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Glossary

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To find the meaning of a particular word, click on the first letter of the word in the A-Z list below. By clicking on a particular word, all areas of the site which have this word are displayed.

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Ice core:

A circular section taken from within the ice sheet in the same way you would core an apple.

Ice field:

An ice field is specifically a large continuous area of pack ice or sea ice, more than 8km across.

Ice sheet:

An ice sheet is a continuous mass of ice and snow of considerable thickness and covering a large area of rock or water. The Antarctic ice sheet is the largest single mass of ice on Earth.

Ice shelf:

Ice shelf refers to a thick ice sheet of great extent and with a level or undulating surface, fed by snow and sometimes by glaciers, which has reached the sea and is floating, although parts may be aground.

Ice streams:

Ice streams are fast-flowing channels in the ice sheet. Although they account for only 10% of the volume of the ice sheet, ice streams are sizeable features, up to 50km wide, 2000m thick and hundreds of km long. Ice streams can flow at speeds of over 1000 m per year and most of the ice leaving the ice sheet passes through them.

Ice-floe:

any separate piece of floating sea ice. They are formed by the cracking and breaking of a solid ice sheet.

Iceberg:

large mass of land ice, broken off from a glacier or from an ice shelf and floating in the sea

Immigrate:

come into a country to live there

Import:

To bring in goods from another country

Indentured labour:

A system of contract labour, developed to attract workers to the British colonies

Independence:

A country ruling itself.

Informal economy:

Informal economy is a collection of businesses whose activities are not recorded by a country’s government. This means that the revenue they add to a country’s economy is unrecorded and cannot be taxed. Businesses in the informal economy often operate illegally and break laws intended to protect employees.

Informal employment:

Informal employment is the percentage of the working population in a geographical area who work for an unregistered business. Those who work in informal employment are often self-employed. There is a high percentage of informal employment in many third world countries.

Irrigation:

The action of artificially supplying land with water to help the growth and productivity of plants.