Canada’s ice shrinking rapidly

Melt from Arctic Archipelago will raise sea levels by 35 millimeters

The glaciers of Canada’s Arctic islands are irreversibly melting, researchers warn.

THREATENED ICE During the 21st century, glacial melt in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago (including Ellesmere Island, shown in a satellite view) could raise global sea level by 35 millimeters, a new study finds. NASA

Jan Lenaerts of Utrecht University in the Netherlands and colleagues simulated ice loss in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago throughout the 21st century as temperatures warm. By around 2100, the islands’ glaciers may shed 12.4 trillion tons of ice, or 18 percent of their current volume.

That melting would raise global sea level 3.5 centimeters, the team reports online March 7 in Geophysical Research Letters. After Greenland and Antarctica, the archipelago will be the world’s third-largest source of sea level rise caused by vanishing ice.

Erin Wayman

Erin Wayman is the magazine managing editor. She has a master’s degree in biological anthropology from the University of California, Davis and a master’s degree in science writing from Johns Hopkins University.

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