As a geographer, one of the most intriguing questions for me in our rapidly changing climate has been - what new landscapes will climate change create? Research often focuses on shifting vegetation biomes, eroding coasts resulting from higher sea levels, geomorphic changes in the context of watershed adjustments, etc. However, there’s more to climate change than just the alteration of existing environments. Scientists have been observing declining glacial ice worldwide for several decades, but we haven’t known what their absence will reveal and what insights about past environments will be gleaned in the process. In other words, what did the land look like before the glaciers and what can we learn about our past, present, and future by studying the preserved remnants? Recent research by Simon Pendleton (University of Colorado Boulder - INSTAAR) on plants entombed in receding glaciers indicates that our current century’s summers are warmer than any in the last 115,000 years.
Read more of Simon’s findings here:
Rapidly receding Arctic Canada glaciers revealing landscapes continuously ice-covered for more than 40,000 years