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Cryospheric Science

Cryospheric Science

Quaternary Cryosphere—Study on Global Change in Long Terms

ZHOU Shangzhe;ZHAO Jingdong;WANG Jie;XU Liubing;CUI Jianxin;OU Xianjiao;XIE Jinming

Bulletin of Chinese Academy of Sciences,2020,Vol 35,No. 04

【Abstract】 The Quaternary is marked by the Great Ice Age. The basic characteristics of this great ice age are the alternating of glacial-interglacial period in orbital scale and changes of stadial-interstadial in suborbital scale. Present is a relatively warm interglacial period, with glaciers covering only 10% of the land area. The glacial maximum was characterized by the coverage of about 30% by glaciers on the global land area, spreading permafrost, dry climate with prevalence of dust, sea level reduction of 130–150 m, vegetation contraction of more than 10° to low latitudes, and downward movement of vertical band spectrum by more than 1 000 m. The astronomic theory of ice ages has successfully explained the glacial-interglacial cycles. However, there are still a lot of problems needing studies in detail. Quaternary is also the period of ancient human development. Ancient human was born in East Africa and spread to Eurasia only on a limited scale about 2 Ma ago. The spread on a large scale started during the last interglacial and they spread to America and Australia by means of land bridges during Last Glaciation Maximum (LGM). After the younger Dryas, the climate became warm and the human entered the Neolithic Period and gradually transited to the agricultural society. After the Industrial Revolution, human development has been profoundly affecting the natural process of the Earth, leading to global warming, heralding the arrival of the Anthropocene.

Characteristics, Influence of Cryosphere Disaster and Prospect of Discipline Development

WANG Shijin;WEN Jiahong

Bulletin of Chinese Academy of Sciences,2020,Vol 35,No. 04

【Abstract】 Cryosphere disasters include continental cryosphere disaster, marine cryosphere disaster and aerial cryosphere disasters, which are widespread and have caused serious loss and influence. With the increasing frequency and intensity of cryosphere disasters caused by climate warming, the cryosphere region faces severe challenges in poverty eradication, climate change mitigation and adaptation, and sustainable economic and social development. Early cryosphere disaster studies mainly focus on the disaster events, disaster effects, and prevention of single disaster, concentrating on avalanche, glacial lake outburst, and glacier debris flow disasters. Since the 1980s, the research scope of cryosphere disaster science is gradually expanding, some cryosphere disasters such as permafrost disasters, sea ice disasters, and ice jam/flood disaster have received extensive attention and further research. With the establishment and improvement of cryosphere science system in the last decade, the discipline system of cryosphere disaster science is developing and achieving significant progress in the research on cryosphere disaster risk, impact and adaptation. Based on previous studies, this paper elaborates on the connotation of cryosphere disaster science, reviews the spatiotemporal characteristics of cryosphere disaster and its comprehensive influence, and then puts forward some suggestions on the construction and development of cryosphere disaster science in the future.

Cryospheric Chemistry: Fingerprint to Decipher climatic/environmental Changes and Anthropogenic Activities

KANG Shichang;HUANG Jie;MU Cuicui;ZHANG Yulan;XU Jianzhong;DONG Zhiwen;DU Wentao

Bulletin of Chinese Academy of Sciences,2020,Vol 35,No. 04

【Abstract】 Cryospheric chemistry is a new discipline and an important branch of cryospheric science. Pollutant emissions from anthropogenic activities have greatly altered the status of chemical components in the cryospheric environment since the Industrial Revolution. When this scenario is coupled with the rapid shrinkage of cryosphere under global warming, both anthropogenic activities and global warming have cooperatively influenced the biogeochemical cycling in the cryosphere and even on a global scale, which results in significant effects on climate and environment. In this paper, firstly, the role of cryospheric chemistry in the cryospheric science is introduced, and the discipline framework and research focuses of cryospheric chemistry are summarized. Secondly, the coupling relationship of cryospheric chemistry with climatic/environmental changes and anthropogenic activities, with emphasis on this relationship in the research field of global change, is exemplified. Lastly, we summarize a review and prospect of hot topics in the current research of cryospheric chemistry. The rapid development of cryospheric chemistry will provide important scientific and technological support for tackling the climate and environmental issues that challenge human survival and development.

Microbes in Cryosphere: Opportunities and Challenges

CHEN Tuo;ZHANG Wei;LIU Guangxiu;LI Shiweng

Bulletin of Chinese Academy of Sciences,2020,Vol 35,No. 04

【Abstract】 The cryosphere is one of the biomes on Earth. In recent years, studies on microbes in cold habitats have been mainly focused on the Earth’s cryosphere, including glaciers, ice sheets, sea ice, lake ice, and permafrost. Most of the microbial groups in cryosphere are cold-adapted microbes, many of which are still unknown. Psychrophiles are important strategy resources in the fields of scientific research and low temperature biotechnology. The cryosphere seals many unknown ancient bacteria, fungi, and viruses pathogenic to animals, plants, and human beings. The cold habitats and harsh conditions in the cryosphere shape the diverse microbial populations that pose unique adaptability for survival in such extreme environments. Since being highly sensitive to climate changes, the cryosphere is changing as indicated by the retreat of glaciers and ice sheets as well as permafrost thawing under global warming. The habitats where the microbes of cryosphere survive on are shrinking. The release of these microbes from the cryosphere might be a great threat to human society. Additionally, frozen ecosystems are also of much interest as analogues of extraterrestrial habitats. Therefore, a deeply understanding of the role and potential of microbial life in cryosphere habitats has become crucial.

Cryospheric Climatology: Emerging Branch of Cryospheric Science

LUO Yong;QIN Dahe;ZHAI Panmao;MA Lijuan;ZHOU Botao;XU Xinwu

Bulletin of Chinese Academy of Sciences,2020,Vol 35,No. 04

【Abstract】 Since the 1980s, the establishment and development of modern climate system theory have promoted the cross integration of cryospheric science and climatology, thus giving birth to a new branch of cryospheric science—cryospheric climatology. The formation and evolution of cryosphere are closely related to the earth’s climate. Now it is generally recognized that not only cryosphere is the product of climate under certain conditions, but also its changes affect the weather and climate, and further the social economy and sustainable development of human beings. Cryospheric climatology is a science that studies the interaction between cryosphere and atmosphere and its physical mechanism. Starting from the introduction of the development history of cryospheric climatology, this paper systematically explains its basic concepts and subject characteristics. Cryospheric climatology focuses on the role of cryosphere in the formation and anomaly of weather, climate, and general atmospheric circulations, the process and mechanism of interaction between cryosphere and atmosphere, the development of climate system model and cryosphere models, the projection of changes in climate and cryosphere, and the service function of cryospheric climatology to social economy. We will continue to deepen the understanding of interaction process and mechanism between the cryosphere and the atmosphere, and promote the development of parameterization schemes for the processes of terrestrial cryosphere, marine cryosphere, and atmospheric cryosphere towards refinement, quantification, and complexity. In particular, we will focus on considering the spatial-temporal scales of nonlinear effects among different components and elements of the cryosphere. The development of global and regional climate system model coupled with cryosphere processes is the future trend of cryospheric climatology.

Ice World Beyond Earth—Brief Introduction to Planetary Cryosphere

HU Yongyun;YANG Jun;WEI Qiang

Bulletin of Chinese Academy of Sciences,2020,Vol 35,No. 04

【Abstract】 In the present paper, we briefly introduce the planetary cryosphere of solar planets and exoplanets. Planets and satellites in the solar system have very different surface temperatures. Therefore, they have very different cryosphere. Mercury and the Moon likely have water ice in the permanent dark areas of craters in polar regions. Venus is too hot to have cryosphere. Mars has permanent polar ice caps that include both water ice and carbon-dioxide dry ice. Beyond the snow line of the solar system, there are many dwarf planets and satellites that mainly consist of water ice. With extremely low temperatures, water ice becomes even harder than the rocks on Earth and is actually the shell layer of these satellites and dwarf planets. In addition to water ice, other gases over Earth, such as CO 2, CH 4, N 2, and CO, are condensed to solid states under conditions of extremely low temperatures. They form different cryosphere from water ice. Therefore, planetary cryosphere is very different from that on Earth and has plenty divergences. Studies on planetary cryosphere would largely broaden our view on Earth’s cryosphere and benefit our understanding on the formation of the solar system, origin of water on Earth, evolution of life and climate environment on Earth, and extra-solar life detection in future.

Developing Cryospheric Remote Sensing, Promoting Scientific Programme of Earth's Three Poles

CHE Tao;LI Xin;LI Xinwu;JIANG Liming

Bulletin of Chinese Academy of Sciences,2020,Vol 35,No. 04

【Abstract】 Cryospheric remote sensing, as an important branch of cryospheric science, is a new interdiscipline, involving the knowledge of both cryospheric science and remote sensing techniques. This paper overviews the objects and basic methods of cryospheric remote sensing, introduces the progress by using representative case studies, and especially, describes the research status of Chinese cryospheric remote sensing. Finally, we propose several recommendations for the development of cryospheric remote sensing. In particular, we discuss the potential paths to the scientific programme of Earth’s three poles.

Key Viewpoint of Cryospheric Human-sociology: Function and Service

XIAO Cunde;WANG Xiaoming;SU Bo

Bulletin of Chinese Academy of Sciences,2020,Vol 35,No. 04

【Abstract】 The cryosphere is closely related to human society. As a result of climate warming and corresponding cryosphere shrinkage, the cryosphere functions (CFs) and their associated services and hazards are undergoing profound changes. On the one hand, the cryosphere hazards become more and more frequent with heavily extreme events; on the other hand, the overall cryospheric service (CS) capacity has been deteriorating and would continue or be eventually lost. This paper introduced the concepts of CFs, CSs, and their value on the basis of summarizing the human and social characteristics of the cryosphere and its affected areas. Then, taking the importance of world’s “water towers” and changes in polar systems as examples, we illustrated the changes in CSs and their impact. Finally, the resilient pathway of cryosphere-affected socio-ecological systems was further discussed.

Cryosphere Ecosystems: Outpost and Barrier in Global Change

WANG Genxu;YANG Yan;ZHANG Guangtao;CHANG Ruiying

Bulletin of Chinese Academy of Sciences,2020,Vol 35,No. 04

【Abstract】 The closely reciprocal feedback between cryosphere and biosphere has constantly been intensified by global change, which strongly affects global management for environment and sustainable development of human beings. From the perspective of basic pattern and function of cryosphere ecosystems, and their response process and adaptive strategy to changing environment, we fully specified distribution patterns of cryosphere ecosystems and how it functioned for earth ecosystems and contributed to human well-being, briefly stated how it is most sensitive, thereby as an indicator to climate change, also pointed out cryosphere ecosystems as barrier function for maintaining biodiversity and increasing productivity, and finally put forward an effective way to facilitate ecosystems health in cryosphere. Totally, the common contents and corresponding study processes in cryosphere ecology were better to be introduced, and even the essential prospect of cryosphere ecology was included in this paper.

Study on Climatic and Environmental Changes Recorded in Ice Cores: From Science to Policy

YAO Tandong;QIN Dahe;WANG Ninglian;LIU Yongqin;XU Baiqing

Bulletin of Chinese Academy of Sciences,2020,Vol 35,No. 04

【Abstract】 Ice core is an important carrier of the past climatic and environmental change information. In this paper, we firstly introduced how ice cores record past climatic and environmental changes. Secondly, we elaborated the achievements of ice core research in the past climate change, levels of atmospheric greenhouse gases, solar activity, volcanic eruptions, and human activities. Thirdly, the role of ice core research in promoting relevant environmental policy making was stated, such as the ban on Pb additives in gasoline and greenhouse gas emission reduction policies. Finally, it was suggested that the state should establish a National Ice Core Facility to drill and store the ice cores from the Three Poles (Antarctic, Arctic, and the Third Pole) to serve the future scientific research and national development.

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