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.

Minimize Latest Mission Operations News

The CryoSat North American CryoSat Science Meeting, Banff (Alberta, Canada), 20-24 March 2017 is now open for abstract submission

24 August 2016

The CryoSat Mission is happy to announce that the first CryoSat North American Science Meeting will take place in Banff (Alberta, Canada) on 20-24 March 2017.

CryoSat calibration campaign on 20 July 2016 - Product unavailability

18 July 2016

To guarantee that the quality of the CryoSat products are always at their best, a number of calibrations are applied to its measurements which also take into consideration the ageing of the satellite's main payload instrument, SIRAL.

As part of these activities a series of calibration campaigns have been scheduled, the first of which shall take place on 20 July 2016, from 07:13:16 to 12:10:56, and shall affect the availability of NRT and ocean products during this time.

CryoSat - New version of CUT_ROEF file in CryoSat User Tool

15 June 2016

Scientific Users of the Cryosat User Tool are informed that a new version of the CUT_ROEF file reflecting the updated reference orbit is now available for download.

Minimize Latest Mission Results News
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CryoSat sets new standard for measuring sea levels

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.

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CryoSat reveals recent Greenland ice loss

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.

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Earth's shifting ice

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.

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Cool summer boosts Arctic ice

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.

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CryoSat detects sudden ice loss in Southern Antarctic Peninsula

22 May 2015

A recent acceleration in ice loss in a previously stable region of Antarctica has been detected by ESA's ice mission.

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Remembering Marc Cornelissen and Philip de Roo

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.

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Join the virtual classroom

04 May 2015

Registration is open for a free online course that provides an introduction to monitoring climate change using satellite Earth observation.

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Fast access to CryoSat's Arctic ice measurements now available

17 April 2015

ESA's ice mission has become the first satellite to provide information on Arctic sea-ice thickness in near-real time to aid maritime activities in the polar region.

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Ice venturers yield results for CryoSat

18 March 2015

Trekking to the far reaches of the Arctic for the sole purpose of collecting snow and ice measurements may seem extreme, but it is thanks to these efforts that scientists will soon have even better satellite information at their fingertips to assess changes in polar ice.

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.