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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

  • Identification of blowing snow particles in...
    on December 13, 2018 at 4:33 pm

    Identification of blowing snow particles in images from a multi-angle snowflake camera Mathieu Schaer, Christophe Praz, and Alexis Berne The Cryosphere Discuss., https//,2018Manuscript under review for TC (discussion: open, 0 comments) Wind and precipitation often occur together, making difficult the distinction between particles coming from the atmosphere and those blown by the wind. This is however […]

  • Variability in individual particle structure and...
    on December 13, 2018 at 4:33 pm

    Variability in individual particle structure and mixing states between the glacier–snowpack and atmosphere in the northeastern Tibetan Plateau Zhiwen Dong, Shichang Kang, Dahe Qin, Yaping Shao, Sven Ulbrich, and Xiang Qin The Cryosphere, 12, 3877-3890,, 2018 This study aimed to provide a first and unique record of physicochemical properties and mixing states of LAPs at the glacier […]

  • Glacial and geomorphic effects of a supraglacial...
    on December 13, 2018 at 4:33 pm

    Glacial and geomorphic effects of a supraglacial lake drainage and outburst event, Everest region, Nepal Himalaya Evan S. Miles, C. Scott Watson, Fanny Brun, Etienne Berthier, Michel Esteves, Duncan J. Quincey, Katie E. Miles, Bryn Hubbard, and Patrick Wagnon The Cryosphere, 12, 3891-3905,, 2018 We use high-resolution satellite imagery and field visits to assess the growth and drainage of […]

  • Rapid retreat of permafrost coastline observed...
    on December 12, 2018 at 4:33 pm

    Rapid retreat of permafrost coastline observed with aerial drone photogrammetry Andrew M. Cunliffe, George Tanski, Boris Radosavljevic, William F. Palmer, Torsten Sachs, Hugues Lantuit, Jeffrey T. Kerby, and Isla H. Myers-Smith The Cryosphere Discuss., https//,2018Manuscript under review for TC (discussion: open, 0 comments) Using drones, satellite images and historic photos we surveyed a permafrost […]

  • Heterogeneous spatial and temporal pattern of...
    on December 12, 2018 at 4:33 pm

    Heterogeneous spatial and temporal pattern of surface elevation change and mass balance of the Patagonian icefields between 2000 and 2016 Wael Abdel Jaber, Helmut Rott, Dana Floricioiu, Jan Wuite, and Nuno Miranda The Cryosphere Discuss., https//,2018Manuscript under review for TC (discussion: open, 0 comments) We use topographic maps from two radar remote sensing missions to map surface elevation […]

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

  • Autumn freeze-up amps up
    by Agnieszka Gautier on December 4, 2018 at 8:05 pm

    The Arctic freeze-up season is well underway, with ice extent increasing faster than average for most regions in November. Exceptions were in the Chukchi and Barents Seas, where the ice has been slow to form. November snow cover over North … Continue reading &rarr […]

  • Unusual warmth continues
    by Agnieszka Gautier on November 6, 2018 at 3:30 pm

    Over the Pacific side of the Arctic, a pattern of unusual warmth noted in last month’s post continued. While sea ice extent in the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas remains below average, extent remains especially low on the Atlantic side of … Continue reading &rarr […]

  • Arctic summer 2018: September extent ties for...
    by Agnieszka Gautier on October 8, 2018 at 8:15 pm

    After starting the year with record lows in January and February, Arctic sea ice extent ended tied with 2008 for the sixth lowest average September extent in the satellite record. The 2018 minimum extent was reached on both September 19 and 23. … Continue reading &rarr […]

  • Arctic sea ice extent arrives at its minimum
    by Agnieszka Gautier on September 27, 2018 at 3:00 pm

    On September 19 and 23, Arctic sea ice appeared to have reached its seasonal minimum extent for the year, at 4.59 million square kilometers (1.77 million square miles). This ties 2018 with 2008 and 2010 for the sixth lowest minimum … Continue reading &rarr […]

  • Nearing the Arctic’s seasonal minimum
    by Natasha Vizcarra on September 19, 2018 at 8:00 pm

    The seasonal minimum of Arctic sea ice extent is imminent; extent at the minimum is likely to be the sixth lowest in the satellite record, tied with 2008. Overview of conditions On September 17, Arctic sea ice extent stood at 4.60 … 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.

  • New climate model to be built from the ground up
    on December 13, 2018 at 12:50 pm

    Facing the certainty of a changing climate coupled with the uncertainty that remains in predictions of how it will change, scientists and engineers from across the country are teaming up to build a new type of climate model that is designed to provide more precise and actionable predictions. […]

  • ICESat-2 reveals profile of ice sheets, sea ice,...
    on December 11, 2018 at 4:16 pm

    Less than three months into its mission, NASA's Ice, Cloud and land Elevation Satellite-2, or ICESat-2, is already exceeding scientists' expectations. The satellite is measuring the height of sea ice to within an inch, tracing the terrain of previously unmapped Antarctic valleys, surveying remote ice sheets, and peering through forest canopies and shallow coastal waters. […]

  • Slow flow for glaciers thinning in Asia
    on December 11, 2018 at 12:31 pm

    Providing water for drinking, irrigation and power, glaciers in the world's highest mountains are a lifeline for more than a billion people. As climate change takes a grip and glaciers lose mass, one might think that, lubricated by more meltwater, they flow more quickly. However, satellite images from over the last 30 years show that it isn't as simple as that. […]

  • Ozone depletion increases Antarctic snowfall,...
    on December 10, 2018 at 3:30 pm

    Ozone layer depletion has increased snowfall over Antarctica in recent decades, partially mitigating the ongoing loss of the continent's ice sheet mass, new University of Colorado Boulder research finds. […]

  • Greenhouse gas levels in atmosphere hit new high:...
    on November 22, 2018 at 1:50 pm

    The levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, the main driver of climate change, have hit a new record high, the UN said Thursday, warning that the time to act was running out. […]