New Evidence Reveals Arctic Summers Hotter for 115,000 Years Now
Researchers have discovered in detail that the Arctic is experiencing the highest temperatures in 115,000 years, according to new findings published in a recent scientific report.
Published in the journal Nature Communications, the report, entitled "Canadian Arctic Glaciers Reveal Ice-Covered Landscapes for Over 40,000 Years," has shown that summers in the Canadian Arctic desert have not seen high temperatures for at least 115,000 years
To reach this conclusion, researchers have studied geographic anomalies and ancient ice on Baffin Island, Canada, especially in the ice sheets of the plateau and deep fjords, according to the vaaju.com news site.
The layers of ice, unlike the glaciers, do not move and the matter found in the soil is preserved as long as the cap remains in place.
For centuries, ice had occupied the plateaus and walls of Baffin Island. In some summers, it would defrost, but in general the low temperatures and the snow maintained the balance.
Now, climate change has disrupted this balance, causing the Arctic to heat twice as fast as the rest of the world. This led to a further collapse in the summer, which exposed moss and lichen on the banks of ice sheets.
Simon Pendleton is the lead author of the report and researcher at the Arctic and Alpine Research Institute, University of Colorado. According to Gizmodo.com, he and his team crossed their findings with various sources, including measurements of nearby Greenland ice, and found that today's Arctic summer is warmer than at any time, anytime between 115,000 and 120,000 years.
"Our last century of heat is likely to be greater than a few centuries in the last 120,000 years," Pendleton said.
As the layers of ice diminish, scientists can expose even older landscapes. By refining their measures, they can predict what the Arctic will look like as climate change continues to reconfigure it.
Pendleton said that even without radiocarbon dating, a technique used to date materials such as carbon, it is clear how fast Baffin Island is moving toward a new state. Each year, the changes become more visible to the naked eye.