Summary of Geoengineer Polar Glaciers to Slow Sea-Level Rise

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Geoengineer Polar Glaciers to Slow Sea-Level Rise summary
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As it is becoming increasingly unlikely that drastic emissions reductions will avert accelerated climate change, humans will have to look for ways to ease the impacts of a warming planet. Chief among them are rising sea levels, which will threaten the livelihoods of millions of coastal dwellers around the world. In the journal Nature, a group of scientists outline how three proposed engineering projects in Greenland and Antarctica could stave off glacial melting. The authors make a convincing case that the potential risks of glacial geoengineering, if feasible, would be smaller than letting accelerated glacial melting run its course.

About the Authors

John C. Moore, Rupert Gladstone, Thomas Zwinger and Michael Wolovick are scientists specializing in climate change, geoscience and glaciology.

 

Summary

Slowing down glacial melting through geoengineering may help avert catastrophic sea-level rise due to global warming.

If average global temperatures increase by 2 degrees Celsius [3.6°F] by 2050, global sea levels will rise by about 20 centimeters on average. By 2100, sea levels around the world’s major coastal cities are projected to be more than one meter higher than today, displacing millions of people. The source of most of the water added to the world’s oceans will come from melting ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica. Some scientists are proposing ways to slow down the loss of ice sheets through geoengineering.

The Jakobshavn glacier in western Greenland would lend itself well to test the feasibility of glacial geoengineering.

The Jakobshavn glacier in western Greenland is retreating at a rapid pace. Warm water washing in from the Atlantic is causing rapid melting at the glacier’s base. To stem the influx of warm water, geoengineers suggest...


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