NASA finally admits it Arctic cyclone in August ‘broke up’ and ‘wreaked havoc’ on sea ice — Reuters reports Arctic storm played ‘key role’ in ice reduction


By: - Climate DepotSeptember 24, 2012 10:56 AM


In a September 18 video posted by NASA on its website, they admit that the Arctic cyclone, which began on August 5, “wreaked havoc on the Arctic sea ice cover” by “breaking up sea ice.”

Global warming activists have been giddy in their hyping of the satellite era record low Arctic sea ice extent while ignoring the satellite era record sea ice expansion in the Antarctic.

Many climate activists have sought to downplay the significance that the Arctic cyclone played on this year’s summer sea ice in the Arctic. But this new inconvenient video report from NASA now makes the warmists’ attempt to deny the cyclones role in 2012′s Arctic sea ice conditions — impossible.

The September 18 NASA video notes: “A powerful storm wreaked havoc on the Arctic sea ice cover in August 2012. This visualization shows the strength and direction of the winds and their impact on the ice: the red vectors represent the fastest winds, while blue vectors stand for slower winds.”

Reuters news service filed a September 21 report based on NASA’s video admission titled: “NASA says Arctic cyclone played ‘key role’ in record ice melt.” The news segment details how the Arctic sea ice was reduced due to “a powerful cyclone that scientists say ‘wreaked havoc’ on ice cover during the month of August.” (Reuters on “Arctic Cyclone” — 0:47 second long segment — Rob Muir reporting.)

Reuters – Sept. 21 – “NASA says a powerful cyclone formed off the coast of Alaska in early August and moved toward the center of the Arctic ocean, weakening the already thin sea ice as it went.

A large section North of the Chukchi Sea was cut off by the churning storm and pushed south to warmer waters where it melted.

The cyclone remained stalled over the arctic for several days…Scientists say a similar storm decades ago would have had much less impact on the sea ice because they say the ice was not as vulnerable then as it is now.”

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End Reuters news segment.

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Update: ‘Uncommon event’ — NASA estimates there have only been about ’8 storms of similar strength during August in the last 34 years.” NASA explains that the Arctic cyclone of August 5, had an “had an unusually low central pressure area.”

Excerpt: Paul A. Newman, chief scientist for Atmospheric Sciences at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., estimates that there have only been about eight storms of similar strength during the month of August in the last 34 years of satellite records. “It’s an uncommon event, especially because it’s occurring in the summer. Polar lows are more usual in the winter,” Newman said.

Arctic storms such as this one can have a large impact on the sea ice, causing it to melt rapidly through many mechanisms, such as tearing off large swaths of ice and pushing them to warmer sites, churning the ice and making it slushier, or lifting warmer waters from the depths of the Arctic Ocean.

“It seems that this storm has detached a large chunk of ice from the main sea ice pack. This could lead to a more serious decay of the summertime ice cover than would have been the case otherwise, even perhaps leading to a new Arctic sea ice minimum,” said Claire Parkinson, a climate scientist with NASA Goddard.

End NASA Excerpt

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Update: 2012 Arctic ice loss was hyped: ‘ There’s a terrible sense of deja vu about this story — Winds ‘wreaked havoc on the Arctic sea ice cover’ — ‘This is exactly what happened in 2007′ — 2007 ‘when weeks of hype was followed by a quiet admission that the root cause of the loss of ice was winds and ocean currents. I had put the possibility that the 2012 ice loss was similarly down to factors other than global warming to Mark Brandon, a polar regions scientist. He agreed that this was very much a possibility and decried the poor coverage of the issue in the media’

Climate Depot concurs with the above analysis. See: Don’t Panic! Arctic Ice Hits ‘Record’ Low!? Climate Depot Explains Arctic melting hype

Excerpt: Multiple peer-reviewed studies have shown that the 2007 low point in Arctic ice of the modern satellite era was due to high pressure days, unusual winds and ocean currents. In 2012, an analysis showed ‘High Arctic Summers Have Been Colder Than Normal 12 Years In A Row’ ‘Every summer since the year 2000 has had below normal temperatures north of 80N’

In 2009, Arctic Ice Changes in past 3 years were blamed on ‘shifting winds’ – The Star Canada – July 28, 2009 – Excerpt: Oceanographer and Arctic researcher Jane Eert said “dramatic [Arctic ice] changes in the past three years are the result of shifting winds.” “Enormous amounts of ice have ‘been exported from the Arctic,’ driven by winds that are shifting,” according to Eert.

Here is a small sampling of studies on the causes of Arctic ice shifts:

A NASA study published in the peer-reviewed journal Geophysical Research Letters on October 4, 2007 found “unusual winds” in the Arctic blew “older thicker” ice to warmer southern waters. Despite the media’s hyping of global warming, Ignatius Rigor, a co-author of the NASA study, explained, “While the total [Arctic] area of ice cover in recent winters has remained about the same, during the past two years an increased amount of older, thicker perennial sea ice was swept by winds out of the Arctic Ocean into the Greenland Sea. What grew in its place in the winters between 2005 and 2007 was a thin veneer of first-year sea ice, which simply has less mass to survive the summer melt.” [...] “Unusual atmospheric conditions set up wind patterns that compressed the sea ice, loaded it into the Transpolar Drift Stream and then sped its flow out of the Arctic,” said Son Nghiem of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and leader of the study. (LINK)

A November 2007 peer-reviewed study conducted by a team of NASA and university experts found cyclical changes in ocean currents impacting the Arctic. Excerpt: “Our study confirms many changes seen in upper Arctic Ocean circulation in the 1990s were mostly decadal in nature, rather than trends caused by global warming,”

NASA Study Blames Natural High Pressure Leading to More Sunny Days for Arctic Ice Reduction Excerpt: But experts say it was the peculiar weather Mother Nature offered up last summer – whatever caused it – that is largely to blame for the recent unusual events. There was a high-pressure system that sat over the Arctic for much of the summer. It shooed away clouds, leaving the sun alone to beat down.

A November 2007 peer-reviewed study in the journal Nature found natural cause for rapid Arctic warming. [The study] identifies a natural, cyclical flow of atmospheric energy around the Arctic Circle. A team of researchers, led by Rune Graversen of Stockholm University, conclude this energy flow may be responsible for the majority of recent Arctic warming. The study specifically rules out global warming or albedo changes from snow and ice loss as the cause, due to the “vertical structure” of the warming.

Related Links:

See here for Arctic updates & see here for Antarctic updates.

Flashback: Don’t Panic! Arctic Ice Hits ‘Record’ Low!? Climate Depot Explains Arctic melting hype

Antarctic Ice Area Sets Record High: ‘Over the 33-year period aggregate global sea ice volumes have remained steady’

Update: Antarctic Ice Area Sets Another Record – ‘Ice is highest ever for the date, and 8th highest daily reading ever recorded — Media & Fed National Snow & Ice Data Center Are Silent