Saturday, February 18, 2017

Canada’s Glacial Ice Loss Raises Sea Level

Dramatic increase in ice loss from the Arctic glaciers of Canada’s northernmost archipelago is now a major contributor to sea level rise.

The remote Osborn mountain range on Ellesmere Island in the far north of Canada’s Queen Elizabeth Islands archipelago. (Image Credit: Ansgar Walk via Wikimedia Commons) Click to Enlarge.
Glaciers on Canada’s Queen Elizabeth Islands are melting at an ever faster rate.  Between 2005 and 2015, ice loss accelerated massively from three billion tonnes a year to 30 billion, according to new research.

The islands, which make up Canada’s northernmost archipelago, are home to a quarter of all the Arctic ice − second only to Greenland.  And the flow of meltwater there from what once were frozen rivers is now a major contributor to sea level rise.

Scientists report in Environmental Research Letters journal that they used satellite data from 1991 to 2015, and ice thickness data from a separate NASA study, to calculate ice loss from the Queen Elizabeth Islands.

Ice covers 105,000 square kilometres of the archipelago. There are eight ice caps, and altogether 254 glaciers flow into the sea.

Glaciers everywhere in the world are in retreat, and researchers warned two years ago that Canada could eventually lose many of its frozen rivers.

Read more at Canada’s Glacial Ice Loss Raises Sea Level

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