Building the World

On thin ice


“Oldest Arctic Sea Ice is Disappearing 1980 (bottom) and 2012 (top),” by J. Comiso, NASA.

Artic sea ice is at near-record lows. Melting ice may cause a rise in ocean levels. When Canada and the United States cooperated to build the Alaska Highway, one of the challenges was permafrost, also a factor in the Trans-Alaska Pipeline. But recent warming of permafrost is a far more serious problem, threatening the release of methane. Global warming, and resultant ice melt, could accelerate sea level rise by as much as 2 meters or 6.5 feet. A recent assessment indicates that if Antarctic ice continues to melt, by 2500, sea levels will rise to 50 feet, as predicted by Robert DeConto of University of Massachusetts Amherst and David Pollard of Pennsylvania State University, in a study published in Nature. What should be done to mitigate sea level rise? NASA’s Carlos Del Castillo of the Ocean Ecology Laboratory, as well as Senator Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island, known as the “Ocean State,” may lead initiatives that help to build a better world.

For more:

To watch 25 years of sea ice disappear in one time-lapse minute:

Thanks to Evan T. Litwin for suggesting the video.

Building the World Blog by Kathleen Lusk Brooke and Zoe G Quinn is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License

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