NIC-Global Watchful Eye of Snow & Ice

  • +

    The Home of the U.S. National Ice Center
    The use of satellite imagery to benefit global ice analyses and forecasts led to the formation of the Joint Ice Center (JIC) in 1976 between NOAA and the Navy (Fleet Weather Facility, Suitland, Md.). In 1995, the JIC expanded to include the U.S. Coast Guard and became the National Ice Center (NIC). Now, Coast Guard aircraft, icebreakers and Marine Safety Offices contribute onsite aerial and ship observations, along with timely ship and station reports.
    U.S. National Ice Center: http://www.natice.noaa.gov/index.html

  • +

    NIC Analyses and Forecasts Supporting Research Across the Globe
    The NIC is tasked with supporting NOAA and NSF scientific missions near the poles to assist them in operations in and around the polar ice pack. Some of the ships the NIC is supporting this year include: NOAA ship Ronald H. Brown, conducting ocean column research in the southern Atlantic; NOAA ship Oscar Dyson in the Bering Sea, conducting marine mammal research; and the USCG icebreaker Healy (above), in the Beaufort Sea, conducting sea floor mapping research. Photo Credit: U.S. Coast Gauard
    NOAA Arctic Research Resources: http://www.arctic.noaa.gov/arp/resources.html

  • +

    Historic U.S. Great Lake Ice Analysis/Coverage, March 2014
    During ice season, the NIC along with the Canadian Ice Service, provide daily analyses of ice cover. On March 6, 2014, ice on the U.S. Great Lakes reached its highest extent in more than 35 years. Ice covered 92.2% of the lake surface, falling behind the February 1977 record (94.76%). These daily analyses of ice on the Great Lakes are a key component in maintaining life and commerce in the U.S.-Canadian region.
    Great Lakes Ice Cover Maxima: http://go.usa.gov/KSb4

  • +

    Satellite Snow Data for Weather Prediction Models Around the World
    The NIC also tracks daily snow coverage across the northern hemisphere. Dating back to 1966, the snow cover record is the oldest satellite-derived environmental data record. Analysts rely on many sources, including geostationary and polar-orbiting satellites, automated surface stations and even local webcams to create the most accurate analysis possible. The NIC’s snow and ice extent analysis provides vital data for numerical weather prediction models.
    NIC Interactive Multisensor Snow Charts: http://www.natice.noaa.gov/ims/

The U.S. National Ice Center (NIC) is a multi-agency operational center managed by the United States Navy, the United States Coast Guard and NOAA. The NIC provides the highest quality, timely, accurate and relevant snow and ice products, as well as services to meet the operational needs of U.S. interests in the polar regions.

NESDIS Four-Panel Archive »

Global Data: Understanding Our World as it Changes

world map flat

Week

Vegetation Health

Vegetation Health
Though most of the Earth is covered by water, 25 percent of the planet’s surface is a dynamic green. NOAA scientists use satellite observations of vegetation greenness to develop vegetation health products that can be used as proxy data for monitoring drought, soil saturation, moisture and thermal conditions, fire risk, greenness of vegetation cover, vegetation fraction, leaf area index, start and end of the growing season, crop and pasture productivity, El Niño-Southern Oscillation climate anomalies, desertification, mosquito-borne diseases, invasive species, ecological resources, land degradation and more.
Use the slider to follow a weekly “greenup” for 2007. The darkest green areas are the lushest in vegetation, while the pale colors are sparse in vegetation cover either due to snow, drought, rock or urban areas.

Source: http://www.star.nesdis.noaa.gov/smcd/emb/vci/VH/vh_browse.php
Center for Satellite Applications and Research (STAR)

Ocean Depth

Using satellites, ships and remotely operated vehicles (ROVs), the National Geophysical Data Center (NGDC) collects data and studies the underwater depth and "beds" or "floors" of bodies of water (known as bathymetry data). The topography of the ocean floor is difficult to measure itself, but the ocean surface, which can easily be measured, mimics the bumps and dips found on the ocean floor. From the data taken by satellites, the NGDC is able to develop high resolution models of the ocean floor.
Use the slider to drain layers of water from Earth’s oceans, 500m at a time, revealing the topography of the ocean floor. The longer a region stays blue, the deeper that point is on the ocean floor.

Source: http://www.ngdc.noaa.gov/mgg/bathymetry/relief.html
National Geophysical Data Center (NGDC)

Ice Cover
Satellite imaging is able to collect information that data centers then use to plot fluctuations of sea ice. During the warmest winters recorded, like winter 2005-2006, the maximum cover of ice over Arctic waters (referred to as “sea ice extent”) is less than in colder years. The minimum cover of ice over Arctic waters occurs in the summer. In summer 2012, this minimum was the lowest measure of sea ice extent since satellite observations of polar ice have been recorded.
Use the slider to track the weekly sea ice cover over the course of a year.

Source: http://www.star.nesdis.noaa.gov/smcd/emb/snow/HTML/snow.htm
Center for Satellite Applications and Research (STAR)

Climatologies
Climate models use quantitative methods to simulate the interactions of the atmosphere, oceans, land surface and ice. They are used for a variety of purposes from the study of weather and climate system dynamics to projections of future climate. Because of the slow rate at which water heats and cools, sea surface temperature is one example of climatological data crucial to understanding climate change. Use the slider to track the daily observation of sea surface temperature for 2010-2011. The black areas that appear are missing data points due to cloud cover.

Source: http://www.nodc.noaa.gov/SatelliteData/pathfinder4km/available.html
National Oceanographicl Data Center (NODC)

Vegetation Health
Though most of the Earth is covered by water, 25 percent of the planet’s surface is a dynamic green. NOAA scientists use satellite observations of vegetation greenness to develop vegetation health products that can be used as proxy data for monitoring drought, soil saturation, moisture and thermal conditions, fire risk, greenness of vegetation cover, vegetation fraction, leaf area index, start and end of the growing season, crop and pasture productivity, El Niño-Southern Oscillation climate anomalies, desertification, mosquito-borne diseases, invasive species, ecological resources, land degradation and more.
Use the slider to follow a weekly “greenup” for 2007. The darkest green areas are the lushest in vegetation, while the pale colors are sparse in vegetation cover either due to snow, drought, rock or urban areas.
Source: http://www.star.nesdis.noaa.gov/smcd/emb/vci/VH/vh_browse.php
Center for Satellite Applications and Research (STAR)

Image Of The Day

Image of the Day -NOAA Environmental Visualization Laboratory

Rare Clear Day Over the Kamchatka Peninsula »

To view this content, javascript must be enabled in your browser.

NESDIS Social Media »