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Wednesday, May 14, 2014

NASA video conference on collapsing West Antarctic Ice Sheet (h/t Rantman)

The NASA press conference offers a fascinating background for the news clips appearing in mainstream news media.   For a serious look at the future, this is an excellent climate science Q & A.   Now, we know how bad sea level rise will be, and now we know roughly when - roughly 3 feet by the year 2100.  With more continuing thereafter. 

The World has known of melting polar caps for a good many years.  However, these new studies are from direct scientific observation of the ice changes, and not computer modeling.    It's no longer climate conjecture.   Interesting to hear scientists address fine points of language to describe ice cap changes, such as preferring terms like "unstoppable retreat" but avoiding the word "collapse".    Also fascinating to hear science journalists press their questions - example starting at 56:00 .   Such as asking 
do "carbon emissions have the effect? ...or is it a natural process ?"    In their convoluted answer, climate scientists show their lack of media savvy -  missing is a short, clear answer.

The NASA video press conference is Q&A with major media, scientists talk over visual graphics:

Streamed live on May 12, 2014
NASA will host a media teleconference to discuss new research results on the stability of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet and its potential contribution to future sea level rise.

The briefing participants are:
-- Eric Rignot, professor of Earth system science at the University of California, Irvine, and glaciologist at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California;
-- Sridhar Anandakrishnan, professor of geosciences at Pennsylvania State University, University Park; and,
-- Tom Wagner, cryosphere program scientist with the Earth Science Division of NASA's Science Mission Directorate in Washington.

NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory invites you to watch live and chat about everything from Mars rovers to monitoring asteroids to cool cosmic discoveries. From the lab to the lecture hall, get information directly from scientists and engineers working on NASA's latest missions.

A quick summary video shows it is inexorable, like a melting frozen water clock.   Water moves down to the sea.  But we don't know how fast and how soon.    

This 2 min NASA video is concise
Published on May 12, 2014
Glaciologist Eric Rignot of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory and the University of California, Irvine, narrates this animation depicting the processes leading to the decline of six rapidly melting glaciers in West Antarctica. A new study by Rignot and others finds the rapidly melting section of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet appears to be in an irreversible state of decline, with nothing to stop the glaciers in this area from melting into the sea. Full press release at:

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