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Scientific Value of Arctic Sea Ice Imagery Derived Products

Scientific Value of Arctic Sea Ice Imagery Derived Products

During the 1990s, a government program brought together environmental scientists and members of the intelligence community to consider how classified assets and data could be applied to further the understanding of environmental change. As part of the Medea program, collection of overhead classified imagery of sea ice at four sites around the Arctic basin was initiated in 1999, and two additional sites were added in 2005. Collection of images during the summer months at these six locations has continued until the present day. Several hundred unclassified images with a nominal resolution of 1 meter have been derived from the classified images collected at the 6 Arctic sites.

To assist in the process of making the unclassified derived imagery more widely useful, the National Research Council reviewed the derived images and considered their potential uses for scientific research. In this book, we explore the importance of sea ice in the Arctic and illustrate the types of information–often unique in its detail–that the derived images could contribute to the scientific discussion.

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