Is Earth d**med? AGU scientist Jason Box wants to know

Credit where credit is due: Brilliant story on this year's AGU by Jonathan Mingle in Slate

Many of us have wondered at some point in almost precisely these terms: “Is Earth F**ked?” But it’s not the sort of frank query you expect an expert in geomorphology to pose to his colleagues as the title of a formal presentation at one of the world’s largest scientific gatherings.

Dare you not to read the rest

Spoiler: The blunt-spoken scientist wants to save his beloved Greenland

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At the conference the idea that the heat wave that melted 97% of Greenland's ice sheet in five days this July came up, and its similiarity to other heat waves, in this country in the Midwest especially.  

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  1. Brad

    Hey Kit,

    I just want to add a clarification here: 97% of the SURFACE of the Greenland ice sheet showed melting, not 97% of the entire sheet. If that were to happen we would be looking at about 21 feet of sea level rise…have a nice day!

    Brad

    December 10, 2012
  2. Brad

    Yes, absolutely it’s significant. Now the JPL press release you linked to reported that these types of melting events occur about once every 150 years. If this turns out to be the new normal instead of just once-every-150-years, and it happens again and again in the next few years, well that will be really scary–all that meltwater transports heat down into the ice and also can lubricate the bottom. As James Hansen has pointed out, while the disintegration of ice sheets does not happen over night or even in a few years, it is a non-linear process that happens much faster than the build-up.

    December 10, 2012