bc-glacierOne of the world’s longest-studied glaciers is melting so fast in the heart of the Canadian Rockies that scientists say it is “disintegrating” before their eyes, causing monitoring stations to collapse.

The Peyto Glacier in Banff National Park has long been regarded as a key global reference site for climate change studies. But the ice has started to crumble so quickly, says John Pomeroy, that clusters of scientific instruments mounted on poles drilled deep into the ice are toppling over and other data collection sites are flooding.

“Canada’s glaciers are sending us a very strong message that we are in unprecedented climate change,” said Dr. Pomeroy, director of the Centre for Hydrology at the University of Saskatchewan. “The glaciers are not coping. We are losing them within our lifetimes in Canada.”

He said Peyto Glacier, located along the Icefields Parkway, a spectacular scenic highway between Lake Louise and Jasper, is one of hundreds of glaciers in the Rockies that are melting away.

“The Rockies are literally coming out of the Ice Age and we are seeing this [happen now],” said Dr. Pomeroy. “Future generations driving down the Icefields Parkway will wonder why they named it that.”

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