Antarctic Ice Sheet Melt Speeding Up


Antarctica’s ice sheet is melting 3 times faster than before

A new study suggests a section of glaciers in Antarctica is melting faster than expected.



The melting of Antarctica is accelerating at an alarming rate, with about 3 trillion tons of ice disappearing since 1992, an international team of ice experts said in a new study.

In the last quarter century, the southern-most continent’s ice sheet – a key indicator of climate change – melted into enough water to cover Texas to a depth of nearly 13 feet (4 meters), scientists calculated. All that water made global oceans rise about three-tenths of an inch (7.6 millimeters).

From 1992 to 2011, Antarctica lost nearly 84 billion tons of ice a year (76 billion metric tons). From 2012 to 2017, the melt rate increased to more than 241 billion tons a year (219 billion metric tons), according to the study Wednesday in the journal Nature .

“I think we should be worried. That doesn’t mean we should be desperate,” said University of California Irvine’s Isabella Velicogna, one of 88 co-authors. “Things are happening. They are happening faster than we expected.”

Part of West Antarctica, where most of the melting occurred, “is in a state of collapse,” said co-author Ian Joughin of the University of Washington.

The study is the second of assessments planned every several years by a team of scientists working with NASA and the European Space Agency. Their mission is to produce the most comprehensive look at what’s happening to the world’s vulnerable ice sheets in Antarctica and Greenland.

Outside experts praised the work as authoritative.

Unlike single-measurement studies, this team looks at ice loss in 24 different ways using 10 to 15 satellites, as well as ground and air measurements and computer simulations, said lead author Andrew Shepherd of the University of Leeds in England.

It’s possible that Antarctica alone can add about half a foot (16 centimeters) to sea level rise by the end of the century, Shepherd said. Seas also rise from melting land glaciers elsewhere, Greenland’s dwindling ice sheet and the fact that warmer water expands.

“Under natural conditions we don’t expect the ice sheet to lose ice at all,” Shepherd said. “There are no other plausible signals to be driving this other than climate change.”

Shepherd cautioned that this is not a formal study that determines human fingerprints on climate events.

Forces “that are driving these changes are not going to get any better in a warming climate,” said University of Colorado ice scientist Waleed Abdalati, a former NASA chief scientist who wasn’t part of the study team.

In Antarctica, it’s mostly warmer water causing the melt. The water nibbles at the floating edges of ice sheets from below. Warming of the southern ocean is connected to shifting winds, which are connected to global warming from the burning of coal, oil and natural gas, Shepherd said.

More than 70 percent of the recent melt is in West Antarctica.

The latest figures show East Antarctica is losing relatively little ice a year – about 31 tons (28 metric tons) – since 2012. It was gaining ice before 2012.

So far scientists are not comfortable saying the trend in East Antarctica will continue. It is likely natural variability, not climate change, and East Antarctica is probably going to be stable for a couple decades, said study co-author Joughin.

Another study in Nature on Wednesday found that East Antarctic ice sheet didn’t retreat significantly 2 million to 5 million years ago when heat-trapping carbon dioxide levels were similar to what they are now.

Twila Moon, a research scientist at the National Snow and Ice Data Center who wasn’t part of the studies, said “ice-speaking, the situation is dire.”


Posted in In the News

Mon June 18 5:30 picket Cuomo on fossil fuels at the Plaza

Picket Cuomo – Off Fossil Fuels!


Monday, June 18

5:30 – 7:00 pm


The Plaza Hotel

768 Fifth Avenue, Manhattan

Governor Cuomo is holding a fundraiser in Manhattan — and we’ll be there, urging him to move New York off fossil fuels.

The fundraiser’s theme is the “Best of Broadway,” but we’ll be singing a different tune, demanding that Cuomo halt oil & gas projects and shift to 100 percent renewable energy.

We’ll be calling on Cuomo to walk the talk and be a true climate leader by stopping all fossil fuel pipelines, power plants, and other infrastructure and transitioning to renewable energy now!

Co-sponsoring organizations include: New York Communities for Change, Rise and Resist, Sane Energy Project, Food & Water Watch, 350Brooklyn, 350NYC, NY Renews, New York Energy Democracy Alliance, Mothers Out Front – NYC, Fossil Free – NYC, United for Action, Peoples Climate Movement – New York, Fossil Free

Posted in Uncategorized

The Guardian Reports China’s Green Shift Progress

China’s Green Shift is Positioning it to Overtake US in Energy Technology, Security

The Guardian reports that air pollution in 62 Chinese cities fell by 30% between 2013 and 2016, according to the World Health Organization. Beijing, the capital, fell from a global 4th place ranking on polluted air to 187th. … These are astonishing statistics for one of the world’s two largest economies. “
He concludes:

China put 680,000 electric vehicles on the road last year, and plans to be doing 2 million a year by 2020. These EVs will increasingly be fueled by renewable energy, reducing Chinese dependence on Saudi Arabia and Iran.

The turn to wind and solar is thus not only about the environment (though the Chinese government was increasingly facing urban protests if it did not clean up the air and switch from coal). It is also about energy security and the forging of new industries in which China can show its technological innovation chops. It can leverage its huge size and huge economy to become an invulnerable leader on energy and transportation, permanently replacing Detroit and ExxonMobil.

Trump’s America, in contrast, is wallowing in a 20th century hydrocarbon past, fast becoming a polluted, economic and technological dinosaur whose Department of Environmental Protection has been highjacked by a corrupt Oklahoma oilman for the purpose of running the country into the ground while Big Oil wrings every last penny from its pitiful stranded asset.”

Read all the details at:

Posted in In the News

NYC September People’s Climate March now September 6

The NYC climate action sponsored by Peoples Climate Movement will be on Thursday, Sept. 6 at 5:30 starting at Foley Square.  Why is NYC having our climate action 2 days before the rest of the world?  The  thinking is:  Sept 8 (the main global day of climate action) is the date of the NYC Labor Day Parade (the NYC Central Labor Council has ceded the actual Labor Day to the West Indian Day Parade and has, for many years now, had its Labor Day Parade on the following Saturday–this year it’s Sept 8) and it is a 4-day weekend for public schools and CUNY due to Rosh Hashsanah on Sept 10 & 11.  So that weekend is really not feasible for  a mass action.  But a warm Thursday night, right after the start of school might be a welcome time for a climate action. So please save the date.

Posted in Events

Activist letter to support NYC just retrofitting of buildings

Did you know that 70% of NYC’s massive climate pollution comes from oil and gas energy used to power buildings? Yes, much of that pollution is the result of wasted energy. For example, that moment during the winter when your apartment gets so hot that you have to open the windows to let the heat out.

Requiring all large buildings in NYC to upgrade to modern energy efficiency standards would create many thousands of good jobs and slash climate and air pollution. Let’s make it happen!

You are an activist! Click here to sign a community leaders’ letter to clean up #DirtyBuildings

Climate change is already hitting us with storms like Sandy and Maria, heat waves, and air pollution. Our communities need good jobs and clean air. By getting New York City to require #DirtyBuildings to upgrade to high energy efficiency, NYC can take on its top source of climate and air pollution while creating thousands of good jobs. 

Of course, the super-powerful real estate industry and their lobbyists aren’t trying to make this easy!  They oppose legislation that would require #DirtyBuildings like Trump Tower (a high polluter) to clean up their acts.

That’s why we need activists and community leaders like you to sign this letter for New York City Council Speaker Corey Johnson, who has supported such legislation in the past.  We need Speaker Johnson and the Council to pass legislation now!

Click here now to sign a community leaders letter to clean up #DirtyBuildings

With your help, we can fight climate change and create good jobs.

Thanks for all you do,


Patrick Houston
Climate Organizer
New York Communities for Change

Posted in Announcements Tagged with: , ,

Environmental Justice Activism Opportunities May 17, 19 & 22

1. Thursday  May 17th  Meeting to start planning for 9/8 Climate action in NYC
12 noon-1:30 pm
25 west 18th Street in Manhattan:
 SEIU 32 BJ, auditorium B on the 5th floor
goal: to plan for the climate action here. They are taking place around the country  to influence  a planned San Francisco  Global Climate Summit involving the nations’ governors and mayors. The meeting is expected to tend to be too “corporate” in tone and the intention is to alert local  elected officials to the need to commit to polices that really help the environment and working people and local communities.  Points needing discussion include the fact that the labor day parade happens on Sept 8th and that a primary happens shortly thereafter.  In other words nitty gritty problems that need open and  nuanced discussion.
organizers: includes  institute for global communications and also a member of pscewg.
2. Saturday May 19th Sustainable Harlem 
Drew Hamilton Community Center 320 west 143rd Street
goal: to discuss ways to make Harlem healthier, cleaner and more eco-friendly; Brooklyn Boro President will speak.
  sponsors: many official and organizational sponsors
3, Tuesday May 22: Just Transition to a more climate friendly economy and society


638 east 6th Street NYNY 10009

Goal To discuss means of pushing for climate friendly policies that will take the needs of working people and low income residents  into account. The desire is for strategies to influence at the state and federal level.
sponsors: seem to include NYRenews, NYSNA ( a nursing organization), NYC.DSA, and others
Posted in Announcements, Events

2018 EcoCinema Cafe Marathon Film Festival

Join us at the 2018 EcoCinema Cafe Marathon Film Festival
5th Annual EcoCinema Cafe Film Festival Website

John Jay College of Criminal Justice, 524 W. 59th St, NY, NY 10019

Tues, April 24 through Thurs, April 26, 2018
Daytime films are in the Student Dining Hall

Free and open to the public

Free Tickets – 


Films in blue are set. Films in red may be changed according to the requests of the audience.

Posted in Announcements, Events, In the News Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , ,

Eco Art and Design Student Works

    After keeping a consumption journal for 1 day (either by photographing every item they threw in the trash, or by writing names of each item), Prof. Milena Popov’s ART 191: Eco Art and Design students have created these artworks to show their one day consumption. These artworks are inspired by Tim Gaudreau’s art project Self-portrait as Revealed by Trash: 365 days of photographing everything I threw out that can be seen at:


See Danielle Evans’ video project here:

Other Works Below:

 Donauta Watson Starcevic



Janine Comodo



Posted in Uncategorized

Field Trip with SUS 300

Students from the SUS 300 and their professor Popov went on 9/28/2017 on a boat ride with East River Ferry to evaluate the vulnerability of the New York City’s waterfront and to brainstorm what needs to done to protected the city from the rising sea levels and future hurricanes.

Posted in Uncategorized

Field Trip with SUS 200

Prof. Popov and her SUS 200 students went on September 26, 2017 to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden to experience and explore different climates along with corresponding plant habitats and adaptations around the world. Beside making observations, students were brainstorming changes that climate change will have on these habitats and how existing plant adaptations can be used in the upcoming changes.

Posted in Uncategorized


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