The dynamic cryosphere

This article offers an introduction to the earth’s ice cover (cryosphere) changes in which are now increasingly understood through scientific studies.  Feedback loops from changes in the cryosphere have and important effect on both the atmosphere and the hydrosphere, as significant causes and effects of climate change:

 Across land masses, seas, and oceans, roughly 70 percent of the fresh water exists as ice. But now, in response to the warming of our planet, that entire system is changing … primarily because ice responds to rising temperatures, melting with increasing heat. For example, shelf ice, which floats on the oceans near ice sheets, can weaken in response to the warming water below, causing destabilization and collapse. In the Arctic, sea ice is vanishing in the summers, changing the way in which the ocean absorbs sunlight. Across the continents, mountain glaciers and the ice sheets of Greenland and Antarctica are melting. Cryosphere changes like these are having profound impacts on our planet.

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