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## Turbulent Arctic Ice NSIDC – Complete Video

Posted by Jeff Id on May 30, 2009

I find the Arctic sea ice to be amazingly dynamic. Honestly, I used to think of it as something static and stationary, the same region meltinig and re-freezing for dozens or even hundreds of years – not that I put much thought into it either way. Shows you what I know.

This post is another set of Arctic ice plots and an amazing high speed video. The NSIDC NasaTeam data is presented in gridded binary matrices in downloadable form HERE.

The data is about 1.3Gb in size so it takes hours to download, I put it directly on my harddrive and worked from there. The code for extraction took a while to work out but was pretty simple in the end. This code ignores leap years. Formatting removed courtesy of WordPress.

filenames=list.files(path=”C:/agw/sea ice/north sea ice/nasateam daily/”, pattern = NULL, all.files = TRUE, full.names = FALSE, recursive = TRUE)
trend=array(0,dim=length(filenames)-1)
date=array(0,dim=length(filenames)-1)

for(i in 1:(length(filenames)-1))
{
fn=paste(“C:/agw/sea ice/north sea ice/nasateam daily/”,filenames[i],sep=””) #folder containing sea ice files

a=file(fn,”rb”)
print(year)
print(day)
close(a)

if(as.integer(year)+1900<=2500)
{
date[i]=1900+as.integer(year)+as.integer(day)/365
}else
{
date[i]=as.integer(year)+as.integer(day)/365
}
if(i==1)
{
}
datamask=data<251 & data>37 ## 15% of lower values masked out to match NSIDC

}

satname=substring(filenames,18,20)

After that there is some minor filtering done on 7 day windows to dampen some of the noise in the near real time data.

filtrend=array(0,dim=length(newtrend))
for(i in 1:(length(newtrend)))
{
sumdat=0
for(j in -3:3)
{
k=i+j
if(k<1)k=1
if(k>length(newtrend)-1)k=length(newtrend)-1
sumdat=sumdat+newtrend[k]
}
filtrend[i]=sumdat/7
}

So here is a plot of the filtered data:

Here is the current anomaly.

This compares well with the NSIDC and cryosphere plots. This anomaly is slightly different from some of my previous plots because it rejects data less than 15% sea-ice concentration. Cryosphere rejects data less than 10%. In either case the difference is very slight but since we’ve just learned that the satellites have died and are about 500,000km too low, my previous graph may be more correct. I hope the NSIDC get’s something working soon.

All of that is pretty exciting but the reason for this post is to show the COMPLETE history of the NSIDC arctic sea ice in a video. I used tinypic as a service for this 27mb file so don’t worry, you should be able to see it quite well on a high speed connection. It took my dual processor laptop computer more than 15 hours to calculate this movie, I hope it’s worth it. Brown is land, black is shoreline, blue is water except for the large blue dot in the center of the plot. The movie plays double speed at the beginning because the early satellite collected data every other day. You’ll see the large blue circle change in size flashing back and forth between the older and newer sat data just as the video slows down.

After staring at the graphs above you think you understand what is happening as ice gradually shrinks away. Well the high speed video shows a much more turbulent world with changing weather patterns in 2007 and 2008 summer blasting away at the south west corner of the ice. I’ve watched it 20 times at least, noticing cloud patterns (causing lower ice levels), winds, water currents and all kinds of different things. I’m not so sure anymore that we’re seeing a consistent decline to polarbear doom, with this kind of variance it might just be everyday noise.

Maybe I’m nuts, let me know what you see. Click on the image for the video.

30 Year Arctic Sea Ice - NSIDC NasaTeam Bootstrap - Click to Play

1. ### Fluffy Clouds (Tim L)said

not ice topic, sorry but this will frost ya!

The contrariness disinformation machine often employs charismatic, rhetorically talented advocates who deliver their messages of doubt and confusion in carefully measured and focus-group-tested aphorisms.

Those in the scientific community who seek both to inform the public and to maintain their integrity, must, by contrast, play by the rules. Rather than engaging in the artifice of misrepresentation and cherry picking, we must find clever, simple ways to convey the facts. To do otherwise would constitute unilateral disarmament in this war.

you would never guess at whom said this. mikey mann lmao!

“”” misrepresentation and cherry picking “””

what about some good old fashion lie-ing!!!!! amazing!!!

I co-founded the website RealClimate.org five years ago in an effort to provide a direct conduit of information about the science of climate change science to the media, policy makers, and interested members of the public. —-and snip any questioning voices!!!!

2. ### BarryWsaid

Could you do one just using the minima?

3. ### Carricksaid

Jeff, nice work.

I was wondering if you had seen this?

Very interesting way to display the data, and you can very clearly see the effect of ocean currents on the ice sheet.

4. ### Bob Tisdalesaid

Jeff, the video is great.

You wrote, “…with this kind of variance it might just be everyday noise.”

I’d be more apt to call it year-to-year noise that’s been impacted over the past decade by poleward heat transport from a run of El Nino events: 1997/98, 2002/03, 2004/05, & 2006/07. Keep in mind that it appears to take multiple years for the redistributed tropical heat to be radiated into space by the Northern high latitudes.

If you open the following RSS MSU link and scroll down to Figure 8, the RSS MSU TLT Time-Latitude plot, you’ll note that the 1998/99/00 La Nina had little impact on heat that had been transported to the mid-to-high latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere by the 1997/98 El Nino. El Nino and La Nina events do not have similar impacts on mid-to-high latitudes.

http://www.remss.com/msu/msu_data_description.html

I should be posting on it tomorrow.

Regards

5. ### Layman Lurkersaid

Bob, is it your view that the retention and slow radiation of this heat at the poles which causes the step effect of global temps after a super el nino like 97/98?

6. ### Jeff Idsaid

#2, I can do it but it will take a while. I’m interested in the Antarctic paper now and working on that perhaps in the future I will. If you want the code above can make it reasonably easy to do yourself and if you do a good job I’ll put it up here.

#3 You’ve found a post which does what I hope to do. If I can track the features from frame to frame, I could calculate the amount of ice draining out the northern channels in the frame. I’ve done some fft image matching and some neural network stuff with image processing but the view you showed comes from the 89 GHz sat data which has more features to grab onto. If I was successful, it would be extremely interesting. Imagine if there was much higher flow out of the sheet leading into 2007. Cool link.

#4 Thanks, I’ll stop by and check it out.

7. ### BarryWsaid

Jeff, the link you gave for the data is the general page including the trend and summary data they compute. Which files did you download for your analysis (specifically your video).

Thanks

8. ### Jeff Idsaid

Barry,

Sorry about that. Here is the actual directory the data came from.

The link above has the documentation leading to the above directory eventually. My data is a combination of the daily final and near real time sets.

9. ### BarryWsaid

Thanks Jeff. I didn’t want to download a gig of data and find out I grabbed the wrong set.

10. ### Don Holmessaid

Jeff,

In a December 28, 2008, posting you commented on the ‘politics vs. science’ leanings of Stephen Chu. You made a couple of incidental references to algae biofuels, expressing doubts about their current or future efficacy. This seems to contrast with most of the published data I’ve seen which expresses considerable optimism. In fact, to my un-expert eye, algae seems to be the ONLY viable large-scale replacement for fossil fuels. Can you refer me to any recent published data about yields, economics, etc. which support a more pessimistic view?
Thank You.
Don H.

11. ### Carricksaid

Don, perhaps you could humor us by posting pro-algae biofuel studies. Most of what I have seen was meant for investors (namely it was scifi not science).

12. ### jeff Idsaid

#10, My references were based on calculations which are simple but very clear. There isn’t enough photosynthetic efficiency to get the job done. In fact the results were so far from reality the possibility of working it out down the road doesn’t even exist.

http://noconsensus.wordpress.com/2008/11/25/super-algae-bio-diesel-energy/

Who knows, maybe they’ll invent a new 50% efficient photosynthesis. From what I understand even 5% is overreaching.

13. ### Don Holmessaid

Response to Carrick:

You’re right, there’s not a lot of independent ‘science’ being applied to algae biofuels research to separate the wheat from the chaff; everything is still too developmental. But what we are currently seeing in investor hype may not be all fiction, either.

Recent announcements in algae biofuels development have been announced by Aurora Biofuels (projecting \$1.30/gal algal fuel), Sapphire Energy (planning 1 billion gallons of fuel/year by 2022), Aquatic Energy (2,500 gal/acre algae-to-energy without external CO2), and BioCentric Energy Algae (claims closed-loop reactor will produce algal fuel at 1/5 cost of nearest competitor). These claims of a future result are a long way from a proven fact, of course, but I still think there might be a pony buried here somewhere…

For something closer to science, see: http://www.ameslab.gov/final/News/2009rel/Nanofarming.html for a DOE news release describing a process for extracting lipids from algae without killing the host. They claim potential production of 10,000 gallons/acre, possibly replacing all petroleum fuel currently used for ground transportation on an area of only 15,000 square miles. Those claims might prove to be no more accurate than other scientific predictions, but maybe we can assume there is some reasonable basis for making them.

Don H

14. ### Jeff Idsaid

They claim potential production of 10,000 gallons/acre, possibly replacing all petroleum fuel currently used for ground transportation on an area of only 15,000 square miles.

This claim is false.

15. ### Jeff Idsaid

This claim is highly unlikely

Aquatic Energy (2,500 gal/acre algae-to-energy without external CO2)

16. ### Jeff Idsaid

I should add that biofuel sounds good on the surface, the problem is simply the limited amount of energy captured in photosynthesis. The maximum theoretical level which can be achieved with standard chlorophyll is under 10% and I’ve had biologists write in to explain that 3% is a more realistic number. If we look at the amount of light energy falling on the ground there simply isn’t enough energy to sustain the gallons of fuel they claim.

The only way they will ever make 10K gallons/acre is to have high efficiency algae and add about 8000 gallons/acre of already captured energy. Once I figured that out at the links above, my attitude toward biofuel shifted dramatically.

It’s a hoax IMO. There isn’t any possibility of successful fuel production this way and it leaves me pretty pissed off that it’s being promoted.

17. ### Carricksaid

Jeff ID:

They claim potential production of 10,000 gallons/acre, possibly replacing all petroleum fuel currently used for ground transportation on an area of only 15,000 square miles.

What is missing here is how long it would take to produce ” all petroleum fuel currently used for ground transportation”.

Aquatic Energy (2,500 gal/acre algae-to-energy without external CO2)

They didn’t give a unit of time over which this conversion occurs.

18. ### Jeff Idsaid

The units I’ve found are typically gallons/acre year.

For no external fuel source the best they could do is likely 2000 – 3000. I will be impressed when they cross 2000.

19. ### BarryWsaid

Jeff,

What software package did you use to make the movie?

Thanks

20. ### Jeff Idsaid

#19 I used R which is freeware.

21. ### BarryWsaid

#20 Did you export the individual frames and make the actual movie outside of R or did you do it totally inside of R? If it was inside of R which package(s) (libraries) did you use?

22. ### Jeff Idsaid

I exported jpg’s and converted with freeware. I will have to look the freeware tonight. It took hours to locate packages that could do the job.

23. ### BarryWsaid

Thanks Jeff, I’m going to try a package I found called animation that’s at the CRAN site, if I can get it to compile for my Mac. There are so many packages out there it’s hard to find the right one for the task. If you exported it outside of R I’ll either use the animation package or my mac tools. I just didn’t want to reinvent the wheel if you had an easy way of doing it in R.

24. ### Jeff Idsaid

#23 What movie are you making?

25. ### Tonybsaid

Hi Jeff

Thanks for nominating me as official arctic historian over on WUWT. The extra money will come in useful :)

Its going to be a very hot summer here in the UK -according to our famously accurate Met office- so I don’t know if I can focus my thoughts on arctic ice for a few months. When I do, I will write an article on Arctic events and civilisations through the ages, with particular emphasis on how they demonstrate periods of surprising warmth-surprising to those of us who had previously believed the Arctic was a perpetually cold wilderness.

A warmer arctic in the past is core to refuting AGW and consequently I can’t believe no one has written up the story before now. So if anyone reading this has come across a good article on the subject please let me know as it will save me a lot of trouble. :)

If not I will put something together that is robust enough to stand scrutiny against the howls of outrage that will surely follow such a direct contradiction to the AGW narrative. Hopefully you will be able to provide a home for the article here.

Best regards

Tonyb

26. ### BarryWsaid

#24 I’m downloading the nasateam sea ice data you referenced (Northern) and I was going to try a movie of the minima. Wanted to see what it looks like (if anything) and seemed like good practice in R data handling. If that works out I was going to try to see if I could extract some subsets of the data to see how the various areas have behaved over time.

27. ### Jeff Idsaid

Cool, the NSIDC has a minima video which was linked by phil in the WUWT thread that picked up this movie. You could compare your results to that.

I would be interested in behavior of different areas. The bearing strait is one which I don’t believe is regularly subsetted and seems to act as a drain at times.

28. ### Tonybsaid

Hi Jeff

I posted this yesterday but note it has not appeared so have tried again.

Thanks for nominating me as official Arctic historian over on WUWT. The extra money will come in useful :)

It’s going to be a very hot summer here in the UK -according to our famously accurate Met office- so I don’t know if I can focus my thoughts on Arctic ice for a few months. When I do, I will write an article on Arctic events and civilisations through the ages, with particular emphasis on how they demonstrate periods of surprising warmth-surprising to those of us who had previously believed the Arctic was a perpetually cold wilderness.

A warmer Arctic in the past is core to refuting AGW and consequently I can’t believe no one has written up the story before now. So if anyone reading this has come across a good article on the subject please let me know as it will save me a lot of trouble. :)

If not I will put something together that is robust enough to stand scrutiny against the howls of outrage that will surely follow such a direct contradiction to the AGW narrative. Hopefully you will be able to provide a home for the article here.

Best regards

Tonyb