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The advance-and-retreat cycle of snow cover drastically changes the whiteness and brightness of Earth. Using these two 2017 maps created using NASA satellite data, have students review the seasonal differences of snow and ice extent.

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.

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