No, this isn’t a river vanishing

This is a river moving:

An immense river that flowed from one of Canada’s largest glaciers vanished over the course of four days last year, scientists have reported, in an unsettling illustration of how global warming dramatically changes the world’s geography.

No, really, it didn’t:

For hundreds of years, the Slims carried meltwater northwards from the vast Kaskawulsh glacier in Canada’s Yukon territory into the Kluane river, then into the Yukon river towards the Bering Sea. But in spring 2016, a period of intense melting of the glacier meant the drainage gradient was tipped in favour of a second river, redirecting the meltwater to the Gulf of Alaska, thousands of miles from its original destination.

Rivers do in fact change their beds. This is notable for the size of the change but not much more.

11 comments on “No, this isn’t a river vanishing

  1. In one of Colin Thubron’s books he mentions that the Amu Dayra river shifted its course periodically between the Aral Sea and Caspian Sea.

  2. The most important example of this would be the Yellow River in China which regularly switches between the north of the Shandong peninsular and the south.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yellow_River#Ancient_times

    Since the mediaeval period, it looks like it is such an engineered river that any changes are due to military men deliberately trying to flood their enemies rather than any natural change.

  3. Scientists who never did O Level Geography…
    This is what rivers in their natural state do

    Thr Nile delta was particularly famous for this behaviozr, which explains why there are so many archaeological sites in the middle of the desert. The river dun’ gone away…

  4. The border between the Louisiana Purchase and the rest of the US was defined by the Mississippi river. But the river has moved. So you can look at the Kentucky-Louisiana border and it looks like a river. But it ain’t. The river has often moved miles away leaving a serpentine border in the middle of dry land.

    The border between the US and Mexico is also defined by a river or two. But they are not so generous about it. The rivers are the border so when the rivers change, the border moves. The US and Mexico sit down every now and then and swap land.

  5. I see you haven’t heard of the advancements in quantum cartography. Anything can border anything else unless you are physically at the border to observe what is on the other side.

    My guess is SMFS meant, “you can look at the borders from Louisiana to Kentucky…” The same effects can be see further upriver. Part of the riverbank near Bagley, Wisconsin is in Iowa. Water flow on the Ohio is tightly controlled to maintain a navigable channel so, with a few exceptions involving Indiana and Kentucky, the border is still the river.

  6. @Gamecock, April 18, 2017 at 11:18 am

    It’s my fault for driving my GT350

    Even worse, it doesn’t have a DPF 2TPF

  7. Tim Newman – “Whut?”

    >Sigh< That is what you get for writing from memory without checking. Or really thinking about it. The part of the border I had in mind was between KT and Missouri.

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