Data Set ID: 

Gridded Monthly Sea Ice Extent and Concentration, 1850 Onward, Version 1

Observations from historical sources are the basis of this monthly gridded sea ice concentration product that begins in 1850. In 1979, these sources give way to a single source: concentration from satellite passive microwave data. The historical observations come in many forms: ship observations, compilations by naval oceanographers, analyses by national ice services, and others. Monthly sea ice concentration is given in a 1/4 degree latitude by 1/4 degree longitude grid. In addition to the concentration array, for each month a corresponding source array indicates where each of 16 possible sources is used. The file of concentration and source arrays conforms to NetCDF-4 standards.

There is a more recent version of these data.

Version Summary: 

Initial data release.

  • Sea Ice > Sea Ice Concentration > SEA ICE CONCENTRATION
Data Format(s):
  • NetCDF
Spatial Coverage:
N: 89.9, 
S: 30.1, 
E: 180, 
W: -180
Platform(s):DMSP, SHIPS
Spatial Resolution:
  • 1/4 degree x 1/4 degree
Temporal Coverage:
  • 1 January 1850 to 31 December 2013
Temporal Resolution1 monthMetadata XML:View Metadata Record
Data Contributor(s):John Walsh, William Chapman, Florence Fetterer

Geographic Coverage

No access options.

As a condition of using these data, you must cite the use of this data set using the following citation. For more information, see our Use and Copyright Web page.

Walsh, J. E., W. L. Chapman, and F. Fetterer. 2015. Gridded Monthly Sea Ice Extent and Concentration, 1850 Onward, Version 1. [Indicate subset used]. Boulder, Colorado USA. NSIDC: National Snow and Ice Data Center. doi: [Date Accessed].
A user guide is not available for this data set.
No technical references available for this data set.

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