Investigations of the Recent Polar Ice Variations Observed from the Space-Borne Optical and Microwave Sensors




Polar ice regime plays an important role in the Earth’s climate system. It consists of ocean, ice sheet, sea ice, ice shelf, atmosphere and polynyas. Because of the complex feedback mechanism amongst these components, improved knowledge of the physical processes is required for a better understanding of the potential changes in ice mass balance. e changes observed in Polar sea ice extent in the recent past are alarming. e present paper is focused on the changes observed over the Arctic and the Antarctic ice surface, sea-ice as well as ice-shelf, using the data derived from space-borne observations. e recent changes in the sea-ice concentration and ice-shelf melting are discussed in detail. e inter-relationship of sea-ice, sea surface temperature (SST) and ocean productivity and their year-to-year variations have also been discussed. e paper summarises the studies carried out at Space Applications Centre (SAC), Indian Space Research Organisation) for the assessment of Arctic and Antarctic sea ice extents and surface melting over east-Antarctic ice-shelves, using the space borne data.


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