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The Cryosphere, world map

The Cryosphere, world map

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Uploaded 21 Feb 2012 by GRID-Arendal
Year: 2007 Author: Hugo Ahlenius, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
Description:
Snow and the various forms of ice - the cryosphere - play different roles within the climate system. The two continental ice sheets of Antarctica and Greenland actively influence the global climate over time scales of millennia to millions of years, but may also have more rapid effects on, for example, sea level. Snow and sea ice, with their large areas but relatively small volumes, are connected to key interactions and feedbacks at global scales, including solar reflectivity and ocean circulation. Perennially frozen ground (permafrost) influences soil water content and vegetation over vast regions and is one of the cryosphere components most sensitive to atmospheric warming trends. As permafrost warms, organic material stored in permafrost may release greenhouse gases into the atmosphere and increase the rate of global warming. Glaciers and ice caps, as well as river and lake ice, with their smaller areas and volumes, react relatively quickly to climate effects, influencing ecosys ...
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