OSI SAF | Observing oceans from space
Data records
Daily Arctic and Antarctic sea ice extents and normalized backscatter
Product status: -
The sea ice extent and normalized backscatter from the ERS, Quikscat and ASCAT scatterometers result from the Bayesian discrimination of measured backscatter distances to prescribed ocean wind and sea ice geophysical model functions. The sea ice product contains the Bayesian sea ice probability and a proxy age of sea ice mapped onto 12.5 km polar stereographic grids. The sea ice extent is formed when the sea ice probability crosses a certain threshold, and the proxy age of sea ice is converted to (normalized VV C-band, or HH and VV Ku-band) sea ice backscatter using the instructions detailed in the User Manual.

The EUMETSAT Ocean and Sea Ice Satellite Application Facility (OSI SAF) and KNMI present a first version of a consistent long-term record of sea ice extent and backscatter from satellite scatterometry (ERS, Quikscat and ASCAT) dating back from 1992 to 2016. The sea ice extents from scatterometers show good agreement with the global sea ice concentration climate data records from passive microwave instruments during the winter months, but present notable differences during the summer months, scatterometers being more inclusive regarding the detection of lower concentration and melting ice. The scatterometer record also monitors the evolution of sea ice backscatter, which is typically used to separate multiyear from first year ice, and informs about the physical characteristics of the most dominant sea ice types.

Note that these data records are not officially committed OSI SAF products. They are a by-product of the scatterometer wind data record generation and are needed to distinguish between open water (where winds can be retrieved) and ice-covered areas.

All intellectual property rights of the OSI SAF products belong to EUMETSAT. The use of these data sets is granted to every interested user, free of charge. If you wish to use these data, EUMETSAT's copyright credit must be shown by displaying the words "copyright (year) EUMETSAT" on each of the products used.
Access to products
The data in NetCDF format are available on request from KNMI.
Further information
Please contact the KNMI OSI SAF team.


Background information
OSI SAF near real time Wind Products
OSI SAF Wind Climate Data Records
Discontinued Wind Products
Other Wind Services at KNMI
Software
Related links