CIRES' National Snow and Ice Data Center

Supporting cryospheric research since 1976


The mission of CIRES' National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) is to make fundamental contributions to cryospheric science, and to excel in managing data and disseminating information in order to advance understanding of the Earth system.


NOAA established the National Snow and Ice Data Center as a national information and referral center in support of polar and cryospheric research. NSIDC excels in cryospheric data management and cryospheric research. The Data Center archives and distributes digital and analog snow and ice data, and offers hundreds of data products and related services to researchers, commercial applications users, and others worldwide. NSIDC also maintains online and other information about snow cover, avalanches, glaciers, ice sheets, freshwater ice, sea ice, ground ice, permafrost, atmospheric ice, paleoglaciology, and ice cores. The Data Center also publishes reports and a quarterly newsletter, and holds a large library collection of monographs, technical reports, and journals.


The National Snow and Ice Data Center is funded at the project level by national agencies. Primary among these agencies are the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the National Science Foundation (NSF), and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Scientists at NSIDC receive research funding by competing for grants and contracts from NASA, NSF, NOAA, and other agencies.