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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

  • The Arctic sea ice extent change connected to...
    on February 26, 2020 at 6:16 pm

    The Arctic sea ice extent change connected to Pacific decadal variability Xiao-Yi Yang, Guihua Wang, and Noel Keenlyside The Cryosphere, 14, 693–708,, 2020 The post-2007 Arctic sea ice cover is characterized by a remarkable increase in annual cycle amplitude, which is attributed to multiyear variability in spring Bering sea ice extent. We demonstrated that changes of NPGO mode, by […]

  • The MOSAiC ice floe: sediment-laden survivor...
    on February 25, 2020 at 6:16 pm

    The MOSAiC ice floe: sediment-laden survivor from the Siberian shelf Thomas Krumpen, Florent Birrien, Frank Kauker, Thomas Rackow, Luisa von Albedyll, Michael Angelopoulos, H. Jakob Belter, Vadlimir Bessonov, Ellen Damm, Klaus Dethloff, Jari Haapala, Christian Haas, Stefan Hendricks, Jens Hoelemann, Mario Hoppmann, Lars Kaleschke, Michael Karcher, nikolai Kolabutin, Josefine Lenz, Anne Morgenstern, Marcel Nicolaus, Uwe Nixdorf, Tomash Petrovsky, Benjamin Rabe, Lasse […]

  • Ice layer formation in the snowpack due to...
    on February 25, 2020 at 6:16 pm

    Ice layer formation in the snowpack due to preferential water flow: case study at an alpine site Louis Quéno, Charles Fierz, Alec van Herwijnen, Dylan Longridge, and Nander Wever The Cryosphere Discuss., https//,2020Preprint under review for TC (discussion: open, 0 comments) Ice layers may form in the snowpack due to preferential water flow, with impacts on the snowpack mechanichal, […]

  • Simultaneous estimation of wintertime sea ice...
    on February 25, 2020 at 6:16 pm

    Simultaneous estimation of wintertime sea ice thickness and snow depth from space-borne freeboard measurements Hoyeon Shi, Byung-Ju Sohn, Gorm Dybkjær, Rasmus Tage Tonboe, and Sang-Moo Lee The Cryosphere Discuss., https//,2020Preprint under review for TC (discussion: open, 0 comments) To estimate sea ice thickness from satellite freeboard measurements, snow depth information has been required, […]

  • Acoustic Emission investigation for avalanche...
    on February 24, 2020 at 6:16 pm

    Acoustic Emission investigation for avalanche formation and release: A case study of dry-slab avalanche event in Great Himalaya Jagdish Kapil, Sakshi Sharma, Karmjit Singh, Jangvir Singh Shahi, and Rama Arora The Cryosphere Discuss., https//,2020Preprint under review for TC (discussion: open, 0 comments) A case study is presented for an avalanche event reported in Great Himalaya through monitoring and […]

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

  • A mostly ho-hum January
    by Audrey Payne on February 4, 2020 at 7:18 pm

    Sea ice extent for January 2020 tracked well below average, with the monthly average tied at eighth lowest in the satellite record. While air temperatures were above average across much of the Arctic Ocean, it was colder than average over … Continue reading →

  • That’s a wrap: A look back at 2019 and the past...
    by Audrey Payne on January 7, 2020 at 8:53 pm

    The year 2019 saw an early melt onset and high sea surface temperatures during summer in the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas. The September minimum extent ended up tied with 2007 and 2016 for second lowest in the satellite record. Autumn … Continue reading →

  • 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 → - 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.

  • Video: Pine Island Glacier spawns 'piglets'
    on February 11, 2020 at 3:59 pm

    As anticipated, Pine Island Glacier, known as PIG for short, in Antarctica has just spawned a huge iceberg. At over 300 sq km, about the size of Malta, this huge berg very quickly broke into many 'piglet' pieces the largest of which is dubbed B-49. Thanks to images from the Copernicus Sentinel satellite missions, two large rifts in the glacier were spotted last year and scientists have been keeping a close eye on how quickly these cracks were growing. This animation uses 57 radar images […]

  • Rivers are warming at the same rate as the...
    on January 31, 2020 at 2:41 pm

    Researchers at EPFL and the Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research (WSL) have found that the temperature of Swiss rivers is rising steadily. This situation is straining ecosystems and could limit the use of this water in Switzerland's nuclear and hydropower industries.

  • Four ways climate change is affecting our...
    on January 23, 2020 at 2:41 pm

    Climate change is already affecting our health, even if we don't think about it much, says a University of Alberta public health expert.

  • The burden of climate risk falls on the poor
    on January 15, 2020 at 3:13 pm

    Storm, flood, drought: With global warming, extreme events become more frequent and intense. They especially impact the poorest of the poor. Geographer Matthias Garschagen examines how urban societies can adapt to climate change.

  • Scientists contribute to major new report on...
    on January 15, 2020 at 2:01 pm

    University scientists have contributed to a major new publication by the Marine Climate Change Impacts Partnership (MCCIP) which highlights the current and future impacts of climate change on UK seas and dependent industries and society.