Cosma Home > Communication > Knowledge > Realm > Terrestrial > Sphere > Ice


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

  • Convolutional Neural Network and Long Short-Term...
    on July 23, 2021 at 5:27 am

    Convolutional Neural Network and Long Short-Term Memory Models for Ice-Jam Prediction Fatemehalsadat Madaeni, Karem Chokmani, Rachid Lhissou, Saeid Homayuni, Yves Gauthier, and Simon Tolszczuk-Leclerc The Cryosphere Discuss., https//,2021Preprint under review for TC (discussion: open, 0 comments) We developed three deep learning models (CNN, LSTM, and combined CN-LSTM networks) to predict breakup […]

  • Downhole distributed acoustic seismic profiling...
    on July 23, 2021 at 5:27 am

    Downhole distributed acoustic seismic profiling at Skytrain Ice Rise, West Antarctica Alex M. Brisbourne, Michael Kendall, Sofia-Katerina Kufner, Thomas S. Hudson, and Andrew M. Smith The Cryosphere, 15, 3443–3458,, 2021 How ice sheets flowed in the past is written into the structure and texture of the ice sheet itself. Measuring this structure and properties of the ice can help us […]

  • Changes in Supraglacial Lakes on George VI Ice...
    on July 22, 2021 at 5:27 am

    Changes in Supraglacial Lakes on George VI Ice Shelf, Antarctic Peninsula: 1973–2020 Thomas James Barnes, Amber Alexandra Leeson, Malcolm McMillan, Vincent Verjans, Jeremy Carter, and Christoph Kittel The Cryosphere Discuss., https//,2021Preprint under review for TC (discussion: open, 0 comments) We find that the area covered by lakes on George VI ice shelf in 2020 is similar to that seen in other […]

  • Wave dispersion and dissipation in landfast ice:...
    on July 22, 2021 at 5:27 am

    Wave dispersion and dissipation in landfast ice: comparison of observations against models Joey J. Voermans, Qingxiang Liu, Aleksey Marchenko, Jean Rabault, Kirill Filchuk, Ivan Ryzhov, Petra Heil, Takuji Waseda, Takehiko Nose, Tsubasa Kodaira, Jingkai Li, and Alexander V. Babanin The Cryosphere Discuss., https//,2021Preprint under review for TC (discussion: open, 0 comments) We have shown through […]

  • Large-scale sea ice motion from Sentinel-1 and...
    on July 22, 2021 at 5:27 am

    Large-scale sea ice motion from Sentinel-1 and the RADARSAT Constellation Mission Stephen E. L. Howell, Mike Brady, and Alexander S. Komarov The Cryosphere Discuss., https//,2021Preprint under review for TC (discussion: open, 0 comments) 60,000 satellite images from Sentinel-1AB (S1) and RADARSAT Constellation Mission (RCM) were used to generate large-scale sea ice motion estimates over the Arctic […]

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

  • Neck and neck
    by Agnieszka Gautier on July 14, 2021 at 6:57 pm

    As of July 13, Arctic sea ice extent was tracking just below the 2012 record and very close to 2020, the years with the lowest and second lowest (tied with 2007) minimum ice extent in the satellite record. The Laptev Sea … Continue reading →

  • Keeping pace with the record holder
    by Agnieszka Gautier on July 7, 2021 at 2:29 pm

    At the end of the first week of July, Arctic sea ice extent was tracking at record low for this time of year. July is the month with most rapid sea ice decline. As in most of the years in … Continue reading →

  • Storms were the norm
    by Audrey Payne on June 8, 2021 at 4:42 pm

    A stormy May over the eastern Arctic helped to spread the sea ice pack out and keep temperatures relatively mild for this time of year. As a result, the decline in ice extent was slow. By the end of the … Continue reading →

  • A step in our spring
    by Audrey Payne on May 5, 2021 at 2:23 pm

    The spring decline in Arctic sea ice extent continued at varying rates through the month of April, highlighted by a mid-month pause. Above average air temperatures and low sea level pressure dominated on the Atlantic side of the Arctic, while … Continue reading →

  • The dark winter ends
    by Agnieszka Gautier on April 6, 2021 at 6:11 pm

    The seasonal maximum extent of Arctic sea ice has passed, and with the passing of the vernal equinox, the sun has risen at the north pole. While there are plenty of cold days ahead, the long polar night is over. … 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.

  • Third Pole faces major changes in water flows
    on July 8, 2021 at 5:20 pm

    Snow cover and glaciers at the Third Pole are disappearing fast as a result of global warming. A joint research team modeled the Third Pole water cycling to see what the future has in store for the region.

  • Reducing the melting of the Greenland ice cap...
    on July 7, 2021 at 8:19 pm

    Injecting sulfur into the stratosphere to reduce solar radiation and stop the Greenland ice cap from melting. It's an interesting scenario, but not without risks. Climatologists from the University of Liège have looked into the matter and have tested one of the scenarios put forward using the MAR climate model developed at the University of Liège. The results are mixed and have been published in the journal The Cryosphere.

  • New satellite data techniques reveal coastal...
    on July 7, 2021 at 12:49 pm

    For the hundreds of millions of people living in coastal regions around the world, rising seas driven by climate change pose a direct threat. In order for authorities to plan appropriate protection strategies, accurate information on sea-level rise close to the coast is imperative. For various reasons, these measurements are difficult to get from satellites. However, new ESA-funded research demonstrates how a specific way of processing satellite altimetry data now makes it possible to determine […]

  • Earth's cryosphere is shrinking by 87,000 square...
    on July 1, 2021 at 7:49 pm

    The global cryosphere—all of the areas with frozen water on Earth—shrank by about 87,000 square kilometers (about 33,000 square miles, an area about the size of Lake Superior) per year on average between 1979 and 2016, as a result of climate change, according to a new study. This research is the first to make a global estimate of the surface area of the Earth covered by sea ice, snow cover and frozen ground.

  • Research shows Alaska infrastructure at risk of...
    on June 24, 2021 at 7:53 pm

    Roads, bridges, pipelines and other types of infrastructure in Alaska and elsewhere in the Arctic will deteriorate faster than expected due to a failure by planners to account for the structures' impact on adjacent permafrost, according to research by a University of Alaska Fairbanks Geophysical Institute permafrost expert and others.