(ORDO NEWS) — The Canadian Arctic has been severely affected by global climate change. There has not been such a heat in the region for 115,000 years, and therefore even ancient glaciers began to melt.
Until recently, there was at least one intact ice sheet in Canada – but now this era is gone too. As the researchers report, the last of the surviving ice shelves recently collapsed. According to the agency, in just two days it has lost over 40% of its area.
The last Milne Ice Shelf was located in the northern Canadian territory of Nunavut, on the border of Ellesmere Island. The huge chunk of ice that now floats in the Arctic Ocean reaches 77.7 square kilometers – more than the entire island of Manhattan. Researchers have long known that the Milne Ice Shelf and ice caps won’t last long, but the sight is still shocking.
The Arctic is warming more than twice as fast as the rest of the world, but 2020 has been a particularly hot year with a heatwave sweeping across the region. Siberia has witnessed widespread fires, and Canada also had a hard time.
Reuters reports that the Canadian Arctic was 5 ° C hotter this summer than the 30-year average. On July 25, the temperature reached 21.9 ° C near the Eureka research base on Ellesmere Island, which, according to scientists, was the highest temperature on record in the far north.
It was not only the Milne Ice Shelf that floated. Earlier this summer, the two ice caps of St. Patrick Island in Ellesmere also melted completely. Due to warming throughout the Arctic, sea ice levels in July fell to their lowest level in 40 years! The collapse of the Milne Ice Shelf reflects what is happening on the other side of the Earth – in Antarctica, where several large ice shelves have collapsed since the 1990s, and the ice is thinning at an alarming rate.
This is bad news for us. Ice shelves often act as props that contain land ice. Without them, too much ice can enter the sea. As a result, the sea level will rise sharply, which means that the inhabitants of the coastal areas will have a hard time. A new study published last week shows that rising sea levels could cause $ 14.2 trillion in infrastructure damage if we don’t cap our carbon footprint and find a way out.
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