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The Arctic climate system is experiencing dramatic changes. One of the most dramatic and very public changes is the reduction in the summertime sea ice cover. The IPCC models predict a further decrease in sea ice cover with a potentially ice-free Arctic in 2100 (IPCC, 2007). Other studies predict a seasonal ice-free Arctic Ocean as early as 2015. Given these rapid changes in the sea ice cover it is most likely that Arctic shipping will increase over the next years. This demands higher accuracy in sea ice forecasts. The U.S. Navy Polar Ice Prediction System (PIPS), a modeling effort to provide short-term sea ice forecasts for shipping, is continually working on enhancing the spatial resolution of their model grid. To date, the model ice concentration fields have been updated with satellite-derived ice concentrations at a resolution of approximately 25 km. Higher resolution sea ice information from satellites is critically needed to augment these re solution improvements. Additionally, fishermen need to adapt to the fast changing Arctic and it is vital for them to have access to accurate and timely information on the sea ice conditions. The objective of this proposal is to investigate and quantify the improvements in sea ice forecasts when higher resolution data are used. Specifically we propose to merge EOS Aqua/Terra passive microwave data (with a resolution of 12.5 km) with satellite visible and infrared data (with resolutions between 0.250 km and 1 km) to generate to continuous data set with the highest accuracy and highest resolution available. This data set consisting of merged passive microwave, and visible and infrared maps will then be implemented in PIPS sea ice forecasts for testing. The quantitative assessment will determine whether a fully operational effort would be feasible. This proposal relates to application area 3 (""""Climate""""), specifically """"Climate and Regional decision-making,"""" as well as to application area 8 (""""Weather""""), specifically to """"oceanic shipping and route planning.""""