Verification of a new NOAA/NSIDC passive microwave sea-ice concentration climate record
A new satellite-based passive microwave sea-ice concentration product developed for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Climate Data Record (CDR) programme is evaluated via comparison with other passive microwave-derived estimates. The new product leverages two well-established concentration algorithms, known as the NASA Team and Bootstrap, both developed at and produced by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC). The sea-ice estimates compare well with similar GSFC products while also fulfilling all NOAA CDR initial operation capability (IOC) requirements, including (1) self-describing file format, (2) ISO 19115-2 compliant collection-level metadata, (3) Climate and Forecast (CF) compliant file-level metadata, (4) grid-cell level metadata (data quality fields), (5) fully automated and reproducible processing and (6) open online access to full documentation with version control, including source code and an algorithm theoretical basic document. The primary limitations of the GSFC products are lack of metadata and use of untracked manual corrections to the output fields. Smaller differences occur from minor variations in processing methods by the National Snow and Ice Data Center (for the CDR fields) and NASA (for the GSFC fields). The CDR concentrations do have some differences from the constituent GSFC concentrations, but trends and variability are not substantially different.
Keywords: Sea ice; Arctic and Antarctic oceans; climate data record; evaluation; passive microwave remote sensing.
(Published: 22 December 2014)
Citation: Polar Research 2014, 33, 21004, http://dx.doi.org/10.3402/polar.v33.21004
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