Antarctica Is Melting, and Here’s Why We Should Be Alarmed

All the news that's fit to fix for Tuesday, March 17.
Penguins in Antarctica. (Photo: Wolfgang Kaehler/Getty Images)
Mar 17, 2015· 1 MIN READ
TakePart Staff

Antarctica is melting more extensively than previously known, raising the possibility that sea levels will rise around the world. That’s a key takeaway of a new study published in Nature Geoscience, a peer-reviewed scientific journal. The study focuses on the Totten Glacier, which has the largest ice-thinning rate in East Antarctica. One culprit appears to be relatively warm ocean water seeping beneath Antarctica’s glaciers, causing ice to thin. Mainly because of gravity, melting Antarctic ice could cause sea levels to rise 11 feet globally. The Washington Post reports that sea levels around the U.S. could “rise 25 percent more than the global average.”

In other news…

Race Talk: Howard Schultz, Starbucks’ CEO, has launched a bold initiative that encourages the company’s baristas and other employees to talk about race with customers. (via Fortune)

Return of Gore: There’s talk that Al Gore, the former vice president and environment defender, should run for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination. (via Vox)

SAE: Most Americans surveyed agree with the University of Oklahoma’s decision to close its chapter of a fraternity whose members were recorded singing a racist song. Meanwhile, the university has hired a prominent Oklahoma attorney to handle issues in the case. (via The Huffington Post and NBC News)

Google: Eric Schmidt, Google’s executive chairman, is drawing criticism for over-talking Megan Smith, the U.S. government’s chief technology officer and a former Google executive. Ironically, the discussion was about racial and gender diversity in the tech industry. (via The Wall Street Journal)

Justice: A Louisiana man who wrongly spent more than three decades in prison for murder has been awarded $250,000. (via The New Orleans Advocate)

Profit: The for-profit bail industry—which basically keeps poor people incarcerated—is under scrutiny. (via The Atlantic)

Child Sex Traffic: The U.S. jails kids trapped in sex trafficking, violating federal and international human rights laws, advocates argue. (via Thomson Reuters Foundation)

Saint Patrick's Day: The debate continues about whether lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender groups should be included in Saint Patrick's Day parades and celebrations across the U.S. (via NBC News)