University of Waterloo Reveals New Satellite image of Antarctica

The University of Waterloo has revealed a new satellite image of Antarctica. This imagery will be beneficial for scientists all over the world to gain new insight into the effects of climate change.

The mosaic map of the Antarctica is the most recent addition to the Canadian Cryospheric Information Network (CCIN) Polar Data Catalogue and it is accessible on the Polar Data Catalogue website.

According to Professor Ellsworth LeDrew, director of the CCIN and a professor in the Faculty of Environment at Waterloo, the mosaic will give update on the ever-changing ice cover in this area that would be important and interesting for climatologists, geologists, biologists and oceanographers.

With help of Synthetic Aperture Radar with multiple polarization modes aboard the RADARSAT-2 satellite, the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) gathered over 3,150 images of the continent in the autumn of 2008.

"When compared to the previous Antarctic RADARSAT-1 mosaic, we can map changes in the icescape with unprecedented accuracy and confidence. The earth's polar regions are considered a bellwether for the effects of climate change”, said Professor Ellsworth LeDrew, director of the CCIN and a professor in the Faculty of Environment at Waterloo.

The Canadian Space Agency, MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd. (MDA), the prime contractor for the RADARSAT-2 program, and the Canadian Cryospheric Information Network were involved in project. Public and academic world could easily access the full mosaic without any charge at UWaterloo.

The CCIN will connect with international researchers working with various government, university and private organizations to provide access to data. It will also provide information management infrastructure for the Canadian cryospheric community.

Professor LeDrew said that the Polar Data Catalogue's mandate to make such information freely accessible to scientists, students and the public to improve understanding and stewardship of the Polar Regions.