This tool shows you which cities will flood as ice sheets melt

Ice melting UN 2018

UN Photo/Mark Garten A view of icebergs in Ilulissat Icefjord Greenland, where the melting of ice sheets is accelerating.

This article is brought to you thanks to the strategic cooperation of The European Sting with the World Economic Forum.

Author: Whitney Leach, Formative Content

Forewarned is forearmed.

That seems to be the sentiment behind a new tool developed to identify the cities most at risk of flooding as the ice sheets melt.

The interactive tool, known as Gradient Fingerprint Mapping (GFM), was developed by scientists at NASA’s renowned Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California.

Their invention predicts which areas of ice may contribute to sea level changes in individual cities.

This provides researchers with unprecedented insight into which ice sheets (and cities) they should be “most worried about”.

The tool works by taking into account the Earth’s rotation and gravitational effects to paint a broader picture of how certain melting points impact cities. Users of the tool can then pick from 293 cities to see how melting ice structures might affect different coastal regions.

According to scientists involved in its development, what makes GFM particularly unique is its ability to pinpoint the areas of ice that might impact particular cities.

As Dr Eric Larour from NASA explains: “We can compute the exact sensitivity – for a specific town – of a sea level to every ice mass in the world.”

The predictions are not without their surprises, however. For instance, proximity is not the ultimate indicator of which glaciers should spark the most concern.

According to the researchers, New York City actually faces the biggest threat from Greenland’s northeast glaciers (those furthest away). By contrast, the northwestern region of Greenland’s ice sheet should be of most concern to Londoners.

The image shows the area of Greenland’s ice sheet that is of most concern to New York City. Red indicates the greatest sea level contribution.
Image: NASA/JPL-Caltech

With scientists projecting sea levels could rise two feet (0.6 metres) above 2005 levels by the end of the century – and a more recent study emphasizing the threat to coastal communities – the tool’s developers hope it will play a role in combating the effects of climate change.

As senior scientist Dr Erik Ivins explains, GFM enables coastal planners to make insightful decisions about how to confront rising sea levels.

Speaking to the BBC, Ivins said: “As cities and countries attempt to build plans to mitigate flooding, they have to be thinking about 100 years in the future and they want to assess risk in the same way that insurance companies do.”

the sting Milestones

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

‘Embrace the transformation’ to a carbon-neutral world by 2050, UN chief tells COP25

UN-based World Summit Award (WSA) presents its master list on digital innovation with impact on society from 24 countries

Syria: UN chief welcomes first aid convoy to Rukban camp since January, joint agency operation assists 50,000

How to put people at the heart of your company’s COVID-19 response

MWC 2016 LIVE: The top 5 themes of this year’s Mobile World Congress

Youth Parliament to finalise millennials´ priorities for future of the EU

‘Three-country crisis’ across central Sahel puts whole generation at risk, warns UN food agency

Chart of the Day: These are the world’s most innovative economies

Time to make a fundamental choice about the future of healthcare

Two rhythms and a sharpened pencil: how art can help us heal and make sense of the world

EP’s MFF negotiators disappointed by failure of EU budget summit

COVID-19 has shown us the true extent of global inequality. In 2021, let’s commit to ending it

Eurozone stagnates after exporting its recession to trading partners

Can climate change action lead to better inclusion?

How to make trade single windows more efficient with blockchain

Bankruptcy or referendum: which one is going to be first?

‘World has failed’ victims of genocide too often: Guterres

These innovations could keep us cool without warming the planet

We must treat cybersecurity as a public good. Here’s why

The Indian miracle state pointing the way to global sustainability

G20 LIVE: G20 leaders reaffirm OECD’s role in ensuring strong, sustainable and inclusive growth

EU trade agreements: delivering for Europe’s businesses

Digital democracy: a Swiss view on digital trust

South Africa’s SMEs should be first in line for a digital upgrade

Facts and prejudices about work

Coronavirus: Commission stands ready to continue supporting EU’s agri-food sector

Infringements: Commission adapts its calculation methodology for financial sanctions

Air pollution: How to end the deaths of 7 million people per year

The city of Quito just made commuting quicker and safer

ECB offers cheaper money despite reactions from Germany

The known truth of novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV)

Residents and visitors to this Dutch neighborhood could share a pool of cars and bikes

“Hasta la vista” Google says to Spain and now Europe is next?

The next EU President will first have to drink his tea at Downing Street

Leveraging digital for high quality internships

The moment of truth for global energy transition is here

What meat consumption has brought to the environment and how herbal diets can help human health

How to help companies become global defenders of LGBTI rights

We need a fresh approach to climate change migration. This is why

First-ever global conference of national counter-terrorism chiefs will strengthen cooperation, build ‘resilient’ States, says top UN official

Can we crack the hydrogen puzzle this time around?

India-UN fund gets 22 development projects off the ground in first year

UN chief pays tribute to the courage of DR Congo citizens, and the sacrifice of blue helmets

TTIP is not dead as of yet, the 15th round of negotiations in New York shouts

Japan should reform retirement policies to meet challenge of ageing workforce

International Women’s Day 2019: more equality, but change is too slow

Creating shared value: an opportunity and challenge for entrepreneurship

Reduce costs, save lives: how healthcare data can help emerging economies

These are the countries where most adults still don’t have a smartphone

Health professionals: the frontline in the fight against the Covid-19

Gender equality in STEM is possible. These countries prove it

The reskilling revolution can transform the future of work for women

How music can help children with autism connect

Peru is building a new international airport near Machu Picchu – and archaeologists are worried

There is no patient safety without healthcare workers’ safety

Eurozone: Retail sales and inflation point to recession

UN civil society conference to focus on sustainable solutions for challenges of urban life

This simple solution might help with one of the biggest challenges of working from home

Finance for SMEs: Alternative supply mechanisms do exist

Air pollution, the ‘silent killer’ that claims seven million lives a year: rights council hears

More Stings?

Advertising

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s