The water resources of the Earth, known as the hydrosphere, includes not only freshwaters and the oceans, but also the ice caps and glaciers. Only 1 per cent of the water on the surface of the Earth is freshwater. Freshwater is vital to almost all terrestrial life (and, of course, freshwater life), including mankind, and thus the protection of this limited resource from pollution is vital. Overall, across the Earth, the majority of freshwaters are not so polluted as to prevent their use by humans or wildlife. However, significant pollution threats do occur to the freshwaters in particular areas of the world. The issue of pollution also has to be considered alongside other threats to the resource.