what is the cryosphere?

Graphic representation of the components of the cryosphere. Source: SWIPA report 2011: Snow, Water, Ice and Permafrost in the Arctic. Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme (AMAP).

The cryosphere includes all areas of our planet where water exists in its frozen state: glaciers, ice caps, ice sheets, sea ice, lake ice and river ice, but also seasonal snow and frozen ground such as permafrost. Find out more about the cryosphere for instance on Wikipedia. If you want to find out how climate change is impacting the cryosphere, or how changes in the cryosphere are impacting our planet and its inhabitants, feel free to ask an expert.

Map of Earth's cryosphere regions: snow, sea ice, ice shelves, ice sheets, glaciers, ice caps, and permafrost.
World map showing most but not all cryosphere components. Source: http://www.grida.no/resources/5279. Map by Hugo Ahlenius (UNEP/GRID-Arendal).