Glaciers are a large, perennial accumulation of crystalline ice, snow, rock, sediment, and often liquid water that originates on land and moves down slope under the influence of its own weight and gravity. Besides, they constitute 10 percent of the total land area.
Interesting Facts you did not know about glaciers
- The world’s largest glacier is the Lambert Glacier is located in Antarctica. It is estimated to have a depth of 2,500 meters and covers a land area of 100 km wide and 400 km long.
- There are glaciers on all continents except Australia. As for the 33 million cubic kilometers of glacial ice, over 90 percent are in Greenland and Antarctica.
- When annual snowfall exceeds the amount of snow and ice that melts during the summer, glaciers are formed.
- They are one of the most reliable indicators of changes in the global temperature.
- If the glaciers were to melt, the water they contain could increase sea level around 70 meters.
- Once glacial ice exceeds 50 m thick moves behave as any plastic material and it is able to float.
Why are they so important?
Nowadays, more than 90% of Antarctica, the North Pole, and mainly Greenland, are mostly formed by glaciers. These formations are considered essential for the life of terrestrial ecosystems, since they are part of the largest reservoir of fresh water on the planet and are the second most important reservoir on Earth, storing an estimated 75 percent of the world’s supply.
The melting of the glaciers
When temperatures rise and ice melts, more water flows to the seas from glaciers and ice caps, and ocean water warms and expands in volume. So, we must keep in mind that water is a scarce resource. Human activity is the main cause of global warming, including burning of fossil fuels and the resulting accumulation of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Drive as little as possible, save energy at home and unplug your household appliances when they are not used. Because, small actions are major changes.
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