Further down is a short update on the effects the SAC-2013 (Small Arctic Cyclone of 2013) has had so far, but first I want to draw some attention to a great new product that has recently come online, a sea ice concentration map with the highest resolution so far. When I started this blog the NSIDC used a 25 km grid, meaning that every pixel on their SIC map represented an area of 25 x 25 km, or 625 square kilometres, on the ground. IJIS had a 12.5 km grid and the University of Bremen even had and still has a 6.25 km grid.
Last year the GCOM-W1 (Shizuku) satellite was launched, with the AMSR2 microwave sensor aboard, and soon after that the Japanese space agency JAXA started to put out data. Alexander Beitsch from the University of Hamburg's KlimaCampus optimized the processing of this data, improving grid resolution to a stunning 3.125 km. This was part of his PhD in the framework of the IRO2 project that is being funded through the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology (BMWi). Sehr gut und danke schön!
There was just one problem with the sea ice concentration map that was produced, and that was that it was huge. 17 MB for just one image makes it difficult for us amateurs to play around with it. Luckily, the Arctic Sea Ice blog has some very smart bunnies on its member list, and it was Wipneus (well-known for his work on PIOMAS data) who managed to reduce the file size by ten times. For the time being he is putting those images on a separate Google Site. Thank you, Wipneus!