Glaciers, Sea-Ice and Permafrost

Our research group studies a wide range of cryospheric processes, with a particular emphasis on the relation between climate and changes in the cryosphere. We study questions from the modern contributions of glaciers and ice sheets to sea level rise to inferring past climate from ice core records. We study the changing Arctic sea ice from the micro-scale structure of the ice crystals to the basin-scale dynamic movement of the ice. We study the growth and decay of permafrost and its affect on environmental and engineering problems. We develop methods to physically measure and mathematically model the cryosphere to understand the physical processes and interactions with the climate system, we observe and monitor changes in the cryosphere, and we predict impacts of cryospheric change on the local and global environment (e.g. ecosystems, hydrology, carbon cycle, sea level, ocean dynamics) as well as human-related concerns (e.g. infrastructure). We are interested in all aspects of how the cryosphere is affected by global change with respect to climate as well as natural and human induced disturbances.

Faculty in this research are also affiliated with the Geophysical Institute's Snow, Ice, and Permafrost research group. More information on different aspects of cryospheric research can be found throught he links below:

Sea Ice Group

Glaciers Group

Permafrost Group


Chris Maio
Vladimir Romanovsky

Cooperating Faculty

Vladimir Alexeev
David Barnes
Uma Bhatt
Ed Bueler
Mark Fahnestock
Michael Hatfield
Eran Hood
Andy Mahoney
Dmitry Nicolsky
Santosh Panda
Matthew Sturm

Researchers camping in the snow