The Kaskawulsh Glacier in Canada’s Yukon Territory is usually the source for several local waterways, including the Slims River. The shrinking of this glacier due to climate change in recent years has caused a sudden shift in how its melt flows. Now, it only feeds the Kaskawulsh River instead of the Slims as well. This is referred to as river piracy by geologists. It is not caused by man beyond its roots in climate change.
Climate Change Now Led To River Piracy Too?
There are changes already apparent. Docks at the popular Kluane Lake resort area are now on dry land. Exposed riverbed sediment, easily picked up by the arctic winds, are now creating dust storms.
Lead scientist on the project, Dan Shugar of the University of Washington in Tacoma was quoted as saying:
“So far, a lot of the scientific work surrounding glaciers and climate change has been focused on sea-level rise. Our study shows there may be other underappreciated, unanticipated effects of glacial retreat.”