Alaska, Arctic, Barrow, Environment, Ocean, Temperature, Video, Weather, Winter
What can a beach bum say; the ocean is fascinating. I don’t mean that in a body-surfing or bikini-watching way of course, and no I haven’t dipped more than a foot in the local waves, even in the summer. Folks do that here in the summer, go in the water. By ‘folks’ I mean ‘mostly tourists’ of course. Some get a certificate. I don’t know who produces it, but I still think the whole prospect falls under the let’s-not-and-say-we-did variety. Anyway, no, I haven’t done that, and I don’t plan to do it any time soon.
But the arctic ocean is certainly cool (pun intended). One of the coolest things about living on this coastline is the changing geography of the ocean surface. You walk out one day and a big old ridge-line is sitting where flat ice had been the night before.
That was starting to happen this year; it was getting interesting. And then suddenly I come out to find open water just a few hundred feet out from shore. Folks would be expecting a lead to open up between the shore-fast ice on our coastline and the larger ice-pack out in the deep, but this much open water is a bit unusual.
It’s strange. Most of Alaska seems to be having a colder-than-usual year. Here in Barrow, it’s been abnormally warm. Might be the open water is due to other reasons, and it might even be that other folks would know more about that than I would.
…I don’t mean folks swimming in the waters of course.
That would be insane!
I have to apologize for the quality of the first video. I was actually talking the whole time, but you can’t hear me over the wind. I should probably also apologize for the second video cause it shakes horribly (and the sound sucks in this one too, but it’s just good enough that you can enjoy my nasal-sounding narrative, complete with ridicu-pauses for that unintended type of comic effect. …there is a reason I’m not a video-blogger). Anyway, I’m a bad man. So, just think of it as a cognitive assault.
From your unique perspective, what is your take on the whole global warming thing?
Last summer, the news media down in the lower 48 and globally were rampant with reports that the north polar cap had practically melted.
Folks are told that, over time, there is less and less ice mass in the polar cap every year and that the cap is melting away.
I noticed that NOAA’s Alaska Climate Research Center shows that, overall, Alaska was -2.9 degrees Fahrenheit colder in 2012 than the 30-year average (1980-2010)
That news was NOT reported in the lower 48. It doesn’t fit the warmist theory.
Barrow is the lone exception. It is only high quality reporting station with a positive anomaly… +1 degree. Another station, I see, reported a lowest -5 degrees for the year.
Looks like you better break out the Bermuda shorts. 😉
I guarantee that if video showing clearly visible open water this early in Barrow gets into the mainstream media in the lower 48, it will make international headlines buzzing with global warming hysteria.
The cold trend up here, much like this event, would neither confirm nor deny theories about global warming since those by definition would need to be about long-term changes in temperature, etc. I should add that shifts in air and water currents may well lead to countervailing trends.
As to global warming in general, we get two groups up here that talk about that a lot, 1) climate change researchers who spend a lot of time up here, and 2) native (Inupiat) who tell us about their own perspectives on the environment.
The first group (at least those that spend significant time up here) is usually focused more on the effects of global warming rather than it’s causes. Folks looking at changes in permafrost, etc. give presentations from time to time, and it’s interesting to see the changes they see in the local environment.
Inupiat leadership used to skoff at the issue of global warming, so I am told, but over the years, It appears most have been convinced. They talk about a general thinning of the ice and increased dangers associated with that. It’s one of the reasons whaling crews are getting more of the annual harvest during fall (with modern boats) than they now do in Spring (with traditional skin boats launched from the ice). They also note the appearance of things such as salmon in local waterways, which is not normal for this part of Alaska. Most elders will also tell you that September used to be a time filled with snow cover; now we get our first snows toward the end of September. Again this has more to do with effects than causes.
Thanks for the info. Its’ very informative.
As you probably know, we are living in an interglacial warm period and have been for about 11,300 years – the holocene. We are also living in one of the warmest times of the holocene after having just emerged from a chilly period.
However, long-term ice ages separated by brief interglacial warm periods have been around since about the beginning of the quarternary epoch about 2 million years ago.
Enjoy the toasty warm holocene while you can… it ain’t gonna last. 🙂
Yes, but do you sing?
Elisa, I don’t know you. But I am trying to decide if I like more Dan’s posts or your comments… smile
ooo wriggling with delight i got kisses!!!
I would go with Elisa’s comments. Much better than my posts.
I ever notice that you are smart, Dan! 😉
But … we can give a chance for your posts as well… smile… I think…
hugs for both
Mercifully no, I don’t sing.
Trust me; it’s better that way.
Literally and figuratively, how COOL was that? Thank you for sharing the videos. They made me feel like I was there!
Literally, not too bad. I’ll leave the rest for others. I’m glad you enjoyed the videos.
Oh…. btw… if you don’t mind… I’d like to feature you in a posting I’m writing about your open water discovery.
Is that OK?
Thanks…. its done and can be found here:
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Thanks for sharing the videos. Very cool to learn about another part of the world. How are your homes heated? Just curious…
home, garden, life said:
Um, why did you move to this GF place?
Hi first of all thanks for stopping by my blog and the “lIke”. I have an obsession with the Aurora Borealis and wonder if you have seen it while living in Alaska? I have tried a couple of times to plan a trip to AK to see the Northern Lights but never can find anyone to go with me. I think Alaska must be a fascinating place.
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I just had to leave the computer and put a coat on…
I knew there’d be one when I read your post talking about open water and warm and cold. The ocean is interesting there. And no way I ever swam in it. No way! Funny about the certificates. Who prints those up? Hahaha!
I suppose it could be anyone here. Maybe the hotel. 🙂