Friday, January 17, 2014

Recycling Arctic cyclones at WUWT

Sou | 3:48 PM Go to the first of 2 comments. Add a comment

In my last article I commented how Anthony Watts seemed to have forgotten that he'd already published three articles on Trenberth and Fasullo in the last month, when he put up his fourth article about the paper.

Today he's reposted/recycled another article from last month.  This time about cyclones in the Arctic.   Here are the web archives - December 2013 and January 2014.

Maybe Anthony needs a check up.  I mean forgetting once can be put down to normal human forgetfulness.  Forgetting twice can be put down to not reading the articles he posts.  But forgetting twice in two consecutive days?

More (smaller, short-lived) cyclones than previously thought

Anyway, (if I recall correctly - ha ha) I didn't write about it back in December so here's a summary, based on this article at ScienceDaily.com.  The article was about findings presented at AGU13:
From 2000 to 2010, about 1,900 cyclones churned across the top of the world each year, leaving warm water and air in their wakes -- and melting sea ice in the Arctic Ocean.
That's about 40 percent more than previously thought, according to a new analysis of these Arctic storms.
A 40 percent difference in the number of cyclones could be important to anyone who lives north of 55 degrees latitude -- the area of the study, which includes the northern reaches of Canada, Scandinavia and Russia, along with the state of Alaska.
The finding is also important to researchers who want to get a clear picture of current weather patterns, and a better understanding of potential climate change in the future, explained David Bromwich, professor of geography at The Ohio State University and senior research scientist at the Byrd Polar Research Center.

Anthony previously wrote about the 2012 Arctic cyclone - 27 August 2012 and 19 September 2012 and 24 September 2012 and 27 December 2012 and maybe elsewhere.  In those articles he was implying that the record low summer arctic ice in 2012 could be all blamed on the cyclone.  (In other articles Anthony's posted photos of various ships, misrepresenting where they were and when, in an futile effort to claim that the sharp decline in Arctic sea ice isn't "unusual".)

In these latest articles, Anthony seems to be implying something but I'm not sure what - maybe that Arctic cyclones are causing all the Arctic ice to melt? He wrote:
News media back then seemed to think this was a new thing, and downplayed the role of the cyclone is breaking up sea ice, preferring to attribute it to the omnipotent global warming. Apparently it’s just business as usual for the Arctic.

Still, it's a more rational hypothesis than blaming the Arctic summer ice decline on icebreakers!

Summer is the time for cyclones

Now the thing is that the whole reason that the cyclones weren't easily detected was because they were so small and short-lived, unlike the mammoth cyclone in 2012.  Naturally Neven is right on top of this topic at his Arctic Sea Ice blog.  Neven wrote a number of articles on the big 2012 storm, such as this one.  And in regard to Arctic summer storms in general, here is a quote from an article he referenced last August, here:
“People seem to have this thought that all this storminess is unusual,” said Mark Serreze, an Arctic climatologist and center director at NSIDC. “Well it’s not. It simply isn’t. Summer is the time for cyclones.” Arctic summers are not calm. In fact, the months of August and September see a maximum amount of cyclonic activity. Not every summer is very stormy, but overall, the Arctic is the Arctic for a reason.

So if Anthony Watts and his band of science deniers think that the Arctic is melting purely because of cyclones, that would be wrong.

Anyway, that's enough of that.  Arctic sea ice is Neven's specialty.  His blog is a mine of information and habituated by people who understand and are interested in science.  (Avoid anti-science blogs like WUWT unless you want your brain filled chock-a-block with nonsense.)


  1. Followed your links to disputing USS Skate surfaced at the North Pole in August 1958.

    I agree the photographic evidence isn't there. But there is an article written for LIFE in 1959 by James Calvert, Commander of USS Skate. In the article he states:

    "Last summer Nautilus made history'e first voyage beneath the North Pole. Soon after Skate followed up by surfacing at the pole. Last month Skate returned to the polar seas.."

    Well, that's unequivocal, I would have thought. A contemporaneous first hand account. Calvert goes on to describe the weather of the arctic summer the previous year.

    "Our winter expedition would be far different from the one we undertook last August. In August the Arctic was at its bland best, with continual daylight and temperatures above freezing. Cruising under the 10-foot-thick ice pack, we repeatedly had found open water where we could surface."

    1. The north pole was very different in the 1950s and 1960s to what it is today. These days, even in the middle of winter you won't find too much ice that's ten feet thick. Whereas in summer you'll find that it's no news for a submarine to surface.



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