Climate Change is Melting Glaciers Fast
In British Columbia, the region's last remaining glacier is vanishing fast on a mountain high above Metro Vancouver, tucked inside a north-facing gully. Because of its sheltered location on the east side of the Coquitlam watershed, the Coquitlam Glacier has survived for 4,000 to 5,000 years. Scientists say it's one of thousands across Canada shrinking faster than expected due to climate change, with consequences ranging from ecosystems and climate regulation to water supply and tourism.
The glacier shrank by nearly half a metre per year between 2015 and 2018. Since then, the rate has accelerated to 2.25 meters per year. While the glacier's disappearance was expected, the near fivefold acceleration was unexpected, especially given the years of heavy snow.
Peter Marshall, field hydrologist with Metro Vancouver’s water services said: "We thought the above-average seasonal snowpack would help to slow it down, but I think the long, dry, and hot summers we've had over the last five to seven years have really accelerated this change."
While Western Canada’s glaciers don’t add much to sea level rise, the ice caps and ice fields in Canada’s eastern Arctic do, with global implications which is why this is a clear sign that we need to act together to decarbonize rapidly. The use of Wind Energy is proven to be a viable option especially with the Canadian weather!