Is the National Aeronautics and Space Administration filled with climate change deniers?
Such seems likely to be alleged by hysterical alarmists in the press when and if they read a new study out of NASA which determined that "not all the large changes seen in Arctic climate in recent years are a result of long-term trends associated with global warming."
Goes quite counter to all the recent media reports, as well as assertions by Nobel Laureate Al Gore, that low ice conditions in the Arctic are all the fault of that despicable -- albeit essential to life and naturally occurring! -- gas carbon dioxide.
Of course, it's quite unlikely many climate alarmists will even hear about this study, for today's green media wouldn't want to do anything that destroys their illusion that there's a scientific consensus regarding this matter.
As such, consider yourself fortunate to be apprised of the highlights (emphasis added throughout):
A team of NASA and university scientists has detected an ongoing reversal in Arctic Ocean circulation triggered by atmospheric circulation changes that vary on decade-long time scales. The results suggest not all the large changes seen in Arctic climate in recent years are a result of long-term trends associated with global warming.
The team of scientists found a 10-millibar decrease in water pressure at the bottom of the ocean at the North Pole between 2002 and 2006, equal to removing the weight of 10 centimeters (four inches) of water from the ocean. The distribution and size of the decrease suggest that Arctic Ocean circulation changed from the counterclockwise pattern it exhibited in the 1990s to the clockwise pattern that was dominant prior to 1990.
Reporting in Geophysical Research Letters, the authors attribute the reversal to a weakened Arctic Oscillation, a major atmospheric circulation pattern in the northern hemisphere. The weakening reduced the salinity of the upper ocean near the North Pole, decreasing its weight and changing its circulation.
"Our study confirms many changes seen in upper Arctic Ocean circulation in the 1990s were mostly decadal in nature, rather than trends caused by global warming," said [James Morison of the University of Washington's Polar Science Center Applied Physics Laboratory].
Somehow I imagine Morison won't be interviewed by any of the major television networks any time soon, especially as the study concluded that this circulation pattern may already be reversing possibly leading to increased ice levels in this area in coming years:
The Arctic Oscillation was fairly stable until about 1970, but then varied on more or less decadal time scales, with signs of an underlying upward trend, until the late 1990s, when it again stabilized. During its strong counterclockwise phase in the 1990s, the Arctic environment changed markedly, with the upper Arctic Ocean undergoing major changes that persisted into this century. Many scientists viewed the changes as evidence of an ongoing climate shift, raising concerns about the effects of global warming on the Arctic.
Morison said data gathered by Grace and the bottom pressure gauges since publication of the paper earlier this year highlight how short-lived the ocean circulation changes can be. The newer data indicate the bottom pressure has increased back toward its 2002 level. "The winter of 2006-2007 was another high Arctic Oscillation year and summer sea ice extent reached a new minimum," he said. "It is too early to say, but it looks as though the Arctic Ocean is ready to start swinging back to the counterclockwise circulation pattern of the 1990s again."
Once again, another in a seeming litany of reports emerging offering scientific alternatives for climate change beyond it being all man's fault.
And folks wonder why so many people are skeptical concerning the anthropogenic impact on long-term weather patterns.
Of course, one thing's for certain: this news definitely won't make "An Inconvenient Truth" producer Laurie David happy!