Danish-led ESA project release new comprehensive space-data on Greenland ice sheet changes

By René Forsberg, DTU

The ESA Greenland Climate Change Initiative, a joint project of four Danish institutions and five international partners, has released a new set of Essential Climate Variables for the Greenland ice sheet. The ECV’s are space-based data on Greenland mass changes, surface elevation changes, glacier front changes, and ice velocities, measured primarily by European missions. The attached map shows an example of current speeds of the Greenland ice sheet, showing how the major ice streams propagate deep into the ice sheet.  

The ECV data released spans periods from present back to 1992 or 2002, depending on the availability of raw satellite data. 

The newly updated data include:

  • CryoSat elevation change trends 2010-15 on a 5 km grid;
  • Ice Velocities for the Greenland ice sheet on a 500 m grid from RadarSat and Sentinel-1 missions 2013-15;
  • Time series of Ice Velocities for 9 major outlet glaciers from Sentinel-1;
  • Updated Calving Front Locations for main glaciers from Sentinel-1;
  • Updated Grounding Line Location from S-1 for the Petermann Glacier;
  • GRACE mass change products 2002-present for the entire ice sheet as well as 8 main drainage basins

The data are available in standardized formats (netCDF, ASCII, Shapefiles or GeoTIFF) at http://products.esa-icesheets-cci.org upon a simple registration procedure. A newsletter and further information on products can be found at the Greenland CCI web site http://www.esa-icesheets-greenland-cci.org.

The ESA Greenland CCI project is a cooperation between DTU Space, DMI, GEUS and Niels Bohr Institute, University of Copenhagen, as well as international partners ENVEO (Austria), Nansen Centre (Norway), S&T (Norway), TU Dresden (Germany), and University of Leeds (UK).

For more info: Rene Forsberg or Louise Sørensen, DTU Space (rf@space.dtu.dk or slss@space.dtu.dk)