From the University of Alabama, Huntsville via email from Dr. John Christy.
Weather Satellite Wanders Through Time, Space, Causing Stray Warming to Contaminate Data
In the late 1990s, the NOAA-14 weather satellite went wandering through time and space, apparently changing the record of Earth’s climate as it went.
Designed for an orbit synchronized with the sun, NOAA-14’s orbit from pole to pole was supposed to cross the equator at 1:30 p.m. on the sunlit side of the globe and at 1:30 a.m. on the dark side, 14 times each day. One of the instruments it carried was a microwave sounding unit (MSU), which looked down at the world and collected data on temperatures in Earth’s atmosphere and how those temperatures changed through time.
By the time NOAA-14 was finishing its useful life in 2005, however, it had strayed eastward from its intended orbit until it was crossing the equator…
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