Where is the Cryosphere Located?
The cryosphere is comprised of regions in which water takes on solid form due to cold temperatures, essentially freezing water into ice. While areas around the Arctic and North Pole, and areas around the Antarctic and South Pole are part of the cryosphere, there are other places on Earth considered to be part of the cryosphere too. The Arctic is covered by the Arctic ocean, a very cold ocean. During the winter months, the sea ice grows and then shrinks again during the summer months. The Arctic ocean is ringed with permafrost and other frozen ground. Nearby land is covered with snow, ice, and glaciers. Greenland is also covered with a thick sheet of ice and snow.
Antarctica is a continent covered with a large sheet of ice. Floating ice shelves go into the ocean. Like the Arctic, icebergs form from ice sections breaking off and making their way into the ocean. As these icebergs float into warmer waters, they fall apart and melt.
Between the Arctic and Antarctica lie other cryosphere regions at higher elevations. such as Africa's Mount Kilimanjaro. Mountains in northern Canada and in the United States can also have frozen soil at high elevations. Permafrost can also develop at high elevations like the mountains of Russia and China. During the winter months when temperatures are naturally colder, the cryosphere extends into areas where rivers, lakes, and soil typically freeze and where snow covers the ground.