Interesting Facts about Ice

20.06.11 / Author:


  • The Antarctic ice sheet is the largest single mass of ice on Earth. It holds 70 percent of the world’s fresh water.
  • Buried beneath Antarctica’s ice sheets is one of the world’s largest lakes – Lake Vostok – a body of water cut off from the rest of the planet since before the human race evolved.
  • If all land ice melted away, the global average sea level would rise about 266 feet, with the Antarctic ice sheet contributing about 240 feet and the Greenland ice sheet contributing about 25 feet.
  • Greenland is an island covered by the second largest ice sheet on the planet and contains about 600,000 cubic miles of ice. If temperatures continue to rise, it could lead to the eventual disappearance of all of Greenland’s ice.
  • The Columbia Glacier in Alaska is about a mile and a half wide and about a half mile thick. But just 20 years ago, it was nearly twice as thick. Since 1980, the Columbia has retreated more than nine miles.
  • Created by moving glaciers about 108 million years ago, Yosemite National Park’s El Capitan cliff rises more than 3,000 feet from the valley floor. It is the largest monolith of granite in the world and a mountain climber’s mecca.
  • Every year, around a million snow avalanches thunder down Earth’s mountains, from the Himalayas to the Andes.
  • The European Alps are one of the world’s great mountain ranges – their peaks reach almost three miles into the sky. In this vertical landscape of snow and ice, even waterfalls can freeze.

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