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Recent advances in Earth observation (EO) satellites have improved observations of several key parameters governing major processes in the cryosphere. Available missions, such as CryoSat-2, ICESat, GRACE, GOCE, SMOS, ENVISAT, RADARSAT-1 and -2, TerraSAR-X, TanDEM-X, COSMO-SkyMed and the coming Sentinel-1 and Sentinel-3, as well as historical mission data, offer an exciting panorama for new scientific developments and discoveries in cryosphere science. The full exploitation of this capacity by the scientific community requires coordinated research efforts to develop robust EO-based products and facilitate their integration into suitable modelling systems aiming at better characterising the different processes in the cryosphere domain and the interactions among the cryosphere, the atmosphere and the oceans.

The purpose of this topical conference is to advance our knowledge on the potential offered by EO technology to answer some of the major open questions in cryosphere science with special attention to cryosphere-atmosphere-ocean interactions; to review the latest developments on advanced EO-based geo-information data products addressing major cryosphere processes; and to identify the major scientific requirements and challenges of the cryosphere scientific community for the coming years.