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.
Read More
Greenland's Ice-Melt Models May Be Too Sunny
Jakobshavn ice bergs
December 16th, 2014
The vast ice sheet covering Greenland could melt more quickly in the future than existing models predict, new research suggests.
Read More »
Growing Antarctic Ice Sheets May Have Sparked Ice Age
The sun setting over a field of broken sea ice, or frozen seawater that floats on the ocean, in Antarctica.
December 4th, 2014
The most recent major ice age on Earth might have begun with the buildup of ice sheets in Antarctica, researchers say.
Read More »
Deep, Hidden Trench Discovered Beneath Antarctic Glacier
3D Map of Glacier Bedrock
October 1st, 2014
Ice-penetrating radar has uncovered a previously unknown ice-covered trench, and other detailed terrain, in the bedrock hidden beneath two massive, bluish glaciers in Greenland and Antarctica.
Read More »
Mountains of Ice are Melting, But Don't Panic (Op-Ed)
Jakobshavn Glacier
December 12th, 2014
As ice melts, the world now has a chance to respond.
Read More »
Robot Gliders See How Antarctic Ice Melts From Below
Antarctica research ship
November 10th, 2014
Scientists suspect Antarctica's shrinking glaciers are melting from the bottom up, and a fleet of robot ocean gliders may help explain why.
Read More »
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.
Read More »
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.
Read More »
Vulnerable Valleys Found Among Antarctica's Ice-Covered Volcanoes
Mount Murphy
December 11th, 2014
The best look yet at the hidden, ice-covered volcanic mountains in West Antarctica's Marie Byrd Land reveals never-before-seen deep valleys between the ranges, which means more glacial melting is possible than thought.
Read More »
Why Asia's Glaciers Are Mysteriously Expanding, Not Melting
K2 Summit
October 12th, 2014
Glaciers in the mountainous Karakoram region of Asia are stable or expanding, even as glaciers in most of the rest of the world are melting. Now, new research reveals the geography and weather patterns behind this mystery.
Read More »
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.
Read More »