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Arctic river ice deposits rapidly disappearing

Climate change is causing thick ice deposits that form along Arctic rivers to melt nearly a month earlier than they did 15 years ago, a new study finds.

River icings form when Arctic groundwater reaches the surface and solidifies on top of frozen rivers. They grow throughout the winter until river valleys are choked with ice. Some river icings have grown to more than 10 square kilometers (4 square miles) in area -- roughly three times the size of New York's Central Park -- and can be more than 10 meters (33 feet) thick.

In the past, river icings have melted out around mid-July, on average. But a new study measuring the extent of river icings in the U.S. and Canadian Arctic shows most river icings disappeared 26 days earlier, on average, in 2015 than they did in 2000, melting around mid-June. In addition, the study found most icings that don't completely melt every summer were significantly smaller in 2015 than they were in 2000.

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For the original resource listing, click here.

  1. Arctic river discharge
  2. Arctic rivers
  3. climate change impacts
  4. ice deposits
  5. river icings

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