People all over the world have been saying, “When Antarctica melts then I will believe in Global Warming”. Well it is melting!
Yah I know Nobody Ever Said That. I thought it was a cool lead, or as they say cool lede, now. AND I know Antarctica is hard to care about. It’s just like Greenland. So what if it melts. I live in the mid west. When we flood, the world will really be flooded. No Florida, no Louisiana, no Southern Georgia, and no Southern Alabama and Mississippi. AND no Beaches.
Journey to Antarctica: Is This What a Climate Catastrophe Looks Like in Real Time?
Scientists aboard the Nathaniel B. Palmer watched a 25-mile-wide section of ice crumble into the sea.
- Jeff Goodell
This is a dispatch in a series from Jeff Goodell, who was aboard the Nathaniel B. Palmer in Antarctica in 2019 , investigating the effect of climate change on Thwaites glacier.
Yesterday, the Nathaniel B. Palmer left Antarctica behind and made the turn toward home. The last science experiments were completed, and the ship headed north, toward Punta Arenas, Chile, where our two-month journey will end. Scientists on board are packing up equipment and writing rough drafts of papers based on discoveries they made during our adventure into uncharted waters around Thwaites glacier. But an almost existential question looms above it all: Did we just witness what amounts to a climate catastrophe playing out in real time?
On March 3rd, 2019, Bastien Queste, an oceanographer at the University of East Anglia who is a key member of the science team aboard the ship, got a WhatsApp message from a colleague back in the UK. She had sent him a satellite image of Thwaites glacier and the surrounding region in West Antarctica. At the time, we had just completed our own close encounter with the awesome craggy blue glacier and were only a few miles away, mapping the seabed in front of the glacier with the ship’s sonar device.
Go there and cry. More next week.