AMSR-E Antarctic Sea Ice

  • Released Monday, October 24th, 2011
  • Updated Friday, August 25th, 2023 at 12:01AM
  • ID: 3854

Sea ice is frozen seawater floating on the surface of the ocean. Some sea ice is semi-permanent, persisting from year to year, and some is seasonal, melting and refreezing from season to season. The sea ice cover reaches its minimum extent at the end of each summer and the remaining ice is called the perennial ice cover.

In this animation, the Antarctic sea ice progresses through time from May 26, 2009 through July 31, 2010. Over the water, Arctic sea ice changes from day to day showing a running 3-day average sea ice concentration in the region where the concentration is greater than 15%. The blueish white color of the sea ice is derived from a 3-day running minimum of the AMSR-E 89 GHz brightness temperature. Over the Antarctic continent, the LIMA data shown here uses the pan-chromatic band and has a resolution of 240 meters per pixel. The Landsat Image Mosaic of Antarctica (LIMA) is a data product funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and jointly produced by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), the British Antarctic Survey (BAS), and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).


Please give credit for this item to: NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center Scientific Visualization Studio. The Blue Marble data is courtesy of Reto Stockli (NASA/GSFC). LIMA Data provided by: Patricia Vornberger (SAIC) LIMA data produced by U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), the British Antarctic Survey (BAS) and NASA


This visualization is related to the following missions:

Datasets used in this visualization

Terra and Aqua Blue Marble Land Cover (Collected with the MODIS sensor)

Credit: The Blue Marble data is courtesy of Reto Stockli (NASA/GSFC).

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Aqua Sea Ice Concentration (A.K.A. Daily L3 12.5km Tb, Sea Ice Concentration, and Snow Depth) (Collected with the AMSR-E sensor)
Aqua Daily L3 6.25 km 89 GHz Brightness Temperature (Tb) (Collected with the AMSR-E sensor)
Landsat-7 LIMA (A.K.A. Landsat Image Mosaic of Antarctica) (Collected with the ETM+ sensor)
Mosaic NASA/GSFC, British Antarctic Survey, USGS EROS Data Center

Mosaicing to avoid clouds produced a high quality, nearly cloud-free benchmark data set of Antarctica for the International Polar Year from images collected primarily during 1999-2003.

Dataset can be found at:

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