The Role of Snow & Ice in the Climate System
Global snow and ice cover (the "cryosphere") plays a major role in global climate and hydrology through a range of complex interactions and feedbacks, the best known of which is the ice - albedo feedback. Snow and ice cover undergo marked seasonal and long term changes in extent and thickness. The perennial elements - the major ice sheets and permafrost - play a role in present-day regional and local climate and hydrology, but the large seasonal variations in snow cover and sea ice are of importance on continental to hemispheric scales. The characteristics of these variations, especially in the Northern Hemisphere, and evidence for recent trends in snow and sea ice extent are discussed.
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University of Colorado
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Dr. Barry is recognized internationally as one of the top physical geographers and polar climatologists. He provided leadership for NSIDC/WDC for Glaciology during 1976-2008 in Arctic climate and cryosphere change, ice-age climates, mountain climates, and global snow and ice data. He was the review editor of two chapters in the IPCC 2007 report; IPCC together with Al Gore, former US Vice President, won the 2007 Nobel Peace Price for their contributions to Climate Change studies. Dr. Barry has published about 30 books, over 250 journal articles, and has one of the highest paper citation index scores worldwide in the fields of climatology and physical geography. Dr. Barry is the recipient of the Goldthwait Polar Medal from the Byrd Polar Research Center, the Royal Geographical Society Founder’s Medal, Distinguished Professor of the University of Colorado; Guggenheim and Fulbright Fellowship awards, Humboldt Prize award, and is a Fellow of the American Geophysical Union. Dr. Barry is fluent in English, French, Russian and German.