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Two characteristics of climate change are resulting in sea level rise. First, the melting of ice sheets and glaciers on land are adding more water to the oceans.

Ice, which covers 10 percent of Earth's surface, is disappearing rapidly.  While the Arctic sea ice extent is declining, air temperatures are rising. Vegetation is changing, with tundra being replaced by shrubs. Permafrost is warming and thawing over parts of the Arctic.

The Cryosphere refers to any place on Earth where water is in its solid form, where low temperatures freeze water and turn it into ice. The frozen water can be in the form of solid ice or snow and occurs in many places around the Earth.

Earth-orbiting satellites and other technological advances have enabled scientists to observe changing atmospheric temperatures as they collect many different types of information about our planet and its climate on a global scale.

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