Sunday, October 27, 2019 - 3:30pm to 4:30pm
Far from State College, the West Antarctic ice sheet holds the future of the world's coastal cities in its icy grip. Will Thwaites Glacier unzip, as Greenland's Jakobshavn Glacier did in the 1990s? Will it disintegrate like the Larsen B Ice Shelf to its north? Richard Alley and other glaciologists are intensively monitoring and modeling ice sheets around the world to understand their complex dynamics and help the world's leaders understand the complex uncertainties around sea-level rise — which could total as much as 11 feet in a few decades with the crumbling of the West Antarctic ice sheet. Alley will share the latest evidence from the field and explain why, as a scientist working on phenomena that portend possible global catastrophe, he finds reason for optimism.
Early melt on the Greenland Ice Sheet 2016. Image: NASA