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Snow, Ice &
Quick Facts


average decrease in Arctic sea ice extent per decade since 1980


increase in permafrost temperature in parts of northern Alaska from early 1980s to mid-2000


increase in annual snowfall in Southcentral Alaska since 1867

Snow, Ice and Permafrost

The goal of cryospheric research at the Geophysical Institute is to understand the properties and processes that occur within snow, ice and permafrost, their role in the shaping of the landscape, and their influence on climate and impact on the biosphere. Studies include field investigations throughout the Arctic, Antarctic, and mountainous regions of our planet, with increasing participation in the exploration of Mars and Jovian satellites. 

Research Areas

  • Climate and climate change
  • Glaciers
  • Snow
  • Lake, river and sea ice
  • Permafrost