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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)



Adventure &rel=0


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

  • Winter tourism under climate change in the...
    on April 24, 2019 at 4:02 pm

    Winter tourism under climate change in the Pyrenees and the French Alps: relevance of snowmaking as a technical adaptation Pierre Spandre, Hugues François, Deborah Verfaillie, Marc Pons, Matthieu Vernay, Matthieu Lafaysse, Emmanuelle George, and Samuel Morin The Cryosphere, 13, 1325-1347,, 2019 This study investigates the snow reliability of 175 ski resorts in the Pyrenees (France, […]

  • Uncertainty quantification of the...
    on April 24, 2019 at 4:02 pm

    Uncertainty quantification of the multi-centennial response of the Antarctic ice sheet to climate change Kevin Bulthuis, Maarten Arnst, Sainan Sun, and Frank Pattyn The Cryosphere, 13, 1349-1380,, 2019 Using probabilistic methods, we quantify the uncertainty in the Antarctic ice-sheet response to climate change over the next millennium under the four RCP scenarios and parametric […]

  • Challenges associated with the climatic...
    on April 24, 2019 at 4:02 pm

    Challenges associated with the climatic interpretation of water stable isotope records from a highly resolved firn core from Adélie Land, coastal Antarctica Sentia Goursaud, Valérie Masson-Delmotte, Vincent Favier, Suzanne Preunkert, Michel Legrand, Bénédicte Minster, and Martin Werner The Cryosphere, 13, 1297-1324,, 2019 We report new water stable isotope […]

  • A long-term dataset of climatic mass balance,...
    on April 23, 2019 at 4:02 pm

    A long-term dataset of climatic mass balance, snow conditions and runoff in Svalbard (1957–2018) Ward van Pelt, Veijo Pohjola, Rickard Pettersson, Sergey Marchenko, Jack Kohler, Bartek Luks, Jon Ove Hagen, Thomas V. Schuler, Thorben Dunse, Brice Noël, and Carleen Reijmer The Cryosphere Discuss., https//,2019Manuscript under review for TC (discussion: open, 0 comments) The climate in Svalbard […]

  • Modeling the Evolution of the Structural...
    on April 23, 2019 at 4:02 pm

    Modeling the Evolution of the Structural Anisotropy of Snow Silvan Leinss, Henning Löwe, Martin Proksch, and Anna Kontu The Cryosphere Discuss., https//,2019Manuscript under review for TC (discussion: open, 0 comments) The microscopic anisotropy of the snow structure, given by horizontally aligned ice crystals and vertically interlinked crystal chains is a key quantity to understand mechanical, […]

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

  • Spring arrives in the Arctic
    by Agnieszka Gautier on April 3, 2019 at 7:00 am

    Arctic sea ice extent appears to have reached its maximum extent on March 13, marking the beginning of the sea ice melt season. Since the maximum, sea ice extent has been tracking at record low levels. In the Bering Sea, … Continue reading &rarr […]

  • Arctic sea ice maximum ties for seventh lowest in...
    by Agnieszka Gautier on March 20, 2019 at 5:00 pm

    Arctic sea ice appears to have reached its annual maximum extent on March 13, tying with 2007 for seventh lowest in the 40-year satellite record. The 2019 maximum sea ice extent is the highest since 2014. NSIDC will post a … Continue reading &rarr […]

  • Ho hum February it may be, unless we speak of the...
    by Agnieszka Gautier on March 4, 2019 at 4:30 pm

    Arctic sea ice extent for February 2019 was the seventh lowest in the satellite record for the month, tying with 2015. So far this winter, sea ice extent has remained above the 2017 record low maximum. Extent in the northern Barents … Continue reading &rarr […]

  • Polar vortex breakdown
    by Agnieszka Gautier on February 5, 2019 at 6:30 pm

    In January 2019, a pattern of high-altitude winds in the Arctic, better known as the polar vortex, weakened, sweeping frigid air over North America and Europe in the second half of the month. Arctic sea ice extent remained well below … Continue reading &rarr […]

  • New year lows once again
    by Agnieszka Gautier on January 7, 2019 at 7:20 pm

    As 2018 came to a close, Arctic sea ice extent was tracking at its third lowest level in the satellite record, while sea ice in the Antarctic remained at historic lows. Slightly faster growth in the first few days of … Continue reading &rarr […] - 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.

  • More than 90% of glacier volume in the Alps could...
    on April 9, 2019 at 12:00 pm

    New research on how glaciers in the European Alps will fare under a warming climate has come up with concerning results. Under a limited warming scenario, glaciers would lose about two-thirds of their present-day ice volume, while under strong warming, the Alps would be mostly ice free by 2100. The results, now published in the European Geosciences Union (EGU) journal The Cryosphere, are presented today at the EGU General Assembly 2019 in Vienna, Austria. […]

  • Glaciers lose 9 trillion tonnes of ice in half a...
    on April 9, 2019 at 11:44 am

    When we think of climate change, one of the first things to come to mind is melting polar ice. However, ice loss isn't just restricted to the polar regions. According to research published today, glaciers around the world have lost well over 9000 gigatonnes (nine trillion tonnes) of ice since 1961, raising sea level by 27 mm. […]

  • Large Antarctic ice shelf, home to a UK research...
    on April 5, 2019 at 1:09 pm

    Glaciology experts have issued evidence that a large section of the Brunt Ice Shelf in Antarctica, which is home to the British Antarctic Survey's Halley Research Station, is about break off. […]

  • It's raining on the Greenland ice—in the...
    on March 7, 2019 at 1:00 pm

    Rainy weather is becoming increasingly common over parts of the Greenland ice sheet, triggering sudden melting events that are eating at the ice and priming the surface for more widespread future melting, says a new study. Some parts of the ice sheet are even receiving rain in winter—a phenomenon that will spread as climate continues to warm, say the researchers. The study appears this week in the European scientific journal The Cryosphere. […]

  • New satellite keeps close watch on Antarctic ice...
    on March 6, 2019 at 2:52 pm

    A recently-launched satellite mission has captured precision data on the elevation of the Antarctic ice sheet proving a valuable addition to monitoring efforts in the region, according to work published this week in The Cryosphere. […]