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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

  • Substantial meltwater contribution to the...
    on November 18, 2019 at 12:57 am

    Substantial meltwater contribution to the Brahmaputra revealed by satellite gravimetry Shuang Yi, Chunqiao Song, Kosuke Heki, Shichang Kang, Qiuyu Wang, and Le Chang The Cryosphere Discuss., https//,2019Manuscript under review for TC (discussion: open, 0 comments) High Asia glaciers were observed to be reducing the fastest in the southeastern Tibet Plateau (SETP), where vast amounts of glacier and […]

  • Decadal changes in the leading patterns of sea...
    on November 18, 2019 at 12:57 am

    Decadal changes in the leading patterns of sea level pressure in the Arctic and their impacts on the sea ice variability in boreal summer Nakbin Choi, Kyu-Myong Kim, Young-Kwon Lim, and Myong-In Lee The Cryosphere, 13, 3007–3021,, 2019 This study compares the decadal changes of the leading patterns of sea level pressure between the early (1982–1997) and the recent […]

  • Effect of prescribed sea surface conditions on...
    on November 18, 2019 at 12:57 am

    Effect of prescribed sea surface conditions on the modern and future Antarctic surface climate simulated by the ARPEGE atmosphere general circulation model Julien Beaumet, Michel Déqué, Gerhard Krinner, Cécile Agosta, and Antoinette Alias The Cryosphere, 13, 3023–3043,, 2019 The atmospheric model ARPEGE is used with a stretched grid in order to reach an average […]

  • Sensitivity of the Greenland mass and energy...
    on November 14, 2019 at 12:57 am

    Sensitivity of the Greenland mass and energy balance to uncertainties in key model parameters Tobias Zolles and Andreas Born The Cryosphere Discuss., https//,2019Manuscript under review for TC (discussion: open, 0 comments) We investigate the sensitivity of a glacier surface mass and energy balance model of the Greenland ice-sheets for the cold period of the last glacial maximum as well as present day […]

  • Multisensor validation of tidewater glacier flow...
    on November 13, 2019 at 12:57 am

    Multisensor validation of tidewater glacier flow fields derived from synthetic aperture radar (SAR) intensity tracking Christoph Rohner, David Small, Daniel Henke, Martin P. Lüthi, and Andreas Vieli The Cryosphere, 13, 2953–2975,, 2019 The recent increase in ice flow and calving rates of ocean–terminating glaciers contributes substantially to the mass loss of the […]

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

  • 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 →

  • Arctic sea ice reaches second lowest minimum in...
    by Agnieszka Gautier on September 23, 2019 at 5:00 pm

    On September 18, Arctic sea ice reached its likely minimum extent for 2019. The minimum ice extent was effectively tied for second lowest in the satellite record, along with 2007 and 2016, reinforcing the long-term downward trend in Arctic ice extent. … Continue reading →

  • Sloshing Around in the Polar Twilight
    by Audrey Payne on September 17, 2019 at 9:05 pm

    The end of the Arctic sea ice melt season is nigh. The last couple of weeks have seen small rises and falls in ice extent, primarily due to changes in wind patterns. However, falling temperatures will soon accelerate the pace of … Continue reading →

  • Summer’s not over until bottom melt ends
    by Agnieszka Gautier on September 5, 2019 at 3:40 pm

    While Arctic sea ice extent was tracking at record low levels in July and August, the pace of ice loss slowed considerably after the middle of August, despite above-average air temperatures over much of the Arctic Ocean. By August 14, … 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.

  • Two ocean studies look at microscopic diversity...
    on November 14, 2019 at 4:00 pm

    In an effort to reverse the decline in the health of the world's oceans, the United Nations (UN) has declared 2021 to 2030 to be the Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development. One key requirement for the scientific initiative is data on existing global ocean conditions. An important trove of data is already available thanks to the Tara Oceans expedition, an international, interdisciplinary enterprise that collected 35,000 samples from all the world's oceans between 2009 and 2013. The […]

  • Satellites are key to monitoring ocean carbon
    on November 4, 2019 at 8:14 am

    Satellites now play a key role in monitoring carbon levels in the oceans, but we are only just beginning to understand their full potential.

  • Drones help map Iceland's disappearing glaciers
    on October 30, 2019 at 4:31 pm

    A new 3-D process which involves old aerial photos and modern-day drone photography has shed light on accelerated ice loss from some of Iceland's largest glaciers.

  • Photos taken century apart show stark Mont Blanc...
    on October 24, 2019 at 12:40 pm

    In 1919 a pioneering aviator took iconic photos of the Mont Blanc glaciers. A century later, a team of experts has recreated the images to highlight the drastic ice melt caused by rising temperatures.

  • Swiss glaciers shrink 10 percent in five years:...
    on October 15, 2019 at 12:38 pm

    Switzerland's glaciers have lost a tenth of their volume in the past five years alone—a melting rate unmatched during observations stretching back more than a century, a study showed Tuesday.