Saturday, December 24, 2016

When the North Pole Melts

Photo by William Yu
Eli, being an elf, or at least a bunny of good cheer would want to brighten your evening, when Santa is able to load up the sleigh and head for the chimneys.

When the young bunnies can look up in the sky and see the sleigh tracks.  When the ice is strong enough and there is enough of it that the Christmas adventure can begin.

But sadly things do not look very promising and the workshop will have to relocate soon. This is not a surprise.  Eli has been shouting pay attention for a couple of decades, but others predate even his awareness.

Back in 1988, the EPA Chorus recorded "When the North Pole Melts".  Yes sir, global warming was an obvious threat even then.

To hear the chorus click here

When the North Pole Starts to Melt?
What is gonna happen to his little elves?
Will they be too busy swimming to make the toys?
And what will Santa do?
If the North Pole melts too fast
Is this Christmas gonna be his last?
What will parents have to tell their girls and bays?

I used to snowski at Christmas time
But now I ski on a lake.
Scandinavia's now growing lemons and limes
And Quebec has rattlesnakes.
The Sahara desert now has grown
To the entire Continent.
But you do not have to lose your home:
Just trust the government!
But What Will Santa Do. . . . .

You may not believe my story because the ending's not very nice,
You may not believe in Santa Claus.
You may not believe in Christ,
But if you don't believe this warning
'Bout the climate and the ozone hole:
Look under your tree one Christmas morning
All you'll see are lumps of coal.
And that's what Santa will do

Well the world took care of the ozone problem, and tho the situation looks bleak politically about climate change, the elves of Zurich (the gnomes better cousins) are working that problem.  Eli will have something to say about that matter tomorrow


Fernando Leanme said...

Surface air temperature at the North Pole is unusually warm at minus 14 degrees C. The sea ice is also very thin, about one meter to two meters. The warmer (less cold) air mass apparently picks up energy from the ocean, because the air over the nearby land masses is -20 to -30 degrees C. The current forecast is for lower temperatures, down to the minus mid twenties.

I see there's open water in the Kara sea, where temperature ranges from minus 1 C at the Kara Gate, to minus 30 C at the Yenisey River mouth. The Barents is mostly open water, temperature is above average. The air is unusually humid and this has led to a significant amount of snow fall. The Norwegians report their model has the ice volume at a value similar to 2012's, even though ice extent is slightly lower. This tells me the extra snow must be falling over sea ice and increasing its mass.

I have walked over sea ice covered by a thick blanket of snow. It can be very scary when one is wearing 30 kg of Arctic gear and there's no reasonable chance to survive if the ice is too thin and one falls into the minus 2 degree water.

DrTskoul said...

Heavy snow pushes the young ice under sea water. Good for its health. It has a lot of good minerals you see...

Hank Roberts said...

You're not using your rose-colored optical filter, as illustrated here:


"I have walked over sea ice covered by a thick blanket of snow. It can be very scary "

Serves Fernando right for trying to vacation on Nantucket in January.

Does Eli expect a repeat of last year's polar New Year's thaw?

Hank Roberts said...

> that problem. Eli will have something to say about that matter
> tomorrow

Tap ... tap ... tap .... Is this thing on?

Phil said...

Barrow, Alaska is currently forecast by National Weather Service to have a high temperature near 31F New Years Day.

Old record for January was 28F according to

Hank Roberts said...

So, Eli, since it's CO2 high in the atmosphere that radiates heat away, why aren't we shooting big lumps of dry ice up there to increase the heat disposal?

Phil said...

Barrow AK was at 35F this morning.

A search found January monthy record high on NWS was 36F. So no record high, yet.

Hank Roberts said...

Hank Roberts said...

> elves of Zurich

So it's Davos time. Will any of them take note?

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