Coverage of the Sentinel-1 A+B satellites and Ship Traffic in the Arctic
These maps combine the daily (24h) Synthetic Apperture Radar (SAR) Arctic coverage of Copernicus Sentinel-1 A and B satellites (orange), with unique ship visits 2009-2016 in the Arctic (blue-yellow).
The Sentinel-1 A+B SAR coverage mosaic is processed by Roberto Saldo and www.seaice.dk (Contains modified Copernicus Sentinel data).
The map of ship traffic is prepared by Tufts University and Woods Hole Research Center.
In a changing climate, the Arctic warms twice faster than the global average (Arctic Amplification) (AMAP, 2017). The steady sea-ice retreat opens the Arctic Ocean for shipping, especially during the summer season. In a global warming beyond 1.5C, frequent occurrences of ice-free summer Arctic are expected with high confidence (UN IPCC SR15).
Readiness for increased activity in the Arctic (including safe shipping) is one of the areas of the EU Integrated Arctic policy. Copernicus, EU's Earth Observation programme monitors the Arctic, but does not offer today a full sub-daily coverage. Full sub-daily coverage of the Arctic (and generally polar regions) is one of the objectives of the Copernicus Imaging Microwave Mission (CIMR, https://cimr-eu), including "no hole at the pole".