NASA Scientists Admit To “Big Data Gap”

A Delta II rocket has launched and is delivering Aquarius ocean salinity monitoring satellite into space. The Aquarius satellite will measure ocean surface salinity every seven days with a precision down to a pinch of salt (1/8 of a teaspoon) in a gallon of water – from 408 miles above the earth.


Why is this important? This VIDEO CLICK HERE (2 min) explains why. 

When I watched this video, I thought: “Wait a minute – I thought the science was settled, and that the models were pretty much fine-tuned and all.” But as you see in the video, three scientists are telling us there are still lots of data gaps that need to be filled in, and that this will take years to do.

The clip starts with NASA scientists Gary Lagerloef, Amit Sen and Yi Chao explaining why salinity is so important. Amit Sen says (emphasis added):

But yet we do not know one of the fundamental properties that effect climate, which is the density, the concentration of salt of the ocean.”

Yi Chao then says:

Salinity is one of the missing parameters we have never measured from space before.”

Gary Lagerloef:

We have no salinity samples at all from parts of the world, particularly in the southern hemisphere, the South Pacific, South Atlantic and southeren Indian Oceans. So there is a big data gap.”

and later:

Salinity is one of the measurements we need to fill in an important gap to do that very thing.”

Fine. But why not first fill in these “big data gaps” first before drawing final conclusions and settling on predetermined outcomes? Has no one ever told any of you how the scientific process works? And please don’t be so arrogant to think that you know the answer beforehand. Everyone knows that nobody is that clever.

One option I suppose would be to just extrapolate salinity concentrations at locations up to 1200 miles away from measured high salinity points, like your boss Hansen does with surface temperatures. The advantage is that it allows you to get the answer you want. I mean, after all, people in your field do this routinely.

Obviously the status of the science depends on who the scientists are speaking to. When they’re talking to policymakers, then they have have plenty of data to predict the future – even 100 or 200 years ahead! But when they are talking to people who decide the funding, then suddenly there are big data gaps – and everywhere!

Of course, we all know that the latter is true, and lots of data is still needed before one can even start to understand the complex system that is climate. And forget models that can predict 100 years down the road. It’ll be decades, if ever, before we reach that level of performance.

8 responses to “NASA Scientists Admit To “Big Data Gap””

  1. DirkH

    Goddard… NASA… so we already know what they’ll thell us. In a few years they’ll announce that the climate models were right all along and that they’re now even more certain that we’re heading for a huge catastrophe and that the weather will get even more hotcoldwarmdry. They will have to adjust their salinity data of course so it fits to the models, but that’s a piece of cake. Probably the military are the only ones who work with the real data.

    Reuters: Prepare for the new normal: “Special report: Scientists race to avoid climate change harvest”
    “”It’s screaming to me that things are getting hotter and drier at different times of the year,” said the 40-year-old Bragg during a recent visit to his property, about two hours drive to the west of Canberra, the Australian capital.

    “Our summers are getting wetter and if this trend continues, then we will have to find different means of farming,” he said.

    Across the globe, rising temperatures and more intense droughts, floods and storms are forcing a rethink in how to grow food, from breeding hardier crop varieties and changing planting times to complete genetic overhauls of plants.”

    Hotter, drier, wetter, droughts, floods. Whatever happens, CO2 is to blame.

  2. NASA Scientists Admit To “Big Data Gap” | get news

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  3. grayman

    I figure that they could have saved 100s of millions of dollars by getting out in the real world and actually testing the water themselves. What a waste of money, but that is what we can expect from NASA.

  4. jazznick

    I really wish I could get excited about this but when NASA appears
    anywhere in the title I think…………here we go again !

    The big data gap will be filled, I have no doubt, and it will be worse than they thought !

    If NOAA can ‘adjust’ historic and current temperature data to enhance an upward slope
    then I expect more of the same from this corrupt outfit.

  5. DirkH

    Another crazy German physicist (by education, not as researcher – only dabbled in climatology) for the collection. Gerd Leipold.
    This particular crazy German physicist was CEO of Greenpeace International 2001-2009.

  6. Rob Leather

    It’s not just salinity that’s being missed from the current IPCC climate models.

    There’s no quantification of the Agulhas Leakage. The “leakage” provides 30x the size of the Amazon river flow into the Southern Atlantic with warm salty water.

    Then you have the effects of Arctic tea.

    All helpfully explained in this BBC podcast.

  7. Jimbo

    Bearing in ming the endless glacier melt you should expect the North Atlantic to become more or less salty. The peer reviewed research says so.
    Northern North Atlantic Ocean less salty [1965 – 1995]
    Northern North Atlantic Ocean more salty [1955 – 2006]

    It’s called the theory of morelesssaltyness. Simple! 🙂

    1. Jimbo


      Bearing in minD the……………

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