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Cryosphere today is back and on the 9th now.


Thanks for the information, dorlomin! It's on the 10th now, as is the 30-day animation.

I would really love to know if it was a coincidence that both CT and Uni Bremen (both use the ASMR-E sensor) were down. I've emailed CT but didn't get an answer - I'm not complaining, they're busy enough - although the warning that they had server issues followed quickly afterwards.

Nick Barnes

Ice breaking up north of Bathurst Island, in the strait across to Ellef Ringnes Island.

Kevin McKinney

The ice sure looked bad on the 10th in the CT map--Bremen, too, though the details may differ slightly.

The degree to which sea ice area & extent numbers really don't tell the whole tale has been brought home forcefully to me this season.


Graphic I found on my travels......


Andrew Xnn

Is it just me or do these animation not always make sense?
Yellow blotches of supposedly thinner coverage are forming and then disappearing without a reasonable progressive pattern.

It seems like the movement of clouds must be altering the colors somehow.


I agree, Andrew. This has been going on for weeks now. First I thought it was caused by melt ponds, but now we have ice concentration maps going offline (I don't know if there's a correlation) . It looks extremely erratic, to the point that I wonder what the use of those colours is if they show up one day and disappear the next.

Lord Soth

I was playing with date in the URL in the MODIS Mosaic, to compare 2010 to 2009, and it really brings home the poor condition of the ice in the central pack.





I'm interested in 2008 and 2007 also, but this data does not appear to be online. Does anybody know if they have an archive, that can be accessed?


I think they have an archive (I sometimes see MODIS images from 2007 etc in scientific reports), but it isn't accessible. Otherwise someone would have pointed it out already. Too bad, eh?

Lord Soth

They finally have Cryosphere fully functional with the image for the 15th.


It almost looks like the arctic pack is being split into two. One mass concentration on the Canadian side and one on the Russian. Very strange weather indeed.

Nick Barnes

Lord Soth: the mosaic is a new thing at MODIS. Try here instead:

Even there these are still "realtime" images, i.e. prior to some sorts of processing. I believe that processed images are also available.

Nick Barnes

The realtime images can be useful to "steal a march" on the mosaic. For instance, here is Viscount Melville Sound today (not yet visible on the mosaic):

Jon Torrance

Andrew and Neven: I think I disagree, at least with respect to the 30 day concentration image animation at Cryosphere Today. Firstly, I think I generally does show a pretty high degree of continuity from day to day, i.e. large areas of low concentration generally shift, grow, decline and change shape rather than popping up out of nowhere or entirely vanishing. However, inasmuch as they do appear and vanish suddenly, isn't that what we'd expect from a somewhat fragmented mass of floating ice? The wind blows one way, large solid masses of ice shift and the fragmented ice in one area spreads out, the wind shifts, large solid masses shift and push those fragments back together while releasing other fragmented ice a long way away to spread out.

Of course, we shouldn't have to rely on my intuition or faith that CT/University of Bremen wouldn't prominently feature a largely meaningless image on their web sites. At least to the extent cloud cover permits, it should be possible to look at MODIS imagery and determine whether the low concentration areas in the CT animation consistently coincide with visibly low concentration ice or not, shouldn't it?


Jon: you are correct, I would say. It's like a wave, or the 'hole theory' of transistors. As particles move one way, open water appears to move the other way.
I posted two SST images in a comment to my own blog which seem to show the same effect:

Neven: the mosaic images don't go back far, but the near-realtime images go back to July 2002. You can access them via the 'calender' page.

hth ;-)


I think I disagree, at least with respect to the 30 day concentration image animation at Cryosphere Today.

I agree that the 30-day animation at CT looks much better than the animation I made of Uni Bremen above. I don't mean to disparage the ice concentration maps, and if I do it is my Dunning-Kruger playing up.

Nick or Patrick, I remember vaguely seeing those real-time images and dismissing them as not suitable for comparative animations. Do you have any idea if there are any 'flat' processed images available from previous years?

Jon Torrance

Nothing specifically to do with this post but I only just noticed that the chief scientist for NASA's ICESCAPE mission is blogging from the Arctic at http://science.dodlive.mil/tag/icescape/ so perhaps others hadn't found that yet and would be interested.

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