The Earth is melting. The ice is melting. The glaciers are melting. But the stubborn human heart refuses to melt. In an unsettling illustration of how global warming can ruin the world’s geography, a team of scientists say a rapidly melting glacier (one of Canada’s largest glaciers) caused the Slims River (which spanned up to 150 meters at its widest points) to completely change course and disappear over just four days — a process that normally takes tens of thousands of years.
A paper published in Nature Geoscience on April 17 outlined the phenomenon —
which scientists are calling “river piracy” — and put the blame of the incremental retreat of Kaskawulsh glacier and the Slims River’s disappearance on climate change. “Retreat of Kaskawulsh Glacier — one of Canada’s largest glaciers — abruptly and radically altered the regional drainage pattern in spring 2016… In late May 2016, meltwater from the glacier was re-routed from discharge in a northward direction into the Bering Sea, to southward into the Pacific Ocean. Based on satellite image analysis and a signal-to-noise ratio as a metric of glacier retreat, we conclude that this instance of river piracy was due to post-industrial climate change.” READ MORE