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Sea surface height anomalies of the Arctic Ocean from ICESat-2: a first examination and comparisons with CryoSat-2
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  • Marco Bagnardi,
  • Nathan Timothy Kurtz,
  • Alek Aaron Petty,
  • Ron Kwok
Marco Bagnardi
Goddard Space Flight Center

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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Nathan Timothy Kurtz
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
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Alek Aaron Petty
University of Maryland, College Park
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Ron Kwok
Applied Physics Laboratory
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Accurately resolving spatio-temporal variations in sea surface height across the polar oceans is key to improving our understanding of ocean circulation variability and change. Here, we examine the first two years (2018-2020) of Arctic Ocean sea surface height anomalies (SSHA) from the photon-counting laser altimeter onboard NASA’s ICE, Cloud, and Land Elevation Satellite-2 (ICESat-2). ICESat-2 SSHA estimates are compared to independent estimates from the CryoSat-2 mission, including available semi-synchronous along-track measurements from the recent CRYO2ICE orbit alignment campaign. There are documented residual centimeter-scale range biases between the ICESat-2 beams (in the current data release, r003) and we opted for a single-beam approach in our comparisons. We find good agreements in the along-track estimates (correlations > 0.8 and differences < 0.03 m) as well as in the gridded monthly SSHA estimates (correlation 0.76 and mean difference 0.01 m) from the two altimeters, suggesting ICESat-2 adds to the SSHA estimates from CryoSat-2.
28 Jul 2021Published in Geophysical Research Letters volume 48 issue 14. 10.1029/2021GL093155