Wednesday, April 29, 2009

North Pole ice in 1958 and 1959

Some bits that I edited from "wattsupwiththat"

What would the media make of a photo like this if released by the NAVY today? We would certainly see headlines like “NORTH POLE NOW OPEN WATER”? Or maybe “Global warming melts North Pole”? Sensationalism makes headlines.

Skate (SSN-578), surfaced at the North Pole, 17 March 1959.

Skate (SSN-578), surfaced at the North Pole, 17 March 1959. Image from NAVSOURCE

Newsreel captures show there was very little ice, thin enough to assign deckhands to chip it off after surfacing. Here is the transcript of the newsreel.

1958 Newsreel: USS Skate, Nuclear Sub, Is First to Surface at North Pole

ED HERLIHY, reporting:

USS Skate heads north on another epic cruise into the strange underseas realm first opened up by our nuclear submarines. Last year, the Skate and her sister-sub Nautilus both cruised under the Arctic ice to the Pole. Then, conditions were most favorable. The Skate’s job is to see if it can be done when the Arctic winter is at its worst, with high winds pushing the floes into motion and the ice as thick as twenty-five feet.

Ten times she is able to surface. Once, at the North Pole, where crewmen performed a mission of sentiment, scattering the ashes of polar explorer Sir Hubert Wilkins. In 1931, he was the first to attempt a submarine cruise to the Pole. Now, the Skate’s twelve-day three thousand mile voyage under the ice, shown in Defense Department films, demonstrates that missile-carrying nuclear subs could lurk under the Polar Ice Cap, safe from attack, to emerge at will, and fire off H-bomb missiles to any target on Earth.

A powerful, retaliatory weapon for America’s defense.

USS Skate during an Arctic surfacing in 1959. (US Navy Photo)

USS Skate during an Arctic surfacing in 1959. (US Navy Photo)

From John Daly:

For example, one crew member aboard the USS Skate which surfaced at the North Pole in 1959 and numerous other locations during Arctic cruises in 1958 and 1959 said:

“the Skate found open water both in the summer and following winter. We surfaced near the North Pole in the winter through thin ice less than 2 feet thick. The ice moves from Alaska to Iceland and the wind and tides causes open water as the ice breaks up. The Ice at the polar ice cap is an average of 6-8 feet thick, but with the wind and tides the ice will crack and open into large polynyas (areas of open water), these areas will refreeze over with thin ice. We had sonar equipment that would find these open or thin areas to come up through, thus limiting any damage to the submarine. The ice would also close in and cover these areas crushing together making large ice ridges both above and below the water. We came up through a very large opening in 1958 that was 1/2 mile long and 200 yards wide. The wind came up and closed the opening within 2 hours. On both trips we were able to find open water. We were not able to surface through ice thicker than 3 feet.”

- Hester, James E., Personal email communication, December 2000

Here are some screencaps from the newsreel:


The feet of the deckhand give thickness perspective


Ice going over the side after chipping

It was that way again in 1962:

Seadragon (SSN-584), foreground, and her sister Skate (SSN-578) during a rendezvous at the North Pole in August 1962

Seadragon (SSN-584), foreground, and her sister Skate (SSN-578) during a rendezvous at the North Pole in August 1962

And then there’s this famous photo:


Contrast that to 1999, just 12 years later, lots of ice:

USS Hawkbill at the North Pole, Spring 1999. (US Navy Photo)

USS Hawkbill at the North Pole, Spring 1999. (US Navy Photo)

But in 1993, it’s back to thin ice again:

USS Pargo at the North Pole in 1993. (US Navy Photo)

USS Pargo at the North Pole in 1993. (US Navy Photo)

The North Pole ice is not static, ice varies significantly. The Arctic is not static either. Variance is the norm.

There’s quite an interesting read at John Daly’s website, including a description of “the Gore Box”. Everybody should have one of those.

h/t to WUWT commenters Stephen Skinner, Crosspatch, and Glenn

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Global Swindling err... Warming

Been poking around on the Climate change issues. I don't trust anyone anymore. I'm beginning to believe that Al Gore is the worlds most colossal shill! This man is doing nothing more than trying to change the power structure paradigm and suck your pockets dry in the process (yeah this is the guy with his own private jet). The grants that used to go to finding more sources of petroleum and fossil energy are now being diverted to non-traditional source searches and development. We're talking billions folks! Big bucks, mucho moollah! Welcome to the era of entitlement.

Bottom line that I believe we should all be concerned about: Clean water for all! This should be a basic human right! Clean air for all - again should be a basic human right! If we take care of those two items everything else will follow along. Think about it. That means no more pollution would be allowed. Imagine the wave that would create. That one is worth fighting for. Not that different from what is being touted but the focus is different. It doesn't matter where the energy comes from that I use as long as it doesn't pollute MY WATER and MY AIR.

It's been my opinion for a long time that we don't know enough about climate modeling on this planet to suddenly start making really bold assumptions about how things work. However, as they are proven wrong you'd think that it would be shouted to the heavens but nope! Its tucked away quietly with nary a news mention, with the next scare mongering headline taking its place.

Wake up people. We are being assaulted by bad science, fueled by the media needs for attention grabbing headlines. Computer MODELLING isn't an exact science! It is a set of predictions based on the assumptions of a few dozen individual programmers. They get it wrong more times than they get it right! That's just the way it works. They keep changing the assumptions until the results are the expected ones. That's how computer modelling works. Unfortunately everyone is reporting and accepting the results as facts. No one wants to look at the results of actual OBSERVATIONAL STUDIES!

You've probably heard about the Antarctic ice melting. Well, is it? You're going to love this:


Antarctic ice melting faster than expected (April 6, 2009)

"UP TO one-third of all Antarctic sea ice is likely to melt by the end of
the century, seriously contributing to dangerous sea level rises, updated
scientific modelling on global warming shows."


Or isn't it?


Sea ice spread linked to ozone layer (April 23, 2009 )

"SEA ice around Antarctica has been increasing at a rate of 100,000 sq km a
decade since the 1970s, according to a landmark study to be published today."

"The study by the British Antarctic Survey, published in the journal
Geophysical Research Letters, says rather than melting as a result of
global warming, Antarctica continues to expand. "

"The fact that Antarctic ice is still growing does not in itself prove that
global warming is not happening. But the BAS says increased ice formation
can be explained by another environmental concern, the hole in the ozone
layer, which is affecting local weather conditions. "


So, the upshot is that we need to release more CFCs, to increase the ozone
hole, to form more ice, to prevent sea level rise caused by CO2. It is all
clear now. The science is settled.

The truth is nobody knows nothin' when it comes to planetary forces. We are still making guesses. Some of them pretty good guesses, but still guesses none-the-less!

NASA has only just put a satellite into orbit on the other side of the sun. We have only just dedicated several survey satellites to the task of keeping track of things like ice sheet growth and the relationship of the sun to whats happening here on earth. Unfortunately that doesn't allow us to reach backwards and say definitively what happened in the past.

We do know that the earth was once much hotter than it is today. We do know that the earth was once much colder than it is today. Gee, do you think there are cycles in there somewhere? A line from Benjamin Button keeps popping into my head. "Everything changes!"

Problem is not many people like change. They like things the way they are and were. There is a small subset that thrives on anything new, even ideas, but that is not the mainstream.

So, if the Gore'ites win, all that happens is the people you pay your money to for fuel and energy change but it won't make much difference to you.

You'll probably be foaming at the mouth with a crooked stare caused the migraines you developed as a result of the infrasound created by the windfarm generating station behind your house.

"Trust no one!" Question everything!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

CRTC Canada rejects cutback on U.S. series buys

Okay folks, here we go again. It's really hard to tell if Harper just hates Canadian Production and Independent Producers or is just best friends with Shaw Cable's JR Shaw & Videotron's Pierre Péladeau. Shaw and Péladeau have just been granted two seats out of five on the Canadian Media Fund set to replace the current Canadian Television Fund - April 1, 2010. A third seat on that board is designated for a broadcaster and the other two for affected arts/production organizations. Ultimately there is a request on the table by broadcasters to allow a reduction of Canadian Content requirements in Prime Time "because nobody wants to watch Canadian programming!" They feel that they can only sell ad time for American generated product. Truth is there has always been a slant against Canadian programming unless it was simulcast from an American network. A Canadian show that is getting good ratings stateside can be sandbagged by Global or CTV by airing the Canadian showing in a different time slot. Most recently this happened to "Falcon Beach" a Canadian show that was supported by ABC Family and was supposedly a proud product from Global but because they chose to sabotage the Canadian time slot it got so-so ratings in Canada. Canada's "Flashpoint" currently enjoys the coveted simulcast privilege and is doing really good in the ratings on both sides of the border. I dare them to split the broadcast and to put the Canadian showing on in a different slot. Its ratings would plummet in Canada. Broadcasters can stack the deck either way for whatever purpose they have in mind. Right now they are looking for direct control over production. I suspect that we will soon see a return to in-house production companies - reminiscent of the days of CTV's Glen Warren Productions or the more recent Fireworks that was virtually an in-house entity for Global. Will this be good for Canadian production? Hard to say right now - it could destroy any hopes for independent production. Everybody becomes an employee of the same network geniuses that believed they could better succeed by buying up all of the competing Specialty Networks and putting themselves in financial jeopardy through over extension. I suspect a lot of labour trouble in the future if this becomes the model.

Here is an article from the Hollywood Reporter that sort of covers the items in question.

Canada rejects cutback on U.S. series buys by Etan Vlessing
Mar 9, 2009
CRTC looking at homegrown TV expenditures
Source: Hollywood Reporter

TORONTO -- The Canadian government has rejected a proposal by the country's TV regulator to curb domestic broadcasters' spending on U.S. series.

Federal Heritage Minister James Moore said Monday that Ottawa should not impose conditions or quotas on how Canadian broadcasters buy U.S. programming.

"(Canadian) broadcasters have their own business model," Moore said. "They keep their business models going forward as best they can. Far be it for me to second-guess how to run a broadcast network and programming."

His comments follow a CRTC proposal to use upcoming license renewal hearings to consider whether expenditures on homegrown TV shows should match those for American fare.

Domestic broadcasters contend that they require the profits generated by airing U.S. series to subsidize the production of expensive homegrown dramas. Canadian indie producers, unions and guilds favor the CRTC's proposal for a so-called 1:1 ratio on Canadian and non-Canadian program expenditures as a welcome measure to promote homegrown series production.

Moore said his job is to encourage the production of homegrown programming, a role that on Monday saw him move to merge the Canadian Television Fund and the Canadian New Media Fund into a rebranded CAN$310 million ($241 million) Canada Media Fund.

The CTF, the main source of government subsidies for Canadian indie producers of primetime TV shows, will be reformed to create more homegrown content available to Canadians over more digital platforms and to be sold internationally.

Ottawa also will allow Canadian broadcasters to make their own TV series in-house as well as commission series from indie producers.

The federal minister made his announcement on the Toronto set of the CBS and CTV police drama "Flashpoint," a Canadian-U.S. network partnership Moore wants to see more of.

"Flashpoint" is an example of a Canadian success story. It debuted at No. 1 in the U.S. and in Canada. It's a TV show on CBS and CTV and it streams on line," he said.

As Canadian and U.S. networks reduce their programming budgets to deal with falling ad revenue, they have increasingly partnered on new drama production that is shot in Canada and taps into local and federal government money like CTF subsidies and tax credits.

In addition to "Flashpoint," CBS also will co-produce "The Bridge," another CTV police drama, while NBC picked up "The Listener," a police-medical drama from Canadian producer Shaftesbury Films.

© Hollywood Reporter