How are melting ice sheets causing sea level rise and what can we do about it? The ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica, along with glaciers and ice caps around the world, are melting faster than anticipated as a result of climate change caused by greenhouse gases from human activities. This rapid evolution--resulting from complex interactions between the atmosphere, the ocean, and ice--has been captured in great detail by a growing body of observational platforms that include satellites, aircraft, underwater floats, and autonomous gliders.
In this public lecture, Dr. Eric Rignot will cover how and why the ice sheets are melting and what we can do about it. Practical solutions exist that are economically viable and ethically desirable, including transforming our energy production system and developing scalable carbon sequestration strategies. At stake is whether the world will be irreversibly committed to a multiple meter rise in sea level with potentially catastrophic consequences.
The talk is part of Space Science Week 2019—a three-day gathering of five subcommittees of the Space Studies Board, the Aeronautics and Space Engineering Board, and the Board on Physics and Astronomy to discuss issues and advances in their fields.