cryo·​sphere | \ ˈkrī-ō-ˌsfir How to pronounce cryosphere (audio) \
plural cryospheres

Definition of cryosphere

: the part of the earth's surface characterized by the presence of frozen water The cryosphere consists of mountain glaciers and continental ice sheets, seasonal snow and ice cover on land, and sea ice.— Raymond S. Bradley The third component of the climate system, after the atmosphere and oceans, is the cryosphere—extensive ice fields of Antarctica and Greenland plus other stretches of continental snow and ice and sea ice.— Stephen H. Schneider also : a region that is part of the earth's cryosphere We know that sea levels are rising because of thermal expansion of the ocean as well as the disintegration and the melting of the cryospheres of the world's glaciers. — Elizabeth Rush

Other Words from cryosphere

cryospheric \ ˌkrī-​ō-​ˈsfir-​ik How to pronounce cryosphere (audio) , -​ˈsfer-​ \ adjective
cryospheric changes cryospheric science

First Known Use of cryosphere

1935, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for cryosphere

cryo- + -sphere, after Polish kryosfera

Note: The Polish term was introduced by the geophysicist and meteorologist Antoni Bolesław Dobrowolski (1872-1954) in Historja naturalna lodu (Warsaw, 1923), p. ii: "… lód tworzy naprawdę powłokę globu, składem nadzwyczaj jednostajną, wyglądem nadzwyczaj urozmaiconą. Ta powłoka lodowa—kryosfera—wchodzi w stosunki ścisle, określone i osobliwe z hidrosferą, z litosferą, z atmosferą." ("… the ice comprises in truth a global envelope, extremely uniform in composition, extremely diverse in appearance. This envelope of ice—the cryosphere—enters into a close, definite and peculiar relationship with the hydrosphere, lithosphere and atmosphere.")

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Cite this Entry

“Cryosphere.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Jul. 2022.

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