Cryospheric science

Definition

Cryospheric science is the interdisciplinary study of permafrost, snow and ice, primarily on the surface of the Earth, but also on other planets and moons. The cryosphere is an integral part of the climate system, and is investigated with techniques from geophysics, meteorology and hydrology.

Latest Research and Reviews

  • Research | | open

    Sporadic surface melt over the West Antarctic Ice Sheet is not fully understood. Here, the authors report on an extensive melting episode in the Ross Ice Shelf area in 2016 and use comprehensive in situ observations and model simulations to highlight the role of the strong El Niño event.

    • Julien P. Nicolas
    • , Andrew M. Vogelmann
    • , Ryan C. Scott
    • , Aaron B. Wilson
    • , Maria P. Cadeddu
    • , David H. Bromwich
    • , Johannes Verlinde
    • , Dan Lubin
    • , Lynn M. Russell
    • , Colin Jenkinson
    • , Heath H. Powers
    • , Maciej Ryczek
    • , Gregory Stone
    •  & Jonathan D. Wille
  • Research | | open

    While a number of subglacial lakes have been discovered beneath the modern Antarctic ice sheet, little is known regarding their prevalence during past glaciations. Here, Kuhn et al. present sedimentological evidence for an active palaeo-subglacial lake in Pine Island Bay during the last glaciation.

    • Gerhard Kuhn
    • , Claus-Dieter Hillenbrand
    • , Sabine Kasten
    • , James A. Smith
    • , Frank O. Nitsche
    • , Thomas Frederichs
    • , Steffen Wiers
    • , Werner Ehrmann
    • , Johann P. Klages
    •  & José M. Mogollón
  • Research |

    Observations from a Greenland ice core reveal that tropospheric oxidants are sensitive to climate-driven changes in reactive halogen chemistry and stratosphere-to-troposphere transport of ozone, in addition to ozone precursor emissions.

    • Lei Geng
    • , Lee T. Murray
    • , Loretta J. Mickley
    • , Pu Lin
    • , Qiang Fu
    • , Andrew J. Schauer
    •  & Becky Alexander
    Nature 546, 133–136
  • Research |

    On the Nansen Ice Shelf in Antarctica, a surface river that terminates in a waterfall can drain the ice shelf’s entire annual meltwater in just one week, potentially preventing the meltwater from hastening the catastrophic collapse of the shelf.

    • Robin E. Bell
    • , Winnie Chu
    • , Jonathan Kingslake
    • , Indrani Das
    • , Marco Tedesco
    • , Kirsty J. Tinto
    • , Christopher J. Zappa
    • , Massimo Frezzotti
    • , Alexandra Boghosian
    •  & Won Sang Lee
    Nature 544, 344–348

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