Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Sea Ice Underestimated

I grabbed this out of Newsmax, and it is more a report on bad luck than anything else. I do not bother to track it that closely I had noticed that the reports made little sense in view of apparent conditions and just ignored them anyway. That just shows that my own confidence in the data is low and that I know it is all subject to correction. This is fine, because the important numbers are final seasonal calculations. This year we should have a substantial sea ice recovery over the past two years.

Our winter was clearly cold and long lasting. The new sea ice is maxed out and will take longer to destroy. I also suspect that spring is coming to the Arctic in its traditional time slot.

As I have been posting, this emphatically ends the 1990 – 2007 Northern Hemispheric warming cycle and returns us to weather comparable to the seventies and the eighties. The remaining open question is whether we are facing further cooling. History says we are, and the ongoing lack of sunspots is not a comfort, because that suggests that we may lose a little bit each year until it finally kicks back in.

In the meantime the global warming fanatics will have their work cut out for themselves as this so far modest cooling cycle asserts itself.

All we need now is a volcano to do its thing and give us a wrecked growing season. It has happened and it will happen again.

If we have learned anything though, it is that a number of factors are really impacting the final climatic output. They include sunspots (reflecting solar output), macroscopic decadal climate shifts, and small doses of little else that folks get excited about.

Those Macroscopic Decadal Shifts are very important because they are the mechanism by which surplus heat is shifted from the equator to the poles for final disposition. The size and duration of these events are such as to make efforts to fine tune the effect of CO2 if any as utterly meaningless.
The effect is reduced to the impact of a wind driven cross current on the tide.

The shifts that are apparent include the Pacific decadal Shift and the forty year hurricane cycle.

Arctic Sea Ice Underestimated Due to Sensor Glitch

Climate change alarmists are quick to point to diminishing Arctic sea ice as an indicator of global warming. But a faulty sensor led scientists to underestimate the extent of the ice — by an area larger than California.

The error began in early January and persisted until mid-February, according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) at the University of Colorado, which releases estimates of Arctic sea ice.

The problem was caused by the malfunction of a satellite sensor used for daily updates on the extent of Arctic sea ice.

The NSIDC explained on its Web site: “On February 16, 2009, as e-mails came in from puzzled readers, it became clear that there was a significant problem — sea-ice-covered regions were showing up as open ocean . . .

“Upon further investigation, we found that data quality had begun to degrade over the month preceding the catastrophic failure.

“As a result, our processes underestimated total sea ice extent for the affected period. Based on comparisons with sea ice extent derived from the NASA Earth Observing System Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer sensor, this underestimation grew from a negligible amount in early January to about 500,000 square kilometers (193,000 square miles) by mid-February.”

The area of California is about 163,700 square miles.

The NSIDC uses Department of Defense satellites to obtain its Arctic sea ice data, rather than more accurate National Aeronautics and Space Administration equipment, Bloomberg.com reported.

The Arctic ice cap retreated to its smallest extent on record in 2007, then posted its second-lowest annual minimum at the end of last year’s melt season, and the NSIDC said the recent error does not change its view that the ice is retreating.

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