COI Staff members
Rasmus Tage Tonboe
Dansk version
 Rasmus Tage Tonboe
 Afdeling: COI
 Telefon: +45 39 15 73 49
 Stilling: Ph.D.

CV 2013

Rasmus Tage Tonboe
Peder Hesselsvej 48
2880 Bagsværd

Born, date: 10/05/1972 in Copenhagen, Danish citizen.
Married with Pauliina, children: Emil, Iris, Rosa, Julius.

High school:
Støvring Gymnasium, 1988-1992 (J.W. North High School, USA, 1989-1990)

University education:
M.Sc. in geology, University of Aarhus, Denmark, 1992-1997 (University of Manchester, England, Autumn 1996). M.Sc. thesis: Radar mapping of Raabjerg Mile. 1997. Supervisor: K. R. Rasmussen.

Ph.D. in geophysics, University of Copenhagen, Denmark, 2000-2004 (IFREMER, France, Autumn 2001). PhD thesis: Remote sensing of the sea ice around Greenland using multiple microwave sensors, 2003. Supervisor: C. C. Tscherning, co-supervisors: L. Toudal Pedersen and R. S. Gill.

Since 1997 with the Ice and Remote Sensing Division, the Danish Meteorological Institute (interrupted by Ph.D. studies 2000-2004). From 2006 with Center for Ocean and Ice, Danish Meteorological Institute.

Area of Research:
Sea ice microwave emission and scattering: 1) theoretical understanding and modelling of sea ice microwave emission and scattering processes, 2) understanding and modelling of sea ice metamorphosis, growth and decay and its impact on microwave signatures, and 3) using satellite microwave data for sea ice type, concentration and morphology estimation.

Several recent projects have focussed on the modelling of sea ice microwave signatures and the estimation of uncertainties in remote sensing measurements: Simulation of the sea ice thickness uncertainty using radar altimeters such as CryoSat in the EU projects GreenIce and Damocles. In addition to the well known uncertainties due to radar penetration and floe buoyancy the uncertainty due to preferential sampling was described and quantified. Preferential sampling is a bias in the surface height measurement due to the non-linear range of backscatter coefficients originating from different ice thickness categories i.e. ridges, refrozen melt-ponds and hummocks within the radar footprint. These simulations are described in Tonboe et al. (2006a, 2006b, 2010).

Development of both a high resolution thermodynamic model and an emission model for snow and sea ice in the EU projects GreenICE, IOMASA, and Damocles. The output from the thermodynamic model was used as input to the emission model. These simulations gave realistic radiometric signatures for sea ice and provide both microphysical snow and sea ice parameters and microwave brightness temperatures and emissivity. These simulations are described in Tonboe (2010), Tonboe et al. (2011), and Heygster et al. (2012).

The simulation results were used for developing an operational near 50 GHz sea ice emissivity model to be used for atmospheric sounding applications over sea ice. The model is implemented operationally in the EUMETSAT Ocean and Sea Ice SAF and described in Tonboe et al. (2013).

Simulation of the L-band brightness temperatures, effective temperatures and emissivity from new-ice, first-year ice and multiyear ice as a function of physical sea ice parameters such as temperature, salinity, thickness, snow cover etc. in the ESA SMOSICE 1+2 projects. The emission model, a sea ice version of MEMLS, was forced by physical input from a high resolution thermodynamic model. Using the simulations it was possible to constrain the variables used in more simple emission models to ease the inversion and to estimate uncertainties. The projects have demonstrated that it is possible to derive the thickness of thin ice using L-band radiometry e.g. SMOS (Kaleschke et al., 2009).

Both the ongoing ESA climate change initiative on sea ice and the EUMETSAT Ocean and sea ice SAF projects are working towards an improved sea ice concentration estimate using microwave radiometer data. These data now including uncertainties. My role in these projects have been diverse from simulation of test data to the implementation of operational algorithms.The work has among other things resulted in the EUMETSAT sea ice climate record, a 30 year global sea ice climatology, including temporally and spatially varying uncertainty estimates (Tonboe et al. in preparation).

Resent and ongoing projects:
Convection (2000-2003) - EU 5th FP project lead by Peter Wadhams
  • New-ice classification technique using satellite radiometer and scatterometer
GreenIce (2002-2006) - EU 5th FP project lead by Peter Wadhams (
  • SAR and scatterometer analysis and classification
  • Radar altimeter sea ice signature modelling. Basic model code in octave (gnu-matlab).
  • Thermodynamic modelling of sea ice microphysical properties. pdf-report
IOMASA (2002-2005) - EU 5th FP project lead by Georg Heygster (
  • Radiometer, scatterometer and SAR sea ice signature analysis during warm air outbreaks in the Arctic winter
  • Sea ice emission modelling using a sea ice verion of MEMLS
DAMOCLES (2005-2010) - EU 6th FP project lead by Jean-Claude Gascard (
  • Sea ice emission modelling using a sea ice verion of MEMLS (continued from IOMASA).
  • Coupled thermodynamic and emission modelling to simulate the seasonal variability
  • Initiation and definition of the snow and ice measurement programme on Tara's transarctic drift 2006-2008. pdf-report
OSI SAF - EUMETSAT project, ongoing
  • Sea ice emissivity, temperature and concentration

  • Andersen, S., L. Toudal Pedersen, G. Heygster, R. Tonboe, L. Kaleschke, Intercomparison of passive microwave sea ice concentration retrievals over the high concentration Arctic sea ice. Journal of Geophysical Research 112, C08004, doi10.1029/2006JC003543, 2007.
  • Andersen, S., R. T. Tonboe and L. Kaleschke. Satellite thermal microwave sea ice concentration algorithm comparison. Arctic Sea Ice Thickness: Past, Present and Future, edited by Wadhams and Amanatidis. Climate Change and Natural Hazards Series 10, EUR 22416, 2006.
  • Andersen, S., R. Tonboe, S. Kern, H. Schyberg. Improved retrieval of sea ice total concentration from spaceborne passive microwave observations using Numerical Weather Prediction model fields: An intercomparison of nine algorithms. Remote Sensing of Environment 104, 374-392, 2006.
  • Breivik, L.A., S. Eastwood, O. Godoy, H. Schyberg, S. Andersen and R. Tonboe. Sea ice products for the EUMETSAT satellite application facility. Can. J. Rem. Sens. 27(5), 403-410, 2001.
  • Gill, R. S. and R. T. Tonboe. Classification of GreenICE SAR data using Fuzzy Screening Method. Arctic Sea Ice Thickness: Past, Present and Future, edited by Wadhams and Amanatidis. Climate Change and Natural Hazards Series 10, EUR 22416, 2006.
  • Dybkjar, G., Hoyer, J., Tonboe, R., 2012. Arctic surface temperatures from Metop AVHRR compared to in situ ocean and land data. Ocean Sci., 9, doi:10.5194/osd-9-1009-2012.
  • Haarpaintner, J., R. T. Tonboe, D. G. Long, and M. L. VanWoert. Improvement and validity of the enhanced resolution SeaWinds/ QuikScat sea ice edge. IEEE Trans. Geosci. Rem. Sens. 42(7), 1433-1443, 2004.
  • Heygster, G., C. Melsheimer, N. Mathew, L. Toudal, R. Saldo, S. Andersen, R. Tonboe, H. Schyberg, F. Thomas Tveter, V. Thyness, N. Gustafsson, T. Landelius, and P. Dahlgren: POLAR PROGRAM: Integrated Observation and Modeling of the arctic Sea Ice and Atmosphere. Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., 90, 293-297, 2009.
  • Heygster, G., V. Alexandrov, G. Dybkjar, F. Girard-Ardhuin, W. von Hoyningen-Huene, I.L. Katsev, A. Kokhanovsky, T. Lavergne, A.V. Malinka, C. Melsheimer, L. Toudal Pedersen, A.S. Prikhach, R. Saldo, R. Tonboe, H. Wiebe, E P. Zege. Remote sensing of sea ice: advances during the DAMOCLES project. The Cryosphere, 6, 1411-1434, 2012
  • Hoyer, J. L., I. Karagali, G. Dybkjar, R. Tonboe, Multi sensor validation and error characteristics of Arctic satellite sea surface temperature observations, Remote Sensing of Environment 121, 335-346, 2012.
  • Horstmann, J. W. Koch, S. Lehner, and R. Tonboe, Wind retrieval over the ocean using synthetic aperture radar with C-band HH polarization, IEEE Trans. Geosci. Rem. Sens. 38(5), 100-107, 2000.
  • Horstmann, J., S. Lehner, W. Koch, and R. Tonboe, Computation of wind vectors over the ocean using spaceborne synthetic aperture radar, John Hopkins APL Technical Digest 21(1), 100-107, 2000.
  • Horstmann, J., W. Koch, S. Lehner, and R. Tonboe, Ocean winds from RADARSAT-1 ScanSAR, Can. J. Rem. Sens. 28(3), 534-533, 2002.
  • Kaleschke, L., N. Maaß, C. Haas, S. Hendricks, G. Heygster, and R. T. Tonboe. A sea ice thickness retrieval model for 1.4 GHz radiometry and application to airborne measurements over low salinity sea ice. The Cryosphere 4, 583-592, 2010.
  • Narvekar, P. S., G. Heygster, R. Tonboe, T. J. Jackson. Analysis of WindSat third and fourth Stokes components over Arctic sea ice. IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing 49(5), 1627-1636, 2011.
  • Tonboe, R. T., S. Andersen, and L. Toudal. Simulation of the Ku-band radar altimeter sea ice signal. IEEE Geosci. Rem. Sens. Let. 3(2), 237-240, 2006a.
  • Tonboe, R. T. and L. Toudal. Classification of new-ice in the Greenland Sea using satellite SSM/I radiometer and SeaWinds data and comparison with ice model. Rem. Sens. Env. 97, 277-287, 2005.
  • Tonboe, R. T. The simulated sea ice thermal microwave emission at window and sounding frequencies. Tellus 62A, 333-344, 2010.
  • Tonboe, R. T., G. Dybkjar, J. L. Høyer. Simulations of the snow covered sea ice surface temperature and microwave effective temperature. Tellus 63A, 1028-1037, 2011.
  • Tonboe, R. T., L. T. Pedersen, and C. Haas. Simulation of the Cryosat-2 satellite radar altimeter sea ice thickness retrieval uncertainty. Canadian Journal of Remote Sensing 36(1), 55-67, 2010.
  • Tonboe, R. T., S. Andersen, R. S. Gill and L. Toudal Pedersen. The simulated seasonal variability of the Ku-band radar altimeter effective scattering surface depth in sea ice. Arctic Sea Ice Thickness: Past, Present and Future, edited by Wadhams and Amanatidis. Climate Change and Natural Hazards Series 10, EUR 22416, 2006b.
  • Tonboe, R., S. Andersen, L. Toudal and G. Heygster. Sea ice emission modelling. In: Mätzler, C., P.W. Rosenkranz, A. Battaglia and J.P. Wigneron (eds.), "Thermal Microwave Radiation - Applications for Remote Sensing", IET Electromagnetic Waves Series 52, London, UK, 2006.
  • Tonboe, R. T., H. Schyberg, E. Nielsen, K. R. Larsen, F. T. Tveter. The EUMETSAT OSI SAF near 50 GHz sea ice emissivity model. Tellus A, 2013, 65, 18380,
  • Tonboe, R. T., S. Eastwood, T. Lavergne, E. Nielsen, K. R. Larsen, G. Dybkjar, L. Toudal, J. L. Hoyer. The EUMETSAT sea ice climate record. In preparation 2013.

Popular in danish, selected:
  • Tonboe, R. T., L. Toudal, S. Andersen, R. S. Gill. CryoSat - baste forventninger. Geologisk Nyt 5, 20-23, 2005. pdf
  • Tonboe, R. T., S. Andersen, T. Schmith. DAMOCLES - EU-kommisionens bidrag til IPY. Geologisk Nyt 3, 14-16, 2006. pdf
  • Andersen, H. S. and R. T. Tonboe (1999). Monitoring Agriculture with Remote Sensing (MARS) Investigation of the MARS project for potential DMI involvement. DMI tech. rep. Det Offentlige Forskningsudvalg for Rummet J. nr. 1106-OFRbevilling/19-20/98.
  • Heygster, G., C. Melsheimer, N. Mathew, L. Toudal, R. Saldo, S. Andersen, R. Tonboe, H. Schyberg, F. Tveter, V. Thyness, N. Gustafsson, T. Landelius, P. Dahlgren, & V. Perov. IOMASA - Integrated Observation and modelling of the Arctic Sea Ice and Atmosphere. Final report for EU project EVK-CT-2002-0067, University of Bremen, Institute of Environmental Physics, 2005.
  • Sandven, S., M. Makynen, M. Mallikinen, A. Cavanie, R. Ezraty, R. S. Gill, H. H. Valeur, L. Toudal Pedersen, V. Alexandrov, A. Bogdanov, R. T. Tonboe, M. Lundhaug, Ø. Dalen and K. Kloster (1999). IMSI Final Report. EU Contract No. ENV4-CT96-0361.
  • Tonboe, R. & J. Haarpaintner (2003). Implementation of QuikScat SeaWinds data in the EUMETSAT Ocean & Sea Ice ice product. DMI Technical Report No. 03-13, p. 34.
  • Tonboe, R. & S. Hanson. Microphysical measurements important for microwave remote sensing of sea ice, field guide. DMI Scientific Report 06-03, 2006.
  • Tonboe, R. A mass and thermodynamic model for sea ice. DMI Scientific Report 05-10, 2005
  • Tonboe, R. T. & S. Andersen, Modelled radiometer algorithm ice concentration sensitivity to emissivity variations of the Arctic sea ice snow cover, DMI Scientific Report 04-03, 2004.
  • Tonboe, R. T. and Rosengreen, M. K. (1998). Operational test of RADARSAT and data dissemination. IMSI report no. 10. EU Contract No. ENV4-CT96-0361.
  • Tonboe, R. T. Detailed wind speed information from Radarsat ScanSAR Wide. DMI tech. rep. 01-04, 2001.
  • Tonboe, R. T. Radar mapping of Råbjerg Mile. M.Sc. thesis. Geological Institute, University of Aarhus 1997.
  • Tonboe, R. T. Remote sensing of the sea ice around Greenland using multiple microwave satellite sensors. Ph.D. thesis, Department of Geophysics, Niels Bohr nstitute, University of Copenhagen 2004.
  • Tonboe, R. T. Simulation of the seasonal sea ice microwave emissivity variability - a demonstration of model functionality. DMI scientific report 06-05, p. 16, 2006. (pdf)
  • Tonboe, R. T., M. K. Rosengreen, P. M. Eriksen, K. Q. Hansen, R. S. Gill. Evaluation of the operational Radarsat ice mapping in the Cape Farewell waters during summer 1999. DMI tech. rep. 01-03, 2001.
  • Tonboe, R., S. Andersen, & L. Toudal (2003). Anomalous winter sea ice backscatter and brightness temperatures. DMI scientific report No. 03-13, p. 59.
  • Ezraty, R., R. Tonboe, & R. S. Gill (2002). Monitoring the 2001 Odden with SeaWinds. Proceedings of the 7th Circumpolar symposium on remote sensing of polar environments, Longyearbyen, Svalbard, Norway.
  • Gill, R. S., Rosengreen M.K., Andersen H. S., Tonboe R. T. and Valeur H. H. (1998). Sea ice mapping around Greenland using Radarsat, Proceedings the 7th POLARTECH'98, Nuuk, Greenland.
  • Haapaintner, J., R. T. Tonboe, D. G. Long, M. L. VanWoert, & K. R. Dedrick (2003). Refinement of the SeaWinds/ QuikScat sea ice edge. Proceedings ACSYS conference 2003, Sct. Petersbourg, Russia.
  • Horstmann, J., W. Koch, I. Weinreich, S. Lehner, R. Tonboe (1999). Computation of Ocean Wind Vectors Using RADARSAT ScanSAR and ERS SAR Images. Proceedings IGARSS '99, Hamburg.
  • Horstmann, J., W. Koch, S. Lehner, E. Romaneessen, & R. Tonboe (2000). Extraction of Ocean Wind Fields Using RADARSAT-1 ScanSAR Images, in Proceedings of the Sixth International Conference on Remote Sensing for Marine and Coastal Environments, Charleston, South Carolina.
  • Tonboe, R. & J. Haarpaintner (2003). Implementation of QuikScat SeaWinds data in the EUMETSAT O&SI SAF ice product. Proceedings EUMETSAT 2003 meteorological satellite conference in Weimar, Germany.
  • Tonboe, R. (2001). QuikScat - SeaWinds scatterometer observations of sea ice types around Greenland. Proceedings SPIE conference, Toulouse, France.
  • Tonboe, R. T., R. S. Gill and J. Horstmann (1999). Near Ice Edge Estimation of the Sea Surface Winds Using Radarsat ScanSAR. Proceedings EUMETSAT Meteorological Satellite Data Users Conference, Copenhagen.
  • Tonboe, R. T., S. Andersen, R. S. Gill, L. Toudal Pedersen. Sea ice microwave emission modelling applications. Proceedings EUMETSAT 2006 meteorological satellite conference in Helsinki, Finland.
  • Tonboe, R., & R. Ezraty. Monitoring of New Sea Ice in Greenland Waters. IGARSS 2002, Proceedings IEEE, pp. 1932-1934, 2002.