CEOS EO HANDBOOK – MEASUREMENTS
Snow and Ice
Sea ice cover, edge and thickness
Sea ice variability is a key indicator of climate variability and change which is characterised by a number of parameters. In addition to monitoring ice extent (the total area covered by ice at any concentration) and concentration (the area covered by ice per unit area of ocean), it is necessary to know ice thickness in order to estimate sea ice volume or mass balance.
2D vector outlines of glaciers and ice caps (delineating glacier area)
Fraction of an area covered by permanent ice - Physical unit: [ % ] - Accuracy unit: [ % ].
Variation of glacier boundary in a specific direction. [Unit of measurement -m/y]
Iceberg fractional cover
Fraction of the ground area covered by icebergs. [Unit of measurement - %]
Vertical projection of an area covered by icebergs. [Unit of measurement - m]
Fraction of ice in an ocean area - Physical unit: [ % ] - Accuracy unit: [ % ].
Sea-ice surface temperature
Temperature of the surface of sea-ice - Physical unit: [ K ] - Accuracy unit: [ K ].
Thickness of the ice sheet connected with surface height and ice density - Physical unit: [ cm ] - Accuracy unit: [ cm ].
Parameter convolving several factors (age, roughness, density, etc.) - Accuracy expressed as number of classes. Actually [ classes-1 ] is used, so that smaller figure corresponds to better performance, as usual.
* Description adapted from WMO.
Researched and written by