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Climate change: The evidence

Snow and ice are undergoing a "global-scale decline", according to the IPCC.

Overall, the world's glaciers are on the retreat. In the extreme north temperatures are rising faster than the global average, and the area covered by Arctic sea ice has been falling since the 1970s.

Antarctica and Greenland contain the two largest ice sheets on the planet. Both are "very likely" to be shrinking, according to the IPPC.

But the picture is complex. In Greenland ice is being lost around the coasts, but a little thickening is taking place in central regions.

Western Antarctica has seen some significant melting, with effects inlcuding the rapid disintegration of the Larsen-B ice shelf in 2002.

But the huge ice sheet on the eastern side of the continent is experiencing a degree of thickening.

Himalayan glaciers

Overall, glaciers are on the retreat
Graphic: Map of Greenland and Antarctica

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