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.
Salty glaciers discovered in craters near Mercury's north pole may have the right conditions for extreme forms of life, new research suggests.
Massive eruptions 719 million years ago in what is now Canada may have sucked enough CO2 from the atmosphere to freeze Earth over 2 million years later.
Europe's glaciers and ice patches are an enormous deep freezer for artifacts. Here is a countdown of 25 of the most fascinating objects revealed by Europe's melting ice.
Antarctica's sea ice recently shrank to its lowest extent since satellite records began more than 40 years ago.
The first people to enter the Americas may have taken the coastal route along the Bering Strait Land Bridge during these two periods.
A large number of scientific discoveries emerged from Earth's most southerly continent this year. Here are some of our favorites.
A new study of the mummified body of Ötzi the Iceman questions the prevailing story of his death in the high Alps more than 5,000 years ago.
A United Nations report warns of imperiled glaciers at iconic World Heritage sites — but climate action could save most of them.
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