Sea Ice Concentration data reprocessed from SSMR & SSMI, by Eumetsat

Teaser image
Sea Ice Concentration data reprocessed from SSMR & SSMI, by Eumetsat
Main content

The Eumetsat Ocean and Sea Ice Satellite Applications Facility provides a "reprocessed" data set of Arctic and Antarctic sea ice concentration for 1978-2009. Source data are the SMMR and SSM/I passive microwave brightness temperatures. Three algorithms are utilized: the Technical University of Denmark algorithm is applied to the SSM/I data from 1991 onwards; the Bootstrap and the Bristol algorithms are combined for the SMMR and SSM/I data for 1978-1991. The Bootstrap is said to have lower sensitivity to atmospheric noise in areas of open water (helping to delineate the ice edge), while the Bristol algorithm is applied due to its lower sensitivity to ice surface emissivity variability. In general, atmospheric effects are more pronounced for relatively low ice concentrations. More information is available in the documentation and publications linked below.

Key Strengths

Key Strengths

Long, daily or every-other-day timeseries of sea ice in the Arctic and Antarctic

Uses dynamic tie points adjusted to typical brightness temperatures of ice and open water; this may account for satellite drift and inter-satellite calibration issues

Corrections are applied for weather effects (water vapor and surface roughness) on the passive microwave signals

Key Limitations

Key Limitations

Not fully updated to present

Few publications about it; properties are not widely known

The weather corrections depend on the ERA-40 and ECMWF operational forecasts and this could possibly introduce non-climatic biases

Please cite data sources, following the data providers' instructions
Suggested Data Citation
  1. EUMETSAT Ocean and Sea Ice Satelitte Application Facility. Global sea ice concentration reprocessing dataset 1978-2009 (v1.1, 2011), [Online]. Norwegian and Danish Meteorological Institutes. Available from

Dataset DOIs
Hosted Climate Index Files
Usage Restrictions

Key Figures

Artic sea ice: Eumetsat reprocessed.

Arctic sea ice averaged over 2003-2007 for the month of March according to the Eumetsat Sea Ice Reprocessed data set. Figure by D. Schneider.

Other Information

Earth system components and main variables
Type of data product
Dataset collections

Years of record
Data time period extended
No, data set not being extended
Input Data


Vertical Levels:
Missing Data Flag
Missing data present
Ocean or Land
Ocean Only
Spatial Resolution

12.5 x 12.5 km

Model Resolution (reanalysis)
Data Assimilation Method
Model Vintage (reanalysis)