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I have not really been following the CryoSat. news very closely but since there are no sea ice thickness maps being released yet I am assuming that the system doesn't work well enough to derive thickness data. I am really hoping somebody closly in touch with the actual state of progress can tell me how wrong I am and let me know when I will be able to see some progress.

Peter Ellis

our analysis provides clear evidence for a maximum of the retrievable ice thickness [0.5 m]
That's a pretty honkingly important caveat!


That is pretty neat.


How well can we trust the CICE ice thickness maps? Compared to the same time last year, the ice now seems to be clearly thicker just north of the Canadian Archipelago, but clearly thinner on the Siberian side of the pole.

Yvan Dutil

Even is limiter at 0.5 m, this is still a good step. More means better constrains on model, which will improve thickness estimation elsewhere in the pack.


>"How well can we trust the CICE ice thickness maps?"

Not sure if it is still the same, but IIRC the earlier product was believed to be an 'estimate danger to shipping' product that tended to overestimate thickness. Having said that, if it overestimates thickness, hopefully it does so consistently so comparing to last year should be useful:




Thanks, those are the maps I meant. I was just curious whether it's possible to draw conclusions from those maps. Since PIOMAS estimates the current volume to be about the same as last year, a stronger concentration north of the Archipelago could mean that the Northern Sea Route opens earlier this year.

The North West Passage might open even though there is more ice on the Canadian side, since the channels inside the Archipelago appear to have less ice than last year.

Also, if there is more open water, it could also accelerate melting due to more sunlight getting absorbed by the seas.

Of course, everything depends on the actual weather in the Arctic Circle this year.

L. Hamilton

Regarding CryoSat: Its measurement approach is different enough from IceSat and previous methods that CryoSat may be most comparable with itself. That is, well enough suited to tracking change over the period of its own observation, but less suited for extending the time series generated by earlier, less processing-intensive methods.

Chris Reynolds

Does anyone know of any research papers or other information that identifies the role of different ages of ice loss in the volume loss shown by PIOMAS?

Dominik Lenné

Very fine information. Even with validity limited to less than .5m, there is now one gauge more to calibrate PIOMAS and other models and narrow error bars.

I too was wondering why there is (at least to my knowledge) virtually no thickness data coming out of the CryoSat project.


On the sidebar you can find an arctic sea ice news item that some classified submarine measurements are also becoming available:


Kevin McKinney

Thanks, Wipneus. Now if only the Russians would do something similar--but I'm not holding my breath on that one!

Chris Reynolds

Some UK submarine data has been available for scientists, indeed Wadhams reportedly has an open invitation on UK subs going under the sea-ice. However the available UK data has, to date, been excluded from studies that use the pre-existing US Navy Data Release Area data. This is because of doubts over the consistency of the data.

I think this issue is mentioned in the Schweiger paper on PIOMAS uncertainty.


No images today from Aqua orbit swathe or mosaic.
As the Terra / Aqua satellites are well past their projected life I am wondering: is this a data-handling glitch at Lance Modis, or is it a glitch in the satellite?
Time will tell.

Here in Kent it is exceedingly warm - the warmest February day that I can remember. William Hill is offering 8 to 1 that this year will see a new highest ever temperature. I'd go for that if I was a gambler.

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