The Sea Ice Index (SII) relies on satellite passive microwave data as its only data source. These data are automatically processed using an algorithm and have known biases and limitations; these are covered in the SII documentation. MASIE relies on data from the Interactive Multisensor Snow and Ice Mapping System (IMS) that runs at the National Ice Center (NIC). The IMS product uses several satellite data sources including passive microwave, but it is also based on visual analysis and other data sources and undergoes a form of manual data fusion. Another difference is in the resolution of the products. The MASIE product has a nominal 4-km resolution which is higher than the nominal 25-km resolution of the SII.
Use the Sea Ice Index when comparing trends in sea ice over time or when consistency is important. Even then, the monthly, not the daily, Sea Ice Index views should be used to look at trends in sea ice. The Sea Ice Index documentation explains how linear regression is used to say something about trends in ice extent, and what the limitations of that method are. Use MASIE when you want the most accurate view possible of Arctic-wide ice on a given day or through the week. More accurate pictures of ice extent on any given day might be possible on a regional basis and from other international centers. See the IPY Ice Logistics Portal for access. If you have a question about intended and appropriate use of the data, please contact NSIDC User Services.
Go to the NIC Web site for operational support of any kind. MASIE is produced in cooperation with NIC and is based on a NIC operational product, but NSIDC is not an operational center and cannot offer that level of support.
For information on other operational ice products, see the following:
|NIC IMS Products||Web page with links to NIC's Interactive Multisensor Snow and Ice Mapping System (IMS) data that is the input data for MASIE.|
|NIC Daily Ice Analysis Products||Web page with links to NIC's Daily Ice Analysis Products.|
|NIC Weekly/Bi-Weekly Ice Analysis Products||Web page with links to NIC's Weekly/Bi-Weekly Ice Analysis Products.|
|NWS Anchorage Ice Desk||Web page for the National Weather Service (NWS) Forecast Office Anchorage, AK Ice Desk.|
We plan to add MASIE-SH as soon as resources allow.
The MASIE product has a nominal resolution of 4 km.
Add the following to your image caption: Credit: NSIDC/NIC MASIE product
Sudden jumps or dips in the area covered by sea ice have three possible causes:
You can register for the data set. Users are encouraged to register because registered users will receive e-mail notification about any product changes. To register, fill out the MASIE User Registration Form.
This article, written in 2006, gives a brief history of NIC's operations that will help you understand the setting in which its products are created: The Evolution of Operations at the U. S. National Ice Center: From Paper to Pixel.
NSIDC has received support to develop MASIE but not to maintain MASIE. We are actively seeking support to maintain the Web site and products over the long term. If you find MASIE helpful, please let us know with a quick message to NSIDC User Services.