News from NOAA@NSIDC
NSIDC Special Reports 15 and 16 Released
Two papers from the Environmental Working Group (EWG) Joint U.S.-Russian Arctic Sea Ice Atlas created in 2000 have been re-published as NSIDC Special Reports. The first paper, Data on the Geographical Distribution of Sea Ice by R.G. Barry, has been published as NSIDC Special Report #15 and provides a historical review of sea ice data measurements from the mid 1800's to 2000. The second paper, Sea Ice In the Climate System: A Russian View by V. F. Zakharov, has been published as NSIDC Special Report #16 and provides an overview of sea ice and its role in the climate system as it was known in 2000. To access these papers, see the NSIDC Special Reports page.
All About Arctic Climatology and Meteorology
Arctic climate versus weather, water sky and ice blink, highs, lows, and the Arctic Oscillation: You'll read about them, and much more, in All About Arctic Climate and Meteorology. The site is designed especially for educators and high-school students, and has been updated with many new illustrations. Originally published in 2000 as the PRIMER for Newcomers to the North, it was part of the Environmental Working Group Arctic Atlases on CD-ROM. The atlases resulted from an unprecedented U.S. – Russian collaboration that released military and other scientifically important data. The site has ranked in the top 10 of NSIDC's Web pages since first appearing as a stand-alone site in 2001. NOAA@NSIDC has updated the material, with help from NSIDC's Science Communications group and a review by Dr. Andrew Barrett.
Historical Greenland Snow Accumulation Data Set Now Available in Digital Format
A data set comprised of historical Greenland snow accumulation data from 1911 to 1981 has been released in digital format. This data was acquired and compiled by geologist Dr. Carl S. Benson, currently professor emeritus at University of Alaska, Fairbanks. This data set contains Dr. Benson's scientific field study notebooks describing his traverses of Greenland from 1952 to 1955. The notebooks contain data on Greenland snow accumulation, snow temperature, stratigraphy, ice sheet facies, and snow densification. Dr. Benson's notebooks also include a supplementary 1956 snow accumulation study done by the U.S. Air Force. The notebooks have been scanned and put into PDF format with the exception of the 1955 notebooks which are still being digitized. In addition, a compendium of Greenland snow accumulation data, compiled by Dr. Benson in 1986, is included that spans 1911 to 1981. It is in ASCII text format. For more information about this data set and to obtain the data, see the Greenland Snow Pit and Core Stratigraphy (Analog and Digital Formats) catalog page.
World Glacier Inventory Now Provided in New Formats
The contents of the World Glacier Inventory database have been put into three new formats. A shapefile for those who use GIS software, in a Generic Mapping Tools (GMT) file for those familiar with GMT software, and in a KML file for easy viewing in Google Earth or other virtual globe software. For more information and to access the data, see the World Glacier Inventory guide document.
NSIDC Analog Archive Center Gets a New Name
The Roger G. Barry Archives and Resource Center (ARC), formerly ROCS, at NSIDC maintains a unique and rare collection, documenting early polar exploration and the first scientific expeditions to the far reaches of our planet. These collections provide researchers priceless historical insight into how the Earth's polar and icy regions have changed.
As a soft money funded organization with no endowment, our facility is under threat. Traditional funding sources no longer support the collection. The name was changed in an effort to make the title more synonymous with ARC's vision in the hopes that this will boost support. To that end, ARC is currently undergoing a fund-raising campaign to raise money to help keep the center alive. Maintaining an archive requires money for infrastructure and trained people, who must document and manage material carefully to secure its accessibility a century from now. Your donation will help create an endowment to sustain these resources for research into the future. Please support us today: Support ARC.
Arctic Sea Ice Charts from the 1893 - 1956 Now Available
From 1893 to 1956, the Danish Meteorological Institute (DMI) created charts of observed and inferred sea ice extent for each summer month. These charts are based on compiled observations of ice conditions from Arctic expeditions and shore observers. The charts were scanned at the Icelandic Meteorological Office (IMO) and are being made available by NOAA@NSIDC as a service and in cooperation with DMI and other contributors. To access the data and learn more about it, see the Arctic Sea Ice Charts from Danish Meteorological Institute, 1893 - 1956 Web page.
The International Ice Patrol (IIP) Iceberg Sightings Database now contains 2010 and 2011 data. The IIP collects information on iceberg activity in the North Atlantic primarily through airborne Coast Guard reconnaissance missions. The data set begins in 1960 and now goes through 2011. NSIDC archives these data for the IIP. To access the data and learn more about it, see the NSIDC International Ice Patrol (IIP) Iceberg Sightings Database web page.
Landfast sea ice is sea ice that is anchored to the shore or ocean bottom, typically over shallow ocean shelves at continental margins; it is defined by the fact that it does not move with the winds or currents. This data set, Landfast Ice 1953-1998, contains monthly mean concentrations of fast ice for the Arctic Ocean from both the Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute (AARI) and the Canadian Ice Services (CIS) sources. To access the data and learn more about it, see the Arctic Landfast Sea Ice 1953-1998 web page.
While the content remains the same, the Sea Ice Index Web site has been functionally redesigned so that it is easier to find and compare earlier years of Sea Ice Index data or check up on trends and anomalies in sea ice extent.
This improvement goes hand in hand with edits to the product documentation made in July. Together, these changes make it easier to understand the information the data holds, as well as to simply find and use Sea Ice Index products. To check out the new look of the site and read the improved documentation, see the Sea Ice Index Web site.
NOAA@NSIDC has archived and made SCICEX 2000 and 2003 Expendable Conductivity, Temperature, and Depth (XCTD) data available from the SCICEX Web site. The data come from an ambitious program to utilize nuclear submarines as a platform to acquire data about the Arctic ocean. XCTD data is but one small portion of the data that has been collected during the SCICEX project. See the SCICEX Data Inventory and Locations Web page to find the 2000 and 2003 XCTD data along with other SCICEX data.
The National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) had humble beginnings when the U.S. World Data Center (WDC) for Glaciology moved to Boulder, Colorado in 1976. A National Research Council recommendation and an agreement between NOAA and the University of Colorado resulted in the NSIDC designation in 1982. Thanks to a Preserve America Initiative Grant (PAIG), this history has been organized, digitized, and made accessible to the public. To read about the history of NSIDC and the WDC, access the historical materials, and learn more about PAIG, see the First 25 Years: The History of the WDC for Glaciology and NSIDC in Boulder, Colorado Web page.
NOAA@NSIDC is pleased to announce that the Sea Ice Index data archive now has daily as well as monthly ice extent numbers for the northern and southern hemispheres. The product documentation has also been overhauled to include an explanation of how these are made and to give a clearer and complete description of all Sea Ice Index products. The documentation now includes the following:
- Flow charts to make data processing steps easier to follow.
- Explanation on how the median edge position is determined and why it is used. The median edge is the pink line on the monthly extent images and the orange line on the daily extent images.
- Clearer explanation of coverage and resolution.
- More information on accuracy.
- Shows how to use the Browse Image Spreadsheet Tool (BIST) to quickly compare images from past years.
- Includes a short section on how the product has evolved, from 2002 into 2012.
To access the data and the new documentation, see the Sea Ice Index Web site.
NOAA@NSIDC has acquired DOI numbers for two of our most popular data sets: the World Glacier Inventory and the Glacier Photograph Collection. This is in an effort to make our data easier to find and access in the digital environment and to provide persistent identification. The team plans to acquire DOI numbers for more data sets as time and funding allow.
The NOAA/NSIDC Climate Data Record of Passive Microwave Sea Ice Concentration data set, released in late 2011 at a daily resolution, has now been processed to include a monthly averaged version of its sea ice climatology. This sea ice CDR was created in cooperation with NOAA's National Climatic Data Center (NCDC). To access the data and see the documentation, see the NOAA/NSIDC Climate Data Record of Passive Microwave Sea Ice Concentration catalog page.
The Global Lake and River Ice Phenology database has seasonal freeze-up and breakup dates as well as other descriptive ice information for 865 lakes and rivers in twelve Northern Hemisphere countries. Sixty-six of these bodies of water have records longer than 50 years. In cooperation with the Lake Ice Analysis Group (LIAG) at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, NOAA@NSIDC has updated and added to the database, increasing the number of lakes and rivers it holds by over 13 percent.
A calendar correction was made to the Lake Suwa, Japan data. Records for Lake Suwa begin in 1443, but the earliest record is for Lake Constance in Germany, from year 874. Observations were made for religious, cultural, and practical, often transportation related, reasons. For more information and to obtain the data, see the Global Lake and River Ice Phenology Web site.
In cooperation with the World Glacier Monitoring Service (WGMS), NOAA@NSIDC has released an updated version of the World Glacier Inventory (WGI). The WGMS and the NOAA@NSIDC team jointly revised and updated the WGI based on additional sources from the literature. The database stores geographical coordinates of glacier label points and tabular information about glacier classification, area, length, orientation, and altitude range. To learn more and to access the WGI database, visit the WGI Web site.
The WGI was initiated during the International Hydrological Decade (IHD), 1965−74 and is mainly based on aerial photographs and maps of the second half of the 20th century. Since 1999, NOAA@NSIDC has worked with the WGMS to make its inventory available online. While the WGI cannot truly claim to have a complete list of the world's glaciers, with this recent update, it now provides more than 130,000 entries.
The WGI is a reference data resource for the world's glaciologists and one of NSIDC's most popular data sets. NSIDC also holds the GLIMS collection of satellite image-derived glacier outlines stored with the full complement of WGI-defined glacier characteristics. Both GLIMS and the WGI are part of the Global Terrestrial Network for Glaciers (GTN-G). The GTN-G Data Overview Web page has a summary of how GLIMS, the WGI, and other data collections are related.
Overall, glaciers are retreating at an alarming rate around the world in response to a warming Earth. To help promote awareness of glacier recession and to support the Roger G. Barry Resource Office for Cryospheric Studies (ROCS), ROCS has created an Adopt-a-Glacier fundraising project. Adoption of a glacier is symbolic but the money raised will allow ROCS to purchase document boxes for preserving manuscript materials in acid free folders, to purchase photo safe boxes for preserving our historic photograph collections, and to assist in the ongoing preservation, organization, and digitization of historic materials. Three glaciers are available for adoption: Arapaho, Franz Josef, and Muir. Donors receive a certificate of adoption along with a photo and facts about the glacier they have adopted. For more information or to adopt a glacier, see the Adopt-a-Glacier Web page.
The SCICEX Web site has been improved. SCICEX is a federal interagency collaboration among the U.S. Navy, research agencies, and the marine research community to use nuclear-powered submarines for scientific studies of the Arctic Ocean. The new site includes links to data access locations, science meeting notes and presentations, history and background of the program, scientific publications, and a photo gallery. Data include sea ice thickness, water chemistry, bathymetry, hydrography, and biology measurements of the Arctic Ocean.
The Sea-ice Thickness and Draft Statistics from Submarine ULS, Moored ULS, and a Coupled Model is now available from NSIDC. This data set consists of estimates of mean values of sea-ice thickness and sea-ice draft in meters computed from three different input data sets: sea ice draft from Upward Looking Sonar (ULS) mounted on submarines, sea ice draft from ULS mounted on bottom-anchored moorings, and a simulated ice-thickness model. To read more and to access the data, see the Sea-ice Thickness and Draft Statistics from Submarine ULS, Moored ULS, and a Coupled Model Web page.
The World Climate Research Program's (WCRP) Open Science Conference took place in Denver on October 24-28. Florence Fetterer and Ann Windnagel attended sessions dedicated to the cryosphere and used the opportunity to talk with NOAA and other colleagues for informal product planning, outreach, and strategizing on how to make every dollar spent on data stewardship go further.
The International Ice Charting Working Group's 12th meeting was hosted by the British Antarctic survey October 17-21 in Cambridge, England. The NOAA team at NSIDC works with this group to advance the use of operational ice charts by researchers and to assist in archiving these valuable records. Florence Fetterer gave a talk on work led by John Walsh of the University of Alaska, Fairbanks, to extend the observational record in sea ice extent products back to 1850. Having issued a statement titled National Ice Services Caution that "Open" Does Not Mean Ice-Free, the IICWG warned against misinterpreting "open" or even "ice free" when referring to the Northwest Passage and the Northern Sea Route. For more information about the IICWG, see the IICWG Web site.
In cooperation with NOAA's National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) Climate Data Record (CDR) program, NSIDC has released a CDR of sea ice concentration that has full data transparency. Transparency, in this sense, means that the input data, code, and processing steps of the data are known, well documented, and openly available. One requirement for a CDR, set forth by the U.S. National Research Council (NRC), is that the provenance of the data product must be fully known. Full provenance and traceability of the input data, code, and processing of this data set are known; thus, the data satisfy the requirements for a CDR. In addition, a CDR must be of sufficient length, consistency, reliability, and sustainability "to distinguish between artificial changes related to the observing system and real changes in climate" (NRC, 2004).
The NOAA/NSIDC CDR sea ice concentrations are derived from passive microwave instruments, using a combination of two algorithms developed at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC). Fields of data quality assessment information are also included in the CDR product. The files are provided in netCDF4 format (including Climate and Forecasting [CF] metadata), which is a self-describing and sustainable file format. To learn more and to access the data, see the NOAA/NSIDC Climate Data Record of Passive Microwave Sea Ice Concentration web page.
Historical IPY Data Catalog Now Available
NOAA@NSIDC and the Roger G. Barry Resource Office for Cryospheric Studies (ROCS) are pleased to announce the launch of the ROCS Archives Catalog; and with this, the completion of the International Polar Year Historical Data and Literature project - formerly known as DAHLI. Over 800 digital items (photographs, data charts, publications/literature, audio files, and even a video) relating to the first two International Polar Years (IPY) 1882-83 and 1932-33 and the International Geophysical Year (IGY) 1957-58 reside in this public, searchable catalog, most of which are available for download. To search and access the collection, see the International Polar Year Historical Data and Literature web page.
Sea Ice Thickness Field Measurements Available
In cooperation with the International Arctic Research Center (IARC) at the University of Alaska, NOAA@NSIDC is providing an access point and standard metadata for the Sea Ice Experiment: Dynamic Nature of the Arctic (SEDNA) project. The SEDNA data collection is unique in that several ice thickness data sets were inter-calibrated and coordinated with monitoring of the ice pack strain-rate (horizontal deformation) and measurements of internal ice stress. This experiment was designed to improve our understanding of the relationship between sea ice thickness and dynamics. For more information and to access the data, see the SEDNA: Sea ice Experiment - Dynamic Nature of the Arctic summary page.
NOAA Arctic Report Card Workshop Plans Ahead
The Arctic Report Card gives a yearly summary of environmental conditions. At the first workshop to bring together contributors, editors, and NOAA collaborators, plans were made to widen the number of parameters covered—now they are mostly physical variables—and to strengthen the peer review process. The sea ice section of the Report Card makes use of the Sea Ice Index. Florence Fetterer attended as product lead and to promote the use of MASIE for tracking short term changes in sea ice.
A Talk On Sea Ice Climate Data Records at the American Association of Geographers Meeting
NOAA team lead Florence Fetterer works with Dr. Walt Meier and others at NSIDC to develop a climate data record for sea ice that meets the criteria set forth by the National Research Council (NRC 2004. Climate Data Records from Environmental Satellites). She gave a progress talk on behalf of Walt, project lead, at the meeting Association of American Geographers (AAG), Seattle, 12-16 April.
At the Polar Science Center (PSC), University of Washington Applied Physics Laboratory
While in Seattle for Association of American Geographers (AAG), Florence Fetterer visited the Polar Science Center (PSC) at the University of Washington Applied Physics Laboratory. The NOAA team at NSIDC works with PSC on long-term stewardship of data from many field programs. One example is the International Arctic Buoy Programme. Conversations with UW researchers stressed the need for certain currently unfunded data projects. These include a gridded climatology of high quality sea ice records for the Sea of Okhotsk and long-term stewardship of ice thickness records from a CDR project.
NSIDC's Computing Center Shutting Down for Five Days to Become More Green
The National Snow and Ice Data Center, through a grant from the National Science Foundation, is modifying its facility to become one of the most energy-efficient data centers in the United States. As a part of this effort, NSIDC will shut down our computing center from Wednesday, 30 March through Sunday, 3 April to accommodate construction. The NSIDC Web site will be available intermittently during this time, providing data documentation and other information. However, access to all NSIDC data and online services will be unavailable. We apologize for any inconvenience the limited access may cause you.
Workshop on Passive Microwave Sea Ice Products – the Backbone of Long Term Ice Monitoring
The World Climate Research Program (WCRP) Climate and Cryosphere (CliC) Project Office sponsored a Satellite-derived Sea Ice Products Community Workshop at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD, 15-16 March, 2011. Participants discussed ways to improve the accuracy and reliability of products and address user needs. The group plans to share common products (for example, landmasks) and collaborate on a peer-reviewed journal article. Attendees included developers from NASA, NSIDC, NOAA, the University of Illinois, the University of Nebraska, JAXA, Environment Canada, and EUMETSAT as well as user groups from the NOAA SST group, Canadian and U.S. operational ice centers, and Canadian sea ice model development. NOAA Liaison Florence Fetterer participated with an eye toward improving the Sea Ice Index which relies on passive microwave satellite data.
Antarctic Glacier Photos Added to the Glacier Photo Collection
Photographs of glaciers in the McMurdo Dry Valleys region of Antarctica have been added to the Glacier Photo Collection. While the valleys themselves are notably ice-free, a number of glaciers terminate in the valleys, some acting as outlets to the East Antarctic Ice Sheet. Studies show that the majority of the glaciers in this area are receding. Glaciers were photographed in the course of geologic studies and help document the conditions of the glaciers and how they may have changed. To view the photos, see the Glacier Photo Collection Search & Order Interface.
Finding Sea Surface Temperature Near the Sea Ice Edge
NOAA, the European Space Agency, NASA, and several other agencies sponsor the Group for High Resolution Sea Surface Temperature (GHRSST) to work on improving the quality, timeliness, and accessibility of sea surface temperature (SST) fields. Data assembly centers construct these fields and need daily high-resolution sea ice extent as input data in order to arrive at accurate SST in and near the ice edge. NOAA@NSIDC's Florence Fetterer spoke on using Multisensor Analyzed Sea Ice Extent (MASIE) data as an alternative to satellite passive microwave-derived ice extent fields at the GHRSST High Lattitude Working Group meeting held in Boulder, Colorado from March 1 - 2. For more information about GHRSST, visit the GHRSST Web site. For more information about MASIE, see the MASIE Web site.
How Permanent is Permafrost? A New Data Set and Associated Education Activity
A new data set called Soil Temperature Station Data from Permafrost Regions of Russia (Selection of Five Stations), 1880s - 2000 has been published along with an educational classroom activity for K-12 students and teachers. This data set includes soil temperature data from boreholes and air temperature data located at five stations in Russia. This data set has also been incorporated into an educational classroom activity, How Permanent is Permafrost?, that helps to explore the relationship between surface air temperature and permafrost (soil) temperature. For more information and to obtain the data, see the Soil Temperature Station Data from Permafrost Regions of Russia (Selection of Five Stations), 1880s - 2000 Web page. To see the classroom activity, see the How Permanent is Permafrost? Web page.
Meeting on Oceanographic and Ice Data from US Navy Submarines
NOAA@NSIDC project manager, Ann Windnagel, attended the SCICEX Science Advisory Committee (SAC) meeting that took place January 26 - 28, 2011 in Washington D.C. The purpose of the meeting was to set the stage for Part II of the science plan and to outline the needs and plan for program sustainment. Ann Windnagel gave a presentation on NOAA@NSIDC's efforts on rescuing and archiving the historic SCICEX data over the past year. For more information about SCICEX, see the NOAA@NSIDC SCICEX Web page.
21 December 2010
NSIDC and the U.S. National Ice Center (NIC) are pleased to announce a new daily sea ice analysis product: The Multisensor Analyzed Sea Ice Extent - Northern Hemisphere (MASIE-NH). NIC analysts produce an Arctic-wide sea ice and snow extent map drawing on a multitude of data sources. The gridded 4-km product locates the ice edge with much greater accuracy than daily products based on single-source satellite data. Working with NIC, NSIDC developed MASIE-NH to meet a need for a more accurate daily product that is easy to use like the Sea Ice Index.
The Sea Ice Index has both a monthly and a daily product. We recommend using the monthly product when a long time series and consistent processing are important as they would be for climatological studies. However, if it is important to know where the ice is recently, on a daily time scale, we recommend using the MASIE product.
MASIE lets you view and download:
- Northern Hemisphere-wide sea ice coverage for latest day and the last four weeks
- Sea ice coverage by region
- A file of sea ice extent in sq km for the entire Northern Hemisphere and by region for the last four weeks, updated daily
The MASIE-NH products are distributed in a number of formats including ASCII text, GeoTIFF, PNG, shapefiles, and Google Earth files and are available for the previous four weeks (28 days). MASIE was developed with support from NIC and the U.S. Naval Oceanographic Office. Distribution by NOAA@NSIDC is made possible by support from the NOAA National Geophysical Data Center (NGDC). For more information on this new product and to download data, see the MASIE-NH Web site.
13 December 2010
Documents and presentations from the 11th meeting of the International Ice Charting Working Group (IICWG) are available from the IICWG Meetings Web page. To view documents, click on the Meeting Documents link under the Eleventh IICWG Meeting heading; and to view the presentations, click on the Meeting Presentations link. NOAA@NSIDC hosts the IICWG Web site in order to strengthen ties between operations and research.
02 November 2010
NOAA@NSIDC project manager Lisa Ballagh gave an invited talk at the Geological Society of America (GSA) meeting in Denver. The talk was titled Maps, Maps And More Maps: Three Approaches To Reach The Masses (.pptx, 5.5 MB) and described how Google Earth, Web Map Services, and GeoRSS can enhance a collection by depicting news on maps, visualizations on maps, and interoperability via maps. Coauthors were John Cartwright, with NOAA NGDC, and Allaina Wallace, NSIDC archivist.
01 November 2010
The NSIDC Sea Ice Index was featured in Google Earth's Blog: The Amazing Things About Google Earth. The blog post titled, "Sea Ice Extent Animation updated for 2010", was posted on October 12, 2010 and details the 2010 update NSIDC made to their Sea Ice Index Google Earth file. To read the blog, visit Google Earth's Blog site.
26 October 2010
At the IICWG Science Day on October 26, NOAA@NSIDC lead Florence Fetterer spoke on NOAA's Arctic Sea Ice Forecasting Activities, Research & Priorities with coauthors Janet Intrieri (NOAA ESRL) and John Calder (NOAA Arctic Research Program). The talk aimed to contribute to discussion on focusing research to help meet the growing demands placed on the ice services.
25 October 2010
The International Ice Chart Working Group (IICWG) concluded a successful 11th meeting the week of October 18 in Washington DC. The group discussed ice modelling and forecasting; and topics for the meeting centered around short term ice forecasting research, forecasting compressive forces in pack ice, and identifying and tracking ice object movement to name a few. After the meeting, the IICWG warned "that sea ice and icebergs continue to present significant hazards to navigation and other maritime activities. It strongly supports the continued development of the International Maritime Organization's Polar Code for improved safety of ship operations." To read the full news release, see the following: National Ice Services Warn of Continuing Hazards to Navigation in the Polar Seas (PDF, 122 KB). For additional information about the IICWG, visit the International Ice Chart Working Group Web site.
09 September 2010
NOAA@NSIDC has published a new data set that provides measurements of mass balance, surface velocity, and surface elevation of the South Dome of Barnes Ice Cap. The data set, Barnes Ice Cap South Dome Trilateration Net Survey Data 1970-1984, contains survey measurements of a network of 43 stakes along a 10 km flow line on the northeast flank of the south dome of the Barnes Ice Cap. For more information and to access the data, see the Barnes Ice Cap South Dome Trilateration Net Survey Data 1970-1984 Web page.
26 August 2010
NOAA@NISDC has published a new data set that is an inventory of a network of boreholes equipped for long-term permafrost temperature observations. The data set, IPA-IPY Thermal State of Permafrost (TSP) Snapshot Borehole Inventory, Version 1.0, consists of an inventory of boreholes established during the International Polar Year (IPY) 2007 - 2009 by the International Permafrost Association (IPA) under the Thermal State of Permafrost (TSP) Project #50. The TSP project goals included the acquisition of standardized temperature measurements (snapshots) from all permafrost regions on Earth, preparation of a global data set, and development of maps of contemporary permafrost temperatures. For more information and to access the inventory, see the IPA-IPY Thermal State of Permafrost (TSP) Snapshot Borehole Inventory, Version 1.0 Web page.
06 August 2010
NOAA@NSIDC has published a new data set relevant to developing year-round transportation capabilities in the Arctic Ocean: Arctic Marine Transportation Program 1979-1986. The US Maritime Administration sponsored this multi-year program to define environmental conditions in the Bering, Chukchi, and Beaufort Seas; to obtain data to improve design criteria for ice-worthy ships and offshore structures; and to demonstrate the operational feasibility of commercial icebreaking ships along possible future Arctic marine routes. This data set consists of PDF documents of Arctic Marine Transportation Reports. For more information and to access the reports, see the Arctic Marine Transportation Program 1979-1986 Web page.
21 July 2010
NOAA@NSIDC has developed and will maintain a data inventory for the Science Ice Exercise (SCICEX) program — a US Navy Submarine Arctic Science Program that utilizes nuclear submarines to collect scientific data about the Arctic Ocean. To view the data inventory, see the SCICEX Data section of the NSIDC SCICEX Web site. The site acts as a collection point for past data acquired as part of the SCICEX program. The site also provides background information on the SCICEX program as well as links to SCICEX data, related publications and Web sites, and a link to the newly released SCICEX Phase II Science Plan Part I. NSIDC is actively looking for past SCICEX data. If you have data to contribute, please contact NSIDC SCICEX project manager, Ann Windnagel (firstname.lastname@example.org).
13 May 2010
The NOAA@NSIDC team has just added 500 glacier photographs to the NSIDC Glacier Photograph Collection that were taken from space. These photographs were taken by astronauts stationed on the International Space Station and the Space Shuttle Endeavor between 1994 and the beginning of 2010. The photos were collected in collaboration with The Gateway to Astronaut Photography of Earth project. The goal is to make these photos more widely available and discoverable. To see the new photos, go to the Glacier Photograph Collection Search & Order Interface and search for International Space Station and Space Shuttle Endeavor in the Photographer Name list.
11 May 2010
The NOAA@NSIDC team has just implemented a new feature for the Glacier Photograph Collection Search & Order Interface. Now, when you pick up your high-resolution photo orders from the FTP site, a metadata file in ASCII text format (.txt) is provided with each photograph. Previously, the metadata had to be downloaded separately from the Glacier Photograph Collection Web site. This new process alleviates that step and streamlines the glacier photo order procedure. The metadata file includes such information as glacier name, location, photographer, and a data citation. To explore this new feature, see the Glacier Photograph Collection Search & Order Interface.
20 April 2010
The NOAA@NSIDC team stewards several data sets that originated with the defense and intelligence services. These data were featured in the TakePart.com article, "Global Warming: The Military's Other Enemy." NOAA@NSIDC Program Manager, Florence Fetterer, and NSIDC Scientist, Walt Meier, were interviewed for the article and noted the importance of these data to climate research.
15 April 2010
NOAA@NISDC's Web site has been redesigned. The new site has a cleaner look and easier navigation. The site features a scrolling image slider highlighting some of NOAA@NSIDC's most popular data products. Visit the site at http://nsidc.org/noaa/index.html.
15 February 2010
A new Web page has been developed and launched highlighting the efforts of NOAA@NSIDC on the Science Ice Exercise (SCICEX) program. SCICEX is a project in which Navy nuclear submarines were utilized to acquire scientific data about the Arctic Ocean. This jump page is intended to provide a central place to find out information on SCICEX and how and where to acquire the data. For details, see the The Science Ice Exercise (SCICEX) Web page on the NOAA@NSIDC Web site.
21 January 2010
In collaboration with the University of Colorado at Boulder School of Education, NSDIC has created and released a new Google Earth movie called A Climate Change Tour of Cold Places. With a focus on snow and ice, this tour explains how snow and ice play critical roles in the changing climate. The tour is geared towards a K-12 audience with down-to-earth examples and terms that are simple to understand. Students get a closer look at what ice and snow tell us about how climate is changing especially in regions near the Earth's North and South poles. It includes interviews with NSIDC scientists, a discussion of glaciers, and an ice shelf break-up animation. The KML file is available on the NSIDC Virtual Globes Web page.
13 January 2010
NOAA@NSIDC presented several demos and a poster at the Fall 2009 AGU. NOAA@NSIDC’s presence at the meeting included demonstrations of the new Glacier Photograph Collection Search & Order Interface and of a new Tour of the Cryosphere in Google Earth for K-12 outreach. A poster (C41A-0448) titled Operational Products Archived at the National Snow and Ice Data Center highlights how the team at NSIDC works with NOAA and other operational producers of sea ice and snow analyses to widen the community of users and to make products easier for scientists to use. The poster is available from the NSIDC Presentations and Posters Web page. The Glacier Photograph collection is described in an article in the NSIDC Monthly Highlights, Glacier Photographs at NSIDC, with links to the collection interface.
13 January 2010
Short-term Cooling on a Warming Planet, the featured article for December 31, 2009 in NOAA’s Climate Watch Magazine, was authored by NSIDC’s Michon Scott. Michon interviewed David Easterling, a climate scientist at NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center, and Michael Schlesinger, a professor in the Department of Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, about declining temperatures since 1998.
On 16 November 2009, ROCS hosted a meeting of the managers of Campus Cultural Collections to discuss an emergency action plan for the special materials held in the NSIDC archives. Special guests for this meeting were representatives from Huntington T. Block, a company that provides insurance coverage for fine arts and other collections held at CU. The meeting was devoted to issues including where to find large freezers in an emergency, establishing an official emergency campus network, and formalizing the group within CU. Large freezers, an important part of disaster recovery involving water, either from a leak, a flood, or from fire prevention, are important for saving paper-based materials because it is very important to freeze the wet items within 48 hours. The freezers were located and found to be very close to NSIDC, so in case of an emergency, the materials can be moved quickly. The meeting was very successful in creating a plan of action in case of an emergency.
Every month, NSIDC features a data set or important program at NSIDC. For October, the Glacier Photograph Collection is featured. To read the full article, see the NISDC Monthly Highlights Web page.
Florence Fetterer, NOAA@NSIDC program manager, and Ann Windnagel, NOAA@NSIDC team member, attended the Science Ice Exercise (SCICEX) Science Advisory Committee meeting on October 5th and 6th in Washington, DC. SCICEX is a project that utilizes Navy nuclear-powered submarines to obtain scientific measurements of the Arctic Sea such as ice draft profiles; physical, chemical, and biological water properties; and bathymetry. Fetterer and Windnagel attended the meeting to give presentations about data management at NSIDC describing how the services NSIDC provides would benefit the SCICEX program. The goal is to acquire funding to archive and distribute SCICEX data at NSIDC.
NOAA@NSIDC has released the Canadian Ice Service Arctic Regional Sea Ice Charts in SIGRID-3 Format data set. The Canadian Ice Service (CIS) produces digital Arctic regional sea ice charts for marine navigation, climate research, and input to the Global Digital Sea Ice Data Bank (GDSIDB) on a daily basis. The ice charts are created through the manual analysis of in situ, satellite, and aerial reconnaissance data. This data set begins in 2006 and is updated approximately once a week. The regions this data set covers are the Northern and Southern Canadian Waters. The charts are distributed as vector shapefiles in SIGRID-3 format. The SIGRID-3 vector file format is a World Meteorological Organization (WMO) ice chart archive format developed by the operational ice services and NSIDC. The International Ice Charting Working Group (IICWG) and the GDSIDB promote archiving and distributing ice charts for the use of researchers. For more information or to access the data, see the Canadian Ice Service Arctic Regional Sea Ice Charts in SIGRID-3 Format Summary page.
After concluding their 10th meeting on October 16th in Geneva, Switzerland, the International Ice Charting Working Group (IICWG) issued a News Release that highlights the growing importance of operational ice services as Arctic ship traffic increases. NOAA@NSIDC hosts the IICWG Web site and works with the IICWG to develop archiving standards for operational ice charts.
In August, Dutch magazine, Change, interviewed Allaina Wallace, NSIDC Analog Archivist and Glacier Photograph Collection curator. The article focuses on the NSIDC Glacier Photograph Collection and advertises the online collection to a wider audience. Change is a Dutch magazine dedicated to making climate knowledge accessible. The full article is available, in Dutch, on the Change Web site.
A film documenting the activities that occurred on Drifting Station Alpha in the Arctic Ocean during the International Geophysical Year, 1957 to 1958, has been released. The film is narrated by project leader, Norbert Untersteiner, and chronicles the life of the team as they built their camp and set up experiments. For more information on this DVD or to order a copy, see the International Geophysical Year, 1957 – 1958: Drifting Station Alpha Catalog page.
The Glacier Photograph Collection has a new Search & Order Web interface. A complete redesign of the old interface has been implemented as well changes to the overall appearance of the Web site. The new Search & Order interface provides a more streamlined and efficient way for users to query the Glacier Photograph Collection database. Users can search for glaciers by spatial coverage and temporal range as well as by glacier name or by photographer. Users also now have the option of running multiple searches before placing an order. To access the new interface, see the Glacier Photograph Collection Web site.
In the 1990s, the Medea program began a collection of classified reconnaissance imagery of sea ice and other sites of interest to environmental scientists. Acquisition of these images has continued, with some changes and interruptions, to this day. Thousands of images are archived by the USGS Global Fiducial Library (GFL) and are now being made publicly available. Sea ice images are among the first of the classified, 1-meter resolution visible band images to be publicly released by the GFL.
NOAA@NSIDC team lead, Florence Fetterer, contributes to this project and published two related data sets with NOAA support: SHEBA Reconnaissance Imagery and Arctic Sea Ice Melt Pond Statistics and Maps, 1999, 2000, and 2001. NSIDC scientist, Walt Meier, was a contributing author of the National Research Council Report that urged releasing the images to the public.
NOAA@NSIDC is pleased to announce the release of a new data set: Recurring Spring Leads and Landfast Ice in the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas, 1993-2004. This data set contains information on recurring spring leads and landfast ice extent in the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas from 1993 to 2004. The data set uses data acquired from the NOAA Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) and the Radarsat-1 Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR). The data is provided in a number of formats including ArcGIS geodatabases and shapefiles. For more information about this data set and to obtain the data, see the Recurring Spring Leads and Landfast Ice in the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas, 1993-2004 summary page.
Information and statistics on 157 glaciers from the Huasco Catchment in Chile have been added to the World Glacier Inventory. The information was provided by The Center for Advanced Studies in Arid Zones (CEAZA) in Chile. To search for these glaciers, select CEAZA from the Data Contributor pull-down menu from the World Glacier Inventory Search Web page. More information about this update is available in the Quality Assessment and History of Updates section of the World Glacier Inventory guide document.
NSIDC has been awarded a $12,000 grant to arrange, describe, preserve, digitize, and make available the records of the World Data Center (WDC) for Glaciology at NSIDC. The NOAA Preserve America Initiative Grant (PAIG) is a popular mini-grant program "designed to stimulate efforts within NOAA to preserve, protect, and promote the agency's heritage assets." For more information about the initiative, see the NOAA and the Preserve America Initiative Web site. The grant will make it possible for the WDC for Glaciology to organize, digitize, and make available the records about the creation and history of the WDC for Glaciology and NSIDC. An online exhibit and timeline will be created to highlight this history. This web page will draw researchers to the collection to improve the visibility of the rest of the collections at NSIDC. As one of more than 40 WDCs around the world that are collecting, archiving, and distributing geophysical data, the WDC for Glaciology provides a focus for snow and ice information services. Data sets cover the subject areas of glaciers, avalanches, snow cover, polar ice masses, ice cores, sea ice, and fresh water ice. In addition, the WDC for Glaciology includes extensive library holdings. For more information, see the WDC for Glaciology, Boulder Web site.
The redesigned Sea Ice Index Web site makes it easy to see monthly and daily sea ice conditions at a glance, as well as longer term trends in ice extent and concentration from satellite passive microwave data. Images can be displayed on NASA's Blue Marble view of the Earth. The site features tools for browsing and animating data images as well as downloading extent numbers.
Images from the NSIDC Glacier Photograph Collection and Sea Ice Index have been included as layers in Google Earth 5.0. This allows users to view the state of the Arctic sea ice without having to download a separate KML file from NSIDC's Web site. To download Google Earth 5.0, visit the Download Google Earth 5.0 Web page. After downloading, click the Ocean layer from the left hand panel, then State of the Ocean, and next Arctic Sea Ice. The sea ice images and the glacier data were combined into one layer.
The AON is a collection of more than 30 projects studying Arctic ecosystems, oceans, and ice. The National Science Foundation is funding a Cooperative Arctic Data and Information Service (CADIS) for AON. NOAA@NSIDC's program manager Florence Fetterer and scientific programmer Julia Collins are working with partners at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) to develop CADIS. See the poster that describes the work being done.
This documentary describes a pilot study conducted in 1972 in preparation for the Arctic Ice Dynamics Joint Experiment's (AIDJEX) main experiment from 1975 to 1976. The study includes a main camp on drifting sea ice in the Beaufort Sea north of Alaska along with two satellite camps forming a station triangle with a 100 km side length. Please contact NSIDC User Services to obtain a copy of this DVD.
Lisa Ballagh, NOAA at NSIDC project manager, gave a talk at AGU titled "Mapping Glacier Data and Photographs via GeoServer and Virtual Globes." The talk was in the IN02 "Virtual Globes at AGU" session at 2:25 p.m. on Thursday, December 18, MC 3014. We welcome feedback on our NOAA-related products and Web pages.
The online NSIDC Glacier Photograph Collection has doubled in size since January 2008, with more than 10,000 high-resolution photographs of glaciers worldwide.
U.S.-Russia Environmental Data Exchange Workshop
NOAA Liaison Florence Fetterer and WDC for Glaciology, Boulder, Director Roger Barry took part in the U.S.-Russia environmental data exchange workshop under the NOAA-Rosydromet MoU, held at the All Russian Institute for Hydrometeorological Information (RIHMI) in Obninsk, Russia. Highlights included demonstration of an impressive online system for handling Russian IPY expedition data by the WDC for Oceanography in Obninsk, and plans for updating and exchanging complementary snow station data and satellite derived snow data. NCDC’s Karsten Shein led the U.S. group. Dale Kaiser, with the Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center, and Steve Worley, head of NCAR's Data Support Section, took part as well.
World Glacier Inventory Workshop
Bruce Raup and Roger Barry of NSIDC attended a Workshop on the World Glacier Inventory, organized by the International Glaciological Society in Lanzhou, China, Sep 21-24. Bruce Raup presented papers on the status Global Land Ice Measurement from Space (GLIMS) project at NSIDC that now holds about 82,000 glacier outlines. The meeting established an ad hoc committee chaired by Roger Barry to develop guidelines for the timely completion of the World Glacier Inventory (WGI), begun in 1978, which now contains nearly two thirds of the estimated 160,000 glaciers in the world.
Summary of the Scientific Applications with Google Earth Conference
Lisa Ballagh, from NSIDC, and John Bailey, from the Alaska Supercomputing Facility, co-led the Climate Change working group session at the Summary of the Scientific Applications with Google Earth Conference, Ann Arbor, MI, Oct 22-23. Some interesting results from the Climate Change working group include: many people find it difficult to find KML files, there was a discussion about publishing research versus publishing data versus publishing KML files, several people wanted a more passive view of KML files. For example, they are looking for a tour in Google Earth with voice over that explains the file in more detail, and one person mentioned social networking and how it would be ideal to link to related KML files from within a KML file.
For information on speakers and working group sessions, review the Conference Web site.
This data set includes pond coverage and size statistics from 1 meter visible band imagery. Surface type maps with either two (water and ice) or three (pond, open water, and ice) classes were created using supervised maximum likelihood classification. The satellite imagery was acquired over four Arctic Ocean sites, three in 1999.
This report from the American Meteorological Society is now available. Chapter 5, The Poles, summarizes the the 2007 climate of Antarctica and the Arctic relative to years past. This report is translated into other languages and distributed to all 187 World Meteorological Organization member nations. The State of the Climate Report seeks to report on as many of the essential climate variables as possible as identified by GCOS Second Adequacy Report.
September 23, 2008
Michael Zemp from the World Glacier Monitoring Service Visits NSIDC
Michael Zemp, a Research Associate at the World Glacier Monitoring Service in Zurich, visited NSIDC for two months over the summer.One of the primary goals of his visit was to initiate work on the Global Terrestrial Network for Glaciers (GTN-G). He met frequently with several at NSIDC, including Richard Armstrong and Bruce Raup (representatives from NSIDC/GLIMS) and Lisa Ballagh (representative for NOAA at NSIDC/World Glacier Inventory and Glacier Photograph Collection) to discuss ways to integrate the glacier data sets from various operational data sources into a single one-stop site. The outcome of Michael's visit is a short-term and long-term plan to achieve the main objective by unifying the databases in the short-term and integrating the data sources into a new GTN-G Web site as the long-term goal.
July 3, 2008
Russian Arctic Sea Ice, 1933-2006
The Sea Ice Edge Location and Extent in the Russian Arctic, 1933-2006 data set is now available. The data are derived from sea ice charts from the Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute (AARI), St. Petersburg, Russia. The data set consists of edge locations and monthly and seasonal mean sea ice extents for each of the marginal seas in the Russian Arctic. The Sea Ice Index is the basis of a new module in Windows to the Universe.
World Glacier Monitoring Service Visitor
Michael Zemp, from the World Glacier Monitoring Service in Zurich, Switzerland, is visiting NSIDC for three months. Michael will help us improve the quality of the records in the World Glacier Inventory.
Daily Plots of Sea Ice Extent Now Available
Daily plots of sea ice extent are now available from the Sea Ice Index Web site.
New Temperature and Precipitation Data Set from Central Asia
The Central Asia Temperature and Precipitation Data, 1879-2003 data set is now available. This data set expands the NOAA Global Historical Climate Network (GHCN) of quality controlled meteorological records. Records are from 298 stations in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan. Data were subjected to rigorous quality control and homogeneity assessment procedures, consistent with those used for the GHCN.
Special Glacier Photograph Collection from the IGY
Over 1,300 glacier photographs taken between 1957 and 1959 as part of the International Geophysical Year (IGY) are now available from NSIDC. This special collection, the DAHLI IGY Glacier Photographs, is part of the Glacier Photograph Collection.
January through March 2008
Updates to the Glacier Photograph Collection
The National Park Service Glacier Survey reports covering the years 1932-1952, and 79 glacier photos from Peru taken in the 1950s by Fred D. Ayres were added to the Glacier Photograph Collection.
17 January 2008
New Teacher Resource
The Sea Ice Index is the basis of a new module in Windows to the Universe.
17 December 2007
Analog Archives awarded NEH grant
Great news! The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) has awarded the Analog Archives collection a Preservation Assistance Grant for Smaller Institutions. This award will fund a contract with a preservation consultant to conduct a general preservation assessment of the collections. Below is the summary of the activities:
The Preservation Assistance Grant for Smaller Institutions will provide funding for the National Snow and Ice Data Center/World Data Center for Glaciology (NSIDC/WDC) to contract with a consultant (Randy Silverman, Preservation Librarian, University of Utah), who will conduct a general preservation assessment of the collections of NSIDC’s archives. These collections are located in several office spaces, some shared, within the center. NSIDC is requesting assistance to determine the overall condition of the collection and establish a plan to create a more cohesive, accessible, and well-preserved collection. The assessment will include recommendations regarding proper housing for the materials, furniture requirements, security, and environmental controls within the archives, and archives policy creation. The consultant will provide the NSIDC archivist with a written report detailing his findings, recommendations that will form the basis of future preservation implementation efforts at NSIDC.
Modified version of NOAA@NSIDC GeoRSS feed in GEOportal
GEOportal permits users to benefit from the GEOSS by accessing a variety of Earth Observation data, information and services via a single portal. To read the NOAA@NSIDC entries, click on the sun icons near the Arctic.
More than 34,000 glaciers in China added to the World Glacier Inventory
For more information, please see the Quality Assessment and History of Updates section of the data set documentation. To access the new data from this update, proceed to the World Glacier Inventory search page and select "CAREERI, Lanzhou, China. Che/Wu" from the Data Contributor pull-down menu.
12 November 2007
These newly-published data, from the Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute in St. Petersburg, Russia, are an important new data source for those studying the role of sea ice in climate change.
Sea Ice Index graphics and numbers figured prominently in coverage of this year's record sea ice extent minimum. The Index Web site had more than 135,000 hits from more than 9000 distinct users in the month of September alone.
AIDJEX was a pioneering experiment that in the mid 1970s provided answers to emerging questions about how sea ice moves and changes in response to the influence of ocean and atmosphere. See the new AIDJEX page for links to a photo gallery, related material, and to a new retrospective on the experiment by Norbert Untersteiner, AIDJEX Project Director, 1971-1977.
Today's update to the online collection includes 50 photographs taken between 1890 and 1996. Represented in this batch are Colorado glacier photographs taken by Junius Henderson, Oscar A. Randolph, Rudolph Johnson, and Russell Allen. The glaciers are Andrews, Arapaho, Fair, Isabel, Mills, Saint Vrain and Taylor. Other photos include a series of Franz Josef Glacier (1951-1964), and Harry Fielding Reid images of John Muir's cabin taken in 1890.
Browse Sea Ice Climatologies More Easily
National Ice Center Arctic Sea Ice Charts and Climatologies in Gridded Format can now be easily browsed. Using a using a Web Image Spreadsheet Tool (WIST), one can quickly compare (visually) different time periods and products. Click on Browse Images at the top of the product site to see how it works. Use the drop down menus to change the number of rows and columns, and the chart products and time period being displayed.
Sea Ice Index Site Redesigned, GIS Files Available
The Sea Ice Index pages have been redesigned so that graphs and images are easier to find. Thumbnails now take users to the Web Image Spreadsheet Tool (WIST), where one can quickly compare images from different time periods. GIS compatible files (shapefiles) of monthly ice coverage are now available as well.
Sea Ice Added to Science on a Sphere
Sea ice animations are now available in the data set catalog of NOAA's Science On a Sphere. Animations of sea ice concentration show the annual cycle and give some idea of its variability, while a series of September monthly means from 1987 on highlights the change in the annual Arctic minimum sea ice extent through time.
Updated Glacier Photograph Collection
NSIDC is pleased to announce updates to the Glacier Photograph Collection. More than 1,200 photographs of Greenland glaciers have been digitized from slides and are available online for viewing and downloading. The Greenland photograph collection was donated to the World Data Center for Glaciology, Boulder in the mid 1980s by Captain Ron Kollmeyer of the U.S. Coast Guard. Captain Kollmeyer was the lead for the Greenland Glacier Survey. The photographs of western Greenland glaciers were taken between 1969 and 1980, from ground observation stations and from U.S. Coast Guard helicopters at an altitude between 100 and 1,000 feet. To access the new data from this update, proceed to http://nsidc.org/data/glacier_photo/photo_query.html and select "Country" from the available search options. On the next screen choose "Greenland (DK)" from the Country pull-down menu.
Updated World Glacier Inventory
The World Glacier Inventory has recently been updated. Over 1,600 glaciers from the former Soviet Union were added and errors with 368 glacier IDs were identified and corrected. For more information, please see the "Quality Assessment and History of Updates" section in the data set "Documentation" for further details about these updates. To access the new data from this update, proceed to the World Glacier Inventory search page, and select "Institute of Geography, Russian Academy of Science. Chernova" from the Data Contributor pull-down menu.
30 June 2007
Ice edge positions come from ship logbooks, diaries, and other sources, in addition to more recent satellite data products. Data are available as ASCII text, browse images, and as shapefiles (GIS format). This long record sheds light on ice edge variability through regional shifts in climate.
26 June 2007
More Cryospheric Data and Google Earth
NSIDC's latest KML file is included in the Google Earth Outreach Environment and Science Showcase. It includes a Sea Ice Index animation, Repeat Photography of Glaciers, and an Antarctic ice shelf break-up animation.
6 June 2007
New GeoRSS feed
Keep up with new data releases using the NOAA@NSIDC team's GeoRSS feed. Project manager Lisa Ballagh gave a talk on "Communicating Scientific Buzz with GeoRSS" at the Fifth International Symposium on Digital Earth, San Francisco, 5-9 June.
3-6 June 2007
Analog Archives Featured at SLA Conference
The Special Libraries Association conference in Denver had a session on "Resources for the International Polar Year" at which Ruth Duerr spoke on Discovery and Access of Historic Literature from the IPYs (DAHLI). Duerr and NSIDC archivist and librarian Allaina Howard lead the project, which is partially supported by the NOAA Climate Database Modernization Program. Howard presented a paper on Tracking Climate Change in the 21st Century: Supporting Research with Historic Photographs and Google Earth. Former Vice President Al Gore opened the conference, highlighting importance of special libraries.
22 April 2007
Good Days on the Trail, 1938-1942: Film Footage of the Rocky Mountains, Colorado
Good Days on the Trail was shown as part of the University of Colorado International Film Series. The film, with color footage of CU students on alpine hikes, provides a glimpse into the mountaineering lifestyle of an earlier time, along with shots of Arapaho Glacier and other Front Range glaciers. Scientists from NSIDC and the CU Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research narrated. The film is being preserved and digitized with support from the NOAA National Geophysical Data Center and the Climate Database Modernization Program.
16 March 2007
Sea Ice Index in Science Magazine
The Sea Ice Index viewed using Google Earth illustrated "Perspectives on the Arctic's Shrinking Sea-Ice Cover": a review article in Vol. 315 of Science. The data product had more than 47,000 distinct users in 2006 (summed monthly) and currently averages over 6000 users each month.
NOAA@NSIDC Team Member Receives CIRES Outstanding Service Award
The Glacier Photograph Collection is an exceedingly popular part of our data portfolio. Allaina Howard's role in developing this and other analog collections was recognized by NSIDC's parent organization, CIRES.
Cooperative Arctic Data and Information Service Funded
CADIS is one of several proposals to support IPY data management. It is focused on the Arctic Observing Network and Study of Environmental Arctic Change science programs and funded by NSF. The project is a joint effort of the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research, the National Center for Atmospheric Research, and NSIDC. NOAA@NSIDC's Florence Fetterer is the NSIDC lead.
More People Tracking Sea Ice
Sea Ice Index usage statistics saw the largest jump ever in January. Previously, the record number of hits was in October 2006 (following a seasonal pattern of most hits in September or October) at 54,613. January 2007 had 62,966, 15% more. But more significantly, the number of unique users increased by 102%, from 6,562 in December 2006 (pervious record) to 13,317 in January 2007.
American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting
Look for posters on Submarine Upward Looking Sonar Ice Draft Profile Data and Statistics (Wensnahan et al.); National Ice Center Sea Ice Charts and Climatologies in Gridded Format (Fetterer et al. presented by L. Ballagh; Meier et al.; and Stern et al.); and cryospheric data in Google Earth (Ballagh et al.).
Operational Ice Chart Data for Research Are Released
The National Ice Center Sea Ice Charts and Climatologies in Gridded Format cover 1972-2004 with weekly or biweekly charts and climatologies in 25 km EASE-Grid. Documentation on NIC charting procedures is included.
Cryospheric Data and Google Earth
At the upcoming Fall AGU conference in San Francisco, Lisa Ballagh will present
Glaciers and Sea Ice via Google Earth in the ED-21 session, featuring
images from the Sea Ice Index. The Glacier
Photograph Collection may be viewed using Google Earth as well. The
Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society (BAMS), Vol. 87, Num.
8 (August 2006) published a brief summary of the NSIDC Google Earth project
in their "On the Web" section. See NSIDC
Data on Google Earth for more information.
Sixteen cruises were added to this NOAA at NSIDC data set, markedly increasing the spatial and temporal coverage of these data that are used for sea ice thickness estimates.
Precipitation measurements from 216 Russian arctic stations fill gaps in the historical precipitation record that are needed for applications including reanalysis validation, and study of changing climate. Documentation includes a section describing the relationship, in terms of stations included, between this data set and other commonly used precipitation data sets.
These show changes in sea ice, greenness, snow off day, and soil temperature graphically and provide spatial and temporal context for changes. We hope to make improvements and additions to the Indicators over the coming year. The Indicators were introduced in a talk by F. Fetterer at the International Glaciology Society meeting in Cambridge, UK.
The International Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium
IGARSS is a conference that attracts experts on Earth observations and algorithm development. Its location in Denver this year was a good opportunity for F. Fetterer to present a poster on "A Passive Microwave Derived Snow Melt Onset Product for the Arctic North of Treeline" with co-authors M. Savoie and B. Raup, work done for the Cryospheric Indicators product.
Glacier Pairs in the Glacier Photograph Collection
Glaciers hold a fascination that goes beyond their scientific interest. The new Special Collection of glacier pair photographs matches photos of glaciers taken as early as the 1890s with recent photos of the same Alaska glaciers. The dramatic changes draw attention: Photos from the collection appeared in Science magazine, and in news outlets including the New York Times.
Cryosphere data sets in Google Earth
Project Manager Lisa Ballagh presented a talk at the 6th Annual International Arctic Workshop, held at the Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research, Boulder, Colorado. The talk showcased snow and ice images in Google Earth. See Ballagh's presentation, NSIDC Showcases the State of the Cryosphere via Google Earth, and see State of the Cryosphere to access the KMZ file.
William H. Dehn was one of the first ice observers for the U.S. Navy, flying in the 1950s on ice reconnaissance flights. NSIDC houses a collection compiled by Dehn of 6,896 paper ice charts of Alaska, the western Canadian Arctic and Bering Sea waters. These charts have been scanned through the NOAA Climate Database Modernization Program and many are now available online. Many charts predate satellite observations and the regular ice charting activities of the U.S. National Ice Center, and are believed to contain information on location and extent of sea ice cover that is not available elsewhere.