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.
Shawn J. Marshall is the Canada Research Chair in Climate Change at the University of Calgary.
"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
"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
"Marshall presents a comprehensive, accessible, and authoritative treatment of the cryosphere, and makes excellent use of field and model examples to illustrate key points. New metaphors and descriptions are offered for familiar topics that bring with them new insight and utility. I enjoyed reading this book."--Robert Bindschadler, emeritus scientist, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
This is one of the best, most up-to-date books about the state of the cryosphere and an excellent read."--Eric Rignot, University of California, Irvine
Table of Contents:
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
Annotated Bibliography 251