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Gunnar Spreen

Group at IUP:

Remote Sensing of Sea Ice - PHAROS


Current Position:


Junior Research Group Leader

Research Interest:


Satellite remote sensing of sea ice properties with focus on monitoring changes of sea ice (extent, mass, and dynamics) and on understanding underlying dynamics of climate processes in polar regions

Research Career:

2015-now Research Group Leader, University of Bremen, Institute of Environmental Physics, Bremen, Germany.

2012-2015 Research Scientist, Norwegian Polar Institute, Tromsø, Norway.

2009-2012 Caltech Postdoctoral Scholar, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, USA.

2008 Ph.D. in Oceanography (German: “Doktor der Naturwissenschaften“), University of Hamburg, Germany.

2004 Master of Science in Physics (German: “Diplomphysiker”), University of Hamburg.

Selected Publications:


Ressel, R., S. Singha, S. Lehner, A. Rösel, and G. Spreen (2016), "Investigation into different polarimetric features for sea ice classification using X-band Synthetic Aperture Radar," IEEE J-STARS, 8(3), 198, doi:10.1109/JSTARS.2016.2539501.

Ye, Y., M. Shokr, G. Heygster, G. Spreen (2016), "Improving Multiyear Ice Concentration Estimates with Ice Drift," Remote Sens., 8(5), 397, doi:10.3390/rs8050397.

Haine, T.W.N., B. Curry, R. Gerdes, E. Hansen, M. Karcher, C. Lee, B. Rudels, G. Spreen, L. de Steur, K.D. Stewart, and R. Woodgate (2015), "Arctic Freshwater Export: Status, Mechanisms, and Prospects", Global and Planetary Change, 125, 13-35, doi:10.1016/j.gloplacha.2014.11.013.

Kern, S., and G. Spreen (2015), "Uncertainties in Antarctic Sea-Ice Thickness Retrieval from ICESat", Ann. Glaciol., 56(69), 107–119, doi:10.3189/2015AoG69A736.

Renner, A.H.H., S. Gerland, C. Haas, G. Spreen, J.F. Beckers, E. Hansen, M. Nicolaus, H. Goodwin (2014), "Evidence of Arctic sea ice thinning from direct observations", Geophys. Res. Lett., 41(14), 5029-5036, doi:10.1002/2014GL060369.

Cape, M.R., M. Vernet, M. Kahru and G. Spreen (2014), "Polynya dynamics drive primary production in the Larsen A and B embayments following ice shelf collapse", J. Geophys. Res., 119(1), 572–594, doi:10.1002/2013JC009441.

Kwok, R., G. Spreen, and S. Pang (2013), “Arctic sea ice circulation and drift speed: Decadal trends and ocean currents”, J. Geophys. Res., 118(5), 2408–2425, doi:10.1002/jgrc.20191.

Spreen, G., R. Kwok, and D. Menemenlis (2011), “Trends in Arctic sea ice drift and role of wind forcing: 1992–2009”, Geophys. Res. Lett., 38, L19501, doi:10.1029/2011GL048970.

Kern, S., L. Kaleschke, and G. Spreen (2010), "Climatology of the Nordic (Irminger, Greenland, Barents, Kara, White/Pechora) Seas ice cover based on 85 GHz satellite microwave radiometry: 1992–2008", Tellus A, 62A, 411–434, doi:10.1111/j.1600-0870.2010.00457.x.

Spreen, G., S. Kern, D. Stammer, and E. Hansen (2009), "Fram Strait sea ice volume export estimated between 2003 and 2008 from satellite data", Geophys. Res. Lett., 36, L19502, doi:10.1029/2009GL039591.

Spreen, G., L. Kaleschke, and G. Heygster (2008), "Sea ice remote sensing using AMSR-E 89 GHz channels", J. Geophys. Res., 113, C02S03, doi:10.1029/2005JC003384.

Haarpaintner, J., and G. Spreen (2007), "Use of Enhanced-Resolution QuikSCAT/SeaWinds Data for Operational Ice Services and Climate Research: Sea Ice Edge, Type, Concentration, and Drift", IEEE Trans. Geosci. Rem. Sens., 45(10), 3131–3137, doi:10.1109/TGRS.2007.895419.

Kern, S., G. Spreen, L. Kaleschke, S. De La Rosa Höhn, and G. Heygster (2007), "Polynya Signature Simulation Method polynya area in comparison to AMSR-E 89 GHz sea-ice concentrations in the Ross Sea and off the Adélie Coast, Antarctica, for 2002-05: first results", Ann. Glaciol., 46, 409–418, doi:10.3189/172756407782871585.

Spreen, G., S. Kern, D. Stammer, R. Forsberg, and J. Haarpaintner (2006), "Satellite-based Estimates of Sea Ice Volume Flux through Fram Strait", Ann. Glaciol., 44, 321–328, doi:10.3189/172756406781811385.
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