This product shows globally the daily snow cover extent (SCE). The snow cover extent is the result of the Global SnowPack processor's interpolation steps and all data gaps have been filled. Snow cover extent is updated daily and processed in near real time (3 days lag). In addition to the near real-time product (NRT_SCE), the entire annual data set is processed again after the end of a calendar year in order to close data gaps etc. and the result is made available as a quality-tested SCE product. There is also a quality layer for each day (SCE_Accuracy), which reflects the quality of the snow determination based on the time interval to the next "cloud-free" day, the time of year and the topographical/geographical location.
The “Global SnowPack” is derived from daily, operational MODIS snow cover product for each day since February 2000. Data gaps due to polar night and cloud cover are filled in several processing steps, which provides a unique global data set characterized by its high accuracy, spatial resolution of 500 meters and continuous future expansion. It consists of the two main elements daily snow cover extent (SCE) and seasonal snow cover duration (SCD; full and for early and late season). Both parameters have been designated by the WMO as essential climate variables, the accurate determination of which is important in order to be able to record the effects of climate change. Changes in the largest part of the cryosphere in terms of area have drastic effects on people and the environment.
The individual bit positions indicate the class to which they belong (bits 4-8) or the interpolation level (bits 1-3). The meaning of the bytes is as follows (little-endian):
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