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ESA Permafrost Climate Change Initiative (Permafrost_cci): Permafrost active layer thickness for the Northern Hemisphere, v4.0

Update Frequency: Not Planned
Status: Completed
Online Status: ONLINE
Publication State: Citable
Publication Date: 2024-04-03
DOI Publication Date: 2024-04-24
Download Stats: last 12 months
Dataset Size: 25 Files | 828MB


This dataset contains v4.0 permafrost active layer thickness data produced as part of the European Space Agency's (ESA) Climate Change Initiative (CCI) Permafrost project. It forms part of the third version of their Climate Research Data Package (CRDP v3). It is derived from a thermal model driven and constrained by satellite data. CRDPv3 covers the years from 1997 to 2021. Grid products of CDRP v3 are released in annual files, covering the start to the end of the Julian year. The maximum depth of seasonal thaw is provided, which corresponds to the active layer thickness.

Case A: It covers the Northern Hemisphere (north of 30°) for the period 2003-2021 based on MODIS
Land Surface temperature merged with downscaled ERA5 reanalysis near-surface air temperature data.
Case B: It covers the Northern Hemisphere (north of 30°) for the period 1997-2002 based on downscaled
ERA5 reanalysis near-surface air temperature data which are bias-corrected with the Case A product for
the overlap period 2003-2021 using a pixel-specific statistics for each day of the year.

Citable as:  Westermann, S.; Barboux, C.; Bartsch, A.; Delaloye, R.; Grosse, G.; Heim, B.; Hugelius, G.; Irrgang, A.; Kääb, A.M.; Matthes, H.; Nitze, I.; Pellet, C.; Seifert, F.M.; Strozzi, T.; Wegmüller, U.; Wieczorek, M.; Wiesmann, A. (2024): ESA Permafrost Climate Change Initiative (Permafrost_cci): Permafrost active layer thickness for the Northern Hemisphere, v4.0. NERC EDS Centre for Environmental Data Analysis, 24 April 2024. doi:10.5285/d34330ce3f604e368c06d76de1987ce5.
Abbreviation: Not defined
Keywords: Permafrost, CCI, Active layer thickness


Previous Info:
No news update for this record
Previously used record identifiers:
No related previous identifiers.
Access rules:
Public data: access to these data is available to both registered and non-registered users.
Use of these data is covered by the following licence: When using these data you must cite them correctly using the citation given on the CEDA Data Catalogue record.
Data lineage:

Data have been produced by the ESA CCI Permafrost project as part of ESA's Climate Change Initiative programme

Data Quality:
Data is as provided by the Permafrost CCI project. For further quality information see the permafrost CCI website and linked documentation.
File Format:

Process overview

This dataset was generated by the computation detailed below.

Computation of Permafrost v4 datsets by the ESA Permafrost CCI


Complementing ground-based monitoring networks, the Permafrost CCI project is establishing Earth Observation (EO) based products for the permafrost ECV spanning the last two decades. Since ground temperature and thaw depth cannot be directly observed from space-borne sensors, a variety of satellite and reanalysis data are combined in a ground thermal model. The algorithm uses remotely sensed data sets of Land Surface Temperature (MODIS LST/ ESA LST CCI) and landcover (ESA Landcover CCI) to drive the transient permafrost model CryoGrid, which yields thaw depth and ground temperature at various depths, while ground temperature forms the basis for permafrost fraction. The Land Surface Temperature data sets are employed to determine the upper boundary condition of the differential equation, while its coefficients (e.g. heat capacity and thermal conductivity) are selected according to the landcover information (Westermann et al., 2017). With this, a spatial resolution of the final product of 1 km is possible, corresponding to “breakthrough” according to the WMO OSCAR database.

Input data: MODIS Land surface temperature is used as the main input for the L4 production for 2003-2021 data. Sensors of auxiliary data are listed in the meta data.
Downscaled and bias corrected ERA reanalyses data based on statistics of the overlap period between ERA reanalysis and MODIS LST are used for data before 2003. Sensors of auxiliary data are listed in the meta data.

Input Description


Output Description


Software Reference


No variables found.