Follow us  




Similarly to the hydrosphere, that includes all the planet’s water in the liquid state, in any area and in any form that it may be present, or to the biosphere that consists of all the living organisms whatever kingdom they belong to, and whatever area they may live in, the cryosphere includes all the Earth’s ice. When we think of ice, the image that comes to our mind is that of the clean twinkling stretches of the glaciers, however the Earth’s ice may be found in many other forms, which at times are also well “hidden” and, surprisingly, also in unexpected geographic areas such as the centre of Africa! Almost all the Earth’s ice consists of ice from glaciers or sea ice. Large quantities of frozen ice can also be found in the permafrost areas, trapped in the ground and in the rock crevices, but, as they cannot be seen directly, it is very difficult to quantify their volume and extension. Also caves can contain ice deposits, at times with the characteristics of glacier ice, more often with ice that formed by freezing: generally these are rather small quantities, but they represent a very precious data bank of the climate of the past.


Research in Antarctica
Antarctica is a continent with a very particular charm...

Life in Antartica
How is it possible to live and work in Antarctica...

Read all the Special Reports

More info

City of ice
The Marmolada glacier in the Dolomites has become famous...

Speleologists in the ice
The fascination of the glacial caves inspired an explorer...

Leggi tutte le curiosità

Argomenti correlati

Observing the Earth’s surface
Atmosphere and hydrosphere get in contact with rocks and minerals on...
Read more

Factors and shape
The Earth’s crust is affected by tectonic movements that hit...
Read more


The magic egg

Homemade iceberg

Water/Graphs and Tables
Ice on the Earth

Water/Graphs and Tables
Permafrost temperature