New Results from Cryosat

18 December 2013

Cryosat, the European satellite first proposed at MSSL, has been delivering an unprecedented view of the seasonal growth and retreat of sea ice since its launch in 2010. A new Cryosat study presented in San Fransisco to the Americal Geophysical Union shows that there was 50% more sea ice in the Arctic this summer compared to 2012. This surprising result emerged from research by PhD student Rachel Tilling from the NERC Centre for Polar Observation and Modelling (CPOM) at UCL and is covered on the BBC News website.

Another recent study exploits Cryosat's ability to observe details at the edges of ice sheets, revealing thinning of glaciers in West Antarctica. CPOM's Dr. Malcolm McMillan performed research that suggests that increased ice loss equates to a 15% increase in West Antarctica's contribution to global sea level rise and is also covered on the BBC News website

The Cryosat mission resulted from a proposal by a UCL staff member, Prof. Duncan Wingham, previously at MSSL, now the director of NERC. MSSL's Software Engineering team designed and built the software mission simulator and the data processing chains in the Operational Ground Segment. MSSL continue to provide software support to the Cryosat mission.

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