International Association of Cryospheric Sciences (IACS)

On July 4, 2007, at the XXIVth IUGG General Assembly in Perugia, Italy, the IUGG Council decided to launch the International Association of Cryospheric Sciences, IACS as the 8th IUGG Association. IACS is now a sister organization to long established Associations such as those for Hydrological Sciences (IAHS), Meteorology and Atmospheric Sciences (IAMAS) and Physical Sciences of the Oceans (IAPSO).
The decision by the IUGG Council was mainly reached in recognition of the fact that the study of the Cryosphere has to be seen on equal footing to investigations of other components of the Earth system. With the initiation of IACS, its predecessors, the International Commission for Snow and Ice (ICSI) and the Union Commission on Cryospheric Sciences (UCCS) are superseded.


  • to promote studies of all aspects of, and physical processes related to, Earth’s cryosphere and that of other bodies of the Solar System;
  • to encourage research on these subjects by the cryospheric sciences community, through national and international institutions and programmes, and by individual countries as well as through collaboration and international co-ordination;
  • to provide an international platform for discussions and publications of results arising from research activities as mentioned above;
  • to promote education and public outreach on cryospheric processes and cryospheric research;
  • to facilitate the collection of data on cryospheric systems through standardized measurements and to promote the analysis, publication and archiving of such data.

IACS is organized in 6 Divisions:

  • Snow and Avalanches
  • Glaciers

  • Ice sheets

  • Sea Ice, Lake and River Ice
  • Cryosphere, Atmosphere and Climate
  • Planetary and other Ices of the Solar System

Contact Information:

Richard ESSERY, IACS Secretary General
School of GeoSciences
University of Edinburgh
Edinburgh EH9 3FF

IACS website: