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Glaciers
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 7 to 8
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   6.34

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    ablation, showing, accumulation, receded, peninsula, interesting, ordinary, satellite, history, eventually, early, wherever, grease, state, mainly, million


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Glaciers
By Sharon Fabian
  

1     When it snows and schools close, we make the most of our time by sledding, building snowmen, and having snowball fights because snow usually doesn't last for long. At least in many places, snow falls and then it soon melts away. But in other places snow falls and stays. And stays. And stays. When it snows in places that are cold enough, the snow packs down into larger and heavier ice crystals, and the air is pushed out. Eventually it turns into glacial ice. Ordinary ice usually looks white, and that is mainly from all of the tiny air bubbles in ice. Very dense glacial ice becomes a beautiful blue.
 
2     Some glacial ice forms on land, and some forms over the ocean. Wherever it forms, glacial ice is constantly changing. At the top edge, new ice is constantly being added. This is called accumulation. At the bottom edge, ice is wearing away. This is called ablation. Glaciers are always changing, but if a glacier is accumulating ice faster than it is losing ice, it is said to be growing.
 
3     Some glaciers extend out into the ocean from the land, forming a huge shelf of ice. Ice that extends out into the ocean like a peninsula is called tongue ice. Ice that floats on the ocean is called sea ice, but there are also different names for sea ice at different stages. Grease ice is an early state that consists of thin sheets of ice crystals floating on the water. Pancake ice consists of thicker, round plates that turn up at the edges and look a little like pancakes. When it has all packed down into one giant sheet, it is called pack ice or sea ice.

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