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Earth’s Cryosphere Is Shrinking By 87,000 Square Kilometers Per Year by American Geophysical Union

The global cryosphere-all of the areas with frozen water on Earth-shrank by about 87,000 square kilometers (about 33,000 square miles, an area about the size of Lake Superior) per year on average between 1979 and 2016, as a result of climate change, according to a new study. This research is the first to make a global estimate of the surface area of the Earth covered by sea ice, snow cover and frozen ground. The extent of land covered by frozen water is just as important as its mass because the bright white surface reflects sunlight so effectively, cooling the planet. Changes in the size or location of ice and snow can alter air temperatures, change the sea level and even affect ocean currents worldwide. The new study is published in Earth’s Future, AGU’s journal for interdisciplinary research on the past, present and future of our planet and its inhabitants.”The cryosphere is one of the most sensitive climate indicators and the first one to demonstrate a changing world,” said first author Xiaoqing Peng, a physical geographer at Lanzhou University. “Its change in size represents a major global change, rather than a regional or local issue.”
https://phys.org/news/2021-07-earth-cryosphere-square-kilometers-year.html

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