The Doomsday Glacier

In the farthest reaches of Antarctica, a nightmare scenario of crumbling ice – and rapidly rising seas – could spell disaster for a warming planet.

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Media Outlet: Rolling Stone

Jeff Goodell wrote a long-form piece for Rolling Stone about the instability of the Thwaites Glacier (a chunk of ice the size of Pennsylvania) in West Antarctica:

In the end, no one can say exactly how much longer the West Antarctica glaciers will remain stable. "We just don't know what the upper boundary is for how fast this can happen," Alley says, sounding a bit spooked. "We are dealing with an event that no human has ever witnessed before. We have no analogue for this." But it is clear that thanks to our 200-year-long fossil-fuel binge, the collapse of West Antarctica is already underway, and every Miami Beach condo owner and Bangladeshi farmer is living at the mercy of ice physics right now. Alley himself would never put it this way, but in West Antarctica, scientists have discovered the engine of catastrophe.

Author:

Jeff Goodell was a Class of 2016 & 2017 New America Fellow, working on a book about the impact of sea level rise on Miami, and other cities around the world. He is a contributing editor at Rolling Stone and the author of five books.