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Remote Sens. 2016, 8(5), 397; doi:10.3390/rs8050397

Improving Multiyear Sea Ice Concentration Estimates with Sea Ice Drift

1
Institute of Environmental Physics, University of Bremen, Bremen 28359, Germany
2
Science and Technology Branch, Environment Canada, Toronto, ON M3H5T4, Canada
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Walt Meier, Mark Tschudi, Xiaofeng Li and Prasad S. Thenkabail
Received: 25 February 2016 / Revised: 10 April 2016 / Accepted: 28 April 2016 / Published: 10 May 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sea Ice Remote Sensing and Analysis)
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Abstract

Multiyear ice (MYI) concentration can be retrieved from passive or active microwave remote sensing observations. One of the algorithms that combines both observations is the Environmental Canada Ice Concentration Extractor (ECICE). However, factors such as ridging, snow wetness and metamorphism can cause significant changes in brightness temperature and backscatter, leading to misidentification of FYI as MYI, hence increasing the estimated MYI concentrations suddenly. This study introduces a correction scheme to restore the MYI concentrations under these conditions. The correction utilizes ice drift records to constrain the MYI changes and uses two thresholds of passive microwave radiometric parameters to account for snow wetness and metamorphism. The correction is applied to MYI concentration retrievals from ECICE with inputs from QuikSCAT and AMSR-E observations, acquired over the Arctic region in a series of winter seasons (October to May) from 2002 to 2009. Qualitative comparison with the Radarsat-1 SAR images and quantitative comparison against results from previous studies show that the correction works well by removing the anomalous high MYI concentrations. On average, the correction reduces the estimated MYI area by 5.2 × 105 km2 (14.3%) except for the April–May time frame, when the reduction is larger as the warmer weather prompts the condition of the anomalous snow radiometric signature. Due to the long-lasting (i.e., from one to several weeks) effect of the warm spells on FYI, the correction could be important in climatological research and operational applications. View Full-Text
Keywords: multiyear ice; ice concentration; microwave remote sensing; Arctic sea ice; ice drift; ECICE multiyear ice; ice concentration; microwave remote sensing; Arctic sea ice; ice drift; ECICE
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Ye, Y.; Shokr, M.; Heygster, G.; Spreen, G. Improving Multiyear Sea Ice Concentration Estimates with Sea Ice Drift. Remote Sens. 2016, 8, 397.

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