This interdisciplinary session focuses on the reconstructions of past icy landscapes on our planet and other planetary bodies and aims to shed light on a wide range of interconnected processes that led to the buildup and disintegration of former ice masses and ice-rich landforms. Although it is linked to the inter-journal Special Issue “Icy Landscapes of the Past” implemented by three EGU journals “Climate of the Past”, “The Cryosphere” and “Earth Surface Dynamics” in collaboration with the Copernicus journal “Earth System Science Data” (https://cp.copernicus.org/articles/special_issue1261.html), this session is also open to independent contributions outside the above Special Issue, as it has a significantly wider scope.
Studies of ice extent, volume, and dynamics during former glaciations are important for understanding past climates and evolution of the Earth's surface, and they also provide analogies for present-day and future glaciers and their subglacial environments. The session "Icy Landscapes of the Past" brings together interdisciplinary research across scientific communities working with former glaciations from the perspectives of palaeoclimatology, glacial geomorphology, Quaternary geology, and numerical modelling, among others. It provides a platform from which field-based reconstructions and model simulations can be compared and contrasted, teasing out complex couplings between the changing cryosphere-induced topographic, freshwater, and sea level forcings and climate states of both warmer and colder epochs of the past. In addition, it links past glaciations with the evolution of other forms of the cryosphere such as for example, associated with periglacial processes and sea/lake ice cover that are traditionally studied by separate scientific communities. Through this session, we aim to piece together the growing knowledge about regional responses of different geographic regions to past climate changes to obtain a global picture, thereby fostering emerging collaborations between previously disconnected geoscientific disciplines. We welcome contributions that shed light on ancient and more recent glaciations on Earth and their interaction with other components of the Earth system. We also encourage contributions focusing on the reconstructions of former glaciations and ice-rich landforms on other planets and moons.