Ice Watch is coordinating the collection and archival of visual sea ice observations recorded on ships in the Northern Hemisphere. We provide open source software for recording and sharing shipborne Arctic sea ice observation data. Data can also be collected in the Southern Hemisphere, and if submitted here will be passed to the Australian Antarctic Division database for ASPeCt observations. Ice Watch is coordinated by the University of Alaska Fairbanks, the International Arctic Research Center, and the Geographic Information Network of Alaska. The Climate of the Cryosphere (CliC) office provides support for our international collaboration and networking.
ASSIST (Arctic Shipborne Sea Ice Standardization Tool) software is used by observers to record sea ice conditions throughout the Arctic Ocean. During the summer melt season when most ship activity occurs, international vessels using ASSIST report near real-time observations of ice concentration, ice thickness, stage of growth or melt, surface roughness and many other variables to the Ice Watch team, who present the observations on this website.
Cruise data in multiple formats are available to download for further analysis. The data archive will continue to grow as more ships participate and historic cruise data are converted to the ASSIST file format.
ASSIST and the Ice Watch campaign debuted in summer 2012. We welcome feedback regarding your experiences with the Ice Watch site and the ASSIST software, which is freely available upon request. We also encourage submission of shipborne sea ice observation data recorded by other methods.