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Glacier and Ice Sheet Melt

The melting of ice sheets and glaciers around the world is accelerating and contributing to rising sea levels. Melting in Greenland is particularly dramatic, with the record year of 2012 witnessing surface melt far in excess of any earlier year in the satellite record. For a few days that year, 97 percent of the entire ice sheet indicated surface melting. Antarctica too is vulnerable to global warming and is melting despite being the coldest place on Earth. Melting of the Antarctic ice sheet serves as a valuable climate indicator, as well as a potential source of dangerous sea level rise, and may accelerate if key ice shelves continue to be lost.

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