The Weekend Wonk: On that Failed Sea Ice Satellite
October 2, 2016
I’ll be posting a new video on 2016 Arctic sea ice soon (fingers crossed, my main production computer just died, exploring work arounds..) — but I’ve interviewed several leading experts at length – including Ted Scambos of the National Snow and Ice Data Center. I broke out this particularly inside-baseball sequence about arctic observation satellites, because some technical snafus this past summer became fodder for a flurry of internet troll conspiracy theories. Dr. Ted clarifies.
As of June 14, 2016, NSIDC has completed the transition to the Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (DMSP) F-18 satellite for sea ice data. Sea Ice Index updates have also resumed.
Sea ice data in Arctic Sea Ice News and Analysis are now based on the F-18 satellite beginning April 1, 2016. Data before April 1 are still from the F-17 satellite or earlier satellites in the series.
For more information on the F-17 satellite issues, see our April 12, 2016 post. On May 6, updates resumed with provisional F-18 data. These data are no longer considered provisional. However, these are near-real-time data and numbers may change when final data are obtained.
For more information on the satellite transition, see the documentation for the Near-Real-Time DMSP SSMIS Daily Polar Gridded Sea Ice Concentrations data set.