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Huge Canadian river disappears in matter of days


· 每日跟讀單元 Daily English

Scientists in Canada have documented how an immense river that flowed across the country’s Yukon Territory for centuries, vanished in a matter of days last spring.


The abrupt disappearance of the Slims River is the first observed case of ‘river piracy’ – where the source of one river is suddenly diverted into another.


The incident reported in the journal ‘Nature Geoscience’ has been held up as an extremely worrying illustration of the effects of global warming – and an example of how incremental temperature increases can lead to sudden and drastic environmental impacts.


The disappearance of the river – which spanned up to 150 metres at its widest point – has dramatically altered the landscape and ecology of the territory.


The study documents how the retreat of the Kaskawulsh Glacier – one of the largest in Canada – led to a drastic change in the destination of its meltwater in spring 2016.


River piracy events can take thousands of years to occur and the speed of the change in course has shocked researchers - with flow data revealing it occurred over a few short days between the 26th and 29th May 2016.


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