Monday, 23 January 2012
Variability of the MASIE Product Versus Automated Retrieval Algorithms
Hall E (New Orleans Convention Center )
A relatively new product called the “Multi-sensor Analyzed Sea Ice Extent” (MASIE) offers a new perspective on estimating the extent of northern hemispheric sea ice. Unlike most sea ice extent estimates, the MASIE applies multiple sensors and data sources to determine any 4km resolution space that contains a prominence of sea ice. At 4km resolution, the MASIE provides data in areas typically masked or overestimated by lower resolution Passive Microwave retrievals of sea ice. All data sources are evaluated to determine the sea ice content by expert analysts. The ability of the human analyst to make judgments and adjust for sensor deficiencies allows the MASIE to be more robust. However, subjectivity added by using expert analysis is an important consideration in understanding the utility of the MASIE data for operational and ice monitoring. This study compares day-to-day variability of the MASIE with other sea ice extent products to understand their similarities and try to explain their differences. Temporal and spatial behavior between ice extents will be tested over the Northern Hemisphere as well as within regions of interest. This evaluation of the MASIE variability will help users in their understanding of how best to apply the MASIE data in forecasting, navigation, and climate monitoring applications.