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New Warnings On Rising Seas46:18Download

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With guest host Jane Clayson.

A big new warning that sea levels may be rising even faster than we thought. As much as six feet by the end of this century. We’ll look at the impact on coastal cities world-wide.

In this photo taken Friday Jan. 3, 2014 heavy surf breaks over the seawall during a winter storm, Hampton, N.H. (AP Photo/Jim Cole/FILE)
In this photo taken Friday Jan. 3, 2014 heavy surf breaks over the seawall during a winter storm, Hampton, N.H. (AP Photo/Jim Cole/FILE)

Six feet of sea level rise by 2100. It seems unfathomable. A big new study, sophisticated new computer modeling shows that this could indeed be where we’re headed. Some of the planet’s biggest cities drowning. Can we innovate our way out of this? We’ve got the biggest minds in the field gaming out solutions: carbon-scrubbing, rebuilding the glaciers, making it snow above Antarctica. This hour On Point, stopping the rising calamity.
-- Jane Clayson

Guests

Rob DeConto, climatology professor in the department of geosciences at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

Ben Strauss, vice president for sea level and climate impacts at Climate Central. (@ben_strauss)

Robert Socolow, co-director of the Carbon Mitigation Initiative at the Princeton Environmental Institute at Princeton University, where he is also professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering.

From The Reading List

Nature: Contribution of Antarctica to past and future sea-level rise — "Antarctica has the potential to contribute more than a metre of sea-level rise by 2100 and more than 15 metres by 2500, if emissions continue unabated. In this case atmospheric warming will soon become the dominant driver of ice loss, but prolonged ocean warming will delay its recovery for thousands of years."

New York Times: Climate Model Predicts West Antarctic Ice Sheet Could Melt Rapidly -- "Continued high emissions of heat-trapping gases could launch a disintegration of the ice sheet within decades, according to a study published Wednesday, heaving enough water into the ocean to raise the sea level as much as three feet by the end of this century. With ice melting in other regions, too, the total rise of the sea could reach five or six feet by 2100, the researchers found. That is roughly twice the increase reported as a plausible worst-case scenario by a United Nations panel just three years ago, and so high it would likely provoke a profound crisis within the lifetimes of children being born today."

Climate Central: Antarctica at Risk of Runaway Melting, Scientists Discover -- "The world’s greatest reservoir of ice is verging on a breakdown that could push seas to heights not experienced since prehistoric times, drowning dense coastal neighborhoods during the decades ahead, new computer models have shown."

This program aired on April 4, 2016.

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