Status of Korean Research Activity on Arctic Sea Ice Monitoring using KOMPSAT-series Satellite

Arctic warming is a global issue. The sea ice in the Arctic plays a crucial role in the climate system. We thought that a recent abnormality in many countries in the northern hemisphere could be related to the effects of shrinking sea ice in the Arctic. Many research groups monitor sea ice in the Arctic for climate research. Satellite remote sensing is an integral part of Arctic sea ice research due to the Arctic’s large size, making it difficult to observe with general research equipment, and its extreme environment that is difficult for humans to access. Along with monitoring recent weather changes, Korea scientists are conducting polar remote sensing using a Korean satellite series to actively cope with environmental changes in the Arctic. The Korean satellite series is known as KOMPSAT (Korea Multi-Purpose Satellite, Korean name is Arirang) series, and it carries optical and imaging radar. Since the organization of the Satellite Remote Sensing and Cryosphere Information Center in Korea in 2016, Korean research on and monitoring of Arctic sea ice has accelerated rapidly. Moreover, a community of researchers studying Arctic sea ice by satellite remote sensing increased in Korea. In this article, we review advances in Korea’s remote sensing research for the polar cryosphere over the last several years. In addition to satellite remote sensing, interdisciplinary studies are needed to resolve the current limitations on research on climate change.