Another Smoking Gun That GRACE Data Is Garbage

One of the more popular data sources of climate junk science data is GRACE

GRACE – Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment

They use gravity data from satellites to generate fake graphs and maps like the one below, showing Greenland losing ice in places which never get above freezing.

Total mass change: Polar Portal

Grace_curve_La_EN_20160300.png (1882×1080)

To show how worthless the GRACE data is, I overlaid the DMI surface mass balance (SMB) data on the GRACE data. The SMB data (blue line) shows Greenland gaining lots of ice, while the GRACE data shows Greenland losing ice.

2013-2014      2014-2015    2015-2016

The SMB data doesn’t take into consideration flow of ice away from underneath, but it is pretty difficult to believe that the huge discrepancy between the two data sets is real. In any case, the claimed ice loss is not due to in situ melting. It is either data error or flow of ice into the ocean – which would have nothing to do with global warming.

The problem with gravity data is that it is affected not only by ice, but also by other things like movement of the land underneath the ice. The GRACE people have failed to take that into consideration, and have made wildly exaggerated claims of ice loss in the past which they had to stand down on.

Climate Change: New Study Halves the Rate of Ice Cap Melt | TIME.com

GRACE also claims that Antarctica is losing ice.

Climate Change: Vital Signs of the Planet: Land Ice

But Jay Zwally at NASA says Antarctica is gaining ice.

NASA Study: Mass Gains of Antarctic Ice Sheet Greater than Losses | NASA

The GRACE data is meaningless garbage, but climate scientists use it because it is good for funding.

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20 Responses to Another Smoking Gun That GRACE Data Is Garbage

  1. AndyG55 says:

    There is a massive tongue of the rather active Iceland volcanic magma sack under-lying the whole northern part of Greenland..

    Irregularities of movement, expansion or contraction of the magma sack would be over periods of decades, and would cause large gravity based changes.

    Someone posted a video of gravity perturbations (gator?) which showed just how much gravity fluctuates over the whole globe.

  2. RAH says:

    It is a matter of what one believes. Either one believes GRACE or they believe what their eyes can see. Skeptic choose the later and alarmists the former.

  3. Sinical says:

    I’m shocked! But the earth HAS to be loosing ice somewhere. It’s essential to the alarmist argument. Just a matter of time before GRACE discovers an enormous loss of ice from northern Australia, southern USA, Costa Rica, Mexico, Morocco, and Egypt.

  4. Scott Scarborough says:

    I have heard that GRACE measurements indicate that sea level is falling or at least not rising in many areas. So they don’t use GRACE for sea level measurement! It seems that when an expensive piece of equipment doesn’t work as intended they can always use it for Political Science rather than real science.

    • Latitude says:

      When Envisat was launched it also showed sea levels falling….so they tuned it to show sea levels rising…by calibrating it to the satellites that were failing that Envisat was replacing

  5. Cam says:

    You can’t just put the SMB graphs back to back as you’ve done because you don’t take into account the calving at the ice face. As the DMI Greenland page says: The calving loss is greater than the gain from surface mass balance, and Greenland is losing mass at about 200 Gt/yr.

    • RAH says:

      DMIs charts don’t agree with their statements. Calving is a generally more a function of ice gain than loss. When the ice sheet stops calving and recedes from the coast is a sign of net ice loss. I’ve been checking out DMIs site for years and that statement of 200 Gt/year ice loss has been there without revision for as long as I can remember. Obviously it isn’t being changed to reflect the reality year for year.

      • Cam says:

        I’ve emailed them to inquire about it but got an automated reply that there won’t be anyone in the office until 23 July. We’ll see what they say.

        • Colorado Wellington says:

          Let’s see what they say. The 200 Gt/yr statement hasn’t changed in years regardless what their chart showed.

          Here is a graph of the total Greenland ice mass if it was losing 200 Gt every year since 1900:

    • tonyheller says:

      Always best to read the post before commenting on it.

      “The SMB data doesn’t take into consideration flow of ice away from underneath, but it is pretty difficult to believe that the huge discrepancy between the two data sets is real. In any case, the claimed ice loss is not due to in situ melting. It is either data error or flow of ice into the ocean – which would have nothing to do with global warming.”

      And yes, you “can” put the graphs back to back – because they are contiguous data sets.

    • AndyG55 says:

      “and Greenland is losing mass at about 200 Gt/yr.”

      Un-measured ASS-umption.

  6. Psalmon says:

    GRACE is the perfect vehicle if you are doing junk ice mass science. GRACE had known position deficiencies at launch and it was proposed in 2012 to correct/calibrate these. I never heard if these were actually corrected by project “Grasp” but any graph showing data thru 2012 is just known garbage. Considering Antarctica is 14 million million square meters in area…being off by even a mm is…14 billion cu meters.

    https://ilrs.cddis.eosdis.nasa.gov/docs/GRASP_COSPAR_paper.pdf

    From the reference:
    “Despite the important advances enabled by the GRACE-based approach, this tandem mission has proved inadequate in removing potential biases at the mm level. The deficiencies are due in part to the lack of a rigorous calibration of the GRACE antennas on the ground prior to launch. In particular, the antennas were not calibrated on the spacecraft. While GRACE offers a relatively clean geometry, simulation analysis show significant levels of both phase and pseudorange multipath. These effects could bias the effective antenna phase center by an unknown amount. Equally important, GRACE’s orbit is strongly impacted by the unpredictable, and difficult to model atmospheric drag.”

  7. Kris J says:

    DMI vs GRACE:
    So you basically have 2 groups, using 2 methodologies that don’t jibe, with data that go in OPPOSITE directions – and they don’t make any effort to harmonize or explain their OPPOSING conclusions – and even their exculpatory clauses are fishy.

    Perhaps they’re playing both sides of the fence and have no intention of synching/harmonizing the data?

  8. Kris J says:

    Gravity is the weakest of the 4 forces by a long shot. If you compare gravity and magnetism, gravity is basically a rounding error at the 38th decimal place.

    You can resist the gravity of the entire earth with feeble leg muscles. I’m a bit skeptical about anyone measuring the minutest changes in gravity from snowfall, and then claiming accuracy of 234 km3?…. sure it wasn’t 233 km3 or 235 km3?

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