Earth in 1,000 Years: Introduction (01:52)
About of third of the Earth's surface is covered in ice. Ice is important to Earth's climate, which global warming is threatening. Scientists study ice to understand the effects of climate change.
Melting Ice (03:24)
The last ice age, about 30,000 years ago, caused glaciers and ice sheets to push into more temperate climates. With global temperatures increasing, scientists worry about the effects of melting ice.
Melting and Freezing Periods (08:58)
Earth has experienced about five periods of melting and freezing. The effects of the last period created the world as it is today. About every 100,000 years, the Earth's rotation changes, allowing for more or less sunlight.
Scientists study previous changes in climate to predict what will happen if Earth does not enter a cooling period. Greenland is a hub for environmental scientists; some of the ice is millions of years old.
Interglacial Period (03:20)
Scientists look at the last interglacial period to understand the probability of ice melting on Greenland. It is thought that temperatures rose in the arctic and led to the spread of forests. Experts on an ice drilling project study ice from that period.
Antarctica contains most of Earth's ice. About 250 million years ago, Antarctica was a forested region and home to numerous species of plants and animals.
Sea Ice (08:25)
Sea ice is melting faster in recent years; its coverage and thickness have decreased. Sea ice in Antarctica reached its lowest recorded levels in 2016.
East Antarctica (04:23)
Little research has been done on the effects of global warming in East Antarctica because of the size and frigid temperatures of the ice sheet. New discoveries about what is under the ice created worry about the region’s stability.
Sea Levels (04:31)
A recent study found that sea levels could rise more than two meters during the current century. With the amount of CO2 emissions, it would be nearly impossible to hinder the melting of ice.
Credits: Earth in 1000 Years (00:45)
Credits: Earth in 1000 Years
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