Modis Satellite Pictures

March 28th, 2012 at 2:15 am by under Bill's Blog, Weather

    Some interesting pictures here…click on the pictures to enlarge. First, we have England and Ireland, starting to green up a little. Second, the Bering Sea, with the 2nd greatest ice cover since the satellite viesw started in 1979.  Alaska remains cold and snowy.  Nuiqsut was a mid-winter -44F Tues. AM and Barrow dipped to -30 again.  Yakutat has 91″ of snow on the ground and Valdez is right behind at 88″.  Fairbanks climbed above freezing for the first time since mid-December on Tuesday.  The average date of the first +32-degree reading is March 10 (so they were half a month behind average.  The Arctic icecap has grown and is now right on the average for areal extent for March.   The Antarctic icecap has grown significantly in the past year and is now well above the March average areal extent.  The third picture is steam/smoke coming from a volcano on Pagen Island.  The fourth is West Michigan on Monday afternoon.

26 Responses to “Modis Satellite Pictures”

  1. Brenda says:

    Love satellite pictures; the view is so awesome : )

    1. bruiseviolet (rockford) says:

      I agree. I love looking at these.

  2. Tom says:

    For more news on Arctic Sea Ice, see While sea ice extent was greater than the 30 year average in the Bering sea, it was lower in the Barents Sea.

    1. Mike M. says:

      Keep hope alive! Someday it will all melt, we swear it!!

        1. Cort S. (Plymouth, NH) says:

          I find that the more I learn about chaotic and/or complex systems (weather, climate, economy, politics, the human body and medicine, you name it…), the more I discover their inherent uncertainties, and the more I realize how much we don’t actually know about them yet. The scientific community (by which I mean all humans who seek knowledge and understanding; we are scientists at heart) should freely admit how much we have yet to discover, communicate the theories and uncertainties, and be skeptical ALL viewpoints and test their hypotheses in an effort to learn new things to better understand these complex systems.

          I am wary (or try to be) of anybody who talks loudly with an air of certainty about how chaotic systems behave or will respond on the whole. Skeptics, and skeptics of the skeptics, are necessary in science and civil discourse. We’re all trying to figure out our world together. I think it’s too bad how much the game of shuffling money and power toward one group of people and away from other groups of people has infiltrated the scientific process. It’s hard to tell what research is even reliable now. Can we at least admit that both sides of the aisle have something to gain from swaying the conversation one way or the other?

          Oh, there’s another rant for another day… or today: Why does it have to be that there are 2 and only 2 sides to every debate? I understand that 2 political parties are an unavoidable occurrence in a First-Past-the-Post voting system (click here for an entertaining video), but why can’t some issues have more than 2 sides? Why can’t some of the more straightforward issues you’d think we could all agree upon have to have an equal opposition? Sometimes I think parties disagree with each other just for the sake of disagreeing. I don’t know sometimes…

          Some days, everything annoys me.

        2. Bill Steffen says:

          A line I have used for years: “Sometimes science is a bucketful of conjecture from a drop of fact”.

        3. Brad says:

          There is only one side on Bill’s 2011-2012 winter forecast:


        4. Michael S says:

          Sometimes a bucketful of conspiracy theories try to wash out mountains of factual data.

          Bill, you’re crowing about sea ice this year with a wacky AO… were you alarming everyone about it the last decade? Sea level is rising, from Greenland and inland glacier melt and the thermal expansion of the ocean. Ocean acidification is clearly a result of increased CO2. What are the new excuses?

          It seems to me that considering the timescales that CO2 remains in the atmosphere, we might want to be cautious. If these scientists are not in fact a giant conspiracy, and instead correct, it would be good to start addressing the problem sooner rather than later.

          However, I think the issue isn’t that people truly doubt the science, it’s that they hate the solution to the problem. When the treatment is unacceptable to one side of the spectrum, of course they’re going to deny the problem exists. I guess my theory will be tested this summer, when Texas has a second straight summer drought. What do you think?

        5. Bill Steffen says:

          From NASA: Global Sea Level Drops 5 mm in 2010. A drop in sea level fits the La Nina and the growth of ice in Antarctica. People don’t doubt science. The La Nina, the growth of ice in Antarctica (and in the Arctic this year), the corresponding drop in sea level confirmed by NASA – that’s all science. The people doubt bogus claims like “the icecap will be gone in five years” (Al Gore in 2008) and “the temperature two kilometers down…is several million degrees” (Al Gore on the Tonight Show).

        6. Michael S says:

          Al Gore isn’t a scientist, so I don’t know why you’re talking about him. You’re not a scientist either.

        7. Bill Steffen says:

          Sure I’m a scientist. I have a double major in Meteorology and Physical Geography from the University of Wisconsin at Madison. I studied under Dr. Reid Bryson, who was one of (if not the) top climatologists in the world. In 2007 on CNBC, Dr. Bryson said “you could spit and cause more damage to the environment than doubling CO2 in the atmosphere”. I have 38 years of working experience in meteorology. At this moment and since 1/1, global temperature is cooler than average. Global temperature has been steady for 10 years. The icecaps are increasing at both poles. We have a cold PDO, more frequent La Ninas and a quieter than average sun.

          This, written yesterday from Dr. Roger Pelkie, Professor of Environmental Studies at the Univ. of Colorado:

          “The full IPCC Special Report on Extremes is out today, and I have just gone through the sections in Chapter 4 that deal with disasters and climate change. Kudos to the IPCC — they have gotten the issue just about right, where “right” means that the report accurately reflects the academic literature on this topic. Over time good science will win out over the rest — sometimes it just takes a little while.

          A few quotable quotes from the report (from Chapter 4):

          “There is medium evidence and high agreement that long-term trends in normalized losses have not been attributed to natural or anthropogenic climate change”
          “The statement about the absence of trends in impacts attributable to natural or anthropogenic climate change holds for tropical and extratropical storms and tornados”
          “The absence of an attributable climate change signal in losses also holds for flood losses”

          The report even takes care of tying up a loose end that has allowed some commentators to avoid the scientific literature:

          “Some authors suggest that a (natural or anthropogenic) climate change signal can be found in the records of disaster losses (e.g., Mills, 2005; Höppe and Grimm, 2009), but their work is in the nature of reviews and commentary rather than empirical research.”

        8. Michael S says:

          I’m sorry Bill, but you’re not a scientist. You studied science, and the guy you’re lauding predicted a global ice age in the 70s. What research papers have you published? What conferences do you present at? What journals do you read to keep up on current research?
          You’re a meteorologist who probably gets all his climate information off right wing skeptic blogs. Let’s just be honest and upfront.

        9. Bill Steffen says:

          Then let’s have a debate. I’ll get one of the schools here to sponsor it. Should be a piece of cake for you, Michael. I’m not even a scientist. Of course, it might be kind of a long commute for you…a hefty carbon footprint…but Soros has deep pockets. Watcha say?

        10. Michael S says:

          Bill, I live in GR. Why would two people without professional expertise in climate science hold a debate for a school? You’re pretty arrogant to think your uninformed opinion is worth students’ time.

        11. Bill Steffen says:

          I think the debate idea is a good one. Too bad you couldn’t get to the convention of the American Assn. of State Climatologists that was right here in G.R. a few years back. I had dinner with the President of the Assn., Nolan Doesken and he mentioned the contibution of Anthony Watts in highlighting bad siting and urban heating on the climate record. You might have had dinner with George Taylor, David Legates, Pat Michaels or Roger Pelkie. A couple years before Dr. Bill Gray, the hurricane expert who debunked the global cooling idea of the ’70s and predicted warming and debunked the global warming alarmism of the 80′s and 90′s and the leveling off of temperatures in the early 21st century and has been right both times, was the principal speaker. In any case, if you can find a qualified scientist who wishes to debate, let me know. I’ll find a match. In the meantime, check out global ice. The Antarctic icecap has grown considerably in the past year, and is well ABOVE average: The Arctic icecap just had its latest maximum ever and the longest ice growing season of the satellite era (since ’79): As you can see, Arctic ice extent is right at the early April average. 2011 was the 2nd coldest year of the 21st century and global temperatures have been running below average since Jan. 1:

  3. michael g (SE GR) says:

    So arctic is it up to normal, and antarctic ice is well above normal? The planet MUST have a fever!!

  4. Mike M. says:

    Ten feet of snow for Mt Rainier by Friday night…

    Wish it was Michigan instead. Centered on Wyoming.

    1. Irish coffee says:

      ..BY Fri night– lol, yeah, it’s still going strong AFTER that!! HIGH +”3″ on Sun!! Gotta love it…time to tune my idle 800 Polaris for elevation(and STEEPness of slopes! c-ya later

  5. Woke up this morning after only a few hours of sleep, sunny. I sleep for a couple hours, cloudy. Still looking nice south of I-94 though. Loving those images, especially the volcano.

    1. Skot says:

      Maybe you could get some BIG political sponsors for the slow times of year and start a trend called “Global Warming Chasers”. Seriously man, think about that !!!!!

      1. I’d have better luck winning the Mega Millions, which I intend to do Friday.

  6. Jeff B. (Gowen) says:

    So, if the arctic and antarctic ice caps are growing, so much for global warming?

  7. BJ says:

    I love to look at satellite photos of the Great Lakes. Lake Michigan looks so beautiful in this photo. It reminds me of why I love to live in Michigan.

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