The cryosphere is an integral part of the climate system, shaping the weather, climate, and many aspects of society in midlatitudes and high latitudes. cryospheric processes and feedbacks also affect the global climate through influences on the planetary energy budget and circulation in the oceans and atmosphere. Indeed, the cryosphere has played a lead role in some of the greatest climate perturbations in Earth's history. It is also reacting strongly to recent climate change. Some aspects of climate-cryosphere variability are discussed in the next chapter, building on the cryosphere-climate processes outlined in this chapter.

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