Arctic Ice Chart, January 29, 2001

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This polygon shapefile contains ice observations in the Arctic region for January 29, 2001. This layer is part of the Arctic Climate System (ACSYS) Historical Ice Chart Archive. The earliest chart in the data set comes from 1553, when Sir Hugh Willoughby and Richard Chancellor, commanders of two expeditions sent out by the Company of Merchant Adventurers, recorded their observations of the ice edge. Early charts are irregular and infrequent, reflecting the remoteness and hostility of the region. The frequency of observations generally increases over time, as the economic and strategic importance of the Arctic grew, along with the ability to access, observe and record information on sea ice. The Norwegian Meteorological Institute in Tromso used a combination of satellite imagery and in situ observations to produce daily digital charts each working day. These show not only the ice edge, but also detailed information on the range of sea ice concentrations and ice types. The Norwegian Meteorological Institute is continuing this series, and more recent charts may be obtained from this source.
The ACSYS Historical Ice Chart Archive presents historical sea-ice observations in the Arctic region between 30ºW and 70ºE. The earliest chart dates from 1553, and the most recent from December 2002.


Type of resource cartographic, software, multimedia
Form Shapefile
Extent 0.08
Publisher Arctic Climate System (ACSYS)
Publication date 2003
Language English
Digital origin born digital
Map data 1:24000Scale not given. ; Custom projection W 179°54ʹ30ʺ--E 170°35ʹ51ʺ/N 89°4ʹ50ʺ--N 49°25ʹ31ʺ, Scale not given ; EPSG::4326


Creator Arctic Climate System (ACSYS)


Subject Sea ice
Subject Arctic Ocean
Subject 2001
Subject Climatology, Meteorology and Atmosphere
Subject Oceans
Genre Geospatial data
Genre Cartographic dataset

Bibliographic information

Supplemental information Vessels sailing to the Arctic to explore or to hunt whales and seals made early sea-ice observations. Over the centuries, technological advances and commercial opportunities in the Arctic led to more frequent and regular sea-ice observations, with associated increasing accuracy. As sailing ships gave way to steam powered vessels, and with the advent of aircraft and satellites, regular mapping of sea ice conditions became an organized activity. From 1967 onwards, hand drawn weekly charts were produced, showing not only an ice edge, but also concentrations of sea ice within the ice pack. Since July 1997, improved technology allowed daily production of digital sea ice maps on workdays.
WGS84 Cartographics This layer is presented in the WGS84 coordinate system for web display purposes. Downloadable data are provided in native coordinate system or projection.

Access conditions

Use and reproduction

If you use this data, please refer to it using this citation:
ACSYS, 2003. ACSYS Historical Ice Chart Archive (1553-2002). IACPO Informal Report No. 8. Tromsø, Norway: Arctic Climate System Study.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license (CC BY).

Preferred citation

Preferred citation
ACSYS, 2003. ACSYS Historical Ice Chart Archive (1553-2002). IACPO Informal Report No. 8. Troms, Norway: Arctic Climate System Study.


Arctic Climate System Study Historical Ice Chart Archive, 1553-2002

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