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Science  19 Nov 2004:
Vol. 306, Issue 5700, pp. 1269
DOI: 10.1126/science.306.5700.1269d

Before you get sick of trudging through snowdrifts and slipping on slick sidewalks, it might be a good time to visit the National Snow and Ice Data Center in Boulder, Colorado. Experts can dig into more than 400 data sets that record everything from Siberian snow depths starting in the late 1800s to Greenland permafrost temperatures from 1967 to 1982. For instance, satellite images dating back to 1989 let you follow the gradual crumbling of the Larsen Ice Shelf in Antarctica, and thousands of photos of glaciers around the world show how many of these features are disappearing.

The “State of the Cryosphere” section summarizes the latest science on how glacier size, snow cover, sea ice, and other frosty variables may reflect climate change. The site also offers a spectacular gallery, where you can browse historical shots of whopping storms, follow life at a Russian polar station, and view examples of snow and ice formations.

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