Canadian glaciers have become a major contributor to sea level change


Click to enlargeNASA/John Sonntag

❝ Ice loss from Canada’s Arctic glaciers has transformed them into a major contributor to sea level change, new research by University of California, Irvine glaciologists has found.

From 2005 to 2015, surface melt off ice caps and glaciers of the Queen Elizabeth Islands grew by an astonishing 900 percent, from an average of three gigatons to 30 gigatons per year, according to results published…in the journal Environmental Research Letters

❝ The team found that in the past decade, overall ice mass declined markedly, turning the region into a major contributor to sea level change. Canada holds 25 percent of all Arctic ice, second only to Greenland…

❝ The Canadian ice cap has glaciers on the move into the Arctic Ocean, Baffin Bay and Nares Strait. The researchers used satellite data and a regional climate model to tally the “balance” of total gain and loss each year, and the reasons why. Because of the huge number of glaciers terminating in area marine basins, they expected that discharge into the sea caused by tide water hitting approaching glacier fronts would be the primary cause.

In fact, they determined that until 2005, the ice loss was caused about equally by two factors: calving icebergs from glacier fronts into the ocean accounted for 52 percent, and melting on glacier surfaces exposed to air contributed 48 percent. But since then, as atmospheric temperatures have steadily climbed, surface melt now accounts for 90 percent.

❝ Lead author Romain Millan said that in recent years ice discharge was only a major component in a few basins, and that even rapid, short term increases from these ice fields only had a minor impact on the long-term trend.

Millan added, “We identified meltwater runoff as the major contributor to these ice fields’ mass loss in recent years…

Just keeping y’all up-to-date, folks. Climate change deniers won’t spend any of their bought-and-paid-for time checking scientific study. Folks with a real interest in real science enjoy the practice.

One thought on “Canadian glaciers have become a major contributor to sea level change

  1. Cassandra says:

    “A new report from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA) confirms that rising global sea levels will disproportionately affect the U.S.” http://all-that-is-interesting.com/rising-sea-levels “…The worst-case projection predicts that sea levels will rise by 8.2 feet by the turn of the century, 1.6 feet higher than researchers had estimated in 2012. The best-case scenario predicts that the ocean will only rise by one foot. The report’s researchers estimate that a rise of six feet is all it would take to destroy the homes of more than six million Americans.”
    NOAA Technical Report NOS CO-OPS 083, Global and Regional Sea Level Rise Scenarios for the United States (Jan 2017) https://tidesandcurrents.noaa.gov/publications/techrpt83_Global_and_Regional_SLR_Scenarios_for_the_US_final.pdf See also NOAA Office for Coastal Management Sea Level Rise Viewer @ https://coast.noaa.gov/digitalcoast/tools/slr (impacts from coastal flooding or sea level rise up to 6 feet above average high tides).

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