Science

Glaciers in Canadian Arctic Are Melting and Exposing Hidden Landscapes

An intense rise in global temperatures has unearthed ancient landscapes of the Canadian Arctic. The region remained covered under the ice from tens of thousands of years. In addition to this, Glaciers in the Canadian Arctic have melted at an extent that uncovers the land hidden from previous 40,000 years or more. Researchers collected some plants while exploring Canada’s Baffin Island. Further, they studied those plants gathered from 30 different ice caps. The new study revealed that the vegetation exposed after 40,000 continuous years of ice cover. As per scientists, the current century is the warmest century for the sector in 115,000 years.

According to the research published in the journal Nature, the Arctic is warming two to three times quicker than the rest of the world. Simon Pendleton, leading author of the study, feels it is not a coincidence. The author and research team belongs to the University of Colorado at Boulder. The author says these ancient landscapes are being uncovered over a wide geographic area on Baffin Island. Researchers warn if the warming persists at this speed, the glaciers, and ice caps will free all the ice. Besides, there will be no ice left in the upcoming century.

The team of researchers collected 48 plant samples from the region in August. They also used sampled quartz to reveal the age and history of ice shields. Pendleton said, they carbon dated the plants to discover when the ice last advanced over that area. Thus, by using the radiocarbon dating technique, scientists found the period for which the plants remained under the ice. The glaciers react according to temperatures. If summers warm, they start melting; if cool, they progress. Researchers note the trends seen across the samples are strange and point towards the rapidly changing environment. The study reveals the ice could disappear even in the absence of additional summer warming. Most of the glaciers across northern Ellesmere Island had lost in a period from 1999 to 2015. According to Arctic Today, overall 6% of ice lost amid the time span.

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