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TitleRecent glacier cover changes in the southern Baffin Island region:Evidence fom surface and airborne observations
AuthorZdanowicz, C; Demuth, M N; Koerner, R M; Lavergne, J -C; Savopol, F; Armenakis, C; Kinnard, C; Mercier, G; Lauriol, B
SourceAir, Ocean, Earth and Ice on the Rock : Joint congress, Canadian Meteorological and Oceanographical Society, Canadian Geophysical Union, and American Meteorological Society, Abstracts; 2006, 1 pages
Alt SeriesEarth Sciences Sector, Contribution Series 20080042
MeetingAir, Ocean, Earth and Ice on the Rock: Joint congress, Canadian Meteorological and Oceanographical Society, Canadian Geophysical Union, and American Meteorological Society; St. John's; CA; May 28 - June 1, 2007
AreaBaffin Island; Queen Elizabeth Islands; Grinnell Ice Cap; Meta Incognita Peninsula; Akshayuk Pass; Cumberland Peninsula
Subjectssurficial geology/geomorphology; ice samples; icefields; ice; ice conditions; massive ice; glacial deposits; climate, arctic; climate; climatology; paleoclimates; paleoclimatology; Holocene; glaciers; ice thickness; partial melting; Quaternary; Cenozoic
Released2006 01 01
AbstractAnnual measurements over the past >40 years reveal a trend to increasingly negative mass balance on ice caps of the Queen Elizabeth Islands (Canadian High Arctic) that has become more accentuated since the mid-1990s. Mass balance changes on these ice caps is largely determined by greater losses to melt during summer, while accumulation rates have remained relatively constant. The observed trend is therefore tentatively ascribed to recent summertime warming in the High Arctic which causes increased melt losses, while snow accumulation in the cold seasons has remained essentially constant over the period of record. The lack of comparable long-term records of glacier observations on Baffin Island makes it difficult to verify the regional coherency of these observations across the eastern Arctic. In order to fill this observational gap, the National Glaciology Program (Natural Resources & Environment Canada) has taken steps to initiate a program of glacier mass balance monitoring in the southern Baffin Island region. In the context of this effort, we will present a summary of existing observational evidence for recent (last ~60 years) glacier changes in the southern Baffin Island region. Our information is drawn from multiple sources, which include surface elevation change measurements on Grinnell ice cap (Meta Incognita Peninsula), lichenometric estimates of recent glacier retreat rates in Akshayuk Pass (Cumberland Peninsula), airborne laser altimetry on Barnes and Penny ice caps, time series of summer melt percentage from cores drilled on Penny ice cap, and change detection studies on small inland plateau ice caps. Collectively, the available evidence suggests that the rate of ice cover reduction (through net mass loss or redistribution) has accelerated over recent decades, and that at least part of this trend could be ascribed to a regional warming trend in the eastern Arctic that is manifesting itself more strongly since the mid-19th century.

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