Articles | Volume 10, issue 5
Research article
26 Sep 2016
Research article |  | 26 Sep 2016

The impact of melt ponds on summertime microwave brightness temperatures and sea-ice concentrations

Stefan Kern, Anja Rösel, Leif Toudal Pedersen, Natalia Ivanova, Roberto Saldo, and Rasmus Tage Tonboe

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Cited articles

Andersen, S., Tonboe, R. T., Kaleschke, L., Heygster, G., and Pedersen, L. T.: Intercomparison of passive microwave sea ice concentration retrievals over the high-concentration Arctic sea ice, J. Geophys. Res., 112, C08004,, 2007.
Ashcroft, P. and Wentz, F. J.: AMSR-E/Aqua L2A global swath spatially-resampled brightness temperatures data set, version 3, [2009-06-01 to 2009-08-31], NASA DAAC at the National Snow and Ice Data Center, Boulder, Colorado, USA,, 2013.
Baum, B. A., Menzel, W. P., Frey, R. A., Tobin, D. C., Holz, R. E., and Ackerman, S. A.: MODIS cloud-top property refinement for Collection 6, J. Appl. Meteorol. Clim., 51, 1145–1163,, 2012.
Beitsch, A.: Uncertainties of a near 90 GHz sea ice concentration retrieval algorithm. Dissertationsschrift, Universität Hamburg, available at:, last access: 2 June 2016, 2014.
Cavalieri, D. J., Gloersen, P., and Campbell, W. J.: Determination of sea ice parameters with the NIMBUS 7 SMMR, J. Geophys. Res., 89, 5355–5369, 1984.
Short summary
Sea ice, frozen seawater floating on polar oceans, is covered by meltwater puddles, so-called melt ponds, during summer. Methods used to compute Arctic sea-ice concentration (SIC) from microwave satellite data are influenced by melt ponds. We apply eight such methods to one microwave dataset and compare SIC with visible data. We conclude all methods fail to distinguish melt ponds from leads between ice floes; SIC biases are negative (positive) for ponded (non-ponded) sea ice and can exceed 20 %.