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About the Cryosphere: National Snow and Ice Data


Found In: science, preK-2, 3-5, 6-8, 9-12

About the Cryosphere: National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) is a supplemental resource suitable for middle school and high school physical science and earth science classes.

The section, What is the Cryosphere?, provides information on the cryosphere, the frozen places on Earth: frozen ground, glaciers, snow, sea ice, and Arctic climatology and meteorology. An extensive glacier photo gallery illustrates glacier types, features, and landforms.

Studying the Cryosphere includes case studies of three scientific expeditions. Ice Trek follows a team of American and Argentine scientists that drifted on an iceberg to gather data on its lifecycle. The mission log is included. Two other expeditions studied Antarctic megadunes and Arctic ice dynamics on ice floes in the Beaufort Sea.

Snow, Ice & Climate Change examines the state of cryosphere and includes photos from the mid 1800s to the present documenting the loss of ice. A recent post explains what a Polar Vortex is. Icelights: Your Burning Questions about Ice & Climate explores current news on climate and sea ice and provides a behind-the-scenes look at what scientists are doing. Ask Icelights lets teachers and students send in questions.

Photo Gallery has photographs from field research and images captured by satellites. Photos and images can be downloaded.

Quick Facts covers Arctic sea ice, ice sheets, ice shelves, and icebergs.

Educational Resources include a glossary of general and scientific terms, an atlas with snow cover, sea ice extent and concentration, glaciers, ice sheets, permafrost, and other critical components of the Earth's cryosphere, and more.

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