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Antarctica Ice
 Freshwater Storage

Spinning Yarn|Ice CavernThe Antarctic ice cap contains about 90% of the planet’s fresh water and the continental ice sheet contains approximately 7 million cubic miles (30 million cu km) of ice, representing about 90% of the world's total. Ice flowing off of the continent creates several floating ice shelves where the flowing ice meets the ocean.

Ice shelves act to hold back glaciers from the sea and keep warmer marine air at a distance from the glaciers.

Antarctic Ice streams are vast rivers of ice that flow up to 100 times faster than the ice they channel through, with speeds up to 3000 feet per year. They are the most energetic parts of the Antarctic ice sheet, and scientists believe that they are quite susceptible to environmental change. Ice streams also transport most of the snow that falls on the continent's interior and dump it into the ocean.

Ice shelves produce the largest icebergs (called tabular as they are table-like, flat, on top) as the ice is gently fed onto the surface of the sea before eventually breaking off and becoming free floating.

 Spinning Yarn|Ice Shelf

SpinningYarn|Otago Daily Pic[

Photo Courtesy
OTAGO DAILY TIMES, New Zealand

 

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