The International Polar Year (IPY)
International Polar Year 2007-2008 (IPY) provides a unique opportunity to
develop polar observing systems and, by doing so, closes one of the most
drastic gaps in global observations.
The initial phase of CryOS coincides with IPY. The first achievements of CryOS are in the area of
coordination of satellite observations of the cryosphere. The Global Inter-agency IPY Polar
Snapshot Year (GIIPSY) project was developed in concert with CryOS to improve
the coordination of space observations in the polar regions during IPY. Some of the requirements will be
satisfied through routine operations, but some will call for non-routine
tasking, processing, and data distribution. GIIPSY will generate a number of unprecedented datasets
contributing to studies of sea-level rise, ocean circulation and polar air-sea
interactions, regional climate, polar precipitation and hydrology, permafrost
and Arctic aquatic ecosystems, transportation, and hazards.
further support the IPY, WMO/ICSU formed the Space Task Group (STG) for
IPY. Its purpose is the
coordination of polar satellite data acquisitions from major space agencies
during the IPY. Some CryOS team
members have leading roles in the STG.
an effort is underway to ensure that there is an IPY legacy. CryOS (through CliC) leads a GEO Work
Plan task (CL-06-05) that has IPY data legacy as its goal. The key elements requiring attention
are to stop the degradation of critical in-situ networks, ensure balanced in
situ system capabilities, and address missing elements in the satellite
component of CryOS such as solid precipitation, snow-water equivalent, and SAR
interferometry of polar ice sheets.
WMO Global Cryosphere Watch
15th WMO Congress approved the WCRP/CliC proposal to initiate the
establishment of a Global Cryosphere Watch as an IPY legacy. The proposal was based on CryOS
Contributions to Satellite Mission Planning
The IGOS Cryosphere Theme provides an in-depth assessment of the
cryosphere observing system, including capabilities, requirements, and gaps in
the satellite, airborne, and in situ observing components. This assessment
resulted in improved coverage of cryospheric elements in the Global Climate
Observing System (GCOS) Implementation Plan and contributed to the GCOS-CEOS
(Committee on Earth Observation Satellites) plan for satellite-based
products. Furthermore, CryOS has
influenced the satellite mission planning process resulting in:
of three orbital cycles of coordinated, experimental inter-satellite (ERS-SAR
and Envisat ASAR) SAR interferometry.
This will test the concept of inter-satellite SAR interferometry for the
C-band SAR constellations of the future.
of the Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES) Sentinel-1A C-band
SAR mission, with a nominal launch in 2011/12.
of the GMES Sentinel-3A SAR altimeter mission that will provide sea-ice
of RADARSAT MiniMAMM (Modified Antarctic Mapping Mission) SAR mapping of
of CryoSat-2 with a re-launch in 2009.
has also had an impact on the development of the CoReH2O (snow hydrology) ESA
Earth Explorer candidate mission.
Contributions to the Research Project Planning
CryOS is making a contribution to the planning of
ongoing SCAR scientific research projects including ISMASS (Ice Sheet MASS
balance and sea-level), ASPeCT (Antarctic Sea Ice Processes and Climate), PPE
(Permafrost and Periglacial Environments), and AGCS (Antarctica in the Global