Climate Change Hits Canada’s Glacier Parks

Climate change has been blamed for many problems, and a recent study adds one more to its list—the meltdown of huge glaciers that travel over western Canada. In fact, the country could lose a large majority of Canada’s glaciers melting away in less than a hundred years from 2015.

The study, which was published in Nature Geoscience, says that by 2100, the glacier parks in western Canada, such as those in Alberta and British Columbia, could be melted down between 70 and 90 percent. The meltdown could in turn affect many other things from the temperatures in local waters, the loss of fresh water supplies and to the loss of hydroelectric power sources in the area.

Some people may scoff at this report because they may not have noticed the ice travel of the glaciers has changed, or that any of their ice has been lost over the past few decades for several reasons. That’s due to the fact that the volume of water the glaciers have lost is somewhat hidden because it comes from the ice thinning, which only happens at a small rate of around one meter every year.

The problem of melting glaciers is not only happening in Canada’s glacier parks. Climate changes are affecting these traveling ice sheets all over the globe. There are more than 17,000 glaciers in Canada alone, as well as nearly 200,000 in the whole world, and their loss will not go unnoticed.

Besides the aforementioned issues, the loss of the world’s glaciers could also contribute to global warming scenarios. The research being done concerning Canada’s glacier loss gave thought to several global warming possibilities. The least concerning global warming scenario have the median temperatures on the Earth rise by between a half-degree and three degrees Fahrenheit or between about 0.3 and 1.7 degrees Celsius.

The worst case scenario of global warming changes caused by the loss of glacier ice, as well as carbon emissions due to things like the travel of cars, planes and other vehicles, was predicted by the study to cause the Earth’s temperatures to go up between 2.6 degrees and almost five degrees Celsius.

If these issues occur as predicted, the water runoff from the melting of the glaciers in Canada’s glacier parks could get the highest by between 2020 and 2040, according to the study’s data. Glaciers already routinely cause sea levels to go up about 0.7 millimeters or 0.03 inches every year, meaning that by the year 2100 the sea level could go up about 39 centimeters or a little over 15 and a half inches. The bottom line is that humanity needs to be aware of the fact that climate change is indeed real, and could cause the loss of the world’s glaciers, as well as the resulting problems.

Glacier fun shot by two German brothers in the Alaskan glaciers: