North Pole Sea Ice – Trend Problems
Posted by Jeff Condon on February 22, 2012
While everyone watches in awe as comet Gleick smashes into the Lunar bedrock, I have returned my tired head to the sea ice data. We are slowly stepping toward an improved understanding of sea ice melt here. To that end I have been working on improved graphics. In my long-term self employment, I have programmed a wide variety of data visualization softwares. In all cases, the software was of a far lower level than R code. I am an engineer and creation of robotics, vision systems, and fast statistics packages in the past, were written from scratch. Often, these displays plotted individual pixels, vectors or planes to display 3D objects/surfaces as they were morphed and rotated, but due to the low level nature of the display, my control was complete. In R, the display code is pre-written and the challenge is to figure out the limitations and abilities of the functions.
Below is another re-hash of the sea ice video. However it is rendered in what I call pseudo-3D, in that some basic shading is present. I found the shading contrast created a far more intuitive visualization than my previous work. The view is top down, but is 3d and can be rotated off of this visual axis by adjusting parameters which give it a 3D mountain effect. IMO, the best angle was top down.
Please note the differences in the spatial noise frequency as the video progresses. The limitations of the sensor system may be greater than I understood.
You can see instantly that the difference in noise level is not minor by any means. The good news is that we seem to be improving in our ability to measure. The bad news is that it could make for lousy trend analysis.
I have created a video below but the frame rate is a little fast. I will improve it later but it takes several hours to complete the process.