Data Set ID:

Arctic and Southern Ocean Sea Ice Concentrations, Version 1

Monthly sea ice concentration for Arctic (1901 to 1995) and Southern oceans (1973 to 1990) were digitized on a standard 1-degree grid (cylindrical projection) to provide a relatively uniform set of sea ice extent for all longitudes, as a basis for hemispheric scale studies of observed sea ice fluctuations (Walsh 1978). The Arctic grid covers the Arctic Ocean and portions of peripheral seas where sea ice occurs during all or part of the year. The Southern Ocean grid extends to approximately 50 degrees south latitude. Potential uses of this data set include statistical analysis of anomalies in different regions, computing regional and hemispheric trends, and modeling the high latitude surface energy budget. Data sources are U.S. Fleet Weather Facility, U.S. Navy
National Ice Center (formerly Navy/NOAA Joint Ice Center), U.S. Naval Oceanographic Office, Canadian Department of Transport, British Meteorological Office, Danish Meteorological Institute, Norwegian Polar Institute, and Icelandic ice summaries.

Data are available via ftp. Software to select and print grids by date is also available.

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Geographic Coverage

Data Set Tabs

Spatial Coverage:
  • N: 90, S: 40, E: 180, W: -180

  • N: -50, S: -90, E: 180, W: -180

Spatial Resolution:
Not Specified
Temporal Coverage
  • 1953-01-01 to 1995-08-31
(updated 1996)
Temporal Resolution:
1 month
  • Sea Ice > Ice Extent
  • Snow/Ice > Ice Extent
  • Sea Ice > Sea Ice Concentration
Not specified
Sensor(s): Not specified
Data Format(s):
Not specified
Data Contributor(s): John Walsh, P. Kelly, William Chapman

Data Citation

As a condition of using this data, you must cite the use of this data set using the following citation. For more information, see our Use and Copyright Web page.

Chapman, W. L., J. E. Walsh, and P. M. Kelly. 1991, updated 1996. Arctic and Southern Ocean Sea Ice Concentrations, Version 1. [indicate subset used]. Boulder, Colorado USA. NSIDC: National Snow and Ice Data Center. [Date Accessed].

Questions? Please contact:

NSIDC User Services
Phone: 1 303 492-6199
Fax: 1 303 492-2468
Contact Address:
National Snow and Ice Data Center
University of Colorado
City: Boulder
Province or State: CO
Postal Code: 80309-0449
Country: USA