ARCTIC SEA ICE –Resupply Problems–

One problem with watching sea-ice is the tendency of some people to exaggerate any shift in conditions into an event which has great political (and therefore financial) significance. You could say that, in a manner of speaking, they become emotionally involved. Or you could say that they see the world through greed-colored glasses. In either case it tends to cloud judgement, (and we all know clouds effect sea-ice.) (Ha ha)

For example, last February 26 winds surging towards the Pole pushed sea-ice away from the north coast of Greenland.

greenland-sea-ice-hole

The ice later shifted back south to the coast in March, and remained against the coast through much of the summer, but strong south winds again shifted the ice north in late August.

greenland shot-greenland-breakaway.dde573

Much ado was made of these polynyas. The fuss claimed the open water indicated unprecedented melting, (when much of the ice moved without melting), but I could see much of the fuss was based around misconceptions.

1.) Some eight years ago it dawned upon some that the Beaufort Gyre and Transpolar Drift tended to pile sea-ice against the north coasts of Greenland and the Canadian Archipelago every winter.  It piled up to such a degree that sea-ice only six feet thick could become a large coastal area of jumbled sea-ice 15-20 feet thick. As this happened every winter, and as it was unlikely for such thick ice to melt during short summers (especially when shaded by tall mountains, and clouds over those mountains, to the south,) it was decided by someone the Pole would never become totally “ice-free”. Therefore the definition of “ice-free” was changed. “Ice-free” would henceforth mean all sea-ice except  roughly 1 million km² along the north coasts of Greenland and the Canadian Archipelago. This suggested such sea-ice was permanent.  That is misconception #1.

2.) Sea-ice, even the sea-ice against the north coasts, is always in motion. A beautiful example can been seen in the time-lapse movie showing the journey of O-buoy 9, which rode the the Transpolar Drift across the North Pole and crashed up against the north coast of Greenland in 2016, before being swept east and then south through Fram Strait.

http://obuoy.datatransport.org/monitor#buoy9/movie

3.) For those who suggest such mobility of sea-ice is a purely modern phenomenon, it should be noted that whalers knew there was a polynya at the northern end of Baffin Bay, sometimes even daring to winter in it. The attempt of the Polaris expedition to reach the Pole in 1871 sought to exploit this polynya. An example of government bureaucratic bungling, the expedition was a fiasco, with the captain murdered.

Polaris 1 486376_498764390155509_1166219760_n

Within the fiasco was a tale of amazing human fortitude and courage. A group of sailors and their Eskimo guides, left behind on an ice floe, drifted on that ice floe for over 1800 miles, from Nares Strait on the northwest corner of Greenland to off the coast of Labrador, where they were rescued by a sealer. This defeats the misconception that Baffin Bay was frozen solid back then. The sea-ice was obviously very mobile in the winter of 1872-1873.

Polaris 2 700721377-1024x1024

3.) For those who state that such sea-ice mobility only occurred in Baffin Bay, and not on the Atlantic side, there is this,  in a report  to the British Admiralty in 1817:

“From an examination of the Greenland captains, it has been found that owing to some convulsions of nature , the sea was more open and more free from compact ice than in any former voyage they ever made: that several ships actually reached the eighty-fourth degree of latitude, in which no ice whatever was found; that for the first time for 400 years, vessels penetrated to the west coast of Greenland, and that they apprehended no obstacle to their even reaching the pole, if it had consisted with their duty to their employers to make the attempt.”

Please note that mention of “vessels penetrating to the west coast of Greenland.”  This indicates Greenland could be circumnavigated 200 years ago. The idea sea-ice was “shelf-ice” and frozen rigidly to coastlines until recently, is Misconception #3.

Only if you ignore history and accept such misconceptions does it becomes possible to make a great fuss about sea-ice moving away from the coast of Greenland, as this fellow does:

The fact of the matter is that sea-ice usually is crushed up against the coast.  The polynyas along the north coast of Greenland are so rare that animals that depend on areas of open water, such as seals and polar bears, are very uncommon in the northeast of Greenland. This made poor, old Peter Wadhams appear a little silly when he claimed last summer’s open water meant the local population of polar bears (which doesn’t exist) would starve, due to the open water.

Sea ice silly season: Wadhams spouts fake facts about polar bears of northern Greenland

A further link (which I unfortunately lost due to a computer crash, and haven’t been able to relocate), involved the US base at Nord, on the northeast corner of Greenland. The link was to a feasibility study from the early 1950’s, as I recall, and was somewhat amazing to read, because because it mentioned missions and projects that had to be canceled due blunders that occurred in terms of logistics. (Resupply is vital, when supplies determine whether or not you freeze to death.) It barely mentioned bickering between the USA (which wanted a post to watch Russia from), and Denmark (who feared they might lose sovereignty of Greenland), but you got the sense a lot was going on behind the scenes.  At times absurd care was taken not to offend the Danes, and resupply was held up as everyone dotted their “i’s” and crossed their4 “t’s”.

At that time crucial resupply of remote arctic outposts often involved gutsy pilots landing where no one had ever landed before. Ships were a far safer, preferred method of shipping supplies, and the feasibility study stated one liability of the Nord base was that it could only be reached by sea “every five to ten years.” Of course my ears perked up at that, for it suggests there was open water every five to ten years.

All in all the north coast of Greenland seems to be “usually but not always” ice-covered.

My question last summer was where the sea-ice went, when it moved north rather than being flushed south through Fram Strait, in the manner demonstrated by O-buoy 9. My hypothesis was that the north-moving sea-ice would crush up and thicken the ice in the Central Arctic, (which happened) and that some would then be carried by the Beaufort Gyre along the coast of the Canadian Archipelago towards the coast of Alaska, and therefore clog the western approaches to the Northwest passage.

Indeed this seems to have been the result of the past summer’s changed pattern. Tony Heller (at https://realclimatescience.com/ ), put together this comparison of sea-ice conditions on September 28 for the past 15 years, showing that the ice is thicker down at the western approaches to the Northwest Passage than any other year since 2003.

The above animation shows that one of the  current alarms, (the one about sea-ice retreating north from Svalbard having a drastic effect on the polar bear population), may be excessive, for there was no crash in polar bear populations when the ice retreated north of Svalbard in 2012 (to left)  (2018 to right):

Tony Heller’s animation also shows the ice retreated north of Svalbard in 2004. It apparently also retreated north of Svalbard in 1922.

1922 warm arctic 148023-1

This warm arctic interlude in 1922 puzzles me as the AMO was at the end of a “cold” cycle, and indicates some factor is involved which I don’t understand.

AMO image-20150528-31344-zr6dkt

To me this indicates a rising or falling AMO has no immediate power, determining sea-ice levels. The above 1922 article suggests the temperatures of sea’s around Svalbard dramatically warmed, by over ten degrees. (If that ocurred now some would be absolutely bug-eyed and certain we were doomed, those those folk bacck then seemed to survive just fine.) Me? I wonder what the cause was.

Currently the North Atlantic has cooled even as the AMO seems to be showing an upward blip.

One take-away I have gained from studying the arctic sea-ice is that there are few correct forecasts, in terms of sea-ice. Looking into the past, it appears that both reductions and increases in sea-ice can happen very quickly, and, when they do happen, people are usually somewhat astonished.  Until we are better at forecasting, one way of dealing with  such changes is to be very responsive to current conditions.  When we see sea-ice heading north from Greenland, we should recognize what goes up must come down somewhere else. We should have had our eyes open and should have seen the ice coming down to close the Northwest passage, and been as proactive as possible.

Apparently this was not the case when it came to resupplying three northern Canadian communities last summer. The ships could not make it, and now the lives of some three thousand are nervously awaiting shipments by air.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/oct/05/canada-paulatuk-kugluktuk-cambridge-bay-sea-ice-supplies

There perhaps the whiff of Bureaucratic bungling involved in the failure to resupply.

The stranded shipment was scheduled to be one of the last of the summer – but Holland said the territorial government, which recently took over the barge service, kept delaying the shipment.

“I just don’t understand why couldn’t bring barge in earlier in the season. They did it for other communities in the western Arctic – why not us? We want answers.”

More could be written on the subject of politics clouding ones views.  When the “results” presuppose things such as pay checks and pay raises, one is in a sense bribed to produce certain results.  This in turn can keep people from doing the simplest thing, which is to notice what is happening in the present tense. When forecasting cannot be relied upon one needs to fall back on a rapid-response system.

It seems odd that the media was so big on the sea-ice “melting” in the North of Greenland, but is so silent on the sea-ice “growing” at the western approaches of the Northwest Passage. Outside of Canada, there has been no mention I can find of the isolated Canadian communities in the mainstream media, and only the “Ice Age Now” mentioned it  in the blogosphere.

https://www.iceagenow.info/canada-extreme-sea-ice-prevents-crucial-deliveries-to-isolated-communities/

O well. Stay tuned.

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ARCTIC SEA-ICE –The 2018 Minimum–

Yawn.  Yes, we have reached and passed the minimum. Ho hum.

It should be obvious to even a mentally handicapped amoeba that the arctic is not remotely close to being ice-free. This in and of itself disproves a lot of the theorizing that was rampant more than a decade ago. This current decade is nearly over, and all the prophets of last decade have been proven false. I think I have been the epitome of tolerance and patience because, according to Moses, when prophets prove themselves  false they should be taken to the town square and stoned to death.

Somewhat amazingly, some of these false prophets are suggesting that I am the one who should be taken to the town square and be stoned to death, because I am a “denier”.

If I am a “denier “, it is because I denied the idea the arctic would be ice-free by 2014.  It wasn’t. Nor was it by 2015. Nor was it by 2016, Nor was it by 2017. Nor was it this year.

This argument is getting very old, if you ask me. I’m tired of explaining why I doubt the arctic will be ice free in 2014, when the proof that I am correct has been apparent for four years.  Alarmist’s homework was due four years ago, but I, like a patient and tolerant teacher, have listened to Alarmist’s lame excuses, and waited to see if they could hand in their homework late. They haven’t.

It is Alarmists who need to do some explaining. Instead they seem to resort to accusing.  It doesn’t seem to matter how polite and long-suffering I have been, they are unimpressed by my kindness, and prefer to be mean.  Brett Kavanaugh has only had to put up with a month of such meanness, while poor, old Sea-ice skeptics like me have had to put up with it for over a decade, and in some cases over two decades.

When we are discussing sea-ice, the subject should be sea-ice. It doesn’t matter whether I was a virgin Mommies-Boy, or a drunken rapist, as a teenager.  It is totally off the topic to attack my character, yet, over the past decade, I have been accused of both being a virgin Mommies-Boy, and a drunken rapist.

I have denied nothing, so there is no reason to call me a “denier.”  There is no reason for entities like Google and Facebook to see me as a threat, and to opine that my obscure website is an evil which should be made hard to find, if not entirely censored. All I have done is point out facts of two types. First, I have pointed out sea-ice that hasn’t melted away, and second, I have pointed out historical evidence that sea-ice did melt away in certain locations, in the past.

While doing so I have tried my best to be polite, and to jolly those who hold incorrect views into seeing more clearly. Look through my old sea-ice posts, and see how patient, careful, and humorous I have been. One good post was this old post from 2015:

https://sunriseswansong.wordpress.com/2015/08/03/arctic-sea-ice-not-all-its-cracked-up-to-be/

One attempt at humor in that old post was a mention that the words “climate optimum” were never used in the Bible. However the Bible’s ancient writers described holy lands as being green, and those lands now are brown. Therefore, in terms of the narrow confines of those specific, biblical lands, it very much seems that less arctic sea-ice back in the past’s climate optimums was a good thing.

Why? Because dry wastes in the Mideast were rained upon during climate optimums. Streams brimmed with sparking water. And efficient people like the Romans built bridges over those rivers. Now their bridges look silly, as the rivers are dry:

In fact evidence indicates that, when the Arctic was most free of sea-ice, at the height of the Holocene, not only was the Mideast lush, but the Sahara Desert was green, with hippos and crocodiles.

Therefore, judging from the past, any warming of the planet could potentially allow the Sahara Desert to be farmed. The desert would bloom. It would be the reverse of what initially gave the pharaohs their power.  6000 years ago a vast population of refugees moved from the drought-stricken Sahara to the Nile River. The reverse would see the vast population of Cairo moving back out into greening sands.

Not that all parts of the world would be effected positively. Greenland might again become green and grow barley, but the bread basket of the USA might become a desert. Overall, however, my assumption is that the world would likely be kinder place if it was warmer.

Considering I own this premise, as a hypothesis to be tested, it should be obvious I prefer warming, and own no huge bias that would make me prone to see cooling where it does not exist.  What I prefer is the facts.  What annoys me is to be slammed for presenting the facts. There are wonders to study. Who the heck wants to bicker and brawl?

            MARS PROWLING

Old men are pacifists, though I dare say
I might still surprise a young whippersnapper
With a flurry of trick jabs, but I’m gray
And, halfway through the first round, a dapper
Lawyer would appear in my expressions
And I’d negotiate an armistice real fast,
Or else soon see green comets and blue suns
Converse with canaries. Such fun’s in my past,
And therefore I dislike the rising red star.
I’ve dumped all old hippy astrology,
(Preferring reading tree-leaves), but few things are
As bad as having that red eye glare at me.
I hear you, old Mars, proclaim in the night
That even old men must stand up and fight.

It seems to me that the battle we are facing actually has little to do with sea-ice. Rather it is with a mentality that seems to believe excuses are more important than facts. Because this post is about sea-ice, I’ll leave this discussion largely alone. But allow me to say excuses don’t matter much if a fifteen foot tsunami rolls into town.

And if you have engineered an eight story hotel to withstand a 7.0 quake, and a 7.3 hits, excuses don’t matter to the people upstairs.

(Indonesian earthquake and tsunami pictures from “The Sun”.)

Someday we all will stand face to face with Truth, and I doubt our excuses will matter much. However some people seem to spend all their time making excuses, involved in a sort of pea-in-the-shell game they call “politics”. They tell me, “Caleb, you just don’t understand politics,” to which I reply, “I’d rather understand Truth.”

In terms of the sea-ice, excuse-making has moved from “extent”, (when “extent” failed to show continuous decreasing), to “volume”, but then “volume” failed to show continuous decreasing the past summer:

Volume 20180930 FullSizeRender

At this point the excuse-making becomes a bit sad. It reminds me of a few years ago when the increase of “extent” over a prior year was excused by calling the new ice “rotton” ice. It was deemed shoddy, low-quality sea-ice that didn’t count as much as the earlier sea-ice, and therefore even though the sea-ice increased it supposedly counted as a decrease.

This year, in a somewhat poignant manner, there was a lot of attention upon the “lateness” of the minimum. I thought I detected a wild hope that the sea-ice would continue to shrink right into October. Then there was sadness among Alarmists when it began increasing, as it always does.

Personally I was interested in the lateness of the minimum because it was largely caused by what I call “feeder bands” which fuel anomalous low pressure I call “Ralph” at the Pole. During September the “feeder bands” were particularly clear, gushing past Iceland and north past Svalbard:

The most recent “feeder band” shows up quite clearly on the DMI temperature-north-of-80º-latitude graph:

DMI5 0930 meanT_2018

I don’t claim to have any special understanding of “Ralph”. Mostly I take the Bob Tisdale approach of simply observing what I see, and pointing out when what-is-observed fails to live up to certain Alarmist preconceptions. Ralph is interesting because:

1.) Ralph fails to live up to the elegant global-circulation idea of there being a Polar Cell, with descending air and high pressure at the Pole.

2.) Ralph’s feeder-bands increase Polar temperatures, and although the Pole represents only 4% of the surface, a big fuss is made about “the warming Pole”. I think deeper thought is necessary, as it seems more heat up there means more heat lost. We may be seeing how the planet keeps things in balance.

3.) Ralph’s feeder bands also means more snow at the Pole, which influences the formation of sea-ice because snow insulates, and also snow complicates the ice-thickness measurements done by satellites, in at least three ways. (I’ve explained in prior posts.)

4.) We may need to adjust our nice, simple idea of “either/or”, regarding whether the flow is either “Zonal” or “Meridional”. At times Ralph seems to create a micro-environment where the Pole is meridional while the flow is zonal further south.

These are just four ideas off the top of my head, demonstrating how much more there is to study. Some Alarmists seem to take the attitude the study is complete.

Besides disturbing some Alarmists I also disturb some Skeptics, who seem to fear that I am “switching sides” when I state that the sea-ice is currently at low levels. But, to me, it simply seems to make sense that it should be at low levels, considering we are coming off a mini-climate-optimum, and there would be a time of lag before the “Quiet Sun” effects began to kick in.  In any case, I use Nimbus satellite pictures (that Alarmist ignore) to compare current sea-ice north of Alaska to 1969’s: (Sept. 9, 1969 left; Sept. 22, 2018 right.)

To me it looks like, despite the big areas of open water north of East Siberia and out in Beaufort Sea in 1969, there was more sea-ice in 1969, especially along the Alaskan coast.

(I should state that some Alarmists don’t like the Nimbus maps because it makes their computer simulations of past sea-ice conditions look wrong; the 1969 Nimbus picture shows far too much open water.)

But I think we need to use what we have. 1969 was a very interesting summer, especially as the flow over the arctic was likely zonal: (The DMI temperature graph shows a cold spring and summer, and Fletcher’s Ice Island was to the north of the “hole” in the satellite picture, and not in any hurry to depart through Fram Strait.) Also the PDO was in it’s cold phase. So there was no obvious reason for there to be so much melt. For me, this is a clue, hinting at a power effecting ice-melt we don’t grasp. Such clues should be seized, not discarded in the  “we need to erase the Medieval Warm Period” manner of certain Alarmists, (who seemingly see history as a political foe).

A comparison with last year shows a decrease of sea-ice north of Svalbard, and north of the  Barents, Kara and Laptev Seas, with more sea-ice towards East Siberia and the Alaskan Coast. (2017 to left, 2018 to right).

For Alarmists the late minimum and decrease on the Atlantic side is reason to hoot and holler. For Skeptics the increases on the Pacific side and increased thickness in the Central Arctic is a reason to hoot and holler. Both sides are focused on the wrong metrics, (which I think are largely politically-determined and have little to do with whether deserts will bloom), and because of this both sides are ignoring the elephant in the room, which is good old “Ralph.”

What would you expect, if the feeder-bands I mentioned earlier persisted? Would you expect:

1.) The northward push of relatively mild air to push the ice-edge north of Svalbard, and north in Barents, Kara and Laptev seas?

2.) All this ice being pushed north to crunch and thicken the sea-ice in the Central Arctic?

3.) The pushing of sea-ice from the Atlantic side to increase sea-ice on the Pacific side?

4.) Remember the fuss about open water north of Greenland earlier this summer? That was due to ice being pushed north, and not due to melting. (Also it was somewhat disingenuous of Alarmists to act as if open water up there was unheard of,  when Nord Station up there can be resupplied “by sea” every five to ten years.) Would you expect that ice to be pushed north?

All in all it seemed, to my little mind, that the feeder-band for “Ralph” persisted even when I myself theorized it would quit (because of La Nina coolness further south.)

Due to my observations of the Pole, and other observations further south, my little mind has come to the conclusion that the initial effects of a “noisy” and “quiet” sun are quite opposed to what many expect. Why? Because the sun effects the trade winds.

It seems to me the noisy sun increased trade winds, and the quiet sun decreased them. More energy from the sun therefore initially makes things colder, while less energy initially makes things warmer. Why? Because stronger trade winds increases the likelihood of La Ninas, which creates cooler air temperatures, while weaker trade winds increases the likelihood of El Ninos, which creates warmer temperatures. Therefore, initially, we have the counter intuitive situation where more energy makes things cooler, while less energy makes things warmer.

The place farthest from the trade winds is the Pole, where we seem to see a more intuitive responce: A “noisy” sun leads to warmer summer temperatures whereas a “quiet” sun leads to cooler summer temperatures.

If the above proved true, then it seems to me that a “quiet” sun might create a colder Pole at the same time as it created a warmer equator.  This seems like an imbalance that nature would seek to remedy. But how?

I’m not in charge of such things (thank God), but if I was, one thing I would do would be to get rid of the heat with feeder-bands to a low called “Ralph” at the Pole.

Genuine “climate scientists” should be considering such things. It is absurd that such ideas must instead come from a lowly “Child-care-professional” on an obscure farm in an obscure place on an obscure website, namely mine.

Millions, if not billions, have been spent to advance a preconception that made little sense to begin with, and which makes less sense the more you actually look at it. This preconception, (I will not even dignify it by calling it a hypothesis), states that the sun has no effect, and rather the trace gas CO2 has thrown the arctic into a so-called “Death Spiral”, and the arctic will be ice-free by 2014.

On one hand you have people wallowing in money, and on the other you have honest bumpkins like myself. They ruffle money at you, and I have nothing to offer but Truth. Be honest. What do you prefer? Money or Truth?

And I know, I know, I know. There are people who claim bumpkins like myself are paid by “Big Oil”, or “Big Childcare”, or some other “Big Wig”, but I swear before God I have never received a cent for my views. Mostly I get grief from mortal humans for my views. However I do get a genuine bliss from Truth.

In any case, in terms of sea-ice, the sea-ice is growing. An ice-free Pole is a mute point, until next June. For nine straight months ice will get thicker and thicker. If you include all lakes, the area of water covered by ice will triple in size. And Alarmists will do what?They will stay warm all winter by railing the ice is not thick enough.

Meanwhile, in northern apartments, elders will have to chose, during the next nine months, whether to pay for food or heat. Some will die, needlessly. But the meanest Alarmists will rail it is better that elders die, as they are “excess population”, and that it is better for grandchildren to watch grandparents freeze, as all the money Alarmists themselves are making off solar and wind power investments is “for the children.”

Excuses.

What do you chose? Money or truth? If you chose money, I assert a day will come when the nice new car you drive will meet the tsunami of Truth.

Until then, stay tuned.

ARCTIC SEA-ICE –Intentionally Sooting Sea-Ice–

While I am working on a post about the 2018 minimum, I am not all that interested in the subject, as the “Death Spiral” was disproved several years ago, and this year just does it again. To prove the same thing over and over is about as exciting as catching a fish, letting out line and allowing the fish swim away still securely hooked, and then catching the same fish again.

The only reason people get caught up in proving the same thing over and over is because the “Death Spiral” crowd insist on proving the wrong thing over and over again. I suspect that, for some, politics is involved and it is their version of telling “The Big Lie.” However in terms of scientific discover it is yawningly dull. I’d far prefer to move on to fresh discovery.

I started thinking about sooting sea-ice not because the Death Spiral Crowd talks about controlling sea-ice by buying curly light bulbs, but rather because Joe Bastardi was talking about seeding hurricanes. He was venturing that it might be possible to destabilize storms by weakening a section of the eyewall.

Joe has carefully examined every hurricane and typhoon he’s been able to, since he first became fascinated as a boy over fifty years ago, and his study has poured through history books to study storms before he was born, and he has noticed things have to be perfect to keep a hurricane mighty, and sometimes small things can cause a storm to lose its punch.  For example, Hurricane Katrina, though mighty, decreased from a Cat 5 to a Cat 3 storm as it approached land. Though awful, it could have been worse. Joe’s knowledge has been proven by his ability to foresee the strengthening and weakening of storms. He is mulling over how we might lessen damage by seeding storms as they approached land.

This idea is not new. Men flew into storms to test the idea of weakening them by seeding clouds back in 1947.  It was called “Project Cirrus”. A hurricane was chosen that appeared to be headed out to sea, but it began a turn even as planes flew out to seed it, and after being seeded, it continued to turn and headed straight for Savannah, and clobbered Georgia. Lawyer’s eyes lit up, there was all sorts of litigation, and meteorologists decided maybe they wouldn’t continue with the experiments.

However the idea wouldn’t die, and Hurricane Esther was seeded in 1961. Some were worried because Esther performed a remarkable loop. However it did weaken.

 

From the “success” of seeding Esther was born “Project Stormfury”. Here’s a picture of the crew in 1966:

 

The first hurricane Stormfury seeded was Beulah in 1963. The first days flights missed their targets, and the second day’s flight hit them. They looked to see if the expected results occurred.

Beulah’s inner eyewall fell apart and a larger eyewall formed, and it’s winds slowed by 20%. You can see why the fellows were encouraged. But was it man-caused, or was it what we now call natural “eyewall replacement”? They didn’t know about eyewall replacement back then. They were actually gathering data that both proved their theory and led to their theory’s demise.

They cancelled the seeding of Betsy in 1965 but forgot to tell the media, which reported the storm had been seeded. There was an uproar when Betsy smashed into Florida, and congress very nearly cut off their funding.

The final storm seeded was Ginger in 1971. I don’t know when it was seeded, but suspect they were blamed for the storms zany track, even if they seeded it after it performed its looping and backtracking.

They continued to exist as an entity for a decade longer, but did most of their study in their minds, marveling at the increasingly wonderful pictures made available by the swiftly improving satellites. But it doesn’t matter what you do, some people are bound to be suspicious. A “Chemtrails” crowd existed even back then, and Fidel Castro insisted that Stormfury was an attempt to “weaponize” hurricanes. A plan to move the project to the Pacific was torpedoed by outcries from both China and Japan. Maintaining the airplanes was expensive, and Stormfury eventually died a quiet death due to Reagan’s push for budget cuts and also because the researchers themselves were becoming aware that eyewall replacement could be normal and natural, and not due to seeding.

Two things become apparent looking at Stormfury. First, that scientists can take a hard look at data and disprove their own theories. Second, that people who know next to nothing about the data can raise an almighty fuss even when you don’t do anything (as was the case with Betsy.)

Suppose I leaked out that I’d sent a fireworks rocket I made at home and it exploded confetti in the middle of Hurricane Florence a couple of weeks ago, and claimed my confetti had diminished the storm from a Cat 4 to a Cat 1 at landfall. Rather than any praise I can bet you a hundred lawyers would now be knocking at my door, half to sue me for flooding in North Carolina, and half to sue me because Florence unexpectedly turned south into South Carolina. And not a single one of them would know a thing about hurricanes.

I far prefer the studious attitude of Joe Bastardi. He watched Florence with a fierce concentration, bringing fifty years of knowledge to bear but also displaying the obvious delight and wonder of a child when he saw something he had not noticed before. He is not too old to be constantly learning.

That is science as science should be. Before seeding a hurricane there should be concentration on what is to be expected, and awareness there may be unexpected consequences. (There will be the usual outcry from tree-huggers, who complain shooting polar bears is evil, until the bear is looking in the window of their child’s daycare.) Only after a careful assessment,  involving much input, should the experiment be undertaken. Then their should be careful observations of what occurs, and a follow-up assessment of results.

This is not the case in much of the fuss about sea-ice. Largely for political reasons an amazing amount of money has been poured into research about sea-ice, and we know far more than we did, and things the equivalent to “eyewall replacement” are  becoming evident, but the “Death Spiral” crowd stubbornly refuse to see anything but a Death Spiral. It would be as if the Stormfury scientists refused to see that anything, besides their seeding, could influence a hurricane’s eyewall.

For example, we are now far more aware the sea-ice has greater mobility than some initially assumed, and at times is far more mobile than other times when it is far more static. Rather than any sort of focus on how such fluctuation might effect sea extent levels (and therefore effect albedo and other effects, which would have further effects),   the Death Spiral crowd claims CO2 is the culprit. That’s their story and they are sticking to it, as stubborn as mules.

This is especially exasperating when they refuse to use the resources provided by history. Where Joe Bastardi is always eager to read about what hurricanes did before he was born, the Death Spiral crowd seem determined to “erase the Medieval Warm Period”, and anything else that disagrees with what their model was programed to produce, which is basically that the Arctic Sea was wall-to-wall ice until just recently.

This is tantamount to a willful blindness, a refusal to see that which is marvelous and wonderful, that which can teach us much about how sea-ice behaves, and that which can teach us whether we would benefit by covering a large amount of the ice with black soot.

I’ll end with a comment I posted at WUWT. We were wondering if icebreakers might influence how able the sea-ice is to be flushed out of the arctic, or be melted in other ways, but I like my comment because it also describes how wrong scientific opinion can be, and how actual observation can correct errors:

“As an example (of how sea-ice can be relatively static and then very mobile) I’d like to point out the history of the good ship Jeanette, which set out for the North Pole from San Francisco in 1879. They were buoyed by three false hopes.

1.) They believed the North Pole could not be covered by ice, because salt water behaves differently than fresh water. The coldest fresh water rises, and therefore the surface of ponds freeze, but the addition of salt causes the coldest salt water to sink. This is scientific fact. Therefore the waters of the Arctic Sea could never freeze, (unless from the bottom up) for such waters would sink as they cooled, and be replaced by warmer waters rising from below.

2.) Sea ice was tested and found to be fresh water. Therefore it could not originate from salt water, and must be due to inflows of fresh water from rivers along arctic coasts. Therefore all sea-ice would be concentrated along arctic coasts, and if you could penetrate that sea-ice you’d find open water off shore

3.) Some whalers had reported landing on Wrangel Island with a lot of open water around, and therefore it seemed Wrangel Island might be a doorway to the open seas beyond.

Wrong. The Jennette was trapped by sea ice short of Wrangle Island, near Herald Island. The sea-ice had increased since the whalers found open seas, and during the following 21 months the sea-ice erratically took them barely a degree longitude per month to the west. (During this time an icebreaker would have been handy).

But then the sea-ice situation changed radically. The ice began to shift, and the Jeannette was crushed. The 33 members of the crew headed southwest, making it to the New Siberian Islands on ice, but facing open water as they headed to the swamps of the Lena Delta. (Only 13 made it out alive.)

Meanwhile two ships following behind, looking for the lost Jeannette, did not find the Jeannette because they (including the Naturalist John Muir) were able to land upon both Herald Island and Wrangel Island and dilly-dally about surveying both islands. They failed to find the Jeannette but found lots of open water, because the sea-ice was in motion, and moving far faster than it had formally moved.

We know how fast the sea-ice moved, because the crushed Jeannette didn’t sink (though parts of it likely sunk, being iron,) and instead moved, in the next 36 months, more than halfway around the earth, in terms of longitude. The sea-ice the crushed beams and planks were squeezed by moved west along the entire north coasts of Russia and Scandinavia, likely north of Svalbard, and took a left through Fram Strait and then down the entire east coast of Greenland, and then took a sharp right around Cape Farewell and were found nearly three years to the day of when the ship was abandoned, in Baffin Bay off Julianehåb. Miles? You figure it out for me, but the ship was abandoned at 77° 15′ north and 154°59′ east, and the wreckage was found at around 60° 70′ north and 46° 05′ WEST.

Yowza.

This incredible movement of sea-ice in 36 months is what gave Nansen the idea he could park the Fram in Sea Ice in East Siberia and drift across the Pole.

But me? I lack Nansen’s ambition. Instead I sit back and say, “Yowza!” I see that, once sea-ice takes it into its head to move, tremendous forces are involved, and the entire fleet of Russian icebreakers can’t matter much more than fifteen mice standing before an avalanche with stop signs.

And if the mighty Russian ships matter so little before such power, how stupid it is for silly people to think buying curly light bulbs and all other forms of virtue-signaling will have the slightest effect?

Not that we shouldn’t consider ways we might deflect disasters when they are apparent. We should consider spreading black soot on sea-ice the same way we consider seeding hurricanes. However such actions involve at least a basic understanding of the forces we are attempting to influence.

Sad to say, politics has utterly polluted the understanding of many, concerning sea-ice. Unless and until we remove this rot, the subject of sea-ice cannot even reach the level of a basic understanding. Politics is like taking a stupid-pill. It might be screamingly obvious that all mankind would benefit if we spread soot and reduced sea-ice, but political correctness would shout more ice was better.”

 

 

ARCTIC SEA-ICE –LONG HAULS AND SHIPWRECKS–

I am not of the Global Warming Skeptics who immediately mock all who sail arctic waters as being silly Alarmists aboard a “Ship Of Fools”. Why? For three reasons.

First, I was once young, hot-blooded and very foolish, and went to sea. The sea is a hard taskmaster, and has a way of jarring your mentality from foolishness to reality. I cannot say that what the sea does is to make you more “grounded”, for such speculation is groundless, as the sea is. The sea wakes you to way of being beyond the ken of bankers, for there can be no fences, no acres bounded by lines on a deed, nor any of the neat calculations made by the material-minded.

Therefore, when anyone one gets off their under-exercised posterior, and stops their armchair speculation and goes to sea, I intensely envy them. I know their eyes are about to be opened.

Second, one way to have your eyes opened is by on-the-scene reporters.  This is why I bewailed the de-funding of the North Pole Camera and the wonderful “O-buoys”. They were the on-the-scene reporters which tended to counter “Fake News”. They were the “Free Press” the Founding Fathers sought to protect with the Bill Of Rights, for they produced pictures that tended to counter the “satellite data”. Not that the satellites lied, but the data they produced had to go through a filter called a “model”, and this had to be interpreted in a certain way to produce a “satellite map”,  and then the media would focus in on certain parts of that map and exclaim the North Pole was melting, but the North Pole Camera was politically incorrect, and showed it wasn’t melting, by showing melt-water pools freezing over with ice.

What do you do, when on-the-scene reporters report data that differs from what politicians believe is true? In a healthy society you take the politicians to task.  In an unhealthy society you get rid of the reporters.

Forgive me if I seem overly suspicious when I note that four years ago we had seven cameras floating on the ice, and now we have zero.  But it doesn’t really matter, for now we have actual people up there. In some ways they are better than having cameras up there. No one cares much if cameras vanish, but if actual people are threatened, interest is heightened. Awkward questions get asked:  How can sea-ice, which Al Gore suggested would be gone by 2014, be threatening lives?

Allow me to digress at this point, and counter an incorrect impression many have about the North Pole. They feel it was formerly rock-solid ice, and only now is there melting, and open water between shifting floes. History tells a different tale, which brings me to my third point.

If you look back into the mists of time you learn that, because whales tended to frequent the rich waters where sea-ice meets the open sea,  and because whales could make a man rich, men have pushed their luck and sailed north to the sea-ice as far as we can look, using the paperwork of port officials who taxed the whaling ships when they arrived home. It may well be that sailors did things under the table, without reporting to government officials, but we have official records of where the “edge of the sea-ice” was right back to the 1500’s. We know there was open water  on the west coast of Svalbard, because ships found it more economical to land there and process whale oil there, so that the master painters of the materialistic Netherlands could use their imagination to portray what was described by whalers in taverns.

Whale 6 1024px-Walvisvangst_bij_de_kust_van_Spitsbergen_-_Dutch_whalers_near_Spitsbergen_(Abraham_Storck,_1690)

I could go on.  England did not become a world power because they sat back and speculated in armchairs. Back when they were nobodies, just an obscure island off the edge of Europe, they had sailors seeking the Northeast Passage over Scandinavia and Russia. But I will skip that sea-ice data from the 1500’s, beyond stating it exists.

Instead I wish to stress that, for literally hundreds of years, sailors in the arctic have known “open” water can close in like the jaws of a hyena and crush a ship. Not that it stopped them, for they had guts, but it was common knowledge. That is why Nansen designed the Fram to be an odd, round-bottomed tub. When the ice came crushing in the entire ship was lifted. (Building such a ship was an amazing display of fund-raising with no profit in sight.)

The USS Jeanette was not so lucky, and was crushed by sea-ice close to the New Siberian Islands in 1881. The crew was able to cross sea-ice to the New Siberian Islands, but had to cross open water to reach the Lena Delta, which gives us an idea of the sea-ice conditions in 1881.

Meanwhile crushed parts of the Jeanette moved east with sea-ice across the Pole to Fram Strait, and then down the east coast of Greenland, and were found WEST (!) of Cape Farewell on the southern tip of Greenland, in 1884. This shows us the ice was mobile back then, as it is today.

It also is what gave Nansen the idea he could lodge the Fram in sea-ice and simply drift with the highly mobile sea-ice to the Pole.

Why do I bring this up? It is to show what we already know, which certain Alarmists refuse to admit.  To be blunt, they behave extremely indignant when you talk about stuff that happened 137 years ago. They you call you a “denier” for bringing up history, and therefore they cannot be students of history.

Therefore I tend to think that they would not be the best people advising you, if you were sailing north last spring. They might fail to mention how sea-ice can shift, and crush ships.

Therefore when a yacht does get crushed, and sinks, who is guilty? Is is not the people who called me, for stating what history teaches, a “denier”? Are they themselves not the true “deniers”, for failing to mention how sea-ice can shift, and crush ships? And instead entertaining a malarkey which states such worry is not to be heeded?

I have no desire to sit on a high horse, and judge Alarmists, though they have sat on high horses and judged me.  Let God be the judge. And God speaks from the non-banker wisdom of the sea. The truth of the matter is this: If you mess with the sea, the sea messes with you.

https://wattsupwiththat.com/2018/08/30/arctic-ice-claims-another-ship-this-time-with-a-sinking/

But don’t get me wrong. I don’t scorn these two fellows who got their yacht sunk. I envy them. They dared leave their cozy couch of armchair speculation, and be real. They learned what the sea can teach, in a beautiful landscape:

Arctyic ruin 1 9_cb6470ffac

And they took this beautiful ship to the eastern mouth of Bellot Strait, (which is a wonderful short-cut which past explorers didn’t know about, and which has made possible Northwest Passages which past explorers could not achieve) and there they learned what the sea teaches. In a matter of minutes they went from being two guys aboard a plush yacht to being two guys standing alone on sea-ice,  praying like crazy others paid their taxes, and a helicopter might arrive to rescue them. And boy were they happy when, after hours and hours, they heard the sound of the approaching helicopter.

In like manner another politically-correct ship set sail full of teachers and students brimming with a liberal desire to document the demise of sea-ice in the Northwest Passage due to Global warming. All had a preconceived notion of what they were about to witness, aboard their mighty ship.

Atctic Ruin 2 arctic-propaganda-ship-768x432

How embarrassing.  This big ship apparently had to maneuver to avoid the very sea-ice they were suppose to be documenting declining, and ran aground.  Students and teachers had to be rescued by helicopter.f

https://wattsupwiththat.com/2018/08/27/another-ship-of-fools-gets-stuck-in-arctic-ice-needs-rescue/

In other words, if you want to prove what you already know, stay at home. Sit at your computer. Never go to sea, for the sea will shatter your preconceptions.

Oddly, though this trip advertised they would transmit many pictures of their journey, there seems to be a strange absence of on-the-scene pictures of the grounding. Perhaps they fear lawsuits. But I find it annoying that despite having on-the-scene reporters we recieve no on-the-scene reports  from Kugaaruk.

Information is power, and I can’t help but wonder if certain information is withheld because it fails to support “the narrative”. The teachers and students were not going to sea expecting to have their eyes opened, but rather to “further” knowledge they already had. They thought they already knew. But when information is disinformation, one is denying oneself the power information offers.

We have actually known since spring the sea-ice was thicker this summer. The information has been available. The Canadian Coast Guard recently texted:

“Good morning, Due to heavier than normal ice concentrations in the Canadian arctic waters north of 70 degrees, the Canadian Coast Guard, recommends that pleasure craft do not navigate in the Beaufort Sea, Barrow, Peel Sound, Franklin Strait and Prince Regent. CCG icebreakers cannot safely escort pleasure craft. Operators of pleasure craft considering a northwest passage should also consider the risk of having to winter in a safe haven in the Arctic, or in the case of an emergency, be evacuated from beset vessels. Safety of mariners is our primary concern.”

It was for this reason the Dogbark, a yacht attempting the Passage from the west, turned around to the east of Barrow and headed back.  Information gave them power, and after scooting through Bering Strait they have had a cozy stay in Nome and now are heading south towards warmer waters.

It is sheer foolishness to suppress information, whether it be current or the history of the Jeanette in 1871. Yet we have seen the promotion of a narrative involving an “Arctic Death Spiral” long past its expiration date.  It included the idea the sea-ice was formerly solid, extending from shore to shore in the arctic, when we already knew the Arctic Ocean has always been riven by leads.  Even in the dead of winter, at temperatures far below zero, these frozen-over leads were thin enough for submarines to surface through in the 1950’s.

During the slushy summers areas of open water can become as large as small seas, far from where boats could reach, but were seen by the earliest Nimbus satellite pictures. The Nimbus picture below is from close to the sea-ice minimum, September 9, 1969, and shows a vast “hole” of open water, surrounded by sea-ice, north of Alaska.

To suppress such information is to create misinformation, and generates the narrative-supporting illusion that such sea-ice conditions are a new thing. However we do have three sailors navigating the ice and open waters seen in the above picture, 49 years later. Their description (translated) of conditions on an ice floe in a gale is hair raising:

Last night was very rough: in the late afternoon, our plate breaks in 2 in the swell despite being more than 3 miles from open water. Then the swell forces, the forecasts indicate a max towards 23 hours, the night will be long, it is gray, dark and wet … We take care as we can not to think too much about what is happening outside ; with Eric, we play a game of chess but we have trouble concentrating, the plates bump and move, it’s rather tense, we end up making quarters to monitor. 

But then conditions improved:

At 2 o’clock, it finally calms down and, in the morning, we discover a chaos of ice all around us, all the ice is broken, crushed.
We leave, there is still a little swell, it is not very comfortable in the middle of the ice then we navigate in open water for 5 hours and finally, we find the pack ice, first well broken then the plates become more in more beautiful. Under a beautiful sunset, it is difficult to stop and we are super happy to find the safety of the ice away from the open sea. Tonight, for the first time in a long time, we do not hear the water or the plates banging, we will sleep well! 

The great thing about these on-the-scene reporters is that they do not filter the truth. When it’s thawing they report  thawing, when it is freezing they report freezing. When it snowed in July they reported snow, when the above gale sucked Pacific air north they reported the rain. They have no preconceived narrative to cling to, and are immersed in the narrative called “present-tense reality”. They have their hands full dealing with the Truth the sea presents them with, hour by hour, and are having their eyes opened as only the sea can do.

We too are having our eyes opened by their reports, or should have our eyes opened if we have eyes to see with. For one thing, the “Death Spiral” is again debunked. Why? Because it is suppose to be an accelerating phenomenon; it is suppose to feed off itself; open water is suppose to absorb more sunshine making more open water. The death spiral is not allowed to go backwards. To have levels of sea-ice increase ruins the theory.

Instead of clinging to a failed narrative, and making somewhat absurd efforts to erase evidence that the narrative has failed, it would seem wiser to face the Truth, and cast about for a narrative that works better.

To seek a better narrative is in some ways to “fight city hall”, when the old narrative has involved considerable investments of money, power and prestige. Some say “you can’t fight city hall” and “if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em,” and in the eyes of such people to be a Skeptic of the “Death Spiral” is foolishness, and even a sort of social suicide. But I’m an old man, and can’t be foolish by going to sea anymore. So this offers me a new way of going cruising for a bruising.

A better narrative? Well, perhaps the sea-ice comes and goes due to influences of the AMO and PDO. (Tap tip to Joseph D’Aleo.)

 

Perhaps the sea-ice shrinks when the AMO is warm, and, on the Pacific side, when the PDO is warm. And perhaps the sea-ice grows back when the AMO and PDO turn cold. And guess what? Both cycles have recently moved from warm to neutral.

Stay tuned.

ARCTIC SEA-ICE –Beaufort Gale Endangers Sailors– (Updated)

The anomalous area of low pressure I dubbed “Ralph” has strengthened into a gale, placing our on-the-scene reporters in danger.

When we last checked in on August 23 the high pressure “Sven” ruled the Beaufort Sea as a weakening “Ralph” ruled the Pole.

 

As both Sven and Ralph weakened winds slackened over the Beaufort Sea, but Ralph was recieving reinforcements, arriving from Barents Sea and bringing Atlantic moisture to feed Ralph. By August 26 our sailors knew they were in for a blow.

 

The past two days have seen winds increase over the Beaufort Sea, and I suspect our sailors are too busy to report. Prayers are in order.

 

 

 

As they made their way south they reported conditions similar to what the O-buoys showed us, which are not what some Climate Scientists portray. Sitting in warm offices the “experts” describe the areas of open water as places “absorbing heat”, and pontificate about the high albedo of unmelted sea-ice being replaced by the low albedo of open water, stating this will lead to Global Warming. People on the scene describe a situation that is anything but warm. Sebastien described the splashes of salt water freezing to his dry suit and the deck becoming very slippery.  Also the reflectivity of sea water rapidly increases as the sun lowers to the horizon, surpassing the reflectivity of dirty snow.

Albedo 375px-Water_reflectivity

The open water experienced, in reality, is not a warm place, by the end of August, and the man at the helm likes his hot soup.

B1 img jour65

They seem to depend on flat bergs of ice to haul up on, in order to rest.

B2 img jour66

However at this time of year the bergs are still melting from below, and rest can be disturbed. (Notice the snow is not slushy, but has a crust.)

B3 img jour67 bis

A flat expanse of ice they pushed the boat over can crack up in a matter of hours. (Notice the twin trails made by the catamaran hulls do not match up.)

B4 img jour67

As the ice breaks up what appears as 100% ice on a sea-ice map is no longer stuff you can pull a boat up upon to ride out a storm. In fact it becomes a churning, grinding mess you don’t want your boat to be in, in a storm.  (Notice the slush seems to be refreezing.)

B5 img jour69

At last report they were skirting the edge of this ice, heading east-southeast, looking for a larger and more solid berg to haul up on and ride out the storm on. If they find one, there is a chance it will break up under the duress of oceanic swells moving under the ice. If they can’t find one I doubt they will stay midst the grinding. They will have to face the storm on the open water, either hove-to behind a protective berg, or running downwind under a storm jib.

I don’t know what they expected to do, if they had actually crossed the Pole, and reached the Atlantic north of Svalbard.  The North Atlantic is not for sissies, yet they do not seem to have faith in their craft, in open waters in a storm. But sometimes you have to have faith in your boat even when you entertain doubts, and it is amazing what a small boat and stout men can get through. I hope this is not the last picture they send.

B6 img jour70

In their warm offices, sea-ice experts are likely hoping this storm churns the sea-ice and reduced the wiggly line on “extent”, “area”, and “volume” graphs, for they are worried they may lose funding if the so-called “Death Spiral” fails to manifest.

They have no idea what real life worries are.

UPDATE

They reached the edge of more solid ice, which is drifting east. They have decided to not risk the water, and instead to haul the boat over the ice to Sachs Harbor, 183 miles to the east. Fortunately the sea-ice is drifting that way, and if O-buoy 14’s history is anything to go by, they will continue to drift that way at this time of year (which is not the direction the Beaufort Gyre drifts; perhaps Bank’s Island forms an eddy.)

The drift, nearly a mile an hour, will slow as “Ralph” weakens, but today they will drift twenty miles the way they desire. Not bad.

Sachs Harbor has a population of 900, but does have an airport. They inhabitants will likely be delighted to see three Frenchmen appear out of the frozen sea, providing a Polar Bear  doesn’t find them first.

They’ll likely fly out, parking the boat there. Then the question will be, will they return and try again next summer?

But first they have to get there.

B7 img jour71

ARCTIC SEA ICE –Trapped Ships–

Whalers 2 1871_Whaling_Disaster

One great source for pre-satellite-era records of sea-ice is the logs of whaling ships. Alarmists of the sea-ice-breed are made very uncomfortable by the fact that greed, and daring, and desire-to-support-families, led whalers to seek the whales at the very edge of the sea-ice, which happened to be where plankton was prolific and life was lushest and whales tended to congregate.

When sea-ice Alarmists estimate the state of sea-ice in pre-satellite times they make some assumptions which likely are audacious and incorrect, such as that the extreme extent of 1979 was the “norm”.  The data we have, as a basis for old maps, is sparse, and sea-ice Alarmists infill areas that we have no data for with solid ice. Then they have big trouble explaining how it was sailing vessels were hunting in areas they claim were solid ice, considering a wooden whaling ship, powered by flapping sails, had none of the powers of a modern metal-prowed  icebreaker, powered by diesel or even uranium.

Whalers 1 whaling-disaster-pack-ice-300x211

The simple yet driving motivation was that back then whale-oil was a superior form of lighting a home. It was cleaner and brighter than tallow candles. Tallow was basically sheep-fat, and few purified it to lanolin. The poor burned tallow and the wealthy paid much more for whale oil. For a young man whaling was a more exciting and lucrative way to earn a living, than herding sheep.  Consequently men went to sea for whales, and the wealthy had whale oil lamps. Somewhat accidentally, in records of whaling clear back to the 1100’s, we have records of the edge of the sea-ice back to the 1500’s as whalers sought the northern seas where whales congregated, and from the old records we’ve gleaned sea-ice trivia, such as that there was open water by Svalbard in the early 1600’s.

Whale 6 1024px-Walvisvangst_bij_de_kust_van_Spitsbergen_-_Dutch_whalers_near_Spitsbergen_(Abraham_Storck,_1690)

The failure of sea-ice Alarmists to study history often gets a bit embarrassing.  They speak with supposed authority, and make asses of themselves. This has happened again, with the past summer’s Atlantic-to-Pacific flow pushing the sea ice away from the North coast of Greenland, and the media, with the help of discredited “experts” such as Peter Waldhams, blazing headlines about the open water north of Greenland being something that has never been seen before.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/aug/21/arctics-strongest-sea-ice-breaks-up-for-first-time-on-record

Whalers 6 greenland-north-open-water_13-aug-2018-nasa_nsidc-15-aug-2018-report

Peter Waldhams has garnered a lot of free publicity by, year after year, stating, in April. that the Pole would be ice free the following summer. Year after year he is proven incorrect. As people pay less and less attention to him he gets more and more desperate to attract attention, and this year he employed the emotional topic of cuddly polar bear cubs,  stating the polar bears cubs would starve, due to the ice shifting away from Greenland, (though he knows less than I do about polar bears).

Dr. Susan Crockford, who likely has scrutinized every published paper written about polar bears in English, as well as many in other languages,  promptly took him to task. Apparently polar bears simply do not live in northern Greenland, (nor do seals, nor, for that matter, do Eskimos).

Sea ice silly season: Wadhams spouts fake facts about polar bears of northern Greenland

I would like to add, to Susan’s excellent rebuttal, a few comments concerning other times the sea ice was absent on the north coast of Greenland, as was noted by Whalers of the past. (It gets a bit tiresome belaboring these old points, but the Waldhams of the world never listen, and my hammering-away never penetrates their thick skulls, so I have to be repetitive to counter their repetitive guff.)

Back around 2004 the late John Daly noted on his site that the British admiralty records of November, 1817, contain a statement that begins:

“It will without doubt have come to your Lordship’s knowledge that a considerable change of climate, inexplicable at present to us, must have taken place in the Circumpolar Regions, by which the severity of the cold that has for centuries past enclosed the seas in the high northern latitudes in an impenetrable barrier of ice has been during the last two years, greatly abated….”

I found this statement odd, for this disappearance of sea-ice occurred at the same time as very cold conditions occurred in Western Europe (though not in Eastern Europe) called “The Year Without A Summer”. I sought help in my quest for answers with this Post on “Watts Up With That” in 2013.

https://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/07/08/1815-1816-and-1817-a-polar-puzzle/

The comments from that post were wonderful and of great help to my continuing education. In a nutshell, what I have learned is:

Sea-ice usually piles up against northern Greenland due to the Transpolar Drift, and then either crunches west along the coast of the Canadian Archipelago or else east, where it is ordinarily flushed south through Fran Strait and down the east coast of Greenland. However this flow is by no means steady. O-buoy 9 taught us the sea-ice not only surges and retreats with every storm, but also with every tide.  In Fram Strait the  progress south is anything but regular, with “wrong-way” flows possible if the ordinary high pressure over Greenland’s icecap is replaced by low pressure. And, last but not least, there can be a major derangement of the ordinary flow, brought on (apparently) by volcanic eruptions and the onset of a “Quiet Sun”.

A highly unusual situation was created in 1816 by the onset of the Dalton Minimum coinciding with two of the millennium’s largest volcanic eruptions, in 1810 and 1815. The atmospheric flow, usually around the planet, was so perturbed it came right over the top and flushed a very large amount of the Pole’s sea-ice down into the Atlantic, so cooling the Atlantic’s water that Western Europe had a cold summer (sort of the opposite of this summer, when the water by Britain was warm.) Meanwhile the whalers, heading up into Fram Strait, were astonished by the lack of ice. Many parts of the North Greenland coast were first seen, explored, mapped and named, at that time. One whaler commented that, if his job was exploration and not hunting whales, he could have sailed to the Pole. Another apparently circumnavigated Greenland,  heading north through Fram Strait and then west and then south through Nare’s Strait into Baffin Bay.

In other words, two hundred years ago the sea-ice wasn’t merely nudged north from the north coast of Greenland. It was completely gone.

These reports greatly excited the British Admiralty, which had high hopes the climate was changing and a new trade route could be established over Canada to China. With the great war with Napoleon finished, they had a 600-ship-Navy sitting about doing very little, and therefore it was possible to embark upon a great 30-year period of exploration, seeking to find a Northwest Passage. Besides leading to the Franklin tragedy, it gave (and gives) us many other sea-ice observations, (which the likes of Peter Waldhams steadfastly and obstinately ignore).

Meanwhile it was getting harder and harder to find whales. One of the last places where whales were common was the North Pacific, up in Bering Strait. In 1846 the North Pacific fleet of whalers numbered 292 ships, but couldn’t supply enough oil. Prices were very high, and whaling was worth it. But so was seeking other sources of oil. Then, in 1858, a new supply became available in Pennsylvania.

Whaler 3 1862 Earlyoilfield

By 1871 the North Pacific Whaling fleet had shrunk to around 40 ships. Prices had crashed, and it simply wasn’t worth spending two years at sea getting oil, when railways had been built to Pennsylvania, and the new supply was just hours away.

In 1871 the final fleet, perhaps desperate for profits, was pressing it’s luck, north of Alaska in late August, and, on September 2, 33 of the ships were trapped by a wind shift that brought ice south against the shore of Alaska to their west, and then pressed more sea-ice in on them. A ship was crushed and a few others developed leaks, and the captains met to make a decision on whether to wait for the wind to shift, or to abandon their ships. On September 12 they chose to abandon their ships and travel 70 miles by longboat to the seven ships safe in open water, on the other side of where the ice was jammed against the Alaskan shore. (If they had waited two weeks a wind-shift would have opened a channel along the shore, but with the open water already starting to skim over with ice they were not willing to gamble.) They then enacted an amazing escape, with over a thousand people (including the wives and children of some captains), escaping to the seven surviving ships, which dumped their cargoes to make room for the people, and brought everyone safely to Hawaii in October. Not a life was lost, though whaling was basically finished, as a profitable business.

Besides being a good story, this history tells us there was open water north of Alaska in 1871, and makes sea-ice Alarmists look a little foolish when they suggest such open water on that coast is a new thing. How could it be a new thing, considering the Eskimos themselves were whalers, and went out whaling to the east of where commercial whalers dared to go? And also considering that the whales themselves need air to breathe and do not travel under solid ice? (Larger whales can break through ice that is a foot or two thick, but don’t like to trap themselves in such a predicament. When trapped by swift movements of sea-ice they remain trapped in areas of open water rather than diving under the thicker ice, even when attacked by polar bears at the edge.) (How whales know how thick the ice is, I can’t say.[sonar?])

My personal guess, judging from all I’ve read, is that the sea-ice is currently somewhat further from the coast of Alaska than “normal”, considering the PDO has been in it’s warm phase and we are still in the lagged-period after a “super El Nino” and a “noisy sun”.

People use the odd word “recovery” for the increase in sea-ice, when more sea-ice is usually related to periods of hardship for humanity. I think true “recovery” is less ice, and that we have been in a long-term “recovery” from the Little Ice Age, but I worry that the decrease in sea-ice that we have benefited from may be coming to an end, with the sun going “quiet.” The PDO has recently sunk back from its “warm” phase.

PDO June pdo_short

Also there are more obstructions to those seeking to complete the Northwest Passage this year than last year. Forgive me if I sound like a Global Cooling Alarmist, but there is thick sea-ice against the coast east of Barrow, thinner ice along the coast by the Mackenzie Delta, and a major plug of ice in Franklin Channel, preventing the use of a favorite shortcut.

 

Whalers 4 FullSizeRender

At this point we turn to our on-the-scene reporters, such as the family aboard the “Dogbark” (Hat tip to Nigel for supplying the link.) They found mostly ice-free water as far as Barrow. (Notice fresh snow on the roof, and ice on the distant horizon.) (Note: I  was unaware when posting that this picture automatically updates.)

Barrow Webcam

However east of Barrow they started to see more ice.

And then they received news Franklin Strait was starting to refreeze already, and also that a small boat, further east than they, was trapped.  So they chose to head back. They had discovered the arctic was not as “ice-free” as they supposed.

https://saildogbark.com/2018/08/22/dogbark-turns-back/

Meanwhile the three adventurers in the iceboat-catamaran we’ve been following are making excellent time, now that they chose to head back. The wind that opposed them is now with them. They are also moving into an area with scattered ice and much open water. They actually don’t want too much open water, as that allows seas to build and their craft is small. But the ice is drifting the right direction now, and they made nearly ten miles of progress one night, hauled up onto ice and sleeping. However the nights are swiftly getting longer and the cross-polar-flow puts them on the cold side of the Pole. They still face the danger old whalers faced, of being frozen to a standstill, and faced with a long hike.

This brings up an interesting point about the “extended summer” at the Pole, as seen by the DMI temperature graph.

This mildness at the Pole is largely due to the Atlantic air flowing that way, displacing the colder air towards Alaska and south of 80º north latitude (which is south of what the DMI graph measures.) The map below shows the sub-freezing temperatures displaced towards Bering Strait. (You should remember warm “noon” is up, in the map below, and cold “midnight” is down, towards Svalbard.)

The above shifting-of-cold-off-the-Pole made me wonder if a warmer Pole might be a sign of a colder autumn and winter, in places further south, because cold air wasn’t hanging around up at the Pole, and instead was exiting south. So I decided to compare the DMI gtraphs for one of the warmest autumns I recall, when there was no frost (in my garden) until mid-November (on the coast of Maine), to the following year, when it was so cold there was already sea-smoke in late November. The two autumns were 1975 (left) and 1976 (right).

 

 

In this example, when it was colder at the Pole it was a warm autumn on the coast of Maine, while, when it was warmer at the Pole, Maine experienced an early onset to winter.

While this is admittedly a single example, it does suggest (to me at least) that we are better off further south when the cold stays up at the Pole. However this August the cross-polar-flow is continuing on, past the Pole and past Alaska, all the way south through Montana to Texas, which creates a reactionary flow up the east coast of the USA, and makes it amazingly wet and muggy here in New Hampshire, in the summer, (but suggests coastal snowstorms for our winter). For summertime, when the storm-tracks usually stay quietly demure to the north, the current storm-track seems loopy and winter-like,

Of course this pattern can change. I should leave the long-range stuff to the masters like D’Aleo and Bastardi.  In fact there already seems to be a shift in the cross polar flow, from Atlantic-to-Pacific to Siberia-to-Alaska. Not that we haven’t seen some Siberia-to-Alaska stuff all summer, in the form of weak versions of “Ralph” (low pressure) swinging across in a fight with the Siberian”Igor” (high pressure), for domination of the Pole.  What has been most striking (to me) is that things don’t travel around the Pole, and the flows seem far more meridional (loopy) than zonal.

Most recently we saw a shift. Rather than high pressure from Siberia we saw a Scandinavian high “Sven” head north behind the last Siberia-to-Alaska”Ralph”. Incidentally Sven’s appearance was what convinced our three adventurers that headwinds would defeat their effort to reach the Pole.  However Sven was followed by an Atlantic version of Ralph, and this sneak-attack-from-the-rear bumped Sven off the Pole into the Beaufort Sea, right over our sailors.

Let’s look at the maps.

On August 17 Sven expanded north as the last Siberian “Ralph” retreated down into Canada. (Ironically, Sven’s expansion briefly gave our sailors southern headwinds just when they turned south to escape northerly headwinds.)

Then, by August 20, Sven had shifted across the Pole and was scooting the sailors swiftly down towards Alaska. An Atlantic low was deciding not to do the normal thing, which would be to prefer the warm waters and updrafts over the Siberian coast, but instead to counter-intuitively head north for the  downdraft-inducing cold sea-ice of the Pole. Why? Perhaps Sven deflected it, or perhaps the old remnants of the Siberian “Ralph” across Baffin Bay attracted it, (or perhaps both), but in any case a new “Ralph” was born.

 

 

By August 22 the clash between Sven and Ralph was creating a new cross-polar flow from Siberia to Canada. Ice was being pushed back towards Greenland, rather than away. (Media crickets).  Our sailors were still getting north winds that help them. Less Atlantic moisture was being drawn north.

Noon is up, in the map above, whereas noon is down, in the map below. Notice how much colder the Pacific side is, in the map below. Night is having an increasing effect in the north, as it swings around the Pole like the hand of a clock, or like a spoon stirring a pot.

 

This morning Ralph has conquered the Pole. (I would appreciate it very much if people forgot the forecast I made last spring, stating that we would not see Ralph reappear, due to what I thought the lagged effects of the La Nina would be, for, “Thar He blows!”) (And models suggest he will stay a while.)

For those interested, here is the sea-ice “extent” graph. (Yawn.) Due to the thickness of the remaining ice at the Pole, I think the future graph is more likely to copy the navy-blue 2014 line, than the green 2016 line, as we approach the yearly minimum.

And here is the comparison of thickness between last year (left) and this year (right):

 

Generally speaking, the ice has been pushed from the Atlantic side to the Pacific side. If you are a sea-ice Alarmist I suggest you focus on the Atlantic side, and how the sea-ice has been pushed north from Franz Josef Land, Svalbard and Greenland.  Pay no attention to how this push has compressed and thickened the sea-ice in the Central Arctic, nor to how the sea-ice off Eastern Siberia and Alaska has increased, where there was open water last year.

Me? I am intrigued by the cross-polar-flows, and how they feed the creation of “Ralph” at the Pole. I am mulling it over, and comparing it with the amazing cross-polar-flow of around 1816, which dumped so much ice down into the Atlantic, to a point sea-ice even was drifting up on the beaches of Ireland.  Hmm. If that happened again it would likely involve me in all sorts of squabbles, because I’d be suggesting the Quiet Sun, and not CO2, was the boss.

I think these squabbles occur because I attend to the study of the past, whereas the Waldhams of the world have no clue what happened, and are largely inventing things out of whole cloth, because it “sounds right” and “feels right”.

But at least there is one thing we can all agree upon.  It is this: Al Gore was wrong, and the arctic will not be ice-free by 2014.

Stay tuned.

SCREAMERS (Or, “How to lose friends And Irritate People”)

I was first drawn into the Global Warming debate by accident, more than a decade and a half ago. As a latecomer to the internet, around 2002, I began blundering about the web, greatly enjoying the new sensation of chatting to total strangers in far away places, when I accidentally rubbed someone’s fur the wrong way, and they exploded.

As I recall the kerfuffle had something to do with Greenland and Vikings. I was telling a good tale about how the Atlantic was warmer when the Vikings were traveling to and fro between Norway and Greenland in open boats, and was describing how they were able to raise crops in Greenland on what is now permafrost. I thought such history was accepted fact. Abruptly I found myself under attack, and was a bit surprised by the zeal and ferocity of the attack.

Not that I am unacquainted with people becoming irate about inconsequential things. I once attended a baseball game at Fenway Park where a Yankees fan perhaps became a little too rude, and a Neanderthal arose from the row in front of him, turned around, and gave him a gorilla punch on the chest that made a sound like a bass drum.

However the response I received on the internet was more like the response you might get when you politely open a door for a suffragette, and she castigates you for being a chauvinist pig. I had no idea Greenland’s Vikings were such an inflammatory topic. After all, it was ancient history to me.

To be honest, I was secretly pleased by the response. As an unsuccessful writer I had spent years sending submissions off, and had received nothing but rejection slips. There is perhaps nothing quite as faceless and inhumane as a rejection slip. Getting castigated about Vikings was better than that.

Also I was not unacquainted with kerfuffles, because young artists are always confusing originality with being weird, and are always trying to be weirder than the next artist by thinking up something that has never been done before, irrespective of whether it is in good taste or not. (For example, putting a crucifix in a jar of urine.) After some wild times as a teenager I became jaded, and found such “originality” pointless and empty, perhaps because I noticed some things that are ancient are also always fresh and new. (For example, springtime). Therefore I became a very weird thing to be, for an artist of those days. I became more nonconformist than the nonconformists: Shortly before my twentieth birthday I became a conservative. (I also “got religion”.)

Not that I gave up on art completely; I still avoided paying rent and getting a Real Job, whenever possible, and foolishly spent money on coffee, beer and tobacco when I should have purchased food, and I liked talk much more than I liked action.

My talk led to further kerfuffles, because I was conservative concerning sex and drugs. Some found it outrageous that I should say monogamous marriage was a good thing. Many of my friends were bisexual or homosexual, and I explained to them I was a no-no-sexual. I remember one person called me the “token square” of the group. I learned how to debate; how to hold my ground in an argument. Back in those days debates could be civil, even fun, and discussions were “liberal” in the true meaning of the word. (One liberal belief of those times was that it was OK to be wrong, for you could always learn from your mistakes.)

I don’t blame people for having a sort of amnesia concerning the AIDS epidemic of the early 1980’s. It was not a happy time to be any sort of artist. However one victim of that time was, I believe, the idea you could learn from your mistakes. Where the Bible preaches a person should be forgiven seven times seventy times, AIDS didn’t forgive people even once. Entire neighborhoods became brief ghost towns, and then were re-populated as if AIDS had never happened, as if the nation hadn’t lost thousands of its most imaginative minds, and also lost a sort of crude honesty. People had to get on with their lives, and leave grief behind, but this willful amnesia, concerning trauma, does involve the word we all know and hate, called “denial.”

This change to the American psyche manifested in all sorts of ways, but I imagined I saw it manifesting as a sort of “gatekeeper” mentality among publishers. There were certain subjects they steered away from discussing, and these included the observations of a no-no-sexual concerning where the hippie concept of, “if it feels good, do it”, had landed us. To me it seemed a disservice to the people who had sacrificed their lives to AIDS not to say things that they, in their crude honesty, had stated at their end, concerning the so-called “freedom” of being addicted to sex and drugs. However perhaps such blunt truth was too opposed to the liberal narrative, which publishers made be their droning mantra. In any case, it was at that time I first felt that liberals were not being truly liberal any more. (Regan was the new president, and it was he who introduced the statement, “I didn’t leave the Democrat party; the Democrat party left me.”)

Also, since I am talking about blunt honesty, I should be honest and say there was another reason my submissions weren’t accepted. They sucked. Perhaps it is part of the process, when dealing with painful subjects, but the harder I worked at writing the worse my writing became. I knew it was bad, and, while I never completely gave up on writing, I gave up on hoping I’d ever be published.

One big problem I had was: A writer is suppose to write about something they know about, and there was something pathetic about a no-no-sexual writing about monogamous marriage. If I went into details about the love life of a no-no-sexual I’m afraid countless computer screens would be sprayed by coffee. Atlas cringed. Cupid rolled his eyes, and then left to seek psychiatric help.

Not that I was a virgin, but I was a bit like a young student fresh from college who presumes to lecture a grandmother of fifty about child-care. I lacked “real-life experience.” What I needed to do to remedy this shortcoming was muster the Vulcan objectivity of Star Trek’s Spock, find a single mother with three small children, and convince her to marry a 37-year-old failed-writer who had never held a job longer than seven months in his entire life. So I did it. If you don’t believe me, ask my wife. (Well, maybe I didn’t muster Vulcan objectivity, but I got the other parts right.) And now it is twenty-eight years later, and my writing does seem to have improved, somewhat. (Young authors, take heed.)

I first noticed this improvement back in 2002, when people actually started reading my writing. Before then it seemed all I needed to do was raise my index finger, say, “I have written something”, and there would be a jam in the doorway as all tried to flee the room. From my perspective, getting castigated by a total stranger on the web was a distinct improvement.

This brings me back to the original point I made 1198 words ago, which was that I became aware of the Global Warming debate around 2002 when I first entered the “World Wide Web,” and, due to a chance meeting, got screamed-at in print.

I immediately identified the person as the opposite of a true liberal; I.E: A “screamer.”

I was getting tired of being screamed-at. It seemed to be happening on an increasingly regular basis. Not only did I commit the faux pas of holding doors open for suffragettes, but I called people from Italy “Italians” and people from China “Chinamen”, and I failed to call Indians “Native Americans” and failed to call Eskimos “Inuit”. In terms of the grandchildren, great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren of America’s former slaves, I was always one step behind the eight ball of political correctness; I got screamed-at for calling them “Negro”, “Colored”, “Blacks”, “Afro-American”, and “African-American”. Amazingly, I almost never screamed back. This was due to a addictive herb that eventually destroyed my lungs. When someone screamed-at me I could always light up and inhale deeply. Of course, it was right at this time everyone began screaming-at people who smoked.

However getting screamed-at for saying the Vikings grew barley in Greenland was a new one, for me. It intrigued me. I lit up, inhaled deeply, and then replied to the screamer on the web in my best, most ingratiating, prosaic version of a-dog-with-its-tail-between-its-legs. Placated, the screamer calmed down and politely informed me everything I thought I knew about Vikings was incorrect, because his Bible said so. Only he didn’t use the word “Bible.” He used the words “IPCC Report”.

In retrospect I think the people behind that report had a very low opinion of the ability of ordinary laymen to gather data on their own. They failed to understand that, while ordinary people do not keep the records that academics do, they often have minds like sponges concerning trivia. Sports reporters are aware of this, because they often meet fans who know more about particular teams and ball-players than they do, and who have this knowledge right at their fingertips. (I once told a Math teacher I couldn’t memorize, andthe clever teacher then asked me what Carl Yastrzemski’s batting average was in 1963, and without a pause I answered “.321″.) However other members of the media considered the general public to be ignoramuses and “sheeple.” Many could not comprehend the sheer bulk of knowledge ordinary people collect as a hobby. Perhaps they didn’t interview enough, for, if you have the time, you can learn a great deal of history from a grandmother, if you just ask her about the clutter of objects strewn about her parlor and on her coffee table. And also, long before the AMO was “officially” discovered by meteorologists, you could learn of it if you bothered to listen to garrulous old fishermen on the coast of Maine.

What the writers of the IPCC report didn’t know about an ignoramus like myself was that I’d been fascinated by Vikings since I was six years old, when my father took me to a strange structure by the banks of the Charles River near Boston called “Norembega Tower”.

Screaming 5 norumbega-tower

The structure was erected by a crackpot named Eben Horsford, who likely did more to confuse the history of Vikings than to clarify it, but Norembega Tower did (along with my father) open my eyes to the mysterious history of New England before the Mayflower.

Between 1959 and 2002 I’d had 43 years to poke about, as a hobby, because I was curious. I should add I was 21 years old before I left the vicinity of Norembega Tower, and that involved boyhood and adolescence, (wherein one pokes and snoops in improper ways and in improper places). I could go on for pages about the odd lore I learned about that area, the pictographs; the peculiar copper objects plowed up in fields and used as scrap metal; the lore early Puritans learned from the final survivors of the Massachusetts tribe. It was so fascinating and engrossing that I continued to seize upon every article I could find, every obscure book I could pour through. (One thing about failed-writers like myself is that, when we are broke and weather gets cold, a warm place to hang out is a town’s public library, and, if you have to hang out there rather than with babes in a nightclub, you might as well read books about Vikings.)

To cut a 500-page-story short, by 2002 I had collected a lot of trivia pertaining to Vikings. I kept no notes, any more than a sports fan keeps notes. It was a hobby, interesting to me but, I assumed, not to many others. It was like a grandmother’s clutter, quite interesting stuff, if you have the time to visit and ask questions and listen to the answers, but about as useful as your uncle’s collection of butterflies, when it came to paying my bills.

I knew so much trivia about Vikings that it was instantly obvious to me that the IPCC report was attempting to “erase the Medieval Warm Period”, because it was at variance to everything I had ever learned about Greenland‘s Vikings.

Initially I supposed some stupendous discovery lay behind the change to the history books. After all, the Piltdown Skull was only exposed as a hoax the year I was born, and older textbooks I poured through as a child still regarded it as authentic. The theory of Continental Drift exploded onto the scene during the 1960’s, so I knew fresh discoveries could rewrite geology books. However there were no fresh discoveries in the IPCC report, concerning Vikings. There was only the willful ignoring of knowledge that already existed.

I think being tested sometimes clarifies things. For example, one time when I was young I was stating pacifism was a good thing, and my older brother responded that pacifists were weenies, so I took a swing at his jaw. I flunked that test. In like manner, if you want to test how patient, tolerant and kind Christians are, light up a cigarette in church. In 2002 I discovered a good way to see how liberal so-called liberals actually were was to criticize the IPCC report. One was able to quickly ascertain whether a person was a screamer or not. As far as I was concerned, many liberals flunked liberalism.

As much as I liked the attention I got, I found the web a lonely place at first. In 2002 there were no sites like “Climate Audit,” “Watts Up With That,” or “Real Climate Science,“ and the sites I did find tended to be increasingly “disappearing” the Medieval Warm Period. I found it unnerving. Perhaps it was not as bad as actual people being “disappeared”, as happened in Argentina in the late 1970‘s and early 1980‘s, but it was creepy all the same, especially when I seemed to be the only one noticing.

It is when you are alone that the self-doubt sets in. It’s unpleasant, but probably a good thing, because if you don’t wonder if you are deluded, every now and again, then you probably are. Fortunately I’d been toughened up by rejection slips and, even tougher, the rejections of beautiful women, and had survived miserable moments which didn’t seem momentary at the time. Now I was unexpectedly a married man with a small business. What did I care if fools wanted to disappear the Medieval Warm Period? Yet I did care. Not only was a 500-year-long tale and mystery being forgotten, but the hard work of many scientists was being relegated to what Trotsky called “The dustbin of history.”

In order to survive the sense of being marginalized I reached into my bag of tricks, for ego-bolstering gadgets I’d used as an unsuccessful writer and a no-no-sexual. For example, it helps to tell yourself you aren’t the first to be laughed-at: There were people who stated that the Piltdown skull was made of two skulls joined together at the time of its discovery, who were scorned, and informed they were “merely jealous.” In like manner Alfred Wegener was not the first to be ignored for suggesting continents drifted. The applause of the politically correct is not the true measure of true correctness. Paul Simon traced a truth when he sang:

“Such are promises: All lies and jest,
But a man hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest.”

Therefore I was prepared to hold my beliefs firmly, without being agreed with, but then came the delight of discovering I wasn’t the only one noticing the Medieval Warm Period being disappeared. Besides screamers, I met thinkers on the web. They directed me to John L. Daly’s website, “Still Waiting For Greenhouse”, and my delight increased.

In some ways I was slow to catch on to what was occurring. Dawn broke slowly on Marblehead. I initially had the naïve belief that scientists were not corruptible, as if the whiteness of a lab-coat signified sainthood. Mistakes might be made, but certainly not on purpose. Words beginning with the “F” sound, such as “fake”, “fudged”, “phony,” and “fraud”, were not to be used. But then, with a slowly growing sense of incredulity, cracks in the facade of the so-called “consensus” began to appear. Sites like Climate Audit popped up overnight, as miraculous as mushrooms, and, due to the tedious and painstaking work of men like McIntyre and Mckitrick, good, old-fashioned, liberal dialog occurred.

Personally, much of their math was above my head, but I do have a good nose for the reek of politics, and the stink of corruption was increasingly palpable. Event followed event, from the marginalization and de-funding of honest scientists like William Gray to the bloated, incorrect pontifications of Al Gore to the corruption of Wikipedia by William Connolley through the hockey stick debacle of Michael Mann and on to Climategate, until a person would have to be a complete moron not to smell a rat, it seemed to me, yet still the screamers behaved like see-no-evil monkeys. Increasingly they were like monkeys that screamed at you, but back before Climategate there were still a few who would try to explain their delusions in a articulate, civil and humane manner. (God bless them.)

Their explanations always seemed to involve petty details about whether minimum-maximum thermometers were reset at noon or at sunset, or some such quibble, and this quibble was then put into a computer and blended at the puree-setting, and in the end a sludge was extruded that suggested it was warmer now than in the Dust Bowl. I confess I simply didn’t have the patience and stamina of people like McIntyre and Mckitrick, who could follow them step by step through the quibble and “keep their eye on the pea.”

But why bother? I’d known old men who actually lived in Kansas and Oklahoma during the Dust Bowl, and who had fought to avoid becoming dispossessed Okies, and who won the battle, and kept their farms, at a time 2.5 million fled the parched landscape as refugees. The tales they told left absolutely no doubt. No modern heat-wave comes close to what they experienced. Where we whimper about the electrical bills our air conditioners run up, when a heat wave has a few days above a hundred, they experienced day after day with temperatures well above 110 degrees, with no rain, and with dust everywhere, even inside the icebox, and with static electricity so bad that men stopped shaking hands and cars dragged grounding-chains so the vehicle’s spark plugs would work correctly. Anyone who thinks it is hotter now than in the 1930’s is not merely a moron. They are dead wrong.

Screaming 6 maxresdefault

I mean, does it really matter all that much whether you are reading thermometers at noon or sunset, when the maximum, registered automatically, rarely is above 110° now, but was above 110° day after day, summer after summer, in the mid 1930’s? Do you have any idea what those people endured, without air conditioners? Are you trying to say they exaggerated, and were liars when they noted down the temperatures at their weather stations? Do you think it makes you look tougher than they were, to say it is hotter now? You’re an idiot.

It should now be obvious to you that I had (and have) a tendency to scream at the screamers. It has been my downfall ever since I attempted to slug my brother for saying pacifists were weenies. In fact the first time I ever had a comment “disappeared” from a website was not at an Alarmist website, (because I almost never commented there). Rather it was at Climate Audit, where I told Steve McIntyre he was too nice, because the people he was dealing with were….and then I used a lot of words beginning with the “F” sound.

Being disappeared from Climate Audit made me stop and think. The experience was as crushing as a rejection slip. But it came from someone I respected far more than the publishers who rejected my writing. After due consideration, I decided it probably was unwise to scream at the screamers.

I also decided that, to avoid screaming, I should avoid getting in over my head. I should avoid anything resembling Math class. I should avoid anything involving computer code. I should avoid anything that quibbled about when thermometers were read. Rather I should stick with what the thermometers read. I should stick with the bare knuckled stuff, the stuff that people who work outside actually experience.

For, when you think of it, the Vikings of Greenland had no computers. They had no maximum-minimum thermometers, so they didn’t have to worry about whether to read them at noon or at sunset. But they did have to survive, and in doing so they did stuff we can’t. They plowed fields where we can’t. They raised 2000 cattle and 100,000 goats and sheep where we can’t. They supplied hay in winter for these herds where we can’t. They supplied water for these vast herds, in the dead of winter where everything now freezes, where we can’t. And when they died, they were buried in graves where we would need a jackhammer to penetrate the permafrost. Most amazing of all, they were able to do all these things we can’t do, even though it was colder then than it is now.

Bwah-ha-ha! Do you see how diabolical I’m being? I’m avoiding all arguments with Michael Mann, ducking all his dweebie computer codes and math, for I’m agreeing that his malarkey-conclusions are correct. I’m facetiously saying indeed it was colder back then. But this makes the Vikings look even more amazing then they already looked, back before the Medieval Warm Period got erased. Where Herbert Lamb explained how the Medieval Warm Period made the Viking’s amazing achievements possible, Michael Mann’s revisionist history makes Vikings look superhuman.

In essence Michal Mann has proven that, if you leave Vikings alone, they can do superhuman stuff. This makes him a libertarian. The progressives will begin to regard him with deep suspicion, and start to consider sending him to a gulag to be reeducated.

(Bwah-ha-ha! Perhaps this is not called “science“. Perhaps it’s called “revenge“.)

Leaving Michael Mann to stew in his own juices freed me to compile some bare knuckled stuff of my own. I had to compile, because it had become obvious to me, when dealing with screamers in various chat rooms, that I was unarmed. There was a weapon used called “the link.” It wasn’t enough to simply say, “Look, buddy, I’ve spent 43 years studying Vikings, and what you are saying is horns-waggle.” They would demand a link, preferably to a peer-reviewed study. And then they would hit me with a link, usually to an IPCC study, which wasn’t very fair, for my pathetic computer would freeze up when I tried to download the massive things. Often I had to resort to trickery, typing something like, “Which point are you referring to? Please clip and paste.” In this way I didn’t have to read the whole damn IPCC report, but just got significant punch-lines. Somewhat accidentally, this turned out to be an important phase in dealing with screamers: Move the discussion from the general to the specific.

No one seemed very interested in what I had learned in 43 years of browsing. I knew trivia that might have lifted their eyebrows to their hairlines, but they were more interested in telling me I was wrong. Therefore I developed the strategy of asking questions, (even though I privately thought I knew it all, and they were the ignoramuses). This strategy turned out to be smart, for I not only learned I don’t know it all, and learned new trivia, but also it turned out that asking questions was a great way to move the subject from the general to the specific.

Once the subject became specific, another wonderful phenomenon might occur. A lurker in the chat room would get tired of watching me ask questions, and seeing me be lectured by a screamer, and they’d become exasperated. They would interrupt, in a sense shoving me aside and challenging the screamer with specific rebuttals, including the all-important “links”. This allowed me sit back and be lazy, and to check out both Alarmist links and Skeptic links at my own leisure.

The best discussions involved Alarmists who were only screamers part of the time, and had a streak of old-fashioned liberalism. Part of the time they allowed you get a word in edgewise. Battles of links occurred, not on a general level but a specific level, and, because things were discussed on a specific level, point by point various things asserted in the IPCC report’s conclusions were rebutted.

This could not happen in chat rooms that were too rigorously moderated. Strict moderators were too prone to “disappear” opposing views, leaving a situation that resembled parrots in an echo chamber. However, without moderation, things could deteriorate swiftly to a barroom brawl, unless the people in the barroom supplied some moderation of their own. Occasionally one could chance upon such a barroom. Occasionally one bumbled into a chat room where people were less concerned with “winning”, and were just plain curious.

For a short period of time in 2005 and 2006, one such place I found was the Accuweather Global Warming chat room. Initially it did resemble a barroom, for initially the moderator Brett Anderson was like a permissive parent, and allowed the children to run wild. However, in one of those rare moments when humanity behaves sanely, the people in the barroom moderated themselves, slightly, at least some of the time, and there was old-fashioned liberal debate, with people actually displaying curiosity about another’s views, and actually learning, (and all sorts of links flying to and fro).

The best exchanges were between an Alarmist who called himself “Brookline Tom” and a Skeptic who called himself “Patrick Henry”. They could be very rude to each other, but were rude with wit that made me laugh, and also they had the decency to supply links to each other to make their points. Consequently a great deal of learning occurred. Sadly the moderation at the site became far more strict in 2007, both were eventually banned, and then the learning ceased.

It might be fun at some point to dig up the old transcripts of that site, during its rowdier period, so people could see what it looks like to have a positive debate despite uproars, where learning occurs and one sees a movement forward. One thing I have noticed about some so-called “progressives” is that they don’t like such progress. Some believe debate involves out-screaming ones opponant. They don’t want to learn, and say things such as “the science is settled”, which are a stumbling block to learning anything new.

“The science is settled” accepts the presupposition that there is nothing left to learn. I don’t like the idea because it is, above all, very boring. It also suggests we were born with voices due to some sort of evolutionary mistake. While some husbands might grant that evolution made a mistake to give their wives voices, for the most part we recognize that we have voices for a positive reason. At the very least we are suppose to alert each other to unseen dangers, so adjustments can be made. Even the most despotic captain will have a sailor at the bow of the boat to alert him to hidden reefs and floating debris; a government without such feedback is like a ship without a tiller to change course with, heading steadfastly for a reef. Feedback is necessary to change course, and the necessary feedback often manifests as debate.

There are situations where the turning of the tide creates swirls in the entrance of harbors that look all the world like surf breaking on a shallow bar, though the water is in fact deep. There are also situations where a dredged channel at the entrance of a harbor is filled-in by storm, and a new sandbar abruptly appears where charts state the channel is safe. In truth the only changeless thing is change itself, and the captain who relies too much on any sort of autopilot, (and “the science is settled” is an autopilot), is liable to see his ship become an Exxon Valdez.

Anyway, if “the science was settled” there would have been no need for revisions of the IPCC reports. The very fact there were revisions either indicated a culprit was changing his alibi, or it proved the science wasn’t settled after all. Differences between the body of the report and the “Summary for Policymakers” were also unsettling. Furthermore, even if one accepted the idea of “95% confidence,” that also allowed for 5% doubt. Lastly, a lot of the “science” was the nitpicking monkeying-around that drives me to the verge of being a screamer, and who wants that?

I was far more comfortable in the bare knuckled world of the outdoors, and it became fairly obvious to me, early on, that screamers in the Global Warming debates were not all that familiar with the outdoors. This seemed odd to me, considering “climate” is not an indoors thing. So I asked lots of polite questions. I discovered that a few screamers had been on “field studies” as interns, and, when prodded, tended to wax romantically and even to miss the experience. However for most screamers such study was an experience of their youth, all but forgotten in their myopic concentration on flickering computer screens. And for others, screens was all they has ever known. They spoke of tree rings, but had never chainsawed a tree in their life. Their view of the sea was a satellite view. They didn’t know the sea a fisherman knows.

I recognized this put me at an advantage, for I had spent time at sea, in boats big and small, and had cut lumber and scanned tree rings, and worked on farms. Furthermore, I has met and talked with men who had spent far more time at sea than I had, cut and milled far more lumber than I had, and farmed far longer and more successfully than I ever dreamed of farming, and such people impart a wealth of knowledge, though not called professors. Lastly, one rule I had hammered into my head as a young writer was that you should not write about things you don’t know about, for, if you do, you risk looking like a fool.

Just as an example, I had some book-learning about buffalo, but no actual experience of how powerful they are until I saw a herd approach a road at Yellowstone Park. Traffic stopped and tourists busily clicked pictures, blissfully unaware they had created a bumper-to-bumper roadblock for the buffalo. A big bull then shifted a few cars and the herd crossed the road. This impressed me with how strong buffalo are, for I’d never seen cows shift cars like that, but then, the same summer, a tough cowboy down on the Arizona-New Mexico border informed me, (not really asking), that I was going to help him pick up a couple of buffalo and move them to a pasture beside his tourist-trap, as they would persuade tourists to stop. We had to transport them fifteen miles. To cut a long story short, the horse-trailer began with a square shape and when we off-loaded the buffalo it was a rounded horse-trailer. I received no college credits, but I think I know more about the strength of buffalo than people who have studied environmentalism in college, and who sometimes presume to lecture me.

The worst of such people honestly could not tell a buffalo from a musk ox, but are far too big for their britches. They are as foolish as a young no-no-sexual thinking he has a clue about monogamous marriage, and, because I have been that foolish, rather than telling buffalo-experts they do not know their ass from their elbow, I ask a question. In this example the question might be, “Have you ever moved two buffalo fifteen miles in a horse trailer?” How they respond will tell you a lot. If they show interest then there is hope, for they may be a true student. If they get huffy, and lift their nose, and sneer, then there is little hope they are anything but a dyed-in-the-wool screamer.

Despite the fact my temper occasionally ruins things, for the most part I have been a good student, for I have discovered others have done things I simply haven’t found the time to do. I may have moved a buffalo, but have never yet moved a yak, and therefore ,if I met someone who casually mentioned they’d moved a yak, I’d be all ears, and ask all sorts of follow-up questions.

I think I became a good interviewer because in my youth hitchhiking was a great form of public transportation, and this involved being picked up by total strangers, and it was only polite to ask polite questions. However I soon moved beyond mere politeness. Because I hitchhiked long distances, for example from Boston to Montreal or Florida, I had some long conversations, and heard some tales which were amazing. A man might have returned from Vietnam years earlier and, during a long drive into the night, chose to unload a tale he hadn’t even told his wife. I got the feeling most people live lives which are humdrum 95% of the time, but all have a 5% that is so mind-blowing that they deserve to be listened to. To call people “sheeple” is to miss something beautiful. It is like missing the most spectacular sunset in ten years, because you are engrossed with your cellphone, or contemplating your navel.

Though times have changed and hitchhiking is no longer the option it once was, I find I now have the same experience by studying history. 95% of history may be banal and boring, but 5% is astounding. I think this may have been what attracted me to Vikings in the first place. Their strange idea of heaven let them dare do stuff I‘d never dare. The more I looked the more I was amazed. Who were the “Rus” of Russia? Vikings. Who guarded the final Roman emperors of the Byzantine Empire? Vikings. Who were the Normans who conquered Saxon England? Vikings. Why is Northern Ireland different from Ireland? Vikings. What made the common law of Yorkshire different from southern England’s, (Daneslaw), and contributed to the independence of the dukes up there, and thus was part of what sparked the Magna Carta? Vikings. Who colonized Greenland successfully, for twice as long as the United States has existed? Vikings.

The Vikings are not the only ones who step outside the dull norm, and dare to be great. History has all sorts of examples of adventurers, both winners and losers. And it just so happens that some of these adventurers visited Greenland, and the arctic. Now that I’m too old to go to sea, (or to hitchhike for that matter), I hitchhike in a different way. There are so many great tales; so many great journeys to join.

Somewhat accidentally, if you go on these adventures with bygone men, you learn about sea-ice conditions. This enables you to recognize certain “reconstructions” of past sea-ice situations are just plain silly, for there is no way the adventurers could have sailed where they sailed without open water. (For a sailing ship could be halted by as little as an inch of sea-ice.)

For example, I never set out to learn the sea-ice conditions in Hudson Bay in the years 1610 through 1614. I just did some armchair-hitchhiking, and traveled up that way with Henry Hudson aboard the Discovery. I shared their joy as they came through Hudson Strait and headed south in Hudson Bay, thinking they were in the Pacific. I understood their dismay when they found no warmer lands, and became trapped when ice formed in the fall, and endured the long winter ashore in James Bay. The next spring, when Henry wanted to explore onward, the crew mutinied and set him, his son, and seven loyal members of the crew adrift in a shallot. For a day Henry and his crew desperately rowed after the Discovery, but finally they faded into the distance, and Henry was never seen again.

Screamers 1 220px-Last_Voyage_Of_Henry_Hudson

Two years later Thomas Button sailed the Discovery and another ship back there, searching for Henry but finding no sign of him, and continuing on to explore the west coast of Hudson Bay and perhaps up the Nelson River to Lake Winnipeg. They spent a winter frozen in at the mouth of the Nelson River, and then continued north up the west coast, searching for a route to the Pacific. The sea-ice was bad enough to cost them their second ship, the Resolution, and in September they headed back to England.

Now imagine, if you will, I am in a chat room on line and meet a young whippersnapper who is convinced we are now experiencing “unprecedented” melting at the Pole, and he directs me to a link that shows far more sea-ice in the past, and this link suggests Hudson Bay was inaccessible because Hudson Strait was frozen up during the Little Ice Age. Can you blame me for asking a little question? Namely, “How did Henry Hudson and Thomas Button get in there, if the strait was frozen?” Sometimes even a simple question like this can start the screaming, and get me called “a denier”.

It’s a pity, because screamers miss so many cool stories. For example, Luke Foxe battled sea-ice to enter the Bay through Hudson Strait in 1631, and explored down the west coast of the Bay, and what does he discover? Another Englishman, named Thomas James. (There is an interesting sidetrack here, about the rivalry and competition between the merchants of London and the merchants of Bristol, but I must try to keep on track.)

All these tales drifted about in my head during the last century, and people had a tenancy to roll their eyes when I shared what I knew. They dismissed me as a sailor spinning yarns, especially if they deemed themselves more educated than me. It is sad but true that education makes some people stupid. (In 1974 I witnessed an old lobster-man try to tell a oceanography student about the AMO, twenty years before it was officially discovered, and I’ll never forget how smug and condescending the young man was.) But one of the wonders of the internet is that you can search and find links. (Of course, one can always assume the link might be to a fraud, and sometimes they are.) But for what its worth, here’s a link to the meeting of Luke Foxe and Thomas James in Hudson Bay in August, 1631:

https://libweb5.princeton.edu/visual_materials/maps/websites/northwest-passage/james-foxe.htm

A lot of the adventuring I read about was prompted by the greed of merchants, and their hope to get rich quick. The French had monopoly on the fur trade, but two Frenchmen had heard there were rich lands, in terms of fur, up towards Hudson Bay. The French governor didn’t want power shifting away from the Saint Lawrence River, and forbid them from exploring, and when they headed north anyway, and returned with heaps of furs, the governor confiscated the furs. Bad move. The two men headed straight to Boston to stir up the greed of merchants there. That is how we know Hudson Strait was choked with sea-ice in 1663. The voyage up from Boston couldn’t get into Hudson Bay. The Boston merchants had invested in a “bad risk”. Then the two Frenchmen headed off to London, the Nonsuch sailed in 1668, and that is how we know Hudson Strait was open in 1668, for 1668 marked the establishment of the first post of the Hudson Bay Company, (and also of a hundred years of war with France in Canada, because the French didn’t want the English butting in to their fur monopoly).

In any case, my point is that sea-ice was never the focus of my armchair-hitchhiking. I simply couldn’t afford a yacht, because I never had a million-seller, and therefore had to go on vicarious adventures, sitting in public libraries to stay warm, or, when slightly better off, sitting in taverns with fishermen.

The college-educated tended to sniff and discredit many tales as “mere lore”, and to refuse to speculate without actual artifacts. But things did happen without leaving much of a trace. Even when they left a trace the trace might get bulldozed. For example, not far from Norumbega Tower there was a sandy field that had never been plowed, because it was deemed too sterile to be more than pasture. Yet the Massachusetts tribe had figured out how to use it to grow corn. They scraped the topsoil together into mounds, gathered herring from the Charles River, and stuck a herring in each mound. The lumps were still faintly visible in that pasture when my father was a boy. Now it is a parking lot. The proof is gone. That evidence has entered the world of lore, and stuffy archaeologists refuse to accept lore.

(I discovered there is actually a way to get stuffy archaeologists to speculate. Buy them a beer, and then another, and then another. Then you may see their eyes get dreamy, and learn some interesting lore, but the next morning you’ll find them cross, hung-over, and again dismissive.)

The further back you get in time towards the Vikings of Greenland the more you enter the landscape of lore. One reason for this is that merchants back then were secretive. You stood to have your goods confiscated if the government found out you didn’t have the proper permits. The Greenland Vikings were great traders, but towards the end faced taxes imposed by the King of Norway, the Hanseatic League, and the Pope. One could hardly blame them if they vanished from the official records and lived as smugglers.

Also one trade item of that time was human beings. Ships could swoop into coastal towns and snatch up people who didn’t run fast enough. This didn’t merely occur in Africa; there were over a million white slaves, in Muslim lands and even among rich Christians. In fact some theorize that may have been the end of the final Greenland Vikings. Pirates swooped in and they were swept off to the Mediterrean, which might have been a blessing in disguise. Most of their livestock had been killed by cold, and as slaves they might have even been better fed. Certainly they would have been warmer.

Also just as certainly such an act of piracy and enslavement would be talked about in waterfront taverns. There is all sorts of speculation about the coincidence of having two Italians, Christopher Columbus and John Cabot, both become interested in lands across the Atlantic, and in sailing west, at the same time. (John Cabot is also recorded as transporting at least one slave from Egypt and selling the slave in Crete.) They were both experienced traders and travelers, and both visited Bristol, where there was lore that men crossed the Atlantic in the 1470’s, (but no evidence).

The only evidence of cross-Atlantic-voyages that we have involves men who sought royal sponsors, and thus are men who still exist to this day, in yellowed parchments. It is likely there were other sailors who preferred to remain unknown, but, (unless you know how crazy sailors can be,) such likelihood is dismissed as “unfounded”. Adding to all the mystery is that John Cabot’s third and final voyage was funded by England but aimed into western lands the Pope had officially given to Spain, and there is no record of any return. In fact the textbooks of my youth stated Cabot had “died at sea”. Lore speculated otherwise, fueled by a map of that time which shows the east coast of North America despite the fact we have no official record of any explorer sailing that coast. The lore suggests the return of Cabot’s third voyage was top-secret, and that other top-secret voyages also occurred, with other captains. Why should things be so hush-hush? Well, Spain had it’s spies. And we do have a yellowed letter from a (perhaps traitorous) Englishman to Christopher Columbus, describing what John Cabot was up to before he left on his third voyage.

During my youth the only way to look at rare books and yellowed documents was to travel to far away places and get permission to see them. Most history came through a sort of filter, as the person who actually could afford to travel and look at ancient papers had to decide what trivia was important and what could be discarded. Different viewers would seize upon different items as important, and this led to all sorts of interesting variations stemming from what was in some cases the exact same documents. In other cases the inclusion of a single scrap of new, yellowed information resulted on a whole new take on what had occurred in the mists of the past.

Now such documents are scanned and made available on the web, and a person can, without leaving their chair, accomplish research in an hour that would have formerly taken thousands of miles of travel and years of effort. It is wonderful, even if it seems to stimulate as much wild speculation as it puts to rest.

One thing I greatly enjoy is to see some fragment of lore, which I was told was ridiculous to even consider, emerge and become, if not fact, at least plausible. For example, due to a yellowed letter of King Henry VII being discovered and published in 2007, an explorer named William Weston now “might“ have explored up to the mouth of Hudson Bay in 1499. He didn’t even exist, as an explorer, fifteen years ago. Not that his journey is an established fact, but it does suggest I wasn’t a complete dope to listen to lore and entertain hypotheses. And it is always reassuring to learn you not a complete dope.

Which is what the screamers do: Call people complete dopes. They completely close down a conversation, refusing to even entertain a new idea. I am at a loss to explain why anyone would want to be so narrow. But this narrowness seems to be important to understand, because, (to me at least), it seems screaming is becoming more and more commonplace.

I can only conclude there is a great dread of being “wrong”. A differing view is seen as a terrible threat, as if mankind’s Universal Mind is a one-party-system and all dissidents must be sent to a gulag to be reeducated. You had better be “right”, because the alternative is dreadful.

Oddest is that the very people who hold this narrow view pay lip-service to the idea of “respecting diversity”. Under examination, however, this “respect” entails never stating your personal view, because it might offend a differing view. It is a preposterous commandment. How can one be honoring difference, if one isn’t allowed to differ?

The escape from this downward spiral of fear is to stop being afraid of being wrong. Instead demonstrate it is good fun to be wrong. How? By showing that every time you see you were wrong you are opening your eyes to something new, something enlightening. It is actually pleasant to have a light bulb go off in your head.

This should also be the case when correcting another. You are not clobbering them over the head by calling them a complete dope. Reeducation shouldn’t involve the pain and penalties of a gulag. Rather it is enlightenment. (This was the idea behind the old liberalism, that now seems so forgotten).

Therefore, when faced with some rabid Alarmist who is utterly freaking out about the sight of melt-water pools on arctic sea-ice, I don’t tell them they are are a complete dope, for, even if they are 99.99% a dope, that is not a complete dope.  There’s a little bit of God in everyone, even if it is only .01%, and you don’t want to tread on God.

Another word for “a dope” is “ignorant”, and we are all ignorant about some things. The best way to deal with ignorance is to arrest it with enlightenment. Ask questions, even if you are fairly sure of what they’ll answer. Ask them, “What’s so alarming about a melt-water pool?” Find out what the starting point is, and move on from there, keeping the emphasis on wonderment. For example, if they are stressing that melt-water pools are a new phenomenon, ask, “I wonder what caused the melt-water pool on the DC-3 runway on Fletcher’s Ice Island in 1959?” And don’t be snide about it. Ask as if you really want to hear, and wait patiently for what they come up with. It could be interesting.

Of course, some will never want to admit they never heard of Fletcher’s Ice Island, which is fun to watch, but there will be a few who will inquire, “What was Fletcher’s Ice Island?” Then you must seize the chance to tell a good tale of arctic adventure.

Make your eyes very round, and describe how crazy the pilots were, landing aircraft with no landing lights and terrible visibility and deplorable navigation aids. Tell of the first airplane to land at the Pole in March 1952, and how this national heritage artifact crashed on Fletcher’s Ice Island in November the same year.

Screamers 2 220px-1972_photo_of_wrecked_usaf_c-47_aircraft_on_t3

Don’t forget to tell how the men on Fletcher’s Ice Island could only be supplied by airdrops in the summer, when the ice grew too slushy for landings, or about the time the generator failed and they all faced freezing to death as they frantically rebuilt it. You might mention the one murder, and also the complete chaos that descended another time, when two women were sent to the Island for a while and a multitude of men fell in love with them all at once. A lot happened between 1952 and 1978. And lastly, while your at it, you might casually drop a link to a scientific paper written in 1952 indicating plenty of summer melting occurred back then. Fletcher’s Ice Island had lakes and flowing streams (and gravel and a set of caribou antlers.)

http://pubs.aina.ucalgary.ca/arctic/Arctic5-4-211.pdf

The point of all this is to show that learning something new doesn’t need to involve a gulag. It can be filled with wonder and amazement. The arctic involves amazing tales of survival. I could tell fifty, but, as I am at risk of becoming far too long-winded, allow me to conclude with unseemly haste.

Members of the 1871 Polaris expedition saw their captain murdered, and then were abandoned on an ice flow, and drifted from Nares Strait 1800 miles to off the coast of Labrador, where they were rescued by a sealing ship. Not only does this teach about the tenacity of the human spirit, but teaches about the drift of sea-ice in Baffin Bay.

In like manner, the attempt of Nansen during 1893-96 to reach the Pole is an epic. (Blue line: Drift of the ship Fram locked in sea-ice. Green Line: Nansen and Johanson’s journey by sledge and kayak.)

Screamers 3 400px-Nansen_Fram_Map.svg

There are lessons in failure as well. Three men died attempting to reach the Pole by balloon in 1897, yet we have film and records of their effort, discovered with their corpses on an Arctic island in 1930.

Screamers 4 Eagle-crashed

Of course, despite all the wonders one can see as a hitchhiker through history, some sour pusses prefer screaming, to being enlightened. With these, there is a final thing you can try as a last resort. Gently take their hand, pat it, and quietly say, “You are very sensitive, aren’t you?” You’d be surprised at the responses you might get. Some become bashful, and say, “aw shucks”, while other can abruptly burst into tears.

And also, of course, some still insist upon screaming. You can’t win them all.

However, as I look around this increasingly demented world, it seems wise to be completely out of the ordinary, as the Vikings were when they first appeared. Back then, what was “ordinary” and was deemed “politically correct” was for monks to collect loot as “donations” and to stash it in monasteries that held fabulous wealth. No peasants seemed to even think of objecting, or of stating such a society was not what Jesus proposed. Then along came the Vikings, and stated heaven was a rowdy, non-stop battle called Valhalla, and they looted the loot in monasteries. The Viking idea of heaven was utterly incorrect, according to the monks, but the Vikings didn’t care.

Currently it seems to be the idea of some, and even to be their “heaven”, to scream at any who differ, and then to seek to send them to a gulag for reeducation. Like a Viking, I don’t care what their idea of heaven is. I will march into their monasteries of screeching, and devastate them with the ways of wonder.