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Sea ice concentration

The data, maps and sea ice analyses of the Arctic available for download are based on the information of the satellite radiometers mentioned below. Measurements of the satellite radiometer AMSR-E range from June 19th, 2002 until September 30th, 2011. On Oct 4, 2011, measurements of AMSR-E stopped.

AMSR-E‘s successor AMSR2 was successfully deployed to orbit on May 18th 2012. Since August 1st, 2012 AMSR2 has been sending microwave data from which daily sea ice concentrations are derived. Sea ice concentration based on SSMIS has been available from October 1st, 2011 up to today. Data of AMSR2 is of higher quality than SSMIS data. On, SSMIS data is therefore only used to fill data gaps of AMSR2. The sensor used to define sea ice concentrations is recorded in the name of the respective daily file.

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Furthermore, downloads of daily updated KMZ files usable for Google Earth depictions are available for the Arctic (KMZ) and Antarctic (KMZ).

Soon, also KMZ- and GeoTIFF-files will be available for download for the entire period via the selection menu.

Besides the daily data sets, monthly data sets can be downloaded as well. Development, validation and improvement of the evaluating algorithms were performed in connection with the EU project DAMOCLES (Developing Arctic Modeling and Observing Capabilities for Long-term Environmental Studies). Sea ice extent was determined by direct satellite measurements and the so-called “ARTIST” sea ice algorithm. It has been used and validated in many scientific studies.

We assume no liability for any of the provided data available for downloaded.

Sea ice concentration is represented in the maps by a uniform color scale: White represents a sea ice concentration of 100%, dark blue marks the regions with the lowest sea ice concentration. According to standard definition , sea ice extent is the continuous area for which a sea ice concentration of at least 15 % is measured.

All graphs need to be cited according to the rules listed in the "Terms of Use".

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In case of questions or any difficulties, please contact us at: Meereisportal Team.