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The Global Cryosphere: Past, Present and Future


By: Thian Yew Gan(Author)

472 pages, 24 plates with 46 colour photos and colour illustrations; 42 b/w illustrations, 24 tables

Cambridge University Press

Paperback | Aug 2011 | #189613 | ISBN-13: 9780521156851
Availability: Usually dispatched within 6 days Details
NHBS Price: £59.99 $78/€68 approx
Hardback | Aug 2011 | #189632 | ISBN-13: 9780521769815
Availability: Usually dispatched within 6 days Details
NHBS Price: £97.99 $128/€112 approx

About this book

This is the first textbook to address all the components of the Earth's cryosphere – all forms of snow and ice, both terrestrial and marine. It provides a concise but comprehensive summary of snow cover, glaciers, ice sheets, lake and river ice, permafrost, sea ice and icebergs – their past history and projected future state. It is designed for courses at upper undergraduate and graduate level in environmental science, geography, geology, glaciology, hydrology, water resource engineering and ocean sciences. It also provides a superb up-to-date summary for researchers of the cryosphere.

The Global Cryosphere: Past, Present and Future includes an extensive bibliography, numerous figures and color plates, thematic boxes on selected topics and a glossary. The Global Cryosphere: Past, Present and Future builds on courses taught by the authors for many decades at the University of Colorado and the University of Alberta. Whilst there are many existing texts on individual components of the cryosphere, no other textbook covers the whole cryosphere.

Advance praise:

"Barry and Gan, with their encyclopedic knowledge and extensive teaching experience have produced an extraordinary text that covers virtually all aspects of Earth's fragile cryosphere [...] it will be highly valued by climatologists, cryospheric scientists, and students engaging in learning about this important component of our changing planet."
- Anne Nolin, Oregon State University

"[...] the first comprehensive account of the cryosphere [...] The breadth and depth of coverage and the outstanding scholarship that has typified Barry's lifelong dedication here unfolds as [a] masterpiece. It will long remain the ultimate reference and teaching source."
- Jack D. Ives, University of California, Davis, and Carleton University, Ottawa

"[...] an indispensable reference work on the topic of snow and ice [...] a truly enlightening work!"
- Ludwig Braun, Commission for Geodesy and Glaciology, Bavarian Academy of Sciences and Humanities

"[...] the most comprehensive presentation of major aspects of the cryosphere [...] No other single book has so successfully integrated the terrestrial cryosphere [...] and the marine cryosphere [...] in such an attractively readable manner [...] As an excellent introductory textbook for all forms of the cryosphere it is well suited for advanced undergraduates and junior graduate students."
- Atsumu Ohmura, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology

"[...] an excellent synoptic perspective of the Earth's cold regions [...] an outstanding introduction to those new to the field. The text should serve as a key reference for upper-level undergraduate instruction and ancillary summary material for graduate-level courses."
- Derrick J. Lampkin, Pennsylvania State University


1. Introduction

Part I. The Terrestrial Cryosphere
2A. Snow cover; 2B. Avalanches
3. Glaciers and ice caps
4. Ice sheets
5. Seasonally frozen ground and permafrost
6. Freshwater ice: lakes, rivers and icings

Part II. The Marine Cryosphere
7. Sea ice
8. Ice shelves and icebergs

Part III. The Cryosphere Past and Future
9. The cryosphere in the past
10. The future cryosphere - impacts of global warming
11. Applications of snow and ice research


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Roger Barry is Director of the World Data Center for Glaciology, a Fellow of the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences and a Distinguished Professor of Geography at the University of Colorado, Boulder. He served as Director of the National Snow and Ice Data Center from 1981-2008. His teaching and research has been in climate change, arctic and mountain climates, and snow and ice processes. He has published 20 textbooks, more than 200 articles and supervised 55 graduate students. He was co-Vice Chair of the Climate and Cryosphere Project of the World Climate Research Programme from 2000-2005. Roger was a Guggenheim Fellow (1982-1983) and a Fulbright Teaching Fellow (Moscow, 2001). He is a Fellow of the American Geophysical Union and a Foreign Member of the Russian Academy of Natural Sciences. He is a winner of the Goldthwait Polar Medal (2006); the Founder's Medal of the Royal Geographical Society, London (2007); the F. Matthes award of the Cryospheric Specialty Group of the Association of American Geographers (2007); and the Humboldt Prize (2009-2011). He shared the Nobel Peace Prize with other team members of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (2007). He has been a Visiting Professor in Australia (1975), France (2004), Germany (1994, 2009, 2010), Japan (1983), New Zealand (1986), Russia (2001), Switzerland (1983, 1990, 1997) and the United Kingdom (1997). He is fluent in French, German and Russian.

Thian Yew Gan is a Professor at the University of Alberta, Edmonton, and a Fellow of the American Society of Civil Engineers. His teaching and research has been in snow hydrology, remote sensing, hydrologic modeling, hydroclimatology, data analysis, climate change impact on hydrologic processes, and water resources management and planning. Thian has supervised 30 graduate students and published over 60 refereed papers in various international journals of the American Geophysical Union, American Meteorological Society, Royal Meteorological Society, Elsevier Science, the American Society of Civil Engineers and others. He has been a Visiting Professor at the Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne (EPFL) (2010); Visiting Scientist at Cemagraf, France (2009); a CIRES Visiting Fellow at the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) of the University of Colorado, Boulder (2007, 2008); Guest University Professor at the Technical University of Munich (2006-2007); Adjunct Professor at Utah State University (1998-2005); Honorary Professor at Xian University of Technology, China (since 2004); Honorary Professor at Yangtze University, China (2010-2013); Visiting Professor at Kyoto University and JSPS Fellow, Japan (1999-2000); Guest Professor at Saga University, Japan (1999); Assistant Professor at the Asian Institute of Technology of Thailand (1989-1990); and regional hydrologist of the Indian and Northern Affairs Canada (1992-1993) on snow measurements and mapping at the Arctic.

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