Support MASIE Arctic Ice Dataset

Posted: February 1, 2017 by oldbrew in data, Measurement, sea ice

Ron Clutz sings the praises of a useful Arctic ice dataset in need of your support.

Science Matters

MASIE: “high-resolution, accurate charts of ice conditions”
Walt Meier, NSIDC, October 2015 article in Annals of Glaciology.

The home page for MASIE (here) invites visitors to show their interest in the dataset and analysis tools since continued funding is not assured. The page says:
NSIDC has received support to develop MASIE but not to maintain MASIE. We are actively seeking support to maintain the Web site and products over the long term. If you find MASIE helpful, please let us know with a quick message to NSIDC User Services.

For the reasons below, I hope people will go there and express their support.

1. MASIE is Rigorous.

Note on Sea Ice Resolution:

Northern Hemisphere Spatial Coverage

Sea Ice Index (SII) from NOAA is based on 25 km cells and 15% ice coverage. That means if a grid cell 25X25, or 625 km2 is estimated to have at least…

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  1. oldbrew says:

    Reply to my e-mail from Greg at the National Snow & Ice Data Center:

    Thank you for showing your support of the MASIE product. This will help us work to secure future resources.
    Best regards

  2. tchannon says:

    I do not support this nor ANY single dataset without total and free disclosure including of all inputs by humans or otherwise back to before dataset commencement.

    I do not usually pull rank.
    In this case Talkshop veterans know who I am. (co-contributor etc.)
    Sea ice is a subject where I have studied over hundreds of hours here.

    During this time I came across many dishonest factors, meddling, men playing badly (NASA direct to me), withholding, bad technology, technological ignorance both by employees and academics… I’d have seen they were never employed in the first place, go back to school if you can’t do it yourself, you were supposed to learn to be complete at school.

    Sea ice sensing is massively underfunded as is all the associated infrastructure. There are absolute technical reasons why the data claims cannot be accurate (as in proper theoretic coverage)

    Where is this up-front admitted? If not, knife it. This is engineering, not science, don’t like that, resign.

    None of the above means I am personally criticising anyone, nor meaning extant “data” should be destroyed by neglect or otherwise including hiding. That would be malpractice.

    Plenty of individuals have done the best they could under the circumstances. Now point upwards to where blame lies.

  3. oldbrew says:

    Ron Clutz writes:
    ‘MASIE is an operational ice product developed from multiple sources to provide the most accurate possible description of Arctic ice for the sake of ships operating in the region.’
    – – –
    I can understand TC having reservations about any sea ice data, due to the element of human judgment involved. Readers should view Ron Clutz’s list of reasons for supporting MASIE and as his summary says:

    ‘Measuring anything in the Arctic is difficult, and especially sea ice that is constantly moving around. It is a good thing to have independent measures using different methodologies, since any estimate is prone to error.’

    Of course we all know there may be political pressures in play ‘behind the scenes’ as it were, so what is or is not ‘independent’ can be hard to judge.

  4. Sparks says:

    Privately funded global warming/cooling scares? I’m not in the business of supporting a “rent a scientist” I’m with tchannon’s experienced instinct on this.

  5. Ron Clutz says:

    From NIC FAQ page:

    Does NIC do any research on Global Warming?
    No. The primary mission of the NIC is to provide strategic, tactical, and operational ice products and services to meet requirements of U.S. national interests and U. S. government agencies. Our products, available on the World Wide Web, are used by outside organizations to derive or interpret information of scientific value.

    That is why this dataset is so important. They are dedicated to getting the most accurate estimate each day with no interest in climatology. The data is quality-controlled for consistency, and is thus useful for analyses.