Note: One of the many integrity issues with Catlin is that none of their photos can be dated. Even embedded EXIF information (including date/time done by most digital cameras in use today) has been removed from gallery photos on the website. For all we know this photo above they included in their just released report could have been taken during training. The high photographic angle suggests the photographer was standing on something, but what? Further, no raw data is offered in their first report, we are expected to take it on faith I suppose. Given their admittedly fraudulent biometric readings, and lack of candor on their ice radar, how can we trust anything they publish? So far for a “science” mission I remain unimpressed with the effort or the transparency. – Anthony
Guest post by Steven Goddard
Catlin Report Confirms that Satellite Data is Accurate
Catlin just came out with their first ice report (PDF)
The ice thickness measurements that Pen and the team have been able to phone in imply that they are travelling over predominantly thick first‐year ice. Satellite imagery of the area, especially passive microwave imagery (e.g. AMSR and QuikScat data), indicates the area is indeed covered primarily with first‐year ice and a scattering of multi‐year ice floes.
The report summary is :
The results collected in the first month of the Catlin Arctic Survey point to an unexpected lack of thicker Multiyear Ice.
Most of the report is regurgitated satellite data, but there are a couple of particularly interesting items:
One further consideration, when interpreting the ice thickness measurements made by the CAS team, is navigational bias. The team systematically seeks out flatter ice because it is easier to travel over and camp on.
The ice thickness measurements that Pen and the team have been able to phone in imply that they are travelling over predominantly thick first‐year ice.
- They seek out “flat” (implying thinner and younger) ice
- They planned on being on multi-year ice, even though the satellites showed that their route is on first year ice.
- The first year ice they are on is “thick.”
- Their measurements agree closely with satellite data.
In other words, they could have been home enjoying a pint in sunny England, and waited to see what happens to the ice this summer.
Expedition Leader Pen Hadow who remembers feeling angry a few days into the expedition because he felt that, between expeditions, his memory had tricked him over the cold.
“Although I’ve been here before, I wasn’t able to hold the memory of just how uncomfortable, in an almost surreal sense, it really is”, he says. “When you’re warm, at home, you can tell yourself how awful it’s going to be, but when you get here, the shock of it hits you all over again and you really can’t believe you’ve allowed yourself to go through it again“.