NASA Images Show How Two Canadian IceCaps have Disappeared

NASA satellite imageries reported how the ice caps at St. Patrick Bay have disappeared. The missing ice caps from satellite imageries didn't happen overnight. It was predicted by a team a few years ago as the temperature in the Arctic was increasing rapidly.

NASA Images Show How Two Canadian IceCaps have Disappeared
NASA Images Show How Two Canadian IceCaps have Disappeared

NASA Images Show How Two Canadian IceCaps have Disappeared

Climate change and rapidly rising temperatures are altering natural landscapes all over the world. Recently, NASA satellite imageries reported how the ice caps at St.Patrick Bay have disappeared. The missing ice caps from satellite imageries didn't happen overnight. It was predicted by a team a few years ago as the temperature in the Arctic was increasing rapidly. The series of wildfires and heatwaves are some of the root causes of the melting of the ice caps. Ice caps, a type of glacier but smaller than ice sheets, originate at higher altitudes in polar regions. Their melting contributes to rising sea levels and also leads to more heat absorption by the surface.

According to the scientists' analysis, the ice caps shrank at a faster rate in 2015 due to the high temperature in summer. The report published in 2017 predicted the death of these ice caps. The team took satellite data of the location from July 2015 and compared it to the vertical aerial photographs of the same place taken on August 1959. It was found that the ice caps have melted only up to five percent. Further, the warm summer of 2015 shrank the ice caps noticeably. 

Images by NASA showing one of the caps in 2015 ( left) and in 2020 ( right), respectively. 

The recent images of ASTER ( Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer) studied by NSIDC (National Snow and Ice Data Center) have confirmed that there are no ice caps on the Hazen Plateau now. These ice caps were part of small ice caps formed several centuries ago in the Little Ice Age. The Hazen Plateau has several small ice caps, and this event has melted about one half from them. 

 

St. Patrick Bay ice caps over 60 years. ( NSIDC) 

Mark Serreze, now the director of the NSIDC visited the missing ice caps in 1982, and they looked like a permanent natural fixture at that time. The effect of climate change is especially profound in the Arctic, he explains. The remaining one half from the group of ice caps are located at a higher elevation. They are known as the Murray, and Simmons ice caps Scientists from NSIDC have predicted their demise too. 

The environment of the Earth is warming at speed, making the landscapes unstable. Global warming has killed the two ice caps over time. Climate change is happening, and scientists predict that coastal flooding will rise by 50% in the next 80 years. Melting of these ice caps was a visual representation of how climate change has affected the features across the globe.