"The cryosphere, which includes sea-, lake-, and river-ice, snow cover, solid precipitation, glaciers, icebergs, ice sheets, ice caps, permafrost, and seasonally frozen ground, plays a crucial role in not only the polar climate system, but also in the global climate system. It is inseparable from the polar freshwater system, both on land, ice and in the sea. Understanding the state of the cryosphere, and its associated past, present and future variability in time and space, is essential to understanding its impacts on the oceanic, atmospheric, terrestrial, social, cultural, and economic systems.
The State and Fate of the Cryosphere (S&F) project will provide a framework for assessing the polar cryospheric system and the related physical and chemical processes, interactions, and impacts within the Earth system. The IPY provides the opportunity for a coordinated circumpolar assessment of both polar regions by nations and their organizations, scientists, and residents that likely would not be otherwise undertaken. The project will establish links with those IPY projects that are involved in monitoring, assessing, and understanding the variability, uncertainty, and change in the global cryosphere. This includes projects that will study permafrost, glaciers and ice sheets, sea ice, snow cover, and precipitation, as well as those involved in developing observing systems and data and information systems. We are also linking with projects involved in socioeconomic and cultural issues and those that will provide education and outreach, including traditional knowledge. The project will play a leadership, management, and coordinating role in the development of a sustained long-term cryospheric polar observing system, which would be implemented in the future through other major World Climate Research Programme (WCRP) projects.
S&F will coordinate activities and synthesize results to (1) assess the current state of cryospheric parameters in the high latitude regions, providing a snapshot of the cryosphere and an evaluation of its current (IPY) state in the context of past states and projections of the future; (2) formulate the observational requirements of cryospheric variables for weather and climate monitoring and prediction and for other environmental assessments; and (3) strengthen international cooperation in the development of cryospheric observing systems.
S&F is lead by the WCRP Climate and Cryosphere (CliC) project.
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What is IPY
Thursday, 28 December 2006 10:27
Cryos: The State and Fate of the CryosphereWritten by Administrator
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