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

Scheduled special issues

The following special issues are scheduled for publication in TC and its discussion forum TCD:

Mass balance of the Greenland Ice Sheet
01 Feb 2016–31 Jan 2018 | Guest editors: M. Tedesco, I. M. Howat, E. Hanna, L. Koenig, I. Velicogna, and J. Bamber | Information


The mass balance of the Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS) is crucial for quantifying and properly projecting its contribution to sea level rise as well as to understand the implications of changes in both surface mass balance and ice dynamics in the Arctic system (e.g. impact on atmosphere, ocean, etc.). Over the past years, an increasing number of scientific efforts have been focusing on improving estimates of the mass balance of the GrIS and the physical processes driving such changes. The increasing number of ad hoc observations, both in situ and from airborne and spaceborne platforms, as well as the increasing complexity of regional and global climate models, ice sheet models, and physics parameterizationimplemented there have been catalyzing research activities and the amount of scholarly work focusing on the GrIS.

The goal of this special issue (SI) in The Cryosphere is to provide a venue for collecting papers focusing on the mass balance of the GrIS, with the gal of consolidating the current knowledge and state of the art of the scientific activities on the topic in an open-access, highly accessed, and community oriented journal, such as The Cryosphere. To our knowledge, no such effort has been made since the last PARCA activities, more than 2 decades ago. In view of this, we invite contributions focusing on results addressing the mass balance of the GrIS. The focus of the SI is on (though not limited to) the following: 1) papers specifically focusing on both the surface mass balance (SMB) as well as the ice dynamics of the GrIS, and their interaction, using insitu or remote sensing observations, modelling tools, and the combination of the two; 2) experiments and results addressing the issue of reducing uncertainties on mass balance estimates; 3) the application of novel techniques; 4) “synthesis” papers summarizing the most current methods, results, and applications concerning estimates of the mass balance of the GrIS. Studies generally focusing on the mass balance of the GrIS are also strongly encouraged.

Changing Permafrost in the Arctic and its Global Effects in the 21st Century (PAGE21) (BG/TC/GMD/ESSD inter-journal SI)
01 Jan 2016–31 Dec 2017 | Guest editors: S. Gruber, J. Boike, S. Lamoreux, and C. Wilson | Information


Permafrost is defined as ground that remains continuously at or below 0°C for at least two consecutive years; some 24% of the land surface in the Northern Hemisphere is classified as permafrost. In the northern high latitudes, strong warming has been observed over the recent decades, and climate models project strong future warming. A projected decline in the extent of permafrost will have a major impact on the Earth system, affecting global climate through the mobilization of carbon and nitrogen stored in permafrost. This special issue invites results of the large-scale European project PAGE21 with the aim to quantify the vulnerability of permafrost environments to a changing global climate, and to investigate the feedback mechanisms associated with increasing greenhouse gas emissions from permafrost zones. The focus is on (i) the combination of field mapping and measurements of permafrost landforms, ground ice content, processes, pools, and fluxes, with remote sensing data and global climate models at local, regional, and pan-Arctic scales, as well as (ii) advancing our understanding of permafrost processes at multiple scales, resulting in improvements in global numerical permafrost modeling.

Intercomparison of​ methods to characte​rise snow microstruc​ture
28 Apr 2015–15 Sep 2017 | Guest editors: M. Schneebeli, F. Dominé, C. Fierz, P. Marsh, and S. Morin | Information


Quantitative measurements of snow properties are essential to understand snow metamorphism, the formation of natural hazards and all components of the radiation balance (albedo, microwave brightness temperature and backscatter, mass and heat transfer)and their impact on climate, as well as the interaction of the snowpack with its environment. The past 10 years have seen a rapid development of new techniques beyond the traditional methods described in Fierz et al., 2009, International Classification for Seasonal Snow on the Ground. Results from three workshops held in 2013 and 2014 (IACS Snow Grain Size Workshop – Measurements and Applications, April 2013, Grenoble, France; Intercomparison of Snow Grain Size Measurements Workshop, March, 2014, Davos, Switzerland and August, 2014, Reading, UK) built the foundation for this special issue. Goals of the workshops included proposing a more precise definition of "snow grain size" and the possible substitution of this term with "specific surface area" for its use in quantitative applications, and the comparison of direct and indirect methods of measuring snow "grain size" including the following: micro-tomography, BET adsorption method, casting methods, spectroscopic methods (e.g. using 1030 nm absorption feature), near-infrared photography, direct optical methods (e.g. based on 1310 nm reflectance), high resolution penetrometry (e.g. SnowMicroPen), traditional grain size observation and macroscopic grain size photography. Other variables characterizing the snow microstructure (density, thermal conductivity, others) are also concerned.

The goal of this special issue is to build an evolving volume of refereed and high-quality contributions to snow measurement methods and quantitative snow characterization. Such a volume will serve as a unique open reference to the fast evolving field in snow measurement techniques and snow microstructure characterization.

This special issue invites submissions reporting on results obtained in these workshops and beyond, also including studies relevant to the objective of this special issue but carried out independently.

The World Meteorological Organization Solid Precipitation InterComparison Experiment (WMO-SPICE) and its applications (AMT/TC/ESSD/HESS inter-journal SI)
11 Aug 2014–01 Jul 2017 | Guest editors: M. E. Earle, S. Morin, R. M. Rasmussen, M. A. Wolff, and D. Yang | Information


Solid precipitation is one of the more complex atmospheric variables to be observed and measured by automatic sensors and systems. Since the WMO Solid Precipitation Measurement Inter-comparison of 1989-1993 (WMO CIMO IOM Report No. 67, WMO/TD-No. 872, 1998), significant advancements have been made in developing automatic instruments for measuring solid precipitation and snow on the ground. New non-catchment type techniques are increasingly used operationally for measuring solid precipitation, e.g. light scattering, microwave backscatter, mass and heat transfer. In parallel, the traditional techniques, tipping bucket and weighing type gauges, have new features (heating, temperature compensation, software corrections), which further diversify the range of data obtain with such instruments. New and emerging applications (e.g., climate change, nowcasting, water supply budgets, avalanche forecast and warnings, satellite ground validation, etc.) require precipitation data of increased accuracy and increased temporal and spatial resolution. A large variety of automatic instruments are being used for measuring solid precipitation, worldwide, including within the same country. This variety exceeds by far the existing range of manual standard precipitation gauges (Goodison et al., 1998).

The Solid Precipitation Intercomparison Experiment (WMO SPICE) commenced in 2011, being endorsed at the Sixteenth Congress of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). SPICE is organized by the Commission for Instruments and Methods of Observation (CIMO) of WMO. Building on the results and recommendations of previous studies and intercomparisons, the mission of SPICE is to investigate and report the measurement and reporting of:

a) Precipitation amount, over various time periods (minutes, hours, days, season), as a function of the precipitation phase, with a focus on solid precipitation;

b) Snow on the ground (snow depth); as snow depth measurements are closely tied to snowfall measurements, the intercomparison will investigate the linkages between them.

The SPICE experiments are organized as simultaneous field tests in a range of climate conditions, over several winter seasons, in the Northern and Southern hemispheres, which have started in December 2012, and continuing until the end of the winter season 2015.

The Inter-Journal WMO SPICE Special Issue invites submissions directly reporting on results obtained within the WMO SPICE project and beyond, including studies relevant to WMO SPICE objectives but carried out independently, and studies focusing on application of WMO SPICE outcomes, such as cold region climate change, snow hydrology, remote sensing of snow cover and snowfall, and land surface modeling over the cold/high latitude regions.

Interactions between climate change and the Cryosphere: SVALI, DEFROST, CRAICC (2012–2016) (TC/ACP/BG inter-journal SI)
19 Jun 2012–30 Jun 2017 | Guest editors: J. Bäck, M. Bilde, M. Boy, T. R. Christensen, J. O. Hagen, M. Hansson, H. Järvinen, M. Kulmala, T. Laurila, A. Stohl, H. Skov, A. Massling, M. Glasius, and S. M. Noe


Publications Copernicus