December 6, 2021

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Earth’s cryosphere loses enough ice to cover Lake Superior every year

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Earth is losing ice at a rapid rate, with a frozen area the size of Lake Superior melting every year. 

It’s no surprise that the planet is melting, of course. Researchers have been documenting losses in the polar ice sheets, in glaciers and in seasonal snow cover for years. They’ve also found that ice on rivers and lakes is melting earlier in the spring as temperatures warm, driven by climate change. But a new study out May 16 in the open-access journal Earth’s Future is the first to put all the frozen bits of Earth together and measure their melting in one fell swoop. The collective ice on the planet is known as the cryosphere. 



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