Melting Ice on Arctic Islands a Major Player in Sea Level Rise

Sandbags -Mirlo Beach Looking North – Hatteras Island – NC12. Photo source: ©© County of Dare


Melting glaciers and ice caps on Canadian Arctic islands play a much greater role in sea level rise than scientists previously thought, according to a new study led by a University of Michigan researcher.

The 550,000-square-mile Canadian Arctic Archipelago contains some 30,000 islands. Between 2004 and 2009, the region lost the equivalent of three-quarters of the water in Lake Erie, the study found. Warmer-than-usual temperatures in those years caused a rapid increase in the melting of glacier ice and snow, said Alex Gardner, a research fellow in the Department of Atmospheric, Oceanic and Space Sciences who led the project…

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arctic islands
A true-color satellite image of the northern Canadian Arctic Archipelago that was part of this study. Image source: NASA/GSFC