Ice Across Biomes
Mountain glaciers in southwestern Canada (including Peyto, Place, and Helm glaciers) show accelerating losses of ice starting in the mid-1970s, while Arctic glaciers (including Devon Ice Cap) began to show increased ice loss about 20 years later.29 The magnitude of the loss has been much greater for mountain glaciers than for the much colder, more massive Arctic glaciers and ice caps. Glaciers have also shrunk in northwestern Canada, in the Boreal and Taiga Cordillera ecozones+, with 22% loss in the Yukon30 (1958-60 to 2006-08) and 30% in the Nahanni Region31 (1982 to 2008). In both these areas, many smaller glaciers at low elevations have completely melted away.
Western Canadian mountain glaciers drain into river systems,32 regulating summer river flow and influencing ecosystem characteristics, such as water temperature and chemistry, that affect aquatic life. The influence of glaciers is especially important for cold-adapted species like salmonids.33-35
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