Month: February 2019

Trans-Arctic shipping has flopped

From an expert Norwegian. I wonder why? Of course this is all over our GreenLeft mainstream news. If the constant AGW/CC agitprop we are bombarded with was half true – Arctic shipping would be a boom industry.
Dr Yun Sun also writes re The Northern Sea Route: “The Myth of Sino-Russian Cooperation”. China just not interested – prefers their shipping the long way.

via Errors in IPCC climate science

February 28, 2019 at 11:37PM

The seas get cooler around Iceland-Some charts and anecdotes

Reader Steinar J writes:

Included is a Word document describing sea temperatures in the vicinity of Iceland, sea ice extent and an excerpt,
(translated from Swedish) from an eyewitness report from the Swedish icebreaker tour to The North Pole in 2018.


Fig. 1 
In this area of the ocean the temperature drops (cut from Google Earth.
The green dots show where it is active Argo measuring buoys ).

clip_image004clip_image004Argo buoys, over 3,200 of them, are scattered around in the oceans of the world. These buoys measures the water temperature at various depths down to 2000 meters depth. In the depicted sea area in fig. 1, the temperature has dropped since measurements began at the beginning of the 2000s. This is in the middle of the Gulf Stream. Here is the temperature development in the upper 100 meters:

Fig. 2

The temperature trend is not very different if one examines the water further down:


Fig. 3
Evolution of ocean temperature in the range 100 m to 1900 m below the surface.

This is consistent with observations that show that the sea ice slowly has begun to increase in extent and volume again. The cyclic variation of temperature in the north has apparently given us the beginning of an expected temperature drop.

Yearly minimum sea ice extent in millions of km2, from year 2000 thru 2018


Fig. 4
Sea ice trends in the north, comparing the minimum ice extent from year to year since 2000

In 2018, Sweden sent a scientific expedition going to the North Pole by using the icebreaker Oden. This they finally managed, but here is a note from the boat, called “Veckobrev från Isbrytaren Oden 2018-08-10” (“Weekly letter from the icebreaker Oden 2018-08-10”):

“… .. It is important for this research expedition that we come as far north as possible so as to measure on the masses of air that originate from the pack ice to the greatest possible extent. Other research projects are constantly ongoing such as ice cores, CTD, weather balloons. The ice that is about 90-100% concentrated, is thick and compact, this in my highest non-scientific perspective as a navigator, but I have been up here before and not seen these conditions since 2005. Life in the ship floats on without problems. The animal life is sparse.


As I mentioned in the text above, it has been very compact ice, I have not seen similar conditions since 2005. 2016, which was the last time when Oden was so far north it went in about 5 days from the ice edge to this latitude with average speed 6 knots. It has taken considerably longer this time and with an average speed of about 3 knots. We are about 45 Nm (83km) from the North Pole at the time of writing. When the ice offers this resistance you will be happy as an ice navigator, as it has constantly been gloomy news about “extremely small ice distribution in the Arctic” “Ice-free in the North Polar Sea” “polar bears drown” “shipping companies planning routes across the North Pole”. Yes, it is no polar bears that drown here. It may even be that it can be difficult to bring down the paws in the water. We are too high up on the globe for there to be good satellite images to take advantage of, so what is in our help now is the helicopter. We do not drive blindly and if we run out of our helicopter recon, we would rather stop if the weather does not allow flight. The fact that you stop then depends on whether we actually do not see if we are going into an area with extremely difficult ice that can make it difficult for us to continue, turn or even get stuck. I had not hesitated during previous expeditions to continue without a helicopter recon, but in the prevailing ice conditions it is unwise. In fact, we use Odin’s all resources and systems to carry us out. The weather has been what you can expect from the summer in the Arctic, around 1-0 ° C in the air and about -1 ° C in the water, the visibility varies between poor to really bad and on some occasions really nice. We must take care to fly the road as soon as possible, so we always know where we are going. “

Additional comments should be unnecessary.

Water Temperature-graphs are produced using the ” Global Argo Marine Atlas “.

Sea ice trends are taken from NSIDC

Link to the letter from Oden.

via Watts Up With That?

February 28, 2019 at 08:34PM

Old stone walls record history of Earth’s magnetic wanderings

From AGU

27 February 2019 

Posted by llester

By Liza Lester

Under the forests of New York and New England, a hidden tracery of tumbledown stone walls marks the boundaries of early American farms, long abandoned for city jobs and less stony pastures in the West.

These monuments of an agrarian past also mark past locations of Earth’s itinerant magnetic north pole, a record leveraged by geochemist and local history buff John Delano to reconstruct a history of our planet’s magnetic field in eastern North America in a new study published in AGU’s Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth.

“As a little kid growing up in the country in New Hampshire, I was fascinated with stone walls that were in the middle of the woods. Who made them? Why?” said Delano, an emeritus professor at the State University of New York at Albany. “Post-retirement, I had the time to pick that study up and wondered, now with a different skill set: What do they remember? What are they telling us?”

On a visit to his local historical society, Delano had a eureka moment while looking at map from 1790. From the jumble of stone walls on his present-day map, a grid pattern emerged that looked much like the property boundaries of the many 100-acre farms in the late 18th century township.

Delano got his hands on hundreds of original, 18th and 19th century surveys from the New York State archives and overlaid modern aerial images of the stone walls to find the walls that marked the old property boundaries. Using GPS, he measured the walls’ present-day bearings with respect to True North and compared them to compass bearings for the boundary lines, recorded by the 18th and 19th century surveyors.

An old stone wall marks a boundary of a long-abandoned farm near Grafton, New York, once part of the colonial Manor of Rensselaerwyck. A section of the 700,000-acre manor west of the Hudson River was was surveyed for rental allotments in 1787. Credit: John DelanoAn old stone wall marks a boundary of a long-abandoned farm near Grafton, New York, once part of the colonial Manor of Rensselaerwyck. A section of the 700,000-acre manor west of the Hudson River was was surveyed for rental allotments in 1787. Credit: John Delano

An old stone wall marks a boundary of a long-abandoned farm near Grafton, New York, once part of the colonial Manor of Rensselaerwyck. A section of the 700,000-acre manor west of the Hudson River was was surveyed for rental allotments in 1787.
Credit: John Delano

The discrepancy between Delano’s measurements and the historical compass readings is not the error of the early surveyors, but the magnetic declination at the time of the survey. The difference between True North and magnetic north shifts over time due to changes in Earth’s outer core.

Modeling the wanderings of Earth’s magnetic field can provide clues to the enigmatic motions deep in the Earth that generate it.

“Some geophysicists who are trying to model these complex motions of fluids are helped in their analysis by having a very accurate record of how the declination has moved over time,” Delano said.

Wayward poles


Historical magnetic declination 1590-2020. Credit: NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information

Geologists and navigators have long known that the north pole found by magnetic compass is not the same as True North, the point at 90 degrees N latitude that sits on the axis of Earth’s spin. The angle of deviation is called magnetic declination, and its degree varies depending on where the compass holder stands on the globe.

This difference matters not just for bushwhackers making their way without a GPS device, but for military and commercial aircraft, ships, submarines and even smartphones, which still use Earth’s magnetic field for orienteering.

Declination information must be updated frequently, because, unlike True North and South, Earth’s magnetic north and south poles are not fixed points. They move by tens of meters (yards) every day at erratic rates and directions. Motions in the fluid, molten metals that surround Earth’s core are believed to generate the magnetic field, although the deep layers of the planet cannot be observed directly. The dynamics of the system are not well understood.

Scientists can only model future positions of the magnetic north and south poles a few years into the future. The magnetic north pole has moved so quickly in the last few years, at 50 kilometers (30 miles) per year, the U.S. National Geophysical Data Center and the British Geological Survey released an early update to the joint World Magnetic Model’s 5-year cycle earlier this month.

Finding north with old stone walls

Historical data on the movements of the magnetic north pole provide clues to the behavior of Earth’s dynamo. Previous research groups have modeled magnetic declination from 1590 to today, based primarily on extensive sailing ships’ log records of magnetic north and the position of the North Star.

“That’s magnificent work, enormously tedious, with great detail and commitment on their part to do it, but they had little land-based data. And that’s where my work came in,” Delano said. “Using land-based methods, an entirely different approach, how would it match up, or not, with the current geophysical model?”

Read the full article here:

via Watts Up With That?

February 28, 2019 at 08:06PM

HUGE pushback on science paywalls – University of California cancels Elsevier subscription

Breaking: UC terminates subscriptions with Elsevier in push for open access to publicly funded research

Library Communications February 28, 2019

TO: The UC Berkeley academic community

FROM: Paul Alivisatos, Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost
Barbara Spackman, Chair, Academic Senate – Berkeley Division
Jeff MacKie-Mason, University Librarian and Professor

RE: Outcome of UC Negotiations with Elsevier

Thursday, February 28, 2019

Dear Colleagues,

We are writing to share the outcome of the University of California’s negotiations to renew its systemwide license with scholarly journal publisher Elsevier, which have been underway for many months.

What’s happening

While we did make progress, particularly in the past few weeks, toward defining a model for open access publishing of UC research, Elsevier was ultimately unwilling to meet UC’s key goal: securing universal open access to UC research, as stated in UC’s faculty-driven principles on scholarly communication, while integrating open access publishing fees and subscription fees into a single cost-controlled contract.

The Academic Senate today also expressed its support for UC’s position with regard to the Elsevier negotiations.

In the end, cost, in particular, proved to be an insurmountable challenge. For example, Elsevier’s most recent proposal did not include any cap on the total amount UC faculty could end up paying in article publishing fees. Their model also would not have allowed us to fully subsidize article fees for authors who lack the funds themselves. To meet UC’s goal of open access publication for all UC authors, Elsevier would have charged authors over $10 million per year in addition to the libraries’ current multi-million dollar subscription. The university is not willing to accept a deal that increases Elsevier’s profits at the expense of our faculty. As a result, UC has announced that it will not be signing a new contract with Elsevier at this time.

While we do not know exactly when, Elsevier is expected to begin limiting UC’s access to new articles through its online platform, ScienceDirect, possibly very soon. This will mean some changes to how UC scholars access certain Elsevier journal articles.

What content will — and won’t — be affected

• What is affected: At some point, Elsevier may begin to turn off UC’s direct access to articles with a 2019 publish date and the backfiles of certain journals (download list). However, open access versions of many of these articles are available. Visit Alternative access to Elsevier articles on the Library’s website for advice on where and how to look. You can also submit a request, and the Library can help you get a copy of the final, published version of an article.

• Most Elsevier articles published in 2018 or earlier will still be accessible via ScienceDirect. Because UC’s prior contracts included permanent access to previously published content, you will still be able to get immediate access to the full text of most articles via Elsevier’s ScienceDirect backfiles, just as you have in the past.

• Open access articles in Elsevier journals are also unaffected. Many authors choose to pay an open access fee (called an article processing charge, or APC) when they publish, so it’s always worth checking to see if the article you’re seeking is available open access from the journal’s website or elsewhere online. Learn more about how to search for open access versions.

• Elsevier e-books and other products licensed by UC (e.g., Compendex, Reaxys) or by UC Berkeley (e.g., Scopus, Mendeley, Embase) are covered under separate contracts and remain available as before.

Learn more

Find the latest information on the Library’s Elsevier journal negotiations page.

h/t to Charles the Moderator


via Watts Up With That?

February 28, 2019 at 03:15PM