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 a mountain glacier's terminus doesn't extend as far downvalley as it previously did; occurs when ablation surpasses accumulation.
Muir Glacier, Glacier Bay National Park and Reserve's White Thunder Ridge as seen on August 13, 1941 (left) and August 31, 2004 (right). (2004 USGS photo courtesy of B. Molnia; 1941 photo courtesy of W. Field. Archived at the Long-Term Change Photograph Pairs Special Collection in the Glacier Photograph Database.)
process that occurs when wind, ocean currents, and other forces push sea ice around into piles that rise and form small mountains above the level sea ice surface; ridges are initially thin and transparent with very sharp edges from blocks of ice piling up; also see keels.
Ridged sea ice. (Photo courtesy of Don Perovich, U.S. Army Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory.)
a white or milky and opaque granular deposit of ice formed by the rapid freezing of super-cooled water drops as they impinge upon an exposed object; it is denser and harder than hoarfrost, but lighter, softer, and less transparent than glaze.
a fine powder of silt- and clay-sized particles that a glacier creates as its rock-laden ice scrapes over bedrock; usually flushed out in meltwater streams, causing water to look powdery gray; lakes and oceans that fill with glacier flour may develop a banded appearance.
looks like a mountain glacier and has active flow; usually includes a poorly sorted mess of rocks and fine material; may include: (1) interstitial ice a meter or so below the surface (ice-cemented), (2) a buried core of ice (ice-cored), and/or (3) rock debris from avalanching snow and rock.
Frying Pan Glacier, Colorado, is almost entirely covered by rocks and debris in this photograph from 1966. (Photo courtesy of George L. Snyder, archived at the World Data Center for Glaciology, Boulder, CO.)
(1) a general property of aqueous solutions caused by the alkali, alkaline earth, and metal salts of strong acids (Cl, SO4 and NO3) that are not hydrolyzed (2) in soil science, the ratio of the weight of salt in a soil sample to the total weight of the sample.
the condition in which the partial pressure of any fluid constituent (water in the atmospheric air) is equal to its maximum possible partial pressure under the existing environmental conditions, such that any increase in the amount of that constituent will initiate within it a change to a more condensed state; evaporation ceases under such conditions.
the maximum amount of water vapor necessary to keep moist air in equilibrium with a surface of pure water; this is the maximum water vapor the air can hold for any given combination of temperature and pressure.
(1) a series of marks at regular intervals for the purpose of measuring (scale of an instrument, for example, a thermometer) (2) system of units for measuring ( 3) proportion between the size of something and the map, diagram, etc. which represents it (4) order of magnitude of a phenomenon or of a meteorological parameter.
A phrase used to classify sea ice for operational purposes using the age of the ice as a proxy for its thickness. Specific terms such as new ice, nilas, young ice, and multiyear ice are used for each stage of sea ice development.
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seasonal freezing index
the cumulative number of degree-days below 0 degrees Celsius, calculated as the arithmetic sum of all the negative and positive mean daily air temperatures (degrees Celsius) for a specific station during the time period between the highest point in the fall and the lowest point the next spring on the cumulative degree-day time curve.
an area of ocean that extends from the permanent ice zone to the boundary where winter sea ice extent is at a maximum; here, sea ice is present only part of the year; this zone primarily consists of first-year ice.