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One researcher is calling the summer of 2015 a “sad window” into a future without an essential part of western Canada's landscape.

2015 was devastating for one part of Canada. Find out why


Daksha Rangan
Digital Reporter

Sunday, October 25, 2015, 3:30 PM - One researcher is calling the summer of 2015 a “sad window” into a future without an essential part of western Canada's landscape.

Climate scientists are saying this year's long, heated summer made a devastating impact on western Canada's glaciers, with some having melted at two and a half times the rate of previous years, the CBC reports.


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Over the past decade, the terminus of B.C.’s Castle Creek glacier diminished at a rate of roughly 15 metres per year. This summer, the rate accelerated to approximately two and a half times the previous pace, says Brian Menounos, geography professor and glacier researcher at the University of Northern B.C.

View of B.C.'s Comox Glacier. Photo courtesy of Tanja Kerr.

View of B.C.'s Comox Glacier. Photo courtesy of Tanja Kerr.

Glacier scientists Matthew Beedle tells the CBC that on a hot, sunny day, “you can see the surface going down some 10 centimetres.”

This melt rate especially troubling because the ice isn’t replenishing through the winter, and what’s happening at Castle Creek has become the norm for western Canada’s glaciers, Beedle adds.

What’s to blame?

Dubbed “The Blob,” a massive pocket of warm water in the Pacific could be partially to blame for last summer’s rapid melt rate, the CBC reports.

This large pocket of ocean water measures about three degrees warmer than the rest of the Pacific.

The “blob” is essentially a pool of abnormally warm water off the coast of B.C. with anomalously high h sea surface temperatures,” Weather Network meteorologist Brett Soderholm explains.

”You have a pool of warmer water situated off the coast, in close proximity to the glaciers. So to say this likely could’ve had an impact on the glacial season, in terms of the melt, isn’t that far off.

Thumbnail image courtesy of Dawne Digout. Athabasca Glacier, Jasper National Park.

SOURCES: CBC


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