The cryosphere is a key component of the Earth system, with important linkages and feedbacks affecting the radiative balance of the planet, the circulation of the oceans and atmosphere, global mean sea level, and climate. Space provides an especially valuable vantage point for studying the nature and behaviour of the cryosphere given the challenges of observation in-situ. This is illustrated by recent measurements of changes in Arctic sea ice cover and in the mass balance of the Antarctic Ice sheet. The first satellite missions dedicated to studies of these phenomena are scheduled for launch in the near future.
Authors: Rapley, C.G.
Editors: Buchroithner, M.F.
1 January, 2001
In: Buchroithner, M.F. (eds.). A decade of trans-European remote sensing cooperation. Proceedings of the 20th EARSeL Symposium, Dresden, June 2000, Rotterdam, Balkema, 3-7.