A glacial paradise, an eternal winter wonderland, a land of white snow. These are things that can only be said and seen when we go closer up north or down south toward the poles. Places like them still exist but the threat of global warming might melt these landscapes after several thousands of years being covered in ice.
Glacial retreat in the Canadian Arctic has uncovered landscapes that haven't been ice-free in more than 40,000 years and the region may be experiencing its warmest century in 115,000 years, new University of Colorado Boulder research finds.
The study, published today in the journal Nature Communications, uses radiocarbon dating to determine the ages of plants collected at the edges of 30 ice caps on Baffin Island, west of Greenland.
When compared against temperature data reconstructed from Baffin and Greenland ice cores, the findings suggest that modern temperatures represent the warmest century for the region in 115,000 years and that Baffin could be completely ice-free within the next few centuries.
(Image credit: University of Colorado Boulder)