The ice has unveiled landscapes unseen for thousands of years
Retreating glaciers in the Canadian Arctic have revealed landscapes that haven’t seen sunlight in thousands of years. On Baffin Land, the ice has exposed mosses and lichens that have been hidden under it for more than 40,000 years.
Scientists from the University of Colorado, Boulder visited Baffin Island, the largest island in the Arctic Archipelago. The island has experienced significant warming in recent decades. Baffin Island is the fifth largest island in the world, dominated by fjords cutting into the land and numerous glaciers inland.
On Baffin Earth, researchers have collected moss remainsow and lichenow, whichore have been exposed by retreating glaciers. In total, they collected 48 probek of 30 locations. Using radiocarbon dating, they determined their age, whichory indicated that these plants have been continuously covered by ice for the last 40,000 years.
– The Arctic is currently warming from twooch to three times faster than the rest of the world, so naturally glaciers and ice caps will respond faster, said Simon Pendleton, the head of theowny author of the publication from UC.
W poroIn comparison with temperature determination data reconstructed from ice cores obtained zaroIn both Baffin Island and Greenland, it appears that wspohe current temperatures represent the warmest century in the region in 115,000 years, and that Baffin Land could be completely ice-free within the next few centuries.
Geologist and paleoclimatologist Gifford Miller of UC, wspohe author of the publication, podroChews on Baffin Land almost every summer for the past 40 years. The changes, whichore there over that time are alarming. According to Miller, it is only a matter of time before all the island’s glaciers disappear completely.
Photo. Matthew Kennedy/Earth Vision Institute
– In the odroIn addition to biology, whichora for the past three billion years has developed patterns to avoid the impact of climate change, glaciers have no survival strategy. Responding directly to temperature. If the summer warms up, they immediately recede, and if it’s cool, they move forwardod. This makes it one of the most reliable indicatorsoIn temperature changes – explained Miller.
The current warming of the climate lies far beyond the reach of natural change and affects almost every corner of the Baffin Lands. The landscape thatory has dominated the island for miles was shaped back in the Ice Age. But now, thanks primarily to human activity, the warming is reversingocial thousands of years of natural changes.