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Global warming may not be the culprit after all when it comes to Artic changes

Climate data can be difficult to analyze. Take for instance global temperature changes. Whereas the Northern Hemisphere has been warming, the Southern half of the planet is cooling. While Antarctic Ice is at near-record levels, the Northern Pole is warming at an unprecedented pace-- much faster than global warming models predict.

A new study published in the journal Nature identified a possible cause for this discrepancy. It identifies a natural, cyclical flow of atmospheric energy around the Arctic Circle. A team of researchers, led by Rune Graversen of Stockholm University, conclude this energy flow may be responsible for the majority of recent Arctic warming.

The study specifically rules out global warming or albedo changes from snow and ice loss as the cause, due to the "vertical structure" of the warming ... the observed warming has been much too weak near the ground, and too high in the stratosphere and upper troposphere.

This study follows hot on the heels of research by NASA, which identified "unusual winds" for rapid Arctic ice retreat. The wind patterns, set up by atmospheric conditions from the Arctic Oscillation, began rapidly pushing ice into the Transpolar Drift Stream, a current which quickly sped the ice into warmer waters.

A second NASA team, using data from the the GRACE (Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment) satellite, recently concluded that changes in the Arctic Oscillation were "mostly decadal in nature", rather than driven by global warming.

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RE: Sunshine State
By Ringold on 1/4/2008 8:02:57 AM , Rating: 1
I'm really sick of people saying, "but it's cold here" as a rebuttal of global warming.

I put the ";)" winking-smile-thingy at the end of my post just for folks like you that might miss the tongue-in-cheek aspect -- though I did note the interesting lack of many hurricanes for several years running, during a period where they should've been more intense even without global warming. Even still, thats a (mostly) irrelevant observation and I know it; a little help from upper-level winds and all the global warming in a century can't save a hurricane from getting sheared apart. The freeze was also at least somewhat interesting, you'd hear more about it if not for the strong winds as it was cold enough for long enough that it'd of really devastated the citrus crops, but of course just a one day deal. It'll be in the mid 70s again here shortly. Teens and 20-somethings can safely put away their closed-toe shoes once again.

Besides, lefty's still can't help but connect global warming and Katrina in their minds, a connection as stubborn and defiant as any Evangelical's belief in intelligent design ever has been. I tried to be clear I was just being light-hearted about it.

But then again, it sure did warm up quick around here. . . . . .

"Let's face it, we're not changing the world. We're building a product that helps people buy more crap - and watch porn." -- Seagate CEO Bill Watkins

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