Although it may seem counter-intuitive at first, people in many parts of the world actually rely on glaciers staying mostly frozen for their supply of drinking water. The reason for this is that healthy glaciers melt to a certain extent during the warmer part of the year, replenishing local streams and rivers. With the return of colder temperatures, snow falling on the glaciers builds up their size again, storing water in the mountains until the return of spring. What’s happening to glaciers around the world today is that, because of global warming, they are now melting faster than they are being replenished by snow and cold temperatures. This means there is less ice to contribute to the water in streams during the time of year when fresh water is in short supply. Ironically, the melting of glaciers actually means there is less fresh water available for huge segments of the world population who depend on intact glaciers as a water source.
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