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The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) presented the special report on the Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate Context. The latest report, on Ocean and Cryosphere, is the last in a series of three that the IPCC had been asked to produce to assess the impacts of climate change on specific themes. The first of these, examining the feasibility of restricting global rise in temperatures to within 1.5°C from pre-industrial times, was submitted in October last year. It was followed in August this year by a report on how land systems contribute to and are impacted by climate change. Key findings of the report: The global mean sea level had risen by 16 cm between 1902 and 2015, and that the rate of increase had doubled in the last one decade. The sea levels were rising because of thermal expansion of ocean waters due to rising temperatures as well as due to melting of glaciers and polar ice. Between 2006 and 2015, the Greenland ice sheet lost ice-mass at an average rate of 278 billion tonnes every year, while the Antarctic ice sheet lost a mass of 155 billion tonnes on an average every year. Snow over areas outside of these two regions, like the glaciers in the Himalayas, together lost an average of 220 billion tonnes of ice every year. The cryosphere is an all-encompassing term for those portions of Earth's surface where water is in solid form, including sea ice, lake ice, river ice, snow cover, glaciers, ice caps, ice sheets, and frozen ground (which includes permafrost).

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