Satellite Problems

As noted earlier, there has been a failure of an instrument on one of the satellites used to measure sea ice. As a result, NSIDC (the National Snow and Ice Data Center) has suspended their sea ice extent reporting.

I’ve released the first file of daily data for the Climate Data Service, which includes both sea ice extent (from NSIDC) and sea ice area (from UIUC, the Univ. of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign). They make it easy to see that a glitch has indeed happened

Here’s the extent for the northern hemisphere, with four recent values circled in red:


Here are the anomaly values:


The glitch isn’t just evident, it’s glaring. It doesn’t just affect northern hemisphere data, but the southern as well:



There also appears to be some trouble with sea ice area as reported by UIUC. Here’s the northern hemisphere area:


Here’s the northern hemisphere area anomaly:


Here’s southern hemisphere area:


And, of course, southern hemisphere area anomaly:


The very recent data are so far out of line, that I doubt even the denizens of WUWT will spin conspiracy theories; it’s just an obvious instrument failure.

NSIDC says they’re working on the problem, I’m confident that UIUC is as well. I haven’t yet looked at data from JAXA, but I’ll be including it in future releases from the Climate Data Service. Just a few days ago, I considered it superfluous because of the better time coverage from NSIDC and UIUC — but it may turn out to be an important resource to fill in some gaps while they work on the other products.

This blog is made possible by readers like you; join others by donating at Peaseblossom’s Closet.


5 responses to “Satellite Problems

  1. It’s a travesty that NSIDC is trying to hide the incline

  2. “The very recent data are so far out of line, that I doubt even the denizens of WUWT will spin conspiracy theories; it’s just an obvious instrument failure.”

    Wanna bet?

  3. I do wanna bet, if the bet is carefully defined enough:

    Some liberal was trying to make “adjustments” to the data and they got it backwards ? OOPS !

    [no, your’e dead wrong – it’s a simple instrument failure -Anthony]

    Francisco Fernandez April 13, 2016 at 1:53 pm
    In Marcus defense, Anthony, I think he just forgot the [/sarc off]

    Marcus April 13, 2016 at 2:09 pm
    ..I have to put a /sarc off ?? Now you tell me ! lol / sarc off ?

    Bryan A April 13, 2016 at 2:24 pm
    My official prediction is that they will switch to whichever satellite has the statistically lower measurements because that must certainly be the more correct one

    Marcus April 13, 2016 at 1:54 pm
    ..Sorry, just kidding !

  4. OSI which uses the same satellite has already initiated a switch over to a new sensor:
    Due to the previously reported problems with one of the channels on SSMIS
    onboard DMSP F17, OSI SAF is now working on replacing DMSP F17 with DMSP
    F18 in our sea ice products.

    Currently, the switch to F18 has been implemented for the ice concentration
    product (OSI-401). The product dated 20160410 has been reprocessed and is
    available on our FTP server, and

    The ice edge and type products (OSI-402 and OSI-403) will be updated to use
    F18 tomorrow, 2016-04-12.

  5. Tamino – “I doubt even the denizens of WUWT will spin conspiracy theories”

    Wanna bet? You may wish to read this first though:

    Global Sea Ice “Comeback” Conspiracy

    Judy Curry was at the head of the queue to claim a “comeback”. Willard wasn’t far behind.

    Doc – How many of my comments on the WUWT post you reference can you spot?