I bagged a long sought after interview late last March, with Jeff Severinghaus (we have a connection I’ll explain tomorrow) of Scripps Oceanographic Institute.
Big Ice guy.

Jeff has some current research that I’ll be examining in coming videos, but as I spoke to Jeff he was just returning from a stay in Antarctica, so I asked him to summarize the best assessments.

Then of course, Covid hit, and my county in Michigan got devastated by a dam failure, and a whole load of the madness that is 2020 got in the way – but I finally came back around to this.
I matched Jeff’s clips with some from Richard Alley and Eric Rignot, well known to readers here. They spoke to me in New Orleans in 2017.

I had also talked to Susheel Adusumilli, also of Scripps, and I featured prominently the new work from Stef Lhermitte, of Delft University of Technology. Then I wrapped it with a summary from Twila Moon of the National Snow and Ice Data Center.
My Yale Climate Connections colleague Karen Kirk also had a pass at this research as well, her @CC_Yale piece:

Karen Kirk in Yale Climate Connections:


Climate researchers have long monitored ice sheet dynamics in the Amundsen Sea, focusing specifically on the Thwaites and Pine Island glaciers. The two sit side by side on Antarctica’s western peninsula covering an area roughly the size of nine U.S. coastal states stretching from Maine to Maryland. The two glaciers alone store ice that could account for about 4 feet (1.2 meters) of global sea level rise. Their “seaboard” location may help bring increased public attention and interest to the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, which if it melted could raise seas by a catastrophic 11 feet (3.4 meters).

An international effort led by the British Antarctic Survey recently published two papers (Hogan et al. and Jordan et al.) showing the first detailed maps of the seafloor at the edge of the Thwaites Glacier. The team mapped deep submarine channels that have been funneling warm water to this vulnerable location. High-resolution imagery pinpoints the pathways that allow warm water to undermine the ice shelf. Lead author Kelly Hogan of the British Antarctic Survey says the findings will improve estimates of sea-level rise from Thwaites Glacier. “We can go ahead and make those calculations about how much warm water can get under the ice and melt it,” Hogan said.

The other researchers, led by Stef Lhermitte, found stark visual confirmation of glacier disintegration using decades of time-lapse satellite imagery. Their work sheds light on the accelerating feedback process, wherein the rapid loss of ice is opening the door to ever-increasing melting.

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