EarthLabs > Climate and the Cryosphere > Lab 5: Evidence of Recent Change

Evidence of Recent Change

Some regions that usually receive snow are receiving less snowfall and do not have as much snow on the ground. Glaciers in the United States and around the world have generally shrunk, and the rate at which they are melting appears to have accelerated over the last decade. Additionally, the amount of ice in the Arctic Ocean has decreased, and many lakes are freezing later in the fall and melting earlier in the spring. Although the natural variability of this complex system is large, the direction of change is clear and the rate of change has taken scientists by surprise. Environmental Protection Agency

In this Lab, you will explore evidence of recent change in the cryosphere. In Part A, you will use an online interactive to visually explore how six Alaskan glaciers have changed over the last hundred years. You will also use image processing software to measure how much area a glacier in the Himalayas has lost over time due to rising temperatures. In Part B, you will study recent trends in Arctic sea ice extent. In Part C, you will explore the ice-albedo feedback effect and think about causal connections between climate and the cryosphere.

After completing this Lab, you should be able to:

Keeping track of What You Learn

In these pages, you'll find three kinds of questions.

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