Posted on January 25, 2019
"The Arctic is currently warming two to three times faster than the rest of the world, so naturally, glaciers and ice caps will react faster," said Simon Pendleton, a research scientist at the Arctic Institute of Arctic and Alcohol Research in Colorado Boulder (INSTAAR).
"Unlike biology that has spent the last three billion years developing patterns to avoid being affected by climate change, glaciers do not have a survival strategy," said Gifford Miller, senior author of the research and professor of geological science at CU Boulder . "They behave well, reacting directly to the summer temperature," he said. "If warm warm, they immediately retreat, if the summer cools, they are making progress." This makes them one of the safest proxies for changes in the summer temperature. "
The glacial retreat in the Canadian Arctic has uncovered landscapes that have been without ice for more than 40,000 years and the region could face its warmest century in 115,000 years, a new study by Colorado University Boulder revealed. New research has used radiocarbon to determine the centuries of plants harvested on the edges of 30 ice caps on the island of Baffin, west of Greenland.
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Bafin is the fifth largest island in the world, dominated by deeply rooted fjords separated by high altitudes, high altitudes. The thin, cold plateau of ice acts as a kind of natural cold store, preserving the ancient moss and lichens in their original growth for millennia. The island has undergone significant warming over the past decades.
"We travel to erecting icy margins, a sample of newly discovered plants preserved in these ancient landscapes, and carbon dating from plants to get a sense of when the ice continues to progress over that location," said lead author Pendleton. "Since dead plants are effectively removed from the landscape, the radioactive epoch of the rooted plants defines the last time as summer on average as warm as those of the last century"
In August, researchers collected 48 samples of plants from 30 different baffin caps, covering a range of heights and exposure. They also took quartz samples from each location in order to further determine the history of old age and ice cover of the landscape.
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Once the samples were processed and the radioaccount was dated from the labs of the Institute for Arctic and Alpine Research (INSTAAR) at CU Boulder and the University of California Irvine, researchers found that these ancient plants on all 30 ice caps were probably continuously covered with ice in the last 40,000 years.
When comparing temperature data reconstructed from ice cores Buffin and Greenland, findings show that modern temperatures represent the warmest century for the region for 115,000 years and that Baffin can be completely frost over the next few centuries.
"Usually you expect to see different plant populations in different topographical conditions," Pendleton said. "For example, high altitude can keep its ice more, but the amount of warming is so high that everything melts everywhere now."
"We have not seen anything as pronounced as it was before," Pendleton said.
The Daily Galaxy through the University of Colorado in Boulder