Friday, February 15, 2019

A Polar Vortex study; pre & post great sea ice melts

We start with the familiar look,
<<<left<< January 15 to February 15 2013 to 18  temperatures at 600 mb.    Right >>>>>>>>>
same pressure level and period for 1980-1985.               

NOAA daily composites dedicated 238-245 Kelvin (-28 to -35 C ),  the left animation depicts latest years of great ice melts,  to the right  the pre great melt look.    What strikes as significant is the lesser cooling influence of the Arctic Ocean during the greater melt years.  The Vortex appeared always elongated or much warmer over this Ocean,  as opposed to 1980-85 having a mostly much colder Arctic Ocean atmosphere.  We note also very cold vortices above the continents occurring more prominently during the 2013-2018 years as opposed to vortices over East Siberian , North Greenland and Barents seas ,  now a days a very unlikely event given more extensive open water.      Deep cold vortices starting over land can be explained by the specific heat capacity characteristics of land varying a lot depending on snow coverage along with warm cyclonic intrusions circumnavigating vortices perimeters, being largely outside of them (more clouds covering the Polar oceans). .   

Logically we would expect winters to start  earlier and colder during the 1980 to 1985 period.

In fact winters started colder more often, 4 times out of 5  on top of the Arctic Ocean during November 15 to December 7 1980-85 (left) ,  as opposed to starting mainly above the continents  5 out of 5 times during 2013-2018 (center).   I observed the latter frequently for a long time,  was often puzzled by this until making the simple connection,  the Arctic Ocean emitted more warmth during these latest years,  winters can only really start over land when sea ice is thinner along with the greater presence of warmed sea waters.  WD February 15 2019.     

Thursday, February 14, 2019

A dwindling coldest atmosphere creates a greater meandering of the jet stream

~The often used presentation of the jet stream causing weather is nebulous and confusing,
it does not intuitively link current Global Warming as its cause
~ A  laser clear and correct description of the generator of extreme weather simply starts with defining where the coldest atmospheres are located
~The worlds coldest  atmospheric regions are shrinking, stretching  and bending in these days of AGW (Anthropogenic Global Warming),  this explains the sudden extremes in temperatures which often happen in the span of a few days.

     Again and again popular medias fail in describing very clearly what is driving these days of extreme weather,  the failed linkage occurs daily, repeatedly to millions if not billions of people.
The description of jet stream being linked with AGW is correct, but utterly does not explain why.
But rather more accurate would be to present the latest "Polar Vortex"  , which made a recent  news blast,  as a stretched out much weakened  in strength winter zone. Such a definition is more a common sense presentation rendering any unspecialized person, immediately very well informed about climate change implications. 

    I can show TV weather videos,  hundreds of them,  always not educating people as perfectly as they can do about extreme weather correlations.  Is best to present it this way:

University of Maine current day weather, February 14 2019.  500 mb Geopotential levels, pressure heights,  is not the best pressure level to express the Polar Vortex.  600 mb is,  in this standard map, pressure heights confuse where the coldest air lies,   but for sake of this presentation, observe and use your mouse pointer at the limits of lower heights (with mostly colder temperatures) match with the location of the jet stream. The jet stream is a creature which lives at the outside perimeter of coldest air and southern limits of intense cyclones. Therefore by simple projections,  jet stream meanders happen when the coldest atmosphere has a much smaller area:

The day a Polar Vortex froze Chicago and environs still had a stretched out coldest atmosphere.  Properly defined like this:

Again use your mouse pointer and determine where the jet stream starts with respect to coldest air.
Temperatures at 600 mb NOAA daily composites,( map largely in red)   at about -30 C  is where the jet stream is formed. look at Japan's intense jet and how cold 600 mb was at that location.  There are also cyclonic peripheral adjuncts  which extend the coldest atmosphere/jet border line by pressure dropping  the thickness of pressure heights.    Basically January 30 had a stretched out coldest atmosphere.  The jet stream morphed around the coldest air, and did not exactly drag Arctic Air southwards.  Equally, colder temperatures in winter can be created over continents well away from the Arctic, and depend on basic geophysics such as snow cover with little or none  and clear or covered skies under very little insolation ......  WD February 14 2019

Saturday, February 9, 2019

2016 2017 2018 new class extreme low sea ice extent maxima along with 2019, despite different atmospheric circulations.

       At present,   February 8 2019  Arctic sea ice extent is #2 in lowest extent:
       2009----  2010-----  2011-----  2012-----  2013----  2014----  2015----  2016-----  2017----  2018----  2019
   January 31 to February 8 JAXA  sea ice measurements reveal only 2018 being lesser in extent by about 16 thousand kilometers square on the 8th.  This is an extraordinary feature of winter 2019 with a distinctively dissimilar general circulation than the preceding 6 seasons.......

2019's general circulation to date can be characterized in part by by a snow footprint:

                    Snow cover has very similar features to sea ice extent,  it can define the degree of winter,
mild , severe or extreme.  If sea ice is widely spread out and thick,  Northern Hemisphere winter may be more  severe as well.  These two Cryospheric features make the story of winter which shapes the Arctic Polar Vortex:
   NOAA daily composites 600 mb temperatures (close to the density weighted temperature of the entire troposphere),  Arctic Polar Vortex average location January
4 to February 4 2019.   Siberia dominates,  which is contrary to all winters going back to 2012.  There are some similarities from season to season, but very prominent differences were distinguishable by analyzing maps daily,  overall PV average extent calculations may appear somewhat similar,  but they are not:

The way to analyze any given Polar Vortex season,  is to break it down in smaller periods,  January 24 to February 4  sequences 2016 to 2019 demonstrate differing flow structures.  These are winters of interest having the least sea ice extent in history.  All 4 recent seasons including 2019  had different Arctic Polar Vortex configurations,; 2016 had a very mangled weaker  and smaller Polar Vortex,  with mainly 2 continental much weaker and smallish  vortices acting independently from each other. Arctic Ocean  sea ice  became badly broken up by minima 2016.   2017  had a Pole warming  flow pattern in particular with North of Greenland Atlantic in origin cyclones heading Northwards,  2018 had a massive extreme Polar vortice dwarfing all others above the Canadian Arctic Archipelago,  Russian side vortice appeared weaker on most occasions then.   2019 to date has the opposite of 2018,  but with a difference,  continental vortices within the Polar Vortex were more balanced with Siberia dominating on most days, so far  the Polar Vortex rarely split  in two and appears stretched out.  This gives open sea water inroads from the North Pacific,   a strong  Siberian vortice pushes massive cyclones Northeastwards more often,  To date, North Atlantic cyclones went towards Eurasia, and in effect help refreeze the North Pole area sea ice which keeps the Polar Vortex more or less together.

    Given that 4 recent seasons created differing circulation features,  it is amazing that sea extent at Maximum extent date remains near all time record lows.  This strongly suggests a greater warming of the Oceans and sea ice has the potential to collapse to extreme low summer extents only not doing so because of,  you guessed it, summer circulation features. WD February 9th 2019

Sunday, February 3, 2019

-39.3 C 700 mb coldest temperature of winter to date, where?: White Lake Michigan USA

~The entire Arctic winter of 2018-19 was never colder at that altitude.
~Until next day in Siberian Russia
~North American continent is easily capable of creating such temperatures
~Provided less snow insulation covering ground frozen hard from extensive exposure at the peak of darker winter, from a just prior warmer or late coming winter,  a barer dark lit Great Plains ground is onto itself a byproduct of Antthropological Global Warming (AGW).

    The specific heat capacity of dry soil is less than snow or ice, it means soil can loose (or gain) its temperature quicker,  especially if continental snow coverage has been reduced:

     ASCAT 02/28 2019 gives a good idea of where the snow lies,   it shines bright white here,  there are many locations with scant coverage namely the Prairies or the Great North American Plains:

  January 29 2019 winds over none existent forests areas (link)  coincided with the 700 mb flow hitting  the State of Michigan (link).  Consider also vast American deforested farmlands adding to different specific heat capacity characteristics of the landscape.  Note ,  same day entire  North American Arctic was warmer than Michigan at that level as well,  even for since the start of winter (from actual Upper Air measurements)!  This is a very compelling bit of evidence suggesting that vortices within the Arctic Polar Vortex,  may take quite independent temperatures then the rest of the APV.    I call one of these vortices simply as a vortice.  Usually a Southern NE American vortice becomes rogue because it is pushed Southwards by Quebec\Labrador massive cyclones ascending towards Baffin Bay,  which also warms a great chunk of the Polar Vortex concurrently,  cutting off the Southern vortice to be on its own, thus a rogue.  The idea suggesting the jet stream pushing down a rogue vortice has long been accepted as the reason why they are displaced,  but a vortice is usually part of the Polar Vortex where the jet stream is at its perimeter,  not within.

   As the world warms extreme weather increases because the Polar Vortex is shrunken and or stretched. 

         To make this evident,  consider thinner Arctic Ocean sea ice warming the Upper Air directly above.  Observing what happens to the Upper Air there is key.  What has and is happening is Arctic Polar Vortex stretched to from Maine towards Northern China, on the Axis aligned with Greenland to Vladivostok.  The core of the Vortex is hollowed over this Ocean once frozen with mainly 10 meters of sea ice, now reduced to 1.5 to 2 meters.   therefore the Polar Vortex of late is usually stretched and can split in two,  especially  during a warm winter similar to 2016.    The weather of the Northern Hemisphere is thus rapidly changing by the shrunken Polar Vortex which favors the winter warming of Alaska and Norway,  but cooling at times of Central Southern Russia  and Midwest North America during winter.  As an example I use the Polar Vortex event of January 29 2019:

                             White Lake         Fairbanks
                            Michigan  USA  Alaska USA
January 29              -19.7                     -11.5
January 30              -39.3                      -9.5
January 31              -28.3 C                  -16.5   700 mb temperatures.

      The North was and is very often warmer some 3000 Southwest miles away

    It is very possible to have such extreme events given the right circumstances.   However winters great deep freezes well South of the Arctic are furtive,  they may not be long lasting,  as White Lake's current +9C weather may attest, compared to Fairbanks current -13 C even still warmish.  As AGW increases,  the weather in many places in the Northern Hemisphere will get even more strange and extreme. WD February 3 2019


Thursday, January 31, 2019

2019 Polar Vortex has always been in the Sub-Arctic

~Just stretched out a great deal spanning great  distances.
~The 'Meandering Jet Stream' is basically at its extreme periphery
~It is the Polar Vortex cold air/warm air boundary which causes the jet stream,   basically at its extreme periphery

This NOAA 600 mb temperature animation between January 24 to 28 defines the location of the Polar Vortex.  It is very stretched out,  and has vortices with very cold temperatures which form and disperse in a matter of days.  600 mb is the pressure altitude close to the average temperature of the entire troposphere.  

   Even NASA and Dr Jennifer Francis miss these basic features.....

From the Guardian (link here):

    This is not an accurate presentation.  as with NOAA animation above the Polar Vortex was already present South of the Arctic,  and  the "Chicago"  Polar vortice is at its extreme Southern end, was formed a few days ago (as one of many vortices found in the Polar Vortex)

"At the moment the vortex looks like two swirling blobs of cold air, one settled over North America, the other over Eurasia,” said Jennifer Francis, the senior scientist at the Woods Hole Research Center. “It splits up when there is sudden stratospheric warming.”

      The Polar Stratospheric Vortex has more than 10 times less pressure than the Tropospheric Polar Vortex,  its weighted temperature influence is thus  at least 10 times less important than temperatures in the lower Troposphere,  especially near the ground or sea surface.  The warmth over the Arctic Ocean as captured by the NOAA animation above closely depicts where the thinnest sea ice exists , or where the Arctic Ocean open water was  at yearly sea ice extent minima in September 2018.  The impact of thinner sea ice is obvious here.  I have checked the temperatures in the Stratosphere,  and they also reflect the heat from thinner sea ice escaping to space,  if there was a recent warming,  a 10 degree warming can only influence the troposphere below roughly more than 10 times less.    WD January 31 2019

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Many weather presentations are off kilter, they miss the meaning of the non Arctic CTNP

~At present the Dakotas USA  -36 C 700 mb temperature is the coldest in North America
~Most weather medias present this latest "Polar Vortex"  event originating from the Arctic
~But the Arctic upper air is warmer than the Dakota CTNP (Cold Temperature North Pole),  how does this happen?

   CMC 700 mb temperatures 30/00 UTC,  these are actual balloon measurements, look at Dakota -36 C easily warmer colder than in the High Arctic.  Note 600 mb is close to the true level which represents the weighted temperature of the entire Troposphere. 

Not having any other charts available, University of Maine 500 mb pressure heights clearly depict potentially the coldest vortice within the Polar Vortex.  Clearly not in the Arctic. 

       The frequent misnomer used by weather medias naming and blaming  "Arctic Air"  is not quite always accurate, in this case the colder air vortice built itself well South of the Arctic,  which means,  a  thinner continental snow cover canopy twinned with clear air with low sun elevation at noon ,  along with longer dark nights than daylight can create colder than Arctic temperatures in the South of it.      A rapid Plains USA fluctuation in temperatures is soon to follow ,  with upcoming much warmer temperatures in a few days,  is merely a representation on how thinly spread out the cold air areas are,  or not really re-enforced by the Arctic,  but rather a fleeting happenstance generated by a steady in origin large Anticyclone.  WD January 30, 2019

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Polar Vortex 2019, record cold weather in some parts of the Northern Hemisphere, an explanation

~The key in explaining is found in Global Warming
~And the clues abound all around
~Main bit of evidence starts from the ground.

   I leave the NY Times deal with the struggle to explain basic science dismantled by ignorant politicians.   But the Times  also have ably described the return of a particularly cold dreaded Polar Vortex,  which unbeknown to many Americans,  has visited Canada a couple of times already (some parts of Canada's neighborhood as  well).  In a truly normal winter,  say pre 1990's,  a cold wave would have hit Florida by now,  instead of slowing down its Southward advance at the 'wall' of a warmer USA.    The question still lies,  why so much colder?

University of Maine 2 m temperature basically displays  as cold surface air South of the Canadian Arctic as in the Arctic.  

Just how it gets so cold south of the Arctic is relatively easy to deduce considering 2 geophysical factors: snow or especially less or none,  cloud extent and especially few or none......

  Here is the biggest indice: December 2018 was warm,  very warm,  with the Cold Temperature North Pole in Northern Russia.  Warmer in winter can only mean less snow on the ground especially in the great continental interior lands.  

     The latest cutting edge refraction observations have revealed the main reason  why this  years vortex gathered strength even if not expansive:  less snow on the ground.  This has been observed optically,  all confirmed with thermistors.  The heat capacity of soil is less than air,  thus soil barely covered by snow during days with very low sun elevations twinned with lesser cloud extent, guaranties rapid cooling.   These two geophysical facts feedback on each other,      colder air implies less snow,  no winter clouds provides colder air.   These two create anticyclones,  long lasting high pressures during winter darkness create incredible cooling.

  This January 29 2019 CMC IR picture gives an idea of how much snow on ground there is,  not much throughout North America.

              There is less snow in North America than Eurasia,  it is to date,  a meek snow cover year. 

       Rogue vortices spin away from the Polar Vortex especially when the Vortex is stretched thin,  which is also what is happening.  The essential look of 2019 is a much warmer Alaska continuously warmed by the Pacific sst Blob cyclones,  which turned the jet stream strait towards Chicago,    only now we have a gathering of much colder air which took a month or so to gain extent and to permeate heavily populated areas.   WD January 28 2019


Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Mars Inversion moisture trap, insulation power keeping water from escaping to space

~ESA great capture of trapped in a crater ice infers a lot of water on Mars
~The trap is a cooled atmospheric interface,   much similar to what sea ice does
~No sea ice,  none or far weaker inversions,  less sea ice possible as a result

ESA composite picture of a Mars North Pole crater called Korolev,  has amazingly similar sea ice features on Earth, likely there is snow as well.  But the greatest feature,  the reason why there is frozen water  in the North Polar Martian region,  is exactly the same as the over abundance of ice near Earth Poles:  inversions.   Remove the inversion,  and massive sublimation occurs,  because there is an inversion,  the moisture in air is trapped within a shallow layer,  reducing the possibility of sublimation especially if the atmosphere is near 100% saturated with water vapor.    Korolev crater gives the impression that there is a great deal of water in Martian underground.   But this moisture has very little chance of staying within an atmosphere 95% CO2.   We can see here something equally similar to the disappearance of glaciers on Earths polar regions:

We can see here evidence of recently evaporated/sublimated smaller snow glaciers by the lighter soil colors,   Mars soil is mainly oxidized red,  suggesting rust,  small glaciers remove contact with the atmosphere, after time they likely strip the top rust by small calving process,  but once the small glacier evaporates/sublimates,  it leaves behind its imprint.  Arctic rock strewn lands having small glaciers exhibit exactly the same feature,  except Arctic small glaciers are disappearing very rapidly,  they leave behind a lighter rock surface color for much shorter time periods ,  unlike Mars .13% oxygen content,  Earth's atmosphere is rich in  Oxygen.    Further evidence of snow on top of ice can be seen here:

        Snow or ice crystal drifts can be seen in this ESA's Mars Express topographic image.
Within the thin inversion ice crystals likely fall back to the surface and sublimate upwards in an endless process similarly within a closed climatic system,  over a long period of time falling ice crystals may gather high insulating the ice further.   WD December 25, 2018

Sunday, December 9, 2018

Mars InSight landing spot photos suggest not so deep permafrost

~Atmospheric refraction of a CO2 atmosphere is probably visible,  more dedicated photos are required though.
~First photographic hints at very slight horizon refraction
~Given the thinness of the atmosphere, much of this of course was expected,  but further very serious photography should be undertaken.

    Mars has a 6 mb atmosphere,  169 times less weighty than on Earth.  Not many refraction specialists believe it capable of causing some atmospheric mirages,  but near the horizon,  the game changes, at that level,  we look at a much thicker atmosphere.  Consider what we always knew,  Mars landscape looked carved by water ever since a closer telescopic look at the planet was achieved.   Now that we have access to a probe capable of staying still,  by refraction optics we can see if there is any ice permafrost,  which can give a spectacular effect similar to sea ice horizons on Earth.

     Ice and Martian soil should have different specific heat capacity,  ice has most certainly  a greater heat capacity, which means that it affects the soil right over it,  in particular,   when the cloudless sunny sky  hits a pure rocky outcrop,  the air right above warms up rapidly,  this may cause a "road mirage"  like on Earth,  however subtle likely so on Mars, but none heard of so far.   Examples here show no rapid lowering,  a sure sign of a permeating factor.  Here we study the Martian horizon,  by NASA design from a probe not moving around all over the place:

NASA InSight December 5 and 7 2018 .  15:27  and at 11:34 local mean solar time respectively,  the 5th has greater shadow to the right.  The robotic arm has likely moved around, and is placed back not always exactly  in this same resting spot.   The pictures are aligned,  with your mouse pointer, verify carefully the positions of nearest rocks,  now look at the horizon.  Point your mouse at any point on the horizon line,  you will see the darker image having a very slightly higher horizon throughout.  The darker image is nearest local noon, with warmest sun effects,  was likely taken with an optical filter.  If there is near surface permafrost the horizon should eventually lower,  in this case the horizon lowered perhaps further and is now rising towards the near noon height, meaning the ground horizon has sea ice properties,  namely frozen water....

  Experience on Earth dictates:  top of sea ice warms enough to lower the horizon after local apparent noon, given no great weather change,   this usually happens a few hours after noon.  The brighter image here is at 3:27 PM usually at about the same time when the sea ice horizon reaches lower point on Polar Earth.

     CO2 Martian atmosphere may cause different refraction effects,  namely 95% CO2 concentration surely gives a great  warming potential,  so the surface should warm really rapidly when the sun rises, again a dry rocky substratum horizon should lower at local apparent noon,  not take a few hours as on Earth.  Which as we know,   on any given sunny day without much great weather circulation,  noon is not the warmest time of day.

   A rudimentary model using refraction index of CO2 gas,  incidentally greater than air at standard pressures and temperatures,  calculates a very small shrinking of the vertical sun disk equally at  the horizon.  However,  the interplay between Martian soil, permafrost and CO2 atmosphere is novel,  more studying is needed.  WD December 9 2018

Thursday, November 15, 2018

North American West Coast healthy rainy seasons need normal sea ice extent

~ Long ignored sea ice climate permutations manifest big time
~ We look at mainly the North Pacific
~ Current El-Nino can only exacerbate bent Northwards general circulation 

   Although its pleasant climate has apparently nothing to do with ice and snow, there is a rainy season in sunny L.A.  California,  having everything to do with a colder climate to the North.   Through long time late autumn  cycles,  the North got significantly cold mainly because Siberia and Alaska was imbued in longer dark days creating a net lost heat to space.    But sea ice cover within Arctic Ocean  and very North Pacific is an equivalent to land,  also greatly cooled the North,  absent sea ice ,  replaced by warmed sea water,  winter's cold punch  has dulled,  especially since 2007,  but very much seriously lately:

NOAA November 12 2018 sst anomalies  Further North, they call it the blob,  the great North Pacific surface warming has a lot to do with the lack of cooling during winter,  because there is a feedback loop between less sea ice extent and more low clouds.  Even less radiation leaving to space favors the presence of huge Cyclones :  
The implied late autumn black line should be the location of the polar jet stream given the latest sea ice extent losses.  Fortunately often present massive North Pacific cyclones bend the jet to its South (red line),  but this means the North Pacific is covered with clouds for vaster periods,  not cooling the sea surface to space.  This also implies a shift in rainy season of the West North American coast,  well Northwards,  this current climate scene was not always so  :

  Given a normal sea ice scenario,  pre 1998,  a shift in the Polar jet stream well to the South of its latest decadal tendencies  gave the recorded fall and winter  coastal rainy seasons climate which was importantly wetter than latest recent years.   WD November 15 2018