Arctic Sea Ice : Forum
Cryosphere => Glaciers => Topic started by: AbruptSLR on April 06, 2015, 11:00:22 PM
The linked articles discuss projections that Alberta and BC will lose between 60 and 80% of the volume of their glaciers, as compared to 2005, by 2100.
DRY CALVING, SLUSH FLOWS. etc:
University of Calgary geography professor Brian Moorman who studies glaciers in the Canadian territory of Nunavut says in the past few years he has seen things that has never seen before or that he would not have anticipated happening.
“Like large lakes forming on top of glaciers because melting water is being produced so fast that it can’t escape, or lakes that are dammed up by glaciers catastrophically draining out and completely drying out a river valley or a lake basin in a matter of a couple of days, losing millions of cubic metres of water,” Moorman said speaking on the phone from his office in Calgary.
Moorman is undertaking his research both in the field, studying the glaciers on Bylot Island in Nunavut, as well as working with the Canadian Space Agency, using satellite radar imagery to measure ice loss of glaciers through a process known as dry calving, a natural process when the front of the glacier breaks off and crumbles to the ground at the base of the glacier....
More info and full radio interview at link.
Thanks to dt and climatehawk over at The Scribbler for the link.
"Porcupine Glacier is a 20-km long outlet glacier of an icefield in the Hoodoo Mountains of northern British Columbia that terminates in an expanding proglacial lake. During 2016 the glacier had a 1.2 sq km iceberg break off, leading to a retreat of 1.7 km in one year. This is an unusually large iceberg to calve off in a proglacial lake, the largest I have ever seen in British Columbia."
See linked article for more info, images, etc.
"From a Glacier's Perspective: Glacier Change in a World of Climate Change" is a blog of the AGU on the topic of glaciers worldwide.
The link shows all entries tagged "Canada glacier retreat" and includes studies from BC, Alberta, Yukon, Labrador, and Baffin back to Sept 2015.
Thanks for the interesting links Cate.
Globe & Mail report on the Porcupine Glacier calving outlined in #2 above. The interesting point is that it is explicitly linked to climate change.
"A massive chunk of ice – thought to be the largest iceberg to ever break off a glacier in Canada – fell into a lake in British Columbia this summer and no one noticed until a U.S. scientist saw it on a NASA photo."
Thanks to Colorado Bob for the link, over on Robertscribbler. Posting here for reference.
Irvine, Calif., Feb. 14, 2017 — 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 today in the journal Environmental Research Letters...
The study provides the first long-term analysis of ice flow to the ocean, from 1991 to 2015....
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...."
Interview with the author of the Irvine study:
Less glacial melt water has been flowing into the Bering Sea since the end of May 2016 after melt flow from the Kaskawulsh Glacier in southern Yukon changed direction. Previously water flowed north into the Slims River, which is now dry, and eventually to the Yukon River. A new melt water canyon in the glacier takes the water south to the Kaskawulsh River which goes to the Gulf of Alaska. The change in direction is possible because of glacial retreat, one mile in the last 100 years, according to a geologist. Study published in Nature Geoscience. Story by Brandie Weikle at CBC News: http://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/climate-change-yukon-river-piracy-1.4070153 (http://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/climate-change-yukon-river-piracy-1.4070153)
Cross posted from Weird Weathe (https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/topic,323.msg110041/topicseen.html#msg110041)r:
From NYTimes : Climate Change Reroutes a Yukon River in a Geological Instant (https://mobile.nytimes.com/2017/04/17/science/climate-change-glacier-yukon-river.html)
In the blink of a geological eye, climate change has helped reverse the flow of water melting from a glacier in Canada’s Yukon, a hijacking that scientists call “river piracy.”
This engaging term refers to one river capturing and diverting the flow of another. It occurred last spring at the Kaskawulsh Glacier, one of Canada’s largest, with a suddenness that startled scientists.
Much of the meltwater from the glacier normally flows to the north into the Bering Sea via the Slims and Yukon Rivers. A rapidly retreating and thinning glacier — accelerated by global warming — caused the water to redirect to the south, and into the Pacific Ocean.
Also from the NYTimes article, quoting Dr. Shugar:
“We may be surprised by what climate change has in store for us — and some of the effects might be much more rapid than we are expecting.”The statement is a bit odd (i.e., "surprise" = "more rapid than we are expecting", duh), but it hits you coming and going.