The earth's cryosphere, which includes snow, glaciers and ice caps, ice sheets, ice shelves, sea ice, river and lake ice, and frozen ground, contains about 75 per cent of the earth's fresh water. It exists at almost all latitudes, from the tropics to the poles, and plays a vital role in controlling the global climate system. It also provides direct visible evidence of the effect of climate change, and, therefore, requires proper understanding of its complex dynamics.
This encyclopedia mainly focuses on the various aspects of snow, ice and glaciers, but also covers other cryospheric branches, and provides an up-to-date information and basic concepts on relevant topics.
Vijay P. Singh holds the Caroline and W. N. Lehrer Distinguished Chair in Water Engineering, and is also a Professor of Biological and Agricultural Engineering, and Civil and Environmental Engineering at Texas A & M University. He has authored 16 text and reference books, edited 49 books, authored 72 book chapters, and published more than 550 refereed journal articles, 320 conference proceedings papers and 70 technical reports. He is Editora'ina'Chief of the Water Science and Technology Book Series of Springer, the ASCE Journal of Hydrologic Engineering, and Water Science and Engineering. He has received more than 60 national and international awards and numerous honors, including the ASCE's Arid Lands Hydraulic Engineering Award; Distinguished Research Master Award from Louisiana State University; ASCE's Ven Te Chow Award; AIH's Ray K. Linsley Award; Hon. Ph.D. from University of Basilicata, Italy; Hon. D. Eng. from University of Waterloo, Canada; Hon. Member, American Water Resources Association; and Hon. Diplomate from American Academy of Water Resources Engineers. He is a fellow of ASCE, AWRA, IE, IAH, ISAE, and IWRS. He is a member/fellow of 10 international science and engineering academies. His research interests include surface and groundwater hydrology, hydraulic engineering, irrigation engineering, and mathematical and stochastic modeling. Pratap Singh has over 30 years experience in snow and glacier hydrology with an emphasis on modeling of snow and glacier melt runoff. He developed a snow melt model (SNOWMOD), which has been applied for streamflow simulation for snow- and glacier-fed rivers. He has published over 100 technical papers in international/national journals and co-authored with Professor V.P. Singh a book on Snow and Glacier Hydrology, published by Kluwer Academic Publishers, The Netherlands. He is Associate Editor for the Hydrological Sciences Journal, Wallingford, UK. Umesh K. Haritashya is a faculty member in the Department of Geology at the University of Dayton, where he teaches courses in glacial geology, geomorphology and remote sensing. He has extensive experience of working on many mountain regions around the world. His research interests include debris cover glacier characterization, glacier dynamics, contribution of glaciers to sea level rise, impact of climate change on mountain glaciers, and glacier hydrology. He is also associated with NASA's GLIMS project and is an editorial board member of the Journal of Hydrologic Engineering, the Open Hydrology Journal, and Himalayan Geology.