As climate change and global warming continue to affect the world, a prediction made by researchers turned into reality faster than expected. In 2017 a team of experts warned that the St. Patrick Bay ice caps located in Canada would disappear in 5 years.
However, a quick look at the area where the ice caps used to reveal that nothing is left as they have melted completely in three years. They lasted for several centuries, and measurements made during the end of the 1950s revealed that they covered 3.86 square miles (or 10 kilometers).
Fade into history
One of the researchers who contributed to the 2017 study has kept an eye on the ice caps for more than four decades. The expert visited the area for the first time in 1982 as a graduate student and was the main author on the 2017 paper.
More than 95% of the mass of the two ice caps melted away from 1959 to 2015. Recent satellite imagery of the area only shows some vague traces of where the ice caps used to be, and it is thought that ice will not form in the region in the following years.
A grim future
The vanished ice caps are a part of a group located on the Hazen Plateau, found on the Ellesmere Island in Nunavut and one of the most distant Canadian territories that can be located in the Arctic Archipelago.
When the region was surveyed at the start of the 1980s, scientists were still divided on the topic of global warming, with some even arguing that the Earth is undergoing a period of global cooling. Several decades later, it is quite clear which researchers were right, and while the St. Patrick Bay ice caps were far from being a world-renowned site, they were a remarkable place that remains visible only in photographs.