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Images of (lots of) the Arctic, Looking for sources
elakdawalla
post Sep 3 2008, 01:26 AM
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I'm trying to find something that may not exist, but figured it wouldn't hurt to ask here for help. I'm looking for a nice-looking satellite image(s) (optical or radar) that show the current extent of Arctic sea ice. The Arctic is a problem because of its polar location -- the geosynchronous satellites that give us whole-Earth views get only a severely foreshortened view of the poles, so they're not a good source. There are polar-orbiting satellites but they're much closer so you need a mosaic; and the pole being icy and oceany, it's pretty cloudy a lot of the time. There's a pretty great Envisat radar data set including this fascinating release from just a couple days ago, but as cool (and sobering) as those images are, they're not very aesthetically pretty. Does anyone know of anything prettier out there?

--Emily


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lyford
post Sep 3 2008, 02:15 AM
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Maybe not exactly what you want, but you can roll your own in Google Earth....

National Snow and Ice Data Center
Arctic sea ice concentrations and extents, updated daily



I think NASA's World Wind has a cryosphere layer plug in, but I don't know that program too well....

Which may have been used to make these nice shots


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tty
post Sep 4 2008, 10:31 AM
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Try Aqua MODIS, for example this one:

http://rapidfire.sci.gsfc.nasa.gov/realtim....php?A082121655
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elakdawalla
post Sep 8 2008, 06:32 PM
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Thanks lyford, those are lovely; I hadn't seen that cryosphere today page before.

tty--MODIS images are lovely of course but that confounded Arctic climate keeps making too many clouds, which are awfully hard to tell from ice!

--Emily


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tty
post Sep 9 2008, 07:52 PM
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The MODIS pictures may still be preferable despite the cloud problem. Microwave based ice maps are unreliable during the melting season and tend to underestimate the amount of ice since it is very difficult to distinguish open water from meltwater pools on top of the ice.
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