"If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality." --Bishop Desmond Tutu

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Good news on the Arctic Ice front

Looks like the group responsible for the panic about an ice-free arctic actually had a sensor failure. Things are not as dire as originally predicted.
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. Sensor drift, although infrequent, does occasionally occur and it is one of the things that we account for during quality control measures prior to archiving the data.
This is good news and should revise the estimates for the speed of global warming. It means it may not be too late to halt the climate shift we're experiencing. The issue with their sensor was confirmed when they compared their data to another data collection instrument and realized their error.

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