Minimize What is CryoSat?
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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.

 

Users can have free access to CryoSat Ice and Ocean Data (browse data).

Minimize Latest Mission Operations News

7th CryoSat Quality Working Group Meeting

16 November 2018

The 7th CryoSat Quality Working Group (QWG) meeting will take place from 26 to 28 November 2018 and will be hosted by the European Space Agency (ESA) at ESRIN in Frascati (Rome), Italy.

CryoSat data unavailability update

04 October 2018

Further to the unavailability notice published earlier today, we would like to inform users that the maintenance was completed successfully, and the SIRAL instrument resumed operations at 11:10 UTC as originally planned.

CryoSat data unavailability on 04 October 2018

04 October 2018

CryoSat scientific data users are informed that due to planned platform maintenance activities, SIRAL will be unavailable today the 04 October 2018 from 09:25:00 UTC (to StandBy).

Minimize Latest Mission Results News
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Greenland ice loss quickening

06 December 2018

Using a 25-year record of ESA satellite data, recent research shows that the pace at which Greenland is losing ice is getting faster.

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Antarctica hikes up sea level

13 June 2018

In a major collaborative effort, scientists from around the world have used information from satellites to reveal that ice melting in Antarctica has not only raised sea levels by 7.6 mm since 1992, but, critically, almost half of this rise has occurred in the last five years.

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New view of Antarctica in 3D

11 May 2018

Thanks to ESA's CryoSat mission, a new map of Antarctica provides the most accurate 3D view ever of the continent's vast ice sheet and floating ice shelves.

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CryoSat reveals retreat of Patagonian glaciers

02 May 2018

While ESA's CryoSat continues to provide clear insight into how much sea ice is being lost and how the Antarctic and Greenlandic ice sheets are changing, the mission has again surpassed its original scope by revealing exactly how mountain glaciers are also succumbing to change.

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Antarctica loses grip

03 April 2018

ESA's CryoSat mission has revealed that, over the last seven years, Antarctica has lost an area of underwater ice the size of Greater London. This is because warm ocean water beneath the continent's floating margins is eating away at the ice attached to the seabed.

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Secrets of hidden ice canyons revealed

11 October 2017

We are all aware that Antarctica's ice shelves are thinning, but recently scientists have also discovered huge canyons cutting through the underbelly of these shelves, potentially making them even more fragile. Thanks to the CryoSat and Sentinel-1 missions, new light is being shed on this hidden world.

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Giant iceberg in the making

05 July 2017

All eyes are on Antarctica's Larsen C ice shelf as a deep crack continues to cut across the ice, leaving a huge chunk clinging on.

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CryoSat reveals Antarctica in 3D

24 March 2017

Around 250 million measurements taken by ESA's CryoSat over the last six years have been used to create a unique 3D view of Antarctica, offering a snapshot of the undulating surface of this vast ice sheet.

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To the Arctic for CryoSat and beyond

20 March 2017

After the relative quiet of the long dark winter months, the Arctic will be a tad busier over the coming weeks as numerous researchers descend on this harsh, yet fragile environment. Their aim is not to disturb its beauty, but to join forces in an all-out effort to measure ice on land and sea.

Minimize Science
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Science

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.