Thursday, January 17, 2008


Anomaly of Anomalies

I've spent some time watching the northern sea ice rebound from the Summer low (and the record Antarctic sea ice melt away in the Southern Hemisphere Summer) over at the University of Illinois's site called The Cryosphere Today. I have no real doubt about the accuracy of the data there. Or rather I should say 'had.' Both the 365 day graph, left, and the long 28 year account below have the Northern Hemisphere sea ice (I use that term because they chart areas outside the Arctic Ocean) as about .8 or .9 million square kilometers down from the normal as shown by satellite measurement between 1979 and the year 2000. OK.

However, the site has subdivided the Northern Hemisphere sea ice regions into 12 areas of sea ice which the site also charts individually; and if you add the local areas which are down, take away from that sum the areas where the ice amount is above the 'normal,' the figure is .56. That's a big difference from between .8 and .9. Too big, in my mind, for the error to be conducive to further belief in the accuracy of the site. I'll see if I can get an answer from them about this anomaly and report back.
UPDATE: In what I think is good news, I note that the 356 day chart shows that the sea ice area is now well above 12 million square km, where last year, at this time, it was well below that number. Good recovery from Summer indeed.


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