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Cyrosphere (National Ocean Service, NOAA)
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ice : a sheet or stretch of ice — Webster

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Ice is water frozen into a solid state. Depending on the presence of impurities such as particles of soil or bubbles of air, it can appear transparent or a more or less opaque bluish-white color.

In the Solar System, ice is abundant and occurs naturally from as close to the Sun as Mercury to as far away as the Oort cloud objects. Beyond the Solar System, it occurs as interstellar ice. It is abundant on Earth’s surface – particularly in the polar regions and above the snow line – and, as a common form of precipitation and deposition, plays a key role in Earth’s water cycle and climate. It falls as snowflakes and hail or occurs as frost, icicles or — Wikipedia

Cryosphere consists of those portions of Earth’s surface where water is in solid form, including sea ice, lake ice, river ice, snow cover, glaciers, ice caps, ice sheets, and frozen ground (which includes permafrost). Thus, there is a wide overlap with the hydrosphere. The cryosphere is an integral part of the global climate system with important linkages and feedbacks generated through its influence on surface energy and moisture fluxes, clouds, precipitation, hydrology, atmospheric and oceanic circulation. Through these feedback processes, the cryosphere plays a significant role in the global climate and in climate model response to global changes. The term deglaciation describes the retreat of cryospheric features. — Wikipedia

Glacier is a persistent body of dense ice that is constantly moving under its own weight; it forms where the accumulation of snow exceeds its ablation (melting and sublimation) over many years, often centuries. Glaciers slowly deform and flow due to stresses induced by their weight, creating crevasses, seracs, and other distinguishing features. They also abrade rock and debris from their substrate to create landforms such as cirques and moraines. Glaciers form only on land and are distinct from the much thinner sea ice and lake ice that form on the surface of bodies of water.

On Earth, 99% of glacial ice is contained within vast ice sheets (also known as “continental glaciers”) in the polar regions, but glaciers may be found in mountain ranges on every continent including Oceania’s high-latitude oceanic islands such as New Zealand and Papua New Guinea. Between 35°N and 35°S, glaciers occur only in the Himalayas, Andes, Rocky Mountains, a few high mountains in East Africa, Mexico, New Guinea and on Zard Kuh in Iran. Glaciers cover about 10 percent of Earth’s land surface. Continental glaciers cover nearly 13 million km2 (5 million sq mi) or about 98 percent of Antarctica’s 13.2 million km2 (5.1 million sq mi), with an average thickness of 2,100 m (7,000 ft). Greenland and Patagonia also have huge expanses of continental glaciers.

Glacial ice is the largest reservoir of fresh water on Earth. Many glaciers from temperate, alpine and seasonal polar climates store water as ice during the colder seasons and release it later in the form of meltwater as warmer summer temperatures cause the glacier to melt, creating a water source that is especially important for plants, animals and human uses when other sources may be scant. Within high-altitude and Antarctic environments, the seasonal temperature difference is often not sufficient to release meltwater. — Wikipedia

Introduction


Quick facts about the Cryosphere (National Snow and Ice Data Center)

Preservation

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Why does our planet experience an ice age every 100,000 years? (Cardiff University, Phys.org)

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Ancient ice reveals vital clues about Earth’s past climate (Dan Elliott, Phys.org)
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Photographing Frozen Baikal: The Deepest and Oldest Lake On Earth (Kristina Makeeva, Petapixel)

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TC - recent papers Combined list of the recent articles of the journal The Cryosphere and the recent discussion forum The Cryosphere Discussions

  • Satellite observations of new phytoplankton...
    on December 11, 2019 at 6:22 pm

    Satellite observations of new phytoplankton blooms in the Maud Rise Polynya, Southern Ocean Babula Jena and Anilkumar Narayana Pillai The Cryosphere Discuss., https//doi.org/10.5194/tc-2019-282,2019Manuscript under review for TC (discussion: open, 0 comments) A large polynya in the Southern Ocean sea-ice reappeared during austral winter-spring 2017 since its appearance in 1970s. We find the unprecedented phytoplankton blooms in […]

  • Brief communication: An alternative method for...
    on December 11, 2019 at 6:22 pm

    Brief communication: An alternative method for estimating the scavenging efficiency of black carbon by meltwater over sea ice Tingfeng Dou, Zhiheng Du, Shutong Li, Yulan Zhang, Qi Zhang, Mingju Hao, Chuanjin Li, Biao Tian, Minghu Ding, and Cunde Xiao The Cryosphere, 13, 3309–3316, https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-13-3309-2019, 2019 The meltwater scavenging coefficient (MSC) determines the BC enrichment in the surface layer of […]

  • InSAR time series analysis of seasonal surface...
    on December 11, 2019 at 6:22 pm

    InSAR time series analysis of seasonal surface displacement dynamics on the Tibetan Plateau Eike Reinosch, Johannes Buckel, Jie Dong, Markus Gerke, Jussi Baade, and Björn Riedel The Cryosphere Discuss., https//doi.org/10.5194/tc-2019-262,2019Manuscript under review for TC (discussion: open, 0 comments) In this research we present the results of our satellite analysis of periglacial landforms of mountainous regions on the […]

  • Synoptic conditions and atmospheric moisture...
    on December 11, 2019 at 6:22 pm

    Synoptic conditions and atmospheric moisture pathways associated to virga and precipitation over coastal Adélie Land in Antarctica Nicolas Jullien, Étienne Vignon, Michael Sprenger, Franziska Aemisegger, and Alexis Berne The Cryosphere Discuss., https//doi.org/10.5194/tc-2019-270,2019Manuscript under review for TC (discussion: open, 0 comments)Precipitation falling over the coastal regions of Antarctica often experiences low-level […]

  • The RHOSSA campaign: Multi-resolution monitoring...
    on December 11, 2019 at 6:22 pm

    The RHOSSA campaign: Multi-resolution monitoring of the seasonal evolution of the structure and mechanical stability of an alpine snowpack Neige Calonne, Bettina Richter, Henning Löwe, Cecilia Cetti, Judith ter Schure, Alec Van Herwijnen, Charles Fierz, Matthias Jaggi, and Martin Schneebeli The Cryosphere Discuss., https//doi.org/10.5194/tc-2019-276,2019Manuscript under review for TC (discussion: open, 0 comments)The necessity of characterizing […]


Arctic Sea Ice News and Analysis Sea ice data updated daily with one-day lag

  • Low, but steady growth
    by Agnieszka Gautier on December 5, 2019 at 5:00 pm

    Arctic sea ice extent for November 2019 ended up at second lowest in the 41-year satellite record. Regionally, extent remains well below average in the Chukchi Sea, Hudson Bay, and Davis Strait. Overview of conditions At the end of November … Continue reading →

  • Wild ride in October
    by Audrey Payne on November 5, 2019 at 9:30 pm

    October daily sea ice extent went from third lowest in the satellite record at the beginning of the month to lowest on record starting on October 13 through October 30. Daily extent finished second lowest, just above 2016, at month’s … Continue reading →

  • Falling up
    by Agnieszka Gautier on October 3, 2019 at 4:46 pm

    Arctic sea ice began its autumn regrowth in the last 12 days of September, with the ice edge expanding along a broad front in the western Arctic Ocean. Overall, the summer of 2019 was exceptionally warm, with repeated pulses of … Continue reading →

  • Arctic sea ice reaches second lowest minimum in...
    by Agnieszka Gautier on September 23, 2019 at 5:00 pm

    On September 18, Arctic sea ice reached its likely minimum extent for 2019. The minimum ice extent was effectively tied for second lowest in the satellite record, along with 2007 and 2016, reinforcing the long-term downward trend in Arctic ice extent. … Continue reading →

  • Sloshing Around in the Polar Twilight
    by Audrey Payne on September 17, 2019 at 9:05 pm

    The end of the Arctic sea ice melt season is nigh. The last couple of weeks have seen small rises and falls in ice extent, primarily due to changes in wind patterns. However, falling temperatures will soon accelerate the pace of … Continue reading →


Phys.org - latest science and technology news stories Phys.org internet news portal provides the latest news on science including: Physics, Nanotechnology, Life Sciences, Space Science, Earth Science, Environment, Health and Medicine.

  • Tackling air pollution: researchers present...
    on December 9, 2019 at 5:06 pm

    Data on emission amounts and sources have an important role to play in shaping policy on climate protection and air quality. Now, scientists from the Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies (IASS) in Potsdam, Germany, have presented the first high-resolution inventory to record emissions of greenhouse gases and air pollutants in Nepal over an extended period of time. Their research reveals that the air pollution problem is growing at a much faster rate than the economy.

  • Antarctica, 'heart of the Earth' needs...
    on November 29, 2019 at 7:57 am

    It may be remote and uninhabited but Antarctica is suffering from man's activities, says the director of the Chilean Antarctic Institute, Marcelo Leppe, in an interview with AFP.

  • The climate crisis is here, get used to it
    on November 27, 2019 at 10:00 pm

    When teen climate activist Greta Thunberg, nominated for the Peace Nobel this year, scolded titans of industry in Davos and heads of state at the United Nations, she told them to look at the science.

  • Scientist explains how melting ice in Antarctica...
    on November 25, 2019 at 2:50 pm

    Scientists, politicians and people of Iceland recently placed a plaque mourning the loss of Okjokull glacier. Ok is no longer a living glacier because there has been insufficient ice build up over the years to expand its glacial mass. The plaque acknowledges what is happening and what needs to be done in the next 200 years as all Iceland's main glaciers are expected to suffer the same fate.

  • Greenhouse gas concentrations in atmosphere reach...
    on November 25, 2019 at 2:43 pm

    Levels of heat-trapping greenhouse gases in the atmosphere have reached another new record high, according to the World Meteorological Organization. This continuing long-term trend means that future generations will be confronted with increasingly severe impacts of climate change, including rising temperatures, more extreme weather, water stress, sea level rise and disruption to marine and land ecosystems.