For 300 years, the slims river flowed through Canada. Today, the channel is a dried-up wasteland. This wasn’t a gradual transition. River gauges show water levels dropped drastically in just 4 days. The drop was too much to bring the river back to life. Now, winds whip up dust storms from the Riverbed’s remains.
So, what happened?
It’s the result of a rare phenomenon called “river piracy”.
River piracy happens when something causes a river to change course. For the slims river, it was the rapid retreat of a glacier. Meltwater from Canada’s kaskawulsh glacier fed the slims. But in 2016, the glacier retreated too far. so, the water could no longer reach the slims channel. Now, the glacier’s water feeds into the kaskawulsh river. This is the first reported case of river piracy in 18,000 years. scientists think climate change is responsible. They also predict more cases of river piracy in the future. There’s no telling where it will strike next.
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