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Cyrosphere (National Ocean Service, NOAA)
Cryospheric Animations (NASA Scientific Visualization Studio)



Terrestrial (Earth)
Sphere Land, Ice, Water (Ocean), Air, Life (Cell, Gene, Microscope)
Ecosystem Forest, Grassland, Desert, Arctic, Aquatic

Tree of Life
Plant Flower, Tree
Invertebrate Octopus, Ant, Bee, Butterfly, Spider, Lobster
Vertebrate Fish, Seahorse, Ray, Shark, Frog, Turtle, Tortoise, Dinosaur
Bird, Ostrich, Owl, Crow, Parrot
Mammal Bat, Rabbit, Giraffe, Camel, Horse, Elephant, Mammoth
Whale, Dolphin, Walrus, Seal, Polar Bear, Bear, Cat, Tiger, Lion, Dog, Wolf
Monkey, Chimpanzee, Human


These are organized by a classification scheme developed exclusively for Cosma. More…



National Snow Ice Data Center


ice : a sheet or stretch of ice — Webster

OneLook, Free Dictionary, Wiktionary, Urban Dictionary


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


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



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


Ancient ice reveals vital clues about Earth’s past climate (Dan Elliott,
National Ice Core Facility (National Science Foundation)


WorldCat, Library of Congress, UPenn Online Books, Open Library




OER Commons: Open Educational Resources



The Cryosphere Journal (European Geosciences Union)
National Snow Ice Data Center,




IceBridge Mission (NASA)
Operation IceBridge (Wikipedia)




Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort (Saariselka, Finland)

Hôtel de Glace (Quebec City, Canada)
Icehotel, Sweden (Jukkasjärvi, Sweden)



Photographing Frozen Baikal: The Deepest and Oldest Lake On Earth (Kristina Makeeva, Petapixel)



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

  • Observation-derived ice growth curves show...
    on June 2, 2020 at 9:22 pm

    Observation-derived ice growth curves show patterns and trends in maximum ice thickness and safe travel duration of Alaskan lakes and rivers Christopher D. Arp, Jessica E. Cherry, Dana R.N. Brown, Allen C. Bondurant, and Karen L. Endres The Cryosphere Discuss., https//,2020Preprint under review for TC (discussion: open, 0 comments) River and lake ice thickens at varying rates geographically and from […]

  • Effects of multi-scale heterogeneity on the...
    on June 2, 2020 at 9:22 pm

    Effects of multi-scale heterogeneity on the simulated evolution of ice-rich permafrost lowlands under a warming climate Jan Nitzbon, Moritz Langer, Léo C. P. Martin, Sebastian Westermann, Thomas Schneider von Deimling, and Julia Boike The Cryosphere Discuss., https//,2020Preprint under review for TC (discussion: open, 0 comments)

  • Evaluation of a new snow albedo scheme for the...
    on June 2, 2020 at 9:22 pm

    Evaluation of a new snow albedo scheme for the Greenland ice sheet in the regional climate model RACMO2 Christiaan T. van Dalum, Willem Jan van de Berg, Stef Lhermitte, and Michiel R. van den Broeke The Cryosphere Discuss., https//,2020Preprint under review for TC (discussion: open, 0 comments) The reflectivity of sun light, which is also known as albedo, is often inadequately modeled in regional […]

  • The GRISLI-LSCE contribution to ISMIP6, Part 2:...
    on June 2, 2020 at 9:22 pm

    The GRISLI-LSCE contribution to ISMIP6, Part 2: projections of the Antarctic ice sheet evolution by the end of the 21 century Aurélien Quiquet and Christophe Dumas The Cryosphere Discuss., https//,2020Preprint under review for TC (discussion: open, 0 comments) We present here the GRISLI-LSCE contribution to the Ice Sheet Model Intercomparison Project for CMIP6 for Antarctica. The project aims […]

  • The GRISLI-LSCE contribution to ISMIP6, Part 1:...
    on June 2, 2020 at 9:22 pm

    The GRISLI-LSCE contribution to ISMIP6, Part 1: projections of the Greenland ice sheet evolution by the end of the 21 century Aurélien Quiquet and Christophe Dumas The Cryosphere Discuss., https//,2020Preprint under review for TC (discussion: open, 0 comments) We present here the GRISLI-LSCE contribution to the Ice Sheet Model Intercomparison Project for CMIP6 for Greenland. The project aims […]

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

  • Holey ozone
    by Agnieszka Gautier on June 2, 2020 at 6:09 pm

    The seasonal decline of Arctic sea ice extent proceeded at a near-average pace in May. Extent did not approach record lows but remained well below the 1981 to 2010 average. Sea ice extent was notably below average in the Barents … Continue reading →

  • Storm Damage
    by Audrey Payne on May 6, 2020 at 7:41 pm

    The pace of sea ice decline in April was near average, while sea ice extent ranked fourth lowest in the satellite record. Sea ice age mapping shows a slight increase in the amount of older ice, but the Arctic is still dominated … Continue reading →

  • Polar sunrise
    by Agnieszka Gautier on April 2, 2020 at 6:43 pm

    After reaching its annual maximum on March 5, Arctic sea ice extent remained stable for several days before it started clearly declining. Continuing the pattern of this past winter, the Arctic Oscillation was in a persistently positive phase. Scientists participating … Continue reading →

  • No record-breaker maximum
    by Agnieszka Gautier on March 24, 2020 at 4:58 pm

    Arctic sea ice appears to have reached its annual maximum extent on March 5. The 2020 maximum sea ice extent is the eleventh lowest in the 42-year satellite record, but the highest since 2013. The Antarctic minimum sea ice extent, which was … Continue reading →

  • A positively persistent, persistently positive...
    by Audrey Payne on March 4, 2020 at 5:53 pm

    Sea ice extent for February 2020 tracked below average, ranking as the thirteenth lowest monthly average in the satellite record. A brief pause in ice growth in the middle of February was related to the regional wind pattern. As has … Continue reading → - latest science and technology news stories internet news portal provides the latest news on science including: Physics, Nanotechnology, Life Sciences, Space Science, Earth Science, Environment, Health and Medicine.

  • Modern sea-level rise linked to human activities,...
    on May 15, 2020 at 6:50 pm

    New research by Rutgers scientists reaffirms that modern sea-level rise is linked to human activities and not to changes in Earth's orbit.

  • Arctic research expedition likely faces extreme...
    on April 20, 2020 at 7:46 pm

    In October 2019, scientists trapped a ship filled with equipment in Arctic sea ice with the intention of drifting around the Arctic Ocean for a full year, gathering data on the polar regions and sea ice floes. However, a new study indicates there is a chance the expedition may melt out months before the year-end goal.

  • Alarms ring as Greenland ice loss causes 40% of...
    on April 16, 2020 at 7:43 pm

    The kilometres-thick icesheet that covers Greenland saw a near-record imbalance last year between new snowfall and the discharge of meltwater and ice into the ocean, scientists have reported.

  • Unusually clear skies drove record loss of...
    on April 15, 2020 at 2:20 pm

    Last year was one of the worst years on record for the Greenland ice sheet, which shrunk by hundreds of billions of tons. According to a study published today in The Cryosphere, that mind-boggling ice loss wasn't caused by warm temperatures alone; the new study identifies exceptional atmospheric circulation patterns that contributed in a major way to the ice sheet's rapid loss of mass.

  • Scientists use underwater microphones to study...
    on April 10, 2020 at 1:28 pm

    Researchers at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography are eavesdropping on an Arctic glacier in the name of science. In a new study, scientists Oskar Glowacki and Grant Deane describe a method of measuring glacier mass loss from iceberg calving, a process in which ice breaks off from the edges of a glacier and ultimately contributes to sea level rise. The researchers are analyzing underwater acoustic recordings of icebergs as they fall into the ocean and make a splash.