Thursday, April 14, 2016

Arctic Ice

Fans of Cryosphere Today have seen some funky stuff lately, including bizarre spikes in Arctic sea ice right when melting should be getting underway. This has prompted some of the usual idiots/professional climate liars to proclaim a welcome resurgence in sea ice. Of course if they look at the Antarctic sea ice, where an even more startling freezing season plummet of 1.5 million km^2 is shown, they would be less impressed.

What has actually happened, aside from the people at Urbana-Champaign being asleep at the switch, is more in line with the laws of thermodynamics, especially that second one. A key ice sensing channel of the DMSP F17 satellite has failed, and it is sending back bad data. The satellite has been in orbit since 2006, so this is hardly shocking. The F18 is up there, and is currently having its corresponding sensors calibrated, so we should eventually have good data from it. In the meantime, there is some not perfectly corresponding data from other satellites, and the busy guys at Neven's Arctic Sea Ice Forum are keeping us posted.