Two Canadian ice caps have completely vanished from the Arctic, NASA imagery shows
Scientists gave the caps 5 years to live in a 2017 study. Climate change killed them in record time.
On frosty Ellesmere Island, where Arctic Canada butts up against the northwestern edge of Greenland, two once-enormous ice caps have completely vanished, new NASA imagery shows.
It's no mystery where the caps, known as the St. Patrick Bay ice caps, went. Like many glacial features in the Arctic — which is warming at roughly twice the rate of the rest of the world — the caps were killed by climate change. Still, glaciologists who have studied these and other ice formations for decades are unnerved by just how quickly the caps disappeared from our warming planet.
"When I first visited those ice caps, they seemed like such a permanent fixture of the landscape," Mark Serreze, director of National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) in Colorado, said in a statement. "To watch them die in less than 40 years just blows me away."