Climate change continues to make victims. This time, the massive glacier that formed the Great Lakes is the one affected. Barnes Ice Cap is all that is left out of the Laurentide Ice Sheet but not for long. The ice cap is expected to vanish within the next centuries.
“If the Barnes Ice Cap has almost never disappeared in 2.5 million years, and it’s disappearing now, then it’s giving us the context that it’s warmer than it’s ever been in the last 2.5 million years,” said Gifford Miller, a professor of geological sciences at the University of Colorado Boulder.
Difficult times are coming, and no one seems willing to do anything, despite the scientists’ warning. In the past 2.5 million years, the Earth went through several changes, including ice ages. However, the Laurentide Ice Sheet was always there, even if it diminished in time.
Unprecedented global warming makes the massive glacier that formed the Great Lakes disappear
“It’s something you don’t even think about,” said Richard Berg, the director of the Illinois State Geological Survey. “But when cities were founded on it when your food depended on it, and when glacial deposits provide a lot of the water we drink — essentially our whole lives are tied to this legacy landscape from glaciation.”
The meltwater of the glaciers is the one that formed the Illinois River, after filling the prehistoric course of the Mississippi River. “Over 2.5 million years, it keeps occupying its favorite spots,” Miller added. “It liked flowing through Lake Michigan and Lake Huron. The Great Lakes are the legacy on the landscape of the erosive power of these giant ice sheets.”
But the massive glacier that formed the Great Lakes, and whole its history, will disappear due to global warming. Scientists explain that the rate of temperature rise is incredibly fast and even the Arctic is warming.
Stacy Richardson is a seasoned journalist with 15 years experience.. She has conducted numerous research studies on media effects including the effects of bullying on adolescents, and “sexy media” effects on sexual behavior. As a contributor to Great Lakes Ledger, Stacy covers stories affecting local politics and economy. Contact Stacy here.