A review, with 24 charts, of the effect of the polar ice pack on world climate. About 10 percent of the northern hemisphere ocean area and 13 percent of the southern is covered in winter by floating ice of variable extent. As the ice pack recedes, storm tracks go farther north and midlatitude rainfall patterns shift eastward. Apparently changes in solar radiation intensity in Antarctica result in changes in the global circulation, which, in turn, affect the extent of the Arctic pack ice, especially during the northern summer. After examining the possible effects of removing the ice pack, and the possibilities of doing so, the study concludes that--however undesirable it may be politically, economically, or environmentally--we probably do have the technological ability to eliminate the ice, but far more research is needed before we can predict the consequences for the entire earth-atmosphere physical system. 60 pp. Bibliog.