Canadian glaciers play big role in global sea level rise
Wednesday, February 15, 2017, 12:52 - A group of glaciologists from the University of California Irvine have just revealed in the Environmental Research Letters journal, that ice melt from Canada's Arctic glaciers is becoming a major contributor to sea level change. Canada holds 25 percent of all Arctic ice, second only to Greenland, and some of this ice is on the move into the Arctic Ocean, Baffin Bay and Nares Strait.
The study comes to prove that due to rising global temperatures, the melting of these glaciers has grown by about 900 percent. Data on the rate of melting in the Queen Elizabeth islands area between 205 and 2015, shows that the average melt-off rose from 3 gigatons to 30 gigatons annually. A dramatic figure that comes to show as in other studied areas of the Arctic, the tremendous impact global warming is having on the earths ice surfaces.
Scientists had concluded that until 2005, the ice loss in the area was a result of two main factors: calving icebergs from glacier fronts into the ocean accounted for 52%, and melting on glacier surfaces exposed to air added another 48%. However, with the rapid increase of global temperatures since then, surface melt now accounts for 90% of the total ice loss.
With this frantic ice melt going on in Canada's Arctic Glaciers, the region is now a major contributor to sea level rise. According to lead scientist Romain Millan, "meltwater runoff is a major contributor to these ice fields mass loss in recent years". As the Arctic continues to warm, the mass loss of ice in areas like Queen Elizabeth Islands will continue to increase year after year.
Watch below: Watch as Arctic sea ice cover reaches lowest maximum wintertime extent
Article Reference from Environmental Research Letters