Arctic sea ice data set inter-comparison and new resource available

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Arctic sea ice data set inter-comparison and new resource available

David Schneider
Dear colleagues,
 
With all of the attention on Arctic sea ice, the resource that we've been putting together on the Climate Data Guide, climatedataguide.ucar.edu/seaice, may be of interest. 
 
Here is one figure comparing 2003-2007 September mean sea ice concentrations across 10 data sets:
https://climatedataguide.ucar.edu/sites/default/files/key_figures/SIC_climatology_September_2003_2007_obs_Arctic_low_0.png

It’s particularly surprising that there have been so few systematic comparisons of sea ice climatologies and trends among the many data sets. Currently, records are being broken across most if not all of the major satellite and algorithm combinations, but I think the differences (esp. for sea ice concentration and area) are important in the context of comparing observed sea to coupled models, calculating surface fluxes, and prescribing boundary conditions for atmospheric models.
 
The Climate Data Guide aims to gather knowledge on the strengths and limitations of numerous climate data sets, including sea ice concentration. We post well informed and substantiated expert commentaries. Each page also has a comments section at the bottom for more informal tidbits. Please consider making a contribution; it is a relatively painless process. It is described more at https://climatedataguide.ucar.edu/contribute. Sea ice is just one of many topics. For instance, there is a lot of interest at NCAR in the performance of various renalyses in the polar regions. Surely there is knowledge out there that could be given a little more daylight?
 
A side benefit of gathering these data sets has been the development of one of the more searchable (IMHO) data sites. See https://climatedataguide.ucar.edu/guidance/sea-ice-concentration-overview-and-comparison-tables#Table for specific sea ice information, or https://climatedataguide.ucar.edu/all-datasets/table for a more generic representation of data set attributes.
 
Thanks for your interest.
 
Sincerely,
 
David Schneider

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