Daily changes in sea ice

I saw a graph of daily changes in the amount of Arctic sea ice the other day, and although I thought that I had graphed just about everything there was to graph regarding the sea ice extent data I download from the NSIDC, I had never plotted one of daily changes. So here is the graph of the lastest daily sea ice extent that I came up with.

Data courtesy of the NSIDC

I don’t think I was expecting to see as much daily variation – is it to believed? Well who knows it could be, but I suspect in reality the changes are not quite as abrupt. Is it possible for instance that sea ice extent increased in June for three days? Likewise, why would there be an odd day though the winter when sea ice declined instead of increased? I suppose it’s all down to the quality of the satellite data and the cloud cover on the day. One big variable must be how they assess if the ocean has more than 15% sea ice cover. All in all I think it might be better to use a weekly moving average rather rather than use daily spot values when assessing sea ice extent.

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