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The Cryosphere
Shawn J. Marshall

Paperback | 2011 | $31.95 | £26.95 | ISBN: 9780691145266
304 pp. | 5 x 8 | 34 line illus. 8 tables.
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(How Climate Works Symposium--Part 7)

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.


"In this work, part of the Princeton Primers in Climate series, glaciologist Marshall examines the nature of ice and snow (the cryosphere) in all its various forms. . . . This book is accessible to interested readers with a background in physics; it could also serve as a textbook in a senior undergraduate or graduate-level course."--Choice

"[E]vidence of the author's expertise shines through. . . . The book ends with a succinct and thoughtful summary of cryospheric changes in recent history."--R.J. Galley, Arctic

"I recommend this book for anyone seeking a comprehensive and up-to-date overview of the physical processes governing the primary components of the global cryosphere. This text offers more than enough information for a new student in the field, and provides a great jumping-off point for those seeking higher understanding of a particular area of cryospheric science."--Gina R. Henderson, Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society

"[T]he quality of the book's content is beyond question. In its 288 pages The Cryosphere manages to provide an overview of all aspects of the Earth's cryosphere while, at the same time, leaving the reader feeling that he or she has gained significant technical insight into many of its key characteristic processes."--B. Hubbard, Antarctic Science


"Distinguished glaciologist Shawn Marshall leads a lucid tour through the essentials of ice in the environment, with more than enough information to satisfy the casual student, and additional pointers to steer the serious scientist."--Richard Alley, Pennsylvania State University

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Table of Contents:

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


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