Arctic sea ice data at 1 meter resolution released

July 20th, 2009

In a lightning-fast move, the U.S. Department of the Interior released more than a thousand 1-m resolution images of arctic sea ice just hours after a recommendation by the National Academy of Sciences on Wednesday. The high-resolution images show swathes of sea ice from six sites in the Arctic Ocean. They were derived from classified images captured through the Medea program and are available through the USGS Global Fiducials Library.

The data will be useful for modeling the loss and transformation of arctic sea ice, showing meltwater puddles and other small-scale features that collectively have a large effect on climate change. Previous images, with a resolution of only 30 meters, were unable to show good detail on these features.

The release of the data the same day that the NAS released their recommendation is an unusually rapid example of governmental response to a request from the scientific community. More here from Reuters.