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4DANTARCTICA Ice sheets are a key component of the Earth system, impacting on global sea level, ocean circulation and bio-geochemical processes. Significant quantities of liquid water are being produced and transported at the ice sheet surface, base, and [...]UNIVERSITY OF EDINBURGH (GB)Sciencecryosphere, polar science cluster, scienceIce sheets are a key component of the Earth system, impacting on global sea level, ocean circulation and bio-geochemical processes. Significant quantities of liquid water are being produced and transported at the ice sheet surface, base, and beneath its floating sections, and this water is in turn interacting with the ice sheet itself. Surface meltwater drives ice sheet mass imbalance; for example enhanced melt accounts for 60% of ice loss from Greenland, and while in Antarctica the impacts of meltwater are proportionally much lower, its volume is largely unknown and projected to rise. The presence of surface melt water is also a trigger for ice shelf calving and collapse, for example at the Antarctic Peninsula where rising air and ocean temperatures have preceded numerous major collapse events in recent decades. Meltwater is generated at the ice sheet base primarily by geothermal heating and friction associated with ice flow, and this feeds a vast network of lakes and rivers creating a unique bio-chemical environment. The presence of melt water between the ice sheet and bedrock also impacts on the flow of ice into the sea leading to regions of fast-flowing ice. Meltwater draining out of the subglacial system at the grounding line generates buoyant plumes that bring warm ocean bottom water into contact with the underside of floating ice shelves, causing them to melt.  Meltwater plumes also lead to high nutrient concentrations within the oceans, contributing to vast areas of enhance primary productivity along the Antarctic coast. Despite the key role that hydrology plays on the ice sheet environment, there is still no global hydrological budget for Antarctica. There is currently a lack of global data on supra- and sub-glacial hydrology, and no systems are in place for continuous monitoring of it or its impact on ice dynamics. The overall aim of 4DAntarctica is to advance our understanding of the Antarctic Ice Sheet’s supra and sub-glacial hydrology, its evolution, and its role within the broader ice sheet and ocean systems. We designed our programme of work to address the following specific objectives: Creating and consolidating an unprecedented dataset composed of ice-sheet wide hydrology and lithospheric products, Earth Observation datasets, and state of the art ice-sheet and hydrology models Improving our understanding of the physical interaction between electromagnetic radiation, the ice sheet, and liquid water Developing techniques and algorithms to detect surface and basal melting from satellite observations in conjunction with numerical modelling Applying these new techniques at local sites and across the continental ice sheet to monitor water dynamics and derive new hydrology datasets Performing a scientific assessment of Antarctic Ice Sheet hydrology and of its role in the current changes the continent is experiencing Proposing a future roadmap for enhanced observation of Antarctica’s hydrological cycle To do so, the project will use a large range of Earth Observation missions (e.g. Sentinel-1, Sentinel-2, SMOS, CryoSat-2, GOCE, TanDEM-X, AMSR2, Landsat, Icesat-2) coupled with ice-sheet and hydrological models. By the end of this project, the programme of work presented here will lead to a dramatically improved quantification of meltwater in Antarctica, an improved understanding of fluxes across the continent and to the ocean, and an improved understanding of the impact of the hydrological cycle on ice sheet’s mass balance, its basal environment, and its vulnerability to climate change.
Arctic + Salinity Sea Surface Salinity (SSS) is a key indicator of the freshwater fluxes and an important variable to understand the changes the Arctic is facing. However, salinity in-situ measurements are very sparse in the Arctic region. For this reason, remote [...]ARGANS LIMITED (GB)Scienceocean science cluster, oceans, polar science cluster, scienceSea Surface Salinity (SSS) is a key indicator of the freshwater fluxes and an important variable to understand the changes the Arctic is facing. However, salinity in-situ measurements are very sparse in the Arctic region. For this reason, remote sensing salinity measurements (currently provided by L-band radiometry satellites, SMOS and SMAP) are of special relevance for this region. The retrieval of SSS in the Arctic represents a challenge, because brightness temperatures measured by L-band satellites are less sensitive to salinity in cold waters. An additional drawback consists in the presence of sea ice, that contaminates the brightness temperature and must be adequately processed. The ESA Arctic+ Salinity project (Dec 2018 – June 2020) will contribute to reduce the knowledge gap in the characterization of the freshwater flux changes in the Arctic region. The objectives of this project are the following: 1. Develop a new algorithm and novel approaches with the aim of producing the best quality validated SMOS SSS product in the Arctic region with its corresponding accuracy. Additionally, SMOS and SMAP data will be combined with the aim to improve the radiometric accuracy and the characterization of the product biases and stability. 2. Generate a long-term salinity dataset from 2011 up to date to be publicly offered to the scientific community. The products will be daily distributed with a temporal resolution of 9 days and a spatial resolution of 25Km (EASE Grid 2.0). 3. Assess the relation between the dynamics of SMOS salinity with respect to land freshwater fluxes (Greenland and glacier flows) and ocean freshwater fluxes (rivers and E-P balance) using model outputs. This has the objective to quantify the freshwater fluxes through SSS products. 4. Assess the impact of the new SSS satellite data in a data assimilation system (the TOPAZ4 system, both in forecast and reanalysis mode) with the idea that, if an improvement is demonstrated, the assimilation of SMOS & SMAP products in TOPAZ will be part of the new Arctic reanalysis and forecast products on the CMEMS portal. 5. Define a roadmap describing the future work to better characterize the freshwater fluxes for the Arctic regions. The output of this project will be of great benefit for the on-going ESA Sea Surface Salinity Climate Change Initiative (CCI) project, which started in February 2018. The outputs of the project will be: 1. The distribution to the scientific community of the best-up-to-date sea surface salinity maps from SMOS and from the combination of SMOS and SMAP with their corresponding uncertainties. 2. Explore the feasibility and utility of assimilating the surface salinity maps product in the TOPAZ4 model. The potential problem the project face is the sparse in-situ data availability in the area which is needed for a complete validation assessment. Other potential problems are the sea ice edge that has a direct effect in the brightness temperature and the RFI contamination. But several solutions have already been identified.
ArcticSummIT: Arctic Summer Ice Thickness Living Planet Fellowship research project carried out by Jack Landy.

Arctic-SummIT will deliver, for the first time, a sea ice thickness product during summer months from the ESA Cryosat-2 satellite. As the extent of Arctic sea ice has [...]
UNIVERSITY OF BRISTOL (GB)Sciencecryosphere, living planet fellows, polar science cluster, scienceLiving Planet Fellowship research project carried out by Jack Landy. Arctic-SummIT will deliver, for the first time, a sea ice thickness product during summer months from the ESA Cryosat-2 satellite. As the extent of Arctic sea ice has declined at unprecedented speed over the past few decades, we have been able to view only limited snapshots of the ice cover’s thickness. Pan-Arctic observations of sea ice thickness have been obtained in recent years by satellite altimeters such as ICESat and Cryosat-2, but conventionally these data are only available during winter months. Our current understanding of basin-scale sea ice melting patterns during summer are limited to poorly-constrained ice-ocean model simulations, at a time when the ice cover is most dynamic, not to mention biological productivity and ice-ocean geochemical fluxes are most active. Moreover, advanced knowledge of ice conditions – thickness in particular – are critical for managing sustainable commercial enterprises, such as shipping and oil & gas extraction, in the northern polar seas. This project will develop a novel algorithm for obtaining sea ice thickness from satellite altimetry, even as the ice is melting. The conventional technique for separating sea ice from water (i.e. leads within the ice pack) relies on classifying altimeter waveforms through the shape of echoes, but breaks down when meltwater ponds forming at the ice surface appear the same as leads. However, pilot research alongside partners from the Canadian Ice Service (CIS) has demonstrated that other characteristics of the Cryosat-2 echoes, particularly the calibrated backscatter coefficient of the radar, can separate ice from ocean regardless of the surface melting state. Arctic-SummIT will develop this exciting discovery into a rigorous method for measuring sea ice thickness during summer months. By the end of the project, a unique, pan-Arctic sea ice thickness product will be produced for July-September over the full Cryosat-2 data record: 2011-2018+, filling the summer ‘gap’ we have presently. Exchange of sea ice between the central Arctic Ocean and, for instance, the Canadian Arctic Archipelago (CAA) or Fram Strait will then be determined from the product of ice volume from Cryosat-2, and high-resolution ice drift speed obtained from Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) imagery including the ESA Sentinel-1 constellation and the Canadian Space Agency’s (CSA) RADARSAT-2. Seasonal ice volume fluxes will be made available to the academic community, alongside the new summer sea ice thickness product, through an online portal hosted via ESA at the University of Bristol.
ARKTALAS HOAVVA PROJECT The multi-disciplinary, long-term, satellite-based Earth Observations (EO) form a tremendous synergy of data and information products that should to be more systematically and consistently explored, from the short synoptic time scales to the [...]NANSEN ENVIRONMENTAL AND REMOTE SENSING CENTER (NO)Sciencecryosphere, ocean science cluster, oceans, polar science cluster, scienceThe multi-disciplinary, long-term, satellite-based Earth Observations (EO) form a tremendous synergy of data and information products that should to be more systematically and consistently explored, from the short synoptic time scales to the longer decadal time scales. This lays the rationale for the ESA funded Arktalas Hoavva study project. A stepwise multi-modal analyses framework approach benefitting from native resolution satellite observations together with complementary in-situ data, model fields, analyses and visualization system and data assimilation tools will be applied.  Following this approach, the overall goal is to remove knowledge gaps and advance the insight and quantitative understanding of sea ice, ocean and atmosphere interactive processes and their mutual feedback across a broad range of temporal and spatial scales. In turn, four major existing interlinked Arctic Scientific research Challenges (ASC) will be investigated, including: ASC-1: Characterize Arctic Amplification and its impact (ASC-1) Central elements (not exclusive) are: – reduction in sea ice extent and concentration; – changes in albedo; – changes in the radiation balance; – increased air temperature; – delayed onset of sea ice freezing; – early onset of sea ice melting; – increasing area of melt ponds and polynias; – increased lead fraction; – changes in snow cover and SWE; – changes in ocean-atmosphere momentum, heat exchange and gas exchanges; – reduction in fast ice area; – thinning of sea ice thickness; – changes in optical conditions in the upper ocean with influence on the biology and marine ecosystem; – more favourable conditions for sea ice drift; – more meltwater; – larger fetch; – enhanced wave-sea ice interaction; – more wave induced sea ice break-up; – modifications to atmospheric boundary layer and changes in weather pattern; – influence on Arctic vortex and hence teleconnection to mid-latitudes. ASC-2: Characterize the impact of more persistent and larger area open water on sea ice dynamics  Building on ASC-1,  this is associated with: – increasing momentum transfer to the upper ocean leading to more turbulent mixing and possibly entrainment of warm Atlantic Water below the halocline; – increasing Ekman effects; – changes in sea ice growth, salt rejection and halocline formation; – larger fetch and lower frequency waves penetrating further into the ice covered regions leading to more floe-break-up; – increasing lead fraction and more sea ice melting; – reduction in sea ice flow size, age,  thicknesses and extent and subsequent change in sea ice mechanical behaviour; – possibly more abundance of internal waves and mesoscale and sub-mesoscale eddies generated in the open ocean with subsequent abilities to propagate into the ice covered regions leading to changes in sea ice deformation and dynamics. ASC-3: Understand, characterize and predict the impact of extreme event storms in sea-ice formation Growing areas of open water within the Arctic Ocean and the neighbouring seas will be more effectively exposed to extreme events. Cold air outbreak and polar lows, for instance, are known to have strong impact in the Marginal Ice Zone (MIZ), including; – enhanced momentum transfer and vertical mixing; – enhanced sea ice formation; – enhanced formation of unstable stratification in the atmospheric boundary layer; – more low cloud formations changing the radiation balance; – set up abnormal wave field to strengthen wave induced sea ice break-up; – abnormal impact on the pycnocline and subsequent entrainment of heat into the upper mixed. A central question is eventually whether the Arctic amplification will trigger increasing frequency of occurrences and strength of extremes. ASC-4: Understand, characterize and predict the Arctic ocean spin-up The ongoing Arctic amplification and subsequent changes, mutual interactions and feedback mechanisms are also expected to influence the basin scale atmospheric and ocean circulation within the Arctic Ocean.  In particular, this will address: – freshwater distribution and transport; – importance of Ekman pumping; – changes in water mass properties; – changes in upper ocean stratification and mixing; – changes in sub-surface heat exchange; – possibly more abundance of mesoscale and sub-mesoscale eddies and internal waves generated in the open ocean with subsequent abilities to propagate into the sea ice covered regions. The Arktalas Hoavva project kicked-off 9 July 2019 and will be executed over a 24 months period through the following seven interconnected tasks with mutual input-output feeds as schematically illustrated in the figure below. One of the major outcomes of the project is six dedicated research papers emerging from Task 3 that are specifically addressing the Arctic Scientific Challenges. These papers will be published in peer review journals. Moreover, the project will develop a visualization portal in polar-stereographic configuration that will be connected to the Arktalas data archive and allow users to access and make use of the Arktalas satellite-based, in-situ and model-based dataset during the project.
CryoSat Plus For Oceans (CP4O) The “CryoSat Plus for Oceans” (CP4O) project, supported by the ESA Support to Science Element (STSE) Programme and by CNES, was dedicated to the exploitation of CryoSat-2 data over the open and coastal ocean. The general objectives of the CP4O [...]SATELLITE OCEANOGRAPHIC CONSULTANTS LTD. (GB)Sciencealtimeter, coastal zone, oceans, polar science cluster, SAR, SARin, scienceThe “CryoSat Plus for Oceans” (CP4O) project, supported by the ESA Support to Science Element (STSE) Programme and by CNES, was dedicated to the exploitation of CryoSat-2 data over the open and coastal ocean. The general objectives of the CP4O project were: To build a sound scientific basis for new oceanographic applications of CryoSat­-2 data; to generate and evaluate new methods and products that will enable the full exploitation of the capabilities of the CryoSat-2 SIRAL altimeter, and to ensure that the scientific return of the CryoSat-­2 mission is maximised. However, whilst the results from CP4O were highly promising and confirmed the potential of SAR altimetry to support new scientific and operational oceanographic applications, it was also apparent that further work was needed in some key areas to fully realise the original project objectives. Thus, after the end of the Project in 2015,  additional work in four areas has been supported by ESA under a first Contract Change Notice (CCN): Developments in SARin data processing for Coastal Altimetry. Implementation of a Regional Tidal Atlas for the Arctic Ocean. Improvements to the SAMOSA retracker: Implementation and Evaluation & Optimised Thermal Noise Estimation. Extended evaluation of CryoSat­-2 SAR data for Coastal Applications. This CCN ended in 2016 and was followed by a second Contract Change Notice, currently on-going, on the improvement of the arctic ocean bathymetry and regional tidal atlas. A detailed description of the specific objectives under each of the four sub-themes (Open Ocean Altimetry, Polar Ocean Altimetry, Coastal Zone Altimetry & Sea-Floor Altimetry) can be found at http://www.satoc.eu/projects/CP4O/
CryoSat-2 for enhanced sea-ice thickness and ocean observations in Antarctica: “CryoSat+ Antarctic Ocean” Why has Antarctic sea ice experienced a small increase in extent over the past decades in stark contrast to the rapid decline observed in the Arctic? What role are the Southern Ocean and sea ice playing in controlling the Deep Water formation [...]MULLARD SPACE SCIENCE LABORATORY – UNIVERSITY COLLEGE LONDON (GB)ScienceAntarctica, oceans, polar science cluster, science, snow and iceWhy has Antarctic sea ice experienced a small increase in extent over the past decades in stark contrast to the rapid decline observed in the Arctic? What role are the Southern Ocean and sea ice playing in controlling the Deep Water formation and thermohaline circulation and the melting of the Antarctic ice shelves and sea level rise? Only satellite remote sensing can provide the pan-Antarctic view required to fully understand these changes to the Southern Hemisphere’s sea ice and ocean fields in response to anthropogenic warming. Over the last 8 years CryoSat-2 (CS2) has allowed a radically new view of the ice covered Arctic Ocean, providing us with the first pan-Arctic sea ice thickness maps, dynamic topography and geostrophic currents, and indirectly a wealth of geophysical products ranging from Eddy kinetic energy (EKE), Ekman upwelling / downwelling, to snow on sea ice, and improved tidal models, or better resolved bathymetry at the bottom ocean. In Antarctica similar products have emerged but remain at a lower level of maturity. Specific challenges in the processing of the radar signal result from the complex surface characteristics of the ice covered Southern Ocean such as the sea ice flooding from snow loading or the highly fragmented and divergent marginal ice zone like nature of the sea ice cover. In addition, validation of sea ice and ocean products is hindered by the observational gap of in-situ and airborne data in the Southern Hemisphere. The overarching objective of this project is to address these issues by developing new approaches and algorithms that could be implemented in ESA’s CryoSat-2 ground segment processor to produce state of the art sea ice and ocean products that will be validated against a comprehensive dataset of airborne and in-situ measurements and result in scientific progress for our understanding of the Antarctic Climate system and ocean circulation. The main objectives of this project are: Perform a thorough review of the scientific and technical challenges Survey, collect and document all relevant data sets needed for the successful development of novel, observational and model-based snow thickness products. Develop, inter-compare and validate multiple approaches to sea surface height and sea ice thickness retrieval on Antarctic sea ice. Specific approaches to be considered are: Novel LRM/SAR/SARIN methods for leads, polynyas, open ocean and sea ice classification Along-track processors over leads, polynyas and open ocean for sea surface estimation Along-track processors over sea ice floes for sea ice thickness estimation Pan-Antarctic gridded products of dynamic ocean topography and geostrophic currents Pan-Antarctic gridded products of sea ice thickness Preliminary inter-comparison of along-track and gridded products developed in steps b-e Validation over selected tracks and key regions against in-situ and airborne data. Implement the algorithms developed above and assess their impact and usefulness in addressing the identified scientific challenges. Build a scientific roadmap for future development and evolution of knowledge about the snow layer on Arctic sea ice. The main outputs of the project will be: An Experimental Dataset and accompanying User Manual Algorithm description documents Validation reports An Impact Assessment A scientific Roadmap The biggest challenges the project faces are the difficulties in validating data products against sparse or preferentially sampled, in-situ data, and in proving that a new method is measurably better than an existing method when applied to inherently noisy data.
CryoSat+ Mountain Glaciers The purpose of this project is to quantify the volume, mass change and contribution to sea level change of mountain glaciers using dataset from the CryoSat satellite radar altimeter. Here we propose to generate mountain glacier elevation and [...]UNIVERSITY OF EDINBURGH (GB)Sciencecryosphere, polar science cluster, scienceThe purpose of this project is to quantify the volume, mass change and contribution to sea level change of mountain glaciers using dataset from the CryoSat satellite radar altimeter. Here we propose to generate mountain glacier elevation and elevation change by (i) evaluating the ability of the current CryoSat products, (ii) investigating and implementing processing strategies such as FBR filtering, novel retracking, swath processing, in order to improve the current CryoSat products, (iii) validating elevations and quantifying their errors. The resulting elevation and elevation change will be used to generate estimates of glacier volume and mass change and determine mountain glacier’s contribution to sea level change during the life period of CryoSat. We will integrate our results with existing studies of glaciers change to build a spatial and temporal picture of changes affecting mountain glaciers that will be advertise via scientific presentation and submission as journals articles.
CRYOSPHERE VIRTUAL LABORATORY EXPRO + Despite considerable research progress in understanding the polar region over the last decades, many gaps remain in observational capabilities and scientific knowledge. These gaps limit present ability to understand and interpret on-going [...]NORCE Norwegian Research Centre AS (NO)Sciencecryosphere, polar science cluster, scienceDespite considerable research progress in understanding the polar region over the last decades, many gaps remain in observational capabilities and scientific knowledge. These gaps limit present ability to understand and interpret on-going processes, prediction capabilities and forecasting in the Arctic region, thereby hampering evidence-based decision-making. Addressing these gaps represents a key priority in order to establish a solid scientific basis for understanding earth science processes in the Polar Regions. The Cryosphere Virtual Lab aims at supporting the cryosphere scientific community to address those gaps promoting an Open Science approach, where sharing of data (e.g., EO satellite, in-situ, airborne, ancillary, high level products), knowledge, tools and results is at the center of the science process. Since more than 20 years, “Earth Observation” (EO) satellites developed or operated by ESA and other satellite operators are providing a wealth of data. The Sentinel missions, along with the Copernicus Contributing Missions, Earth Explorers and many other missions provide routine monitoring of our environment at the global scale, thereby delivering an unprecedented amount of data. This expanding operational capability of global monitoring from space, combined with data from long-term EO archive (e.g. ERS, Envisat, Landsat etc.), in-situ networks and models provide scientists with unprecedented insight into how our oceans, atmosphere, land and ice operate and interact as part of an interconnected Earth System. While the availability of the growing volume of environmental data from space represents a unique opportunity for science, general R&D, and applications, it also poses a major challenge to achieve its full potential in terms of efficiently accessing and combining the different datasets (EO data, airborne, in-situ…) and sharing scientific knowledge, tools and results in order to speed up the scientific process. Firstly, because the emergence of large volumes of data raises new issues in terms of discovery, access, exploitation, and visualization, with implications on how scientists do “data-intensive” Earth Science. Secondly, because the inherent growing diversity and complexity of data and users, whereby different communities – having different needs, methods, languages and protocols – need to cooperate and share knowledge to make sense of a wealth of data of different nature (e.g. EO, in-situ, model), structure, format and error budgets and speed up the scientific development process. Responding to these technological and community challenges requires the development of new ways of working, capitalizing on Information and Communication Technology (ICT) developments to facilitate the exploitation, analysis, sharing, mining and visualization of massive EO data sets and high-level products within Europe and beyond following an Open Science approach. Evolution in information technology provide new opportunities to provide more significant support to EO data exploitation within the Open Science paradigm. In this context, new ITC developments and the concept of Virtual laboratories make scientific networking, on-line collaboration, sharing of data, tools and knowledge among scientific communities not only possible, but also mainstream. The Cryosphere Virtual Laboratory (CVL) will become a community open science tool, where EO satellite data and derived products can be accessed, visualised, processed, shared and validated. In order to achieve this objective, the CVL shall provide access and facilitate sharing of relevant space and non-space data (aerial, UAV, coastal radar, in-situ etc.). Following an Open Science approach, the CVL shall mainly be designed to support scientist to access and share EO data, high-level products, in-situ data, and open source code (algorithms, models) to carry out scientific studies and projects, sharing results, knowledge and resources. The Cryosphere Virtual Laboratory will form part of an ecosystem of thematic laboratories capitalizing on ICT technologies to maximize the scientific exploitation of EO satellite data from past and future missions.
Development of pan-European Multi-Sensor Snow Mapping Methods Exploiting Sentinel-1 The main objective is the development, implementation and validation of methods and tools for generating maps of snowmelt area based on SAR data of the Sentinel-1 mission and the combination with snow products derived from optical sensors of [...]ENVEO – ENVIRONMENTAL EARTH OBSERVATION INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY GMBH (AT)Scienceapplications, polar science cluster, SAR, scienceThe main objective is the development, implementation and validation of methods and tools for generating maps of snowmelt area based on SAR data of the Sentinel-1 mission and the combination with snow products derived from optical sensors of Sentinel-2 and Sentinel-3 missions. The developed algorithm will be used to generate multi-sensor pan-European snow products. A key activity of the project is the development of a retrieval algorithm for mapping extent of wet snow areas which exploits the full technical and operational potential of the Sentinel-1 mission. Round robin experiments between available algorithms will be carried out to select the optimum algorithm. The focus will be on the use of Interferometric Wide swath mode data which is the standard operation mode of Sentinel-1 over land surfaces. Particular attention will be paid to the capability of dual polarization data, and the exploitation of the high spatial resolution and geometric accuracy of the Sentinel-1 data. Because C-band SAR is not sensitive to dry snow, the combination with snow maps derived from optical sensor is required in order to obtain complete pan-European snow maps. We plan to use data of the Sentinel-3 sensors SLSTR and OLCI for the pan-European snow maps, and coincident Sentinel-2 based snow maps (with high spatial resolution) primarily for evaluation and assessment of uncertainty for the combined Sentinel-1 and Sentinel-3 snow product.
GOCE+ ANTARCTICA The overarching objective of this activity is to explore the potential of GOCE to improve lithospheric modelling over Antarctica, to reduce uncertainties in bedrock topography and to study the implication on GIA modelling based on the derived [...]UNIVERSITY OF KIEL (DE)ScienceAntarctica, GOCE, polar science cluster, scienceThe overarching objective of this activity is to explore the potential of GOCE to improve lithospheric modelling over Antarctica, to reduce uncertainties in bedrock topography and to study the implication on GIA modelling based on the derived information. This ismotivated by recent scientific developments, applications and new products that have emerged from ESA’s GOCE mission. In particular,a new data set, provided through the GOCE+ Theme 2 activity (Bouman et al 2014), should enable geophysical application and modelling over Antarctica with the goal to better understand and model the Earth’s interior and its dynamic processes, contributing to new insights into the geodynamics associated with the lithosphere, mantle composition and rheology. This activity shall investigate the potential to determine bedrock topography of the grounded part of the ice sheet with high spatial resolution and accuracy. Furthermore, the activity shall determine – with additional geophysical data and information – the thermal structure or composition of the upper mantle, and hereby to link crust and upper mantle. This will in turn allow to study Earth’s rebound (glacial isostatic adjustment, GIA) over Antarctica from the several kilometre thick ice sheets that covered Antarctica.
ICEFLOW: Short-term movements in the Cryosphere Living Planet Fellowship research project carried out by Bas Altena.

Earth observation plays an important role in society and business, today, and more so in the near future. Several times a day, satellite systems acquire data over targeted [...]
UNIVERSITY OF OSLO (NO)Sciencecryosphere, living planet fellows, polar science cluster, scienceLiving Planet Fellowship research project carried out by Bas Altena. Earth observation plays an important role in society and business, today, and more so in the near future. Several times a day, satellite systems acquire data over targeted areas or with global coverage, which will only increase in the future. Imagery for velocity products will be acquired through spaceborne SAR (ICEye) or optical (Earth-i, Urthecast, Planet) instruments. Hence, demonstrating use cases with such data sparks innovation, and shows opportunities that inspire. For the case of the cryosphere, where change occurs rapidly, we will explore and exploit real-time remote sensing. Velocity information is a new dimension for such datasets, enlarging the product portfolio. The methods that will be shown during this project are transferable, and ready for the new era of Earth observation, where business activity from space will become an essential asset in this global economy. As most of such processes might not be grasped alone with (pixel-wise) change detection.
MethEO – Methane emissions in the Northern Hemisphere by applying both data from Earth Observing (EO) satellites and global atmospheric methane inversion model estimates The project will investigate Northern Hemisphere methane (CH4) sources and their connection to the soil freezing and thawing at high latitudes. We will innovatively combine methods for monitoring of CH4 (methane) emissions in the Northern [...]FINNISH METEOROLOGICAL INSTITUTE (FI)Scienceatmosphere, atmosphere science cluster, biosphere, carbon cycle, carbon science cluster, permanently open call, polar science cluster, science, Sentinel-5P, SMOSThe project will investigate Northern Hemisphere methane (CH4) sources and their connection to the soil freezing and thawing at high latitudes. We will innovatively combine methods for monitoring of CH4 (methane) emissions in the Northern Hemisphere by applying both data from Earth Observing (EO) satellites and global atmospheric methane inversion model estimates. The EO data consists of global soil F/T estimates obtained from the European Space Agency (ESA) Soil Moisture and Ocean Salinity (SMOS) mission (from the SMOS+ Frozen soil project) as well as retrievals of atmospheric methane obtained from the Greenhouse Gases Observing Satellite (GOSAT) and the newly launched Sentinel 5 Precursor TROPOMI (S5P-TROPOMI) observations. The project has been kicked-off the 5th September. A first informal progress meeting has been on 20th December. First results have been shown and look promising.
Sentinel-3 for Science, Land Study 1: Snow This SEOM study is to develop, implement and validate algorithms for deriving several key snow parameters from Sentinel 3 optical satellite data, appropriate for addressing ESA’s Cryosphere challenge (Seasonal snow, lake/river ice and land ice, [...]GEOLOGICAL SURVEY OF DENMARK AND GREENLAND (DK)Sciencecryosphere, polar science cluster, scienceThis SEOM study is to develop, implement and validate algorithms for deriving several key snow parameters from Sentinel 3 optical satellite data, appropriate for addressing ESA’s Cryosphere challenge (Seasonal snow, lake/river ice and land ice, their effect on the climate system, water resources, energy and carbon cycles: the representation of terrestrial cryosphere in land surface, atmosphere and climate models). This study takes a step toward achieving GCOS snow observation goals, effectively linking snow cover and albedo essential climate variables (ECVs) while developing capacity to extend snow climate data records (CDRs). This work aims to assimilate satellite optical data in a snow model by pushing data assimilation capabilities to the near real time frame and thus serving operational models to improve hydrological and weather forecasting skill and e.g. flood and avalanche hazard management.
Sentinel-3 Performance Improvement for ICE Sheets (SPICE) SPICE (Sentinel-3 Performance improvement for ICE sheets) is a 2-year study, which began in September 2015 and has been funded by ESA’s SEOM (Scientific Exploitation of Operational Missions) program. The project aims to contribute to the [...]UNIVERSITY OF LEEDS, SCHOOL OF EARTH AND ENVIRONMENT (GB)Sciencealtimeter, cryosphere, polar science clusterSPICE (Sentinel-3 Performance improvement for ICE sheets) is a 2-year study, which began in September 2015 and has been funded by ESA’s SEOM (Scientific Exploitation of Operational Missions) program. The project aims to contribute to the development and evaluation of novel SAR altimetry processing methodologies over ice sheets, primarily using dedicated CryoSat-2 SAR acquisitions made at several sites in Antarctica and in Greenland. SPICE developed novel algorithms to address four high level objectives: 1) Assess and improve Delay-Doppler altimeter processing for ice sheets; 2) Assess and develop SAR waveform retrackers for ice sheets; 3) Evaluate the performance of SAR altimetry relative to conventional pulse limited altimetry; 4) Assess the impact on SAR altimeter measurements of radar wave interaction with the snowpack.
STSE CryoSat+ CryoTop Evolution The aim of the CryoTop Evolution is to generate L2, L3 and L4 products over the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets from swath processing of CryoSat SARIn mode data.

The CryoTop datasets contain surface elevation generated from swath [...]
UNIVERSITY OF EDINBURGH (GB)Sciencecryosphere, polar science cluster, scienceThe aim of the CryoTop Evolution is to generate L2, L3 and L4 products over the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets from swath processing of CryoSat SARIn mode data. The CryoTop datasets contain surface elevation generated from swath processing of CryoSat-2 measurement. The CryoTop datasets also contain gridded products generated from the swath derived elevation, these are 2 Digital elevation models (500 m and 1 km posting) and 2 maps of rates of surface elevation change (500 m and 1 km posting) as well as associated errors. The swath elevation data are provided as NetCDF files following the naming convention of the original CryoSat-2 datafiles provided by the European Space Agency, the gridded products are provided as GeoTIFF files. The methodology and data format are described in the dataset user manual. In particular the CryoTop project has produced swath dataset elevation from baseline C data (2010 – 2016) over the Greenland ice sheet and DEM and rates of surface elevation change at 1 km and over the Antarctica ice sheet and DEM and DH/DT at 1 km.