Encompasses all the ways in which ice mass is lost from the surface of a glacier or ice sheetA mass of glacial land ice extending more than 50,000 square kilometers (20,000 square miles). The two ice sheets on Earth today cover most of Greenland and Antarctica and together... More, such as melting at the surface or the base (underside), and evaporation. However, ablationEncompasses all the ways in which ice mass is lost from the surface of a glacier or ice sheet, such as melting at the surface or the base (underside), and evaporation. However, ablation... More does not include loss due to ice flow. The opposite of ablation is accumulationEncompasses all the ways in which a body of ice (a glacier or ice sheet) gains mass at its surface, such as snowfall and rime formation. However, it excludes ice... More. Rates of ablation and accumulation affect the mass balance of a glacierA glacier is a large, persistent body of land-based ice that forms over many years where the accumulation of snow is greater than its loss (ablation). The ice in a... More.

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