Articles | Volume 5, issue 2
15 Oct 2013
 | 15 Oct 2013

A long-term and reproducible passive microwave sea ice concentration data record for climate studies and monitoring

G. Peng, W. N. Meier, D. J. Scott, and M. H. Savoie

Abstract. A long-term, consistent, and reproducible satellite-based passive microwave sea ice concentration climate data record (CDR) is available for climate studies, monitoring, and model validation with an initial operation capability (IOC). The daily and monthly sea ice concentration data are on the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) polar stereographic grid with nominal 25 km × 25 km grid cells in both the Southern and Northern Hemisphere polar regions from 9 July 1987 to 31 December 2007. The data files are available in the NetCDF data format at and archived by the National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) under the satellite climate data record program (

The description and basic characteristics of the NOAA/NSIDC passive microwave sea ice concentration CDR are presented here. The CDR provides similar spatial and temporal variability as the heritage products to the user communities with the additional documentation, traceability, and reproducibility that meet current standards and guidelines for climate data records. The data set, along with detailed data processing steps and error source information, can be found at