Canadian Arctic's Message in Bottle Found! 54-Year-Old Note Holds Climate Change Warning

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By Reissa Su | December 27, 2013 5:37 PM EST

Scientists found a message in a bottle in the Canadian Arctic written 54 years ago. The bottle contained predictions of a changing climate causing ice to melt. Two researchers discovered the note on a small and uninhabited island in the Canadian Arctic, buried under the rocks.

The message in the bottle was dated July 10, 1959 and was written by geologist Paul T. Walker. In the note, the 25-year-old geologist measured the distance between the glacier and the rocks close to where the note was discovered.

Mr Walker said whoever will find the message should "remeasure the distance and send information" back to his indicated address and to his colleague.

According to researcher Warwick Vincent, one of the two scientists who found the message in a bottle, Mr Walker had a stroke and died within the year after writing the message. Mr Vincent noted that Mr Walker had remarkable foresight despite the fact he had no idea whether the glacier was moving away or advancing. Mr Vincent explained that Mr Walker wanted a reference point to enable future researchers to provide him information.

Mr Vincent and another researcher Denis Sarrazin followed the instructions left by Mr Walker. The researchers found that the distance between the glacier and the pile of rocks has widened significantly. The current distance was measured over 300 feet.

The discovery of the 54-year-old message in a bottle provides more evidence of Arctic warming leading to the melting of snow, glaciers and sea ice. According to a recent study, the Canadian Arctic's average summer temperatures in the last century are said to be the highest in history.

Mr Vincent has seen the ice of Ellesmere Island's Ward Hunt disintegrate. It is one of the five ice shelves remaining in the Canadian Arctic. The ice shelf suffered major ice loss in 2008 in just one month.  

Advocates of climate change action have long campaigned for world leaders to address global warming and its dire effects to life on Earth.

Meanwhile, extreme weather continues to plague other parts of the world like Australia's heat wave.

South Australia has been warned of extreme heat with a total fire ban issued in 12 out of 15 districts. Adelaide residents can expect a maximum temperature of 43 degrees Celsius, making it the hottest temperatures ever recorded since January 2013.

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