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.
All registered users can have access to CryoSat Ice and Ocean Data.

Minimize Latest Mission Operations News

CryoSat Data unavailability on 20 June 2018

20 June 2018

We would like to inform the CryoSat Data users that the SIRAL instrument will be unavailable for maintenance nominally from 11:33 to 12:17 UTC on 20 June 2018.

Earth Observation data distribution services improvement

14 June 2018

ESA has started a process to improve the Earth Observation data distribution services, aiming at facilitating access to data and information for the end users, initially by shortening the access path and reviewing authentication and authorisation processes.

CryoSat - CUT version 4.0.1 released

31 May 2018

A new version of the CryoSat User Tool (CUT version 4.0.1) has been released. Users can download the tool now and find further information on the CryoSat User Tool web page.

Minimize Latest Mission Results News
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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.

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CryoSat reveals lake outbursts beneath Antarctic ice

08 February 2017

A novel way of using ESA's CryoSat mission has revealed how lakes beneath Thwaites Glacier drained into the Amundsen Sea - potentially the largest such outflow ever reported in this region of West Antarctica.

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.