A winter storm broke up the ice in the Chukchi Sea at the beginning of the month and dragged warm water to the surface. As you can see from the animation above, not much else happened this month.
What does an early winter storm have to do with global warming?
-Storm area 1 million square kilometers
-Wave height of 2 to 3 meters broke apart ice into smaller chunks, increasing surface area and thus melting
-Storm mixed fresh water at surface (from melted ice) with deeper warmer saltier water from below increasing melting rate
-Storm agitated water to depths of 500 meters (where water is much warmer) bringing it to surface increasing melt rate
-Low pressure of storm center sucked up water level by 0.3 meters, causing warm water to flow into Arctic Ocean from Pacific Ocean via Bering Strait and from Atlantic Ocean, increasing melting
-Storm rotation (counterclockwise) spread out ice over larger area and pushed ice towards open ocean (on Atlantic Ocean side)
Julienne Stroeve NSIDC