First, we pointed this out quite some time ago. See: Winds are Dominant Cause of Greenland and West Antarctic Ice Sheet Losses and also NASA Sees Arctic Ocean Circulation Do an About-Face
Second I’m pleased to see the Guardian finally catching on.You can watch wind patterns in this time lapse animation:
From the Guardian:
New research does not question climate change is also melting ice in the Arctic, but finds wind patterns explain steep decline.
Much of the record breaking loss of ice in the Arctic ocean in recent years is down to the region’s swirling winds and is not a direct result of global warming, a new study reveals.
Ice blown out of the region by Arctic winds can explain around one-third of the steep downward trend in sea ice extent in the region since 1979, the scientists say.
The study does not question that global warming is also melting ice in the Arctic, but it could raise doubts about high-profile claims that the region has passed a climate “tipping point” that could see ice loss sharply accelerate in coming years.
The new findings also help to explain the massive loss of Arctic ice seen in the summers of 2007-08, which prompted suggestions that the summertime Arctic Ocean could be ice-free withing a decade. About half of the variation in maximum ice loss each September is down to changes in wind patterns, the study says.
Masayo Ogi, a scientist with the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology in Yokohama, and her colleagues, looked at records of how winds have behaved across the Arctic since satellite measurements of ice extent there began in 1979.
They found that changes in wind patterns, such as summertime winds that blow clockwise around the Beaufort Sea, seemed to coincide with years where sea ice loss was highest.
Writing in a paper to be published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters, the scientists suggest these winds have blown large amounts of Arctic ice south through the Fram Strait, which passes between Greenland and the Norwegian islands of Svalbard, and leads to the warmer waters of the north Atlantic. These winds have increased recently, which could help explain the apparent acceleration in ice loss.
read the complete story at the Guardian