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Supercomputing Reveals Arctic Cyclones are more Common than Previously Thought

Researchers are HPC resources at the Ohio Supercomputer Center to better understand current weather patterns and potential climate change in the future. In a surprise revelation, their data analysis discovered hundreds of small cyclones that had previously escaped detection.

How could anyone miss a storm as big as a cyclone? You might think they are easy to detect, but as it turns out, many of the cyclones that were missed were small in size and short in duration, or occurred in unpopulated areas. Yet researchers need to know about all the storms that have occurred if they are to get a complete picture of storm trends in the region. “We can’t yet tell if the number of cyclones is increasing or decreasing, because that would take a multidecade view,” said David Bromwich. “We do know that, since 2000, there have been a lot of rapid changes in the Arctic—Greenland ice melting, tundra thawing—so we can say that we’re capturing a good view of what’s happening in the Arctic during the current time of rapid changes.”

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