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Climate Change in the Arctic

In the Arctic, monitoring of sea ice is important for safety and commercial reasons, but it is also an important indicator of climate change. 


Photo: ESA / C. Yakiwchuck

The Norwegian Meteorological Institute (Met.no) is daily delivering free ice charts predominantly based on satellite data and especially satellite radar data. 

The presence, or absence, of snow cover, has a large impact in many areas including atmospheric processes and the Earth´s surface energy balance. Met.no´s and NVE´s snow cover service is using satellite monitoring of regional snow cover and is producing historical global snow cover products from satellite data. 

Permafrost is important for our climate, containing large amounts of biomass stores as methane and carbon dioxide, making tundra soil a carbon sink. 

Norwegian institutes are developing a service based on satellite radar data from Copernicus, monitoring sinking ground and land heave. This service will be applied to monitoring permafrost with a special focus on Svalbard. Methods are based on a highly successful service called InSAR Norway which has also been developed into the European service InSAR Europe, monitoring sinking land heave all over Europe.

Glaciers are particularly sensitive to changes in climate and are one of the main contributors to recent sea level rise globally. The Norwegian Copernicus Glacier Service is using Sentinel satellite data to monitor glaciers in mainland Norway and Svalbard.