As yet another winter storm hits the Maritimes our thoughts turn to wondering about the extent of ice in the Arctic. We haven’t seen any really dire articles in the press about it recently, perhaps this is why –
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.
They have sorted it out now, switching to the data of other satellites sensors, and have changed the values. It made quite a difference.
There is a great discussion on Watts up with that, where they had noticed the anomaly, including a mea culpa of sorts from NSDIC’s Dr. Walt Meier. The comments are intelligent. [Later: there is a further update on sea ice extent today at WUWT]
While you are there you will get a laugh out the post on Hansen’s Global Warming protest against coal fired power plants in Washington (planned for 1:30 pm central today-don’t these people have jobs?). It’s getting snowed out! Their weather isn’t any better than ours, maybe worse! Al Gore must be attending.
Monday…Cloudy. Snow likely in the morning…Then a chance of snow in the afternoon. Additional snow accumulation around an inch. Total snow accumulation 7 to 8 inches. Brisk with highs in the mid 20s. Northwest winds 20 to 25 mph with gusts up to 35 mph. Chance of snow 70 percent. …
Plus, in New York City, where Jim Hansen would likely depart from, they also have a Winter Storm Warning in effect to 6PM Monday with forecast of: …
Tonight…Snow developing this evening…Heavy at Times. Snow accumulation of 6 to 10 inches. Windy with lows in the mid 20s. North winds 15 to 25 mph with gusts up to 35 mph. Chance of snow near 100 percent.
Monday…Snow in the morning…Then snow likely in the afternoon. Snow May be heavy at Times in the morning. Total snow accumulation of 8 to 12 inches. Windy. Near steady temperature in the mid 20s. North winds 20 to 30 mph. Chance of snow near 100 percent.
If Hansen hasn’t left NYC already, I’d say it is doubtful he’ll even make the protest given it is a Monday, and Monday’s are usually pretty bad commutes even without bad weather….
The snowstorm forecast is ironic not only because it falls on the date of this protest, but also because it is a late season event. The normal high for the date in Washington, DC is 51F. What would be worse: Keep the protest on in the snowstorm, or cancel it because of the snowstorm?
We shouldn’t be surprised. It is after all the coolest year for the planet since 2000. So protest away.
“I can’t understand why there aren’t rings of young people blocking bulldozers and preventing them from constructing coal-fired power plants.” – Al Gore
If the protesters succeed and they turn off the coal fired plants the US will need more of the oil from the tar sands.