The Pine Island Glacier is about to calve another monster iceberg

This is doubly worrisome on the heels of the recent UN climate change report, which gave humanity an urgent deadline to cut carbon emissions: just 12 years.

  • It's the same glacier that calved in September 2017, losing an iceberg 4.5 times the size of Manhattan.
  • The size of this one, however, is about 15% bigger than the last. It's the sixth large-calving event from this glacier since 2001.
  • The irreversible collapse of the West Antarctic ice sheet would raise sea levels 20 feet, says the UN.

The Pine Island Glacier (a.k.a. PIG)

Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images.

The area of the iceberg poised to calve off the Pine Island Glacier is about 115 square miles, or 300 square kilometers.

About one year ago, in Antarctica, the Pine Island Glacier calved an iceberg about 100 sq. miles in size—4.5x the size of Manhattan.

It's about to do it again—and this one is 15% bigger than the last, at 115 square miles.

"As the planet warms from 1.5°C to 2°C, the risks grow rapidly for some very dangerous tipping points, including the irreversible collapse of the West Antarctic ice sheet (which would raise sea levels 20 feet)," reads the UN's recent IPCC Report.

It's doubly (trebly?!) worrisome on the heels of the above UN IPCC report, which basically tells us we're screwed unless we take drastic action—and, I mean drastic—in order to curb emissions and slow the inexorable drift into an Earth that looks like one of those terrifying science fiction novels.

A 19-mile-long (30 kilometers) rift is splintering across the ice sheet

That's the 2017 calving, in a GIF created by Stef Lhermitte.

If the West Antarctic ice sheet collapses, it will mean a 20-foot rise in sea levels. And it will release twice as much carbon into the atmosphere as exists today.

The fact that the United States has gone the opposite direction, abandoning the Paris Accord and even calculating a rise of 7 degrees (F) as acceptable and even inevitable when working on new automobile emission standards is contributing to a looming climate change catastrophe by 2040.

Vote like your lives depend on it, folks.

Because they do.

Should you defend the free speech rights of neo-Nazis?

Former president of the ACLU Nadine Strossen discusses whether our society should always defend free speech rights, even for groups who would oppose such rights.

Sponsored by Charles Koch Foundation
  • Former ACLU president Nadine Strossen understands that protecting free speech rights isn't always a straightforward proposition.
  • In this video, Strossen describes the reasoning behind why the ACLU defended the free speech rights of neo-Nazis in Skokie, Illinois, 1977.
  • The opinions expressed in this video do not necessarily reflect the views of the Charles Koch Foundation, which encourages the expression of diverse viewpoints within a culture of civil discourse and mutual respect.
Keep reading Show less

Moon mission 2.0: What humanity will learn by going back to the Moon

Going back to the moon will give us fresh insights about the creation of our solar system.

Videos
  • July 2019 marks the 50th anniversary of the moon landing — Apollo 11.
  • Today, we have a strong scientific case for returning to the moon: the original rock samples that we took from the moon revolutionized our view of how Earth and the solar system formed. We could now glean even more insights with fresh, nonchemically-altered samples.
  • NASA plans to send humans to a crater in the South Pole of the moon because it's safer there, and would allow for better communications with people back on Earth.

Top vets urge dog lovers to stop buying pugs and bulldogs

Pugs and bulldogs are incredibly trendy, but experts have massive animal welfare concerns about these genetically manipulated breeds. 

Photo by terriermandotcom.blogspot.com
popular
  • Pugs, Frenchies, boxers, shih-tzus and other flat-faced dog breeds have been trending for at least the last decade.
  • Higher visibility (usually in a celebrity's handbag), an increase in city living (smaller dogs for smaller homes), and possibly even the fine acting of Frank the Pug in 1997's Men in Black may be the cause.
  • These small, specialty pure breeds are seen as the pinnacle of cuteness – they have friendly personalities, endearing odd looks, and are perfect for Stranger Things video montages.
Keep reading Show less

U.S. Air Force warns UFO enthusiasts against storming Area 51

Jokesters and serious Area 51 raiders would be met with military force.

Politics & Current Affairs
  • Facebook joke event to "raid Area 51" has already gained 1,000,000 "going" attendees.
  • The U.S. Air Force has issued an official warning to potential "raiders."
  • If anyone actually tries to storm an American military base, the use of deadly force is authorized.
Keep reading Show less