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The world's surface air temperature is getting warmer. Whether the cause is human activity or natural changes in the Earth System—and the enormous body of evidence says it’s humans—thermometer readings all around the world have risen steadily since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution. 


Helping students build their understanding of Earth's spheres and how they are connected is difficult.  Review the graphics to help identify the parts of the Earth System and the processes that connect them at the local, regional, and global scales.





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.



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. People often think of the polar regions of our planet as the main home of the Cyrosphere; the North Pole in the Arctic, as well as the South Pole in the Antarctic. The cryosphere exists in the polar regions, but is also found wherever snow, sea ice, glaciers, permafrost, ice sheets, and icebergs exists. In these places, surface temperatures remain below freezing for a portion of each year.