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Atlas of the Cryosphere

Atlas Home  •  Northern Hemisphere  •  Southern Hemisphere  •  OGC Services (WMS, WFS, WCS)


Figure 1. January climatology of Northern Hemisphere sea ice (1979-2005) and snow extent (1967-2005) with North Pole referenced. See high-resolution image.

 

Figure 2. Arctic view of January sea ice climatology (1979-2005); seasonal snow classification on land; northern limit of forests (green line); and various types of North Poles referenced (crosses): geographic (red), geomagnetic (green), magnetic (yellow), cold pole (orange), and pole of inaccessibility (purple). See high-resolution image.

 

Figure 3. Canadian view of permafrost extent; northern limit of forests (green line); glacier outlines (yellow); January climatology of sea ice (1979-2005) and snow extent (1967-2005); and Arctic Circle (blue line). See high-resolution image.

The National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) "Atlas of the Cryosphere" Web site allows visitors to explore and dynamically map the Earth's frozen regions. Viewed from a polar perspective, the available data sources include snow cover, sea ice extent and concentration, glaciers, ice sheets, permafrost, and other critical components of the Earth's cryosphere. Users can zoom in to a specific region on the Earth as well as overlay country borders, major cities, and other geographic information. This site should act as a useful tool in science and education efforts surrounding the International Polar Year (IPY) (2007-2008) and beyond by providing a geographic tool for viewing snow and ice on the planet.

In addition to providing an interactive web interface, maps and data sources contained in the Atlas of the Cryosphere are also accessible via the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) Web Map Service (WMS), Web Feature Service (WFS), and Web Coverage Service (WCS) (click here for details). These international specifications provide a framework for sharing maps and geospatial data over the internet.

We welcome your feedback on this project. If you have questions, comments, or suggestions, please contact NSIDC User Services at +1.303.492.6199, nsidc@nsidc.org, or via our online contact form. The development of this map server application was supported by NASA's Earth Observing System (EOS) Program and was developed using MapServer, an Open Source development environment for building spatially-enabled Internet applications. Please use the following citation when referencing the Atlas of the Cryosphere:

Citation:

Maurer, J. 2007. Atlas of the Cryosphere. Boulder, Colorado USA: National Snow and Ice Data Center. Digital media.

Features:

  • Dynamically visualize Earth's snow and ice
  • Explore the planet from a polar perspective for both the Northern and Southern Hemispheres
  • Customize maps by zooming in and out and selecting from a variety of basemaps and overlays
  • Save custom maps as images for use in other documents
  • Save underlying source data for use in geographic information systems (GIS) and image analysis software
  • View monthly climatologies of snow and sea ice to see how and where the cryosphere shrinks and grows over the course of a year
  • Look up definitions for unfamiliar cryospheric terms
  • Access maps and source data through WMS, WFS, and WCS

Selectable Parameters:

Cryosphere:

  • glacier locations
  • glacier outlines
  • ice core locations
  • ice sheet accumulation
  • ice sheet elevation
  • permafrost classification
  • permafrost extent
  • sea ice concentration
  • sea ice extent
  • seasonal snow classification
  • snow extent
  • snow water equivalent
  • treeline (northern limit of forests)
  • and more...

Other:

  • Antarctic Circle
  • Arctic Circle
  • cities
  • countries
  • Equator
  • geographic features (land, sea, and ice)
  • International Date Line
  • latitude and longitude
  • North Pole
  • South Pole
  • Tropic of Cancer
  • Tropic of Capricorn
  • U.S. states
  • and more...

Data Sources Include:

Begin Exploring:

Related Map Servers:

See Also:

Figure 4. September climatology of Southern Hemisphere sea ice (1979-2003) and snow extent (1987-2002) with South Pole referenced. See high-resolution image.

 

Figure 5. Antarctic view of January sea ice concentration climatology (1979-2003); Polar Front (green line); Antarctic territorial claims; deep ice core locations (blue dots); and various types of South Poles referenced (crosses): geographic (red), geomagnetic (green), magnetic (yellow), cold pole (orange), pole of inaccessibility (purple). See high-resolution image.

 

Figure 6. Antarctic Peninsula view of MODIS satellite image of surface features; March climatology of sea ice concentration (1979-2003); and Antarctic Circle (blue line). See high-resolution image.