Engineering Innovation Podcast and Radio Series

Slowing the Big Melt 1

PostedJanuary 24, 2016

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Anchor Lede: Despite this weekend’s snow, 2015 was the warmest year since records have been kept…and ice at Earth’s poles are melting, raising fears of damaging sea level rise.

Randy Atkins: Scientists say Earth’s large ice masses are both shrinking and breaking apart, due to warming oceans and air…and are contributing to rising sea levels.

Slawek Tulaczyk: This is a really, really serious issue.

Randy Atkins: Slawek Tulaczyk, is a glacial geologist at the University of California.

Slawek Tulaczyk: Even a foot or two or three submerges areas that are now heavily built up.

Randy Atkins: And some entire islands could even disappear. Tulaczyk says the consequences are both economic and ecological.

Slawek Tulaczyk: The next 50 to 100 years might be enough in terms of seal level rise to wipe out crucial and fragile ecosystems. And that’s why I’m willing to, you know, stick my neck out and talk about ideas that may cause a gag reflex.

Randy Atkins: Like building human-made systems in the polar regions to prevent melting. With the National Academy of Engineering, Randy Atkins, WTOP News.