IN THE WORLD'S polar regions, ice that floats on the water's surface is termed drift ice. Drift ice is named for its tendency to be carried by wind and currents. Drift ice that is forced into a single mass is called pack ice. The two major ice pack regions in the world, accounting for the majority of the ocean drift ice, are the Arctic and Antarctic ice packs. Increasing water and air temperatures are causing this ice to melt. The extent of this ice depletion by climate change is unknown. Further, the impact of these changes on ice-dependent species, in the long-term, is not clear. Drift ice plays a critical role in climate and ecosystem habitats. The ice originates from the freezing of seawater and ...

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