What is CryoSat?
Europe's first ice mission is an advanced radar altimeter specifically designed to monitor the most dynamic sections of Earth's cryosphere. It borrows synthetic aperture radar and interferometry techniques from standard imaging radar missions to sharpen its accuracy over rugged ice sheet margins and sea ice in polar waters. CryoSat-2 measures 'freeboard' - the difference in height between sea ice and adjacent water - as well as ice sheet altitude, tracking changes in ice thickness.
Latest Mission Operations News
29 November 2016
ESA has recently decided to reprocess all GOP L1 and L2 Geophysical Ocean Products (GOP) from the end of the CryoSat commissioning phase (November 2010) to the installation of the current CryoSat Ocean Processor version (March 2015).
28 November 2016
Since the beginning of the CryoSat mission, ESA has supervised several roll campaigns during which the satellite rolls left and right in orbit in order to perform end-to-end calibration of the interferometer over the ocean. All of the SARin data (FBR, L1B, L2I, L2) acquired during these roll campaigns have now been made available to all users.
24 November 2016
All users interested in participating to the event are kindly reminded that the deadline for abstract submission is 04 December 2016
Latest Mission Results News
30 November 2016
ESA's CryoSat satellite has found that the Arctic has one of the lowest volumes of sea ice of any November, matching record lows in 2011 and 2012. Early winter growth of ice in the Arctic has been about 10% lower than usual.
16 November 2016
With a helicopter the sole feature on the vast expanse of ice and her only way back to warmth and safety, polar scientist Anna Hogg must have thought, "What on Earth am I doing out here?" as she set to taking ice samples.
28 October 2016
ESA's CryoSat was launched in 2010 to understand how the thickness of Earth's ice is changing, but this sophisticated mission has gone over and above its original remit in a number of ways. Pushing the mission even further, the latest efforts focus on patterns in the ocean.
26 July 2016
Trying to measure sea levels around rugged coastlines is not always an easy task. ESA's CryoSat satellite is making a difference with its radar altimeter.
12 July 2016
In the most detailed picture to date, information from ESA's CryoSat satellite reveals how melting ice in Greenland has recently contributed twice as much to sea-level rise as the prior two decades.
17 December 2015
Using data from ESA's CryoSat mission, scientists have produced the best maps yet of the changing height of Earth's biggest ice sheets.
20 July 2015
Measurements from ESA's CryoSat satellite show that the volume of Arctic sea ice increased by a third following the unusually cool summer of 2013. This new finding suggests that ice in the northern hemisphere is more sensitive to changes in summer melting than it is to winter cooling.
A recent acceleration in ice loss in a previously stable region of Antarctica has been detected by ESA's ice mission.
05 May 2015
Marc Cornelissen and Philip de Roo tragically went missing on 29 April 2015 whilst on expedition in the Canadian High Arctic, in a location near Bathurst Island, some 200 km north of Resolute Bay, Nunavut. It is feared that the two Dutch polar explorers fell through the ice into the water whilst traversing dangerously thin ice in a region of open sea ice.
Almost 80% of the Earth's fresh water is locked up in the cryosphere, i.e. snow, ice and permafrost. The cryosphere plays an important role in moderating the global climate and as such, the consequences of receding ice cover due to global warming are far reaching and complex. Due to its high albedo, ice masses directly affect the global energy budget by reflecting about 80% of incident sunlight back out to space.
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