Massive Canadian glaciers shrinking rapidly: Scientists

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Ottawa, Oct 30 (IANS) Scientists in Canada have warned that massive glaciers in the Yukon territory were shrinking even faster than would be expected from a warming climate, bringing dramatic changes to the region.

After a string of recent reports chronicling the demise of the ice fields, researchers hope that greater awareness will help the public better understand the rapid pace of climate change, the Guardian reported.

The rate of warming in the north is double that of the average global temperature increase, concluded the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in its annual Arctic Report Card, which called the warming “unprecedented”.

“The region is one of the hotspots for warming, which is something we’ve come to realise over the last 15 years,” said David Hik of Simon Fraser University.

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“The magnitude of the changes is dramatic.”

In their State of the Mountains report published earlier this year, the Canadian Alpine Club found that the Saint Elias mountains – which span British Columbia, the Yukon and Alaska – are losing ice faster than the rest of the country.

Previous research found that between 1957 and 2007, the range lost 22 per cent of its ice cover, enough to raise global sea levels by 1.1 mm.

The accelerating melt of the glacier has resulted in major shifts to water sources at lower elevations.

–IANS

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