Cryosphere: a kingdom of anomalies and diversity

Melnikov, Vladimir; Gennadinik, Viktor; Kulmala, Markku; Lappalainen, Hanna K.; Petäjä, Tuukka; Zilitinkevich, Sergej

The cryosphere of the Earth overlaps with the atmosphere, hydrosphere and lithosphere over vast areas with temperatures below 0 inline-formulaC and pronounced Hinline-formula2O phase changes. In spite of its strong variability in space and time, the cryosphere plays the role of a global thermostat, keeping the thermal regime on the Earth within rather narrow limits, affording continuation of the conditions needed for the maintenance of life. Objects and processes related to cryosphere are very diverse, due to the following basic reasons: the anomalous thermodynamic and electromagnetic properties of Hinline-formula2O, the intermediate intensity of hydrogen bonds and the wide spread of cryogenic systems all over the Earth. However, these features attract insufficient attention from research communities. Cryology is usually understood as a descriptive discipline within physical geography, limited to glaciology and permafrost research. We emphasise its broad interdisciplinary landscape involving physical, chemical and biological phenomena related to the Hinline-formula2O phase transitions and various forms of ice. This paper aims to draw the attention of readers to the crucial importance of cryogenic anomalies, which make the Earth atmosphere and the entire Earth system very special, if not unique, objects in the universe.

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Melnikov, Vladimir / Gennadinik, Viktor / Kulmala, Markku / et al: Cryosphere: a kingdom of anomalies and diversity. 2018. Copernicus Publications.

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