Tuesday, May 1, 2012

New paper confirms wind controls Arctic sea ice extent

A paper published today in Geophysical Research Letters finds that Arctic sea ice extent is controlled by low-level winds which regulate the flow of ice through the Fram Strait. The findings confirm those of other recent papers showing that Arctic sea ice extent is a significant function of wind and currents, not just temperature.

Key Points
  • Arctic sea ice in 2010 and 2011 was controlled by summer surface wind forcing
  • Summer atmospheric conditions determine the amount of summer Arctic sea ice
  • Anticyclonic wind anomalies play an important role in the retreat of sea ice
Masayo Ogi
Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology, Yokohama, Japan
John M. Wallace
Department of Atmospheric Sciences, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, USA
Strong summertime anticyclonic wind anomalies over the Arctic Ocean, with anomalous flow toward the Fram Strait, during summer months of 2007 contributed to the record-low the Arctic sea-ice extent observed in September of that year. Had the summer winds over the Arctic during the summers of 2010 and 2011 been the same as those in 2007, September sea ice extent would have reached new record lows in those years as well. By regulating the flow of ice toward and through the Fram Strait, variations in low-level winds over the Arctic have contributed to the month-to-month, year-to-year, and decade-to-decade variability of sea ice extent.

1 comment:

  1. Even NASA acknowledged this for 2007, but it didn't stop the Warmologists from linking it to AGW.

    It truly is a religion to them.