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Evaluation of operational SSM/I ice-concentration algorithms

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The United States National Ice Center (NIC) provides weekly ice analyses of the Arctic and Antarctic using information from ice reconnaissance, ship reports and high-resolution satellite imagery. In cloud-covered areas and regions lacking imagery, the higher-resolution sources are augmented by ice concentrations derived from Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (DMSP) Special Sensor Microwave/Imager (SSM/I) passive-microwave imagery. However, the SSM/I-derived ice concentrations are limited by low resolution and uncertainties in thin-ice regions. Ongoing research at NIC is attempting to improve the utility of these SSM/I products for operational sea-ice analyses. The refinements of operational algorithms may also aid future scientific studies. Here we discuss an evaluation of the standard operational ice-concentration algorithm, Cal/Val, with a possible alternative, a modified NASA Team algorithm. The modified algorithm compares favorably with Cal/Val and is a substantial improvement over the standard NASA Team algorithm in thin-ice regions that are of particular interest to operational activities.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2001-01-01

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  • The Annals of Glaciology is a peer-reviewed, thematic journal published 2 to 4 times a year by the International Glaciological Society (IGS). Publication frequency is determined and volume/issue numbers assigned by the IGS Council on a year-to-year basis and with a lead time of 3 to 4 years. The Annals of Glaciology is included in the ISI Science Citation Index from volume 50, number 50 onwards.

    Themes can be on any aspect of the study of snow and ice. Individual members can make a suggestion for a theme for an Annals issue to the Secretary General, who will forward it to the IGS Publications Committee. The IGS Publication Committee will make a recommendation for an individual themed Annals issue, together with a potential Annals Chief Editor for that issue, to IGS Council. The IGS Council will make the decision whether to proceed, taking into account the spread of topics and the overall capacity for publication of pages in Annals.

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