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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.

subjects dealt with in Cryosphere

The Earth’s ice

Glaciers may exist only on two conditions: the first, which is quite obvious, is that the annual temperatures must be…

Where is ice found?

The “Antarctic ice sheet” actually consists of two distinct ice-sheets. A Western one, which is smaller and is anchored to…

Glaciers caves

Melting water on a glacier surface collects in small seasonal water streams that erode their bed in the ice, and…

special reports

  • 10 December 2019 / Water

    In the fridge of the world

    A fascinated continent Antarctica is a continent with a very particular charm. It was the last to be discovered and…

    26 December 2019 / Water

    Life in Antarctica

    Moving in Antarctica How is it possible to live and work in Antarctica? Which sagacities must be used for a…

    26 February 2014 / Water

    How much water is on your plate?

    Still waters run deep! This proverb reminds us how many times we have heard popular proverbs about water, and how…

  • 15 April 2014 / Water

    How rich are we .... in blue gold?

    The blue planet: water availability in the world 24 December 1968, a date of historical importance. The Earth was photographed…

    7 October 2021 / Water

    Water grabbing

    “Clear, sweet fresh water,” wrote Petrarch, by many considered a precursor of Italian literature. Before him, St. Francis dedicated two…

    17 May 2021 / Water

    Lost ice

    According to a study conducted by a French and Swiss research team recently published in the leading journal Nature, continental…

  • 15 April 2021 / Water

    Oceans of plastic

    From the soles of shoes to contact lenses, from the smartphones we carry around in our pockets to the toothpaste…

    26 December 2019 / Water

    Life in Antarctica

    Moving in Antarctica How is it possible to live and work in Antarctica? Which sagacities must be used for a…

    10 December 2019 / Water

    In the fridge of the world

    A fascinated continent Antarctica is a continent with a very particular charm. It was the last to be discovered and…

  • 10 December 2019 / Water

    In the fridge of the world

    A fascinated continent Antarctica is a continent with a very particular charm. It was the last to be discovered and…

    26 December 2019 / Water

    Life in Antarctica

    Moving in Antarctica How is it possible to live and work in Antarctica? Which sagacities must be used for a…

  • 26 February 2014 / Water

    How much water is on your plate?

    Still waters run deep! This proverb reminds us how many times we have heard popular proverbs about water, and how…

    15 April 2014 / Water

    How rich are we .... in blue gold?

    The blue planet: water availability in the world 24 December 1968, a date of historical importance. The Earth was photographed…

  • 7 October 2021 / Water

    Water grabbing

    “Clear, sweet fresh water,” wrote Petrarch, by many considered a precursor of Italian literature. Before him, St. Francis dedicated two…

    17 May 2021 / Water

    Lost ice

    According to a study conducted by a French and Swiss research team recently published in the leading journal Nature, continental…

  • 15 April 2021 / Water

    Oceans of plastic

    From the soles of shoes to contact lenses, from the smartphones we carry around in our pockets to the toothpaste…

    26 December 2019 / Water

    Life in Antarctica

    Moving in Antarctica How is it possible to live and work in Antarctica? Which sagacities must be used for a…

  • 10 December 2019 / Water

    In the fridge of the world

    A fascinated continent Antarctica is a continent with a very particular charm. It was the last to be discovered and…

  • 10 December 2019 / Water

    In the fridge of the world

    A fascinated continent Antarctica is a continent with a very particular charm. It was the last to be discovered and…

  • 26 December 2019 / Water

    Life in Antarctica

    Moving in Antarctica How is it possible to live and work in Antarctica? Which sagacities must be used for a…

  • 26 February 2014 / Water

    How much water is on your plate?

    Still waters run deep! This proverb reminds us how many times we have heard popular proverbs about water, and how…

  • 15 April 2014 / Water

    How rich are we .... in blue gold?

    The blue planet: water availability in the world 24 December 1968, a date of historical importance. The Earth was photographed…

  • 7 October 2021 / Water

    Water grabbing

    “Clear, sweet fresh water,” wrote Petrarch, by many considered a precursor of Italian literature. Before him, St. Francis dedicated two…

  • 17 May 2021 / Water

    Lost ice

    According to a study conducted by a French and Swiss research team recently published in the leading journal Nature, continental…

  • 15 April 2021 / Water

    Oceans of plastic

    From the soles of shoes to contact lenses, from the smartphones we carry around in our pockets to the toothpaste…

  • 26 December 2019 / Water

    Life in Antarctica

    Moving in Antarctica How is it possible to live and work in Antarctica? Which sagacities must be used for a…

  • 10 December 2019 / Water

    In the fridge of the world

    A fascinated continent Antarctica is a continent with a very particular charm. It was the last to be discovered and…

from the Multimedia section

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    Ice shapes

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    The cryosphere

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    Scheme of glacial cave systems

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curiosities

 
 
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