Ice caps on Baffin Island in the Canadian Arctic are "receding like mad" and could be gone completely within 50 years, LiveScience reports. The fields of ice have shrunk by half in the last 50 years and haven't been so small for at least 1,600 years, according to a study published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters.
The research team analyzed plant material emerging from under the receding ice and found that it hadn't been exposed to the atmosphere for more than a millennium. "It clearly says we're now warmer than we were in medieval times," noted the lead reseracher, who attributes the rise in temperature and melting to greenhouse gases. "Even with no additional warming, our study indicates these ice caps will be gone in 50 years or less."