ICE

Cryosphere

what is the cryosphere?

The cryosphere is the portion of the Earths surface water that is solid (frozen)


Their is a wide overlap with hydrosphere


It is a integral part of the global climate system with linkages and feedbacks generated it plays a significant role in the climate

How is the cryosphere studied?

The cryosphere forms under harsh environmental conditions, the most obvious being cold temperature. As a result, most of the cryosphere occurs in remote regions of the Earth, making regular observations difficult and often dangerous. Therefore, in addition to the relatively small number of observations we can make from coastlines and ships in the polar regions. They study the cryosphere using measurements obtained from aircraft and satellites. These types of measurements cover a much larger region giving us a better picture of the cryosphere than measurements made at the surface.

How does the cryosphere affect the climate?

The cryosphere acts like a reflective blanket that helps protect the earths from getting to warm. the presence or absence of the snow and ice would affect the heating and cooling over the earths surface influencing the entire energy balance of the planet.

The changes of snow and ice cover affect the air temperature , sea levels, ocean currents, and storm patterns all over the world.


Just as changes in the cryosphere can influence climate, changes in climate can also dramatically alter the Earth's snow- and ice-covered areas. Unlike other substances found on the Earth, snow and ice exist relatively close to their melting point and can easily change back and forth between solid and liquid. With just slight variations in Earth's temperature, thousands of square miles of snow and ice can accumulate or melt, making the cryosphere one of the most powerful indicators of climate and climate change.

How are glaciers formed

Glaciers are formed over time as snow remains in the same area year around intel theirs enough accumulated and it turns into ice. Each year new layers of snow bury and compress the previous layer, the grains grow larger and the air pockets between the grains get smaller causing it to increasr in density. It takes hundreds of years for glaciers to form.