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The Cryosphere: Snow and Ice

Global warming causes sea ice and glacier ice masses to exhibit alarming rates of change, promoting sea level rise that directly impacts both local indigenous peoples and people worldwide. In addition, the Arctic experiences anthropogenic pollution from the mid-latitudes that impacts its food supply; the same forms of pollution also contaminate lakes and ecosystems in the New England region of the U.S.

Research in snow and ice focuses on questions such as:

  • How is the Arctic sea ice changing spatially and temporally in relation to climate conditions, and how does sea ice influence climate through its impact on albedo and the hydrological cycle?
  • How is the accumulation rate changing on the polar ice sheets?
  • What is the environmental and atmospheric history recorded in the polar ice sheets, and how can we develop technology to enable better ice core interpretation?