On October 21st the Associated Press hit the wires with a story entitled Sea Ice Melting as Arctic Temperatures Rise
The temperatures in the arctic have indeed risen in recent years and ice has declined, bottoming out in 2007 but it is not unprecedented nor unexpected. The arctic temperatures and arctic ice extent varies in a very predictable 60-70 year cycle that relates to ocean cycles which are likely driven by solar changes.
In 2007, NASA scientists stated that after years of research, their team had assembled data showing that normal, decade-long changes in Arctic Ocean currents driven by a circulation known as the Arctic Oscillation was largely responsible for the major Arctic climate shifts observed over the past several years. These periodic reversals in the ocean currents move warmer and cooler water around to new places, greatly affecting the climate. (The AO was at a record low level last winter explaining the record cold and snow in middle latitudes. A strongly negative AO pushes the coldest air well south while temperatures in the Polar Regions are warmer than normal under blocking high pressure).
We agree. And indeed both oceans play a role. In the record-setting (since satellite monitoring began in 1979) summer melt season of 2007, NSIDC noted the importance of both oceans in the arctic ice.
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