Snow on sea ice plays an important role in regulating energy and moisture exchange between the ocean and atmosphere. It is also currently the largest source of uncertainty in retrievals of sea ice thickness from radar and laser altimeter measurements. Thus, snow depth retrievals are of intense interest to the sea ice science community.
Measurements of snow on sea ice have been investigated from a variety of sources including passive microwave data, active radar instruments, and modeling efforts. The successful retrieval of snow depth on sea ice has been demonstrated from the 2-18 GHz snow radar onboard the IceBridge mission and new efforts are underway to continue to improve these retrievals. Forward modeling of the impact of snow on satellite radar altimeter returns from CryoSat-2 is also a source of interest to continue to improve sea ice thickness retrievals.