Sea ice loss behind path of Hurricane Sandy

| 14/03/2013

sandy_goe_2012302_1745_lrg (244x300).jpg(CNS): The severe loss of summertime Arctic sea ice, attributed to greenhouse warming, appears to  have an impact on weather systems  in the Northern Hemisphere and could increase the frequency with which storms such as Hurricane Sandy could get steered towards densely populated areas. Research from Cornell and Rutgers universities published in this month’s Oceanography found that record-breaking sea ice loss from summer 2012, combined with the unusual atmospheric phenomena observed in late October are linked to global warming.

A strong atmospheric, high-pressure blocking pattern over Greenland and the northwest Atlantic prevented Hurricane Sandy from steering northeast and out to sea like most October hurricanes and tropical storms from the Caribbean.

Authors  Charles H. Greene, Cornell professor of earth and atmospheric sciences and director of Cornell's Ocean Resources and Ecosystems program; Jennifer A. Francis of Rutgers University's Institute of Marine and Coastal Sciences; and Bruce C. Monger, Cornell senior research associate, earth and atmospheric sciences warned that global warming was to blame for Sandy and its subsequent path.

Sandy traveled up the Atlantic coast and turned left "toward the most populated area along the eastern seaboard" and converged with an extratropical cyclone; this, in turn, fed the weakening Hurricane Sandy and transformedit into a monster tempest. Superstorm Sandy's extremely low atmospheric pressure and the strong high-pressure block to the north created violent east winds that pushed storm surge against the eastern seaboard.

"To literally top it off, the storm surge combined with full-moon high tides and huge ocean waves to produce record high water levels that exceeded the worst-case predictions for parts of New York City," write the researchers. "If one accepts this evidence and . . . takes into account the record loss of Arctic sea ice this past September, then perhaps the likelihood of greenhouse warming playing a significant role in Sandy's evolution as an extratropical superstorm is at least as plausible as the idea that this storm was simply a freak of nature."

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  1. Anonymous says:

    I guess there are some intelligent people who have been researching global warming. At least some of them are writing about it here. I've been researching also . This is a very intelligent site shown on the BBC based on science and not on emotion. "Earth under water". It never talks about mangrove swamps. It talks about emissions from various sources .  

    This documentary shows that the sea rose in the past. So I also believe its not the swamp but a cycle of our planet. But it also agrees with what I have said before ,we need to fill in the swamp. They also agree with putting concrete around the coastlines of all major cities that can afford it. Because they belive the the ice is melting and water is going to rise. Not IF but WHEN and by HOW MUCH.

    • Anonymous says:

      Sea level rise calculations are based on the premise that the sea floor of the oceans remain static, and we know they don't.  In the recent geological past, the sea water levels were perhaps 200 feet higher than today – prior to the creation of the colossal trenches and rifts which now zipper the planet.  The water displacement from tectonic events should worry people more than the fractions of an inch in sea level rise we've experienced in the last 200 years.   

      • Anonymous says:

        Anon 0902 of course you are right tectonic movements are more significant but tell me what can we do about it?

        O thats right nothing.

        Fight the fight you can fight not the ones you have no chance at.

        By the way exactly how much has Grand Cayman risen over the last 50 years?

    • Anonymass says:

      Clearly you need to pay more attention. Large countries are hardening coastlines that cannot retreat, e.g., Goerge Town Harbour but coastlines that can, those with wetlands along them, like South Sound for example, they are 'backing off of' in order to allow the coast, via the wetland, to encroach inland. A cheaper and more holistic approach than trying to ring the entire country (three islands in our case) with sea walls. The point is to try and find the 'best' solution. Filling in the swamps wholesale is not it.

      And if, based on tat video, you take the worst case scenerios, the best thing Cayman can do is hang on to your second passport (don't have one, get one) so that when the sea is higher than the island we can all leave. There's an island nation in the PAcific that has made that arrangement with New Zealand IIRC. There is no way that a small place like Cayman can build its way out of the worst case scenerio. So the 'best' solution is to preserve wetlands (whcih absorb CO2 and buffer the less extreme sea level rise possibilities) and agitate for a global response to global climate change.

  2. Reality Check says:

    It is amazing how many on this site have become drunk of the Republican denial kool-aid. 

  3. Anonymous says:

    When one considers that there have been at least 5 global glaciations and inter-glacial periods in the last 100,000 years alone, one can be certain that climate change is normal standard operating procedure in the Earth's evolutionary history, we are helpless to stop those forces.  Our own islands bare the marks from changes in sea salinity, temperature, and levels in the recent geological past.  Atsome point the weather patterns will change again, and it's a bit arogant to suggest that mankind's (albeit detestable) contributions to global co2 airborne pollution (which are measured in parts per billion) have anything to do with the forces at work here.  Similarly, even with all of our scientific knowledge today, humanity's limited ability to predict the weather even 5 days from now, can be disasterously incorrect.  It seems completely implausible that any reliable hurricane projections can be made months out – the only people that believe those perenially incorrect projections are the insurance companies. 

    • Anonymous says:

      These changes in global average temperatures have largely been produced by forces we have absolutely no hope of controling at this point.

      The only one that you can do something with is fossil fuels. Unless of course you anti global warming fans have found a way to control the sun and volcanos.

      • Anonymous says:

        Before you start building your ark: seasonal "holes" in stratospheric ozone layers attributed to CFC usage of 1950-1980's will begin to repair by 2017, and should be back to pre-CFC densities by 2065, or at least, so says NASA Terra Science team.  CFC usage is the only irrefutable man-made problem, and that situation is projected to improve, not worsten in the years ahead.  Man-made CO2 contributions are so small that they must be measured in parts per billion with specialised instruments.  

      • Anonymous says:

        How do "rich" first world nations dictate to "poor" thrid world nations that, sorry, we cannot allow you to experience the convenience and prosperity that we have enjoyed by burning fossil fuels.  Meanwhile, these are those same nations wealthy enough to afford to pay for distribution of cleaner alternatives, yet continue to raise their own fossil fuel consumption, increase engine displacements etc.  Easy to point the fingers at others, not at one's self.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Trying to blame global cooling on global warming merely shows how desperate the fanatic warmists have become.

    Look at the following link to see how well the arctic ice coverage is doing –

    • Anonymass says:

      Went to the site. First graph I saw on the page showed that the 2011/12 & 2012/13 sea ice extents were less than the 1979-2000 averages. Thanks to the link to an institution that, like the vast majority of scientists who actually work on climate related issues, don't try and cover up that climate change is happening.

      From their FAQ: "Fossil fuel burning is responsible for climate change".

    • Anonymous says:

      The Insidc funded fully by the oil comglomerates and run by the same people who were paid to muddy the water by Tabocco companies when the claim smoking causes cancer, just  look it up.

      The fact is that the oil and coal companies pay over 10 times the amount , that is spent researching climate change,  to release dodgy science trying to make some gullible members of the public (successfully in your case) believe what is right in front of them.

      I bet you would beleive gravity didn't exist if you read it on the internet, lol


  5. Anonymous says:

    Or……… it's a function of the already established and documented 40-year cycle.  


    No, that couldn't be it;  I must be wrong.   My theory doesn't garner a crapload of money and carbon credits.    We'd better get started on 'mitigating' the climate of the outer Solar System planets pretty soon, as they are experiencing a cyclical increase in mean temperature also.  


    Damn them for getting to Al Gore before us!!  ;(

  6. Anonymous says:

    So will this continue to happen? What should we do?

    • Anonymous says:

      Suggest put your head between your legs and kiss your brain goodbye. Or at least get off Cayman, it will sink eventually. Unless the changes reverse that is.

    • Anonymous says:

      Cayman's climate change policies. Scan them and see what in it most applies to you. Like building with longer coastal setbacks, higher floor levels (or like old houses, on stilts so the flood waters can go under), build more energy (temperature) efficient houses (especially ones that can catch the breeze when its here), etc. Don't just hink about your house, think about your bussinesses as well. Our buildings will last 30-60-longer years. Think abotu what they need to survive in the very long term. And then ask your MLA what theyr'e going to do to implement these policies at a government (government buildings, roads, etc.) and national (policy) level.