May 14, 2009 | 40
A new estimate puts maximum global sea level rise from the collapse of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet at 10.5 feet (3.2 meters)—not the 16 feet (five meters) or more predicted in the past.
The latest research indicates that this massive ice sheet is unlikely to disappear completely, limiting the damage as it melts. Glaciologist Jonathan Bamber of the University of Bristol in England and his colleagues modeled the collapse of the ice sheet based on the relative likelihood of a given section vanishing completely.
Their work suggests only those parts of the ice sheet that are grounded below sea level or sloping downwards would collapse. Those parts of the sheet grounded above sea level or on bedrock that slopes upwards would remain in place.
Apr 7, 2009 | 1
Forget the Russians moving troops north of the Arctic circle to protect "vital interests," even U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton recognizes that the rules for the poles have changed. At the Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting and the Arctic Council in Baltimore this week she called for "strengthening environmental regulation" for the South Pole in the spirit of the Antarctic Treaty of 1959.
"With the collapse of an ice bridge that holds in place the Wilkins Ice Shelf, we are reminded that global warming has already had enormous effects on our planet, and we have no time to lose in tackling this crisis," she said. "We need to increase our attention not only to the Antarctic but to the Arctic as well."
Dec 9, 2008 | 1
Here at Scientific American, the fate of Earth is an important part of our coverage, from our new publication, Earth 3.0, to a grand plan for solar energy, to daily reporting on climate change. Sometimes, we send reporters to bring back first-hand accounts of these and other issues, as David Biello did from China and Merrill Goozner did from Siberia last summer.
But sometimes it makes sense for news orgs to collaborate to get the biggest bang for their buck and best serve readers and viewers. So we’ve been working with CNN, which debuts the next episode of its series Planet in Peril Thursday night, December 11, at 9 P.M. Eastern time. (Full disclosure: My wife is a writer at the network’s Anderson Cooper 360.)
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