a lot of its impetus last spring, as the hole appeared above Gakkel Ridge. It only returned to its ordinary flow when the evidence of a warm upwelling faded away. I hypothesized the ordinary themohaline circulation had been deranged by the volcanic upwelling.

Another derangement would involve the freshwater lens, which ordinarily protects the sea-ice from below. This protection is provided because the water, though colder than the water beneath, is more buoyant, partly because fresh water is more buoyant than salt water, and also because, (if the fresh water is truly fresh and not merely brackish), it has a quality which saltwater lacks: Namely, very cold fresh water, close to freezing, adopts the ice-like quality of floating above less-cold water. These two qualities allow the sea-ice to avoid both warmth and salt which otherwise would melt it. However a plume of saltier and slightly warmer brine rising from beneath would hit the bottom of the sea-ice and flatten out like the top of a thunderhead, effective sweeping the protective freshwater-lens from a large area. And indeed, to my eyes, the sea-ice to the south and east of the Gakkel Ridge hole did seem to thin and melt away with unusual abruptness last summer.

So far my ideas seem to only decrease the volume of the sea-ice, but now comes the counter-intuitive ideas, which lead to increased volume.

The simplistic view is that there are two routes sea-ice can take. It can either stay up at the Pole by remaining in the Beaufort Gyre, or exit the Arctic by riding the Transpolar Drift down through Fram Strait.

The above mapping of currents seemed to fit the “narrative” back in 2007, (when there were actual scientists writing the narrative, and, if bureaucrats were involved, they largely stayed in the background). The Transpolar Drift flushed an extraordinary amount of sea-ice south in 2007, setting a modern-time record for low extent (though I would argue a greater flushing led to sea-ice beaching in Ireland in 1817, and whalers reporting waters were open north of Greenland). (There may not be satellite records for 1817 but there are plenty of written records.)

The Beaufort Gyre was said to hold, spiraled-in and mounded-up at its center, something like 10% of the arctic’s freshwater, injected by rivers and creating a vast Freshwater lens to protect the sea-ice. However, to perpetuate the gyre a clockwise high pressure was required above it, and some Alarmists theorized Global Warming would position a low pressure over the area, reversing the spin, and consequently allowing the Freshwater Lens to slosh outwards and perhaps even gush south into the Atlantic, creating theoretical disasters by halting the Gulf Stream, among other things. This was all very interesting stuff, in terms of Freedom of Speech and honest debate, and so everyone chimed in with what we should expect to see, to prove the theory, and what might disprove the theory.

For whatever reason, (not necessarily Global Warming) there did seem to be an increase in gales over high latitudes, and in August of 2012 a monster gale seemed to affirm many Alarmist ideas, for it so churned the sea-ice that it mixed the cold Freshwater Lens in the Beaufort Gyre with warmer and saltier water beneath, resulting in an amazing melt of the sea-ice above, and even less sea-ice in the arctic as a whole in 2012 than in 2007. A new record low extent was set.

At this point things began to go awry, in terms of the Alarmist narrative, because rather than continuing to shrink, sea-ice levels bounded back unexpectedly. Personally, I think it was because the 2012 storm not only wiped out the Beaufort Gyre Freshwater Lens, but it also wiped out the layer of warmer and saltier water under that lens. With that layer of warmer and saltier water erased, when another huge gale formed over the same spot in 2013, the sea-ice was tossed to and fro but hardly melted at all. I personally was astounded. The lack of melting was in some ways as astounding as the increased melting had been the year before.

I think it was at this point, nearly a decade ago, that I first started to see the bureaucrats get impatient with the science. There were some goodly scientists who had a certain bias towards the Alarmist beliefs who had no concept of an Alarmist agenda. They just loved the subject and were as astounded as I was by the amazing variability which Truth was showing us, and who were as eager as I was to debate what the Truth might be showing us. But these scientists became strangely absent in press releases. Increasingly the “authorities” dismissed the really cool and astounding stuff. They preferred to stick to the stuffy subject which was their narrative.

The narrative liked the simplistic Wikipedia presentation of a complex situation.

Brn-Bld, CC BY-SA 3.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

In actual fact Truth is not so simple. The Russians, (who had far more experience, when it came to the movement of sea-ice, for they had actually built floating bases on the ice for decades before the satellite era), had noticed drifts other than the Transpolar Drift. While usually their bases took the route of Nansen’s Fram, basically from the New Siberian Islands to Fram Strait, occasionally their bases would head straight for Canada, which Russia found uncomfortable and embarrassing, for reasons pertaining to the Cold War. In essence, during those unusual circumstances, the Beaufort Gyre expanded right to the New Siberian Islands, temporarily erasing the Transpolar Drift, and sucked all sea-ice towards Canada. (Here is my simplified map of such an event:)

Of course, sea-ice does not move in a straight (or curved) line like this. The above just shows the sum total of a great deal of erratically shifting sea-ice. I highly recommend the NRL 365-day-animation of sea-ice-thickness, if you want to gain a true idea of how sea-ice pulsates like an ameba, with surges like a heartbeat’s. But the sum total showed a sort of opposite to 2007. Where in 2007 a lot of sea-ice was flushed from the Arctic down into the Atlantic, in 2021 a lot of sea-ice was kept in the arctic, as it was shoved across the Pole towards a collision with sea-ice already in place towards Canada. The net result was that the sea-ice in the Central Arctic thickened and the Volume Graph showed an increase, when compared to prior years.

The question then becomes, could this shift in the movement of sea-ice have anything to do with the derangement of currents caused by the apparent eruption on the Gakkel Ridge?

I confess my bias, which thinks there is some linkage. But I also sorely miss the good old days, when I could confess my bias with people who were as interested as I was (and am), but who were biased differently. They always came armed with insights and observations which added to my knowledge, and often supplied me with links to papers and articles I’d never before read. Just as two eyes possess a depth perception which a myopic cyclops can’t even imagine, I always found the views of others deepened my understanding in a way the shallow cannot concieve.

For a final example, one beauty of those days was that the people handing out the money were apparently convinced Global Warming was established fact and that the scientists they sponsored would only verify what was a foregone conclusion. Many scientists tried very hard to please their patrons and developed a refined and, in some ways, laughable skill at making the final paragraphs of their papers make it sound like what they had discovered verified Global Warming, even when in fact their discoveries were a wrench-in-the-works.

A lot of their work was dangerous and grueling, for it involved working on shifting, grinding sea-ice in the general vicinity of 1500 pound man-eating bears. In the glaring sunlight of summer, they could suffer sunburn and frostbite on the same day, with some snow-blindness thrown in on the side. But, due to the flood of money supplied, they were able to bore holes in the ice and take measurements at various depths under the water and to travel in icebreakers to put in place entire arrays of buoys, all of which gathered wonderful data never before seen by man.

One fabulous amount of work traced the movement of Atlantic water into the Arctic Sea through Fram Strait, and followed it through various branchings, and shifts in depth, all around the Arctic Sea until it exited, on the far side of Fram Strait. This beautiful work was briefly accepted as if currents were riven on stone, but the next summer, to the dismay of some, the hard-working scientists discovered currents wander and meander. In fact maps of such currents may be much like a map of upper air jet streams: As honest and truthful as they may be on a Monday, things may be very different by Friday.

Such variances and subtleties are par for the course for an honest student of Truth, who is accustomed to facing wonder, but for a patron expecting proof of a foregone conclusion such honesty is annoying, and a good reason to invest money elsewhere. (Where there was the money for something like eight buoys-with-cameras bobbing about the Pole in 2012, now there are none.)

At this point it is helpful to look back in history (for the last time, I promice you.)

The ground-level meteorologists had to struggle even to create ground-level maps, back when they first formed into a weather bureau at the time of the Civil War. However even in the 1860’s, when only connected with telegraph, they were well aware a whole world of weather lay above them. They could see what sea-captains saw: That the high clouds moved differently from the low scud. They longed for inventions such as weather balloons, perhaps thinking they might achieve perfection in their forecasts with more data. Rather than perfection they tended to discover greater complexity, and increasing numbers of variables, which either depressed them deeply, or else filled them with wonder. Even the relatively recent adoption of Doppler Radar failed to live up to its promise, for rather than seeing thunderstorms as simple entities which it was easy to track, it reveled complex combinations of updrafts and downdrafts which could allow intense areas of storminess pop up and then swiftly vanish, making forecasting like the game of “whack-a-mole”.

In a sense sea-ice scientists area going through a similar period as upper-air meteorologists went through in the 1860’s, only they are looking down towards the depths rather than up to the firmament. Just as it must have been hard for scientists in the 1860’s to find people to fund research of the upper atmosphere, it is hard for sea-ice scientists to find people who will fund research of the deeps. For example, brilliant scientists like William Gray spent decades attempting to get the government of the United States to research thermohaline circulation, but was stonewalled by politicians like Al Gore, who deemed William Gray a wrench-in-the-works.

I think one thing that has recently made actual research look bad was the simple fact research made models look bad. After all, models are based on the hard facts produced by prior research, and when actual research amends prior research, then the models are based on bunkum. There is no evil intent in this ruination. It simply shows a weakness in the models. After all, if the models are based on Monday’s jet-stream, and are not tweaked to understand the jet-stream will be different by Friday (as atmospheric models actually are) then the model will be doomed to failure.

The fact of the matter is that the makers-of-models should welcome actual research, for it offers them an opportunity to tweak their models and make them better. Sadly, some makers-of-models failed to see things in this manner. They were as eager for funding as actual researchers were, and I fear at times they resented any who made their models look imperfect and threatened their funding, which made them see the Truth gleaned by actual research as a critic and as a threat. Because these computer geeks apparently had more political clout, a situation arose where computer models created by geeks (who had never stepped onto sea-ice in their life) got more funding than the actual researchers (who had). In cases where the computers were gigantic and even more expensive than actual arctic expeditions, the millions spent learned more about computers than about sea-ice.

Perhaps the last hurrah of actual research was the MOSAiC expedition, which parked Northstern in the Sea-ice in September of 2019 to drift roughly the same route Nansen did in the Fram. The leader was full of political savvy, and did a fine job of making the show politically correct, even as his underlings discovered wonder after wonder which were not.

For example, the Northstern in 2019 drifted faster than the Fram did in 1893, and this enabled the leader to announce that this proved Global Warming had made the sea-ice thinner and “more fluid and therefore faster”. I think this definately scored him points in the political circus, (which is too dense to see that, if the Northstern had set sail in September of 2020, it would have realized Nansen’s dream by drifting right across the Pole, but by now might be in serious trouble, jammed in thick ice somewhere north of the Canadian Archipelago.) But I admire the MOSAiC leader for he allowed his scurvy crew to gather all sorts of actual data, much of which was beautiful and wonderful and so unexpected it not only upset the conventions computer models are based upon, but the preconceptions my own ideas are based upon.

Coolest was the appearance of a seal chasing arctic cod in a deep camera’s video, in the dead of winter. It is theoretically impossible for a seal to even be there, for seals need to breath air, and theoretically the sea in January is lidded by thick ice. Of course, it is also was recently theoretically impossible for the cod to be there, as only twenty years ago it was a “scientific fact” that the Arctic Ocean was a sterile and basically lifeless desert, away from its shores. The MOSAiC expedition proved the underside of ice, like the underside of a ship far at sea, attracts all sorts of life, including long festoons of algae, and this under-ice ecology makes the Arctic Sea the richest and most-alive ocean, (away from shorelines), on earth.

Also very cool was their discovery of turbulence in the supposedly calm waters under the sea-ice. This likely wrecked some computer models by wrecking the assumptions of calm plugged into such models. Yet what they saw was so obvious I slapped my own forehead for not seeing it myself, earlier.

The turbulence was based upon the simple fact that nine tenth of an iceberg is underwater, and therefore where a satellite shows a fifty-mile-long pressure ridge, ten feet tall, there must be a fifty-mile-long keel to that pressure ridge, sticking ninety feet down. And when winter gales hit that fifty-mile-long sail sticking up at a perpendicular angle, the area of ice is pushed by that gigantic sail, and the ninety-foot-deep keel of that gigantic ship moves sideways. The keel becomes like the blade of an unimaginably big spoon, stirring the water it moves through. This reality made utter mincemeat of the idea I held, which was that the waters under the ice were quiet and calm, because the ice protected those waters from the wind.

Formerly I imagined the only source for turbulence would involve waters becoming open, or at least open enough to allow the wind to create waves. But this created a problem at times, for a wave on the surface doesn’t stir water below it all that deeply. I noted submarines could avoid the waves of a gale by traveling only a hundred feet below the surface. The energy of waves twenty feet tall diminishes rapidly beneath the churned surface, and the “wavebase”, (which is a point where waves do not even stir the sediment on the sea bottom beneath) is roughly half the distance between two waves.

This caused me troubles in my back-of-an-envelope calculations regarding the 2012 gale, because the sea-ice melt seemed to require more turbulence than waves could generate. This trouble occurred because that melt truly did employ more turbulence than waves could generate, in and of themselves.

What a dope I was. I should have remembered the “keels”, for the submarine skippers I liked to refer to often mentioned keels of surprising size below the largest pressure ridges, and how American and Russian submarines would use such down-thrusting keels to hide behind, when playing Cold War games of hide and seek.

Now it is blindingly obvious such keels, thrusting down sometimes over a hundred feet, are able to stir waters surface waves can’t even touch. This explains a lot about the 2012 gale, especially the early stages where there was still a lot of sea-ice. It was not the waves of open water which so stirred the undersea that the Beaufort Gyre Freshwater Lens was basically destroyed due to being turbulently mixed with warmer and salter water beneath. Rather it was giant “spoons” stirring the sea. Considering the blades of these spoons were at least at a depth of ninety feet, one concludes the agitation was starting there and extending some distance below.

Besides exposing sea-ice to salt and warmth in the 2012 gale, and leading to that summer’s astonishingly swift melt, it also can be seen such “big spoons” would disturb the carefully calculated and painstakingly measured currents under the sea-ice. Nature seemingly has no regard for the hard work of scientists. Scientists can risk the wrath of 1500 pound bears researching and mapping currents in 2011, and with the whim of a single storm all that research is rendered obsolete, and further research is needed.

It also can be seen that when computer models depend on hard data, they can, and in fact must, become unreliable when the hard data gets mushy. This is not a disgrace for either the researchers gathering the hard data, nor the computer modelers utilizing the hard data, for neither has been dishonest. They have merely assumed things were less variable than things are. Corrections are needed and further funding is needed for further research.

In terms of the jet streams of the upper atmosphere, and the research done since the first attempts to map the weather after the Civil War, there have been many advancements, and each advancement involved the abandonment of prior assumptions. This is no disgrace upon the early meteorologists. The upper air maps created in the 1880’s are amazing, when you consider the fact the first weather balloon never set sail until 1892 in France, and the earlier meteorologists had to depend on kites which couldn’t fly when winds were too weak (or too strong) and couldn’t ascend above roughly a mile and a half (3 km). Much was assessed by men with craggy eyebrows simply squinting heavenwards and gauging the speed and movement of the highest cirrus, in the manner of sea-captains and shepherds millennium into the past. Yet there was always the desire to get better data, and somehow the meteorologists eager to learn were always able to scrounge up funding and find patrons.

Apparently, the patrons of yore didn’t mind when new discoveries made shambles of old ideas. Perhaps they were warmed by the glow of being part of a discovery, or perhaps they were more demanding and wanted a better product, a better forecast, and, as imperfect as forecasts always are (and likely always will be), there can be no doubt that (in my lifetime) they are improved.

I am often amazed when the vast learning of decades of research is compressed into a computer model, and that model sees a storm five days in the future I cannot see in the current maps. However, the same computer will over and over create a hurricane in the fifteen-day-maps, and, when that hurricane over and over never appears, it is called a “glitch” of that particular model. It is a “bug” that needs to be worked out, and a reason for further funding. There remains plenty of room for wonder, and for admission of error.

However, for the patron who expected proof of a foregone conclusion, the only wonder felt is a wonder whether he is wasting his money. He doesn’t like “admission of error” nor feel the new data is “cool”, in the manner I do. He only feels it is cool because his approval cools. When he spends his money he expects results, and he does not approve of Truth when it counters what he wants.

How sad. Such a person cannot see Truth is Beauty, and only desires the verification of a preconception. It is particularly pitiful when the preconception was incorrect. Yet some believe what is incorrect is to their advantage, and feel untruthfulness is “politically correct”, and even desire to cancel any who threaten their preconception, even if their preconception is a baseless infatuation. For this reason they threaten scientists who depend on them for funding with an end to funding, demanding those scientists abandon Truth to arrive at the “foregone conclusion”. Even those scientists who secretly believe Truth is cool can understand it is not so cool to say so. They must nod and smile, like the doctor from communist Poland I met in my boyhood.

How am I able to call such discoveries “cool”? I suppose it is because I have a fairly good relationship with Truth. You may say this is only possible because I am not a scientist, and my livelihood isn’t threatened. I beg to differ.

I can call Truth a “wonder” when it counters what I formerly believed, (my “foregone conclusion”), because I have had to see my ideas were wrong over and over in my life. It has always been for the best, though in the short term it could get me fired. For example, I’ve learned bosses do not appreciate truthfulness when you confess you were wrong in your estimation of their integrity. They would prefer you to kiss their ass.

To some degree I must have taken this ability to confess that I’d made a mistake too far, for I managed to offend so many people I wound up sleeping in my car. Few people like being called a mistake. I would have been wiser to call them human, for no mortal is perfect unless they have achieved the level of the Christ, and few will claim they’re Christ, if you corner them. They just don’t like being called a mistake.

Having confessed that mistake I made, I should also confess a pride I felt to be sleeping in my car. You may wonder how I could feel it was “for the best”, but I truly did feel there was no other way to go. Not that I didn’t wrestle with bitterness, but it was a proud bitterness, like the bitterness of Bob Dylen’s song, “Like A Rolling Stone,” which has the strangely sane diatribe:

Ah, princess on the steeple and all the
Pretty people they’re all drinkin’, thinkin’ that they
Got it made

Exchanging all precious gifts
But you’d better take your diamond ring
You’d better pawn it, babe

You used to be so amused
At Napoleon in rags
And the language that he used
Go to him now, he calls you
You can’t refuse

When you ain’t got nothin’
You got nothin’ to lose
You’re invisible now, you got no secrets
To conceal

Actually, to comprehend the pride in the bitterness its likely best to hear the then-young man singing.

Of course, Bob Dylan’s honesty made him millions, (which likely exposed him to a whole slew of troubles only he can talk about). For most of us honesty tends to get us fired. We tend to “kiss ass” only up to a certain point, after which job-security can’t outweigh “risk”, and we stand by Truth. We are not honored with millions of dollars, but I do assert we are honored.

Why? Because if we Stand by the Truth, then Truth will stand by us. Not that we achieve some sort of euphoric nirvana, but rather we feel decent. There is a certain well-being involved in decency many wealthy, famous and powerful people know very little about.

I could go (and have gone) on at great length about my life as an artist, and how, despite short-term poverty, standing up for Truth was always for the best. But such digressions involve seeking Truth as an artist, which is a different path from seeking Truth as a scientist. In some ways I think it is easier for an artist to be a dishwasher, after telling a prior boss he will not kiss that boss’s ass. It’s not so easy for a scientist. A scientist needs his microscope in the same way the Polish doctor needed his hospital. Despite the insultingly stupid bureaucrats, they have to kiss ass longer than artists do. If they really love Truth, they suffer more than poets suffer.

Just as doctors, who love the beauty of healing, suffer when some bureaucrat makes healing harder, sea-ice scientists must suffer when some bureaucrat makes study of the variables involved in the growth and melting of sea-ice harder. The study of sea-ice is far behind the study of the upper atmosphere, and in some ways its progress and development is analogous to where the study of the upper atmosphere was when the first weather balloons were launched in 1892. It’s far harder to take soundings downward in the frigid Arctic Sea than upwards among the lovely cumulous of sunny France. But the discoveries are of Truth, and of a beauty that is never-ending.

Who in their right mind would renounce such never-ending beauty for the sallow corruption of politics? Apparently, some do, but it is only because they are ignorant and do not know what they do. They think they gain when they are missing so much that is beautiful.

The Coronavirus hysteria hit even as the Polarstern drifted, and I must admit the MOSAiC expedition did a fine job of remaining scientific under extreme pressure, but since they made it back to their home port I have seen little in the ways of true science from the arctic. Blame the conflict between Russia and Ukraine if you will, but people have greater concerns than sea-ice. (Personally, I am concerned about food prices, and despite my vow to retire from farming, have felt compelled to plant enough potatoes to keep me fed next winter.) With such concerns at the forefront, what does sea-ice matter?

And my answer is? It never mattered, in terms of daily bread. If you look back to my first sea-ice post, you will see it confesses I was avoiding the harsh reality of my life, like a schoolboy looking out the window of an Algebra Class at the beauty of clouds. Back then, in the 1960’s, that now-long-dead teacher clashed the venetian blinds closed and shook her finger at me, warning me if I didn’t attend to Algebra I would wind up as a dishwasher and sleeping in my car. And she was correct. But it was worth it.

To me, sea-ice has never been about money, but rather about beauty. The more I study the Truth involved the more beauty I see. Yet it seems the most amazing thing to me that my admiration of something so divorced from my humdrum life should matter at all to anyone but me. Why should anyone care? It is as if I was a schoolboy gazing out the window at a thunderhead as it billowed in the sky. Why should anyone else care for that cloud?

I suppose people simply like beauty. I’m not the only person who saw better things out the window than on the blackboard, in school. I’m not the only one who watched clouds in wonder. And therefore, a young punk like Bob Dylan can utter a diatribe of brutal honesty, and much to his own astonishment find himself amazingly popular. Why? Because Truth is Beauty, and in his brutal honesty there was something people found beautiful. In like manner, in my early sea-ice posts, back when I was just learning about the subject, my simple honesty abruptly gained me hundreds and sometimes thousands of “views”. But this in turn led to censorship and shadow-banning, so now I’m lucky to get fifty “views.”

It doesn’t matter much to me. I’ve never had a “tip jar” on this site and do not write for money. I write to think deeper and see deeper and, by tracing beauty, to understand beauty better. And I must admit that my study of sea-ice has allowed me to see Truth better. Not only truths about sea-ice but truths about people. I also must say that having a website is superior to writing in a diary, because feedback stimulates thought, and even the most troll-like comments have led me to treasures.

However, the censorship and shadow-banning does make me sad, for obviously some are missing the beauty I see, and the beauty that true scientists see. It forces me to contemplate what gain they imagine they could get from so much loss. It is an oxymoron. How can they gain from loss?

They can’t. And midst the current collapse of decency, which we are all experiencing, I think there may be a sort of final admission we cannot gain from loss. The bully thinks he may gain the respect he desires from bullying, but in the end always learns all he gets is disrespect, when he behaves that way. The rapist thinks he or she will draw closer to the man, woman or child he or she abuses, but ends up far from humanity. The bureaucrat thinks….(oh, who the hell knows what nonsense they think)…but they think those who don’t work should be paid by those who do. It can’t continue. We’ve been given a long rope to hang ourselves with, but even a long rope is too short when the hanging draws nigh.

What has this to do with sea-ice? Very little, and that is what it so interesting about the times we are in. In some ways there is no escape:

When I was younger, to talk about religion or politics was dangerous, but to talk about weather was safe. To talk about the weather at the North Pole was doubly safe by being far away. But little did I know, back when I first posted about using sea-ice as a personal escape in 2013, that I was not going to escape. I could not have chosen less wisely. I chose about the most dangerous topic I could have chosen.

In some ways I wish I had chosen a better escapism: Perhaps the subject of the way frogs sing in the spring, and how their populations fluctuate, and how some springs are louder as populations surge, and then how the music changes as there are variations in which populations are surging, so sometimes the shrill frogs outnumber the low strummers. Maybe that would have only gotten me ten “views”, but at least I would not be shadow banned.

In other ways I’m glad I chose the escapism I chose, despite the furor it involved me with. Why? Because it taught me how much better it is to seek Truth than to obey propaganda. The propaganda in 2022 is the same boring stuff I heard in 2008, “Sea-ice may melt this summer and woe to all of us,” but actual study has taught me so much more.

In actual fact we are infants, and our study of sea-ice is in its infancy. We fans of sea-ice are like atmospheric scientists were in the 1880s, with primitive kites measuring the upper atmosphere. But we are learning. We see more and more. Much is astounding. Much is amazing. Much is stuff we have never seen before.

For example, one way of looking at things sees only a very slow and gradual decent of warm and salty water, after it is pulled to the north. Call this the “slowly-slanting” path. But other ways of looking at things see waters dive more directly, for example when sub-zero brine is created by freezing. And waters may also arise in a “non-slowly-slanting” manner, above volcanoes in Gakkel Ridge. In other words, you must devise a computer model that has both “slowly-slanting” and also “non-slowly-slanting” currents, and the model must allow for the fact such currents are not steady, but turn on and off with seasons, and also abruptly appear due to the whims of volcanoes.

This could verge us on despair, for there are too many variables, and how the heck can one forecast volcanoes? However, another discipline of science is doing exactly this.

Initially I thought such people were whack-jobs, especially when they talked about “solar cycles”. How could anything as gentle as a sunbeam effect anything so gigantic as a Krakatoa? However, because debate was allowed, and Freedom of Speech was allowed, I was alerted to certain correlations. And yes, “correlations are not causations”, but saying, “correlation is not causation”, is no reason to ignore correlations. In fact, it gives one an area to focus upon.

One thing much debated was the effect of the “Quiet Sun”, and one thing noted about past “Quiet Suns” was that they coincided, between 10 and 20 years after their onset, with massive volcanic eruptions. For example, the ice-cores from both Greenland and Antarctica show two layers of volcanic ash, over a decade after the start of the Dalton Minimum. One is associated with the massive Tambora eruption of 1815, but geologists are uncertain where on earth the earlier, equally massive eruption occurred, around 1810. I’ll leave that wonder to the geologists, and instead attend to wondering if the Modern Minimum will have two massive eruptions. It seems a good test of the correlation but leads us to yet more wonder.

More? Yes, for there may have been two massive eruptions already, only they didn’t show their stuff where the news media could see, but two miles down in the sea. One may (or may not) have made waters unexpectedly warm east of New Zeeland in 2020, and the second may have occurred on Gakkel Ridge last spring.

Is there even more? Yes, for the sheer number of wonders steers us to another wonder, which is that, when variables are so numerous, digital computers have a weakness. They can handle “either, or” but have a harder time with the “either, or, or, or, or, or,” of many variables. This may explain why they work so well in the five-day-forecasts, but so poorly in the fifteen-day-forecasts. And this leads us to consider whether we need to invest in analog computers, which are in a way much better with variables. How so?

Well, consider this: The injection systems in our vehicles are of a digital nature, while the old-fashioned carburetors they replaced worked in a more analog manner. We may prefer the exact nature of digital devices, and prefer injection to carburetors, but a carburetor only costs a hundred dollars while an injection system costs thousands. Hmm. One might be tempted to reconsider carburetors, when dealing with “security” and “risk,” while designing a better engine. At the very least it should be debated under the auspice of Freedom of Speech.

Much of this technical stuff is above my head, (especially stuff concerning computers), and I leave such stuff for younger minds to debate. I urge them to do so, even without my attendance, and even if such debate is deemed “politically incorrect” by the internet gangsters. Form a secret underground society which allows Freedom of Speech, for all the reasons I outline in this essay. I strongly believe that, if you do so, the thing called “ingenuity” will manifest. If you seek Truth it does not matter how far apart your fields of study may seem to be: It does not matter if one has walked the sea-ice and another has never left his computer; it does not matter if one studies sea-ice and another studies lava; varied views, when they kneel before Truth, wind up spliced into a beautiful braid, and “ingenuity” manifests.

But such debate requires Freedom of Speech. The only thing worthy of censorship is censorship itself.

This well may be my last sea-ice post, but, if I am bidding adieu, I must offer a final observation of the wonders of the actual ice.

(This is just an example of me sharing an observation I find “cool.” I am not saying I am any sort of authority, but I am a viewer, and while we may not be in a cave and I may not be the only person seeing daylight, I think even trivial views matter. That has a ring to it: “Trivial Views Matter.” (TVM) (Send funds.))

The wonder I’ll share has to do with a quirk in the “extent” graph which occurred at the end of January.

Back around 2005 such quirks were great fun, for back then Skeptic and Alarmists were like cheerleaders rooting their team, and when a graph quirked up like this the Skeptics would cheer wildly, but when it plunged the Skeptics would chew garlic as the Alarmists all went crazy with elation. Everyone was so wet-behind-the-ears back then that the line on the graph was all they attended to, but Freedom of Speech and debate made both Skeptics and Alarmists wiser, as they eventually sought the reason for the quirk.

Yowza! what a storm! Check out the central pressure. It’s below 940 mb, or 27.70 inches of mercury. Few hurricanes or typhoons ever get so low. When they do, (for example the Labor Day hurricane of 1935 dropped at least to 26.34) they have unbelievable power, (the 1935 hurricane blew locomotives off the rails.) It is fortunate the super-storms of the arctic effect so few people, but they do effect sea-ice.

The initial advancement in the intelligence of both Alarmists and Skeptics involved the birth of an awareness that sea-ice “extent” was at times like an accordion. The accordion can stretch out or squeeze shut, but it is the same accordion. “Extent” can rise and fall utilizing the exact same amount of ice. This prompted increased interest in both “area” graphs and “volume” graphs, which are far harder to create and involve guesswork that has difficulties withstanding harsh criticism. However, the advancement continued.

One thing apparent was that when the “accordian” of sea-ice spread out, it created areas of open water (visible even in winter darkness with infrared satellite imaging.) Open water in the dead of win ter initially produced wild cheering from the Alarmist cheerleaders. Further cheering was heard because open water immediately spiked surface temperatures. However, debate followed and both Alarmists and Skeptics learned more and more.

For one thing, the infrared imaging showed the open water nearly instantly froze over. Within hours there was sea-ice thick enough for 1500 pound bears to gingerly walk across, but such ice could not withstand the pressures created when gales shifted winds and the “accordion” squeezed shut. Then rather than a wide area of open water turning into smooth “baby ice” there was a narrow pressure ridge of crushed, mangled and jumbled sea-ice. (In fact the NRL animation shows even the area of thin ice created over Gakkel Ridge last spring became an area of thick, jumbled sea-ice, thiker than other nearby ice, only a few months later.) This awareness produced a wonderful contradiction leading to wonderful debates between Alarmists and Skeptics. Contradiction? Yes, for open water had led to thicker ice.

A final topic for debate was the fact that open water was not always a sign of warmer water, but sometimes a sign of chilling water. In fact, polynyas of open water, when blasted by midwinter cold, disturbed “slowly slanting” currents with downward-moving spikes of brine extracted from the swiftly freezing salt water, creating what some droll person in Antarctica dubbed “brinicles.”

Cool, aye? But the point is that, if there is no sea-bottom to halt the “brinicle”, it jabs straight down as a “non-slowly-slanting” current and makes modelling all the more challenging.

But my point is not that the challenge may make one want to fling their hands up in despair. My point is what fun it was back in the day when Alarmists and Skeptics had the Liberty of Freedom of Speech. Even when on opposing sides of a debate we in a sense were all on the same team, for we were all engrossed in the same Truth. In a sense there was the eagerness of children without the childishness of children. There was an eagerness to see the next discovery, without the childish demand that one get-the-credit for making the discovery. Getting-the-credit was in some ways out of the question, like taking-the-credit for a sunrise.

Of course, such fun had to be paid for, which introduced the topic of funding, which was quite a different matter. It was then people had to adopt attitudes and take credit for sunrises they didn’t create, and wear white lab coats, and make authorative statements about unproven hypotheses with a raised index finger, because some bureaucrat wanted that hypothesis stated as an established fact. In other words, the rot set in.

My point is that, once you abandon the joy of Liberty, it is as if one denies themselves the vast scope of thought which accepts wonder, and for what? For a mere myopia. One becomes like a cart horse wearing blinders, only able to see a narrow lane ahead. Not only does this pinch a person’s horizon down to a dot, but it denies the process that occurs when many views are involved, which results in “ingenuity”, and in solutions to problems which seemed insolvable.

Such a grievous loss is worthy of our grief. It should be nothing anyone desires. Any who see differing views as merely a wrench-in-the-works, worth the harsh treatment of Cancel Culture, needs to be gently reminded what they are in fact losing when they resort to such behavior. (People think differently if they see they lose more than they gain.) Even though the actual wrench-in-the-works of free discourse may be the Cancellers themselves, their view needs to be respected and they need to be gently persuaded to step from greater ignorance to lesser ignorance. For all are ignorant in some way. What matters is how civil we are about it.

Perhaps the best response is to simply defy censorship and form groups of thinkers who understand the joy of free thought, and to have a good time enjoying the Liberty of Freedom of Speech. Onlookers cannot help but notice the aura of light, and be drawn in. Furthermore, Truth benefits those who bow before It and honor It. And if you haven’t seen this for yourself yet, you’ll just have to take my word for it: If you stand by the Truth then Truth will stand by you.

ARCTIC SEA ICE –Arguments For Reversing Currents–

Here is a nice, current example of the Beaufort Gyre reduced and the Transpolar Drift enhanced, leading to sea-ice being flushed down through Fram Strait, which is occurring today, (January 3).

It is important to remember the motion of sea-ice is in constant flux and varies from day to day. For example, only a few days ago the condition was reversed, and it was the Beaufort Gyre that was greatly expanded, to a degree the Transpolar Drift was erased and replaced by what I call the “Cold War Current” (because this variance from ordinary currents would cause Russian “spy” ice-bases to drift from locations easily resupplied from Russia, and away towards Canada, leading to spy vs. spy shenanigans; [see CIA operation “Coldfeet” in 1962].) (For the opposite situation, wherein a USA “spy” satellite fell on sea-ice where Russians might get at it, see the fate of the satellite Discover 2 in 1959, [which prompted the movie “Ice Station Zebra” in 1969].) Here is an example of that “Cold War Current” from December 29:

The fact that the sea-ice is whipped first one way and then another, first speeding up and then slowing down, is the reason the sea-ice surface is twisted and contorted into piled-up pressure ridges separated by flat areas of thinner ice, where “leads” of open water have swiftly refrozen in the Arctic night. However, notice that in both of the above maps the sea-ice is heading down through Fram Strait and the east coast of Greenland. This is called the Greenland Current, but I call it the “Fram Flush”.

Not that even the Fram Flush ice-flow can’t be reversed. An example of such wrong-way-flow occurred back on December 2. (It also is a fairly good example of the “Cold War Current”.)

Now I should confess something which I don’t understand. It is this: Most of the studies I have perused which attempt to map the currents under the ice fail to show any such variability. This may be due to the limited amount of data available, and the limited amount of time data has been able to be collected. Besides an array of fixed buoys across Fram Strait, there have only been limited expeditions taking actual measurements, strings of readings from icebreakers which may number scores or even hundreds of individual readings, but each such reading is one-time-in-one-place, which cannot be compared with measurements in the same place weeks, months, years or decades earlier. This sparce information is fed into computer models which may then create a stability where stability does not exist, (accidentally enacting GIGO). I also assume this false sense of stability is to a degree necessary. Why? Because models are already smoking, just dealing with the variables they already accept, and to include additional variables might make them be too big to buy and too expensive to run. In any case we are left with a seemingly impossible situation: The currents under the ice are steady while the icefloes atop those currents are erratic.

Don’t get me wrong. I don’t mean to downplay the herculin efforts of the men who gather the actual data, often in extremely uncomfortable environments and even at risk of their own lives from frostbite, thin ice, or 1500-pound polar bears. Furthermore, I assert every scrap of data they gather has value. But I do feel puzzled by some of the conclusions arrived at, even early on in the discovery process. In a sense it is as one found apples and attempted to attach them to the branches of a walnut tree.

For example, a certain, inherant doubt in the idea that the erratic-movement-of-sea-ice is not reflected in the currents under the ice was created by the O-buoys, which sent out signals indicating their precise location, and through which it could be seen the sea-ice in Fram Strait pulsed in a zig-zag manner, responding to the tides. (Obuoy 9 was fabulous in this respect, as it arrived in Fram Strait. Even during a spell of calm winds, when only the currents under the sea-ice could move the ice, the buoy zig-zagged.) Also, on certain other, earlier occasions the famous “North Pole Camera” drifted upwind, moving against the wind, which had to have involved the power of a current under the ice. Yet the idea the currents were steady, even as sea-ice moved erratically, persisted.

Forgive me for this suspicion, but I got the feeling that the concept of “steady currents” was one of those so-called “narratives” which a young scientist would be ill-advised to question, if he wanted funding. I haven’t a clue why “steady currents” might be more “politically-correct” than “variable and meandering currents”, but it did seem that evidence “for” was welcomed as established fact, while evidence “against” vanished into the dustbin of unfunded and disdained ignominy. Perhaps someone can explain to me why “steady currents” were preferred. But it does seem that one reason that funding for drifting cameras on the sea-ice was discontinued was because such cameras (and attached instruments) gave the general public too many reasons to question the various “narratives”, while doing too little to actually support the various “narratives.”

One reason to support the “steady currents” narrative was that, while gales might rage to hurricane force above the sea-ice, waters beneath the sea-ice were sheltered by the ice and were tranquil and still. I myself accepted this as a logical deduction. However, the MOSAiC Expedition noted “unexpected turbulence” under the ice. What was unexpected manifested in the following way:

Apparently, a large pressure-ridge that thrusts up twenty feet is like any iceberg, with nine-tenths of its bulk underwater, and therefore must theoretically thrust down 180 feet. Such a pressure ridge, many miles long, is in essence a boat with a sail twenty feet high, and an oversized keel. When winds of hurricane force hit the sail, the keel also moves, and has an effect like the blade of a spoon, stirring the water it moves through. In cases where that “spoon”, 180 feet deep and many miles long, moved across or against the existing “steady current”, the result was “unexpected turbulence.” The MOSAiC researchers dared not go any farther than that, in their conclusions, for one does not want to stir the waters of the accepted narrative.

Truth, however, is constantly stirring the waters. It cares very little about what we think. (In fact, when Truth actually does respond to what we think it is often called “a miracle.”) (When personal preference effects science it is deemed “bias”, a forecast becomes a “wish-cast”, and ordinarily we expect failure.)

Truth does what is Truth, and is most harmonious to the entirety of Creation. Truth sees the Big Picture. And the Big Picture often allows meandering and seldom lets the straight remain straight, (or a “steady current” remain steady).

Think of a meandering stream, on those occasions when the meander abruptly becomes an oxbow lake, as the river cuts a corner. Or think of the jet-stream doing roughly the same thing, when a loop becomes a “cut off low” as the jet resumes a straighter course. And then assure me arctic currents never, never do the same? I’ll politely nod, but privately entertain doubts.

At this point I feel I should take a hard look in the mirror, and confess my own unwillingness to have my own ideas poked and prodded by doubts. Just because something makes no sense to me, doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. For example, take a platypus…

That being said, let me say another maxim of the idea of “steady currents” seems to be “thou shalt not include seasonal variability.” This knocks me backwards flat on my butt, for there is no place on earth where seasons are so exaggerated and extreme as the arctic, as it shifts from total 24-hour darkness to total 24-hour sunshine. It shifts from temperatures which (almost) never allow melting to temperatures which (almost) never allow freezing. A factoid of the not-many-people-know-that sort involves the extreme heat at the Pole when the sun is at its highest: On the summer solstice the Pole receives more heat than the equator.

This factoid strikes some as sheer nonsense. After all, on the equator the sun beats down from 90° while at the Pole it slants down from 23.5°. However it takes the tropical sun an hour and a half to rise above 23.5° in the morning, and it spends its last hour and a half below 23.5° in the afternoon, and then it does not shine at all during the twelve-hour tropical night, as the polar sun just sits at 23.5° 24 hours a day. In other words, the tropical sun only beats the polar sun for nine hours a day, and during the other fifteen hours the polar sun accrues enough hourly energy to beat the equator. It’s a race where the turtle beats the rabbit, in the end.

In any case, during the polar summer the Pole recieves a big shot of energy, while during the winter it receives no solar energy at all, (except as imports from southerly winds and currents). “Seasonal variability” is extreme. How can currents not reflect such extremes, especially when our understanding is that freezing and thawing in some ways partially fuels such currents?

The “cause” of currents is a weave of many variables, the most stable (and easy-to-model) of which is likely the Coriolis effect. But let us pick another variable thread from the weave: Part of thermohaline circulation involves cold water sinking at the Pole and being replaced by warm water rising and coming north from the equator. (Yes, it is far more complex than that, but we are examining only one thread.)

One major contributor to the sinking water is salty brine exuded from the sea-ice as it freezes. Such brine is especially cold and especially salty, which makes it especially dense. (Such brine is even exuded from the so called “freshwater lens,” for such lenses are actually “brackish-water lenses” due to diffusion and the mixing caused by turbulent storms. Where “seawater” has roughly 33-35 parts per thousand of salt, I have seen water with as high as 32 parts per thousand called a “freshwater lens”.) In any case, most of the freezing occurs in a rush between October 1 and January 1, which would mean most of the cold, salty and dense brine sinks in a surge at that time. Conversely, during the height of summer enormous melting occurs and little brine at all is contributed to the thermohaline circulation, though (because sea-ice has earlier been liberated from much of its salt) a lot of relatively fresh water is added to the freshwater lens. Therefore it “should” follow that, because brine is added in such a pulsing manner, a current ought to pulse, and have a sort of heartbeat. Do they? Not according to the “steady current” school of thought. “Seasonal variation” does not exist.

Another seasonal surge is water added to the “freshwater lens” by the flow of arctic rivers. With the exception of the Volga, nearly the entire northern half of Eurasia floods into the Arctic, but not during the winter. During the winter the water is largely locked up as ice, and precipitation locked up as deepening snow. Even the world’s tenth largest river, the Lena, dwindles away until its waters can drop as much as sixty feet, and only 1% of its yearly flow reaches the seas in March. But when spring comes, look out! All that snow melts under the powerful summer sunshine, and the river rises back sixty feet. The chart below shows that one June the flow of the Lena exceeded 100,000 cubic meters a second, which is five times the flow of the Mississippi.

From “Siberian Lena River hydrologic regime and recent change” Yang et al

Other great arctic rivers show the same sort of surge in flow in the spring. For example, the Makenzie River rises from a flow of roughly 3400 cubic meters per second in March to roughly 20500 in June. This represents an enormous inflow of fresher and warmer water, basically all at once, to the Arctic Sea. Then the cessation of this flow is nearly as abrupt, in October. And I am asked to believe the flow of associated currents remains steady?

Considering a first surge of sinking brine occurs October to January, and a second surge in the size of the freshwater lens, due to both melting sea-ice and river-water, occurs May through August, I am not only surprised currents are expected to be steady; I am also surprised currents don’t reverse course entirely. After all, a lot of sinking brine creates a very good reason for water to flow in at the surface, but adding as much as a quarter million square meters of river water to the freshwater lens per second, at the surface, seems to give surface waters ample excuse to flow out of the Pole. After all, the river waters raise the physical level of the Arctic Sea, so it must depart, due to the law of gravity. The only explanation I’ve been able to invent may be sheer poppycock: The thickening of the freshwater lens presses down like a sort of CPR onto deeper waters, pushing the flow along the same route the brine takes.

At this point I feel I need to throw yet another wrench into the works. In the above case the thermohaline flow involves the decent of waters at the Pole, however lava at over 1000 degrees would create a plume of rising water right where it is supposed to be descending. This scenario seems to happen in the area of Gamel Ridge, close to the craters of three volcanoes two miles down called Thor, Oden and Loke.

As an aside, the discovery of these craters discredited a view held by some geologists that explosive eruptions could not occur under the extreme pressure created by having two miles of water overhead. Explosive eruptions occur when a volcano is uncapped like a bottle of soda, and bubbles form in the lava in the same way bubbles form in soda pop, only on a far larger scale. However, pressures are so great two miles down that CO2 exists in its liquid state (as it does inside a pressurized fire extinguisher) and dribbles of liquid CO2 have actually been seen exiting deep-sea vents. The assumption was that pressures were so great lave could never fizz like soda pop, and therefore explosive eruptions could not occur. However, a swarm of earthquakes in 1999 led to a sonar investigation of the sea-bottom by the icebreaker Healy and the submarine Hawkbill, and the existence of the craters was revealed. Obviously, the lava did more than ooze out. Further investigation seemed warranted, and funding was procured, and in 2007 cameras were sent down, and revealed the eruptions were so violent that despite the pressure and the density of water pyroclastic debris was thrown a mile from the craters.

A paper was published in 2008, and then something odd happened. Silence descended. Funding ceased. Forgive me for again being suspicious, but I can’t help but think that certain “narratives” were threatened. After all, it messes up nice and neat concepts when descending currents abruptly put on the brakes and become ascending currents.

“Nothing to see here, folks. Please move along.”

This brings me to a couple of events I observed last spring. First, an odd hole melted in the sea-ice over the Gammel Ridge, and continued to be melted independently to the shifting of the sea-ice. Concurrent with that event, the WSC (West Switzenberg Current) seemed to lose its power to melt the sea-ice on the west and north sides of Svalbard, as if that current had been weakened. It made a sort of common sense to me that the two events might be related, and that if waters to the north stopped sinking then waters to the south would be less inclined to be drawn north. But what do I know? Let me simply present the observations.

First hint of hole on March 27

Hole on April 20

Hole enlarging and melting “backwards”, (independently of ice’s drift). May 20

WSC melted ice well north and west of Svalbard on February 27

Ice advancing towards north coast on April 20

Thick Ice on north coast and thin ice on west coast on June 20

I should note that if the sea-ice had been similar back in the year 1596, Willem Berentz’s discoveries along the north coast of Svalbard could not have happened. And you have to admit that, if there was less sea-ice in 1596 than in 2021, it harms a certain “narrative” which stresses sea-ice is currently at “unprecedentedly” low levels.

I cannot help but wonder if other innocent observations of Truth, of fact, of what is happening right before our eyes, also threaten the “narrative” in ways I can’t even see. Perhaps the idea of huge amounts of lava under the sea suggests there are other factors besides CO2 involved in the shifts we see to our climate, and introducing new variables in some way threatens the focus on CO2 and CO2 alone. I can’t say.

In any case, variables do exist, whether we include them in computer models or not.

I’ll conclude by returning to how variable the drift of sea-ice is right now, and to my original maps of how that is currently moving. Today’s map (January 4) shows an Aleutian Gale has drifted north across East Siberia, and, nourished by a nice feeder-band of Pacific air, has become a “Ralph” of low pressure over the Pole. This has completely reversed the normal drift of the Beaufort Gyre.

The above is interesting, for ice from Russia is not heading towards Fram Strait, which makes it a “Cold War Current”, yet ice is also being pushed into Fram Strait, which makes it also a “Fram Flusher”. Having one does not disqualify the other.

My conclusion? Variations happen. Sit back and watch. To turn a blind eye because it violates some narrative or pet theory is to miss the wonder.

Stay tuned.

ARCTIC SEA-ICE –The Man-Eating Walrus–

Photo Credit: Joel Garlich-Miller, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 

I confess the title of this piece is intended to be click-bait. Not that there is not such a thing as a man-eating walrus, but I am primarily aiming at undoing the damage done to me by censors in control of Google search engines, and sites such as Twitter and Facebook. Somebody somewhere has decided that there must be no questioning of the theory of Global Warming, and I apparently have been deemed such a questioner.

Not that I am able to adhere to the discipline of strictest science. Mostly, often in an intentionally silly way, I merely point out stupidities. The media makes little attempt to fact-check, when it comes to such politically correct narratives such as the theory of Global Warming, and it is quite easy for even a rank amateur such as myself to point out glaring inconsistencies between their narrative and recorded history. So, I have done so, often in a spirit of good-natured fun, and apparently made enough people chuckle so that even my silly posts might get 500 views, and one post even got 5000. But then the censorship hit, and now I’m lucky to get 50.

This seems unfair to me, and to violate Free Speech, and so on and so forth until I have worked myself into such a tizzy that I decide to fight fire with fire, and to utilize the irresistible click-bait of man-eating walruses. I figure this will overwhelm the capacity of analog censors to silence me, and I may reach a few people actually interested in sea-ice, besides the many who will be drawn by man-eating walruses.

I happen to know a thing or two about walruses because my mind has a strange capacity to absorb trivia, and trivia about trivia, and even trivia about trivia about trivia. Originally my interest was Greenland Vikings.

Greenland Vikings were able to raise several thousand cattle, and over a hundred thousand sheep and goats, on Greenland during the first decades after the year 1000. We can’t do that any more. This tidbit of history is a historical fact that the media failed to recognize, while touting the narrative that it is warmer now than it was in the Medieval Warm Period. It may indeed be the fact that got me censored.

But my further investigation of Greenland Vikings noticed they survived even when their cattle, sheep and goats didn’t do so well, as the climate slumped towards the Little Ice Age. They turned to trading, and one thing they had which Europe thirsted for was walrus ivory. This led to many delightful sidetracks involving walrus ivory, which of course led on to further trivia about the actual walruses the ivory came from.

(If you are interested in sculpted walrus ivory from the twelfth century, run “Lewis Chesspieces” through your search engine.)

One bit of trivia that delighted me was how the Europeans envisioned that the creature the tusks came from appeared. Many of us know the legend of the unicorn sprang from tusks of narwhales, but what sprang from the tusks of walruses?

One legend was the legend of the “morse”, which apparently slept while hanging by its tusks from cliffs. (Of course, I came across this because the Alarmist media was stating Global Warming was causing large numbers of walruses to fall from cliffs in Russia.) In any case, here is a somewhat skeptical discussion of the “morse”, as seen in the fifteenth century:

One thing I noticed about the ancient descriptions about walruses was that they were described as meat-eaters, who might even chow down on a man. This seemed very different from the modern view, which sees them as practically vegan in their tastes. But I knew they did eat clams, and clams are meat. So, I decided to dig deeper. Did, perchance, they dine on other meats? A crab, perhaps? Or a lobster?

That was when my sidetracking got a bit of a surprise. I discovered certain walruses will eat seals. After all, a walrus weighs two tons, and a small seal is only a hundred pounds. It is easy to see who would win that battle. However, did they only scavenge dead seals, when at the point of starvation? Or did they go out of their way to hunt living seals? And here I got another surprise. Some of the biggest male walruses, with the broadest shoulders, seem to say “to hell with clams”, and prefer seals.

Of course, my skeptical side rears his head, but here is a summary of a paper by two scientists, published back in 1984:

One sentence from the article intreagued me. It was this:

“Our findings from the stomachs indicated that seal eating was 10 to 100 times more common during the 1970’s and early 1980’s (0.6–3.0%, N=645) than it had been in the previous three decades (0.07–0.20%, N=4015).”

This may demonstrate how far trivia leads me afield, and you may ask, “What does that have to do with sea-ice?

The answer is that sea-ice expanded to a high point in 1979. The media was producing sensationist articles about a “Coming Ice Age”, rather than “Global Warming.” And the expansion of sea-ice meant there was less open water for walrus to hunt clams in. It also meant that seals and walrus were crowded together. So what was a poor walrus to do?

Now we come to the crux of the matter. Could a walrus mistake a human for a seal, and attempt to chow down on a man? And, because walrus were equally stressed back when the Medieval Warm Period’s open waters were giving way to the Little Ice Age’s thick ice, (ice which led to Iceland being icebound and ice fairs on the Thames in London), could not the poor walruses become so ferocious that they resembled the “morse” of lore?

Sadly, I couldn’t find a single example of a man-eating walrus on the web. And if you can’t even find it on the web, where you can find many unlikely things, then it likely isn’t worth thinking further about. So I stopped looking, although, as I have explained, trivia has an odd habit of persisting and lurking about in the dimmer recesses of my mind. But I gave it no further thought, until……TODAY!!!

Today I was just lurking around during my spare time (which I have too little of) looking for sanity on sea-ice sites (which there is also too little of) and I visited the zoologist Susan Crawford’s “Polar Bear Science”, to see what the polar bears were up to. It just so happened that she recommended an old video from 1986, “back when science hadn’t become so political.” I thought that might be a refreshing change and sat back to watch.

This video, called “Edge Of Ice” by William Hansen, is about the wildlife of Lancaster Sound, well north of Hudson Bay. Like many nature-documentaries it includes long spells of music where the narrator seems to have fallen asleep, but I didn’t mind because I happen to like views of sea-ice, especially underwater views. But what was especially unique was that it was not merely the narrator talking (where often one feels the narrator has never visited the arctic) but it also included the voice of an actual Inuit, describing how he hunted on the edge of the ice. And this Inuit, in a most offhand manner, casually mentions that one needs to be wary of walrus, for they can eat a man. It is amazing how casual it is; the music doesn’t even pause or become more dramatic; it is as casual as it would have been if he stated “Water freezes when it gets cold.”

If you want to see it for yourself, watch the wonderful video. (Hint: it is towards the end of the first half; and the video is 55 minutes long.)

To conclude, yes, it may be possible Walruses indeed do eat people. Not that I say this with any scientific certainty, but I say it in my mischievous manner, hoping to stimulate discussion. Science is all about discussion, as imagination wages its ceaseless battle with reality. Is such a thing possible? Well, let’s talk about it. Why not? Why censor?

I likely should end with a disclaimer, just in case any walruses are reading this. I am not saying that walruses want to eat us. After all, Great White Sharks don’t want to eat us; it just so happens that a surfer in a black wet suit resembles the seals the Great White Shark wants; apparently we don’t taste all that good, and the shark swiftly spits us out, but alas, by then it is too late. The damage has been done. And perhaps the same is true for walruses. Further research is needed. Please send funding.

ARCTIC SEA-ICE –Hudson Bay Freezes–

Hudson Bay is a relatively landlocked extension of the Atlantic Ocean in northeastern Canada of considerable size. It amounts to nearly a half million square miles, and has a definite influence on surrounding land masses, having a “maritime influence” when it is unfrozen, and a chilling influence when it is ice-covered. I am sensitive to this difference because autumnal gales often park over Labrador, wheeling winds over Hudson Bay and then down to where I live in New Hampshire. Our first arctic blasts cross over Hudson’s Bay’s waters, and while the waters are open the winds are warmed quite dramatically. Through the wonders of satellite technology, the air temperatures can be mapped, and it can be seen how air as cold as minus forty is warmed to freezing by the passage over liquid water. However as soon as Hudson Bay becomes ice-covered the air is not warmed so dramatically, and in fact once the ice thickens to several feet thick air can even chill over the bay, due to radiational cooling during long, starry nights. In essence Hudson Bay turns from an angel to a devil, in terms of New Hampshire, as its winds turn from being gentled to being bitterly cold.

The change can occur as early as November, but usually occurs in early December. It always amazes me how swiftly a half million square miles of open water turns to an ice-covered sea. This year it was a little late (and I am a bit surprised no Alarmists noticed the lateness, nor produced sensationalist headlines about how the lateness proved the world was warming, and we are all doomed.) Susan Crockford announced polar bears were moving out onto the new ice on November 26, and that this was 3 1/2 weeks later than 2020, when Hudson Bay was more than half frozen over by November 26.

https://polarbearscience.com/2021/11/26/sea-ice-cometh-to-hudson-bay-freeze-up-has-begun/

One thing I try to adhere to is the avoidance of “cherry picking” while observing the sea ice. There is always variety, and it becomes silly if you only pick the places which support your view (less ice, if you are Alarmist, and less open water, if you are Skeptic.) Susan pointed out a perfect example of this in a prior post, where she compared the years 2020 and 2021, on November 23. Here is 2020:

And here is 2021:

Now, if you are an Alarmist, you can point out how much less sea-ice there is in Huson Bay in 2021 than in 2020, but if you are a Skeptic you counter by pointing out how much more sea-ice there is north and south of Bering Strait (or east of Svalbard.) All in all, it matters little, unless you live in New Hampshire and hope Hudson Bay stays open and continues to moderate the arctic blasts from the north.

At first the ice tends to form a skim at the very edges, especially on the west side where offshore winds are most bitterly cold. This thin ice tends to be piled up along the shoreline when winds swing around and become onshore. This year the growth was very slow until around December 3:

This “shorefast” ice cannot extend very far out to sea as long as the water temperatures are above freezing, and a sunny summer had the waters of Hudson Bay especially warm (the summer storm track was dented south.) However the onset of very long nights and very short days, with shallow sunshine, swiftly chills the waters, until a sort of flash freeze occurs, and the entire Bay ices over in roughly 14-21 days. Here is the ice cover on Christmas:

The darker lilac hues represent ice more than a foot thick, and the dark patch in the center of Hudson Bay is a bit of a mystery to me. Usually, the thicker ice is shorefast ice which was pushed away from shore (for example, in northwest Hudson Bay,) but this thicker sea-ice was home grown. More mysterious is that it lies in the same area which resisted freezing longest, open water which even paused the expansion of sea-ice for several days, roughly ten days ago. I assume the resistance allowed the ice to be piled up more, as waves had more time to do their stuff. But that is only a guess. (This is just an example of how, if you keep your eyes open, and don’t close your mind with preconceptions, the daily doings of the sea-ice can be filled with wonders to wonder about.)

One thing I like to wonder about is the astounding amount of heat released by these flash freezes. After all, what is the difference between water at thirty-two degrees and ice at thirty-two degrees? The difference is that the water molecule holds heat, as latent heat, and in order to freeze that molecule into a crystal that heat must be removed. When you are watching a half million square miles freeze in 21 days you are seeing latent heat released at a rate of roughly a thousand square miles an hour. Don’t ask me for a number in terms of calories, but it has got to be a lot, and is a last gasp of warming for New Hampshire. There is no noticable uptick in temperatures, except for the winds sweeping south across Hudson Bay. And then?

And then the tundra, (which truly isn’t barren), most deserves to be called “the barrens”, because it sucks the heat of life up at an amazing rate, especially north of the arctic circle where the sun never shines. You can witness the fierce chilling by tracking a milder mass of Atlantic or Pacific air when it has the misfortune to be drawn north into the deep freeze. The airmass chills swiftly, at a rate of five to ten degrees a day (depending on cloud cover), until, within a week, you can’t differentiate it from the deep blue air of the Pole on the isotherm maps, (deep blue meaning the air is down near thirty to forty below.)

Once Hudson Bay is frozen there are no truly enclosed areas of water left to freeze, and all further increases in sea-ice occurs along battlelines between ice and water, between the frozen Arctic Sea and the open Atlantic, or between the open Pacific and ice attempting to extend south from Being Strait and east from the east coast of Siberia into the Sea of Oshkosh. In such battles the ice sometimes advances miles when the winds are north, and then retreats miles as winds swing around and ice is crushed. For this reason the “extent” graph is slower to rise, and in fact there even seems to be a pause in the “extent” graph, every year, marking when the freeze of Hudson Bay is complete.

This year the increase in extent shows a slight slowdown as Hudson Bay completes its freeze, but otherwise continues to merrily rise and stay ahead of prior years. Not that “extent’ truly means all that much at this time of year. For example, one only needs to look at the 2020 line in the above graph, (yellow-green), and one can see 2020 had the highest extent of the past six years, in March, yet by early September it was lowest.

The problem with “extent” this time of year is that it involves the aforementioned battlelines between open sea and the arctic icepack, and this ice-edge depends greatly on weather patterns. Also, it battles over areas which will be open water as summer sets in. Although the “extent” will increase by more than two million km2 by March, it will all be along a southern periphery which the cold will retreat from, as warmer days arise. All the sea-ice in the Sea of Oshkosh will vanish, and even much of the ice in Hudson Bay will be gone.

The summer thawing of Hudson Bay is no new thing. After all, Henry Hudson “discovered” it by sailing it in the summer of 1609 (and the poor fellow was marooned there when his crew mutinied.) In the more than four centuries since, I can find a few summers when the Hudson Bay Company could not be resupplied, but that seemed to be because sea-ice clotted Hudson Strait to the north, and not the Bay itself. For the most part winter sea-ice is a “here today, gone tomorrow” proposition. Nearly two thirds of the sea-ice “extent” vanishes every year. So why do we bother with it?

Partly it is because, as I mentioned earlier, it seems to matter here in New Hampshire. We’ve had a relatively mild December, and I’ve been able to wear sneakers rather than boots, and I don’t think it is sheer coincidence that Hudson Bay was late to freeze. However now it has frozen, and I will not be at all surprised if it grows abruptly colder, and I don boots.

Also, the patterns that shift ice about do have an effect on the long-term growth and shrinkage of sea-ice in the arctic. Often the relationship between causes and effects are more complex than you would initially suspect. For example, temperatures up north of 80 degrees latitude have been colder this year than last year. Here is the graph for last year:

And here is the graph from this year:

Now, my initial response is to assume that though both years are above normal, (the green line represents normal), the past autumn got colder faster and remained colder overall, and with the blue line in the above graphs representing freezing, it can be seen the past autumn saw temperatures dip to thirty below freezing, (Celsius), and therefore there must have been more sea-ice created.

But at that point a voice in my head states, “Not so fast, Buckaroo.” There is another way to look at the above graphs. It is to add up the area between the green line and red line,and understand that also represents the amount of heat the arctic lost to outer space. And, in those terms, it can be seen that 2020 lost more heat than 2021 did.

There were two reasons. First 2020 began with far more open water, so the Arctic Sea itself lost more heat. Second, 2020 saw more intrusions of sub polar air, which means the sub polar regions lost more heat.

In the end I have to decide which year is more likely to increase sea-ice. With the authority vested unto me I declare I haven’t really got a clue. I simply watch, wonder, and wait.

A very good measure should be the “volume” of sea-ice, but, as I explained in an aggrieved manner last post, DMI “adjusted” its volume graph, and 2021 went from having the highest volume in recent years (and being above the gray line of “normal”) to being third highest. In any case, it is far above last year’s.

As I watch, wonder and wait, I look for situations which can result in an increase in volume, at least in the short term. Hopefully I’ll find time to delve more deeply into this subject in a future post. But, for the time being, I keenly watch to see if a lot of sea-ice is being flushed south through Fram Strait (which can have fascinating consequences I hope to address in a third post.) If this ice is not flushed south, it is retained, and simple logic states the volume of the sea-ice in the Central Arctic, (which is the ice that matters, after the edges melt away next summer), will increase.

One feature I am watching is a slender crescent of thicker ice north of Svalbard, about halfway between the Pole and Franz Josef Land:

If this feature heads towards the Pole (as occurred last winter) volume is more likely to increase than if it is flushed south through Fram Strait. And what is it doing? It is hithering and dithering, first moving one way and then the other. Today it was nudged towards the Pole by a flow up from the Kara Sea.

But tomorrow?

Stay tuned.

ARCTIC SEA ICE —400 CUBIC KILOMETERS MELT IN ONE DAY!—

(Note: some major mistakes were corrected from the original post, which were caused by my mixing up an “extent” graph with a “volume” graph.)

Forgive me for being facetious, but I was minding my own business, preparing a post about how sea-ice “volume” was above-normal in December for the first time in many years, when what to my wondering eyes should appear but a miniature elf called “Santa Adjustment.”

Here is a DMI graph I saved from back at the time of the sea-ice minimum.

And here is the current DMI graph.

Please notice the old minimum volume was bouncing around 6.2 thousand cubic km, while the new minimum is smoothly cruising through a bottoming-out of around 5.8 thousand cubic km. In other words, an astounding 4 hundred cubic km of sea-ice vanished in a single day’s adjustment. Also the volume fell from the highest total in the past five years to third place, in the middle of the pack.

That is not a small error. A cubic kilometer is no small ice cube. What some person at DMI is stating is that the data they gave earlier wasn’t worth a rat’s ass. I imagine someone else at DMI is seething at having their data “adjusted,” and at being told all their hard work is not worth a rat’s ass. But that is their problem, not mine.

This business of “adjusting” data has gotten to be wearisome. Years ago, it could cause me to go up like a sheet of flame. But one grows jaded. I was just starting to get jaded, way back in 2007, when Steave McIntyre at “Climate Audit” pointed out James Hansen’s “adjustments” to the NOAA adjusted temperature record had flaws, forcing Hansen to readjust his adjusting. Here is that historical episode, if you are interested in a trip in the Way-back Machine.

That is nearly fifteen years ago. No one should say they had no advance warning. Evidence of scientific fraud has been evident for a long time. But it used to only involve stuff geeks cared about, such as arctic sea-ice. And me? I was the geek going up like a sheet of flame about stuff no one cared about.

One thing about going up like a sheet of flame is that you tend to wind up burned out. I got jaded. No one would listen. I tried to warn them Truth was being crucified, but people just shrugged and dismissed it as the foibles of idiots in Washington D.C.

Now the idiots are ruling, and schools and churches and small businesses are being closed, basically due to false science and “adjusted” data. No longer is the fraud a “foible”, nor is it only relegated to far-away sea-ice. The chickens have come home to roost.

Please allow me a brief moment of snideness.

I told you so, but you never would listen.

Ok. That felt good, but doesn’t face the problem, which is: What are we to do now? How are we to confront these idiots?

One thing we need to recognize is that Truth doesn’t need our help. Truth is true even if the whole world calls It false. Truth has absolute power, and nothing can make It false.

For example, this latest “adjustment” of the DMI “volume” graph may very well be because it is embarrassing for Alarmists to have “volume” become above normal, when they’ve long insisted and continue to insist the sea-ice is vanishing. But can adjusting a graph, or misreporting the state of sea-ice, make any real difference to the actual Arctic Ocean, and the actual sea-ice? No. The sea will do what the sea will do, and there is no way for Facebook or Twitter or Google to control it. They may avoid embarrassment in the short term by refusing to report their failed forecasts, but in some ways this merely postpones a far greater embarrassment in their future. (It is better to blush today than to be totally humiliated tomorrow.)

In any case, it will not be me, or my shrill lectures, that will cow the falsifiers of data. It will be the Data itself.

Basically, I have given up on many people. For whatever reason, they are immune to the Truth. Therefore, I just turn to the sea-ice and use it as a form of escape. Like a schoolboy turning from a nonsensical blackboard to a classroom window, I seek the Beauty in and of Itself. That was what attracted me to sea-ice in the first place.

And, even using the new “volume” graph, the sea-ice is increasing. In many places it is much thicker than seemed likly two summers ago. Where two summers ago the seas were ice-free many miles north of Wrangle Island, sea-ice never left the north shore of that island last summer. Where Russia’s northeastern passage was amazingly ice-free two summers ago, sea-ice never completely freed the waters around Severnaya Zemyla last summer. And all that ice, which refused to melt in the manner it melted the summer before, is now “multiyear” sea-ice, creating a sort of backbone to this year’s “baby ice”, which will make it thicker and harder to melt next summer.

The increase in sea-ice north of Bering Strait is to be expected, as the PDO has shifted to its “cold” phase. For whatever reason a cold PDO always increases ice north of Bering Strait. I haven’t figured out the engineering. It just is to be expected.

One shift I did notice involved the sea-ice ejected from the Laptev Sea not taking its usual route towards Fram Strait, (The route followed by Fram between 1893 and1896, and the MOSAiC expedition the winter of 2019-2020). Instead the ice headed towards the Canadian Archipelago, crossing over the Pole.

This route is not usual but not all that uncommon, for various Russian sea-ice bases noted it in the 1950’s and 1960’s, for they were carried away from resupply and towards their Cold-War enemies in North America.

In any case, less sea-ice left the arctic via Fram Strait, and was instead added to the Beaufort Gyre. What this meant was that the Beaufort Gyre had more ice to melt than usual, last summer. A great deal of ice was melted, but to some degree normalcy was overwhelmed. Even where ice was melted it took until September, and the waters had no chance to warm when the sun was high in July. Other places that appeared “ice free” on maps were still dotted by a 5% ice-cover of scattered bergs, and remained basically ice-water, and refroze easily in the fall.

Another shift involved a failure of a warm current to melt sea-ice on the west side of Svalbard. For whatever reason the current shut down and sea-ice came down into Fram Strait where it usually is melted. (My pet theory involves an undersea volcano causing waters to rise where they usually sink, which negated the reason for southern waters to come north to replace sinking waters.) In any case, for around four months less warm water seemed to enter the Arctic Sea, which seemed likely to create the consequence of colder seas and less melting.

As I watch these “shifts” I have no political agenda. I am merely a witness of the Truth. I do attempt flimsy forecasts but am not surprised if I’m wrong. And the Truth is that sea-ice is currently increasing, not decreasing, at the Pole.

At this point in the winter I tend to ignore the “extent” graph, for the much of the sea-ice now forming is of the here-today-gone-tomorrow variety, in places like Hudson Bay or the Sea of Oshkosh. It will be gone by July. Instead, I like to focus on the movement of the sea-ice in the Arctic Sea. Is it being flushed south through Fram Strait? Or is it being retained?

Another variable I like to look at is: Are things calm, or stormy? This makes a difference because calm, as a general rule, results in less ice, and even more melting. A thin layer if ice and snow insulates water beneath, and allows warm and salty water to stratify just below cold and brackish water. But when a storm rips the sea-ice apart water is uninsulated, and warm and salty water is churned to the surface and loses its heat to the arctic night.

One wonderful discovery of the MOSAiC expedition was that that the supposedly still waters under the ice could be unexpectedly turbulent, when storms above the sea-ice caused the sea-ice to move. Though the winds never touched the water, down deep the sea-ice’s bottom was not flat, and certain parts stuck down so far they were like the blade of a spoon. After all, 9 tenths of an iceberg is underwater, and a pressure ridge that sticks up 20 feet has a keel sticking down 180 feet. That is a big blade-of-a-spoon, espicially when you understand a pressure ridge may be a hundred miles long. Where I once thought waters under the ice were still and calm, beyond the touch of gales, I now know churning can occur, when howling gales shift the sea-ice above.

Furthermore, the gales can pile the sea-ice up into pressure ridges, while exposing areas of open water called “leads”. These areas lose huge amounts of the sea’s heat to the arctic night, while swiftly freezing over and creating much more ice than calm seas would create.

Back in the day Alarmists would get very excited when storms created midwinter breakups of sea-ice, assuming it was a sign ice was thinning even in the winter. Some of the leads could be hundreds of miles wide, and even though the water swiftly iced over it was assumed the ice would be thinner the following summer and melt faster. But time showed things weren’t so simple. The ice that was shifted to create the open water only was “gone” if it was shifted south through Fram Strait (where, though it did melt in the North Atlantic, it had the effect of chilling the North Atlantic.) Ice that remained in the Beaufort Gyre tended to pile up and create thicker masses of ice, which often survived the summer and became multiyear ice, as the exposed water swiftly formed “baby ice” which became thicker than the ice which would have been added to the bottom of old ice if the ice hadn’t fractured and the water had remained insulated from the bitter cold. (In terms of increasing the total volume, it was best to crush all old ice to one side and freeze open water.) Lastly, the water itself was chilled more, and the added freezing added more brine to the thermohaline circulation.

In conclusion, storms tended to add to the volume of the sea-ice created in the winter, not decrease it.

Perhaps there could be some decrease in volume if the water was layered and some slightly warmer and saltier water had slid north like a card into a deck; some painstaking studies have tracked such inflows north through Fram Strait and clear around the Pole until they exit Fram Strait again. But such currents are not permanent and fixed features, as was originally imagined (and perhaps hoped.) They can meander and mess up the maps. Also their identity is challenged by mixing, and simple diffusion, so at times they are barely different from the waters they pass through. Near the mouth of a river or by a mass of melting ice a “freshwater lens” may indeed be nearly fresh, but as time passes the fresh water becomes increasingly brackish until people are speaking of a “freshwater lens” which has only two or three fewer molecules of salt per thousand than seawater. In like manner a “warm layer” may only be a tenth of a degree warmer than the “cold layer” it is next to. In any case the churning of storms may stir up warmer water and result in melting in August, as occurred in 2012, but it also uses up the warmth that facilitates the melting, creating a colder sea, so a similar gale in August 2013 surprised people by melting nowhere near as much ice.

The Arctic Ocean is constantly changing, and its ebbs and flows are no more fixed than the jet stream is. Many Alarmist ideas have proven far too simplistic. Just as we have become aware the jet stream is complex, (and speak of “low level jets” we didn’t even know were different from the winds higher up, sixty years ago), our understanding of the Arctic Ocean is growing deeper, or it would be growing deeper if people allowed Truth to be spoken. Unfortunately, some are threatened by Truth.

Not all adjustments are made to preserve some political narrative. When Truth challanges our preconceptions, adjustments are necessary. For example, one beautiful and elegant idea which required adjustment was the concept of atmospheric circulation involving neat and tidy “cells”,

The problem with this theory is that it assumes air is decending at the Pole, which would create high pressure, yet I have often remarked about storms at the Pole I call “Ralphs” which are quite the opposite. A sort of feeder band of subarctic warmth and moisture spirals north and creates an updraft where theory states air should be sinking. In fact we just saw such a “Ralph”.

Here is the isotherm map showing the feeder band spiraling to the Pole

And here is the map showing the “Ralph” of low pressure spinning a updraft right where the Polar Cell theory suggests there should be sinking air.

In December 2015 a similar feeder band surged towards the Pole in December, and though the buoy closest to the Pole remained below 20 degrees Fahrenheit, another buoy closer to Fram Strait and near the core of the feeder band just barely exceeded the freezing point, touching 33 degrees Fahrenheit for a single hour. The Alarmist response was wonderfully hyperbolic. I recall supposedly witty headlines involving the dire prospect of Santa Claus drowning because the North Pole was melting. To me this seemed a sort of child abuse. But the sheer magnitude of this hyperbolae has gone on so long, (with absurdities like bizarre commercials of polar bears falling from the sky and splatting on sidewalks), that one grows numb to it all. There may be no lengths some will not go to promote their political agenda, but some lengths are too far for me. I prefer to ignore the hyperbolae, and simply admire the Truth. And the simple truth is that feeder bands do surge to the Pole, and feed storms I dub “Ralphs”.

One good way to study the movement of sea-ice in these dark days, when visual satellite views are not available, is through the NRL (Naval Research Laboratory) Sea-ice maps. These maps show things such as concentration, thickness and motion, and have 30-day and 365-day animations, and records going back years. They can be accessed here:

https://www7320.nrlssc.navy.mil/GLBhycomcice1-12/arctic.html

One map I like is the NRL “speed and drift” maps. For example, roughly a week ago high pressure was parked over the East Siberian Sea as a low plowed east in the Kara Sea, creating strong southerly winds in the Laptev Sea between them. Such south winds are not warm, when they are from Central Siberia in December, and they are not uncommon, and often produce a “speed and drift” map like this one:

Two things are immediately obvious. First, if sea-ice is moving away from shore that swiftly, it must create open water by the shore (called a “polynya”). Second, if sea-ice moves that fast and comes against sea-ice moving very slowly in the Central Arctic, a crashing is occurring, and sea-ice is piling up. And indeed, this is what occurs and is one reason that usually the Laptev Sea is the greatest exporter of sea-ice of all the marginal seas. Yet here is an odd anomaly. Last winter the Laptev Sea held much of its sea-ice by its shores.

The next question is, what becomes of the sea-ice exported into the Central Arctic? Does it take a left turn and take the Route the Fram took in 1893 towards Svalbard and the Atlantic? Or does it head straight for the Pole, like certain Russian ice-bases in the 1950’s, or the sea-ice last winter?

The simple fact uncertainty is involved makes a mess of nice, neat maps like this one:

If such currents were written-on-stone then sea-ice would always take the route the Fram took, following what is called the “Transpolar Drift”. At worst the ice might go into Nares Strait and down the west coast of Greenland through Baffin Bay, but its end would be in the Atlantic. However last winter showed the map messed up:

In essence the Transpolar Drift quit, and the Beaufort Gyre expanded, (perhaps explaining the decrease in exported ice from the Laptev Sea). Hmm. The Transpolar Drift quits the same time as the West Spitzbergen Current quit importing warm water up the west side of Svalbard. Hmm. And right at this time a suspicious hole appears in the sea-ice between Severnyla Zemyla and the Pole. Hmm.

Of course, I am hinting at my pet theory about the undersea volcano, but that could just be my wild surmising. My main point is that Truth is showing us something. Something is being revealed, displayed.

How foolish it is to be so lost in a political narrative that you are not even allowed to wonder about wonders right before your eyes.

Stay tuned.

ARCTIC SEA ICE –Chicken Little Alert–

(This post was written in late October).

This will hopefully be a brief post, because I’m striving to avoid the Big Lie. What is the Big Lie? It is all the balderdash about Global Warming. Fraudulent Biden is off to Europe to blather about a crisis which doesn’t exist, and, because it doesn’t exist, it seems I might miss beauty which does exist, if I involve myself in arguments about political nonsense. So let me begin by skipping paragraphs and paragraphs and paragraphs.

Beauty that does exist is the Truth, and Truth is always beautiful and always addictively engrossing, (even if it tends to demolish a pet theory or ten of my own).

What has recently happened at the Pole involved a surprising increase in the “extent” of sea-ice. There was basically 20% more sea-ice this October than there was last year. By October 25 last year we had barely reached 6 million km2 of “extent”, while this year we soared up towards 9 million.

To people caught up in politics, this increase might sidetrack them into discussions about whether the sea-ice is shrinking or growing, but I tend to be more interested in what it means for my little farm, in an obscure nook of New Hampshire.

In terms of a warm winter, it doesn’t look good. Why? Because the “source regions” for our cold winters are places far away. Although they are far away, they (as source-regions) obey the same rules as close places do. And one rule is that it is more pleasant to live by water free of sea-ice than to live by an ice-bound coast. For example, southern Ireland is at the same latitude as southern Hudson Bay, but most people prefer the climate of Dublin to the climate of Churchill. They vote with their feet, and millions live by Dublin while the population of Churchill (in 2016) was 899.

As a farmer here in New Hampshire, I am not like the Irish of Dublin who can almost always depend on the Gulf Stream Waters of the Atlantic to keep their shores ice-free (unless it is 1817). Instead, here in New Hampshire, much of the Gulf Stream’s warmth is whisked away east to Ireland. Although we occasionally get midwinter warmth on southeast winds, we also look north and west to waters which might warm us, if they remain ice-free. The three bodies of water which, when they remain ice-free, spare us the onslaughts of the arctic, are the Great Lakes, Hudson Bay, and (oddly) the East Siberian Sea.

In terms of the Great Lakes, savagely cold winds can be headed right towards my farm, but are tamed by the passage over the lakes. As the cold winds pass over the summer-warmed waters, clouds billow up and villages by the lakes can have snowfalls measured in feet. But by the time that artic blast gets to New England, it at best holds a few flakes, and has been so warmed that we wonder why anyone ever called it an “arctic blast”. As long as those lakes remain ice-free, we are protected.

Besides the Great Lakes most focus on, (Superior, Huron, Michigan, Erie, and Ontario) there are equally “great” lakes further north, (Winnipeg, Great Slave, Great Bear, and Athabasca.) Each year I watch as they first warm the arctic blasts with their water’s memory of summer warmth, and then lose that power as they freeze over. The northern lakes always freeze over, and the southern lakes seldom freeze entirely. However, during especially cold winters even the southern lakes may freeze (and even Niagara Falls may quit falling,) and on those winters our west winds become cruel. We cease being spared.

The same is true for Hudson Bay. As long as it is ice-free, the Pole can aim minus forty air straight towards us, but that air is so warmed by passing over Hudson Bay it is like we live in Ireland. Yet, nearly every year, the entire vastness of Hudson Bay flash-freezes over in late November and early December, and the moment Hudson Bay is ice-covered we know we are not living in Ireland. We then experience cold the Irish can’t imagine.

But the East Siberian Sea is so far away it seems ridiculous to suggest it can warm us. But I suspect it can. After all, the coldest air the northern hemisphere creates is created over Siberia, and, in order to get to my farm, it must first pass over the East Siberian Sea.

Last October those waters were open.

This year they were ice-covered.

Siberian cold which was moderated last year, by transiting ice-free waters, this year has not been moderated. The question then becomes, is that air headed my way? This is determined by whether the flow is “zonal” or “meridional”. A zonal flow tends to move straight along lines of latitude, and the coldest air stays north. A meridional flow involves the jet stream looping far north and then far south, bringing warmth north and arctic blasts south.

One of the coldest winters I recall was 1976-1977’s, and featured blast after blast of arctic air crossing north of Bering Strait and, even as much of southern and western Alaska experienced a mild winter, curving down through Yukon and down the east slopes of the Rocky Mountains to the eastern United States. On the maps it looked like a long series of “Alberta Clippers”, with each one delivering another packet of Siberian air. The cold set in early in November and lasted into February. In Maine I was able to walk sea-ice from South Freeport across Casco Bay to Harpswell, and Time Magazine featured a sensationalist cover warning of a coming Ice Age.

The coldest December I recall was 1989’s, which caught my attention because the local road crew was digging a trench with a backhoe near my house, and as the month passed the backhoe had to break through a thicker and thicker crust of frozen earth. At the start of the month the frozen earth was only a few inches thick, but by the end of the month they had to fight through a crust more than three feet thick as they completed the job. It wasn’t a well-done job, as the trench was refilled with big chunks of frozen earth, which held air spaces so that when the earth melted in the spring the road became uneven and a bit of a roller coaster. But one thing I recall about that winter was that the cold broke as if the sky was paying attention to the calendar, and after a December which had people bracing for a terrible winter, a change occurred, and, beginning promptly on January 1, the rest of the winter was surprisingly meek. The pattern changed, and the Siberian air went elsewhere.

This variability is one of the wonders of watching the weather. The better long-range forecasters have skulls holding the memories of thousands of maps, which they use as analogs that state, “if A, then B is likely to follow.” But they stress that word “likely”. They are very aware uncertainty is involved, and always have an eye out for the “unlikely”. The moment they notice the weather is not following the expected path their brains ruffle through thousands of other maps, seeking other times the weather deviated from the norm and took a different path. Often the best forecast is a correction, and the trick is to be ahead of the game and to be the first to recognize the earlier forecast was wrong. It does not pay, when dealing with the wonders of weather, to be too stubborn and set in your ways. (At this point I could be drawn off into arguments about whether the politics of Global Warming involves being stuck on a particular wrong forecast, but I don’t want to go there; I prefer the beauty of Truth, and the wonder.)

I like to watch good forecasters at work, drawing upon their experience to prepare their forecasts. Back when I was young, before computers were used by weathermen, I used to switch between three or four forecasters on TV channels four, five, seven and nine in Boston, because there could be considerable variety in the forecasts, and there was a lively competition between the meteorologists to “get it right.” (I was dismayed when I later moved to a part of the country where the weather was more boring, and the forecasters on TV tended to be voluptuous women who knew a lot about flirting but next to nothing about meteorology.)

Boston in the 1950’s and 1960’s was a great place to be, if you were a boy interested in the weather, for the public was concerned and deeply interested, and the market for meteorology provided money for innovations. The first Boston TV forecaster (before I was born) actually had a fifteen-minute show on the primitive TV sets of 1948. He was an MIT professor who smoked a pipe on air and scrawled on a blackboard, educating the public about things such as isobars, which many more ordinary newscasters knew zilch about. Forecasters who followed also would become very involved in educating the public, and at times annoyed the rest of the broadcast-team by pressing the limits of the time allotted to weather. I think some non-meteorologist reporters were downright jealous, for, in the same manner sports fans are very interested in obscure statistics of a sport they enjoy, and care more for the sports section of a newspaper than news others deem more important, the general public paid more attention to weathermen than to blathering politicians, or even sports reporters. But that made some sense. A baseball game doesn’t change the standard of living as much as a snowstorm does.

Perhaps due to the jealousy of other reporters, weathermen had to endure a lot on on-air jeering when their forecasts were wrong, but sometimes they’d see a big storm coming a week in advance, and it was wonderful watching their excitement grow, and their exhilaration when the storm actually happened as forecast. In particular I remember a forecaster named Bob Copeland who one winter got onto what a gambler might call a “hot streak” and went weeks predicting the weather with amazing accuracy, with his snowfall estimates correct to the inch, so that even the forecasters on other stations shook their heads. Though rivals, TV forecasters were also comrades, and met after work to compare notes. Misery loves company, and they all knew the misery of a botched forecast, a major storm that swerved out to sea and dumped a foot of snow on fishes, as all the inland forecasters got dumped on with laughing mockery.

The fact certain forecasters could experience “hot streaks” led me to wonder if something more than science was involved, for all the forecasters began with the same data, but arrived at different conclusions. Sadly, many modern forecasters seem to have lost some of that ability, (whatever it is), becoming overly dependent on computers, though computers can be equally wrong, especially in the long term. (At this point I could launch off into the foolishness of politics based on computer models, but again I won’t go there. It is far more fun to watch Truth unfold in real time than to squint at a future that very likely never will happen.)

I currently like the Weatherbell site because the forecasters seem more rooted in the ability of old-time forecasters, and explain what analogs they are using, and speak honestly in terms of likelihoods and probabilities, and never speak of science as being “settled.” This autumn they see a good probability of a cold December developing, using twelve years where a similar lead-ups all led to cold Decembers. What is interesting is that after sharing similar Decembers the paths of the twelve winters diverge, some relenting and becoming balmy, and others becoming winters of lasting cold.

Arctic sea-ice is but one component of many, when making such forecasts, but I like to focus on it, as it seems to have a definite influence on arctic air-masses, which later effect New Hampshire winters.

It has been interesting to watch how the recent low levels of sea-ice have led to the marginal seas around the edge of the Arctic Ocean becoming capable of holding greater warmth. As long as those seas have ice in their waters they are forced to remain the temperature of ice-water, but as soon as the ice is entirely melted those waters can warm with surprising speed under the twenty-four hour sunshine of summer. Then when, with equally surprising speed, the twenty-four-hour sunshine gives way to twenty-four-hour darkness, those marginal seas shift to giving back the summer warmth they absorbed. From September 21 to October 21 the 24-hour darkness expands from a dot at the Pole to a vast area extending a quarter of the way down the top of Greenland, and along that latitude clear around the Arctic Sea, but despite the absence of warming sunshine many areas remain above freezing, due to the “maritime influence” of summer-warmed seas. Meanwhile land far more swiftly loses heat and starts to generate cold. Where, in July, the land baked under 24 hour sunshine and was much warmer than the sea (tending to generate sea-breezes), by October the same land becomes colder than the sea (generating land-breezes.)

One aspect of the warming of the marginal seas involves how early they become ice-free. If they become ice-free early, in July or (if winds push ice offshore) even in June, the sun is relatively high in the arctic sky and can warm waters swiftly. But if the waters become ice-free in August the sun is lower and partially glances off the water. The heating swiftly diminishes as the sun sinks towards the horizon. In fact, if the seas become ice-free in September the sun is so low it nearly entirely bounces off the water, as the “albedo” of glassy sea-water is higher than that of dirty sea-ice when the sun is less than ten degrees above the horizon, and by September the open water of a marginal sea may actually be losing more heat than it gains.

In order to significantly alter the temperature of nearby landmasses, the marginal seas must become ice-free early, and soak up heat all summer. This may have been the situation during the Medieval Warm Period, and have led to marginal seas so warm they delayed the onset of winter, which enabled Vikings to farm places in Greenland we can’t farm any more.

But this past summer saw the marginal seas more clotted by ice than the year before, which leads one to wonder: “Why?” In many places the ice lingered well into August, and by the time it was gone it was too late for the sun to warm much. Consequently, the sea-ice was able to reform swiftly, as the above NRL maps show. But why did the sea-ice linger?

I’m not sure, but one factor was a shift in the movement of sea-ice. Ice which was more ordinarily flushed south through Fram Strait was retained. In fact, if Nansen had sailed the Fram last winter his ship would have drifted north right across the Pole, rather than taking its more southerly route closer to Eurasia.

Dotted line = planned route. Dashed lines = actual drift.

Also in fact, if the Polarstern had sailed last winter rather than the winter before, the MOSAiC expedition would have crossed the Pole, rather than following Nansen’s path. The sea-ice took a less usual route, though not an unprecedented route, (for Russian sea-ice bases sometimes were pulled away from Russia towards Canada, in the past). This uncommon flow is a sort of cancellation of the Transpolar Drift and an expansion of the Beaufort Gyre, and keeps sea-ice up in the arctic.

Also there was a change in the inflow of warm water into the Arctic. This was especially noticeable in the case of the WSC (West Spitsbergen Current), which brings warm waters up along the west coast of Svalbard. It can keep the west coast ice-free even in the dead of winter. In June of 1597, when ice melt had barely begun, Willem Barrentz was able to sail a primitive non-icebreaker along part of the north coast of Svalbard, due to this current’s power to melt sea-ice. Yet last summer it lost power. Sea-ice came down to the north shore of Svalbard and even down the west coast during the warmest time of year. Why?

I wonder. Two explanations have crossed my mind. One is that the north Atlantic storm track shifted, and the mega-gales exploded much further east than normal. Usually they explode over Iceland, and roaring southerly gales on their east side assist the WSC as it heads north. Last winter the mega-gales exploded north of Norway in Barents Sea, and roaring northerly winds on the west side pushed against the WSC, and also churned and chilled the WSC’s warmer and saltier waters.

A second event, purely theoretical at this point, is that the very power that draws warm waters north may have been meddled with.

Warm water is drawn north to replace cold water that is sinking. The cold water sinks because it is cold, and also because it is partially brine exuded from sea-ice as sea-ice forms (brine is heavier than sea water.) This cold, salty water exits the Arctic through the one deep channel available, in Fram Strait, and must be replaced by warm currents, including the WPC, at the surface. But what happens if the water does not descend?

This may have happened last summer due to a major sea-bottom eruption of lava well to the northeast of Svalbard. I hypothesize this event occurred due to an odd hole that appeared in the sea-ice for no apparent reason, and which remained a feature for roughly ninety days. If the hole had a volcanic origin, it would suggest waters were rising where they ordinarily sink. This would get in the way of what draws the WSC north. Is it sheer coincidence that right at this point the WSC seemed to stop flowing, and stopped melting sea-ice west of Svalbard, and sea-ice extended further south than usual? (Since then, the WSC has resumed its usual flow.)

If the WSC was in any way slowed, less warm water would enter the arctic for ninety days, which likely would result in less melting of sea-ice. (Much melt comes from below. In fact refreezing begins as early as August at the top, but ice-extent continues to decrease well into September, due to melting from below).

The possible derangement of the WSC is perhaps “unlikely”, but it is one of the variables smart weathermen note, when attempting to state what is “likely”. We are dealing with a Creation that includes numerous variables, for our Creator did not want us bored. There are so many variables some call it chaos, but it all fits together perfectly and creates the harmony of Creation. To the person midst a major hurricane chaos seems complete, but a satellite view shows all the countless variables have created a symmetrical pinwheel with an eye, neat and tidy and far from chaotic, (unless you redefine chaos.)

In any case, I simply note, with wonder, an increase in the extent of sea-ice, and add a few feeble attempts to explain it. I also am splitting wood like crazy, which is hard (but fun) for an old fossil like myself, because I figure Fraudulent Biden will have energy prices soaring up through the roof, and I soon will not be able to afford heating my home with fossil fuels.

I hope for the best. I hope the flow is zonal and the bitter cold rotates around the planet north of latitude seventy. This will increase sea-ice but leave me alone. However I prepare for the worst. I prepare as if the flow will become latitudinal, and air from East Siberia will cross north of Bering Strait, unwarmed by the ice-covered East Siberian marginal sea, and unwarmed by the swiftly ice-covered northern Canadian great lakes, and the swiftly ice-covered Hudson Bay, and the (perhaps) surprisingly ice-choked southern Great Lakes, and we get blasted by a winter like 1976-1977, or by a December like 1989’s.

As an old timer, I tend to think people have become soft. They were not around back then, and call zero (minus seventeen Celsius) cold when it happens a day or two during a winter. They haven’t experienced a winter when zero becomes the norm, and the colder days drop to minus 27 (minus 33 Celsius.) It is then that fossil fuels will no longer seem so politically incorrect. My experience is that at minus 27 all one wants to do is crank up the heat. However, the heat may not be available, because Fraudulent Biden pretends to fear the planet is getting too warm.

I am lucky because I am primitive, and am saving my oak and black locust for the possibility of severe cold. I save the high BTU wood for when it is needed. Right now I’m burning the trashy wood, the old punky stuff and the birch, poplar, alder and cherry. Then I’ll move on to the maple. Hopefully I’ll never need use the oak and black locust, and will wind up looking like a silly old man spooked by worries that never came to pass.

However here again I accent the humble admission that my forecast may be wrong. This makes me radically different from Fraudulent Biden, who seems insanely certain his forecasts are correct. He sails a ship of state he is so certain is unsinkable that he will punish any and all who disagree, because authorities assure him his ship is unsinkable. But didn’t the authorities state the Titanic was unsinkable?

It is occurring to some who formerly were all-in and sold-on political correctness that they may have been mistaken. This tends to occur when Truth interferes with belief. You are rushing around with a forecast of doom, feeling like you are Paul Revere awaking the sleeping public to an invasion of Redcoats, and then become aware you are Chicken Little, rushing about screeching the sky is falling.

In terms of Arctic sea-ice, this has happened the past year. A year ago, at one point in October, the “extent” of sea-ice briefly rose more slowly than it did in 2012, and during that brief time 2020 had the lowest sea-ice “extent” ever for that date. (“Ever” being the recent past, barely sixty years, when relatively accurate records have been possible.) At that point it was understandable that an Alarmist could feel like Paul Revere. But now, they feel like Chicken Little. For, rather than melting away as forecast, the sea-ice has increased by 20%, and perhaps even more. Truth has spoken.

We all make mistakes. We all are incorrect. It is the human condition. And making mistakes can even be a good thing, if we confess we are mistaken. Mistakes teach us. Mistakes can improve us. But only if we confess they were mistakes. If we insist we are right when we are obviously not, our egos are tricking us into disaster.

Alarmists who were convinced the sea-ice was melting away are now not only confronted by the fact the sea-ice has increased by 20%, but by two responses to the event. On one hand they see people like me, who wonder, and ask questions, and share observations. And on the other hand they see people who insist sea-ice is decreasing even when it isn’t.

They then start to notice the same people insist polar bears are becoming extinct, when the population of polar bears has increased, (perhaps even doubled), over the past sixty years.

It even starts to occur to them that political correctness is incorrect. To such a person I can only say, “Welcome to my world.”

But, as I stated earlier, I don’t really want to go there. Maybe in some future post I will bore everyone to tears with philosophical ramblings about the difference between political correctness and Truth, but for now I find that a sort of distraction. It is better to face facts, and do what seems best.

At the moment arguing with intellectuals will not keep me warm this coming winter. However being a non-intellectual who splits firewood will keep me warm. They say firewood warms you twice, at first with exercise, and only later by burning. So I likely will not post much, until I am sure I can sit by a warm stove until spring. Then I will post your ears off.

*******

P.S. I apologize for the delay in posting. I have been dealing with the slow decline of my laptop’s ability to function, due to all sorts of invasive stuff running in the background. Finally, I broke down and bought a new laptop. However, I don’t want to get the new one up and running without the help of a computer geek far smarter than I, who will install protection from invasive programs. Hopefully I soon will be posting more often.

My next sea-ice post will be about the “Dark Quarter”. If you divide the year into 4 quarters, 91.25 days long (not including leap years), the darkest days begin around November 5 and end around February 5. It is a time the sun offers least, when days are shortest and nights are longest, and a huge amount of heat is lost to outer space in the north. Without the sun, the only thing left to battle the cold is the heat retained in waters, and subtropical airmasses brought north by a meridional jet stream, (and sometimes rare heat brought about by the lava of volcanoes). Largely such sources cannot overcome the penetrating cold of the Dark Quarter. Sea-ice expands southward and thickens in the north. But that is stuff that happens every year, rather ho-hum, and it can’t explain the dramatic shifts in the amounts of sea-ice history reports.

What is perhaps more significant is the drift of the ice. Does it stay in the arctic or is it flushed south? Also significant are currents such as the WSC. Are they vigorous or feeble? (But CO2? It doesn’t really matter at all, but I will try to avoid that political quicksand, and merely marvel at the Truth).

Last year the East Siberian marginal sea froze over swiftly in early November, and the difference between last year’s “open water” and this year’s “ice-covered sea” vanished. The question then becomes, “Did the fact the East Siberian Sea become ice-covered earlier change things?”

Obviously it would. But I cannot identify the changes. I imagine it would allow more cold to develop, earlier, but where those airmasses went, I cannot say. They didn’t come down here. October in New Hampshire was balmy, though it was so wet the pastures squelched as you walked across them.

Plenty of room for wonder.

ARCTIC SEA-ICE –Curses, debunked again–

We were assured over a decade ago we would see an ice-free Arctic Sea by now. What gives? The current graph actually gives one the impression sea-ice is increasing.

This graph is taken from the Danish Meteorological Institute site, and represents the “extent” of sea-ice as we approach the yearly minimum. The five lines of green and blue below the red line represent the past five years. The yellow-green line which is lowest is last year’s. It gave Alarmists some hope, for it is the second lowest “ever”, (or since 1979.) Last September’s minimum was barely lower than 2007, but not as low as 2012. Alarmists could cling to their strange hope that a calamity was occurring in the arctic. What they are thinking this year I can’t imagine.

Actually a calamity was in fact occurring, but it had little to do with sea-ice. Rather it had to do with truthfully reporting. But that is an explosive, political subject, and I prefer to study the serenity of sea-ice.

The above graph suggests we may see an increase in the “extent” of sea-ice at the minimum, which demolishes the “Death Spiral” theory Alarmists cherish. The “Death Spiral” theory involves a positive feedback which asserts less ice will create warmth leading to further decreases in sea-ice. Ain’t happenin’. It hasn’t been happening for years and years, and this year’s “minimum extent” will likely be well above 2007’s. The graph is going the wrong way. The “Death Spiral” is debunked yet again. How many times must it be debunked before the light penetrates thick skulls?

I wish I could just talk of the science involved. All sorts of interesting correlations are occurring. For example, the last time a summer was so cold up at the Pole was just after the (satellite era) record for lowest “extent” was seen in 2012. Compare this summer’s chill with the greater chill of the summer of 2013.

This summer:

2013:

I personally find it fascinating that a September with much open water at the Pole can, if not “cause”, be “connected” to a following summer of below-average temperatures. But Alarmists are not fascinated in that way.

I’m not exactly sure what fascinates them. Apparently it is something called “The Narrative.” What is “The Narrative”? It is something different from “The Truth”.

It makes me think of a prophet of around 3000 years ago who laughed about people worshiping a god carved of wood, rather than the God of spirit. The prophet was called Isaiah, and he went on at great length about what a joke it was, and how silly it was, that people bowed before a hunk of wood. I feel the same way about how modern people bow before “The Narrative.”

It reminds me of something.

A half century ago, (when I was 18), an authority figure, (aged 27), harangued me to attending a class, though I hated school. He said I should be ashamed of myself for being so anti-education. Shamed, I went, but I listened to the teacher in my usual guarded manner, accepting nothing without carefully weighing its authenticity. Yet, even as I regarded the professor in this skeptical manner, I glanced over to see how my authority-figure friend was behaving, and was dismayed to see he resembled a deranged kangaroo.

He looked like a kangaroo because he had both wrists by his chest, but what shocked me most was the way he smiled and nodded with raised eyebrows each time the professor made a positive point, and shook his head and scowled a pout each time the professor disapproved of something. He had apparently lost his mind. All that mattered was being a “good student” and even a “teacher’s pet.” He seemed more focused on being appreciated than on appreciating. Seeing such rump-swab behavior shrank that “authority figure” in my not-so-humble eighteen-year-old opinion.

In like manner many good and intelligent Alarmists shrink in my opinion when they put “The Narrative” ahead of the facts.

The fact is that a “Death Spiral” prohibits the following two maps. Sea-ice is suppose to be decreasing, but here is the NRL map from a year ago:

And here is the map from now:

The increase in sea-ice, especially north of East Siberia and Bering Strait, is so blatantly obvious that to talk of a decrease, and especially of a “Death Spiral”, is tantamount to blindness. Yet the “Fake News” does exactly that. And some Alarmists lap it all up, like a student nodding at a teacher in order to look like a good student and get an “A”, while comprehending zilch.

How many times must the “Narrative” be debunked before the light penetrates thick skulls?

ARCTIC SEA-ICE –Vikings and Volcanoes–

PART 1

I was perhaps ahead of the curve, when it came to distrusting what is now dubbed, “Fake News.” In fact I can’t remember when I was not a skeptic of some sort. True, my skepticism tended to go into abeyance, when I was young and was prone to idealistic extremes. Like most small boys I felt my Dad was a super-hero, the best; my Mom was my super-heroine, the best; but then they divorced, and then neither said the other was the best any more…Houston, we have a problem. In like manner I was wildly patriotic, when a boy, and every time Lyndon Johnson said we’d defeat the North Vietnamese by sending 10,000 more troops, I nodded fiercely. But there too…Houston, we have a problem. Also, in like manner, when I was a bit older the girl I had just met was perfect in every way, but all too soon…Houston, we have a problem. But such disillusionments were acceptable, (if not agreeable), for back then I was trained, even in grade school, to see that every coin has two sides, and that I should seek to see both sides of every issue. All things have pros and cons. But…they don’t seem to teach that anymore.

At some point a sort of “my way or the highway” mentality set in, where only one view was allowed. Because I had been trained differently, the slightest whiff of such thought set off alarms in my thinking. It struck me as the mentality of a cult.

My generation knew a thing or two about cults, because of communes we joined; and Yogis we investigated; and psychologies we paid-for. They all tended to trespass across, or at least infringe upon, the boundary between healthy thought and cultism.

I suppose this occurred because there are some concepts which are indivisible. For examples: God, Truth, Love, Infinity.  What is half of infinity? It is still infinity. Infinity is indivisible. And (please don’t argue) because this is true, a clever con-artist can state that, because there are not two sides to infinity, and because there is no pro and con involved in the case of infinity, this same principle can be applied in other areas, where there very much are two sides, (for example, a divorce.)  Con-artists apply infinity to other areas by suggesting only their side is infinite, only their side is politically correct, while the “other” side is worthy of purging, utilizing a cancel-culture’s ostracism. For example, some psychiatrists insist they must be obeyed, and any objections you may have are just manifestations of your infantile unwillingness to face reality; your best objections are but your denial and resistance to facts your psychiatrist sees, because he paid a fortune to be schooled in nonsense, whereas you were too smart to fall for such a scam, and therefore you are deemed uneducated. (Those who see like a cyclops insist on absolute obedience). The most extreme case states the communist overlord must be kowtowed to, or you are on the next train to a Siberian Gulag to be reeducated, Buster. (Such myopic thinking is so far from God, Truth, Love and Infinity that it would be a hilarious joke, if not for the fact so many don’t get the joke).

In any case, I tended to be attracted to healthy thought and repelled from cultish myopia, which led me to a love of real science, where people are willing to see the pros and cons of an idea, and delight in seeing both sides. Among the best thinkers even the most harebrained idea is not banned, but is considered, and, even if in some respects the harebrained idea is wrong, one still hears, “But he does make a point…”

One thing we all tend to do is to see what is possible in terms we ourselves have seen. This manifested among academics, who often have little experience out in the battlefields of commerce, as a definition of humanity which sees humans as timid, and unlikely to venture far from safety. This may be true of academics, but it cannot be used as a rule for mankind as a whole. At this point enters, from stage right, Thor Heyerdahl, who, to scientifically “prove” his point, sailed a balsa wood raft he dubbed the “Kon Tiki” from Peru to Polynesia.

Many parts of Thor Heyerdahl’s theories may have been incorrect, but honorable scientists of his time did confess, “He does make a point.” He proved men can make incredible journeys which academics, safely ensconced in their Ivory Towers, would never venture to undertake.

What has this to do with arctic sea-ice? Glad you asked.

As a youth I was not at all attracted to classrooms, but was very much attracted to sailing rafts across the Pacific Ocean. Not that I wasn’t attracted to Ivory Towers, but my Ivory Towers were not classrooms choked with chalk dust under the flickering light of migraine-inducing fluorescent bulbs. What’s so ivory about that? My Ivory Tower was at the winner’s end of a fishing rod, playing hooky from school; or standing, dangling a hitchhiker’s thumb, five hundred miles from home; or at the above-water-end of a tiller in an Atlantic gale.

I was quite academic about being anti-academic. Maybe I’d offend a teacher by handing in a term-report only a paragraph long, but I’d write my best buddy a “note” twenty pages long. I also kept a detailed diary, when I played hooky, which would have amazed teachers, who were convinced I paid no attention to details. I still own the yellowing pages of diaries describing when I hitchhiked from Boston to Florida, just after my sixteenth birthday, and when I sailed from Boston to the Bahamas in a “borrowed” yacht, at age eighteen. I collected data Thor Heyerdahl might appreciate, but which academics tend to discount, as they don’t like admitting some outrageous behavior constitutes “things” outside their ken.

Next I underwent reformation and went to India to seek God, but I likely have offended academics enough already, so I won’t go there, in this essay. Let me only go so far as stating I had a deep respect for, and fascination about, Vikings.

This fascination was likely due to the fact Norumbega Tower was two miles from my childhood home, and way back in the 1950’s I, (still basically a rug-rat), during a picnic by that tower, stood transfixed as the grown-ups debated whether or not the Greenland Vikings came as far south as Massachusetts. The debate conceded that Eben Horseford, (the wealthy Harvard professor who had the tower erected as a monument to his own personal [and perhaps anti-Catholic] theories), was largely wrong, but that “he did have his points.”

For some reason, this fascination took hold of me. Even as a boy, any discussion of Vikings, in any conversation or in any book, riveted my attention. Although my town had long been in the process of being transformed from a farming town with a few water-powered mills and a few lavish mansions owned by wealthy Bostonians as “summer houses”, into a smug suburb which basically banned farmers, (especially pig farmers), I was born into this total transformation of my hometown during the period when you could still hear the grousing of the farmers and mill workers, and their children; families who had cared for a land 250 years but now were being displaced. I wasn’t as interested in their resentment as I was in the history they knew about. It was odd stuff, and would take a long post to do justice to, and historians would call it “lore”. But the locals would call historians worse things, and often displayed disrespect towards Eban Horseford, or anyone else from Harvard.

Perhaps I should explain the contempt.

My town had a certain selectman who was locally cursed and remembered as “Bloody Alphonzo”, for he had sold the town’s water rights back in the 1800’s. The city of Cambridge, (where Harvard Collage is located), dammed a stream and flooded a valley and passed ordinances to keep their water clean. Mills were closed, manure piles called illegal, and local farmers and their children abruptly were not supposed to even fish and swim in the brooks that ran through lands their families had farmed since it was ruled by the King of England. Legally the farmers had no power, so what did they do? They snuck. It was said even the police chief fished in the reservoir. Also, to express their contempt, they would urinate into the brooks, laughing at the idea Harvard professors would soon drink their byproduct. Contempt had sadly become a two-way-street.

Due to this ill-will, the very people who lived on the land Eban Horseford claimed had been a Viking colony were less than forthcoming concerning objects they had found, or which their ancestors had found. A few odd objects remained, but much existed only as family traditions. For example, if they plowed up a strange, corroded copper kettle, they might melt it down. Copper was valuable stuff. Consequentially, they knew about copper kettles Harvard never saw.

One thing they knew about (which I can find no record of Harvard ever seeing) was petrographs. They were in a 300-foot-tall knob of made of the hardest granite, yet fractured and holding a cavern. The knob had a name like “Devil’s Den”, or some such thing. It was a hideout for smugglers and robbers, and when President George Washington rode by that looming knob on his way to Boston along the Post Road, his bodyguard was especially vigilant. If it still existed it would be a protected monument, but instead it became a quarry over 400 feet deep, supplying the best granite gravel for highways, including causeways built across the reservoirs supplying faucets in Cambridge. In essence the valley Eban Horseford claimed held a Viking colony is now buried beneath both a reservoir and an interstate highway.  So all Harvard knows is that there used to be caves that purportedly held petrographs. But as a boy I knew gruff old locals who had seen the petrographs, or their fathers had. They were a vanishing people, and by the time I was a high school senior they’d vanished, but they taught a history much more interesting than the history in school, which seemed to be merely the memorization of dates and places, and seemingly didn’t involve actual people with actual stories.

To conclude this sidetrack, I’ll mention a local historian who was perhaps the last pig farmer to flee my rapidly ossifying suburb. Back in those days (1950’s) you recycled your trash into three piles: Stuff for the incinerator: stuff for the dump; and stuff for pigs; and this particular fellow collected the stuff for pigs. He was our “garbage man”, radiant and nearly completely bald and seemingly always cheerful, but no one you would suspect was an authority. However, an occasion arose where no one knew how to turn on an old, neighborhood fountain. Plumbers were useless. Engineers were useless. But the garbage man knew the history. How he happened to chance by that day is a bit of a mystery, (for there was no garbage to collect), but he listened from the periphery, and then silently strode forward and took a shovel from a man standing by,  pried up a flagstone you could barely see, (it was so covered with sod), and beneath was a subterranean box, also made of flagstone, and at the bottom of the box was a pipe with a handle. He turned the handle, and the fountain came to life. Lesson learned? Garbagemen may be smarter than plumbers and engineers and even Harvard historians. Why?

I’m not going to give you the answer. Figure it out for yourself. How could a pig farmer and garbage man know more than plumbers, engineers and Harvard?

In any case, although I was a spoiled child, my childhood involved wonderful servants. Not that the relatively rich, suburban fathers were not wonderful, but they left at dawn and often did not return until after dark. Back when I was small they didn’t even need to own cars to desert; they left by a local train called a “Budliner,” which wasn’t a trolley but might be as small as a single train-carriage. And therefore the men who were my substitute “father-figures” through the daylight hours were the local fellows who delivered coal down rattling chutes, or oil from trucks with long, snaking, smelly pipes, or who mowed lawns or gardened, or who painted clapboards or shingled roofs, or who delivered the milk, or who delivered the groceries,  or who tarred the street, or who brought grain for rich folk’s horses, or who brought the mail up your drive and put it through a slot in your front door, and so on and so forth. I hope you catch my drift. But, in case you don’t, I’ll just state that, as a child who was hungry for good stories, these local characters were far more interesting than school was. In fact school seemed to go out of its way to make interesting subjects dull. For example, find yourself a “Dick and Jane” book. I challenge anyone to look at an actual “Dick and Jane” book and see it as anything other than boring. It is a baby-talk that likely would cause even a baby to roll their eyes. Rather than teaching first graders to read, they likely turned many away from reading. I was turned away from school, but not from reading. I read everything I could find about Vikings.

I had no idea my interest would be anything besides a hobby. To be honest, it seemed obscure trivia, but I was an enthusiast. I would bore you to death at a cocktail party, if you made the mistake of bringing up Vikings, and especially the Vikings of Greenland. Even at my most destitute, entering a warm public library because it was winter and I was cold and homeless, I’d sometimes make a beeline towards the card catalogs, (the old search engines), to see what that library held concerning Greenland Vikings. Because I wandered coast to coast, I saw some odd, out-of-print books, ensconced in remote libraries. When it came to trivia concerning Greenland Vikings, I accidentally became, if not an authority, then far more knowledgeable than you’d expect a bum sleeping in his car to be. However this was nothing I did for profit. I was like a fellow who knows the batting averages of baseball players of the 1800’s. I studied for the gratification of my own curiosity, and not for any gain other than the pleasure of knowing the amazing, vanished Greenland Vikings a little bit better.

How amazing was this population of several thousand? Glad you asked. They survived, without welfare supplementing their income, yet paying Popes, Kings of Sweden, and perhaps even the Hanseatic League, a chunk of their income, for over four hundred years, in a brutal and unforgiving environment. They lived at the edge. When the climate cooled only a little, their crops failed and their herds perished. Yet they survived many such disasters, and then, all of a sudden, several thousand people vanished, leaving no bones picked by seagulls and scattered by arctic foxes and polar bears. In fact they left only a single frozen individual, dressed in the fashions of Europe. What happened to the rest of them?

There are any number of theories, many which may be correct in part, in a “he makes a good point” manner, while not being entirely true. My mind is a repository for such theories, some of which take a single true fact and use it as a springboard for unfounded conjecture.

Academics tend to frown at unfounded conjecture, even while indulging in what they frown at. For example, I have read one of these “experts” opine that the Vikings “failed to adapt”, and “refused to adopt Eskimo ways”. (Likely the expert used either the word “Indigenous” or “Inuit”). (But the Vikings were there earlier [but were not “first”] and it was the non-Dorset Eskimos, the “Inuit”, [whom the Vikings called “Skraeling’s”], who were the “illegal aliens” of that time).

Besides being an amateur archeologist, I also am an amateur psychologist, and I can recognize “projection” when I see it.  What I saw the academic writer doing was using a single frozen corpse as a springboard for a projection reflecting what he (or she) himself (or herself) was: An ingrown inhabitant of a stultifying university clothed in non-adaptive fashions, who noticed the lone frozen corpse people found (when they returned to the Greenland colony in the late 1400’s), wore European fashions. The academic then projected his (or her) own problems onto the Greenland Vikings who vanished nearly six hundred years earlier: “They failed to adapt”.

I responded differently, when I learned the frozen corpse was wearing European fashions. My inquisitive mind immediately wanted to know, “Which European fashion?” Fashions change, and the frozen corpse might reveal a lot, if it wore a fashion worn after the date the last Greenlander freighter (knorr), (such Viking craft had a design and name all their own), arrived in Europe, and then headed back to Greenland, never to be seen again. (Decades past before any ship was sent to see why no taxes were paid, and the motive for returning to Greenland was seemingly not to help Greenlanders, but because some worried Greenlanders might be following the wrong branch of Christianity, and placing their tithes in the wrong offering-plate.) In any case, I wondered if the frozen corpse was even a Greenlander. He might have been a pirate marooned there by irate crewmates, who were irate because that poor man suggested Greenland might be a good place to raid, but when the pirates arrived, they only found abandoned ruins.

One theory about what happened to the last Greenlanders is that pirates swooped in to grab them to sell as slaves. There were a million white slaves, along the coasts of the Mediterranean, back in those times. And being enslaved might have been preferable to freezing and starving in Greenland; there was at least a chance to get fat, as a slave in warm Italy. And one odd coincidence is that, just when the Greenlanders vanished, there was suddenly talk in sea-side taverns in Italy and in Venetian colonies about lands across the Atlantic, and a couple of fast-talking Italian adventurers talked non-Italian kings into funding their adventures to cross the Atlantic. (The Italian in Spain was Christopher Columbus, and the Italian in England was John Cabot, both of whom who set sail for America in the late 1400’s, just after the Greenland Vikings became officially “vanished”).

This just demonstrates what a bore I can be at a cocktail party, if you make the mistake of bringing up the subject of Greenland Vikings. And I have only scratched the surface. I am the repository of all sorts of trivia you likely don’t want to know about

For example, did you know that for every woman’s grave in Greenland there are two men’s graves? Can you even imagine what a springboard that is, for conjecture?

I’d better stop there, or we will never get back to the subject of sea-ice. But…I cannot resist. Here’s one more springboard:

In 1898 a farmer in Minnesota claimed his son found Viking runes (writing) carved into a stone, (“The Kennington Stone”), in among the roots of a tree, as he cleared land. The runes were later translated. The runes hastily describe Vikings in a desperate situation, with ten of their party of 30 slaughtered by some sort of attack on their camp as the others were fishing. They are 14 days from where ten other men guard their ship. They sign off stating the year is 1362.

This discovery was immediately sent to Swedish linguistic experts of that time, who discredited the runes as a forgery, (perhaps a reason for the brusque dismissal might have included the fact the farmer who found the runes happened to be from Norway, and Swedes and Norwegians were getting along so poorly at that time that soon afterwards Norway declared its independence from Sweden. But ironically, the Vikings described by the runes included both Swedes and Norwegians, who lived and died together.)

That should have been that. The runes were discredited by academics and should have been put into the archives where the Piltdown Skull is kept, in the museum of clever frauds. But for some reason the stone could not be so easily dismissed.  It couldn’t rest in peace, and over and over kept being exhumed from its grave. Over and over linguistic experts kept shooting it dead, but it refused to die.

I found it interesting to peruse this unending quibble. After all, it has been going on and on and on for 123 years, and there are many opinions. What I found interesting was that most of the “experts” had neither farmed nor sailed small ships at sea. They were academics and ate fish and chips without ever having to deal with nets or potato-forks.

Certain things struck me as not making sense, concerning this fraud. One thing is that I know a small farmer’s life is not easy today, and was harder in 1898, and the idea of a fellow finding the spare time to learn about runes, carve them on a stone, bury the stone by an alder and patiently wait for the roots to entwine the stone, and only then dig the stone up and embark upon a hoax, didn’t jive with my idea of how much free time a hardscrabble farmer usually has. (zero).

Secondly, linguistic experts judged the way people talked in 1362 from how academics talked in 1362, for most written words that have survived from so long ago are the writings of professors of that time. Yet we all know that the way sailors talk down by the docks is different from how people talk up in universities, and we also know the universities are the last to change, as language changes. People in universities still can speak dead languages such as Greek and Latin, while utterly incapable of making sense of current slang on the street. To me at seemed obvious that a Viking far from home and in a desperate situation might not chisel stone using the correct vernacular for 1364, and might use many expressions that seem unfit for such a time.

One thing in the runes that made no sense (to me), using ordinary definitions of words, was that, even while stating they were 14 days from their boat, they speak of where they were as an “island.” They were far from any coast. To me this suggests “island” may have been defined differently among such adventurers. It may have been what we would define as a “portage”: As the dry area between going up one river and down another. After all, the Vikings were amazing when it came to portages. The Vikings who were called the “Rus” (which Russia is named after) stunned early inhabitants of Russia by coming down the Volga River, from upstream. They had to carry their longboats over a sort of continental divide to enact such a feat. And the place in Minnesota where the runes were carved was at the point where you must leave rivers that flow north to Hudson Bay, to get to rivers that flow south to the Gulf of Mexico. It was a sort of “island” between waters flowing north and waters flowing south. But such a definition of “island” might only be used by Vikings who underwent long journeys, and never be used by linguistic experts who never leave home.

For the most part, the experts dismissed the runes as a fraud and forgery, until in 2005 a couple of academics noticed an odd detail a farmer in 1898 should not have known about. It was an abbreviation midst an abbreviation, which was in use in 1364. Where the desperate runes state a sort of Hail Mary, with the abbreviation, AVM, for “Ave Maria,” the letter “V” has a little notch at the top, which turns the singular “Ave” into a plural plethora of “Aves”, which might be expected of a man writing in fear for his life. However, this little notch at the top of a rune was a so-called “scribal abbreviation” which was used in 1364, but which a farmer in Minnesota in 1898 should not have known about, while composing a fraud. So maybe the fraud was not a fraud, after all.

This meant little to the people of that time. The so-called “forger” was dead and couldn’t celebrate his vindication, and many who scorned him were also dead and couldn’t blush in shame, but it meant a lot to my greedy desire for trivia concerning Greenland Vikings. I could add this trivia to my vast treasure trove. Then I could talk your ear off at a cocktail party.

Meanwhile, back in the real world, I met a beautiful woman with three small children, married her, and had to get busy with more mundane stuff, and this did not include Greenland Vikings. But it did include eventually getting a gadget I had little use for, called a computer. (A pen and notebook was good enough for me, but I would use a clacking typewriter if it was demanded.) The only reason we got a computer was because schools seemed to demand my children use them, and the only reason I liked them was because they corrected my atrocious spelling. However, I did venture into a place called the “web”, and of course immediately went to the card catalog, (which I call “search engines”, but never call “Google”), to learn more about Greenland Vikings. I was almost immediately horrified.

Much I had learned about the Greenland Vikings was being ignored. Why? For what reason was the hard work of so many scientists being disregarded? This drew me into the “chat” sections of the Web, where I swiftly learned some became quite indignant, if I even asked a question. “Global Warming” was what they called “settled science”, and if you asked questions, you were a “denier”.

This was my first awareness of what is now called “cancel culture” and was (and is) a cancer that has spread, at first slowly, but now with alarming speed, throughout our society. It is something alien to the way I was brought up to think. It is a “my way or the highway” sort of narrowness which involves denial far greater than the “denial” which the virtue-signaling accuse others of, for they deny themselves exposure to fresh ideas, to springtides of new thought, and to the vigor of fresh growth. Worst, (in my view), by wearing such blinders and earmuffs they miss seeing and hearing really cool tales, including Viking sagas.

I felt a sense of outrage right from the start, and was even banned from some anti-Alarmist, anti-Global-Warming sites, for being too inflammatory. Many (such as Steve McIntyre), preached patience, tolerance, and advised that we teach the truth with dedicated persistence. But I felt the Alarmist fact-fudgers should be strung up by their thumbs.

I did try to moderate my indignation, but in some ways I feel like I have wasted a lot of my free time trying to explain things to Alarmist imbeciles. If I could have the 21st century back to do over again I might be even less patient than I already was. I was arguing with an intelligence less moved than a brick wall is, by logic. The Alarmists had their plan and they stuck to their plan, and only pretended to be reasonable. In some ways they were like a rapist who only pretends to be interested in the woman he intends to violate, and who smiles and nods and is apparently agreeable, until he maneuvers the innocent maid into an out-of-sight place, where he slams her into a wall and is extremely disagreeable. (There is a reason a cyclops is called a monster).

But good came out of my frustration, for, in my attempts to be calm and reasonable, I had a chance to indulge in my hobby, and to research all sorts of trivia concerning Greenland Vikings. Yippie! Not that I had as much time as I would have liked. Raising three, then four, then five children keeps you busy. But, when the weather was bad and I couldn’t work I enjoyed what the Alarmist’s call “denial”, which in fact is: Sifting through vast amounts of evidence collected by scientists who study things such as the pollen at the bottom of lakes. And if you wonder of what earthly use such a study can be, I will say that when your infant is teething and you aren’t getting much sleep, the subject of pollen on the bottom of lakes is a glorious escapism. There are times denial of reality is a good thing, for reality has you on the verge of strangling your own, infant son.

One escapism I found involved an obscure subject called “isostatic rebound”, (and its antithesis, which I suppose would be called “isostatic depression”.) This idea stated that the burden of glaciers and icecaps pressed the continental plate they rested upon down, and when the ice melted the continental plate would arise, relieved of its burden. What this meant was that, when the glaciers melted at the end of the last ice-age, and the seas rose hundreds of feet, in certain places the land rose even faster. For this reason there are places in the north where ancient shorelines are not hundreds of feet below the current sea-level, but are above the current sea-level. There are beaches which isostatic rebound has lifted high and dry, on the coast of the Arctic Sea, holding bits of driftwood ten thousand years old, sometimes charred by the Eskimos that burned driftwood before even the Dorset Eskimos roamed up there.

Certain scientists wanted to go study those uplifted beaches, and braved ferocious clouds of mosquitoes to do so. (Not to mention risked the chance of running into a polar bear which weighed more than half a ton.) Among things they discovered was the geological fact that an ice-covered Arctic Sea forms a very different beach from an ice-free Arctic Sea. They noticed uplifted beaches were of two types. This suggested the Arctic Sea might have been ice-covered long ago, but also ice-free at other times, in the past, which annoyed Alarmists. Alarmists did not want to hear the Arctic Sea has been ice-free in the past, as it made the prospect of an ice-free Arctic Sea in the future appear less ominous. So what did the Alarmists do? They cut the funding of such scientists, and suppressed their findings, but…I still could find the findings. They are there if you look hard enough.

What does this have to do with Vikings? Well, it turns out isostatic rebound can happen far faster than you’d think. As a glacier advances down a valley the entire valley sinks, and when the same glacier retreats the entire valley is uplifted. This can be measured by modern GPS gadgets down to millimeters, even on a daily basis, but the Vikings inhabited Greenland over four hundred years. They arrived during the Medieval Warm Period when the shorelines were lifting, and then they saw the climate change and the glaciers start back down the valleys as the Little Ice Age came on, and saw the shorelines submerge. How far? Should we be looking for the beaches and docks that Viking longboats landed at underwater? If we hired scuba divers, might we find a goldmine of information?

Don’t ask Alarmists. They are in denial, and don’t want to know. Anything that questions their narrative is, in their view, “denial”. The entire reality of the Medieval Warm Period makes them queasy. In fact there is evidence certain academics stated, “We have to erase the Medieval Warm Period.” Why? Because it did not support their narrative. (And you can watch the Medieval Warm Period actually be “disappeared”, if you look at old IPCC reports, and compare them with newer IPCC reports.)

The IPCC should be ashamed of itself. Such “disappearing” belongs in the dark disgrace of communist dictatorships, and not in the hallowed hallways of science. The IPCC has in fact been rejected by some brilliant scientists, who joined in good faith but who later became aware the IPCC was more focused on politics than on science.

It was handy to “disappear” the Medieval Warm Period, for it made it easier to say current warming was “unprecedented” and that we should all freak out, but the Greenland Vikings were hard to “disappear”. If it was colder back then, how could they hand-dig graves where we now need jackhammers or flamethrowers to get through the permafrost? If it was colder back then, how could they build barns and stables which suggest that, in the best of times, the several thousand people herded over 100,000 sheep and goats, and roughly 2000 cattle? How could they do it, even in the summers, let alone gather the fodder to feed such herds during the long winters? And what about water? 2000 cows cannot drink ice. How could their cattle drink during winter? In the face of such evidence the Alarmists had to come up with an explanation, and it was this: “Greenland’s warmth was a local effect.”

Wow. It must have been amazing. The entire earth was (according to Alarmists) colder than it is now, but this one spot up the west coast of Greenland was dramatically warmer. The problem then becomes explaining such a bizarre anomaly. Of course, Alarmists don’t have to explain their bizarre beliefs. They don’t want you to explain, either. You are just supposed to swallow. However, science demands an explanation. What could make the west coast of Greenland so much warmer, when all the rest of the earth was colder?

I have tried to be fair and have striven to come up with excuses for such a bizarre anomaly. (I am good at excuses, having had to invent many for undone homework as a boy), but not even I can excuse this anomaly, (if it was a local anomaly, and not worldwide.)

One good excuse was lava. Unfortunately, geologists tell me there is little lava pouring out on the west coast of Greenland. Vast amounts can pour out in Iceland, but Iceland is far away.

How about shifts of the Gulf Stream or the Jetstream? These indeed can cause very cold areas to become much warmer than usual, but when a stream deviates far from normal it tends to be like an oxbow on a river, which eventually becomes cut off, as the river choses a straighter course, and then it becomes an oxbow lake, or a whirl beside the Gulf Stream, or cut-off-low beside the jet stream. As soon as such loops become separated from the stream that created them, they lose power; the oxbow lake silts up: the whirl beside the Gulf Stream fades and slows and vanishes; the cut-off low melts from meteorological maps in a matter of days, as the jet stream goes right on flowing. Therefore, even the most fantastic quirks in the Gulf Stream or jet stream you can invent, which might explain how the west coast of Greenland could be very much warmer even as the rest of the earth was colder, could never last very long. They could certainly not explain Greenland Vikings surviving where we could not survive, for 400 years.

In fact the only real reason that coast could be so much warmer, that I can think of, is that the north winds were significantly warmer, because the Arctic Ocean was significantly warmer, and far freer of sea-ice.

I told you we’d get back to sea-ice! Congratulations, if you have put up with me so long!

But I must again digress and describe the “maritime effect.” I’ll attempt to be brief.

The south coast of Hudson Bay and north coast of Ireland are at roughly the same latitude, but the coast of Hudson Bay sees the saltwater freeze solid every winter, while the north coast of Ireland has only seen icebergs on its beaches once (that I can find) in recorded history (in 1817). The south coast of Hudson Bay is a landscape of Tundra and Taiga, of lichens and stunted spruces, while Northern Ireland is green and hears the lowing of cows. In fact, in a way, Hudson Bay is like the west coast of Greenland now is, while northern Ireland is emerald pastures like Greenland once was, when the Vikings raised 100,000 sheep and goats and 2000 cows. What makes such a huge difference? The “maritime effect” of the warm Gulf Stream, which flows by Ireland but not into Hudson Bay.

The problem then becomes making the Arctic Ocean a body of water as warm and benign as the Gulf Stream. Surprisingly, this is not as hard to do as you might think. How? Well, at this point we at long last return to the subject of sea-ice, and the gigantic meltdown which occurs every summer.

To be honest, I must confess I initially felt that reports of the yearly meltdown were Alarmist bull and Fake News, but I swiftly learned the amazing meltdown was very real. I think what clued me in was a yellowing army document as old as I was: A request from the soldiers at the American base on T-3 (Fletchers Ice Island) back in the 1950’s for hip-waders, because the slush was so deep in places.

As I investigated further I became aware of an astounding fact. It is a perfectly natural fact, and due to sensible forces, but so is the Grand Canyon, yet when we stand on the verge of the Grand Canyon we do not say, “Oh, how normal and natural.” Instead our jaw drops.  In like manner, our jaws should drop over an astounding thing occurring at the North Pole right now.

And what is this astounding thing? It is that the North Pole is getting more sunshine than the equator.

Yes. Allow the thought to sink in.  When we think of the equator we think of palm trees, and when we think of the North Pole we think of an ocean clogged with sea-ice, yet the Pole is subjected to more heat.

How is this possible? Well, at the equator the sun rises to its zenith, and at that point “only mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday sun.” But noontime is brief, and a few hours later the sun plunges down to a level where the sun is at the Pole, and then it plummets to the horizon and vanishes from sight for twelve hours. Meanwhile the polar sun simply stays at its zenith, circling around and around and around and never setting. In terms of how much heat the ground beneath gets, it is a bit like the fable of the tortoise and the hare. The equator is like the hare, and races ahead at noon, but then it gets lazy and takes a twelve-hour nap, and as it naps the tortoise keeps plodding, and wins the race, for at the end of the day the North Pole gets more sunshine than even the equator gets.

This melts a fabulous amount of sea-ice. However, until the sea-ice is all melted, temperatures cannot arise far above the freezing point. This is important to understand.

Consider boiling water on your stove. The fire beneath the water is far hotter than the boiling point of water, but the water in the pot does not become hotter than the boiling point of water. In like manner, until all the sea-ice is melted, temperatures of the water cannot become warmer than the melting point of ice.

…Except in places, along the shores of the Arctic Sea, where all the sea-ice does vanish. Almost immediately the temperatures of the seawater in such places jumps upwards. Micro-climates are created, hinting at factors which might have contributed to the Arctic Sea having a “maritime effect” and making the west coast of Greenland like Ireland.

It wouldn’t take much, to melt all the ice in the Arctic Sea (except perhaps along the north coast of the Canadian Archipelago and Greenland) and to have temperatures of the entire ocean jump upwards dramatically. Alarmists suggest this is an end-of-the-world scenario, but in fact it is greatly to be desired. Even though the Arctic Sea would likely refreeze every winter, for a time in the autumn, before it refroze, it would have a kindly, maritime effect on lands to the south. This made a world of difference (I believe) to the Greenland Vikings, and I base my belief on real-life experience.

Where I live in New Hampshire we are protected from the cruelty of the Arctic by the “maritime influence” of Hudson Bay to the north, and the Great Lakes to our west. Hudson Bay never freezes until December, and until it freezes north winds are never all that bad, but as soon as it freezes north winds become cruel and are dubbed “The Montreal Express.” The Great Lakes seldom completely freeze, and west winds are seldom as cruel, but on the rare years the Great Lakes do freeze solid and even Niagara Falls stops flowing, we are cruelly attacked from both west and north, and sea-ice fills our own harbors and sometimes even extends miles out into our bays.

Considering I can see the effects of Hudson Bay and the Great Lakes, looking out my own back door for the past sixty years, it is easy to extrapolate the same phenomenon to the west coast of Greenland, and to Vikings looking out their own back doors. To such a people, a warmer Arctic Sea to their north would not be what Alarmists dread, a so-called “Death Spiral”, but rather a “Climate Optimum”.

So let us look with kindlier eyes at the amazing meltdown occurring to the north. It may be true Alarmists would use an ice-free Pole to tax the begeezes out of us, while padding their own pockets, but a kindly climate might make it possible for us to pay such exorbitant taxes. We should be rooting for an ice-free Pole (as should those leeches).

How could such a melt be possible? Well, in fact we come quite close every summer. The blazing sun melts roughly 20,000 cubic kilometers every year. Only roughly 5,000 cubic kilometers remain when the refreeze begins.

Pause a moment, and consider the heat required to melt a single cubic kilometer. Imagine a single gigantic icecube, one kilometer by one kilometer by one kilometer, was plopped in your back yard, (preferably with a corner atop the neighbor-you-least-like’s house), and you watched it melt. Do you think even the heat of your summer could melt such a gigantic object away, before winter returned? But the frying heat of the arctic’s summer sun melts 20,000 such cubes every year. In fact, so powerful is the meltdown that most of this melting occurs in only sixty days, as is shown by the yearly “volume” graphs. (The upper line of the graph is 25,000 cubic kilometeres, and the lower line 5000 cubic kilometers.)

Meltdown 1

In a sense this is like a pot on your stove boiling 80% of its water, before you put more water in. The pot never boils dry, and the smoke alarm never goes off, because the pot never exceeds the boiling point of water. But, if the water boils away, the pot abruptly is able to exceed the boiling point of water, and we hear the smoke alarm go off. In like manner, if we could only melt away the dratted remnant of sea-ice, temperatures of the surface of the Arctic Sea could leap upwards, and we could get rich quick by investing in farms on the west coast of Greenland. (Alarmists would try to get rich quick by freaking out, saying the world was ending, and taxing everyone in sight.)

Sadly, there is little sign we can quite make it to the kindly state created by an ice-free Pole. We need warm cycles, but they have gone cold on us. The frenetic sun of the 1950’s has become a “Quiet Sun.” I was especially dismayed to see signs, posted by Joseph D’Aleo at his Weatherbell site, which suggest that both the AMO and PDO may be drifting from their “warm” (and sea-ice melting) phases to their “cold” (and sea-ice increasing) phases.  It is not so much seen in the current sea-surface temperatures, but in the way those temperatures are trending. The changes hint at a cold, backwards letter “C” in the Pacific, and also the Atlantic, and those cold, backwards “C’s” are indicative of a situation which increases sea-ice.

Here are the changes over the past year Joe D’Aleo shows in the Atlantic, with the blue backwards “C” extending from Baffin Bay east to Spain and then south and back west to Cuba):

Meltdown 2

And here are the changes in the Pacific, (with the backwards “C” extending from Bearing Strait east to California and then curving back west past  Hawaii towards Japan:

Meltdown 3

To further bad news, the “extent” of sea-ice has refused to behave like a “Death Spiral”, and actually spent May higher than recent years. Not that current levels matter much, when 80% is going to melt. But sometimes, when dealing with Alarmists, cherry-picking data can be fun.

Rather than decreasing, the month-of-May sea-ice extent is turning upwards. The “trend” from 1979 (a very cold year with lots of sea-ice) may indeed still be down:

Meltdown 4

But when you begin the graph in 1998 it is nearly flat:

Meltdown 5

And when you begin in 2004 the “trend” is actually turning up.

Meltdown 6

All you need to do is compare the NRL “thickness” maps of this date last year to this year to see that rather than being flushed south, much sea-ice was first compressed towards Canada, while later-on sea-ice built up more thickly on the Alaskan and Siberian coasts, and the east side of the Kara Sea, making sea-ice measurably thicker in such places, this year. (This is important for it is just such places which are not of the 80% which melt every year, but are of the 20% where ice lasts, and if sea-ice is increasing in such places, it is hard to see how we can get to an ice-free Pole.) (2020 to left; 2021 to right).

Lastly, to assist the summer meltdown, it would be nice to see warmer temperatures, but instead they are below normal, due to clouds and storms up there. (This would have been a good summer to study “Ralphs”, (anomalous areas of low pressure), but I haven’t had time.) Clouds chill the effect of 24-hour sunshine. The DMI temperatures-above-80-degrees-north graph shows one of the coolest and slowest starts to the melt season on record (going back to 1958). (Blue line is freezing point; green line is the usual summer thaw during the meltdown, and the red line shows our summer has seen a cooler thaw, consistently below normal.)

Meltdown 9

All of this tends to refute the Alarmist “Death-spiral”, (and also to put my plans to farm the west coast of Greenland on hold). However, it also turns my mind to a baffling subject, involving how such swings of climate are physically engineered by nature.

PART 2

Learning about such engineering has importance. It is not merely some esoteric topic for scientific geeks. Why? Because the engineering of swings from “warm” to “cold” AMO and PDO leads to flabbergasting swings in where fishing grounds are located, and in the numbers of fish inhabiting those fishing grounds. Therefore, even if we tilt our noses high and deem fishermen crude and uneducated “bitter clingers”, we are affected by such currents if we ever eat fish. Or use items of leather from tanneries which use fish oil. Or take fish-oil supplements to our diet to avoid heart attacks. Or wear old-fashioned mother-of-pearl buttons on our clothing. Or eat a vegan diet grown in soil utilizing organic fish-meal fertilizer.

The engineering of Atlantic Currents can lead to astounding population-explosions. In the late 1400’s the cod were so thick off Cape Cod that men may have sailed all the way from northern Spain to fish the Grand Banks, and rather than using nets they actually scooped the cod up in big baskets. Now it seems impossible to even “sustain” the population of cod, despite (and perhaps because-of) more than a half century of bureaucratic rules and regulations. Yet a reengineering of currents by Nature can change things in a flash.

I myself have seen a few population explosions, when I’ve lived by the sea, and they always strike me a sort of miracle. For years there are no clams; then suddenly the mud has more holes than Swiss cheese; for years there are no squid; then suddenly squid are a nuisance; for years you have to dig a half hour to find enough sea-worms for bait; then suddenly you get enough with a single scoop of your clam-hoe. For years the voracious “Big Blues” never swim north of Cape Cod into the Gulf of Maine, and then suddenly, at midnight, the roar of panicking Menhaden in the harbor wakes you from sleep. Out of the blue, the sterile seas and seashores produce a bonanza. Understanding the engineering of Atlantic currents might be helpful in preparing for such bonanzas. If you are not ready, the bonanzas can pass in a flash, and you may miss a chance to make a quick fortune.

Funding such research isn’t easy. For this reason the researchers long were the fishermen themselves, and the funding was provided by the fish they caught. Secondary funding might come from bankers who invested in ships, but it was the sailors themselves who had the real knowledge, and they were often illiterate and didn’t mix well in academic circles. They also didn’t always get along well with bureaucrats and tax-collectors, and often felt no shame for ignoring rules and being called “a smuggler”, or even “a pirate” (who would be called “a privateer” if he worked for you and not against you).

One reason the Greenland Vikings stopped sending ships to Europe may well have been they grew fed up with paying taxes to the Pope, King of Norway, and Hanseatic League, and chose to be less than honest when they did sail east to trade with Europe. Also they may have chosen to not-report their other trade with lands to their south. (Unreported income is not merely a modern problem faced by the modern IRS). Government may call a failure-to-report-income unpatriotic, and churches may frown at donating less than a tenth of your income as a tithe, but the Greenlanders were a people who received little for their taxes and tithes. Failures by the people in high places to serve the people they are supposed to serve inevitably has consequences. It tends to result in the underlings forming an “underground” and dealing on black markets. A Bishop of Iceland, writing a history of the northern peoples in 1637, suggested the Vikings of Greenland “turned away from Christianity” in 1342.  In actual fact they may not have turned away from Christ, but rather have turned away from taxes and greed.

It also should also be noted that at the same time, in North America,  unidentified people crossed the boundaries which separated tribes and clans, following long-established “Indian Trails” (which some modern highways follow to this day), and apparently these people were not murdered for trespassing. We know nothing about these nomads, but if the wandering cultures called “Gypsies” and “Tinkers” in Europe could coexist with other, more-settled Europeans, there is no reason to deny the possibility of similar peoples living by their wits, as traders in North America. We only know someone was responsible for copper from Michigan winding up far from Michigan, and seashells from the Gulf of Mexico winding up far from the Gulf of Mexico, and a silver Norse penny from Europe winding up in a heap of clam shells on the coast of Maine. Might not these traders have been Vikings, greatly altered by centuries of divorce from Europe? There is no firm proof, but I see no reason to exclude, from the range of possibilities, the idea a certain percentage of Greenlanders did not emigrate back to Europe willingly (some did) or return to Europe unwillingly as slaves, or die in Greenland, but rather left Greenland to become traders to the south.

Academic types who never leave Ivory Towers may not like the idea of people leaving all behind, for a future with no government pension. They also may not like it that the Vikings sent no reports back to European Universities and left no paper trail to follow. But men who risk the dangers of going to sea cannot be expected to report what they know, when they receive no funding for what they report, and instead are taxed for what they report. Academics should be well aware of this dynamic, for cancel-culture is not an entirely new phenomenon. (Galileo got in trouble for stating Jupiter has moons). We cannot expect even academics to report the truth, if they receive no funding for truth, and instead are taxed by blackballing, if they tell the truth. Instead we should expect universities to produce modern pirates, who turn away from the norm of civil procedure, (in an academic way).

I bring this up to demonstrate one problem we face in understanding the engineering which goes into the shifting of warm and cold currents. Such shifts need to occur to turn a “warm” AMO into a “cold” AMO. Understanding is crucial, but I imagine a problem lies in the way. The problem involves the fact that the people who know the most often do not get the respect they deserve. One good thing I got out of my experiences on the coast of Maine was that I learned to respect the so-called “illiterate.”

I arrived on the coast of Maine in December 1974, and lived on the water until 1982. I was 21 when I arrived, and in many ways naïve, but not so ignorant as other tourists from the south, for I had actually been to sea as a marijuana smuggler and had experienced Atlantic gales in a small craft. But I was fresh from a reformative trip to India, and was starry-eyed with ideas that few fishermen would call pragmatic. Yet, because I couldn’t convince anyone to buy my starry-eyed ideas (which I called “poetry”) I had to be down to earth, working in smelly places like canneries, and wading mud to dig clams. As I eked out a living providing for myself (with a few embarrassing loans from my mother) I hopefully also provided (at the very least) some comic relief for those who worked very hard to earn an everyday living from the ocean, (and who couldn’t get loans from their mother because they were providing for her in her old age).

Quite by accident I learned about sea-ice, because I happened to be in Maine during the cruel winters of 1976-1977, 1977-1978, and 1978-1979. Don’t get me started on my adventures upon sea-ice. In short, with a younger brother, I once walked (under the light of the full moon) from the mouth of the Harraseeket River past Crab Island and over Casco Bay to Harpswell. On another occasion I skated with my sister from the same Harraseeket River along the coast down to the Royal River in Yarmouth. Lastly, one time I saw the Harraseeket harbor flash-freeze and not become the more ordinary white, jumbled sea-ice, but rather black-ice as smooth as any freshwater pond’s, and over that ice drifted powdered salt. So, quite accidentally, I could learn how low temperatures extract salt from salt water, without requiring a penny of funding, or needing to travel to the Arctic Sea. Nor did I require funding to learn from fishermen, nor to see how hard it is to earn a living from the sea, especially when the sea is frozen rock-solid. They were hard men living hard lives, yet had surprisingly soft hearts, and the proof is that they put up with the likes of me. I adored the sea, but was not too smart, and they were swift to tow me out of trouble. Initially I felt I was more literate than they because I had studied Shakespeare, but they soon convinced me I was illiterate when it came to reading the waters.

I became especially aware of this one time when it was impossible to read the waters. The fog was too thick. The fog was so thick that the wealthy friend I was with (I was penniless) couldn’t drive his Jaguar XKE fast enough, and we missed the ferry to Mohegan Island. By ruffling some money my wealthy friend persuaded a lobsterman to take us out there. We heaved our suitcases aboard his old boat, and off we chugged into the pea-soup fog. This was long before GPS was available, and our captain used a compass and a wristwatch. As the minutes passed, I grew increasingly nervous, gazing into a wall of deep gray, until I could hear an unseen buoy ringing off to the left, and felt slightly less lost. All too soon that bell faded astern, and I again felt uncomfortably disconnected from any sense we had any idea where we were. The lobsterman seemed unperturbed, until he looked at his watch, squinted forwards, and then briefly seemed anxious, turning and asking us if we had metal in our suitcases, before looking ahead and relaxing, as looming through the thick fog a massive boulder appeared, with brown, sloshing sea-weed below and white guano up high. We were at the entrance to Mohegan Harbor.

I was impressed. He had made the journey look easy, but I knew I would have had a hard time making such a trip in the still waters of a lake. The coast of Maine has strong and reversing tidal currents. This man never consulted a tide table nor chart. He simply was knowledgeable where I was ignorant. He was literate where I was illiterate.

(This contributed to a schizophrenic side which I fear my generation will be remembered for. On one hand we disrespected our elders while on the other we worshiped them. On one hand we rejected the status quo and called ourselves “progressive”, while on the other we were anti-progress and “back-to-nature”. You can’t have it both ways, but we hadn’t ironed out the discrepancies. Perhaps our hypocrisy was a sort of cataract to our vision which has taken a half century to ripen, and only now is at long last manifesting in the schizophrenia of modern politics,) (which symbolically is a ripened cataract demanding removal.)

In any case, my life blundered into a blessing, in that I learned illiterate fishermen might know more than anyone else about certain nuances concerning North Atlantic currents which effect sea-ice. Not that I ever intended to learn about such things. My major was poetry, with a minors in psychology, history and economics. Vikings and sea-ice and North Atlantic Currents were nothing I tried to learn about, as subjects more serious than a hobby’s.

This brings me to a final autobiographical aside, (on our way to the subject of North Atlantic currents), for there was one time I did actually take a class on something that had nothing to do with Poetry, Vikings, History or Economics.

I had quit a minimum-wage job making big sails for rich men’s sailboats, and then had also given up on avoiding a Real Job altogether by “living off the land” [because man does not live on clams alone] and was humbly working as a clerk in a small, local market.  The owner was alcoholic and had fallen off the wagon and hadn’t shown up for days, so I was basically running the joint, wondering if I’d ever be paid. Just then a person walked in and asked permission to put up a small poster. It advertised a class the government was funding. Reading the poster, I surmised the government was using our tax dollars to hire a student from a university to come and tell the public to stop being so damn stupid. The course had a name like, “The ecology of shoreline ecosystems, and why coastal development is inadvisable”.

Everyone already knew it was unwise to build on shifting sand. Jesus had said as much 2000 years earlier. But if some hurricane came and swept all the houses away, it would be good for the construction industry, for they would have to build new houses back on the sand. Why? Because people loved to live by the sea, and to wake with the sound of surf and seagulls coming through an open window along with salty scents. The economy of Maine depended upon this irrational love.  (Personally, I was a hypocrite. I preferred beaches without houses but also knew the mosquitoes could be murder when I camped there. It was far more comfortable when a wealthy friend invited a penniless bum like myself to their cottage, and I slept in a room with a real bed, with open windows with real screens, although I might not have a Real Job.

I may have intuitively known beforehand that the class was a perfect recipe for disaster: “Let’s have a college intellectual come and tell people on the coast of Maine that they know nothing about the sea.” However, intuition may remain subconscious, and I only consciously noticed the class was free. I decided to attend.

At that time I firmly held some erroneous beliefs; for example: That the United States would run out of oil by 1990. I was appalled by the general public’s refusal to panic. Couldn’t they see that we’d be back to horse-drawn carriages by the year 2000? The public was blissfully ignorant and needed to be taught. Therefore, I was on the side of the teacher as I entered the class, and hung on his every word, vigorously nodding as he made his points. And I actually did learn interesting things about the formation of sand-dunes and off-shore sandbars, and how it was unwise to build on sand or to try to prevent sand from washing away from beaches. However, what I remember most vividly was something I did not expect to learn.

Attending the class was a person I deemed an old, grizzled fisherman. (Actually, he was far younger than I now am, but his hair was starting to gray at his temples, which made him “old”, back when I was 22.) He was polite and eager to learn, but for some reason he irked the young teacher. I think the teacher intuitively knew the fisherman held more knowledge about the ocean in his little finger than the teacher had gleaned from four years of indoor classrooms and labs, (with a few jaunts to the sea to “gather data.”) The fisherman had been on the water since boyhood, beginning on his Dad’s boat, and every question he asked was permeated with knowledge. Quite accidentally and innocently he made the young teacher look less knowledgeable than the young man desired to look, and I think it may have punctured the teacher’s young ego. Rather than humble, the young teacher became scornful, and behaved as if what the fisherman asked about was mere superstitious poppycock. Something about the young man’s snooty attitude chilled the atmosphere of the classroom; people were too polite to say anything, back in those days, but the teacher won no respect. The more he attempted to belittle the fisherman the more he belittled himself.

The fisherman came across as affable and nearly incapable of taking offence. Looking back with the wisdom of age, I think the man may have been slyer than he looked, and was seeking to pluck the young teacher’s brains, but he did so in an unassuming way, and laughed when the teacher attempted to shrink him with withering irony. Yet the fisherman persisted with his friendly questions, and constantly seemed to derail the subject from what the teacher wanted to focus on to what he himself was interested in learning.

Judging from my notes on now-yellowing-paper, the young teacher felt that what men should do, if they appreciated beaches, was to move fifty miles inland. If we liked beaches, we should never set foot on them. He cared more for the habitat of plovers than the Maine Tourism Industry. He cared more for the roots of dune-grasses than the bare feet of romping children. He was scornful of any attempts by engineers to control dunes and sandbars with seawalls, groins and breakwaters, and his mantra was, “Erosion is not a problem, but a process”. Nature should be left alone, to do her stuff. Nothing men did was any good.

You have to admit this is depressing news for a people who have lived for centuries interacting with the capricious sea. But despite the shortcoming such an anti-mankind attitude suggests, the young teacher taught a lot, about how nature works. Everyone in the class learned a lot about how amazing grasses grow tough roots that hold dunes in place better than manmade chicken wire and snow-fences, and how the combers of winter storms build offshore sandbars that protect beaches for free, more effectively (in most locales) than expensive breakwaters, and how these impressive offshore bars are naturally reduced by the lapping of gentle summer waves, and how sand is naturally moved back inshore to widen summer beaches. There was nothing depressing about such knowledge. What was depressing was the idea mankind cannot interact with the beauty of nature, and the young teacher seemed prone towards just such a defeatist belief.

The fisherman in the class was a perfect foil. He already knew offshore bars get bigger after autumnal gales pound the dunes, for it was everyday knowledge to him. It was one of those things we so take-for-granted that we don’t bother think about them, like the fact the sun rises after dawn, or the fact trees grow leaves when winter ends. He was already acquainted with what the teacher was teaching the rest of us about, and the subject bored him, so he asked questions which derailed the class.

Oddly, the fisherman wasn’t so much interested in what he didn’t know, but in gizmos and gadgets that could help him more clearly see what he already knew. For example, where his grandfather had sailed without even a barometer or wristwatch, his father had learned such gadgets could be helpful. In like manner, the fisherman in our class assumed the college-educated must be aware of newer gadgets. He wanted to learn what gadgets our young teacher utilized, to see if he could afford having such a gadget aboard his boat. He was not a backwards fisherman and was very interested in modernizing. For example, the price of sonar had dropped to a level where he could afford a depth finder, quite primitive by 2021 standards but state-of-the-art for 1975, but he wanted to know more about sonar; he thought he had noticed that besides seeing the bottom he once dimly glimpsed a thick school of herring; could sonar be converted into a fish-finder? Of course, this was not the direction the teacher wanted the class to proceed in; the teacher wanted to talk about the habitat of endangered plovers.

The fisherman thought forward into the world of gizmos and gadgets. But my mind was reeling backwards to the time of the Vikings.

I’ve explained how amazed I was by the ability of fishermen and lobstermen to find their way through pea-soup fog with only a compass and wristwatch, but as the fisherman chattered away I abruptly understood his grandfather didn’t even have the wristwatch, and Vikings didn’t even have the compass. What in the world did they do in a fog? Travel in circles until they bumped into something? Their only depth-finder was a hunk of lead attached to a long rope they hurled ahead of the boat to see how deep it sank, and their only gauge of direction in a fog was the direction the wind blew from; what did they do when the wind shifted?

If the teacher found the fisherman a distraction, he likely found me more so, for Vikings have little to do with the subject of endangered plovers. To be honest, I found it fairly difficult to twist the conversation in the direction I desired, especially as the fisherman wanted to wrench the same conversation in the direction of gizmos and gadgets. But somehow, to the dismay of the teacher, I did manage to bring into the discussion of coastal sandbars and dunes, and about the plovers who skitter midst sandbars and dunes, the totally off-topic topic of the Tarrantine.

The Tarrantine’s were a coastal Maine clan of the Micmac tribe who developed and then jealously guarded a monopoly of trade with the French in the late 1500’s. They had firearms (“thunder sticks”) before other tribes. They also gained great power because the pandemic of 1617 (which William Snow estimated reduced the Abenaki of New Hampshire from a population of 10,000 to 250) did not affect them severely at all. They abruptly greatly outnumbered their foes and became very powerful.  But why did the pandemic spare them? Why should they have an immunity to European diseases others lacked? Perhaps they were, at least in part, European descendants of Vikings?  (The Puritans of that time called the Tarrantine, “Red Vikings”).

Another odd attribute which the Tarrentine displayed manifested in what they coveted. What did they want to obtain from the French? Where other tribes coveted copper kettles and iron axes (and, later, “thunder sticks”), the Tarrentine desired sailing ships. This always struck me as odd. While the coastal Indians of New England did hunt whales, they apparently used enormous dugout canoes made of the trunks of tall white pines. How would natives even know how to handle the ropes and rigging of a sailing ship? Yet old French records show the Tarranteen did purchase (with furs) at least one sailing craft. (The Tarrentine themselves kept no records we can find, and their power faded as the 1600’s passed).

Besides showing what a pain I can be at a cocktail party, this demonstrates what a pain I can be if you are a teacher who wants to alert the public to the dangers faced by plovers skittering between sand dunes and beaches. (But the fisherman was interested.) Meanwhile the fisherman was asking the teacher whether he had viewed the coast from above.

The tool the fisherman used, back then, to view the sea from above was free and highly useful. He used seagulls. The way gulls were acting three miles away, or the direction they were flying overhead, could alter the course of the fisherman’s boat. But seagulls didn’t fly where he wanted. The gadget he wanted was a fish-finding drone, but this was long before drones were invented. Therefore, he pestered the teacher for information about research done from airplanes, and about the new Satellites that NASA was launching. As he asked, he talked about what he called “big whorls”. He claimed that, if you fished far from land, you might come across warm “big whorls” and cold “big whorls”, and the fishing was best (as I recall) on the boundaries of the “big whorls”.

Around this time the teacher was looking like he was ready to start ripping out his hair. He had managed a painful smile at me as I yammered about the Tarrentine, but the digression into “big whorls” was apparently the straw that broke the camel’s back, and he snapped a dismissive comment that placed “big whorls” on a level with Bigfoot and the Lock Ness Monster. The fisherman’s smile vanished, and he looked very hurt. The class became quiet, and cold, and we meekly discussed plovers. However, I never forgot the information about “big whorls”, partly because I didn’t have time to forget. It was only a year or two later that NASA released the first, marvelous infrared pictures of the Gulf Stream, revealing it was not straight, but undulated into oxbows and, yes, into “big whorls”. This highlighted the incident between the teacher and the fisherman, and made it stand out in my memory.

In some ways the incident was a sort of seed crystal for further thought, and, in other ways, marks the start of my conversion from a liberal to a conservative. I saw how blind the teacher was. Here he had an opportunity, in the form of the fisherman, to learn about “big whorls”, and to be ahead-of-the-curve and smarter than his peers, but he missed his chance. I wondered if he ever remembered the fisherman, years later, perhaps while he sat in an armchair and looked at an infrared picture of the Gulf Stream in a National Geographic. (I know I sure did. As I looked at the amazing picture, I think I murmured, “big whorls”, out loud).

The incident seems a perfect example of how our bias can blind us. We become too caught-up in a certain agenda involving plovers and dune grass and groins, and miss seeing truths, which patiently await the scales to fall from our eyes. Truth is not discovered; it is there all along.

The dynamics which switch the AMO from its “warm” to its “cold” phase are currently just sitting there, waiting for us to see what is glaring at us in the face. At times I feel a frustration that I may not live long enough to see the revelation occur. But maybe I’m too greedy. I did live through the awakening caused by the “Geophysical Year” in 1959, when “continental drift” abruptly made sense to geologists. (Not that some hadn’t ventured the idea earlier, but they were scorned.) How obvious continental drift seems to us today! But what a revelation the “discovery” was, as it happened! If I got to see that enlightenment, perhaps I should not be greedy for more. But I am. Truth is wonderful, and there’s always room for more.

At this point we should turn to North Atlantic Currents, and the truth we know so far. I will provide you with my layman’s view. Forgive my simplicity, and simply see this as a Sunday Newspaper’s puzzle. As I bring up what we don’t understand, see it as a crossword puzzle. It is good fun to try to figure out the answers. But most crossword puzzles only go up and down and side to side. This one, from the start, is three dimensional, and may become more complex than that, although at that point I usually find an excuse to bail from wherever it is my mind is leading me. Truth can fry your brains, it is so wonderful, and a layman like myself needs to know his limits, and when to back off.

In any case let us begin with the simple fact warm water rises and cold water sinks. Water at the equator wants to rise while water at the Pole wants to sink. Water at the equator can only rise so far before it reaches the surface, and water at the Pole can only sink so far before it hits the bottom. Water cannot compress, so such water needs a place to go. The warm water heads north to replace the sinking water, as to the north the cold-water heads south to replace the rising water. This makes a nice circle. Ah! If only things were so simple!

A problem occurs because our planet is spinning, which creates a dratted inconvenience called “The Coriolis Effect”. Rather than heading due north things get curved west, and rather than heading south things get curved east. Bother. Our neat circle is ruined. Rather than heading to the Pole the warm water curves west and slams into North America, and down deep water that should head south is curved east towards North Africa. Yet it is fortunate continents get in the way, for otherwise the circulation would never get to the Pole, and we would resemble Jupiter, striped east to west. But, because continents get in the way, the curved currents forget the “Coriolis Effect” and recall their true destination, and rush north as the amazing Gulf Stream. (A similar thing may occur with cold water in the deeps of the sea by North Africa, be we lack research. Send money.)

It would make matters simple if the Gulf Stream was polite, and headed to the Pole as a unified stream, and promptly sank to join waters heading back to the equator. But no. The stream breaks into all sorts of tributaries and tendrils. Towards the Pole, where the Coriolis Effect fades, currents are freer to wander wherever they wish. In some ways they misbehave, because they hideously complicate the nice, neat circle.

In some cases currents are so rude as to continue north while diving slightly below the surface. If water was polite, warm water would stay at the surface until it was time to plunge to the bottom and reverse course back to the equator. But impolite, slightly-submerged currents slide north like a card sliding into a deck of cards, not at the top and not at the bottom.

This rude behavior is due the fact water does not only rise because it is warm and sink because it is cold. Water also rises because it is fresh and sinks because it is salty. Big Problem. Tropical water is basically salty, because evaporation removes lots of water and leaves salt behind, and polar water is basically fresh (or fresher), for (even during the sixty day meltdown of summer) the pole’s evaporation cannot match the equator’s. In fact, if you only thought in terms of the salinity of water, the Pole should send less-salty water south at the surface as the equator sent more-salty water north down deep. But temperature largely trumps salinity, most of the time. However, I confess it is around this point I tend to bail from discussions; they are too complex and annoying to be fun, and fun is what I expect from my hobby.

Oddly I find that, once I recover from my annoyance, I am drawn back to the very complexity which annoyed and repelled me. Perhaps this is due to another thing I expect from a hobby: A sense of wonderment. Therefore, once I get over the blow to my ego which seeing I-can’t-fathom-something delivers, I return to what-I-can’t-fathom, because it tends to be awesome. (Sailors don’t mind being out over their heads.)

Allow me to share some complexities which seem very awesome to me, from my layman’ perspective.

First, as the equator makes water more salty through the process of evaporation, the pole makes water more salty through the process of freezing. There is something about ice which does not love salt, and salt tends to be exuded from saltwater as it freezes. Very roughly speaking, a small amount of salt is exuded upwards and blows around as dust above the ice, a small amount remains in the ice, (which made arctic explorers avoid melting “baby ice” for drinking water, and seek “multi-year-ice”), but most salt remains attached to water, becoming brine which does not freeze even as the rest of the water freezes, and instead drills down through the ice, creating channels of trickling water. This briny water is far colder than the freezing point of fresh water and even of salty ocean water. In fact, there is splendid video from Antarctica of such trickles forming “brinecicles” as the very cold trickles of brine bore through the sea-ice and reach the ordinary seawater beneath. In the video the brinecicles, hollow tubes of trickling supercooled brine, extend to the bottom in a shallow area and freeze starfish in their tracks. But the point is that, in the arctic, the entire time sea-ice is forming and thickening, (which is most of the year), it is exuding supercooled brine which is very dense, compared to water which is both warmer and less salty. The sea-ice is literally raining supercooled brine. Likely this rain loses saltiness and gains heat, as it descends through warmer and less salty water, (and likely makes those waters colder and saltier), but its descent represents a sizable subtraction of water from the surface, and requires other water to replace it, which explains warmer waters coming north. Yet, and here’s the wonder, this process comes to a screeching halt during the summer meltdown, which leads us to our second wonder.

During the summer absolutely no brine is produced by freezing seawater. Instead 80% of the ice is melted, and, because that ice exuded most of its salt as it froze, sea-ice melt-water is fresher than the water it sits upon, and once melted it continues to float above the water it formerly sat upon as ice, but now as a so-called “freshwater lens” (though it does contain some salt and should be called  a “brackish-water lens.”) What does this suggest? It suggests, to my foolish layman’s intellect, that, without brine descending, there is no longer a reason for cold water to descend, and for cold water to exit the Pole down deep. This takes away the reason for warm currents to enter, at the surface. Currents should screech to a halt. We should see a yearly sixty-day “pause”. Do we? Nope.

This brings me to a third wonder, which occurs during the sixty-day meltdown. This involves the fact the sea level at the Pole stays roughly the same, because withdrawals from the deep sea are matched by deposits at the surface. These deposits don’t only include oceanic currents entering the arctic, but all other contributions. For example, precipitation. But the arctic is basically a desert and summer rains are scant. The real non-oceanic contributors are rivers, and rivers are amazing in the north.

Consider an arctic river, and wonder. During half of the year the landscape is frozen, and the only water entering rivers come from artesian springs. Therefore, rivers barely trickle. Meanwhile, in the landscapes they flow through, the snows get deeper and deeper. By April you have half a year’s precipitation as a sort of backlog, waiting for warm weather before it can flow to the sea. And then the meltdown occurs. Every bit of that backlog melts and rushes in rivers towards the Arctic (except for the Volga’s).

The arctic freshets are hard for southerners to comprehend. Only 1% of the Lena’s yearly flow reaches the sea in January, but in June the river rises sixty feet. And this colossal flow of fresh water pours out onto the Arctic Sea, and contributes to the “Freshwater Lens.” So…does the sea-level of the Arctic Sea rise a couple inches? No. Obviously the water must leave somewhere. But where? The currents entering the arctic should reverse for sixty days, but they don’t. So I become very annoyed and stomp off flinging my hands into the air in despair. Then I get over it. I come back and face the wonder.

My best guess, as an ignorant layman, is that the waters continue to leave the arctic down deep, despite the fact no cold brine is added to it’s supply from above. It is pushed out through the lone exit, (deep channels in Fram Strait), by a sort of CPR enacted by arctic rivers. The floods of arctic rivers adds to the weight of the “Freshwater Lens,” which pushes down and causes cold water to continuing exiting via Fram Strait’s deep channel.

You want proof? Don’t come to me. I confessed from the start I’m a layman. I create my theories out of whole cloth fully aware they may be shot down in flames by keener minds. In fact I appreciate being shot down in flames for it shows me where I’m mistaken, and makes me smarter. And this seems to be part of having an active mind stay healthy.

An aid once described Winston Churchhill’s very active mind in this way: “Winnie had a hundred ideas a day, and three were good ones.” In other words, Churchhill had 97 ideas a day be shot down in flames. But he didn’t sulk about it. He rushed on seeking an idea that worked.

This is science as I most enjoy it. It is people bouncing ideas about in a friendly manner, utterly unafraid of being wrong or even of looking stupid. If you look stupid you just laugh about it; you say, “How stupid of me! I should have thought of that: thank you for pointing that out.” This happy atmosphere is possible because you know you are among friends. It is joy to be midst such thinkers, and it is utterly and completely different from the atmosphere created by “cancel culture.”  It is as different as love is from hate.

I want to move on to a fourth wonder. But I feel dragged into a final digression, before I describe a layman’s fourth wonder. The digression involves a situation like the one I described between the fisherman and the young teacher. It involves a situation which developed years ago between Dr. William Gray (the wise fisherman) and Vice President Al Gore (the young teacher.)

Dr. William Gray preferred to be called just “Bill”.  He was superior to a layman like me. Just as I was illiterate among lobstermen, when it came reading seas in a thick fog, I’d surely be illiterate compared to Bill, when it came to his understanding of North Atlantic currents. Just as lobstermen spend their entire lives on seas I was merely an avid visitor to, Bill had spent his entire adulthood among meteorology and climatology I was merely an avid visitor to.

It seems to me that the better scientists like Bill are not so focused on what they already know, but on what they don’t know.  There is something humble about this attitude, and Bill seemed to epitomize such an awed curiosity.

In my layman’s manner I have hopefully transmitted to you a rough idea how complex the engineering of arctic currents is. There seem to be more questions than answers, and one wonders where we should begin, if we want to increase our understanding. Bill had a better idea than I of what needed to be researched first. He had a grasp I lack, and, if he didn’t actually coin the words “thermohaline circulation”, he certainly did a lot to bring it to others attention. But back when he researched the government didn’t just print money when it was needed, and Bill had to spend his funds wisely.

Back in those days you couldn’t spend extra money without cutting your budget elsewhere, and Bill lived through an agonizing time when, to fund the newfangled Doppler Radar, the government stopped funding hundreds of people who had faithfully taken weather observations at sites all over the nation. In some ways cutting their funding was a mistake, but at the time it was felt Doppler Radar could replace such invaluable observers. But that was what life was like, back when the government was slightly sane and didn’t print money flippantly (so they could spend the money like water, bribing fools). Bill had to be careful to spend on only the research that would produce invaluable knowledge. He had such a deep overview of multitudinous aspects of currents in both the atmosphere and oceans that he was just the person you wanted, who could ask the right questions and focus funding on what we needed to learn next.

At this point there entered a politician named Al Gore, whom I initially liked. He was young and clean-cut and projected a fresh and idealistic vision. He was against pollution and for the environment, which I felt was important. Also, his marriage was a sort of fairy tale love-story, which made him superior to me. (I won’t digress into the deplorable state of my own love life, at that time.) But at some point I feel Al took a wrong turn. At some point “image” trumped “actuality”. He assumed an image, and stood as an authority on the environment, yet his stance lacked the necessary humbleness of confessing you don’t know, and instead Al pretended he did know, and even that the science was “settled science”, which science never is, (and which the science of arctic currents most especially isn’t).

I had great expectations of Al, and personally felt sad, watching him change in a way I unsympathetically called “decay”. He seemed to become lost in the “image” a politician feels it is important to project, and to feel the “image” was more than a mirage, and even to assume he was smarter than he was. In terms of science, he was too busy with politics to really get down to the nitty-gritty of nuts-and-bolts research. He was, like me, an interested layman. When he found time, he likely was, like me, an avid reader. But he should not have tried to project the “image” of a full-time researcher. (True researchers are too busy researching to waste time running for office.) Yet in the movie “An Inconvenient Truth” Al projected the image of being an authority: A researcher and professor and even a prophet. Then much in that movie was shot down in flames. (A British judge mentioned “The Nine Errors”).

In the Bible it mentions that when a prophet is incorrect, he is a “false prophet”, and what the Law stated you must do is take the false prophet to the edge of town and stone him to death. This seemed a bit extreme to me. We’d soon run out of weathermen if we stoned them to death for incorrect forecasts. But then, I suppose most weathermen don’t claim to be prophets. They tend to be like Bill Gray, and more focused on what they don’t know than what they know. They don’t claim to be 100% correct or that the science they know is “settled science”.

To me, being incorrect is no big deal. I am used to being shot down in flames, and if only 96 out of every 100 ideas I have are shot down in flames, I like to point out I’m doing better than Winston Churchill did. But Al Gore did not like being shot down one bit. Not even once. He was very unlike Winston Churchill.

Al had political clout, and I don’t. When I see how Al responded to pricks to his ego, I’m glad I don’t have political clout. If I had clout I might have embarrassed myself, in the manner I was embarrassed, witnessing Al’s behavior over the following two decades.

None of us like seeing our ideas have flaws. We love the golden sensation of having a lightbulb go off in our heads, and it is a downer to see the bulb burn out, (which is another way of saying “go down in flames”). But this is just part of the process; life is full of ups and downs. We are spiritually wisest to just go with the flow, and not get too hung up on staying “up” and never being “down.” We can’t forever be “up” on earth. Sometimes our desks get messy in the fury of our inspiration, to a degree where sometimes we can’t get work done unless we stop and clean up our desk. Personally, I dislike cleaning my desk, but I recognize it is a “down” which is part of the process, wherein, once I clean my desk, I’ll get to mess it up again.

When Al’s ideas had flaws, I am not all that sure he was even able to see the flaws. He seemed to take a different view than I take, concerning what an idea is. He seemed unable to see that, in a healthy discussion, all are friends, working together to see the same Indivisible Truth. Instead, he saw you as an enemy. He had an agenda, a political policy, which would brook no amendments. If you were not for him, you were against him.

We are supposed to love our enemies, and part of the reason for this digression is an attempt to see what in the world got into Al. Why should he be the first to enact what we now call “cancel culture”, and make a foe out of a friendly fellow like me? (Or like Bill Gray?) I had nothing against him and examined his ideas respectfully. When I saw mistakes, I did my best to point them out in a civil manner. Why was Al so uncivil in reply?

It seemed to me, a mere layman, that even if Al honestly believed the world was about to end due to Global Warming, he should have been hugely relieved to hear evidence the world was not going to end. But he did not behave relieved. What was his problem? Because I am an amateur psychologist, (among other things), Al becomes a most fascinating study.

Sometimes what we possess becomes a power that possesses. We don’t possess possessions; they possess us; they turn us into slaves. I imagine the movie “An Inconvenient Truth” allowed Al to possess fame and awards and piles of money. Then certain ideas in the movie were shot down in flames. To me this would be just the evolution of my idea, but to Al it apparently was a threat to fame and awards and piles of money, and even to political power. So perhaps he over-reacted.

Early on in this process Al wanted to hold a “summit” of VIS (very important scientists) to address what Al saw as the VII (very important issue) of “Global Warming”, and he invited Dr. William Gray. Bill sent a friendly and polite note thanking Al for the invitation, and stating he would be glad to attend, but also stating that, in all honesty, man to man, he saw no evidence Global Warming was as severe a threat as Al stated it was.

Al took offence, and after the meeting he used his political clout. Abruptly Bill Gray got no funding for research into thermohaline circulation. Nor did Al relent. Bill got no research funding for the rest of his life. Bill couldn’t be fired, as his brilliance was too obvious, but Bill was told, “Stick to hurricanes, Bill,” as if that was the only subject Bill had any expertise in. In fact it was Bill’s all-encompassing overview which enabled him to surprise people by doing what was deemed impossible.

Sidenote: In the 1950’s hurricanes were only given women’s names because (supposedly like women) they were mysterious….and unpredictable. Then Bill predicted them. So then hurricanes were allowed to have male names. Why? Are men so predictable? (The demons of cancel-culture will need to work on this [and likely name hurricanes for things too absurd to think about.])

But Bill could care less what a hurricane was named. What he cared about was the big picture. His skill involving hurricanes was not his focus but more like a sideline. He was the sort of adviser Al should have wanted at his side, but for some weird reason Al felt it was wise to defund him, and to marginalize him, and to ostracize.

I fail to see any good came of Al’s action. The irony is that Al, who liked to think he preserved the environment, poisoned the environment of scientific thought. The happy and healthy environment where men are free to compare thoughts among friends was polluted by a political policy which didn’t allow certain thoughts and even didn’t allow certain people. Your funding, your job, your seniority, your ability to publish, all were in a sense determined by whether or not you kowtowed to Al. It was cancel-culture in its infancy.

This power might have puffed Al’s ego, but did it do any good? It did not defend Al’s movie, for with each passing year the prophesies in the movie look more and more incorrect. The polar bear population increased, which make the tear-jerking part of Al’s movie look asinine. As do other events, such as the failure of rising seas to swamp south sea islands. The movie does not improve like wine with time, but instead looks stupider and stupider.

So what good did Al achieve by marginalizing those who pointed out his errors, and by promoting those sycophants who told him his errors weren’t errors? It only delayed the inevitable. Even if Al had absolute control over people, it wouldn’t improve his movie. It isn’t people, but is time itself, that shoots Al down in flames. No person need be involved. Truth keeps its power, even if not a mortal on earth has the guts to stand up for it.

So what good did Al’s cruel defunding of Bill achieve? What good is it that we know so much less about thermohaline circulation than we would have known, had Al been curious? What did we gain by defunding Bill? I see no gain.

Al might think he preserved his own status, and his dignity, but increasingly it seems the opposite is true. Rather than furthering truth he opposed truth. There is no dignity in that. In fact Al, like me, seems to have often been stupid, but I doubt he will delight me by being human, and saying, “How stupid of me! I should have seen that! Thank you for pointing that out.” Instead I fear he will be possessed by his possessions, and cling to them until he must let go of them, as he does what we all must do, and dies.

And then? Well, I doubt Al thinks much about, “and then?” One perk of Atheism is that one can avoid a side of Truth which states every action has a reaction, and our lives have consequences.

I bring this digression up to demonstrate cancel-culture is not a new thing, appearing out of the blue. It is an old, bad habit, and Dr. William Gray experienced it, as did Galileo.

I also bring this digression up because cancel-culture has become THE issue, more important than sea-ice. My digression is not actually a digression, but rather is facing-facts-that-demand-attention.

Not that I really want to study the psychology of politicians like Al Gore.  I want to escape reality, and dream at clouds the way I once did out the window during Algebra Class. Sea-ice is pristine, and beautiful, and sea-ice behaves as it behaves obeying laws which don’t give a —- about politics in “The Swamp”, or about who gets “funding.”

To be blunt and perhaps unsympathetic, all “The Swamp’s” claptrap reminds me of a group of teenybopper girls in my long-ago Algebra Class. They too were uninterested in Algebra, but rather than clouds out the window they cared about who was “in” and who was “out”.  I was definitely “out”, but I didn’t care what they thought, because clouds out the window were better looking than those gossiping wenches, (with the possible exception of one wench who looked at me like I might not be definitely “out.”) But even those immature females never stood between immature me and the window to beauty. They were never as in-my-face as cancel-culture is. Cancel-culture is like an Algebra teacher clashing shut the blinds, to deny me a view of clouds, and taping teenyboppers mouths shut, to halt their gossip, and then demanding all focus on the equation on the blackboard, which states X + 1 = 2, (and then bloviating that X must equal something other than 1).

And I end this digression with a simple statement. Cancel-culture is wrong. (Could go on, but it is best to keep conclusions short and sweet.) So, what is right?

What is right is to discuss science in the manner I already described, where we are friends among friends, awed about the majesty of stuff beyond our ken. We need not pretend we are on top of stuff we do not fathom. We don’t. We don’t fathom the weather, nor control the weather, nor fathom viruses, nor control viruses. But we are free to seek to increase our understanding of such subjects. And understanding grows best in an environment fertilized by kindness and friendliness. Such beautiful growth is stunted and clipped by cancel-culture. We need to quit the crap.

PART 3

Now that I have dealt with the gigantic social crisis facing our nation, I can return to the far more pleasant and fascinating subject of arctic currents. This involves the “thermohaline circulation” which Dr. William Gray deeply wanted to study, and which Al Gore zealously prevented from being studied.

At this point I get to bring up my fourth wonder, which was a hole that first faintly appeared in the sea-ice at the end of March, long before the meltdown began. In my last post I wondered what could melt such a hole, and cause such a hole to persist despite the shifting of the sea-ice. And I dared venture an idea, which I could venture despite seeing many reasons to shoot it down in flames.

Why shoot it down? Because I wasn’t entirely sure “the hole” was truly there. It only appeared in NRL (Naval Research Laboratory) “thickness” maps. How those maps are created is outside my layman’s paygrade. But I did attempt, as daylight returned to the Pole, to use satellite imagery to verify the “hole” was there. Oddly, that part of the Arctic Sea seemed to attract storms which stalled on or close to the “hole”, and it was very hard to see through the constant clouds. But the few dim glimpses I got showed no “hole”. So perhaps the NRL maps are experiencing some glitch, and there is no “hole”.

However, because I am free of cancel-culture, I am allowed to wonder. I am allowed to admit the Navy may have access to data, perhaps from submarines, which shows ice is greatly thinned in places, but not utterly removed, so satellites cannot see “the hole”. And that leads me to the next wondering, which is about what could thin the ice in such a manner. And this lead to a subject near and dear to the boy in me. And what is near and dear to the boy in me? Big Bangs: Explosions and catastrophes, earthquakes and avalanches, and other unsettling stuff which cause all sorts of problems to “settled science.” One such event is volcanoes.

Volcanoes cause all sorts of problems to our attempts to understand the subtle engineering of the ebb and flow and give and take of other meteorological balances. As we carefully measure iotas, volcanoes fart hugely.  They are impolite and ruin our attempts at careful measurement. As we attempt to be discreet, they belch. Just when we think we might have the AMO and PDO predictable, a single volcano vomits ash into the stratosphere, and our predictions go haywire.

This seems a good time to fling my hands into the air and walk off exasperated, but I am again drawn back to the wonder, by the sheer spectacle of crimson lava shooting a thousand feet into the arctic sky. And this drags me back to dots that are difficult to connect.

It is difficult to connect anything as violent as a volcanic eruption with anything so gentle as sunbeam, and I long held that attempting to connect volcanoes with sunshine was absurd. But there does seem to be a mysterious correlation between the sun going “quiet” and volcanoes becoming “noisy”. It doesn’t make a lick of sense to a layman like me. How can a sunbeam quench a volcano? How can a lack of a sunbeam allow volcanoes to shatter the skies? I have no idea, so don’t ask me. But it seemingly happens. More research is needed. Send money.

The last major “quiet” of the sun was called the “Dalton Minimum”, and at first not much that was volcanic happened. But, after a decade, volcanoes began popping. Evidence exists of, among many other eruptions, two enormous explosions, in 1810 and 1815. They are the two biggest explosions in a millennium, only five years apart. We find proof of these eruptions in ash that we can note in cores taken from the icecaps of both Greenland and Antarctica. But here is the weird part. We know the 1815 eruption was at Tambora in Indonesia, which cost thousands of lives immediately, and millions if you include the derangement of the climate and horrible pandemics of cholera (caused by fouled drinking water) which followed. But the 1815 eruption was only an addition to the effects caused by the 1810 eruption. And where did the 1810 eruption, which left ash at both poles, occur? We don’t know. I’d say we haven’t a clue, but surely there are clues. We’re just too blind to see them.

In like manner we are too blind to see how a lack of sunbeams might cause super-volcanoes to explode.  Sunbeams are gentle, and volcanoes are not. (As a poet, I might suggest that when people fail to be gentle and pamper me, I tend to explode, but that is not scientific.) In the end we are left with a vague and unverified suggestion that, ten to twenty years into a solar minimum, volcanoes go haywire. And we are now ten to twenty years into our current “Quiet Sun”. Are volcanoes going haywire?

Not in an explosive, sooty manner. (Yet). But volcanoes can go berserk, and not produce ash that can be measured at both Poles. Volcanoes can, with hardly noticeable earthquakes, fountain lava 1500 feet into the air. We have recently seen that in both Hawaii and Iceland.

But also volcanos pour out lava in the depths of the sea, where nobody sees. Roughly 80% of the volcanoes on earth are underwater, yet are blissfully disregarded by the very people who are deeply worried by the flatulence of cows. But I don’t disregard, and do allow myself to wonder.

Allow me to wonder a bit about the amazing geology of continental drift. Data gathered during the “Geophysical Year” of 1959, (when scientists were allowed to be scientists) produced data which determined North America was drifting away from Europe and Africa at a measurable rate. With GPS we can actually measure it, down to the milometer, on a daily basis. But back then it was a flabbergasting concept. Continents can move? They bob around like corks? You must be trying to pull the wool over my eyes! No? You are serious? Gosh! This is incredible.

If North America was heading west as Europe and Africa headed east, there must be a crack between them. And sure enough, the data gathered in 1959 showed a rupture in the Atlantic seafloor, oozing lava, called the Mid Atlantic Ridge. The rock at the ridge was brand new, but as you moved east and west it got older and older, which was taken as a verification that the seafloor was spreading.

As a layman, I tend to think vast amounts of deep-sea oozing lava should be included in models that attempt to predict how Atlantic currents wander. But I don’t think such we understand such oozing well enough.  Send money.

This north-to-south crack in the Atlantic produces excessive lava in “hotspots” which cause so much lava to pour out that it causes the sea-bottom to rise above the surface, creating Iceland and the Azores. (I theorize that these “hotspots” are located where they are because Europe sinks to the north under glaciers during ice ages, and then sinks to the south during climate optimums. The Azores and Iceland are at pivot points. But this idea of mine may well be an idea much like 97 of Churchill’s 100 ideas).

In any case, for a long time this stuff was happening down where we couldn’t see, but finally some scientist persuaded somebody with money we should go take a look, and gizmos and gadgets were devised to descend to depths with crushing pressure. Amazing wonders were seen.

No actual volcanoes were watched, but the sheer heat of the crack produced “smokers” which gushed hot water rich with nutrients, and rather than killing everything in sight the “smokers” fed a sort of oasis, rich with clams, seaworms and crustaceans. It was an ecosystem far from the light of the sun, independent of what was happening miles above, and heedless of what academics formerly stated was possible.

One thing I found fascinating (because of course I found viewing videos from miles down in the sea to be a splendid way to avoid cleaning my desk, buried in miles of paper), was how the smokers produced CO2, and how they handled the CO2.

At the pressure of the surface CO2 only exists as a solid (dry ice) which sublimates immediately to its gaseous form, but CO2 exists as liquid under pressure, for example inside our fire extinguishers. And over a mile down pressures are so great that CO2 exists as a liquid. There are actual videos of little trickles of CO2 oozing away from the “smokers”, heading downhill as other nutrients rush upwards. What a springboard for thought! For example, If we are so worried about CO2, why not plunge it to the depths of the sea, where it liquifies and sinks?) (The answer to this question involves a post of its own, so please don’t go there,) (unless in friendship and joy.)

But the robots crawling a mile down never seemed to view lava. And that was what I wanted. I wanted the bombast, the sensationalism, the calamity, the collapse of twin towers, the train plunging off the exploding “Bridge Over The River Kwai”, the ruin and destruction that schoolboys relish, and which volcanoes epitomize.

Sadly, I learned through a bit of layman research that experts had concluded deep-sea-volcanoes were not explosive. Experts stated that pressures were so great miles down that gases remained liquefied, and couldn’t create the necessary pressure for explosions. Rather, the experts stated, the lava only oozed, creating “shield volcanoes” with shallow slopes, which might eventually rise several miles above the ocean, as in the case of Hawaii, but could never explode like Krakatoa. I bowed to their authority, conceding lava could only ooze, but still, even if volcanoes only oozed, I yearned to see the oozing lava.

It irked me that the deep-sea robots saw no lava. After all, if the crack between continents was just a crack, we would speak of the Mid Atlantic Dent. It is called the Mid Atlantic Ridge because colossal amounts of lava are oozed and make the sea-bottom much higher than the abysmal depths to the east and west. Yet the robots never focused on lava. The focus was on “smokers”, which were mere hot springs. In a sense it was like focusing on Old Faithful and ignoring the enormous caldera of the super volcano that formed Yellowstone. But I supposed it was the fascinating deep-sea ecosystems that generated the grant money. In some ways all the fuss over clams, seaworms and crustaceans reminded me of the young teacher focused on plovers, ignoring the fisherman’s information about “big whorls”.

Then in 1999 a swarm of earthquakes was noted in a northern extension of the Mid Atlantic Ridge. The swarms were so far north they weren’t in the Atlantic, but up in the Arctic. The quakes occurred on the Gakkel Ridge, which is a sort of continuation of the Mid Atlantic Ridge which extends north of Iceland until it fades northeast of Severnya Zenyla, (though traces continue on to the Siberian coast). This swarm of anomalies was associated with other aberrations from the norm, such as increase of dissolved methane and even helium in the general area, and scientists were exited and hungered to take a look. Finally, in 2007, some persuasive scientist managed to convince someone with money to send a robot down under the sea-ice to the location of the 1999 earthquake swarm.

What they discovered was theoretically impossible. Volcanoes had exploded more than two miles down, where they are not allowed to explode. These outlaw volcanoes made actual craters, and covered areas miles away with shards of volcanic glass. As is the case with good scientists, the fact the old theory was proven wrong didn’t make everyone sulk, but instead true scientists became happily excited, as they attempted to figure out how the heck the impossible happened.

I assume that, although extreme pressure can turn gas to liquid, extreme heat can vaporize such pressurized liquid. In any case, the scientists determined some rough calculations about how high the heat must have been, how such heat would affect certain gasses, how high the explosion’s plume must have gone for the glass shards to fall so far from the crater, but then a wet blanket fell on the research. I think I know why.

I don’t know if Al Gore was involved, but to me it seems that any talk of extreme heat at the bottom of the Arctic Sea would lead thinking minds to wonder if that heat went upwards and had any effect on the thickness of the sea-ice above. This might cause problems. Why? Well, if the thinning of sea-ice above had any connection or correlation to swarms of earthquakes beneath, then the political narrative, and Al Gore’s movie, might go  down in flames. Why? Because they had stated the thinning of such sea-ice was entirely due to CO2. And, if you go back and read the papers and articles written in 2007, it is a bit embarrassing to see how the writers walk on eggs, seeking to assure readers the undersea explosions did not “cause” Global Warming but would “worsen” Global Warming. The written evidence of fearfulness is circumstantial,  but creates the impression writers did not want to rock the boat (or boatloads) of their funding.

For Alarmists 2007 was a wonderful year, for a great deal of sea-ice was flushed south through Fram Strait and sea-ice “extent” hit a modern-day record low; (IE: Since satellite views made regular viewing possible from above, in 1979). To Alarmists this seemed a proof Global Warming was real, and that the arctic would soon be ice-free. We were supposedly witnessing a so-called “Death Spiral”, and once the arctic became ice-free all hell would break lose. This was their story, and they were sticking to it.

Well, it is now 2021, and the arctic is not ice-free. In fact, judging from the increase in thick sea-ice along the Siberian coast since last year, by next September we likely will see an increase in sea-ice since 2007. Once again, even if every scientist is made spineless by the blustering threats of cancel-culture politicians, Truth, in the form of time, has spoken. Yet sadly we once again have seen the wet blanket of discouragement slow and stifle research. There has been little study of heat from volcanoes on the floor of the Arctic Sea, since 2007.

I have attempted to show my layman’s idea of the engineering of arctic currents by creating a theoretically elegant concept where waters are warmed and arise at the Equator and are chilled and sink at the Pole. But volcanoes utterly screw my theory up. Why? Because if an undersea volcano vomits a vast lake of lava, guess what? The seawater next to that lava is no longer cold. Warm, sea-bottom water destroys my nice, neat theory where waters sink at the Pole, for warm water rises.

The lava pouring out, at rates which can involve millions of gallons an hour, is at a temperature of around 1500 degrees, and it meets saline deep-sea water close to 32 degrees. What a clash! What then happens?

Judging from lava flows from Hawaii entering the Pacific, very little comes of the 1500 degree difference between lava and water. The lava forms a slight crust, but keeps advancing, as the seawater boils at the very interface between water and lava, but such bubbles of boiling almost immediately vanish, as they arise into waters below the boiling point. On the Hawaiian coast some steam (and pulverized glass) does rise from the lava flow entering the water but is not enough to greatly change the climate. On Hawaii the 1500-degree difference is actually a ho hum affair, merely new land arising above the Pacific. However such clashes may not be such a ho hum affair, when the 1500 degree difference occurs at the bottom of the Arctic Ocean, along the Gakkel Ridge.

Why? Because our nice, neat theory has cold water descending at the Pole, and now we abruptly have a 1500 degree frying pan right where waters are supposed to sink. At the deep interface of 1500 degree lava and water with a boiling point of 212 (F), the water can never pass the boiling point of water, but it can reach 211 degrees. Whoopsie daisy! I forgot to include 211 degree water at the sea-floor, when I concluded I had things figured out, with waters rising at the equator and sinking at the Pole. Instead we have a plume of warm water rising, and even thinning the sea-ice as it reaches the surface, possibly creating the “hole”.

When you glance back to the Alarmist reaction to the 2007 “discovery” of craters on the arctic seafloor (I put “discovery” in quotes because the British, Russian and American submarine captains likely knew they were there) it seems evident Alarmists did what they do. What do they do? Alarmists become alarmed. And they instinctually created a counter-theory, not as an friendly idea which might be shot down in flames by friendly flak, but as a wet blanket to smother further inquiry. It was much like the dismissal of medieval warmth in Greenland as a “local effect”, only this time it was the dismissal of rising warmth in the Arctic Sea as an impossibility due to a “lid”. It was proposed that the stratification of waters in the Arctic Sea created a barrier like the tropopause, and that warm waters rising above volcanoes would hit an impenetrable wall and develop flattened tops like thunderstorms, too far down to melt sea-ice. Further discussion seemingly was discouraged. That was their story and they were sticking to it. If ice thinned over a swarm of earthquakes, or a “hole” appeared, curiosity was discouraged. “Nothing to see here, people; move right along.”

If the current “hole” eventually reduces the extent of sea-ice next September, Alarmists will give the credit to CO2. There will be no mention of an undersea volcano stimulated by a quiet sun, or, for that matter, of 96 other possibilities.  Alarmists seem so involved with protecting the precious egos involved in their biases and vanities that they miss happy discussions, and amazing wonders.

I don’t like to miss wonders. I pity Alarmists, for they are too busy defending where they once were, and they fail to go forward to where they could be. They sit in their cabins, insisting their Titanic is unsinkable, as I head for the lifeboats. Like Churchill I confess most of my ideas will be shot down in flames, or sink like the unsinkable Titanic. One such idea apparently is that waters always sink in the arctic.

I cannot express what a mess it makes of my layman preconceptions to surmise that the “hole” in the NRL thickness-maps is caused by a plume of warmer water rising from an undersea lava flow (perhaps provoked by the quiet sun.) It makes me look stupid. It makes me look wrong. But I’m used to that and am more interested in corrections.

Simply wonder for a bit. Simply think about how the North Atlantic currents would be deranged if, rather than sinking, currents arose at the Pole. It is a matter of engineering. It should be possible for us to figure it out, if we are sensible engineers. It requires a little tweaking of our concepts. And, because Alarmists seem to be very good at making adjustments to the temperature records, perhaps they can someday make adjustments to their computer models.

As a simple layman, one thing I would expect, if currents arose rather than descended at the Pole, would be that there would be less of a reason for currents to flow north.  After all, currents theoretically flow north to replace the water that sinks. If water does not sink, and instead arises, southern waters should lose their reason to flow north. So, has this happened?

Well, it may just be a coincidence, but one northern tendril of the Gulf Stream took a holiday, just as the “Hole” appeared. It is the tendril which bounces off Norway and swings up into the arctic around the west side of Svalbard.  Usually it can be depended upon to melt amazing amounts of sea-ice. (I have seen satellite views show this current melt away impressive amounts of thick sea-ice shoved south by north winds, in only three days.) But this year that current got weak and allowed sea ice to come south and crunch against the north coast of Svalbard. Why?

It cannot be a sign of Global Warming for sea-ice to crunch so far south. Even back in 1596, Willem Barentsz, (who Barents Sea is named after) found it easy to sail a wooden Dutch sailboat, utterly lacking the ironclad exteriors of modern icebreakers, right around the northwest corner of Svalbard, to discover Raudfjorden on the north coast on June 20. This June 20 sea-ice crunched against the same coast. How can we fret about Global Warming when waters which were ice-free in 1596 are now clotted with ice?

But that is a reply for Alarmists, and has little to do with the reality of what actually is occurring in the Arctic. It Is my reply to Al Gore, and not to Bill Gray, or any other honest scientist.

I wish I knew more honest scientists, for they get excited when you bring up an exception-to-the-rule. Al Gore would defund you, if you disobeyed his rule, and cancel culture will attempt to destroy you, if you don’t conform, but honest scientists delight when you discover a nonconformity.

Therefore I dare bring up the nonconformity of the “hole” in the arctic. It should not exist, and breaks rules to even appear, and has the further audacity to, even when fresh sea ice attempts to side over it and erace it, burn right through that new ice and persist as a “hole”, in the NRL maps.

The best way to view the lifetime of this “hole” is now the 365-day-animation of the NRL “thickness” maps at their site (and indeed this is the best way of seeing how mobile the sea-ice is, and also of comparing how thin the sea-ice was along the Siberian coast 365 days ago to how much thicker it is this summer.) But I will conclude with a few close-ups.

Here is the “hole” first faintly appearing on March 31. Of course, I didn’t notice it.

NRL 331

Here is the “hole” becoming slightly more apparent on April 6, though I still  hadn’t noticed it

NRL 406

Around April 18 it became vivid enough for me to notice, in the upper left quadrant.

NRL 418

By April 28  the “hole” definitely had my attention, partly because other examples I’ve noticed seldom lasted so long, yet this one was expanding. Also,  though the flow was towards Svalbard, to the far right (notice how the polinya by Svalbard in the first map has become filled in, and in places the ice is piling up), the “hole” has cut through the ice to the left.

NRL 428

By May 10 I was getting very interested.  As a storm reversed the flow of sea-ice back to the left, the brightest (thinnest) part of the hole shifted to the right side.

NRL 510

By May 31 the “hole” had melted an irregular shape, as the sea-ice shifted downwards. (Notice the polynya forming towards the top, on the shores of Severnya  Zemlya). But it seemed the upwelling was peaking. There was no bright center to the “hole”. I noted the thinning of sea-ice towards Franz Josef Land, and wondered if the entire surface towards Kara Sea had been warmed; the thinning seemed more abrupt than usual, but perhaps it can be explained by storms pushing the ice up against the Franz Josef Land coast.  I simply noticed the thinning seemed extreme to me, so early in the meltdown.

NRL 531

By June 14 the “hole” had drifted into the upper right quadrant, but still seemed to melt ice on the upstream side to some degree. I wondered if the plume of warmed water could tilt, like smoke from a chimney in a wind.

NRL 614

Here is the “hole” starting to fade on June 29 . (After all, no eruption is forever).

NRL 629 IMG_2996

And here are the fading remnants of the “hole” as I now write, on July 12.

NRL 712 IMG_2997

Now I simply ask happy and genuine scientists to think about this “hole”, and to come up with 100 brilliant ideas, and to laugh as 97 are shot down in flames. Let’s have some fun. Where cancel-culture forbids thought, let’s be thoughtful. Rather than mindless lets be mindful, for the best way to cancel cancel-culture is to cancel cancelling.