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

CryoSat - Expected changes for upcoming release of Baseline C

11 February 2015

In preparation for the upcoming release of the CryoSat Baseline C, the two format specifications documents have been updated (L1b/FBR FMT and L2/L2i FMT). In complement, two technical notes are also made available to the users in order to present in advance the expected effects of the IPF evolutions on the CryoSat products from Baseline B to Baseline C (L1b main changes and L2 main changes).

Kiruna - Maintenance affecting CryoSat servers on 3 February 2015

29 January 2015

CryoSat users are informed that due to a planned maintenance activity in Kiruna, no access to the public CryoSat servers (Science and CalVal) will be possible on Tuesday 3 February 2015 between 09:00 and 15:00 local time (08:00 - 14:00 UTC).

CryoSat acquisition and processing activities will not be affected.

Version 2.1 of CryoSat software routines released

20 January 2015

In preparation for the release of baseline C, the software routines written in ANSI C and IDL that can be used to read the L1b and L2 CryoSat products, have been upgraded.

Minimize Latest Mission Results News
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Satellites catch Austfonna shedding ice

23 January 2015

Rapid ice loss in a remote Arctic ice cap has been detected by the Sentinel-1A and CryoSat satellites.

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CryoSat extends its reach on the Arctic

15 December 2014

CryoSat has delivered this year's map of autumn sea-ice thickness in the Arctic, revealing a small decrease in ice volume. In a new phase for ESA's ice mission, the measurements can now also be used to help vessels navigate through the north coastal waters of Alaska, for example.

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CryoSat unveils secrets of the deep

03 October 2014

ESA's ice mission has been used to create a new gravity map, exposing thousands of previously unchartered 'seamounts', ridges and deep ocean structures. This vivid new picture of the least-explored part of the ocean offers fresh clues about how continents form and breakup.

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Ice sheet highs, lows and loss

20 August 2014

Measurements from ESA's CryoSat mission have been used to map the height of the huge ice sheets that blanket Greenland and Antarctica and show how they are changing. New results reveal combined ice volume loss at an unprecedented rate of 500 cubic kilometres a year.

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Monitoring climate change from space

13 June 2014

How do measurements from satellites flying above Earth provide essential information on the effects of climate change on our planet? Scientific and political organisations considered the question in London today.

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Special delivery from CryoSat

11 June 2014

New data products from ESA's ice mission open new doors for scientists studying oceans.

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CryoSat finds sharp increase in Antarctica's ice loss

19 May 2014

Three years of observations from ESA's CryoSat satellite show that the Antarctic ice sheet is now losing 159 billion tonnes of ice each year - twice as much as when it was last surveyed.

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Ice mission and extreme camping

14 May 2014

While camping may appeal to some, scientists recently took the pastime to punishing limits. Enduring the bitter Arctic cold out on the sea ice, they were part of a major international effort to ensure ESA's CryoSat satellite is delivering a true picture of Earth's changing ice.

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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.

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.