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Movies of Arctic sea ice concentration and motion

Arctic sea ice concentration


Monthly Sea Ice Concentration in the Arctic as processed by the OSI SAF EUMETSAT. Time series show the seasonal cycle of freeze and melt over 30 years of satellite record (1978-2009). See text below for more details.

Sea ice is present year round in the Arctic Ocean and its peripheral seas. It covers most area in March and least at the end of summer, in September. Satellites have monitored sea ice coverage continuously since the late 1970s, and the decline of arctic sea ice extent is one of the main indicator of climate change over the last decades. Climate projections estimate the Arctic Ocean to be ice-free during summer by 2100. The animation shows maps of monthly averaged sea ice concentration over the Arctic Ocean and peripheral seas. The maps show ice-free areas in deep blue color, slush with light blue and fully iced areas are white.

Satellite observations are from the Special Sensor Microwave/ Imager (SSM/I) instrument, originally acquired by NASA. Daily sea ice concentration maps are processed by the EUMETSAT Ocean and Sea Ice Satellite Application Facility, (http://osisaf.met.no), as a collaboration between the Norwegian and Danish Meteorological Institutes.

Additional Credits:

  • Monthly maps: ESA CryoClim project
  • Color image of Earth: NOAA/NESDIS/NGDC (ETOPO-1)
  • The flip through book is designed by the Center for Ocean and Ice at the Norwegian Meteorological Institute (http://met.no) and Jorunn Sjølli (http://designwoman.no)
  • Python Powered

Where to access more:

  • Get latest sea ice concentration map here;
  • Look at the latest sea ice extent graph here;
  • Browse through historical daily sea ice concentration maps here;
  • Learn more about the algorithms and grab the data here;
  • Have more questions? Contact us.

Arctic sea ice motion


Daily images of Arctic sea ice during Winter 2003-2004 as recorded by the AMSR-E instrument on board the NASA Aqua satellite. This animation shows how sea ice can move from day-to-day. See text below for more details.

Winds and oceanic currents can move sea-ice several tens of kilometers every day. This motion is responsible for the export of polar sea-ice to lower latitudes where it eventually melts. Sea ice dynamic also creates fractures and overlaps in the ice pack, that influence the exchange of energy between the ocean and atmosphere.
The maps in this animation show daily satellite images of the ice, taken by the Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer (AMSR-E) instrument of NASA. On the maps, dark shades mostly correspond to old sea ice and lighter shades to more newly formed ice.

Satellite observations are from the 37 GHz H-pol channel of the AMSR-E instrument, originally acquired by NASA. Daily sea ice drift maps (not shown) are processed by the EUMETSAT Ocean and Sea Ice Satellite Application Facility, OSI SAF (http://osisaf.met.no), as a collaboration between the Norwegian and Danish Meteorological Institutes.

Additional credits:

  • Color image of Earth: NOAA/NESDIS/NGDC (ETOPO-1)
  • The flip through book is designed by the Center for Ocean and Ice at the Norwegian Meteorological Institute (http://met.no) and Jorunn Sjølli (http://designwoman.no)
  • Python Powered

   
       
     

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