Last week, scientists working at the US National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) said that satellite imagery could no longer capture the ice cap (a block of ice covering an area of land less than 50,000 square kilometers) St. Patrick’s Bay is located on Ellesmere Island in Nunavut, Canada. The prediction of the passing of this ice sheet had been around for a long time, but no one expected it to be so massive.
Satellite images show that the two ice caps have disappeared.
The St. Patrick’s Ice Cap is really “tiny”: in 1959, the large ice cap in the pair just disappeared, only 7.5 square kilometers, and the small one was about 2.8 square kilometers. As of 2001, these two ice caps have decreased by 62% and 58% respectively, compared with the 1959 measurements.
In 2017, a research group published a scientific paper saying that the ice caps will disappear within the next five years due to the effects of rising temperatures in the Arctic. It turned out that this “oracle” was correct 2 years ago. On July 14, 2020, satellite images showed that these two ice caps disappeared under the heat for the first time in 115,000 years.
These two ice caps and the sea water in the Arctic region have suffered from the heat for many months. The Barnes ice cap, one of the Earth’s oldest ice storage sites, has slowly disappeared during this decade. The St. Patrick’s Ice Cap was only formed a few centuries ago, first turning in 1959 and now it has completely melted.
Take a closer look at the consequences of climate change.
“We have known for a long time that when climate change takes place, the effect at the North Pole will be very clear. But the death of the two small ice caps I once knew very well made climate change my personal feud. All that was left of the two ice caps were just photos and memories“Mark Serreze, director of NSIDC said during the press conference.
Mr. Serreze first came to these two ice caps in 1982, when he was a graduate student; he has watched and studied them since then, from a time when global warming was not a disaster lurking on the horizon. Sad events like these suggest the effects of climate change could worsen later, and signal a worrying near future.
When ice caps, ice sheets and glaciers melt, the ocean level will rise, causing consequences for beaches and coastal cities.