About CPOM

CPOM studies land ice, sea ice and ice sheets using satellite observations and numerical models of the polar regions.  Importantly, we provide UK National Capability in Earth observation and modelling of the cryosphere – the frozen parts of our planet.  Our work underpins world-leading research carried out in CPOM itself and also the British Antarctic Survey (BAS) and National Oceanography Centre (NOC).

We use techniques such as Synthetic Aperture Radar Interferometry (InSAR) and satellite altimetry to study ice motion and the polar oceans, and incorporate the results into models used across the polar research community.  We have also led international model and satellite data inter-comparison exercises such as the Ice Sheet Mass Balance Intercomparison Exercise (IMBIE).

CPOM works closely with the UK and international space agencies on satellite missions, providing scientific and technical leadership for the ESA’s CryoSat-2 mission, and are involved with new satellite missions relevant to the polar regions such as Sentinel-1, Sentinel-3, and GRACE.

Three years of measurements from CryoSat show that the Antarctic Ice Sheet was, as of 2014, losing 159 billion tonnes of ice each year - enough to raise global sea levels by 0.45 mm per year. Credit:CPOM/ESA

Three years of satellite measurements showing that the Antarctic was, as of 2014, losing 159 billion tonnes of ice each year. Credit:CPOM/ESA