New Satellite images from NASA show that Canada’s St. Patrick Bay ice caps have completely disappeared.
Mark Serreze, director of the National Snow and Ice Data Center said, “I can’t say I was terribly surprised because we knew they were going, but it has happened really fast,” he told CNN.
The two ice caps were located on the Hazen Plateau of northeastern Ellesmere Island in Nunavut. 1959 data suggests the area of the larger cap was 3 square miles and the smaller one 1.1 square miles, has been declining ever since the 1959 data was gathered.
Scientists estimate the glaciers, which likely formed about 5,000 years ago, would have been significantly larger between the 16th and the 19th centuries, a time known as the “Little Ice Age.”
The scorching summer of 2015 reduced the longevity of St. Patrick’s Bay ice caps. “You could really see they got hit. But that heat has really just not stopped. It’s just getting too warm,” Serreze said.
There are other glaciers near where the St. Patrick’s Bay ice caps had been. The Murray and Simmons ice caps sit at a higher elevation; however, they have been significantly shrinking.