Sea-level Rise: The Solid and the Scary
Description: The ocean is rising into coastal communities because of human-caused warming. Ice loss from Antarctica and Greenland is contributing, and could accelerate in the future. History and physics show that warming melts ice, and that too much warming can trigger rapid iceberg calving. Modern visitors to Glacier Bay in Alaska sail more than 60 miles into a fjord that held ice up to a mile thick when George Vancouver visited in 1794, and many other fjords have similarly “unzipped” into their mountains or ice sheet. If retreat of this type is triggered in any of the major Antarctic basins holding far more ice, more than 10 feet of additional sea-level rise could occur in the following century or less. Despite rapid scientific advances, large uncertainties remain. This presentation will explore the solid and speculative issues on sea-level rise.