According to 2009 data, there are approximately 5,773,000 cubic miles of ice on Earth at any given time. While that’s only about 1.7% of the total amount of water on Earth, it’s a much larger percentage (nearly 70%) of the amount of fresh water on Earth. Unfortunately the amount of permanent ice–glaciers, permanent mountaintop snows and polar ice cap, most of which is located in Antarctica–is decreasing year by year. For example, snow cover in the Northern Hemisphere has decreased about 2% every decade since 1966, with the rate of loss decreasing since 1980 and particularly in the last decade.
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