Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences at the University of Colorado Boulder

NSIDC Cryosphere Seminar

Comparison of long-term sea ice extent and area trends from three NSIDC passive microwave sea ice products by Walt Meier, CIRES NSIDC, Senior Research Scientist and DAAC Scientist

Abstract: Passive microwave sensors provide a long, consistent, and nearly-complete record of sea ice concentration since 1979. This represents one of the longest satellite-derived climate records. The records indicate a substantial decline in Arctic sea ice cover over the past 40+ years while the Antarctic displays large inter-annual variability with only small trends. Several algorithms have been developed to determine concentration from passive microwave sensors. Here, three products archived at NSIDC are inter-compared to assess the long-term trends in sea ice extent and area from the three products. Both hemispheric and regional analyses are done, based on a newly-developed region mask. The hemispheric trends are generally consistent, but differences between the products do have impacts on interpretation of the small trends in the Antarctic. Regional trends largely follow the hemispheric trends, but some regions have unique features. 

Bio: Walt Meier is a senior research scientist at NSIDC, a center within CIRES at the University of Colorado. As part of the NASA Snow and Ice Distributed Active Archive Center (DAAC) at NSIDC, he is the DAAC Scientist, providing scientific expertise and NASA DAAC data and services. His research focuses on passive microwave sea ice product, including sea ice concentration, motion, and age. He has an MS and PhD from the University of Colorado in Atmospheric and Oceanic Science and a BS in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Michigan. 


Wednesday, January 19, 2022
11:00 am to 12:00 pm





  • CIRES employees
  • CU Boulder employees
  • NOAA employees
  • Science collaborators


  • Seminar
  • Open to Public



Mistia Zuckerman