The cryosphere is a critically important component of the Earth system, affecting the Earth’s energy balance, sea level, greenhouse gases and atmospheric circulation, transport of heat through ocean circulation, ecology and human resource use and well-being. Due to the high spatial and temporal variability as well as inaccessible areas, satellite sensors are optimal tools for snow monitoring. Accurate observations of the cryosphere are not only of interest for climate change research but are of great socio-economic importance.

The CryoClim project developed a service for long-term systematic climate monitoring of the cryosphere. The service provides sea ice and snow products of global coverage and glacier products covering Norway (mainland and Svalbard). The service was later extended with the Greenland ice sheet. The system and service are a contribution to the Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS) and the Global Cryosphere Watch (GCW) following the climate monitoring principles recommended by the Global Climate Observing System (GCOS).

CryoClim is an Internet service primarily based on satellite observations. The service is delivered through a web service and web portal. The portal includes manual searching, viewing and downloading capabilities. CryoClim is an operational and permanent service for long-term systematic climate monitoring of the cryosphere. The product production and the product repositories are hosted by mandated organisations. The databases are connected over the Internet in a seamless and scalable network, open for inclusion of more databases/sub-services.