Journal cover Journal topic
The Cryosphere An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
TC cover
G. Hilmar

The Cryosphere (TC) is an international scientific journal dedicated to the publication and discussion of research articles, short communications, and review papers on all aspects of frozen water and ground on Earth and on other planetary bodies.

The main subject areas are ice sheets and glaciers, planetary ice bodies, permafrost, river and lake ice, seasonal snow cover, sea ice, remote sensing, numerical modelling, in situ and laboratory studies of the above and including studies of the interaction of the cryosphere with the rest of the climate system.


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The Greenland ice sheet melts faster in a warmer climate. The ice sheet is flatter at high elevation, therefore atmospheric warming increases the melt area exponentially. For current climate conditions, we find that the ice sheet shape amplifies the total meltwater generation by roughly 60%. Meltwater is not stored underneath the ice sheet, as previously found, but it does take multiple days for it to pass through the seasonally developing subglacial drainage channels, moderating discharge.

Dirk van As, Andreas Bech Mikkelsen, Morten Holtegaard Nielsen, Jason E. Box, Lillemor Claesson Liljedahl, Katrin Lindbäck, Lincoln Pitcher, and Bent Hasholt

This work defines a metric for evaluation of a specific model snow process, namely, heat transfer through snow into soil. Heat transfer through snow regulates the difference in air temperature versus soil temperature. Accurate representation of the snow heat transfer process is critically important for accurate representation of the current and future state of permafrost. Utilizing this metric, we can clearly identify models that can and cannot reasonably represent snow heat transfer.

Andrew G. Slater, David M. Lawrence, and Charles D. Koven

Recent surging of Kyagar Glacier (Karakoram) caused a hazardous ice-dammed lake to form and burst in 2015 and 2016. We use remotely sensed glacier surface velocities and surface elevation to observe dramatic changes in speed and mass distribution during the surge. The surge was hydrologically controlled with rapid summer onset and dramatic termination following lake outburst. Since the surge, the potential outburst hazard has remained high, and continued remote monitoring is crucial.

Vanessa Round, Silvan Leinss, Matthias Huss, Christoph Haemmig, and Irena Hajnsek

We simulate the future snow cover in the Alps with the help of a snow model, which is fed by projected temperature and precipitation changes from a large set of climate models. The results demonstrate that snow below 1000 m is probably a rare guest at the end of the century. Moreover, even above 3000 m the simulations show a drastic decrease in snow depth. However, the results reveal that the projected snow cover reduction can be mitigated by 50 % if we manage to keep global warming below 2°.

Christoph Marty, Sebastian Schlögl, Mathias Bavay, and Michael Lehning

Previous geodetic estimates of glacier mass changes in the Karakoram have revealed balanced budgets or a possible slight mass gain since the year ~2000. We used old US reconnaissance imagery and could show that glaciers in the Hunza River basin (Central Karakoram) experienced on average no significant mass changes also since the 1970s. Likewise the glaciers had heterogeneous behaviour with frequent surge activities during the last 40 years.

Tobias Bolch, Tino Pieczonka, Kriti Mukherjee, and Joseph Shea

Publications Copernicus