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The Perito Moreno Glacier, one of three Patagonian glaciers that is still growing, completed a dramatic rupture on Thursday morning, March 10, giving tourists a spectacular view.
New Study from University of California Irvine

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.

Aerial view of the edge of the Barnes Ice Cap in May 2015. Credit: NASA / John Sonntag

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.

Flow speed of the QEI glaciers averaged between 1991 and 2015, color coded on a logarithmic scale, and overlaid on the CDED DEM in shaded relief. The survey domain is divided into 6 regions: (a) Northern Ellesmere Icefield, (b) Agassiz Ice Cap, (c) Axel Heiberg Islands, (d) Prince of Wales Icefield, (e) Devon Ice Cap, and (f) Sydkap Ice Cap and Manson Icefield

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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

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