Chapters and Articles
Global Outlook for Ice and Snow: Chapter 2 - Why are ice and snow important to us?
United Nations Environment Programme

This report demonstrates how we are affected by ice and snow, whether we live in the northern regions or tropical climates or in between. Ice and snow are important components of the Earth’s climate system and are particularly vulnerable to global warming. Ice and snow are important parts of northerners’ identity and culture, especially for indigenous people, whose cultures have adapted to a world in which ice and snow are not only integral parts of the ecosystem but also support a sustainable way of life. Reduction of ice and snow damages the ecosystems that support these cultures and livelihoods


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2007
Chapters and Articles
Global Outlook for Ice and Snow: Chapter 9 - Policy and perspectives
United Nations Environment Programme, United Nations Environment Programme

The underlying theme in the preceding chapters is that changes are now observed in ice and snow and bigger changes are projected. The greenhouse gases from past and current emissions remain in the Earth’s atmosphere for decades to centuries. Most of the extra heat on Earth caused by emissions of anthropogenic greenhouse gases is stored in the oceans. These two factors will lead to further changes in ice and snow no matter how quickly the world acts to reduce emissions.


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2007
Chapters and Articles
Global Outlook for Ice and Snow: Chapter 8 - River and lake ice
United Nations Environment Programme

Floating freshwater ice is a key component of cold-regions river and lake systems. Ice creates and controls unique aquatic habitats and related biological productivity and diversity. It also poses major challenges (for example, flood threats) and opportunities (for example, transportation) for communities. Changes in freshwater-ice cover have largely mirrored trends in air temperature, with large regions of the Northern Hemisphere experiencing reductions in ice-cover duration characterized by earlier spring break ups and, to a lesser degree, later autumn freeze ups, particularly over the last 50 years. Although more dramatic changes in the timing and duration of the ice season are projected for the future, our understanding of how climate has affected or will alter the more important freshwater-ice processes (such as ice-cover composition, thickness and break-up dynamic,) remains poor. Improving our knowledge of these climate-ice relationships is the key to being able to properly adapt to, or even mitigate, future environmental change


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2007