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Explore the energy and matter cycles found within the Earth System.
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.
What is albedo?
Teachers, are you looking for resources to help you engage students in data analysis related to changes in the cryosphere using albedo values? Check out this poster card set.
My NASA Data has recently released several new resources, story maps, for use in educational settings.
The My NASA Data visualization tool, Earth System Data Explorer (ESDE), helps learners visualize complex Earth System data sets over space and time. Visit this page to review the datasets we have available to you and their organization by Earth System sphere, science variable, dataset name, and start/end dates.