Cryospheric Data

Ice floesPSR/C imagery of ice floes within Baffin Bay on 7 July 2000. Open water areas are distinguished by cold brightness temperatures. Image courtesy of the NOAA Environmental Technology Laboratory.

The AMSR-E cryospheric data validation program includes snow and sea ice campaigns to validate AMSR-E measurements of the following parameters: sea ice concentration, sea ice temperature, snow depth, brightness temperatures, and snow water equivalent. A summary of each campaign is provided below, along with links to each campaign page describing the experiments and providing access to the data.


The NASA Cold Land Processes Field Experiment (CLPX) was conducted in the central Rocky Mountains of the western United States and employed a multi-sensor, multi-scale approach to augment our understanding of water and energy flux, storage, and transformation.


Meltpond2000, a sea ice validation campaign for AMSR-E, focused on differentiating melting arctic ice from surface pack ice, as well as between melt ponds and open sea water, using airborne passive microwave sensors in order to assess the accuracy of AMSR-E’s spaceborne measurements.


AMSRIce03 was an additional sea ice campaign with the objective to validate and improve existing sea ice algorithms for the AMSR-E instrument. Both ground and aircraft measurements were taken in the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas of the Arctic Ocean, and in Elson Lagoon off the northern coast of Alaska, USA.

West Antarctic Sea Ice

The West Antarctic Sea Ice Campaign includes ship- and aircraft-based passive microwave measurements of sea ice concentration. Researchers obtained brightness temperatures at various microwave frequencies from Punta Arenas, Chile to the Bellinghausen and Weddell Seas.

East Antarctic Sea Ice

Still another project dedicated to AMSR-E sea ice validation is the East Antarctic Sea Ice Campaign which incorporated the use of aerial cameras and thermal infrared radiometers in the assessment of sea ice concentration. The experiment was also designed to inform modeling and sensitivity studies.

Related Data Sets

Canadian Meteorological Centre (CMC) Daily Snow Depth Analysis Data

See Also

AMSR-E Project at NSIDC
Includes AMSR-E data, tools, FAQs, news, published research and more

NSIDC's State of the Cryosphere
An overview of the status of snow, ice, and permafrost as indicators of climate change.

Related Resources

NOAA's PSR Instrument Description
Information on the Polarimetric Scanning Radiometer (PSR)

NOAA's Earth System Research Laboratory (ESRL)
Find similar information and data at NOAA, a collaborator of NSIDC.