The European Space Agency (ESA) has released the first maps of sea-ice thickness in the Arctic, based on data from the CryoSat mission. Cryosat’s orbit goes within a couple of degrees of the poles, allowing it to collect much more detailed data than previous earth observing satellites.
This graphic depicts ice thickness as it approached the annual maximum in January and February this year:
ESA has also a released a preliminary, low resolution, exagerrated terrain profile of the ice sheet in Antartctica. Data is from February and March 2011:
According to ESA this new information will provide a baseline for further measurements, shedding new light on the complex relationship between polar ice and climate.
Also See – What would Greenland look like without the ice cap.