We present a long-term multi-mission assessment (2003–2020) of spring sea ice thickness in Baffin Bay from satellite altimetry and sea ice charts. Sea ice thickness within Baffin Bay is calculated from Envisat, ICESat, CryoSat-2 and ICESat-2 freeboard estimates, alongside a proxy from the ice chart stage of development that closely matches the altimetry data. We study the sensitivity of sea ice thickness results estimated from an array of different snow depth and snow density products and methods for redistributing low resolution snow data onto along-track altimetry freeboards.
Decisions on which snow loading product to use and whether to apply snow redistribution can lead to different conclusions on trends and physical mechanisms. For instance, we find an uncertainty envelope around the March mean sea ice thickness of 13 % for different snow depth/density products and redistribution methods. Consequently, trends in March sea ice thickness from 2003–2020 range from −23 cm/dec to 17 cm/dec, depending on which snow depth/density product and redistribution method is applied.