Introduction

Richard L. Armstrong and Ross Brown

Snow cover is a part of the "cryosphere," which traces its origins to the Greek word kryos for frost. The cryosphere collectively includes those portions of the earth system where water is in a solid form and includes sea ice, river and lake ice, glaciers, ice caps and ice sheets, frozen ground (including permafrost), and snow cover. The cryosphere is an integral part of the global climate system with important linkages and feedbacks generated throughits influence on surface energy and moisture fluxes, precipitation, hydrology, and atmospheric and oceanic circulation (Fig. 1.1). In terms of spatial extent, snow cover is the second largest component of the cryosphere after seasonally frozen ground (~65 million km2) with a mean maximum areal extent of 47 million km2, about 98% of which is located in the Northern Hemisphere where temporal variability is dominated by the seasonal cycle (Fig. 1.2).

Renewable Energy 101

Renewable Energy 101

Renewable energy is energy that is generated from sunlight, rain, tides, geothermal heat and wind. These sources are naturally and constantly replenished, which is why they are deemed as renewable. The usage of renewable energy sources is very important when considering the sustainability of the existing energy usage of the world. While there is currently an abundance of non-renewable energy sources, such as nuclear fuels, these energy sources are depleting. In addition to being a non-renewable supply, the non-renewable energy sources release emissions into the air, which has an adverse effect on the environment.

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