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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

  • Modelling the Antarctic Ice Sheet across the...
    on July 19, 2019 at 7:55 am

    Modelling the Antarctic Ice Sheet across the mid-Pleistocene transition – implications for Oldest Ice Johannes Sutter, Hubertus Fischer, Klaus Grosfeld, Nanna B. Karlsson, Thomas Kleiner, Brice Van Liefferinge, and Olaf Eisen The Cryosphere, 13, 2023-2041,, 2019 The Antarctic Ice Sheet may have played an important role in moderating the transition between warm and cold climate […]

  • Brief communication: Updated GAMDAM glacier...
    on July 19, 2019 at 7:55 am

    Brief communication: Updated GAMDAM glacier inventory over high-mountain Asia Akiko Sakai The Cryosphere, 13, 2043-2049,, 2019 The Glacier Area Mapping for Discharge from the Asian Mountains (GAMDAM) glacier inventory was updated to revise the underestimated glacier area in the first version. The total number and area of glaciers are 134 770 and […]

  • Induced surface fluxes: a new framework for...
    on July 19, 2019 at 7:55 am

    Induced surface fluxes: a new framework for attributing Arctic sea ice volume balance biases to specific model errors Alex West, Mat Collins, Ed Blockley, Jeff Ridley, and Alejandro Bodas-Salcedo The Cryosphere, 13, 2001-2022,, 2019 This study presents a framework for examining the causes of model errors in Arctic sea ice volume, using HadGEM2-ES as a case study. Simple models are used to […]

  • Presentation and evaluation of the Arctic sea ice...
    on July 17, 2019 at 7:55 am

    Presentation and evaluation of the Arctic sea ice forecasting system neXtSIM-F Timothy Williams, Anton Korosov, Pierre Rampal, and Einar Ólason The Cryosphere Discuss., https//,2019Manuscript under review for TC (discussion: open, 0 comments) neXtSIM (neXt-generation Sea Ice Model) includes a novel and extremely realistic way of modeling sea ice dynamics – i.e. how the sea ice moves and […]

  • Past water flow beneath Pine Island and Thwaites...
    on July 17, 2019 at 7:55 am

    Past water flow beneath Pine Island and Thwaites glaciers, West Antarctica James D. Kirkham, Kelly A. Hogan, Robert D. Larter, Neil S. Arnold, Frank O. Nitsche, Nicholas R. Golledge, and Julian A. Dowdeswell The Cryosphere, 13, 1959-1981,, 2019 A series of huge (500 m wide, 50 m deep) channels were eroded by water flowing beneath Pine Island and Thwaites glaciers in the […]

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

  • Beware the Ides of July
    by Agnieszka Gautier on July 16, 2019 at 7:21 pm

    Loss of ice extent through the first half of July matched loss rates observed in 2012, the year which had the lowest September sea ice extent in the satellite record. Surface melt has become widespread and there is low concentration … Continue reading &rarr […]

  • Melt season shifts into high gear
    by Agnieszka Gautier on July 2, 2019 at 7:36 pm

    After a period of slow ice loss in the middle of June, Arctic sea ice loss ramped up, and extent at the end of the month fell below 2012, the year which ended up with the lowest September ice extent in the … Continue reading &rarr […]

  • Warm May in the Arctic sets the stage
    by Audrey Payne on June 4, 2019 at 9:45 pm

    May saw above average temperatures over nearly all of the Arctic Ocean, Baffin Bay, and Greenland. Early sea ice retreat in the Bering Sea extended into the southern Chukchi Sea. Northern Baffin Bay and the Nares Strait have low ice … Continue reading &rarr […]

  • Rapid ice loss in early April leads to new record...
    by Agnieszka Gautier on May 2, 2019 at 9:45 pm

    April reached a new record Arctic low sea ice extent. Sea ice loss was rapid in the beginning of the month because of declines in the Sea of Okhotsk. The rate of ice loss slowed after early April, due in part … Continue reading &rarr […]

  • 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 […] - 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.

  • How much water do snowpacks hold? A better way to...
    on July 15, 2019 at 5:00 pm

    Oregon State University researchers have developed a new computer model for calculating the water content of snowpacks, providing an important tool for water resource managers and avalanche forecasters as well as scientists. […]

  • Snow algae thrive in high-elevation ice spires,...
    on July 8, 2019 at 7:30 am

    High in the Andes Mountains, dagger-shaped ice spires house thriving microbial communities, offering an oasis for life in one of Earth's harshest environments as well as a possible analogue for life on other planets. […]

  • Low-temperature aqueous alteration of Martian...
    on June 26, 2019 at 1:30 pm

    Many accounts at present support the presence of liquid water on Mars, where hydrated minerals testify to past processes of aqueous weathering in Martian meteorites such as NWA 7533/7034. Planetary scientists aim to estimate the timing of weathering on the Martian crust to help understand its evolution, the availability of liquid water and habitability on Mars. In a recent study, Martin Guitreau and Jessica Flahaut at the University of Manchester, U.K., and the National Center for Scientific […]

  • Why Cry for the Cryosphere?
    on June 11, 2019 at 1:42 pm

    The headline is actually a sentence that comes toward the end of Vanishing Ice, a new book that answers the question in encyclopedic detail. For those unfamiliar with the term, the cryosphere is the earth's natural ice in all its forms. Author Vivien Gornitz, a NASA science collaborator and retired special research scientist at Columbia University's Center for Climate Systems Research, takes readers through the basic physics of them: glaciers, ice sheets, ice shelves, sea […]

  • Arctic coast erosion revealed by drone images
    on June 7, 2019 at 1:40 pm

    Extreme erosion of Arctic coastlines in a changing climate—up to a metre a day—has been revealed with drone surveys. […]