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00:00:00
>>
SOUND] E
rth's rising sea levels caught on camera as a massive iceberg breaks off Greenland's Helheim glacier and plunges into the ocean.>> That ice is equivalent to the volume or the size of lower Manhattan.>> This rarely seen half hour event, know as calving. Studied by scientists David Holland and his team earlier this year.
00:00:21
The aim to improve estimates of sea level rise.>> It's the accumulation of many events like that that can lead to a large significant global sea level of many fit perhaps in a century.>> As luck would have it, Reuters photographer Lucas Jackson was there to capture the remarkable events.
00:00:40
>> That was extremely benefitial for the scientists as well, because it's not often that you get a witnessing events of that size and scale. And that helps them to better understand not only what's happening on that glacier specifically, but to extrapolate that to glaciers worldwide. And what they can accomplish in a summer in Greenland could take them years to accomplish in Antarctica.
00:00:59
>> Jackson also spent time with NASA scientists on a five-year $30 million research mission dabbed OMG. That's short for Oceans Melting Greenland. A project looking at how warming oceans are melting ice sheets from below. According to a draft UN report by top climate scientists due next year, the rate of sea level rise is accelerating.
00:01:24
Estimates reviewed by Reuters put the likely rise between 13 inches and 4.3 feet by the year 2100. In another study last year, scientists say a rise in sea levels of 20 inches by that time would submerge land that is now home to tens of millions of people especially in China, Bangladesh and Vietnam.
00:01:45
And it all start with moment like this at both ends of the globe. In fact scientists worry that calving process under way in Greenland is happening on an even more disastrous scale in Antarctica.>> In my view, the real story of future sea level is locked in the western Antarctica ice sheet.
00:02:04
It's no different than this field. Warm ocean waters are eating away at West Antarctica.>> The UN reports suggest Antarctica alone could contribute to over a foot and a half of sea level rise this century, a process that could be irreversible.