Next we add the cryosphere! Brrrrrr! What's with all that ice and
snow! Most ice on Earth is found near the poles as giant icecaps
in Greenland and Antarctica, and as icebergs at sea. Ice is also
found as glaciers and snow in the mountains, and maybe in your neighborhood
in winter. Did you know that when you hold an ice cube in your hand,
you are holding a tiny part of the Cryosphere?
Earth's cryosphere has
changed in size many times in Earth's past. Right now, most of the
world's ice is mostly far to the north or south of us. But in times
past, even as recently as 12,000 years ago, Earth's climate was
much colder, and huge sheets of ice covered much of North America
and Europe during a great "
Ice Age." These huge ice sheets left hills, ridges, lakes,
and groove marks on rocks all though New England, Wisconsin, Minnesota,
and the Dakotas. Yet at the time of the dinosaurs, Earth's climate
was much warmer, and all of the ice caps melted and disappeared.