The frozen part of the Earth's surface. The cryosphere includes the polar ice caps, continental ice sheets, mountain glaciers, sea ice, snow cover, lake and river ice, and permafrost.
In the next 100 years between one third and one half of the world's mountain glaciers could melt, affecting the water supply to rivers and thus hydroelectric dams and agriculture. As is already being observed in Alaska, the areal extent and depth of permafrost are projected to decline, resulting in adverse effects on human infrastructure. A decrease in the extent and thickness of sea-ice will likely improve the navigability of the Arctic Ocean.
including the ice sheets of Greenland and Antarctica, continental glaciers and snow fields, sea ice and permafrost, derives its importance to the climate system from its high reflectivity (albedo) for solar radiation, its low thermal conductivity, its large thermal inertia and, especially, its crucial role in driving deep ocean water circulation. Because the ice sheets store a large amount of water, variations in their volume are a potential source of sea-level variations.( IPCC)
all global snow, ice, and permafrost
The ice and snow on the Earth's surface, such as glaciers; sea, lake, and river ice; snow; and permafrost.
is one of the five interrelated components of the Earth system. It is that portion of the Earth's surface with average temperatures below the freezing point of water. The bulk of the cryosphere is at or near the poles, but cryospheric regions also exist atop high mountain ranges on all continents. The cryosphere is composed of snow, permanently frozen ground (permafrost), floating ice, and glaciers.
A sub-category of the hydrosphere consisting of the temporarily frozen, solid water bodies including snow, ice, and glaciers.
The region of Earth dominated by ice.
The portion of the world's climate system which consists of snow and ice deposits
The portion of the earth which consists of the ice masses and snow deposits which include continental ice sheets, mountainous glaciers, sea ice, surface snow cover and lake/river ice. Alterations in the extent of snow cover are due to seasonal fluctuations and are interrelated with atmospheric circulation. Sea level and hydrologic cycle variations can affect the volume of water tied up in the glaciers and ice sheets. [Canadian Geographer; v36; 336-350; 1992.] [Canadian Geographer; v37; 86-87; 1993.
The term â€œcryosphereâ€ traces its origins to the Greek word kryos for frost or icy cold. It collectively describes the portions of the Earthâ€™s surface where water is in a solid form and includes sea ice, lake ice, river ice, snow cover, glaciers, ice caps and ice sheets, and frozen ground (which includes permafrost). 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, and atmospheric and oceanic circulation (Figure 1).