Large part of West Antarctic Ice Sheet is in “irreversible retreat”

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Not the sort of news I enjoy sharing.

From today’s New York Times:

A large section of the mighty West Antarctica ice sheet has begun falling apart and its continued melting now appears to be unstoppable, two groups of scientists reported on Monday.

….”Today we present observational evidence that a large sector of the West Antarctic ice sheet has gone into irreversible retreat,” Dr. Rignot said in the NASA news conference. “It has passed the point of no return.”

Here is a primer on this development from the NASA Jet Propulsion Lab
and
here is the lab’s press release.

I located two helpful videos released today from NASA J.P.L. as well.

This one is only 2 minutes and 13 seconds and offers some helpful graphics to show you where and how the warming waters are undercutting the glaciers in question.

Below is a 1 hour and 13 minute recording of a press conference that the researchers delivered today. From 0 to 4:41 you’ll hear hold music – then the conference begins.

“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.”

I’m listening to it now.
Will add notes to this later.

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