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20 December 2005

NSIDC Partners with Arctic Explorers to Validate Satellite Data

A team led by British explorer Jim McNeill will take scientific snow and ice measurements as they make a record-breaking trek across the Arctic. The team's scientific sampling will be undertaken in collaboration with NSIDC scientists Ted Scambos and Walt Meier.

The Ice Warrior team's measurements will help validate data from the NASA Ice, Cloud, and Land Elevation Satellite (ICESat), which will be taking simultaneous measurements from orbit. Scambos said that the combination promises "to give us the best possible chance of resolving the Arctic system to a new degree of accuracy."

Data from ICESat figures prominently in the measuring and monitoring of sea ice extent minimums. "We will be able to use the team's on-the-ground ice and snow measurements to compare against past measurements by sub-marine and buoy-sonar. This comparison will help us evaluate how quickly Earth's northern ice cap is thinning," said Scambos.

More information about the Ice Warrior project may be found on the team's Web site at For press inquiries about the Ice Warrior expedition, contact Lindsay Chant at or +44 (0) 1258 830095. To learn about the scientific measurements and equipment involved in the team's sampling, please contact Stephanie Renfrow at or +1 303.492.1497.

For more information concerning ICESat, please visit To learn about this year's record sea ice minimum, read the 2005 NSIDC sea ice minimum press release.