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Proceedings of OceanObs'09: Sustained Ocean Observations and Information for Society

COMMUNITY WHITE PAPER10.5270/OceanObs09.cwp.50

Combining Satellite Altimetry, Time-Variable Gravity, and Bottom Pressure Observations to Understand the Arctic Ocean: A Transformative Opportunity

R. Kwok(1), S. Farrell(2), R. Forsberg(3), K. Giles(4), S. Laxon(4), D. McAdoo(5), J. Morison(6), L. Padman(7), C. Peralta-Ferriz(6), A. Proshutinsky(8), M. Steele(9)

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New developments in our observational capabilities present an unprecedented opportunity to make significant progress towards an integrated ability to address scientific issues of both the ocean and ice components of the Arctic Ocean system. In the coming decade, data from gravity satellites (GRACE (Gravity Recovery And Climate Experiment) and GOCE (Gravity and Steady State Ocean Circulation Explorer)), and polar-orbiting altimeters (e.g. ENVISAT (Environmental Satellite), ICESat (Ice, Cloud, and land Elevation Satellite), and upcoming CryoSat-2 (CRYOgenic SATellite), ICESat-2, and SWOT (Surface Water Ocean Topography)) will provide basin-scale fields of gravity and surface elevation. Together with an optimally designed in-situ hydrographic observation network, these data sets will have the potential to significantly advance our understanding of the ice-ocean interactions, circulation and mass variations of the Arctic Ocean. Recent work has demonstrated the combined use of GRACE and bottom pressure recorder (BPR) data for understanding the Arctic circulation, and the use of high precision altimeters for documenting recent decline in sea ice thickness. We describe several topics of particular interest in the use of satellite and in-situ data, and the considerations for the design of an observational network for hydrographic sampling.

1Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, 4800 Oak Grove Dr, Pasadena, CA 91109 USA
2NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) Laboratory for Satellite Altimetry, Silver Spring MD 20910-3282. USA.
3Geodynamics Department, Danish National Space Center, Juliane Maries Vej 30, DK-2100, Copenhagen O, DK
4Centre for Polar Observations and Modelling, University College London, Gower Street, London - WC1E 6BT UK
5NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) Laboratory for Satellite Altimetry, Silver Spring, MD 20910 USA
6Polar Science Center, Applied Physics Lab, University of Washington, 1013 NE 40th St, Seattle, WA 98105-6698, USA
7Earth & Space Research, 3350 SW Cascade Ave, Corvallis, OR 97333 USA
8Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, 86 Water St, Woods Hole, MA 02543-1052 USA
9Polar Science Center, Applied Physics Lab, University of Washington, 1013 NE 40th St, Seattle, WA 98105-66985, USA

Correspondence should be addressed to E-mail: ron.kwok@jpl.nasa.gov

This paper shall be cited as:

Kwok, R. & Co-Authors (2010). "Combining Satellite Altimetry, Time-Variable Gravity, and Bottom Pressure Observations to Understand the Arctic Ocean: A Transformative Opportunity" in Proceedings of OceanObs’09: Sustained Ocean Observations and Information for Society (Vol. 2), Venice, Italy, 21-25 September 2009, Hall, J., Harrison, D.E. & Stammer, D., Eds., ESA Publication WPP-306, doi:10.5270/OceanObs09.cwp.50

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