New research has revealed that the average summer temperatures in the Eastern Canadian Arctic over the last century are the highest in the last 44,000 and perhaps in 120,000 years.
In a statement, researcher Gifford Miller from the University of Colorado, said: "The key piece here is just how unprecedented the warming of Arctic Canada is. This study really says the warming we are seeing is outside any kind of known natural variability, and it has to be due to increased greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.
"And it is really in the past 20 years that the warming signal from that region has been just stunning. All of Baffin Island is melting, and we expect all of the ice caps to eventually disappear, even if there is no additional warming."
Scientists looked at gas bubbles trapped in ice cores (cylinders drilled from the ice that show layers of snow laid down over time) taken from the region, which allowed them to reconstruct past temperature and levels of precipitation.
Live Science reports that they also took clumps of moss from a melting ice cap on Canada's Baffin Island and their analysis showed that the plants have been trapped in the ice for at least 44,000 years, and possibly as long as 120,000 years.