Advancing the Arctic Sea Ice Thickness Record Through the Synthesis of Multiple Data Sources

Tuesday, 16 December 2014: 5:30 PM
Nathan T Kurtz1, Michael Studinger2, Jeremy P Harbeck3, Vincent Onana2,3 and Donghui Yi4, (1)NASA Goddard, Greenbelt, MD, United States, (2)NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD, United States, (3)ADNET Systems Inc. NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD, United States, (4)NASA/GSFC, Greenbelt, MD, United States
The decline of Arctic sea ice area and volume has been well documented from a variety of remote sensing platforms, and is a significant symbol of climate change occurring in the Arctic region. A remaining challenge is to better understand the nature of these changes and the impact of this decline on the climate through an examination of uncertainties in the sea ice thickness record. We first discuss known sources of error in the record of sea ice thickness from the Operation IceBridge sea ice thickness data product which are due to factors such as instrument and retrieval algorithm biases, tide model uncertainties, and interpolation errors. We then describe planned improvements for a new version of these data products which aim to reduce these uncertainties, and show how these improvements can also be used to yield improvements in satellite retrievals of sea ice thickness from ICESat and CryoSat-2. A new approach which synthesizes the combination of in-situ, airborne, satellite, and model data sources to produce a record of sea ice thickness change in the Arctic will be discussed. We then apply this technique to the ICESat, CryoSat-2, and IceBridge data records to demonstrate Arctic sea ice volume change from 2003 to the present time period from the combined data sets.