Data: Introduction

NSIDC distributes information that we call data products. Our data products provide measurements and information about a range of topics. Several of our data products show the amount of sea ice in the Arctic and Antarctic over the last few decades. Most of these data products are based on satellite data that cover a large area at once. We also provide historic observations of sea ice from ships, maps, and ocean buoys. These types of data cover smaller regions than satellite data. We are a NASA archive for data related to ice extent, concentration, temperature, motion, thickness, and dates of snow melt onset over sea ice.

Operation IceBridge airplane

The Operation IceBridge mission, initiated in 2009, collects airborne remote sensing measurements to bridge the gap between NASA's Ice, Cloud and Land Elevation Satellite (ICESat-I) mission and the upcoming ICESat-II mission. This photo was taken over the Patagonian ice fields, on November 23, 2009.
Photo courtesy Michael Studinger/NASA