The Cryosphere

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Princeton University Press, Oct 3, 2011 - Science - 304 pages
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The cryosphere encompasses the Earth's snow and ice masses. It is a critical part of our planet's climate system, one that is especially at risk from climate change and global warming. The Cryosphere provides an essential introduction to the subject, written by one of the world's leading experts in Earth-system science.


In this primer, glaciologist Shawn Marshall introduces readers to the cryosphere and the broader role it plays in our global climate system. After giving a concise overview, he fully explains each component of the cryosphere and how it works--seasonal snow, permafrost, river and lake ice, sea ice, glaciers, ice sheets, and ice shelves. Marshall describes how snow and ice interact with our atmosphere and oceans and how they influence climate, sea level, and ocean circulation. He looks at the cryosphere's role in past ice ages and considers the changing cryosphere's future impact on our landscape, oceans, and climate.


Accessible and authoritative, this primer also features a glossary of key terms, suggestions for further reading, explanations of equations, and a discussion of open research questions in the field.

 

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Contents

1 Introduction to the Cryosphere
1
2 Material Properties of Snow and Ice
11
3 Snow and Ice Thermodynamics
36
4 Seasonal Snow and Freshwater Ice
65
5 Sea Ice
104
6 Glaciers and Ice Sheets
127
7 Permafrost
165
8 CryosphereClimate Processes
180
9 The Cryosphere and Climate Change
201
Glossary
241
Notes
249
Annotated Bibliography
251
Index
285
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About the author (2011)

Shawn J. Marshall is the Canada Research Chair in Climate Change at the University of Calgary.

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