Journal cover Journal topic
The Cryosphere An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
TC cover
G. Hilmar

The Cryosphere (TC) is an international scientific journal dedicated to the publication and discussion of research articles, short communications, and review papers on all aspects of frozen water and ground on Earth and on other planetary bodies.

The main subject areas are ice sheets and glaciers, planetary ice bodies, permafrost, river and lake ice, seasonal snow cover, sea ice, remote sensing, numerical modelling, in situ and laboratory studies of the above and including studies of the interaction of the cryosphere with the rest of the climate system.


Press Release: Antarctic explorers help make discovery – 100 years after their epic adventures

24 Nov 2016

The study, published in The Cryosphere, suggests Antarctic sea ice is much less sensitive to the effects of climate change than that of the Arctic, which in stark contrast has experienced a dramatic decline during the 20th century.

Press Release: Receding glaciers in Bolivia leave communities at risk

20 Oct 2016

A new study published in The Cryosphere has found that Bolivian glaciers shrunk by 43% between 1986 and 2014, and will continue to diminish if temperatures in the region continue to increase.

Press Release: All polar bears across the Arctic face shorter sea ice season

14 Sep 2016

A new study by University of Washington researchers, funded by NASA, finds a trend toward earlier sea ice melt in the spring and later ice growth in the autumn across all 19 polar bear populations, which can negatively impact the feeding and breeding capabilities of the bears.

Recent articles

Highlight articles

The absorption of visible light in ice is very weak but its precise value is unknown. By measuring the profile of light intensity in snow, Warren and Brand (2006) deduced that light is attenuated by a factor 2 per kilometer in pure ice at a wavelength of 400 nm. We replicated their experiment on a large number of samples and found that ice absorption is at least 10 times stronger. The paper explores various potential physical and statistical biases that could impact the experiment.

Ghislain Picard, Quentin Libois, and Laurent Arnaud

Here we report new data from in situ oceanographic surveys and high-resolution ocean modelling experiments in the Commonwealth Bay region of East Antarctica, where in 2010 there was a major reconfiguration of the regional icescape due to the collision of the 97 km long iceberg B09B with the Mertz Glacier tongue. Here we compare post-calving observations with high-resolution ocean modelling which suggest that this reconfiguration has led to the development of a new polynya off Commonwealth Bay.

Christopher J. Fogwill, Erik van Sebille, Eva A. Cougnon, Chris S. M. Turney, Steve R. Rintoul, Benjamin K. Galton-Fenzi, Graeme F. Clark, E. M. Marzinelli, Eleanor B. Rainsley, and Lionel Carter

The thermal conductivity (TC) of the snow and top soil greatly impacts the permafrost energy budget. We report the first winter-long monitoring of snow and soil TC in the high Arctic. The data and field observations show the formation of a highly insulating basal depth hoar layer overlaid by a more conductive wind slab. Detailed snow physics models developed for alpine snow cannot reproduce observations because they neglect the strong upward vertical water vapor flux prevailing in Arctic snow.

Florent Domine, Mathieu Barrere, and Denis Sarrazin

The reconstruction of past snow accumulation rates is crucial in the context of recent climate change and sea level rise. We measured ~ 250 years of snow accumulation using a 120 m ice core drilled in coastal East Antarctica, where such long records are very scarce. This study is the first to show an increase in snow accumulation, beginning in the 20th and particularly marked in the last 50 years, thereby confirming model predictions of increased snowfall associated with climate change.

Morgane Philippe, Jean-Louis Tison, Karen Fjøsne, Bryn Hubbard, Helle A. Kjær, Jan T. M. Lenaerts, Reinhard Drews, Simon G. Sheldon, Kevin De Bondt, Philippe Claeys, and Frank Pattyn

Here we utilize declassified spy satellite imagery to quantify ice volume loss of glaciers in the eastern Himalayas over approximately the last three decades. Clean-ice and debris-covered glaciers show similar magnitudes of ice loss, while calving glaciers are contributing a disproportionately large amount to total ice loss. Results highlight important physical processes affecting the ice mass budget and associated water resources in the Himalayas.

J. M. Maurer, S. B. Rupper, and J. M. Schaefer

Publications Copernicus