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ice sheets

Ice Sheet
Image: Jack Fletcher/National Geographic Society

Ice Sheet

You can call any mass of glacial ice on land measuring more than 19,000 square miles an ice sheet. But you’ll find them only in two places: Antarctica and Greenland.

Scientists are concerned because the ice sheets are melting. Rising sea levels and changing salt content affecting ocean ecosystems are two worrisome consequences. Find out how else the ice sheets can affect your world.

National Geographic
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Melt of Key Antarctic Glaciers ‘Unstoppable’

Melt of Key Antarctic Glaciers ‘Unstoppable’

Global sea levels could rise 10-13 feet if the West Antarctic Ice Sheet completely melted. Part of it has now "passed the point of no return" according to two recent studies. Get the details. More...

Article
Scientific American
Bugs in the Ice Sheet

Bugs in the Ice Sheet

Aside from raising global sea level, melting ice sheets could expose prehistoric bacteria — still able to grow and divide — trapped in ice 420,000 years old. More...

Article
Scientific American
Frozen Planet: Vanishing Arctic Ice Cap

Frozen Planet: Vanishing Arctic Ice Cap

Evidence of thinning ice sheets in the Arctic Ocean comes from American, British, and Russian military submarines searching for spots to surface since the 1950s. More...

Video
Discovery
Greenland Goes Green: Ice Sheet Melted in 4 Days

Greenland Goes Green: Ice Sheet Melted in 4 Days

A massive area of ice in Greenland melted in only 4 days in 2012. Find out why one of the factors for the thaw was the North Atlantic Oscillation. More...

Video
PBS NewsHour
Ice Sheet Loss at Both Poles Increasing

Ice Sheet Loss at Both Poles Increasing

It’s a two-pole problem: The rate of melting for the ice sheets has increased in 20 years, about two-thirds the loss in Greenland and the rest in Antarctica. More...

Article
NASA
Less Glitter: Greenland Ice Sheet

Less Glitter: Greenland Ice Sheet

Put your sunglasses away: Greenland’s ice sheet is losing much of its sparkle. Thanks to warmer temperatures and loss of snow cover, less sunlight is reflected into space. More...

Article
NOAA
Pictures of Polar Melting

Pictures of Polar Melting

Beautiful, but disturbing. Dramatic and frightening. Photographs of the Greenland and Antarctica ice sheets illustrate the different ways they're melting. More...

Images
AAAS
Quick Facts on Ice Sheets

Quick Facts on Ice Sheets

Find answers to almost everything you want to know about the world’s two ice sheets, including what they tell us about our climate's past, present, and future. More...

Article
National Snow & Ice Data Center
Retreat of Ice Sheets from North America

Retreat of Ice Sheets from North America

In record time, see how the North American ice sheet (that now covers only Greenland) has retreated over 18,000 years. Discover how that process has affected sea levels. More...

Interactive
University of Toronto
Satellites See Unprecedented Melting

Satellites See Unprecedented Melting

Take a look at satellite images of the ice sheet in Greenland to see for yourself how the ice keeps melting. More...

Images
NASA

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