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

Update on CryoSat Ocean Products

15 April 2014

CryoSat users should be informed that we are currently implementing the final preparations prior to the release of the Ocean Products for the scientific community.

CryoSat data servers maintenance on 20 March 2014

18 March 2014

CryoSat scientific data users are informed that on Thursday, 20 March 2014, between 11:00-15:00 CET there will be a planned network maintenance at Kiruna PDS. During this period the CryoSat public servers (Science, CalVal) will not be available. We apologise for any inconvenience caused.

CryoSat Science Data Server repository temporarily unavailable

26 February 2014

CryoSat users are informed that access to the CryoSat Science Data Server repository was temporarily disabled today due to an unplanned required maintenance. We apologise for any inconvenience caused.

Minimize Latest Mission Results News
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Balancing the sea-level budget

26 March 2014

Water from melting glaciers and ice sheets, along with thermal expansion of ocean water due to rising temperatures, are causing global sea-level rise. Scientists are exploiting satellite data to understand better just how much each component contributes to this devastating consequence of climate change.

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CryoSat detects hidden Antarctic pattern

21 January 2014

Near the centre of Antarctica, measurements from CryoSat show an unusual pattern in the ice sheet's elevation. Scientists have now found the reason for this pattern - and the discovery is leading to even more accurate measurements from ESA's ice mission.

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Arctic sea ice up from record low

16 December 2013

Measurements from ESA's CryoSat satellite show that the volume of Arctic sea ice has significantly increased this autumn.

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Antarctica's ice loss on the rise

11 December 2013

Three years of observations by ESA's CryoSat satellite show that the West Antarctic Ice Sheet is losing over 150 cubic kilometres of ice each year - considerably more than when last surveyed.

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CryoSat measures European storm surge

09 December 2013

ESA's CryoSat satellite measured the storm surge from the recent North Sea storms, as high waters passed through the Kattegat sea between Denmark and Sweden.

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CryoSat mission observes continuing Arctic winter ice decline

23 September 2013

The volume of sea ice in the Arctic hit a new low this past winter, according to observations from ESA's CryoSat mission.

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Looking to the future of Earth observation

13 September 2013

The Living Planet Symposium has come to a close in Edinburgh, and a week of talking about past, present and future satellite missions, as well as the scientific challenges facing us, has prepared Earth observation for a new chapter.

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New dimensions on ice

11 September 2013

Offering new insights into our fragile polar regions, ESA's CryoSat mission has provided three consecutive years of Arctic sea-ice thickness measurements, which show that the ice continues to thin.

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ESA's biggest scientific gathering is under way

09 September 2013

The largest Living Planet Symposium ever held has begun. Scientists and users are gathering in Edinburgh, UK, this week to present their latest satellite findings on Earth’s environment and climate based.

Minimize Science
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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.