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Antarctic Ice Shelves And Global Dynamics47:32Download

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The crack in the Antarctic ice shelf grows by 11 miles. We’ll look at what’s coming, and talk with physicist Helen Czerski about the dynamics of the world around us.

This Nov. 10, 2016 aerial photo released by NASA, shows a rift in the Antarctic Peninsula's Larsen C ice shelf. According to NASA, IceBridge scientists measured the Larsen C fracture to be about 70 miles long, more than 300 feet wide and about a third of a mile deep. (John Sonntag/NASA via AP)
This Nov. 10, 2016 aerial photo released by NASA, shows a rift in the Antarctic Peninsula's Larsen C ice shelf. According to NASA, IceBridge scientists measured the Larsen C fracture to be about 70 miles long, more than 300 feet wide and about a third of a mile deep. (John Sonntag/NASA via AP)

It’s a world of physics out there. Immutable laws and amazing interactions. And we are part of it. Look right now at the huge stretch of ice dangling off the Antarctic. If it goes, a whole chain of physics kicks in that could rock your world. Physicist Helen Czerski says you don’t have to look to the South Pole to see the laws of physics unfolding. Just look in your teacup, at your cellphone, at a ketchup bottle. This hour On Point, the Antarctic ice shelf, and the physics of everyday life. — Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Andrea Thompson, senior science writer at Climate Central. (@andreatweather)

Daniel McGrath, geophysicist and glaciologist at Colorado State University.

Helen Czerski, physicist at University College London. Author of the new book, "Storm in a Teacup: The Physics of Everyday Life." BBC presenter and science columnist. (@helenczerski)

From Tom’s Reading List

Climate Central: Large Iceberg Poised to Break Off From Antarctica — "A rift that has been wending its way across Antarctica’s massive Larsen C ice shelf just made another leap forward, growing by more than 10 miles, scientists monitoring it reported Thursday.  Now, a chunk of ice bigger than New York's Long Island is hanging on by a relative thread. When it breaks off — possibly very soon — it could put the ice shelf in a more precarious position that could eventually lead it to disintegrate. That could contributie further to the global sea level rise that is threatening the many populous cities that lie within a few miles of the world’s coasts."

National Geographic: These Simple Laws Explain How the World Works — "Bubbles are the unsung heroes of the physical world. They’re everywhere, doing very useful things. No one pays attention to them, but they’re important because a bubble, which is made up of a liquid and a gas, can do things that the liquid and the gas, each individually, can’t do."

The Guardian: Physics For First-Timers — "Helen Czerski’s engaging debut book seeks to demystify physics in everyday life, so whether you know your refraction from your reflection, or find the entire subject incomprehensible, this should be an invaluable primer.

Read An Excerpt Of "Storm in a Teacup" By Helen Czerski

This program aired on January 10, 2017.

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