Hurricane Sandy’s attack on the New Jersey and New York coastlines was no freak of nature, according to a new report. The hurricane’s unusual westward turn was precipitated by extreme ice melting in the Arctic, revealing an ominous new pattern for hurricanes to come.
The numbers are in from the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) and declining ice thickness is at a hazardous level; observed to be the second-lowest coverage on record, scientists said this week.
According to the NSIDC, on September 12, 2008, the sea ice extent dropped to 1.74 million square miles (4.52 million square kilometers) — or a little less than half the area of the United States. This appears to have been the lowest point of the year, as sea ice has now begun its annual cycle of growth in response to autumn cooling.