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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 transferability of adjoint inversion products...
    on April 23, 2021 at 4:46 am

    The transferability of adjoint inversion products between different ice flow models Jowan M. Barnes, Thiago Dias dos Santos, Daniel Goldberg, G. Hilmar Gudmundsson, Mathieu Morlighem, and Jan De Rydt The Cryosphere, 15, 1975–2000,, 2021 Some properties of ice flow models must be initialised using observed data before they can be used to produce reliable predictions of the future. […]

  • Interfacial supercooling and the precipitation of...
    on April 23, 2021 at 4:46 am

    Interfacial supercooling and the precipitation of hydrohalite in frozen NaCl solutions as seen by X-ray absorption spectroscopy Thorsten Bartels-Rausch, Xiangrui Kong, Fabrizio Orlando, Luca Artiglia, Astrid Waldner, Thomas Huthwelker, and Markus Ammann The Cryosphere, 15, 2001–2020,, 2021 Chemical reactions in sea salt embedded in coastal polar snow impact the composition and air […]

  • Generalized sliding law applied to the surge...
    on April 22, 2021 at 4:46 am

    Generalized sliding law applied to the surge dynamics of Shisper Glacier and constrained by timeseries correlation of optical satellite images Flavien Beaud, Saif Aati, Ian Delaney, Surendra Adhikari, and Jean-Philippe Avouac The Cryosphere Discuss., https//,2021Preprint under review for TC (discussion: open, 0 comments) Understanding sliding at the bed of glaciers is essential to understand the future […]

  • Freshwater Sources and Sinks for Arctic Sea Ice...
    on April 21, 2021 at 4:46 am

    Freshwater Sources and Sinks for Arctic Sea Ice in Summer  Don Perovich, Madison Smith, Bonnie Light, and Melinda Webster The Cryosphere Discuss., https//,2021Preprint under review for TC (discussion: open, 0 comments) During summer, Arctic sea ice melts on its surface, bottom and lateral edges. Some of this fresh meltwater is stored on the ice surface in features called melt ponds. The rest flows […]

  • Mass balance modelling and climate sensitivity of...
    on April 21, 2021 at 4:46 am

    Mass balance modelling and climate sensitivity of Saskatchewan Glacier, western Canada Christophe Kinnard, Olivier Larouche, Michael N. Demuth, and Brian Menounos The Cryosphere Discuss., https//,2021Preprint under review for TC (discussion: open, 0 comments) This study implements a physically based, distributed glacier mass balance model in a context of sparse direct observations. Carefully […]

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

  • 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 →

  • Arctic sea ice reaches an uneventful maximum
    by Agnieszka Gautier on March 30, 2021 at 3:00 pm

    Arctic sea ice appears to have reached its maximum extent on March 21, 2021, tying for seventh lowest in the 43-year satellite record. NSIDC will post a detailed analysis of the 2020 to 2021 winter sea ice conditions in our regular … Continue reading →

  • Fluctuating pressures
    by Audrey Payne on March 9, 2021 at 8:14 pm

    Sea ice extent for February 2021 tracked well below average, but at month’s end was still higher than levels recorded in several recent years. Extent grew at an average pace. For the first two weeks of the month, sea level … Continue reading →

  • A lopsided January
    by Agnieszka Gautier on February 2, 2021 at 6:27 pm

    Arctic sea ice extent for January 2021 tracked below average, with the monthly average finishing sixth lowest in the satellite record. While air temperatures were well above average on the Atlantic side of the Arctic, air temperatures were strongly below … Continue reading →

  • Ho, ho, ho-hum December
    by Audrey Payne on January 5, 2021 at 10:53 pm

    The Arctic climate was extraordinary in 2020, but the year ended with a less spectacular December. Ice growth was faster than average throughout the month, but extent at month’s end remained among the lowest in the satellite record. Air temperatures for … 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.

  • What a glacial river reveals about the Greenland...
    on April 7, 2021 at 1:29 pm

    With data from a 2016 expedition, scientists supported by NASA are shedding more light into the complex processes under the Greenland Ice Sheet that control how fast its glaciers slide toward the ocean and contribute to sea level rise.

  • Evidence of Antarctic glacier's tipping point...
    on April 2, 2021 at 8:05 am

    Researchers have confirmed for the first time that Pine Island Glacier in West Antarctica could cross tipping points, leading to a rapid and irreversible retreat which would have significant consequences for global sea level.

  • Lakes on Greenland Ice Sheet can drain huge...
    on March 31, 2021 at 11:00 pm

    Using satellite data to 'see in the dark', researchers have shown for the first time that lakes on the Greenland Ice Sheet drain during winter, a finding with implications for the speed at which the world's second-largest ice sheet flows to the ocean.

  • Alpine-wide study shows that snow cover has been...
    on March 18, 2021 at 12:10 pm

    For the first time, a study coordinated by Eurac Research has collected and systematically evaluated snow data from more than 2000 measuring stations in Italy, Austria, Slovenia, Germany, Switzerland and France. Up until now, studies had been limited to individual areas in the Alpine region and been based on data from, at most, a few hundred measuring stations.

  • Gravity mission still unearthing hidden secrets
    on March 12, 2021 at 2:11 pm

    Despite ESA's GOCE mission ending over seven years ago, scientists continue to use this remarkable satellite's gravity data to delve deep and unearth secrets about our planet. Recent research shows how scientists have combined GOCE data with measurements taken at the surface to generate a new model of Earth's crust and upper mantle. This is the first time such a model has been created this way—and it is shedding new light on processes of plate tectonics, which, in turn, are related to […]