The ice sheets have been retreating since the end of the last Ice Age about 11,700 years ago, but the last century's warming has hastened their demise.
A 2016 study found that there is a 99 percent chance that global warming has caused the recent retreat of glaciers; in fact, the research showed, these rivers of ice retreated 10 to 15 times the distance they would have if the climate had stayed stable.
There are several big ways climate change can and will affect the globe: By melting ice, by drying out already-arid areas, by causing weather extremes and by disrupting the delicate balance of the oceans.
The big melt Perhaps the most visible effect of climate change so far is the melting of glaciers and sea ice.
Buying fewer needless products will limit the demand for those products and put downward pressure on the energy use and subsequent greenhouse gas emissions associated with their production.
Whenever possible seek green alternatives for the things you want.
One of the best ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions is to limit energy consumption.
Using energy in many of its forms comes with the negative externality of releasing greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.
Glacier National Park in Montana had 150 glaciers in the late 1800s. The loss of glaciers can cause the loss of human life when icy dams holding back glacier lakes destabilize and burst, or when avalanches caused by unstable ice bury villages.
At the North Pole, warming is proceeding twice as quickly as it is at middle latitudes, and the sea ice is showing the strain.