Sea levels will rise an additional three feet by 2100 due to the collapse of the West Antarctica ice sheet. But the fevered news coverage over the last week reflects a difference between scientific and more public understandings of the word ‘collapse’, Dimick writes.
“To those who study these things, a melt like this, even over a thousand years, amounts to sudden change, even if it might not seem that way to people who think in terms of human generations or news headlines.”
Dimick strikes a nice balance in this very thoughtful opinion piece, calming the immediate panic while still sounding a clarion call for action on climate change. “As long as we are considering melting ice, we need to consider the cause,” he writes. “This is about connections: The choices we make with energy, land use, farming, and other activities that contribute to climate change can affect what happens far away, in places like Antarctica or Greenland where ice sheets are melting.” (h/t Axel Enuset for spotting this item)