Data Announcements

19 July 2016

Until now, climate diagnostic applications, reanalyses, and atmospheric modeling studies that needed a lower boundary layer did not have an arctic-wide gridded ice concentration data set to use based on observations and one that extends back as far as the mid-nineteenth century. Gridded Monthly Sea Ice Extent and Concentration, 1850 Onwards addresses this need by improving and extending the Arctic and Southern Ocean Sea Ice Concentraions product. It does this by adding newly available historical sources and by using the NOAA/NSIDC Climate Data Record of Passive Microwave Sea Ice Concentration for the satellite era.

The Gridded Monthly Sea Ice Extent and Concentration, 1850 Onwards [link] product uses the following data sources:

  • North Atlantic ice edge positions covering 1850 through 1978... more
6 July 2016

NOAA@NSIDC is pleased to announce the release of Sea Ice Index Version 2. Improvements include using the most recently available version of the Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) input sea ice concentration data and revising three computations in the Sea Ice Index processing code. The new GSFC data have undergone additional manual quality control procedures at the GSFC that go farther to remove spurious ice. The GSFC data are available as their own data set from the NSIDC DAAC as Sea Ice Concentrations from Nimbus-7 SMMR and DMSP SSM/I-SSMIS Passive Microwave Data. The other three updates adjust calculations present in the old Sea Ice Index processing code that were in need of improvement. Because of these updates, minor changes in some of the ice extent and area numbers can be seen with the average change in the trends over all 12 months being on the order of 0.05 percent/decade (approximately 500 sq. km/year). For a complete... more

28 June 2016

An improved version of the Sea Ice Index is coming.  On Wednesday, 6 July 2016, Sea Ice Index Version 2 will be released. It will look and act the same as Version 1, but will have updated processing code and will use a new version of the input data. Because of these updates, minor changes in some of the ice extent and area numbers will be seen. These will be clearly described in the documentation, which will also be updated on 6 July.

We are alerting users to this impending update because file names will change. Any scripts that automatically download Sea Ice Index data each day will need to be updated to reflect this file name change. The new file names will have an “_v2” appended to the end of the file name such as N_04_area_v2.txt and N_04_plot_v2.png.

Further, NOAA@NSIDC has received support from the NOAA Big Earth Data Initiative (BEDI) program to create web services built around the Sea Ice Index. This will provide a simple HTTP interface for requesting geo-... more

14 June 2016

On 05 April 2016, the vertically polarized 37 GHz (37V) channel of the SSMIS instrument on the DMSP-F17 satellite began yielding compromised brightness temperature data. This channel is one of those used to estimate sea ice concentration shown in the Sea Ice Index, so data processing was temporarily suspended.

NOAA@NSIDC is pleased to announce that, today, Sea Ice Index processing has resumed and the time series now uses the SSMIS instrument on the DMSP-F18 satellite beginning 01 April 2016. These sea ice concentration values come from the NSIDC Near-Real-Time DMSP SSMIS Daily Polar Gridded Sea Ice Concentrations product. Prior to transitioning this near-real-time data set to the F18 SSMIS instrument, NSIDC investigated whether or not algorithm parameters would need to be calibrated to minimize the difference between sea ice extents derived from F17 and F18.

Because each sensor and spacecraft orbit is slightly different,... more

3 May 2016

The Sea Ice Index is typically updated every day to display yesterday’s ice extent for both hemispheres. The Index relies on data that come from the DMSP F17 satellite. However, these data have not been reliable since early April; so the NOAA@NSIDC team has not been able to update the Sea Ice Index since 31 March 2016.

Sea Ice Index processing uses an NSIDC NASA DAAC product, Near-Real-Time DMSP SSMIS Daily Polar Gridded Sea Ice Concentrations (NSIDC-0081), as input. The NSIDC DAAC has started the work needed to move to a new source for NSIDC-0081. This involves retrieving F18 and F16 satellite brightness temperatures from our data providers and then implementing parallel processing for ice concentration to determine which satellite will be best suited to continue the time series. The satellite selected will be the primary replacement for F17, but should that satellite fail, we will be able to switch to the other one without a... more

15 February 2016

NOAA@NSIDC is pleased to announce that the International Ice Patrol (IIP) has updated their Iceberg Sightings Database through the 2015 iceberg season. The IIP has been collecting information on iceberg activity in the North Atlantic since 1911, and this database contains data from these sightings starting in 1960. The IIP data files include latitude and longitude of sighted icebergs, coded iceberg size and shape class, and date and time of the sighting. For more information on this data set and to access the data, please visit the International Ice Patrol Iceberg Sightings Database web page.

Data Set DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7265/N56Q1V5R

4 February 2016

Fifty years ago today, the first satellite in the NOAA Environmental Science Services Administration (ESSA) series of satellites, ESSA-1, acquired its first image. The image was of Antarctica. Now, NSIDC’s Garrett Campbell and David Gallaher are attempting to organize the rescue of data from the satellite. They hope to use the recovered imagery to locate the position of the southern hemisphere’s sea ice edge, as was possible after rescuing infrared imagery from the early NASA NIMBUS series.

It won’t be easy to rescue the ESSA-1 data. According to the book Satellite Remote Sensing of the Polar Regions: Application, Limitations, and Data Availability, limitations of the imagery include “coarse ground resolution obscured by cloud and fog. Inoperative in darkness. Often difficult to distinguish ice from cloud. Imagery from the early meteorological satellites was not coupled to detailed... more

11 January 2016

Arctic Matters Day is a free public program that will be held 14 January 2016 at the National Academy of Sciences building in Washington, DC. It will provide an overview of the dramatic environmental changes affecting the Arctic region and the ways that these changes can potentially affect the entire planet. If you are in the Washington D.C. area, consider attending the free public program, Arctic Matters Day. Through exhibits and talks, the program will “explore how many facets of our lives (for instance, our coastlines, our weather, our fish supplies, and our security) are tied to what is happening in that ‘isolated’ part of the world.”

Two NOAA@NSIDC data sets, the Sea Ice Index and the Multisensor Analyzed Sea... more

8 January 2016

The Glacier Photograph Collection, managed by NOAA@NSIDC, will get a big boost in 2016 from a Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) grant. The Glacier Photograph Collection includes over 15,000 digital images available online, as well as an analog collection of photographic prints of glaciers from around the world beginning in the mid-1850s. This grant begins a collaboration between NSIDC and the Digital Library at the University of Colorado at Boulder (CU). The grant will allow for a dedicated archivist and graduate assistants to digitize, describe, and publish the approximately 9,000 remaining photographic prints that have not yet been scanned, described, and entered into the searchable online catalog.

The online portion of the collection now consists of both a relatively small collection of born-digital photos and a large... more

9 December 2015

NOAA@NSIDC is pleased to announce that we have updated the Google Earth file for the annual minimum Arctic sea ice extent for 2015. The September 2015 minimum KMZ file has been updated to show the 2015 September Arctic sea ice minimum. To view these, and other, Google Earth files, visit the NSIDC Data on Google Earth web page.

23 November 2015

The 4 km Daily Sea Ice Concentration Product, MASAM2, has had all data gaps filled. It is a now a continuous, daily time series from 02 July 2012 to the present. MASAM2 is updated daily with a 2-day lag time. For more information or to access this data set, see the MASAM2: Daily 4 km Arctic Sea Ice Concentration product page.

Data Set DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7265/N5ZS2TFT

3 November 2015

NOAA@NSIDC is pleased to announce that the online search interface for the Dehn Arctic Sea Ice Charts database has been updated. Improvements include the ability to define your search by region and time period at the same time, the search results now list how many images were returned, and a “Select/Deselect All” button has been added to the ordering page for ease in selecting images. For more information about the product, see the Dehn Collection of Arctic Sea Ice Charts, 1953-1986 documentation page.

Data Set DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7265/N5F769GD

1 October 2015

NOAA@NSIDC is pleased to announce the release of a 1 km gridded MASIE sea ice product in addition to the 4 km version. The Multisensor Analyzed Sea Ice Extent (MASIE) helps to give the best available Arctic-wide answer to the question: Where is Arctic sea ice now? MASIE products provide measurements of daily sea ice coverage for the Northern Hemisphere and 16 Arctic regions in a polar stereographic projection in 4 km grid cells and now in 1 km grid cells as well. In addition, a full Northern Hemisphere time series graph has been added to the MASIE Time Series Plots Web page. MASIE repackages the National Ice Center’s IMS product. The IMS product is archived with and distributed by NOAA@NSIDC, in cooperation with NIC. For more information and to access the new data, visit the MASIE Web site.

Data Set Doi: http://dx.doi.... more

10 September 2015

NOAA@NSIDC is pleased to announce that the NOAA/NSIDC Climate Data Record of Passive Microwave Sea Ice Concentration, Version 2 data set is now available through 2014. This data set provides a Climate Data Record (CDR) of sea ice concentration from passive microwave data. It provides a consistent, daily and monthly time series of sea ice concentrations from 09 July 1987 through through 2014 for both the north and south polar regions on a 25 km x 25 km grid.

Data Set DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7265/N55M63M1

3 September 2015

A CU Boulder CIRES press release, Better Daily Sea Ice Forecasts for the Arctic Following CU-Boulder-led Innovation, was occasioned by the publication of a paper by Posey et al. titled Improving Arctic Sea Ice Edge Forecasts by Assimilating High Horizontal Resolution Sea Ice Concentration Data into the US Navy’s Ice Forecast Systems (2015). The press release highlights improvements brought about by blending a product based on National Ice Center analysts interpretation of sea ice extent with passive microwave AMSR2 sea ice concentration data. The blending technique is the same one that is used for the NOAA@NSIDC MASAM2: Daily 4 km Arctic Sea Ice Concentration product.

31 August 2015

NOAA@NSIDC is pleased to announce that the Submarine Upward Looking Sonar Ice Draft Profile Data and Statistics data set has been updated with historical data from 1960, 1969, and 1970. This data set consists of upward looking sonar draft data collected by submarines in the Arctic Ocean. It includes data from both U.S. Navy and Royal Navy submarine. These pre-satellite-era data are a significant and important addition to the slim record of sea ice thickness that researchers have to work with for this time period.

Data Set DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7265/N54Q7RWK

31 July 2015

NOAA@NSIDC is pleased to announce some enhancements to the Glacier Photograph Collection Search & Order interface. Enhancements include making it easier and more apparent how to add photos to an order and how to place an order. In addition, the metadata fields were fine-tuned and improved to increase the discoverability of the photos. Other minor changes were made to provide streamlining and consistency to the interface.

Data Set DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7265/N5/NSIDC-GPC-2009-12

30 June 2015

The Science Ice Exercise (SCICEX) Program, that uses U. S. Navy submarines to collect data about the Arctic Ocean, has been highlighted in two articles in the Spring 2015 issue of Witness the Arctic published by the Arctic Research Consortium of the United States (ARCUS). The first article, Teaching an Old Submarine Data Collection Program New Tricks, provides a high level description of the project and the data available including Arctic Ocean bathymetry, hydrography, and sea ice draft. The second article located below the first one, A Labor of Love Brings Together Civilian Scientists and the U.S. Navy, provides a history of how and why the SCICEX program came into being. For more information on this program, see the SCICEX Web site.

2 June 2015

NOAA@NSIDC is pleased to announce that the MASIE daily 4 km sea ice extent product has resumed and all gaps in the data from the November 2014 to April 2015 outage have been back filled. In addition, all sea ice extent values for the entire time series have been made available via one comma separated value file: masie_allyears_extent_sqkm.csv. There is one value per day for the entire Arctic, as well as one for each of the 16 MASIE regions.  NOAA@NSIDC publishes this popular product in collaboration with the U.S. National Ice Center in Suitland, Maryland.  For complete information, visit the MASIE Web site.

Data Set DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7265/N5GT5K3K

28 May 2015

NOAA@NSIDC is pleased to announce that the Google Earth files for the minimum and maximum annual sea ice extents have been updated. The September 2014 minimum KMZ file has been updated to use final instead of near-real-time data, and the March 2015 maximum KMZ file has been added to the time series. To view these, and other, Google Earth files, visit the NSIDC Data on Google Earth web page.