Glaciers

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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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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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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Giant Waves Breaking Up Antarctica's Sea Ice
The sun setting over a field of broken sea ice, or frozen seawater that floats on the ocean, in Antarctica.
May 28th, 2014
Major waves from ocean storms can fracture ice hundreds of miles from its edge, researchers say. These new findings suggest large waves could help explain mysteries about how Antarctic ice behaves in response to changes in climate.
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'Fossilized Rivers' Reveal Clues About Disappearing Glaciers
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February 3rd, 2014
An amazing landscape left behind by melting ice sheets offers clues to the future of Greenland's disappearing glaciers, a new study suggests.
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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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King Penguins' Genes Explain Ancient Island-Hopping
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June 10th, 2014
As the glaciers melted about 15,000 years ago, warmer weather and ice-free conditions allowed king penguins to colonize the string of islands north of Antarctica, a new genetic study has found.
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Antarctic Ice 'Cork' Melting Could Lead to Unstoppable Sea Rise
East Antarctic outlet glacier, Wilkes Land, was one of the glaciers examined in satellite imagery.
May 9th, 2014
Global sea level could rise between 10 to 13 feet if a relatively small mass of ice currently corking an Antarctic Ice Sheet were to melt with warming sea water.
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