Research carried out by scientists at NASA shows that melting ice caps have an effect on the Earth's climate. The polar ice caps that cover the top and bottom of the Earth reflect sunlight into space. When the ice caps recede due to melting, the sunlight is absorbed by the ocean and land instead of being reflected back to space. As a result, the planet becomes warmer, more ice melts and the cycle repeats itself. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) cites a study on its website produced by the Arctic Council which states that in recent decades the average temperature in the Arctic has risen at nearly double the rate of temperatures elsewhere in the world. This warming is evidenced by melting of glaciers and sea ice, which affects the climate system through such phenomena as increased acidity in the ocean and an uptake in greenhouse gases.