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The Cryosphere refers to any place on Earth where water is in its solid form, where low temperatures freeze water and turn it into ice. The frozen water can be in the form of solid ice or snow and occurs in many places around the Earth. People often think of the polar regions of our planet as the main home of the Cyrosphere; the North Pole in the Arctic, as well as the South Pole in the Antarctic. The cryosphere exists in the polar regions, but is also found wherever snow, sea ice, glaciers, permafrost, ice sheets, and icebergs exists. In these places, surface temperatures remain below freezing for a portion of each year. 




Ice, which covers 10 percent of Earth's surface, is disappearing rapidly.  While the Arctic sea ice extent is declining, air temperatures are rising. Vegetation is changing, with tundra being replaced by shrubs. Permafrost is warming and thawing over parts of the Arctic.