WMO GCW home

See Also

Satellite Instruments that Measure the Cryosphere

There are many satellite instruments that measure various properties of the cryosphere. The official WMO source of satellite information is the Observing Systems Capability Analysis and Review Tool (OSCAR). Satellite measurements of Earth System variables are given in OSCAR's Gap Analysis by Variable pages.

The cryosphere variables in the table below are linked to the robust information in OSCAR that details which satellites and instruments are used to measure each variable, the relevance of the instrument and satellite, and the timeframe. Once in OSCAR you can use the drop-down menus to select other variables, or return here for direct links. There are a number of filtering options on the OSCAR pages, such as hiding satellites that are no longer in operation and sorting the columns in the table.

Click on a variable to visit the relevant OSCAR page and see which satellite instruments are used to measure that variable. This is the complete list of cryosphere variables currently in OSCAR's Gap Analysis by Variable section. GCW and its Polar Space Task Group (PSTG) partner will expand this information in the future.

Sea Ice Land Ice Snow
Sea ice cover Glacier cover Snow cover
Sea ice elevation Glacier motion Snow status (wet/dry)
Sea ice thickness Glacier topography Snow water equivalent
Sea ice type Ice sheet topography