Related topics: climate change · sea level rise · ice · climate · sea level

Researchers find Greenland glacial meltwaters rich in mercury

New research shows that concentrations of the toxic element mercury in rivers and fjords connected to the Greenland Ice Sheet are comparable to rivers in industrial China, an unexpected finding that is raising questions about ...

Iceland's glaciers lose 750 km2 in 20 years

Iceland's glaciers have lost around 750 square kilometres (290 square miles), or seven percent of their surface, since the turn of the millennium due to global warming, a study published on Monday showed.

Global study of glacier debris shows impact on melt rate

A large-scale research project at the University of Alaska Fairbanks Geophysical Institute has revealed insight into the relationship between surface debris on glaciers and the rate at which they melt.

Airborne radar reveals groundwater beneath glacier

Melting glaciers and polar ice sheets are among the dominant sources of sea-level rise, yet until now, the water beneath them has remained hidden from airborne ice-penetrating radar.

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Glacier

A glacier is a large mass of ice moving slowly over some land surface or down a valley, formed over long periods from the accumulation of snow in areas where the amount of snow that falls exceeds the amount that melts. The word glacier comes from French via the Vulgar Latin glacia, and ultimately from Latin glacies meaning ice.

Glacier ice is the largest reservoir of fresh water on Earth, and second only to oceans as the largest reservoir of total water. Glaciers cover vast areas of the polar regions and are found in mountain ranges of every continent except Australia, as well as in New Zealand. In the tropics glaciers are restricted to the highest mountains. The processes and landforms caused by glaciers and related to them are referred to as glacial. The process of glacier growth and establishment is called glaciation. Glaciers are sensitive monitors of climate conditions and are crucial to both world water resources and sea level variation.

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