When scientists talk about the cryosphere, they mean the places on Earth where water is in its solid form, frozen into ice or snow. Read more ...
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When weather outside gets unusually cold, people sometimes say that the weather is Arctic. Sometimes that is true, because the weather and climate in the Arctic can also have a strong effect on atmospheric conditions in the rest of the Northern Hemisphere, both for short-term weather and long-term climate. Weather and climate in the far north are very different than weather in the middle latitudes, where most people live, but it is not always bitterly cold.
Arctic tundra in the winter. Lake Myvatn, Iceland.
—Credit: Flickr/Lukás Hejtman.
Arctic tundra in the summer. Kola Pennisula, Russia.
—Credit: Flickr/A. Maksimov.