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As climate changes, how do Earth's frozen areas affect our planet and impact society?

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Snow melting
Snow-covered area for the western United States hit another record for April, the second month in a row since the satellite record began in 2001. With longer days, more sun, and increasing temperatures in the coming months, concerns arise for how quickly the snowpack may melt in California with potential for flood risks.
CAL FIRE assisting with snow removal
Extensive snow cover in the western United States continued in March 2023, surpassing the 2019 record high by 11 percent and doubling last year's average and the 23-year-satellite record average for snow-covered area for March.
Aerial photo of Thwaites Glacier
In 2006, NSIDC and Argentine researchers landed on two icebergs calved off the Antarctic Peninsula and installed a battery of science instruments on each. NSIDC then tracked the movement of these icebergs as they drifted northward into warmer waters and broke apart.
Sea ice is forming in a fjord in Svalbard. Credit: Alia Khan, NSIDC
Arctic sea ice has likely reached its maximum extent for the year, at 14.62 million square kilometers (5.64 million square miles) on March 6, according to scientists at the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) at the University of Colorado Boulder. The 2023 maximum is the fifth lowest in the 45-year satellite record.
Snow dusts Alabama Hills, California, north of Los Angeles
Continuing the trend of recent months, the western United States received significant snowfall in February 2023, helping to improve drought conditions in the West. Despite dominance of a La Niña conditions, current snowpack patterns resemble those characteristic of El Niño years.