Glaciers are essentially giant rivers of ice that are formed over eons as fallen snow is compressed into layers of ice. Glaciers are found on about 10 percent of Earth's land area, with most of them found in the Arctic and Antarctica regions, but some occurring high up on mountains, even in tropical areas. Glacial ice makes up the ice sheets that cover Antarctica and Greenland, with glaciers flowing out to sea, where their ends float on the water as ice shelves. Eventually pieces of the ice shelves break off, or calve, to form icebergs. The movement of glaciers scours the underlying rock, and a glacier's movement can be affected by climate change, with worries that global warming could cause substantial glacial melt and impact global sea levels. For the latest news on glacier research and stunning views of these rivers of ice, see below.
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NASA Keeping Close Eye on Arctic Climate
Operation IceBridge
September 18th, 2014
Three NASA science missions traveled the Alaskan way in summer 2014, soaring above Arctic sea ice, piloting over permafrost and gliding past mountain glaciers.
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Brilliant Blue Arctic 'Melt Ponds' Captured in Photos
August 4th, 2014
New images from NASA's Earth Observatory reveal the turquoise melt ponds in the Arctic that form every summer.
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New Record For Earth's Farthest North Spring, And It's A Gusher
Ellesmere Island spring canyon
June 17th, 2014
A frozen river in the Arctic desert recently led scientists to a remarkable find: a freshwater spring gushing from a deep gully on Canada's Ellesmere Island.
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Antarctic Riddle: How Much Will the South Pole Melt?
Antarctic glacier, global warming, climate change, ice melt
August 25th, 2014
Improved climate models suggests melting in Antarctica will be worse this century than we had realized.
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Chile's Retreating San Quintín Glacier Viewed from Space (Photo)
San Quintin Glacier in Chile
June 24th, 2014
A new image of the San Quintín glacier of Chile shows less ice than in previous years. Like many glaciers in the Andes, this river of ice is retreating rapidly.
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Hidden Volcanoes Melt Antarctic Glaciers from Below
The edge of the Thwaites glacier in Antarctica
June 9th, 2014
Volcanoes under the ice in Antarctica appear to contribute to the melting of glaciers, potentially lubricating the overlying ice and contributing to the glacier's speed of flow.
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Faraway Earthquake Triggered Antarctica Icequakes
Howard nunataks
August 10th, 2014
Researchers report the first evidence that distant earthquakes can trigger icequakes in Antarctica.
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Happy Summer! Surprise Snowstorm Clobbers Rockies
June 19th, 2014
A bizarre June snowstorm hit Glacier National Park in Montana and parts of Utah and Idaho this week, leaving many residents and visitors in the northern Rockies wondering what season it is.
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Greenland Glacier Loses Big Chunk of Ice (Photo)
The Jakobshavn glacier seen on May 9, 2014
June 11th, 2014
Two satellite images taken weeks apart reveal that Greenland's speediest glacier recently lost another huge chunk of ice. Arctic warming is contributing to the acceleration of the Jakobshavn glacier's retreat.
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