NSIDC: We know it’s better, we don’t want it

Kinda makes you wonder just what their agenda is.

loung-p-bear

National Snow and Ice Data Center, 18th February 2009: ‘Satellite sensor errors cause data outage’

As some of our readers have already noticed, there was a significant problem with the daily sea ice data images on February 16. The problem arose from a malfunction of the satellite sensor we use for our daily sea ice products. Upon further investigation, we discovered that starting around early January, an error known as sensor drift caused a slowly growing underestimation of Arctic sea ice extent. The underestimation reached approximately 500,000 square kilometers (193,000 square miles) by mid-February. 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. See below for more details.

We have removed the most recent data and are investigating alternative data sources that will provide correct results. It is not clear when we will have data back online, but we are working to resolve the issue as quickly as possible.

The final paragraph is interesting:

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, it 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.

Climate Research News

So in other words, they don’t want to do some research and correct their records for fear it might not show the results they desire. As long as the error is in their favor, why go with the more accurate system. After all, it was only a mistake because someone else noticed it, otherwise, it’s fact.

Advertisements

2 Responses

  1. You are upset that they continue to use the same sensors. I assume you would be just as upset If they switched sensors and ice continued to decline. You would argue that the data wasn’t consistent

  2. You assume quite a bit.

    So in other words, they don’t want to do some research and correct their records for fear it might not show the results they desire. As long as the error is in their favor, why go with the more accurate system. After all, it was only a mistake because someone else noticed it, otherwise, it’s fact.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: