Brief Note by Kip Hansen — 10 January 2020
Those who follow the GMSL data from NOAA may have noticed an oddity in the data from December 2019. The oddity was seen in the .png file available at the bottom of the web page for NOAA’s Laboratory for Satellite Altimetry. As of 31 December 2019, the graphic looked like this:
One can see that there is what appears to be missing data at the upper right. Checking the .csv data file on the same day reveals that there are in fact missing data points:
My email enquiry has resulted in a correction and an explanation:
Subject: Re: Data Break in STAR GMSL data Date: Fri, 10 Jan 2020 15:48:56 -0500 From: Eric Leuliette – NOAA Federal To: Kip Hansen
Thanks for bringing the gap in the global mean sea level data to my attention. For 2 cycles of Jason-3 data, our database was missing some data due to a script failure. I’ve fixed the database and rerun the mean sea level data. The replacement files are on our web site now.
Please let me know if you have any other questions or concerns.
Eric W. Leuliette, PhD
Laboratory for Satellite Altimetry
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NOAA Center for Weather and Climate Prediction (NCWCP)
xxxx (some contact data removed – kh )
The contents of this message are mine personally and do not necessarily reflect any position of NOAA.
The updated chart now shows:
The missing data points have been filled in — but, unfortunately, there is a new problem!
The latest data points, from the middle of December, should be:
Yet the .png graphic file shows values for January 2020 (2020.016) at 69-70mm, not the 62.01mm given in the .csv data file.
I have sent another enquiry….
# # # # #
Why does this matter? It doesn’t matter that much, except that these are the official NOAA SLR data and graphics — they are used in all sorts of science and journalism — and they simply ought to be correct — or, if we can’t guarantee that they are correct, they should at least agree with one another. If they do not, then there is something wrong, as Eric has stated, with the scripts that produce either the .csv data files or the graphics.
On the upside, Eric Leuliette at NOAA is responsive and helpful — recognizing, acknowledging and correcting the missing data.
Still, the current version of the graphic shows a steep rise with a tiny little hook at the top — when the data shows that it ought to have a big hook back down to 62mm — either the data or the graphic is wrong. I’ll let you know.
# # # # #