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New paper: Sea Ice Concentration Climate Data Records

Three global, gridded Sea Ice Concentration Climate Data Records (CDR) form the basis of a new paper published by the Sea Ice team in The Cryosphere (Lavergne et al.). Two of the CDRs were released during CCI Phase 2 (SICCI-25km and SICCI-50km), and one by the EUMETSAT OSI SAF project (OSI-450). The three CDRs share the same algorithms, processing chain, and data format. 

The sea ice CDRs presented will prove helpful for a better understanding of the evolution of the Earth's sea-ice cover as they address some of the shortcomings of existing records, and in particular provide additional information that allows users to judge the robustness of the sea-ice concentration estimates.

Derived from passive microwave satellite data records, these CDRs compare well with independent estimates of sea ice concentration both in regions with very high sea-ice concentration and in regions with very low sea-ice concentration. 

The CDRs presented offer three distinct advantages compared to existing records as they:

  1. provide quantitative information on uncertainty and possibly applied filtering at every grid point and every time step.
  2. are based on tie points, which capture time evolution of surface characteristics of the tie cover and accommodate potential calibration differences between satellite missions.
  3. are produced in the context of sustained services offering committed extension, documentation, traceability and user support.

The manuscript covers a description of the algorithms, the file content, and validation results. For details, see: 

Lavergne, T., Sørensen, A. M., Kern, S., Tonboe, R., Notz, D., Aaboe, S., Bell, L., Dybkjær, G., Eastwood, S., Gabarro, C., Heygster, G., Killie, M. A., Brandt Kreiner, M., Lavelle, J., Saldo, R., Sandven, S., and Pedersen, L. T.: Version 2 of the EUMETSAT OSI SAF and ESA CCI sea-ice concentration climate data records, The Cryosphere, 13, 49-78,, 2019.

The three SIC CDRs can be accessed by following the DOIs:

Find out more about the Sea Ice_cci project.