There is a finite amount of water on our globe, and it is constantly moving. Water from your faucet has most likely travelled through the atmosphere, travelled across the surface of the Earth, and cycled deep beneath. This water cycle is essential to the Earth’s climate, and freshwater is essential for life to exist.
Ice holds most of the world’s freshwater.
You may have never seen a glacier or vast expanses of ice. But however, they play an important role when it comes to the world’s water supply.
Glacial ice covers 10% of the Earth’s land surface, including glaciers, ice caps, and the ice sheets of Greenland and Antarctica. Glaciers cover over 15 million square kilometers (5.8 million square miles).
Glaciers play an essential role in the Earth’s water cycle. It influences the amount, variability, and quality of runoff in regions where they exist. Glaciers, ice caps, and permanent snow hold around 69 percent (68.7%) of the world’s freshwater.
Water distribution on the Planet as a whole.
Although the fact that the amount of water locked in glaciers and ice caps is a small percentage of all water on (and in) the Earth, it makes up a considerable component of the world’s overall freshwater supply. As these statistics and the data table show, the amount of water locked up in ice and snow is only around 1.7 percent of all water on Earth, yet ice caps and glaciers store the majority of freshwater on Earth, nearly 68.7%.
This bar chart depicts how the seas contain almost all of the Earth’s water, which is saline. Only a small part of the little amount of water accessible is suitable for living creatures.
- Notice in the first bar how just 2.5 percent of Earth’s water is freshwater. That is the amount of freshwater required for life to exist.
- The freshwater breakdown is shown in the center bar. The vast bulk of it is encased in ice or buried underground.Surface water, which meets the majority of life’s requirements, makes up just around 1.2 percent of all freshwater.
- The split of surface freshwater is seen on the bar in the right bar. The majority of this water is encased in ice. Lakes make up the remaining 20.9 percent. Rivers hold 0.49 percent of all freshwater on the planet’s surface. Its true that rivers only contain a small amount of freshwater. But they provide a significant percentage of water to use.
The polar ice sheets are more than the world’s biggest freshwater reserve. They’re excellent indications of what’s going on with the climate right now. We will be better able to make future predictions if we can comprehend what is happening to the ice sheets.
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