How Does Water Get In and Out of Glaciers and Snowfields?

Who Needs Glaciers and Snowfields?
Make a Mini-Glacier!

The melted water from mountain snow and glaciers is essential for life in high mountain environments such wildflowers and mountain goats. Also, the water that melts from mountain glaciers provides water for people who live in cities and towns below the mountains.

Watermelon snow at the top of glaciers and snowfields in Europe and North America may look and even smell like a juicy slice of watermelon, but it is actually algae that live in the snow! Algae, like plants, need sunlight to stay alive.

Today, scientists say that the large glacial ice sheets of Antarctica and Greenland are melting slowly due to global warming. If these ice sheets were to melt all at once, there would be much more water in the oceans. Cities near the coast would be underwater. But, don’t be too worried because most scientists say that there is almost no chance that these giant glaciers will melt into the ocean all at once!