Chapter summary

Evidence from glacier ice, or left by glaciers in the landscape or within the geological record, provides one of the most important sources of information on environmental change. The Earth is a dynamic and constantly changing system, in which all components interact. Research on global environmental change aims to understand how these complex systems interact, and to identify linkages between them. This research may provide the basis for predicting future global environmental changes and their human consequences. Glacier monitoring using satellites, based on 20 years of space-based observations of glaciers, has been developed to build a database covering most glaciers of the world and to monitor changes in glaciers on a periodic basis.

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