Antarctica’s uncertain fuse,
A “weak underbelly,” said Hughes.
Pine Island and Thwaites,
Thrown open, the gates?
As humans, what path should we choose?
The East’s held strong millions of years,
Despite cries of wolf from some peers.
West into the sea,
Up one foot, or three?
Uncertainty some meet with sneers.
Below salty waves, ice is grounded …
In this case, we see fears are founded.
In our defense,
Some centuries hence,
I hope they’ll say reason resounded.
Scientists Warn of Rising Oceans From Polar Melt, Justin Gillis and Kenneth Chang, New York Times.
Marine Ice Sheet Collapse Potentially Underway for the Thwaites Glacier Basin, West Antarctica, Joughin et al., 2014, Science.
This is one in a series of poems based on science news, written by Katherine Allen, a researcher in geochemistry and paleoclimate at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory.