I’ve added sea ice extent from JAXA (Japan Aerospace eXploration Agency) to the daily data from the Climate Data Service, in addition to sea ice extent from NSIDC and area from UIUC (Univ. of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign). It appears that JAXA data don’t have the problem we see in NSIDC.

Here’s the northern hemisphere extent comparison:


There’s an offset, which is usually present because they don’t measure quite the same thing (I suspect JAXA doesn’t include some lower-latitude areas which NSIDC does). But the real difference is the recent few days, as highlighted by showing the differences themselves:


Similar behavior is shown for the southern hemisphere:


Again, it’s pronounced in the differences between the two:


The good news is that sufficient data are present to track sea ice extent via satellites. It will surely take time for NSIDC (and possibly UIUC) to adapt to the instrument failure they’ve suffered, but by switching to new instruments, and calibrating their data so that it’s consistent throughout the satellite era, it should be possible.

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One response to “JAXA and NSIDC

  1. It did start earlier. There are spikes in the NSIDC SH data in 2015, see