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 ...

Researchers find hydrogen-supported life beneath glaciers

Using years of data collected from ice-covered habitats all over the world, a Montana State University team has discovered new insights into the processes that support microbial life underneath ice sheets and glaciers, and ...

Tiny sand grains trigger massive glacial surges

About 10 percent of the Earth's land mass is covered in glaciers, most of which slip slowly across the land over years, carving fjords and trailing rivers in their wake. But about 1 percent of glaciers can suddenly surge, ...

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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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