Sea Ice Sensor Degradation Hits Cryosphere Today

You may recall that I posted about how the National Snow and Ice Data Center has an issue with the DMSP satellite sensor channel used to detect sea ice. Cryosphere Today is a few days behind in update compared to NSIDC, and here is what their imagery now looks like before and after:

cryosphere2day_021909-022009-small

Above: Arctic “Insta-melt”  Click for a larger image

Here is the link to reproduce the image above.

Larger “holes” are likely to open up in the arctic sea in the next couple of days as the sensor further degrades.

Here is what CT has to say as a caveat for the side by side images:

February 17, 2009 – The SSMI sensor seems to be acting up and dropping data swaths from time to time in recent days. Missing swaths will appear on these images as a missing data in the southern latitudes. If this persists for more than a few weeks, we will start to fill in these missing data swaths with the ice concentration from the previous day. Note – these missing swaths do not affect the timeseries or any other plots on the Cryosphere Today as they are comprised of moving averages of at least three days.

No mention of the issue on CT’s main page though. They are still commenting on George Will. They seem a bit out of touch on the sensor issue.

h/t to Garrett

UPDATE: 11:30PM 2/20 CT has removed the comments about George Will from the main page, but still no mention there of the satellite outage nor are they displaying imagery on the main page from 2/20/09 The most recent is 02/19/09. It will be interesting to see what tomorrow brings.

0 0 votes
Article Rating
162 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
novoburgo
February 20, 2009 3:25 pm

By their posted comments I would say that NSIDC has a few sensitive technicians at work. Seems as though they are protecting the “Holy Scroll”

Cold in BC
February 20, 2009 3:26 pm

if you look at the two images, it would appear to me that they are having other issues as well. there appears to be a substantial growth of ice between greenland and the northern coast of Canada above Labrador. I know that they got hit by a storm last night, that it seem a bit excessive. I wonder if this is part of the same problem.

February 20, 2009 3:31 pm

AL Gore says sea ice will disappear in 5 years. Now we know how!
It is imperative that this data is corrected and maintained accurately. So much media attention is paid to melting sea ice. This is one of the major emotional drivers that sway many in the public over to the Anthropo Global Warming camp. It’s an easy one for the media to grab. Honest and expedient sea ice information is not only suggested…it is REQUIRED.

February 20, 2009 3:33 pm

What stinks about this is that the other sensors don’t match the historic data as well for trend. So our future trend will be further affected by rematching the data.

mark
February 20, 2009 3:37 pm

this is getting hilarious…..still “not news?”

Ray
February 20, 2009 3:38 pm

Wow, that’s a big butterfly! Is that part of the chaos theory?

Pamela Gray
February 20, 2009 3:41 pm

This reminds me of the necklace that showed up in December.

Editor
February 20, 2009 3:41 pm

Very odd, how can they not know there’s a serious problem by now? Ah
well, they don’t do a good job of reading their Email, I sent them
a couple notes about problems with their Arctic map (typos in the
HTML for the Canadian Archipelago) and never got an aknowledgement.
There may be only two people at Cryosphere, Walsh and Chapman.
At least Dr. Meier reads and returns Anthony’s mail.

Craig Moore
February 20, 2009 3:41 pm

When word of this “degradation” broke, thanks to WUWT, I have been shaking my head over the explanations regarding the reasons to continue flawed processes that publish bad data. Someone has their pants pulled down and its time for them to slide on the ice to awaken to the reality.

Alan Wilkinson
February 20, 2009 4:04 pm

these missing swaths do not affect the timeseries or any other plots on the Cryosphere Today as they are comprised of moving averages of at least three days

Surely this is nonsense. If they are really moving averages and frequent data dropouts are misread as missing ice then obviously the results ARE affected.
The only way they could be unaffected are if the dropouts are detected as abnormal missing data or if there are very infrequent dropouts over very many daily swaths.

Philip_B
February 20, 2009 4:08 pm

CT still haven’t fixed their misleading and arguably deceptive labelling of NH charts prominently displayed at the top of the page, as if they were global data.
Eg, ‘recent ice area’ and ‘seasonal sea ice’ are in fact NH only.
SH charts, hidden away at the bottom of the page, are correctly labelled.

Jordan
February 20, 2009 4:09 pm

The maps do not look at all reliable. Over a couple of days, gaps appear and vanish over Hudson Bay and Labrador – as well as other regions.
And yes, the reference to George Will does rather suggest “Cryosphere Today” needs to reconsider its priorities – if it wishes to be taken seriously as a source of information.

February 20, 2009 4:13 pm

OT – FYI, Anthony, a front-page (online version) from LA Times today, on Arctic permafrost melting releasing vast quantities of methane. Seems to have some hyperbole and untruths.
Link

February 20, 2009 4:15 pm

The more you look at the two images, the more (major) differences you can find. Note the northern coast of Japan, on the 20th, it’s covered, on the 19th, not a lick of ice. Same with the Eastern tip of North America. And the Berring Sea, Hudson Bay, and a half dozen other places. With this many drop-outs, unless you can show that there’s no false positives, the data is, more-or-less, useless. Clearly we have false negatives, in which case you can say that you have a minimum amount… but we can’t possibly know what the maximum is in this case.
Note that some of these aren’t small differences, I’d imagine the Asia/Pacific coast difference has to represent at least a 6 digit square kilometer patch.

Neil Crafter
February 20, 2009 4:51 pm

Why do they continue posting daily ice images when they are clearly compromised by data loss? I would have thought they would have pulled these pictures down until the problem is rectified (a whole new satellite?).

February 20, 2009 5:01 pm

Neil Crafter is right. Providing clearly inaccurate information to the public makes no sense.

Paul S
February 20, 2009 5:17 pm

Apologies Anthony, I know you don’t like off topics, but it looks like the Chaiten volcano in Chile has erupted, prompting evacuations. Reports suggest ash has been blown 2 miles into the air.

DR
February 20, 2009 5:20 pm

What about SH?

John Cooper
February 20, 2009 5:20 pm

Drudge has this up.

D. King
February 20, 2009 5:30 pm

The sensors can simply not be trusted. The only way to tell
when they started to degrade, is to look for a jump in the
calibration bias tables. They should have these tables back
to pre launch tests. Normal variations should be consistent.
Degradation over time is normal, jumps are not.

Ron de Haan
February 20, 2009 5:31 pm

Yes it does, keeping the hoax alive.
The ice is melting.
Why don’t we swamp them with mail?

Jeff Alberts
February 20, 2009 5:47 pm

Roger Sowell (16:13:23) :
OT – FYI, Anthony, a front-page (online version) from LA Times today, on Arctic permafrost melting releasing vast quantities of methane. Seems to have some hyperbole and untruths.

What?? Hyperbole in a news article?? What is this world coming to????
😉

Glenn
February 20, 2009 5:48 pm

Compare Cryo above to
http://iabp.apl.washington.edu/maps_daily_ncepice.html
Unless one or the other is mixing satellite data, ssm/i data is used for both. Discrepancy the result of different algorithms?
Funny name, algorithm. Many people probably do not really know what that means. Literally tens of thousands of lines of code, computer routines and subroutines all processing data input from satellite to get the finished result. Some of this stuff can be found online, it’s quite a mess.

MattN
February 20, 2009 5:50 pm

OK, I’ve got a rant against Cryosphere Today.
From their main page:
“February 15, 2009
In an opinion piece by George Will published on February 15, 2009 in the Washington Post, George Will states “According to the University of Illinois’ Arctic Climate Research Center, global sea ice levels now equal those of 1979.”
We do not know where George Will is getting his information, but our data shows that on February 15, 1979, global sea ice area was 16.79 million sq. km and on February 15, 2009, global sea ice area was 15.45 million sq. km. Therefore, global sea ice levels are 1.34 million sq. km less in February 2009 than in February 1979. This decrease in sea ice area is roughly equal to the area of Texas, California, and Oklahoma combined.
It is disturbing that the Washington Post would publish such information without first checking the facts. ”
Thing is, the article was written January 1st, not Feb 15th, and Mr Will was comparing the END OF 2008 with the END OF 1979. Not Feb 15th of each year (which was still a month and a half away from happening when he wrote it).
Why did Cryophere Today blatantly misrepresent what the author was writing about?
Those guys really piss me off…

John Galt
Reply to  MattN
February 23, 2009 2:06 pm

We do not know where George Will is getting his information…

The preceding paragraph says “according to the University of Illinois’ Arctic Climate Research Center…”
Are those guys so cross they can’t read?

Glenn
February 20, 2009 5:53 pm

That pic of the 19th
http://igloo.atmos.uiuc.edu/cgi-bin/test/print.sh?fm=02&fd=19&fy=2009&sm=02&sd=19&sy=2009
doesn’t match this
http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/NEWIMAGES/arctic.seaice.some.000.png
I guess “igloo” doesn’t talk to “arctic” (in the urls).

Austin
February 20, 2009 5:59 pm

They do not have a model to detect quality control issues. Its pretty simple stuff for those who deal with large amounts of data flowing in.
Like most cases, the private sector is way ahead of the public and scientific one when it comes to finding and fixing data issues.

D. Gallagher
February 20, 2009 6:03 pm

Somebody needs to contact Drudge and Bloomberg, THIS IS NOT NEWS! It’s not even worth blogging about.

Glenn
February 20, 2009 6:17 pm

Austin (17:59:42) :
“They do not have a model to detect quality control issues.”
I’ve seen “test” routines, which are part of processing algorithms, as well as code to control “quality” which are part of the running algorithms. That to me is a bigger problem than not having any models to draw from in the algorithms, since they apparently don’t work when a known sensor error arose. This particular sensor problem has been known and has influenced the sensor output to varying degrees over several years. It just became obvious to Anthony, not to the scientists, who thought the drop was because of weather. With that in mind, what have the algorithms been doing with data that isn’t obviously bad? If their code didn’t catch a biggie, would anyone expect it to catch minor errors? I doubt it.

mark
February 20, 2009 6:26 pm

how long will it take them to update? i am looking forward to the graphs reflecting this…

thefordprefect
February 20, 2009 6:30 pm

D. King (17:30:12) :
The sensors can simply not be trusted. The only way to tell
when they started to degrade, is to look for a jump in the
calibration bias tables.

I posted this on the other thread.
Please have a look at this comparison between AMSRE (JAXA site) and SSM/I (NSIDC) This compares monthly averages back to 2002. In general the AMSRE data is smaller than the NSIDC and the only significant time it is larger is in Sept 2008 when it is 170,000 sq km larger. A difference of 3.5% larger compared to AMSRE area at that time.
http://img16.imageshack.us/img16/9782/ssmiamsrerz8.jpg
The lowest trace (values on right) show the difference between the nsidc extent and amsre data
There is no significant DRIFT visible in data. There is an obvious difference in the algorithms used to genereate the 15% sea ice areas leading to different total areas. The nsidc data therefore does show valid CHANGES in extent up to end of December 2008 as does the AMSRE data.
Mike

Gil Russell
February 20, 2009 6:32 pm

More Political Science. One question? What is their funding source?

Ron de Haan
February 20, 2009 6:56 pm

The Sensor problems at NSIDC are mainstream now.
Read this Bloomberg article:
Arctic Sea Ice Underestimated for Weeks Due to Faulty Sensor
“The recent error doesn’t change findings that Arctic ice is retreating, the NSIDC said”.
By Alex Morales
Feb. 20 (Bloomberg) — A glitch in satellite sensors caused scientists to underestimate the extent of Arctic sea ice by 500,000 square kilometers (193,000 square miles), a California- size area, the U.S. National Snow and Ice Data Center said.
The error, due to a problem called “sensor drift,” began in early January and caused a slowly growing underestimation of sea ice extent until mid-February. That’s when “puzzled readers” alerted the NSIDC about data showing ice-covered areas as stretches of open ocean, the Boulder, Colorado-based group said on its Web site.
“Sensor drift, although infrequent, does occasionally occur and it is one of the things that we account for during quality- control measures prior to archiving the data,” the center said. “Although we believe that data prior to early January are reliable, we will conduct a full quality check.’’
The extent of Arctic sea ice is seen as a key measure of how rising temperatures are affecting the Earth. The cap retreated in 2007 to its lowest extent ever and last year posted its second- lowest annual minimum at the end of the yearly melt season. The recent error doesn’t change findings that Arctic ice is retreating, the NSIDC said.
The center said real-time data on sea ice is always less reliable than archived numbers because full checks haven’t yet been carried out. Historical data is checked across other sources, it said.
The NSIDC uses Department of Defense satellites to obtain its Arctic sea ice data rather than more accurate National Aeronautics and Space Administration equipment. That’s because the defense satellites have a longer period of historical data, enabling scientists to draw conclusions about long-term ice melt, the center said.
“There is a balance between being as accurate as possible at any given moment and being as consistent as possible through long time-periods,” NSIDC said. “Our main scientific focus is on the long-term changes in Arctic sea ice.”
To contact the reporter on this story: Alex Morales in London at amorales2@bloomberg.net.
http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601110&sid=aIe9swvOqwIY
Link via http://www.seablogger.com

WestHoustonGeo
February 20, 2009 7:02 pm

And they are still publishing admittedly corrupted data because…?

WestHoustonGeo
February 20, 2009 7:07 pm

Somebody asked why we don’t bombard them with email.
Will that guy please go the the website and find the “contact us” link? ‘Cause, I can’t seem to find it.
Isn’t that odd…?

February 20, 2009 7:27 pm

I suspect that there were sensor issues far earlier than six weeks ago.

mark
February 20, 2009 7:30 pm
deadwood
February 20, 2009 7:36 pm

WestHoustonGeo:
The comments link on the CT site is below the “Global sea ice area” graphic on the right side of the page about two clicks down.
Fellow Geo from the PNW

D. King
February 20, 2009 7:41 pm

thefordprefect (18:30:01) :
Mike,
Thanks for the link. I guess the problem I’m having
with this, is that to truly calibrate a passive sensor End-
to End, you must have a survived ground site with a
known emitting source. Satellite to satellite comparisons
will give you a general idea of health, but seem a little
lacking. I wish I knew more about the sensor construction.
Best,
Dave

actuator
February 20, 2009 7:45 pm

Smokey (17:01:42) :
Neil Crafter is right. Providing clearly inaccurate information to the public makes no sense.
Unless you’re politically motivated and reality needs to be distorted.

Robert Bateman
February 20, 2009 7:49 pm

“these missing swaths do not affect the timeseries or any other plots on the Cryosphere Today as they are comprised of moving averages of at least three days”
A moving average will cause a drop spread over 3 days if one of the days is bad.
A median of 5 days would cancel out most of the missing data.
Hopefully, someone there understands how to use the data to remove the missing parts. The technique of Median Combine is well known in the AstroImaging or Image Processing routines of departments of CalTech, which has a pipeline called CalEx.
Even Hubble’s raw data must be put through pipelines of some sort of Median or other scheme to fill in the ever-present holes left by millions of CCD pixels that are non-uniform in response.
Simple averaging…no way will it get the job done properly.

jarhead
February 20, 2009 7:56 pm

Cryosphere e-mail address
cryosphere-science@atmos.uiuc.edu

papertiger
February 20, 2009 7:57 pm

In 2001 data from Surveyor showed global warming on Mars.
The media wasn’t interested but bloggers heard about it, and mocked the global warmers with it.
Finally, the Media’s fair haired boy couldn’t take anymore mocking, so they posted a “debunking” of global warming on Mars, October 5, 2005. http://www.realclimate.org/index.php?p=192
This put the media/government nexus of professional AGW alarmism in a tight situation. Their policy had been to ignore global warming of the other planets, but their other policy had been to direct any who questioned the scientific basis of global warming toward Real Climate to search haphazard for the answers from their paid shill. The two policies were in conflict.
Realclimate had debunked something that the nexus was loathed to report. Global Surveyor was rocking the boat.
What to do? What to do?
How about kill the witness?
http://blog.wired.com/gadgets/2006/11/mars_global_sur.html
Then besmirch it’s character.
SPACE.com — Dust Storms Fuel Global Warming on MarsApr 4, 2007 … Shifting sandstorms on Mars might be contributing to a recent bout of global warming on the planet that is shrinking the southern polar …
Old news…
but could this be history repeating itself?

February 20, 2009 8:04 pm

Though I’m sorry to see the failure of the SSMI sensor, I’m glad it will no longer be used by NSIDC to further the AGW hoax. I take a personal interest, since the sensor is based on my dissertation (Wisconsin-Madison, 1976) and research with the late Dr. Jim Hollinger of Naval Research Labs. I wrote the sensor specifications, and was manager of the Hughes Aircraft software team that developed the processing code. We turned that software over to NSIDC, free gratis (with government permission). Had I known then what they would do with the data, I’d have traveled to Illinois or to Podunk instead.
There are two reasons for my disgust with NSIDC. One is their endorsement of Al Gore’s Inconvenient Truth, posted in a blog on their website, and signed by Walt Meier (and Ted Scambos). Scientists who endorse Mr. Gore are not scientists; they’re propagandists.
The second reason is the annual Summer analysis of ever decreasing Arctic ice extent, made in August, when “melt ponds” abound on the ice surface. A couple of mm of melt water make the submerged ice look like open water. Everyone familiar with microwave remote sensing is aware of this, and the disagreement by the National Ice Center with the NSIDC analysis has been noted in the past on this blog. Sensor degradation makes such analysis even more questionable.
No sympathy for NSIDC. Bad science/propaganda is worse than none at all.
Richard C. Savage
Colorado
REPLY: Richard, thank you for your candor. I found the NSIDC link to AIT you spoke of, readers can see it here:
http://nsidc.org/news/press/20060706_goremoviefaq.html
– Anthony Watts

rickM
February 20, 2009 8:11 pm

This and other advocacy issues is why CT is no longer a site I visit.
I am a regular visitor at IARC-JAXA, which uses the more accurate AMSR system that NSIDC seems to want to avoid.

Philip_B
February 20, 2009 8:36 pm

Mr Will was comparing the END OF 2008 with the END OF 1979. Not Feb 15th of each year (which was still a month and a half away from happening when he wrote it).
Why did Cryophere Today blatantly misrepresent what the author was writing about?

And blatantly cherry pick a single days data in attempt to ‘disprove’ what Cryosphere’s own graphs clearly show to be true.
http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/global.daily.ice.area.withtrend.jpg
These people (AGW proponents) have no shame.

Squidly
February 20, 2009 8:37 pm

Ah, it’ll be alright, the ice is all going to melt anyway, so why do we need those sensors? You see, the ice is melting, methane is being released which in turn causes more warming and more release and so the cycle goes until it all burns up. Remember, uncle Al told us that it was going to melt in 5 years. He warned us!
L.A. Times Says (embedded video) .. “All those people living in those big cities producing CO2” .. give me a break!
BTW, I was playing around on the Cryosphere site, and it looks to me like we currently have a whole lot of ice. I’m having a hard time believing old uncle Al !!!

February 20, 2009 9:14 pm

Are there any Greenpeacers headed to the “butterfly” with their kayaks yet?

Pamela Gray
February 20, 2009 9:24 pm

I know that somebody brought the December necklace to our attention just recently. Anybody got a picture of the necklace image at Cryosphere back in, what, December? Is it possible that we have to back to November to get a clean data set?

Pamela Gray
February 20, 2009 9:25 pm

It’s the batman signal! dadadadadadadadadadadadadada…BATMAN!!!!

deadwood
February 20, 2009 9:45 pm

Mike D. (21:14:51) :
Let us hope so!

Pamela Gray
February 20, 2009 10:08 pm

Quick! Somebody email all the upper level AGWing advocates and tell them that there are a bunch of polar bears floating on little bits of melting ice! Tell them to check out Cryosphere as proof that the Arctic is melting and is much worse than the models predicted (they will believe that one). We will even get them a boarding ticket for the next cruise ship!

Neil Crafter
February 20, 2009 10:20 pm

Save the endangered polar butterfly! There’s no time to waste!

hareynolds
February 20, 2009 10:24 pm

Austin (17:59:42) said:
“They do not have a model to detect quality control issues. Its pretty simple stuff for those who deal with large amounts of data flowing in. Like most cases, the private sector is way ahead of the public and scientific one when it comes to finding and fixing data issues.”
As Ronnie Reagan used to say, “The best people don’t work for the government. If they did, the private sector would steal them.”
If you have any doubt that this problem is ENDEMIC to government, make sure you read F. Hayek’s Road to Serfdom. Should be required reading for all HS Seniors, but I’m not holding my breath. Liberty isn’t very high on the average HS syllabus.
Our best hope is to keep bureaucrats from screwing-up too badly. In this case, I’m afraid they’ve managed to pull ahead (probably due to (a) the quasi-religious nature of the issue and (b) large companies e.g BP capitulating so they can skim-off some of the inevitable pork fat) and the private sector has some serious catching-up to do.

J.Hansford
February 20, 2009 10:30 pm

actuator (19:45:19) :
———————
Smokey (17:01:42) : ……. Neil Crafter is right. Providing clearly inaccurate information to the public makes no sense.
actuator (19:45:19) :……… Unless you’re politically motivated and reality needs to be distorted.
J.Hansford……… Too true Actuator, Communism and it’s sister, Socialism, have deliberately distorted reality to suit political objectives since that sad political ideology came into existence….. Trofim Lysenko would be a classic example of this…… Makes one wonder when viewing this mad AGW hypothesis which seems to have become a Government mantra nowadays….

Jerker Andersson
February 20, 2009 10:57 pm

Hmm is it just me or doesnt this kind of remind of the big summer melt the last 2 summers? Starting at the same area but this time the sea ice is not supposed to melt since it is in the middle of the winter.
Could this error have happened before but went by unnoticed since the sea ice is expected to melt? I.e. AGW biased error finding.

Ray
February 20, 2009 11:13 pm

Like someone said: “It’s a mess!”

Richard111
February 20, 2009 11:47 pm

These satellite problems…. nothing to do with high energy
incoming “cosmic rays” and reduced solar wind?

Typical American
February 20, 2009 11:52 pm

So, as the ice disappears from the sensor it disappears from the earth? Ohhhh… I see… So the faulty sensor is causing the ice to melt?

anna v
February 21, 2009 12:44 am

Pamela Gray (21:24:21) :
The necklace is still there if you put the December 6 choice. I had written and asked then but got no answer.
It is in a different part of the map.
http://igloo.atmos.uiuc.edu/cgi-bin/test/print.sh?fm=12&fd=06&fy=2008&sm=02&sd=20&sy=2009
The butterfly trumps it.

anna v
February 21, 2009 12:49 am

Back in December 6 2008 when the necklace appeared, there were other views available in cryosphere, and one could see that it was a space construct because it projected differently in the different views. I can no longer find those plots and unfortunately it seems I only copied the standard one..
I wonder if there are other views of the butterfly

Lance
February 21, 2009 1:02 am

Check out the halo that started on the Feb 10 till the 19 and then disappears on the 20th
http://igloo.atmos.uiuc.edu/cgi-bin/test/print.sh?fm=02&fd=10&fy=2009&sm=02&sd=19&sy=2009
This data has been adjusted to sensitivity and has gone over the edge when the ice build up corrupted their computer model proxies that they use to smooth or adjust.
I don’t believe for a minute that the satellite all of a sudden, gets a glitch, yeah, REAL data being read from a military satellite,
“Where does NSIDC get its data?
NSIDC gets sea ice information by applying algor(e)ithms to data from a series of Special Sensor Microwave/Imager (SSM/I) sensors on Defence Meteorological Satellite Program (DMSP) satellites. These satellites are operated by the U.S. Department of Defense. Their primary mission is support of U.S. military operations; the data weren’t originally intended for general science use.”
http://nsidc.org/arcticseaicenews/
Really, after 30 years of using it, you say it was NOT intended for general science….. But you use it to prove AGW….?
I used to trust NSIDC, but just one more method of measuring data corrupted …
I’m getting so disillusioned, it’s becoming so hard to fight against disinformation when even the simplest scientific laws and understanding are not known. I would of never thought I would have to defend elementary science over the internet.
I’ve lived through Hansen’s believing in our HUMAN made gases where cooling the world into a new ice age (pine cones and computers)(… meh! He wrote the freaking program) and other misunderstood reasons like ozone depletion blamed on our CFC/HFC/…KFC?… lol
ALL WRONG, ALL NATURAL, AND ALL STILL GOING ON THE SAME AS 1979 to 2009
Ironically back in the 70’s it costing XX millions of dollars for AGC(ice age) that never happened, but we saved our planet using energy efficiency EVERYTHING, and nuclear was born.
…and here we are over 30 years later spending billions for the same alarmists views of a new ice age as they rang the bells for the CO2 AGW religion.
And still no modern nuclear energy program in the US, even with some/most EU states supplying as high as 80% of their power from nuke and supplying power to other EU controlled countries around them.
Reply: The “religion” meme as a derogatory slur is strongly discouraged in order to keep the dialog at a higher level. I know it happens at all the time and is not called out enough, but I’m catching it here. ~ charles the moderator

tty
February 21, 2009 1:06 am

The NCEP/NCAR snow-cover data (http://moe.met.fsu.edu/snow/) also uses SSM/I data and is way off at the moment.
I emailed them about the sensor issue a couple of days ago. No acknowledgement.

mccall
February 21, 2009 1:50 am

If CT waits 7-8 more weeks to fix the error (missing NH peak ice season), they’ll be right again.

mccall
February 21, 2009 1:52 am

After all, the current sensor error helped them in their cherry-pick against George Will (8 weeks ago!

Andrew P
February 21, 2009 2:41 am

Mike D. (21:14:51) :
Are there any Greenpeacers headed to the “butterfly” with their kayaks yet?
Yes – a British team just just arrived at Resolute –
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/default.stm
p.s. OT but while searching for above link I just noticed this by the BBC Environment Editor – http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2009/02/need_for_a_cooler_climate.html

Andrew P
February 21, 2009 3:17 am

Sorry, the correct link for BBC’s page on the Catlin Arctic Survey team is:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/7897392.stm
and the project’s website is: http://www.catlinarcticsurvey.com/

Dorlomin
February 21, 2009 3:24 am

Wattsup comments have become my favourite reading over the past few weeks.

mercurior
February 21, 2009 4:03 am

its interesting how they say “The SSMI sensor seems to be acting up and dropping data swaths from time to time in recent days”
would they like to quantify it, how recent are the days, 30 days, 90 days, 2 days, and time to time. once a day, 10 times a day. once a week?
If you look on the images, you will see new ice where no ice was. Was the ice always there, and not detected?, or is it ghost ice. Errors in other sensores from other satellites? If the failure of one sensor (which has last longer than its predicted lifespan), what are the other sensors date of manufactor. Are these sensors also creating errors.
There is now serious doubt over some of the datasets, And i have to ask myself, When did it really start. The you come to the calculations, it will follow the gigo rule. (garbage in, garbage out).
(on a lighter note, it could be a butterfly has landed on the sensors. proof of alien life. space butterflies LOL)

tty
February 21, 2009 4:26 am

If you look att the Cryosphere views for December 5, 6 and 7 2008, it is obvious that the sensor was already acting up at that time. It is not only “the necklace”, but there is also instant “freeze/melt/refreeze” in the Kara Sea and the Bering Sea. We should regard all SSM/I data for at least the last three months as suspect.

Mike Bryant
February 21, 2009 5:09 am

Does CT exist only for propaganda value? We can add ice, we can remove ice. We could apply the current sea ice masks to the snow-less images in our comparison product, but why should we? “The necklace”, “the halo” and “the butterfly” might be a part of an experiment in psychology. How outrageous can we make these images without causing widespread doubt? CT has been advised and questioned about these artifacts repeatedly with no response whatsoever. I think they could be put an image of the Sta-Puft Marshmallow Man there at the pole and we would only hear deafening silence from the AGW proponents…
Sit back down and shut up… this is our baby. The attitude at CT is appalling. I hope that the NSIDC does not condone this capricious use of their data.
Or perhaps it can all be put down to carelessness.
Hmmm I wonder if they really do have psychiatrists and psychologists on the staff there?

Arthur Glass
February 21, 2009 5:23 am

Bloomberg–the news agency, not New York City’s Commissar of Nutrition–
has picked up on this story. Via Drudge:
http://www.drudgereport.com/

February 21, 2009 5:30 am

I really wanted to give Walt Meier the benefit of the doubt. But he’s making it very difficult: click
Also, I enjoyed Richard C. Savages’s website (20:04:55).
Finally, thanx to jarhead for finding the Cryosphere email address (@19:56:08).

papertiger
February 21, 2009 5:39 am

Someone really should email this entire thread to George Will. I’m sure he would appreciate it.

Steve Keohane
February 21, 2009 6:04 am

anna v & pamela gray: here is the necklace 12/6 with 12/5/08. Not only the necklace appears, but there is massive ice loss overnight just south of the necklace and north of the river Ob’s outlet.
http://i37.tinypic.com/33ejz4p.jpg
This brings back the spurious ice loss I looked at 12/08 regarding shoreline change from the old maps having no snow to the modern addition of snow, which impinged on the sea area. This means that the maximum ice extent can never be reached again, comparing modern ice to old, since the baseline is based in the past.
http://i44.tinypic.com/330u63t.jpg

Frank K.
February 21, 2009 6:09 am

Mike D. (21:14:51) :
“Are there any Greenpeacers headed to the “butterfly” with their kayaks yet?”
No, no, no…it’s not a butterfly…it’s MOTHRA!

Steve Keohane
February 21, 2009 6:39 am

Are comments no longer posted ‘waiting for moderation’ ? I made a post at 06:06
PDT, and it was not posted. I tried to post it a second time and received a message that it was a duplicate message. Thus, 33 minutes later I am posting this to inquire re: the change, and to see if it is also not immediately shown as ‘waiting…’
[Reply: Sometimes there is no moderation for an hour or two, usually late at night or early a.m. I also rescued two of your comments from the spam bucket and posted them. ~dbstealey, mod.]

Steve Keohane
February 21, 2009 6:43 am

In light of my comment of 06:06 not showing up as ‘awaiting moderation’, yet my comment of 06:39 does show up, I am duplicating my 06:06 post below. Sorry if it shows up twice, but I can’t get back for several hours.
anna v & pamela gray: here is the necklace 12/6 with 12/5/08. Not only the necklace appears, but there is massive ice loss overnight just south of the necklace and north of the river Ob’s outlet.
http://i37.tinypic.com/33ejz4p.jpg
This brings back the spurious ice loss I looked at 12/08 regarding shoreline change from the old maps having no snow to the modern addition of snow, which impinged on the sea area. This means that the maximum ice extent can never be reached again, comparing modern ice to old, since the baseline is based in the past.
http://i44.tinypic.com/330u63t.jpg

Garrett
February 21, 2009 6:44 am

Thanks for doing an article on this Anthony! 🙂

February 21, 2009 7:03 am

19 02 2009
vukcevic (14:25:32) :
on The heliospheric current sheet as solar cycle proxy
…………
Who knows, SC24 might make hero of Dr. Hathaway, if that is case, I will whistle in the wind, and try to prove that Beaufort gyre is run by the sunspot cycle;

………….
What a coincidence, only one day after Anthony shows us that Cryosphere Today has ‘melted’ most of the ice above it.

February 21, 2009 7:05 am

In the pro-Inconvenient Truth dialogue with Walt Meier and Ted Scambos over at the NSIDC site linked above, Scambos makes the following remark: “It’s true that every glacierized region on Earth is experiencing retreat and thinning.”
We know perfectly well that the glaciers at the center of Antarctica and Greenland are growing. Alaska’s glaciers have grown recently, as have many in Norway.
Anyone have enough pull with these gentlemen to request a retraction on this inaccurate (and fear-inducing) statement?

MattN
February 21, 2009 7:13 am

“11:30PM 2/20 CT has removed the comments about George Will from the main page, but still no mention there of the satellite outage nor are they displaying imagery on the main page from 2/20/09 The most recent is 02/19/09. It will be interesting to see what tomorrow brings.”
They had a massive amount of nerve to criticize George Will when their data was completely screwed up…

cbone
February 21, 2009 7:25 am

Did anyone else find it interesting that in the Bloomberg article they credited ‘readers’ with noticing and notifying NSIDC of the error. They conveniently left off which ‘readers’ found the error… Subtle, yet interesting. AFAIK the ‘readers’ were WUWT. Oh well, it fits the meme of the MSM to never credit skeptics for anything.

Pamela Gray
February 21, 2009 7:32 am

Smokey, that interview was back in 06. Maybe what can be said about Walt now is that the recent lesson at the hands of Anthony (done with a kind hand I might add) and resultant return to paying attention to the data instead of political activities seems an improvement of Walt’s daily activities and responsibilities. At the very least, this episode should remind scientists of the ever present danger of bias.

KlausB
February 21, 2009 7:58 am

OT here, only FYI:
Austria, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Scotland still getting their share of the white stuff.
http://icecap.us/images/uploads/Snow_In_Europe.pdf

February 21, 2009 8:02 am

Glenn (17:48:35) :
Funny name, algorithm. Many people probably do not really know what that means.

Algorithm – formula or procedure for solving a mathematical problem, from algebra (al-juh-bruh), comes from the Arabic word al-jabru = restoration , after mathematician Al-Khwarizmy who worked at the royal court in Baghdad (780 to 850 AD).

Charles Garner
February 21, 2009 8:02 am

A number of weeks ago, seems like December, there was a comment on a post in which the poster noted a huge segment of ice in southern latitudes had vanished overnight. The Cryosphere image showed a nearly straight line longitudinal open sea area where before there was ice (in the Atlantic, I think). Next day or two the ice had ‘reformed’. I am thinking that might have been early evidence of the sensor/algorithm degradation.

Peter Melia
February 21, 2009 8:03 am

Anthony, could you have a look at this article “Watching Greenland Melt” in Open Salon, and comment, on your site?
The dogs photo certainly makes a cute background wallpaper, better than that ole polar bear!
Thanks

February 21, 2009 8:06 am

Until the interview is edited or pulled down, it will continue to frighten and misinform visitors to the site (which is largely funded by taxpayers).

Alex
February 21, 2009 8:19 am

Chaiten has erupted again!

February 21, 2009 8:25 am

Charles. I’m a huge fan and and enjoy the manner in which you delicately rein in the boorish strayings. As an old lady who cherishes traditional values and particularly appreciates the refinements of polite discourse, I’d like to make a case for the use of the word ‘religion’ in some of the comments.
Dictionary.com lists one of the meanings of religion as follows:
6. something one believes in and follows devotedly; a point or matter of ethics or conscience: to make a religion of fighting prejudice.
Keep up the great work.
Reply: The concept of religion or the word religion in and of itself is not negative or objectionable; however, the usual context in these debates is to insult the other side by an accusation it of blind faith and abandonment of reason. That is why it is discouraged by either side in order to keep the debates civil. Also a reminder: religious debates or “who’s God is it” topics are strictly prohibited. ~ charles the moderator.

Mike Bryant
February 21, 2009 8:29 am

Anthony… see the comment here: Steve Keohane (06:43:11) :
And here:
anna v (00:44:28) :
Pamela Gray (21:24:21) :
The necklace is still there if you put the December 6 choice. I had written and asked then but got no answer.
It is in a different part of the map.
http://igloo.atmos.uiuc.edu/cgi-bin/test/print.sh?fm=12&fd=06&fy=2008&sm=02&sd=20&sy=2009
This one has both butterfly and string of pearls

Clive
February 21, 2009 8:29 am

Not read all responses. I am a naive lay observer. There obviously has to be a standard method to measure sea ice–just like there (supposedly) is a standard way to measure temps in a Stephenson screen. (i.e. the sea ice needs to be always measured with the same yard stick.)
But golly gee…the sun is shining once again up there. Surely someone is flying airplanes over these areas again and has a Kodak Brownie and could…..er..well….gosh take a picture and actually look to see what’s up with that pesky sea ice.
Maybe it is so cold they can’t fly. ☺
Clive

Mike Bryant
February 21, 2009 8:33 am

As I’ve read through these comments, I have found numerous problems discussed with both NSIDC and CT. I’m off to Jamaica so can’t do it but does anyone here have time to itemize these many problems?
Mike…
I hope I can find internet on the boat… no vacation without WUWT…

Mike Bryant
February 21, 2009 8:36 am

“Harold Ambler (07:05:35) :
In the pro-Inconvenient Truth dialogue with Walt Meier and Ted Scambos over at the NSIDC site linked above, Scambos makes the following remark: “It’s true that every glacierized region on Earth is experiencing retreat and thinning.”
We know perfectly well that the glaciers at the center of Antarctica and Greenland are growing. Alaska’s glaciers have grown recently, as have many in Norway.
Anyone have enough pull with these gentlemen to request a retraction on this inaccurate (and fear-inducing) statement?”
Growing Glaciers:
http://www.iceagenow.com/Growing_Glaciers.htm

Pierre Gosselin
February 21, 2009 8:36 am

For German readers, here’s an interview with Director Prof. Heinrich Müller of the Alfred Wegener Institut and the new Antarctic Research Facility – Neumayr III.
http://klimakatastrophe.wordpress.com/2009/02/21/ein-polarforscher-zum-klimawandel/
Main statements in summary:
1. Over the last 28 years, slight cooling of the region of their station 70’30″S 8°11′ W.
2. Does not expect any significant sea level rise in the next 100 years even with warming – as ice would simply transfer from Arctic to Antarctic.
3. Doesn’t expect methane coming from thawing permafrost to play much of a role in the future, as it never did during past Optimums.
4. Says there’s both a manmade and a natural component to current climate change. Did elaborate on what ratio.
5. Doesn’t think climate change is a big challenge for humans – they’ve always adapted in the past.
6. Says current models do not allow any conclusions to be drawn.
During the interview one hears NO alarmist catastrophic statements from him. Nothing. The interviewers kept trying to get him to make catastrophic predictions, but Prof. MÜller left them standing there empty-handed.

Pierre Gosselin
February 21, 2009 8:37 am

4. …did not elaborate…

Mike Bryant
February 21, 2009 8:38 am

Such a crazy world… Going on vacation to a place that’s much warmer, BECAUSE it is much warmer, And everyone is worried about a fraction of a degree warming over the last many years… Sheeeesh…

John H.
February 21, 2009 8:45 am

Whatever the current problems are why now?
What’s going on?
We have sweeping government policies including cap and trade or carbon taxes about to be adopted and at the same time
seas ice is approaching the 1979-current average and all of a sudden the reliability and credibility of the measurement is conveniently degraded.
REPLY: VERY Doubtful. The satellite is run by DMSP. CT and NSIDC have zero control over the sensor or platform. I see steps in NSIDC graph, this looks like classic hardware failure. – Anthony
I’m going to take a wild and cynical guess by speculating that the current glitches in measuring sea ice will be remedied shortly after new distracting scenario alarms are sounded and policies are assured of passing.
We can never underestimate the ability of the bureaucracies to generate new justifications for more of the same and self preservation.
It doesn’t take black hellicopters or conspiracy meetings.
Conflicts of interests and various motivations make people and institutions get real creative.

len
February 21, 2009 8:48 am

Cryosphere Today is a good proxy for the political machine that is behind AGW.
Interesting that in the face of reality, the sensors are blurred. The initial reaction of any high priest. Gives you time to plan an exit destination and strategy to avoid the lamp post.
I still look to see us go over the 1979 to 2000 mean before the end of this years ice building.
Did anyone hear from the Englishman who was going to trek to the North Pole measuring ice thickness’ this February?

February 21, 2009 8:50 am

“I know that somebody brought the December necklace to our attention just recently. Anybody got a picture of the necklace image at Cryosphere back in, what, December? Is it possible that we have to back to November to get a clean data set?”
I wonder if these sensors degrade slowly from day one. Does anyone know if degrading sensors ever overestimate the ice extent? It would be instructive to see a post that gave a description of the tech and operation of the sensors and an opinion on the effect and direction of data change.

p.g.sharrow "PG"
February 21, 2009 8:52 am

In the middle of 2008 Prince Philip of Winsor said that the ecos. had until december 09 to get control or their world would come to an end. I wonder what he had in mind?

February 21, 2009 8:52 am

Pamela Gray,
Sorry I forgot attribution for the quote in my comment of a few minutes ago
“I know that somebody brought the December necklace to our attention just recently. Anybody got a picture of the necklace image at Cryosphere back in, what, December? Is it possible that we have to back to November to get a clean data set?” See Gary Pearse previous comment.

Mike Bryant
February 21, 2009 8:53 am

Anthony… just a crazy idea… Why not put up three pics… the string of pearls, the butterfly, and the sta-puft marshmallow man, and let everyone guess which two were really posted on CT??
HAHA

Mike C
February 21, 2009 8:54 am

I had a brief email exchange with Bill Chapman (Cryosophere Today) last night about George Will and advised him that the comments were related to an article from Jan. 1. He wrote me back and said he would correct the web site if I provided him with a link.
http://www.dailytech.com/Sea+Ice+Ends+Year+at+Same+Level+as+1979/article13834.htm
It looks like he kept his word.
REPLY: Good for you Mike – Anthony

February 21, 2009 8:55 am

Do they use the same sensors for the Antarctic?

February 21, 2009 9:11 am

Mike Bryant said;
“Such a crazy world… Going on vacation to a place that’s much warmer, BECAUSE it is much warmer, And everyone is worried about a fraction of a degree warming over the last many years… Sheeeesh…”
Without even going on holiday our temperature today ranged from 36F to 54F. Thats about 1000 years of global warming.
As you say, Sheeeeeesh
TonyB

Rod Smith
February 21, 2009 10:00 am

I wonder…
Unless the DMSP program has changed significantly over the years, these polar orbit satellites are “out of touch” most of the time. They downlink an ‘orbit load’ (my term) of data when they come into range of the ground receivers.
Somehow, “missing data swaths” sounds to me more like communications problems rather than “sensor drift.”

Reed Coray
February 21, 2009 10:34 am

Like Dorlomin (03:24:49), I too get a kick out of reading the comments on this blog.
In the past the arctic icecap has been visited by a “halo”, a “necklace”, and a “butterfly”. Why don’t we start a contest to predict the next “object”? My first choice is a “polar bear”, with a close second choice being the outline of a “Nobel Peace Prize”.

Andrew P
February 21, 2009 10:41 am

len (08:48:06) :
…. Did anyone hear from the Englishman who was going to trek to the North Pole measuring ice thickness’ this February?
I assume you mean the Survey Team I mentioned above – if so they have arrived at Resolute – see http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/7897392.stm
The expedition’s website is: http://www.catlinarcticsurvey.com/

Glenn
February 21, 2009 10:58 am

Rod Smith (10:00:59) :
I wonder…
Unless the DMSP program has changed significantly over the years, these polar orbit satellites are “out of touch” most of the time. They downlink an ‘orbit load’ (my term) of data when they come into range of the ground receivers.
Somehow, “missing data swaths” sounds to me more like communications problems rather than “sensor drift.”
Could be, but satellite sensor data is recorded on board till downloaded.

DR
February 21, 2009 11:26 am

@ Gary Pearse
I asked the same question as Antarctic ice also appears to have had a large decline in recent weeks.

Mike Bryant
February 21, 2009 11:27 am

From the Online Dream Dictionary:
String of Pearls=Conformity or Sameness
Halo=Supernatural Energy
Butterfly=Creativity
I guess they were tired of the sameness and in a burst of supernatural energy, they got really creative…

D. King
February 21, 2009 11:40 am

REPLY: VERY Doubtful. The satellite is run by DMSP. CT and NSIDC have zero control over the sensor or platform. I see steps in NSIDC graph, this looks like classic hardware failure. – Anthony
I’m going to take a wild and cynical guess by speculating that the current glitches in measuring sea ice will be remedied shortly after new distracting scenario alarms are sounded and policies are assured of passing.
We can never underestimate the ability of the bureaucracies to generate new justifications for more of the same and self preservation.
It doesn’t take black hellicopters or conspiracy meetings.
Conflicts of interests and various motivations make people and institutions get real creative
I’m glad you mentioned “Black Helicopters” and not me!
Sensors can be tweaked by manipulating bias tables that normally
result from running a calibration sequence. While they’re still in
spec, the results can vary greatly. Problems arise when they
manipulate the bias past the point of operability.
This is done all the time in SAR, where the output power is
lowered because the return pulse saturates the receiver.
With a passive sensor, the manipulation would most likely be in
the sensors receiver AGC. If the AGC is increased to the point
where the signal is lower than the receivers abilities to detect it,
you get no data.
There! I said it!

pkatt
February 21, 2009 12:26 pm

I used to look at these images daily, there have been string of pearl effects along the upper canadian border, there have been a few with holes opening in the middle of ice.. I will try and find ya a few.
I also watch the SH as well.. I think I just might be able to find ya a few there as well.
Ps.. most of the time we beat our heads against a brick wall. When we break through and win one, gloating is the natural tendency. I would love to see us not fall to their levels of behavior just because we have broken a brick out of the wall. In a way, youre shooting the messenger. 🙂

Clive
February 21, 2009 2:36 pm

For fun I blew up the “butterfly” … that’s just wrong…That is not a natural random patch of sea….here is an enlargement of that area.
http://photoshare.shaw.ca/image/2/d/8/63987/rorschachice-0.jpg
Can you say Rorschach blot test?
Clive

WestHoustonGeo
February 21, 2009 3:49 pm

Clive!
“Can you say Rorschach blot test?”
Many thanks for a hilarious moment!
WestHoustonGeo

Bob Maginnis
February 21, 2009 4:03 pm

MattN (17:50:30) wrote:
“Thing is, the article was written January 1st, not Feb 15th, and Mr Will was
comparing the END OF 2008 with the END OF 1979. Not Feb 15th of each year
(which was still a month and a half away from happening when he wrote it)”
I wonder where MattN got his info that Will wrote the article Jan 1st?
Not from the WaHoPo:
Dark Green Doomsayers
By George F. Will
Sunday, February 15, 2009; Page B07
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/02/13/AR2009021302514.html
“….Since September, however, the increase in sea ice has been the fastest
change, either up or down, since 1979, when satellite record-keeping began.
According to the University of Illinois’ Arctic Climate Research Center,
global sea ice levels now equal those of 1979. ….”
Even if you add 500,000 km^2 for sensor error, it still doesn’t match 1979,
but his “the increase in sea ice has been the fastest change, either up or
down, since 1979,” is close, except that late 2007 looks like an even faster
freeze up.
http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/current.anom.jpg
And the fast rate of change is logical in a warming World, because the
Arctic freezes over when the sun disappears for the winter, and the more
open water, the more water will freeze, thus a faster rate of change of
percentage of area.

Glenn
February 21, 2009 4:05 pm

Can you say Rorschach blot test?
Instead of a butterfly, an alarmist might have seen a terrifying fire demon.

MattN
February 21, 2009 6:25 pm

Bob, the article that Cryosphere linked to (before they took it down) was the Jan 1 article on Daily Tech.
http://www.dailytech.com/Sea+Ice+Ends+Year+at+Same+Level+as+1979/article13834.htm
Perhaps Mr Will was refering to that article whan he wrote his piece in the Post??
In any event, Cryosphere said Feb 15th, then reference the article from Jan 1. They were FUBAR,

Just want truth...
February 21, 2009 7:03 pm

from the link spoken of by Richard C. Savage, and located by Anthony, in a comment above :
http://nsidc.org/news/press/20060706_goremoviefaq.html
Ted Scambos and Walt Meier, both of the of NSIDC, are the TED and WALT in the quote. This quote is ‘copy and pasted’ from the NSIDC web site. I did not fabricate it :
“As a scientist who studies the climate, what do you think of the movie?
TED: I think An Inconvenient Truth does an excellent job of outlining the science behind global warming and the challenges society faces in the coming century because of it.
WALT: I agree. I think Gore has the basic message right. But we thought we could clarify a few things about the information concerning snow, ice, and the poles.”

Rick Sharp
Reply to  Just want truth...
February 23, 2009 11:17 pm

Gore basically says that the full relationship is very complicated, but that the main point is carbon dioxide and temperature have always moved together. This implies that, in the past, when carbon dioxide has increased it has led directly to a warmer Earth.
However, past changes in carbon dioxide levels are at least initially an effect of abrupt climate change, not a cause.
Huh???

Rick Sharp
Reply to  Rick Sharp
February 23, 2009 11:27 pm

Sorry for any confusion. the above is later on in the http://nsidc.org/news/press/20060706_goremoviefaq.html article

Tim C
February 21, 2009 8:00 pm

Note that Jason just as it looks as sea level is going to fall is turned off for orbit change, then all has to be recalibrated…
Planned we hope with proof.
One coincidence…

anna v
February 21, 2009 9:25 pm

Mike Bryant (11:27:20) :
From the Online Dream Dictionary:
String of Pearls=Conformity or Sameness
Halo=Supernatural Energy
Butterfly=Creativity
I guess they were tired of the sameness and in a burst of supernatural energy, they got really creative…

Well, I was really creative when first seeing the necklace on December 6. Because there is no symmetry around the pole, I proposed a large plume of steam which crystalized on the surface and whose crystals were caught by the sensors. Then I was instructed on how the images are made and saddly came to accept data errors 🙁

anna v
February 21, 2009 10:32 pm

http://igloo.atmos.uiuc.edu/cgi-bin/test/print.sh?fm=02&fd=20&fy=2009&sm=02&sd=21&sy=2009
What can one do facing such volatile ice but declare we have a fourth phase of water? Or is it fifth?
The rift has moved to the right, thawing completely parts of the Siberian coast .
Bits of Canada, or is it Alaska? , are into this new phase, and a chunk of ice has disappeared where the snow scythe shows on the north.
It must be the weekend effect.

tty
February 22, 2009 2:44 am

Cryosphere has now removed the SSMI version for the northern hemisphere without comment. It is apparently still used for the southern hemisphere, also without comment.

Philip Mulholland
February 22, 2009 2:54 am

For an alternate set of Snow & Ice charts see IMS Products http://www.natice.noaa.gov/ims/at the The National Ice Center’s website http://www.natice.noaa.gov/

jack mosevich
Reply to  Philip Mulholland
February 23, 2009 9:03 am

Hi Philip. The two letters “at” at the end of the url make it not work. when I manually removed them it worked.

Philip Mulholland
Reply to  jack mosevich
February 24, 2009 10:51 am

Hi Jack,
The “IMS Products” bit works OK and is the correct link. Because I did not put a space after the greater than symbol, the system tried to post the URL twice, confusing my next word “at” as part of the h t t p code. My bad.

tty
February 22, 2009 9:03 am

A bit OT, but temperature at Summit on the Greenland Icecap hit -61 Centigrade this morning:
http://www.wunderground.com/history/station/04416/2009/2/22/DailyHistory.html?req_city=NA&req_state=NA&req_statename=NA
That is getting close to the all-time Greenland record of -65 from 1954. Temperatures have also been very low on the sea-ice north of Greenland in the last few weeks with unmanned stations regularily recording temperatures in the mid-forties below.
I hope that ice-thickness survey expedition has the sense to wait for the weather to moderate before setting out. Being outdoors when it’s in the forties below is very tough except in a dead calm.

February 22, 2009 10:49 am

Without daily updates of the arctic ice extent this is going to be a long, hot and very boring summer 😉

Neil Crafter
February 22, 2009 12:37 pm

Hans
Just click on the JAXA graphic on the side of this page (two images above the Sun) that Anthony has so kindly placed for his readers, and you’ll get your dose!

David Simmons
February 22, 2009 1:02 pm

Are we seeing the same mistake in the Antarctic data (http://nsidc.org/data/seaice_index/images/daily_images/S_timeseries.png) due to the sensor failure but for which the data has not yet been corrected? (If so does that mean that things don’t get corrected without a blog in spite of the comment by Walt Meier “I’m not sure why you think things like this are worth blogging about”?) Have we been so focused on the Arctic that we’ve not noticed the same error in the Antarctic? (I’m assuming it is the same error.) The Cryosphere Today Webpage shows no difference in the anomaly compared to the data for the 1979 to 2000 mean.
REPLY: I’ve asked Walt Meier the question. My take on it yes, the sensor issue is skewing that graph. But we’ll see what he says. CT has not been updating, it appears that they seem to think they can work around the problem. – Anthony
REPLY2: Walt Meier responded within half an hour. Yes it is wrong and due to sensor error. They’ll be taking it down tomorrow – Anthony

Fernando
February 22, 2009 4:18 pm

Sir Anthony [ The Rev]
I was a crazy thing: if a volcanic activity.
http://earthquake.usgs.gov/eqcenter/recenteqsww/Quakes/us2009dibg.php

Clive
February 22, 2009 7:37 pm

The thread is getting toward its end.
However, others mentioned the discrepancies (between Day #1 and Day #2) in addition to the Rorschach butterfly. For fun, in Photoshop, I overlaid the two days and changed colors of one day’s layer so differences would “stand out”. If you can follow the convoluted legend and color coding the differences are rather outstanding. Click URL below for the layered image. As others have noted, there is a heck of a lot more than the mere butterfly (itself hundreds of km across) and one wonders just how accurate any of this has been for years. (The scale arrow is crude…)
http://photoshare.shaw.ca/image/2/d/8/63987/overlay24hours-0.jpg
Cheers!
Clive from the Frozen North ☺
Alberta, Canada

anna v
Reply to  Clive
February 22, 2009 9:59 pm

if you add day three, 21st , it will show more a lot of changes too.
http://igloo.atmos.uiuc.edu/cgi-bin/test/print.sh?fm=02&fd=20&fy=2009&sm=02&sd=21&sy=2009
day 4 is back to normal on first glance, but I do not know what your scheme would show. Probably the error is geographically over the snow part that is covered by different data.

hswiseman
February 23, 2009 7:58 am

It is, IMHO, unfair to lump CT with some of the really questionable climate science endeavors. They do not control the remote sensing technology and have been transparent about their methodology. If you don’t agree or don’t understand, they will respond to questions in my experience, and while they may have taken a position on AGW, I don’t find anything resembling RC’s contempt for agnostics or atheists.

UK John
Reply to  hswiseman
February 23, 2009 3:03 pm

CT in making comment about the George Will article, state that the decrease in sea ice area/extent in the Artic summer is consistent with predictions of Climate Models.
There must be a reasoning behind the model algorithms that give this result, so does anyone know what the mechanism is.
Intuitively I would have thought the trend in Winter Sea Ice area/extent is where we should look at if we want to see the effects of AGW, the Artic winter is free from the effects of direct solar, so only the AGW atmospheric gas warming should be left.

SidViscous
February 23, 2009 4:30 pm

Interesting bit of related news. On this next shuttle flight the Orbital Carbon Observatory will be launched (who says we don’t spend enough on climate research). http://oco.jpl.nasa.gov/
If this backs up the limited surface studies that have shown that North America is a large Carbon sink, I wonder what that will do to policy intiatives and those that point to the US as the #1 emitter culprit.

hotrod
February 23, 2009 4:46 pm

The ice sensor issue finally hit the broadcast new tonight, it was mentioned on Special Report with Bret Baier on Fox tonight (2/23/09). It was a pretty straight forward report, the ususal 30 second item, that the sensor issue resulted in an underestimation of ice extent about equivalent to the size of the state of California and a statement by NSIDC that it did not change the conclusion that sea ice is shrinking.
I have not seen a web item on the sensor glitch on their site yet though.
It will be interesting it other broadcast outlets also pick this up.
Larry

February 23, 2009 5:47 pm

NOAA’s SST site is having sensor issues as well. See:
http://www.osdpd.noaa.gov/PSB/EPS/SST/data/anomnight.2.23.2009.gif

Glenn
Reply to  Fred Nieuwenhuis
February 23, 2009 7:58 pm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Global_Historical_Climatology_Network
“The Global Historical Climatology Network (GHCN) is a database of temperature, precipitation and pressure records managed by the National Climatic Data Center”
“This work is often used as a foundation for reconstructing past global temperatures, such as NASA’s GISTEMP.”
Hansen apparently uses some satellite data for his “global temperature” maps. In light of this, I wonder whether there may be some problem with this one for example:
http://data.giss.nasa.gov/cgi-bin/gistemp/do_nmap.py?year_last=2009&month_last=01&sat=4&sst=0&type=anoms&mean_gen=01&year1=2009&year2=2009&base1=1951&base2=1980&radius=1200&pol=reg

Squidly
February 23, 2009 8:29 pm

I have a question, what sense does the following statement make?
[emphisis mine]

Some people might ask why we don’t simply switch to the EOS AMSR-E sensor. AMSR-E is a newer and more accurate passive microwave sensor. However, we do not use AMSR-E data in our analysis because it is not consistent with our historical data. Thus, while AMSR-E gives us greater accuracy and more confidence on current sea ice conditions, t actually provides less accuracy on the long-term changes over the past thirty years. There is a balance between being as accurate as possible at any given moment and being as consistent as possible through long time periods. Our main scientific focus is on the long-term changes in Arctic sea ice. With that in mind, we have chosen to continue using the SSM/I sensor, which provides the longest record of Arctic sea ice extent.

How can increased accuracy possibly degrade the overall consistency? This is not logic.

anna v
February 23, 2009 10:32 pm

And here, folks, we bring you the latest on the new phase of water :”disappearing/reappearing ice” thanks to cryosphere.
Just the last two records:
http://igloo.atmos.uiuc.edu/cgi-bin/test/print.sh?fm=02&fd=22&fy=2009&sm=02&sd=23&sy=2009

Katherine
Reply to  anna v
February 23, 2009 11:00 pm

Before you know it, the MSM will announce an ice-free arctic! Clearly the sea ice is melting in large swathes. ;-P

Rick Sharp
February 23, 2009 10:40 pm

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,498967,00.html
Last paragraph…..
And finally, a glitch in satellite sensors has caused scientists to underestimate the extent of Arctic sea ice by 193,000 square miles. That’s a chunk of ice about the size of California. The National Snow and Ice Data Center says the error was due to a problem called “sensor drift” and lasted from early January to the middle of this month.
The extent of Arctic sea ice is seen as a key measure of how rising temperatures are affecting the planet. The center says on its Web site: “Although we believe that data prior to early January are reliable, we will conduct a full quality check.”
It maintains that the recent error does not change findings that Arctic ice is retreating.

Mark
February 24, 2009 1:46 pm

What are the chances that 2 different ice sensors (I’m assuming dmsp and ssmi are from two different satellites) go on the fritz at the same time? I think it’s possible there is some monkey business going on in reporting actual ice area. Does Hansen have control of these two satellites?

Mark
Reply to  Mark
February 24, 2009 2:02 pm

I meant to have said “at around the same time”

anna v
February 24, 2009 2:09 pm

the continuing saga has the butterfly almost back
http://igloo.atmos.uiuc.edu/cgi-bin/test/print.sh?fm=02&fd=23&fy=2009&sm=02&sd=24&sy=2009
How can one believe that
February 17, 2009 – The SSMI sensor seems to be acting up and dropping data swaths from time to time in recent days. Missing swaths will appear on these images as a missing data in the southern latitudes. If this persists for more than a few weeks, we will start to fill in these missing data swaths with the ice concentration from the previous day. Note – these missing swaths do not affect the timeseries or any other plots on the Cryosphere Today as they are comprised of moving averages of at least three days.
the moving averages are not affected? here we have more than three consecutive days with erratic appearance and disappearance of large chunks of ice.

Glenn
February 24, 2009 5:06 pm

Mark (13:46:52) :
“What are the chances that 2 different ice sensors (I’m assuming dmsp and ssmi are from two different satellites) go on the fritz at the same time? I think it’s possible there is some monkey business going on in reporting actual ice area. Does Hansen have control of these two satellites?”
DMSP is a defense satellite program, ssm/i is an instrument onboard a DOD satellite. This sensor is aboard several satellites, but the sensor error in the current limelight is from the one on the DMSP F15 satellite, which is, among others, NSIDC’s source of ice data.
Hansen as I understand it only analyzes data, and would not be in operational control of any satellite, although he is a senior NASA scientist it is unlikely he would have any say in the control of any satellites, but definitely not a DOD satellite.

Mark
February 25, 2009 6:39 am

Glenn (17:06:42) :
I was being sarcastic in my comment about Hansen because of how GISS adjusts its temperature data.
I just find it odd that two ice area satellites have issues at around the same. Parts of this winter have been exceptionally cold and I’m concerned that the actual ice area may be higher than what is being reported (due to the sensor issues).

Glenn
February 25, 2009 2:49 pm

Update, NSIDC graph current:
http://nsidc.org/data/seaice_index/images/daily_images/N_timeseries.png
No explanation as yet on
http://nsidc.org/arcticseaicenews/
Appears that minor changes were made on data as far back as Nov 2008, to around Jan 25 2009, when the change becomes more significant. compare:
http://wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2009/02/nsidc_extent_timeseries_021509.png
Seems the North Pole is truly ice free as of today, beating AGW predictions yet again:
http://iabp.apl.washington.edu/maps_daily_ncepice.html
and yesterday as well:
http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/NEWIMAGES/arctic.seaice.some.000.png

Glenn
February 25, 2009 3:01 pm

Mark (06:39:33) :
“I just find it odd that two ice area satellites have issues at around the same.”
What two satellites? The sensor problem as I explained (and NSIDC has) is on the F15 satellite.
On another note, there have been many sensor problems on multiple satellites in the past (including the current one), and some remain errors that are attempted to be accounted for in both current and archived data.

Editor
February 26, 2009 6:39 am

Cryosphere’s image comparator no longer has 2009 images.
http://igloo.atmos.uiuc.edu/cgi-bin/test/print.sh says:

February 25, 2009 – The SSMI images for many days in 2009 were bad enough that we removed them from this comparison display (see note below and the NSIDC website). There is enough interest in these side-by-side comparison images that we will try to replace them with corresponding images from the AMSR-E sensor in the coming weeks.

It looks like they’ve stopped updating http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/current.365.jpg and I assume most everything else.

anna v
February 26, 2009 7:05 am

Cryosphere has removed all of 2009 from the comparison maps.
February 25, 2009 – The SSMI images for many days in 2009 were bad enough that we removed them from this comparison display (see note below and the NSIDC website). There is enough interest in these side-by-side comparison images that we will try to replace them with corresponding images from the AMSR-E sensor in the coming weeks.

Mark
February 26, 2009 1:29 pm

Glenn, you wrote this “DMSP is a defense satellite program, ssm/i is an instrument onboard a DOD satellite” which I took as meaning two satellites. However, I didn’t read the second part of your comment which I should have.

anna v
February 27, 2009 6:45 am

Cryosphere removed the maps of comparison where the error is glaringly obvious, but the front page map of the northern ice area still displays this new phase of water/ice since it shows less than 100% in the middle, and in the middle of the winter season.
http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/

anna v
March 1, 2009 11:48 pm

For whoever is still interested, the maps that enter the comparison are still accessible in the archives. The last two days show less chunks of ice missing.

Editor
March 6, 2009 5:23 am

I got fooled – Cryosphere did the trivial “white-out” trick to disable the 2009 images available at http://igloo.atmos.uiuc.edu/cgi-bin/test/print.sh – they merely removed 2009 from the pull down menu for the years. Not only are the 2009 images still there, they are being updated daily, as always! You can select the dates you want by manually editing the URL used to select them. for example, to compare March 2 (pretty poor) and March 5 (quite good), use this URL:
http://igloo.atmos.uiuc.edu/cgi-bin/test/print.sh?fm=03&fd=02&fy=2009&sm=03&sd=05&sy=2009
You can also see individual images. E.g. 2009 Mar 2 is at
http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/ARCHIVE/20090302.jpg

%d bloggers like this: