the Air Vent

Because the world needs another opinion

Warning – Anti-Science “Data” Video

Posted by Jeff Id on February 18, 2012

Sea ice by latitude video.   Layman Lurker was able to use online tools to establish that the only perennial sea ice exists above about 72 degrees latitude.  This leaves a small 18 degree circle at the north pole for the multi-year sea ice to exist.   I wanted to confirm this fact before moving on with an analysis of trends in multi-year ice vs perennial.   If we parse the sea ice data at this latitude we can get a better idea of what the sea ice ‘death spiral’ is comprised of.

Anyway, many on the previous thread wanted a video of  the plots but the early sea ice years had missing data (every other day) which didn’t agree with R’s plotting function.  I have interpolated (linearly) missing data and created the same plots as shown previously in a continuous manner for the existing data.

So in the vein of the Heatland institute funding of Anthony Watts denier intent to put already online temperature data online in a user friendly format, here is another user friendly anti-science video of online data from the NSIDC.  – Sorry couldn’t resist.

19 Responses to “Warning – Anti-Science “Data” Video”

  1. Jeff Condon said

    Maybe the old colors were better. Either way LL was right and 72 degrees seems like the magic number for annually melting ice.

  2. Matthew W said

    The other colors did help.
    Nice work.

  3. Layman Lurker said

    Jeff all your work on this is much appreciated. These images are fascinating.

  4. John Norris said

    Nice use of hyphenated “Anti-science”. I suspect HI has established a new standard term for climate skeptic blogs.

  5. Brian H said

    Bah! It’s just data; real science is composed of vigorous magical hand-waving scare-narios. So saith the Conjuring Research Unit, located at the University of East Angina.

  6. Ralph B said

    How dare you arrange data in a format the unwashed can easily visualize and understand! Maybe you should make a pilgrimage and nail these images on someones door…

  7. Jeff (and Layman Lurker) – fantastic!

    It might be a lot of work, but is it possible to separate the data by longitude and do two sets of graphs/videos for the Pacific and Atlantic Hemispheres? It might just show the effect of pulses of warmer water into the Arctic – in the Pacific, as an aftermath of El Nino. In the Atlantic the ingress of warmer water has had very profound effects.

  8. John F. Hultquist said

    Wow! Y’all do nice work. Fantastic animation. About the ice and what this shows – anything I might add would be a repeat. So, . . .

    It goes very rapidly on my computer, enough so it is not possible to look at the year and the moving diagram. I have to note the end-dates and than do a count (or beat) while just looking at the animation. I don’t know if the timing is controllable or maybe affected by the processor and/or other computer parameters. Lots of memory is supposed to help performance on such things and with the animation running (along with 68 processes) the CPU usage is about 35%-38% and memory usage at a third of total. This is an XP system and I’m looking at Task Manager.

    My wife’s 4 year old laptop croaked a couple of weeks ago. It’s specs were just marginal when purchased (bought for her within university restrictions). Over the last year or so, she complained about issues with this computer. This time with a personal purchase looming, I searched and found one with 6 GB of RAM, 640 GB hard drive, and an i5-2450M processor. She tells me, at least twice a day, how much she loves her new computer.

    Anyway, if folks are having difficulty with downloads and running animations, a place to start would be cleaning all the old photos, jokes, and old programs from their hard drive. Then shut down some of the unessential processes. As mentioned, at the moment I have 68 running and probably 1/3 need not be. Also, I have security software and if it is doing a scan, I have to pause it to get anything done. I don’t disable the checking of incoming stuff – just pause the scan.

  9. Kenneth Fritsch said

    Jeff, nice job on the videos. They do appear to add a different perspective to ice loss (gain). I am trying to anticipate where you are going with this approach. Perhaps a different metric than minimum ice area or extent?

  10. Gary said

    Very slick, Jeff. I like these big picture views of datasets. The z-axis label leaves me a little cold (heh), though. Formulas don’t make such good labels.

  11. Bob said

    Really nice job, Jeff. It is a little difficult for me to nail down the exact effects because it goes pretty fast on my computer. Good job, though.

  12. Jeff Condon said

    Thanks to all. The video is set for 3fps. That and the color are probably a mistake. Either way, if you look at the 280 day range Layman Lurker has the 72 degree mark for single year ice pretty well nailed down.

  13. DocMartyn said

    Very nice, it looks almost biological

  14. Jim said

    The three dimension animation is a very good visualization of the annual ice extent record. Kudos!

    It would be nice to be able to freeze-frame or frame by frame advance the animation to inspect the yearly differences. Three FPS is too fast for me to watch the ice volume and see the year number at the same time. I guess the desire to see the ice volume and the year only really shows that the annual differences are small, and that there isn’t any obvious trend!

  15. Jim,

    Check this thread out.

  16. Bill N said


    I am starting the journey to do my own graphing and reconstructions using Excel, R, etc.

    Can you (or someone else) point me to code/examples of what you did here so that I can reproduce it and learn myself?

    Did you use Excel to interpolate NSIDC data and then plot in R?

    I am particularly interested in doing equal area Mollweide/Lambert plots as well as polar-centered vice equator-centric plots.

    Thanks and cheers,

  17. Hank McCard said


    I’m having a bit of a problem interpreting the scale of the ordinate in your graphs. I understand it to to be the area of the ice extent per degree of latitude. If I look at a map of Greenland, I note that the ice cap is about 825km wide at 70N. Since a degree of latitude is about 110km,that means that the extent of the ice cap is about 9×10^4km^2 per degree of latitude at 70N. If my math is correct, that would be nearly one-third on the scale of the ordinate in your graph. Also, since the east-west width of the ice cap remains about the same up to about 82N, that means that the Greenland ice cap contributes about 9×10^km^2 per degree of latitude from 72N to 82N. IMO, even the extent of the southernmost Greenland ice cap should be permanent observable in your graphical displays

    Where am I going wrong?

  18. Hank,

    The sea ice was divided on a grid basis for the ice only area. Land area is masked off and not included in the calculation.

    Bill, The code is more sophisticated than that. I have posted it a few posts before but I think I have something better for you. Let me look for a bit.

  19. Crashex said

    Great Work. Thanks.

    I am surprised to see some residual values for ice area during the summer months between 45 to 55. A couple years flash to all blue, but most of the years have an indication of ice area in that zone. Is that an artifact of the code or does the data suggest such residual levels? There’s a bit of a wave to the residuals that look like bands of latitude.

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