Download CryoSat-2 Ice and Ocean Data Products

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The polar-orbiting CryoSat-2 satellite provides researchers with a ice and ocean data that is helping to understanding the current state of the world’s ice sheets and oceans.  

Since its launch in 2010, CryoSat-2 has collected data that provides scientists with an understanding of changes in the thickness of polar sea ice, the elevation of the ice sheets that blanket Greenland and Antarctica, and mountain glaciers. A radar altimeter on board the satellite also provides measurements of sea-level height, waves, as well as detecting small, local phenomena in the ocean surface like eddies.

The ocean data collected from CryoSat-2 provides a bridge between the data collected by Jason 1/2 and Envisat and the upcoming Sentinel-3 satellite. The data acquired from CryoSat-2 provides insight into global oceanographic issues such as ocean–atmosphere interactions, El Niño/La Niña occurrences, and sea-level rise. Among the data collection, the Geophysical Ocean Product tracks eddy variability both small-scale instabilities as well as larger eddies.  The Intermediate Ocean Product dataset provides wind direction, wave height, and sea level measurements.  

The data is available for download via ESA’ CryoSat ftp server: ftp://science-pds.cryosat.esa.int.  Users must be registered to access the data.  To register, contact eohelp@esa.int.


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Average sea-surface topography for 2013 as mapped by CryoSat combined with data from the ERS-2, Envisat, GFO, Topex/Poseidon and Jason missions. Red represents higher sea levels (up to 20 mm) while blue represents lower areas (down to –20 mm). CryoSat’s ground-tracks are seen as long ‘strips’. It can be seen that CryoSat reaches higher latitudes compared to previous radar altimeter missions, and can capture a high-degree of mesoscale activity in the Gulf Stream. Source: ESA/CNES/CLS

Average sea-surface topography for 2013 as mapped by CryoSat combined with data from the ERS-2, Envisat, GFO, Topex/Poseidon and Jason missions. Red represents higher sea levels (up to 20 mm) while blue represents lower areas (down to –20 mm). CryoSat’s ground-tracks are seen as long ‘strips’. It can be seen that CryoSat reaches higher latitudes compared to previous radar altimeter missions, and can capture a high-degree of mesoscale activity in the Gulf Stream. Source: ESA/CNES/CLS

Detail of sea-surface topography: red represents higher sea levels while blue areas are lower. The ‘strips’ are the CryoSat satellite’s ground tracks. Source: ESA/CNES/CLS

Detail of sea-surface topography: red represents higher sea levels while blue areas are lower. The ‘strips’ are the CryoSat satellite’s ground tracks. Source: ESA/CNES/CLS

Reference: Special Delivery from CryoSat-2 – ESA


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