A 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 they contain more than 99 percent of the freshwater ice on Earth. The Greenland Ice Sheet in the Arcticextends about 1.7 million square kilometers (656,000 square miles). In the past, other Arctic ice sheets have existed, such as the Barents Shelf and Innuitian sheets.

  • > Ablation

    Glossary

    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

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  • > Accumulation

    Glossary

    Encompasses all the ways in which a body of ice (a glacierA glacier is a large, persistent body of land-based ice that forms over many

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  • > Albedo

    Glossary

    The ‘whiteness’ of a surface. The higher the albedoThe ‘whiteness’ of a surface. The higher the albedo, the more the surface reflects light. Snow and

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  • > Crevasse

    Glossary

    A crack or fissure in a glacier or or ice sheetA mass of glacial land ice extending more than 50,000 square kilometers (20,000 square miles). The two

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