Another item for the extreme weather counters.

By: hcubed , 3:58 AM GMT on March 27, 2012

From a reliable source, NASA:


"...For most of the winter of 2011–2012, the Bering Sea has been choking with sea ice. Though ice obviously forms there every year, the cover has been unusually extensive this season. In fact, the past several months have included the second highest ice extent in the satellite record for the Bering Sea region, according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC)..."

*** Alright - another second greatest ever record ***

"...NSIDC data indicate that ice extent in the Bering Sea for most of this winter has been between 20 to 30 percent above the 1979 to 2000 average. February 2012 had the highest ice extent for the area since satellite records started. As of March 16, National Weather Service forecasters noted that all of the ice cover in the Bering Sea was first year ice, much of it new and thin—which is typical in the Bering Sea

The accumulation of ice this season has largely been fueled by persistent northerly winds blowing from the Arctic Ocean across the Bering Strait. The local winter weather has been dominated by low-pressure systems—with their counterclockwise circulation—that have brought extensive moisture up from the south to coastal and interior Alaska, while sending cold winds down across the sea to the west.

Those winds pushed Arctic sea ice toward the narrow, shallow strait, where it piled up and formed an ice arch that blocked the flow. As arches fail because of wind stress, large floes of sea ice can move south into the Bering Sea. Ice also has piled up on the north side of St. Lawrence Island, near the mouth of the strait.

South of the strait and the island, those same winds push cold air and cold surface waters to lower latitudes, allowing the ice to grow farther south than usual. The widespread and persistent ice cover in the Bering Sea has posed significant problems for fisherman and for supply ships in the region. The weather driving the ice also brought extreme snowfall events to many parts of Alaska this winter.

The Bering Sea stands in stark contrast to the rest of the Arctic ice cap, where sea ice extent was below average in both January and February. Ice cover was down drastically on the Atlantic Ocean side of the Arctic, including the Kara, Barents, and Laptev Seas, where air temperatures were 4 to 8 degrees Celsius (7 to 14 degrees Fahrenheit) above the norm..."

*** So the counters will latch on to the last paragraph - and say that the warmth ABOVE the norm is a result of CAGW. But when asked about the extreme ice conditions, well, that's just weather.

Let's see if the main post mentions this...

Answer - yes.

Today's entry of the main blog (at 2:09 PM GMT on March 28, 2012) did mention this - in the typical counter way:

"...February Arctic sea ice extent fifth lowest on record

Arctic sea ice extent was at its fifth lowest extent on record in February, according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center. Continuing the pattern established in January, conditions differed greatly between the Atlantic and Pacific sides of the Arctic. On the Atlantic side, especially in the Barents Sea, air temperatures were higher than average and ice extent was unusually low. February ice extent for the Barents Sea was the lowest in the satellite record, due to air temperatures that ranged from 4 - 8°C (7 - 14°F) above average at the 925 mb level (about 3000 feet above sea level). In contrast, on the Pacific side, February ice extent in the Bering Sea was the second highest in the satellite record, paired with air temperatures that were 3 to 5 degrees Celsius (5 to 9 degrees Fahrenheit) below average at the 925 mb level. Satellite sea ice records date back to 1979..."

So kudos to Dr Masters for at least MENTIONING a record.

If the ice is at a new "lowest" level, there's usually no mention of "Satellite sea ice records date back to 1979", while the disclaimer MUST be attached to any "highest" levels.

Gotta keep that unprecidented meme alive...

The views of the author are his/her own and do not necessarily represent the position of The Weather Company or its parent, IBM.

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Living in Biloxi MS, have been here since '85 (first Hurricane was Elena).

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