# Is it possible to calculate the extent of a planet's polar ice caps?

If so, what's the equation (or series of equations) for this, and what variables do I need to take into account?

EDIT: the planet in my setting is rather "chilly" (around 9.35 Celsius average) with about 20% of the surface covered in water. What I really need is a way to get a a guideline to estimate its size.

• Based on your comment on @Twelvth's answer, you should probably add clarifying details to this question. It looks like you're looking for a mathematical function that relates ice coverage on a given planet to its ocean size, mean temperature, and any other relevant quantities. Commented Aug 29, 2016 at 17:19
• I don't think the hard science tag can work on this question anyway...if there was, the climate change topic would be far less convoluted Commented Aug 29, 2016 at 17:25

You actually asked two or three questions here as 'planet ice caps' includes a few terms:

Sea Ice - When it comes to northern hemisphere, sea ice is a major component of the discussion.

Glaciers / Ice Sheets - Mostly a discussion involving Greenland and Antarctic, but involves northern Canada and Russia as well.

Perma-Frost. Frozen bogs/marsh/tundra

http://nsidc.org/data National snow and ice data center is a good source of information on this. In particular, http://nsidc.org/data/tools/analysis-and-imaging

NOAA is another good source to use for this discussion.

Google searching NOAA ice cap coverage and similar terms will find these results.

Not sure if you will find equations however...these are measurements and observations, not hard formulas by any means.