Interview of the Week: Jon White, RADM (Ret.) and CEO Consortium for Ocean Leadership
(From Our Daily Planet/ By Monica Medina and Miro Korenha)
February 1, 2019 — Jon White had a 32-year career in the Navy, rising to its chief meteorologist and oceanographer before his 2016 appointment to lead the Consortium. We asked him about the recent news of the impact ocean warming is having on our planet’s climate.
ODP: There have been several studies in recent weeks about the oceans warming faster than we thought, and unprecedented melting in Greenland and in the Antarctic. Is this news as bad as it sounds?
JW: Yes, or maybe worse. Observed trends associated with ocean warming and glacial ice melt across the planet consistently exceed most expectations and predictions, thus there is good reason to believe we are underestimating the pace (and impact) of change. Other changes and effects across our oceanic planet, such as the massive bleaching of coral reefs, are also indicative that we are “shooting behind the fish” as we try to capture, model, and predict the complex, interrelated processes changing our climate and our ocean at an alarming pace.
ODP: Which will have more of an impact on the U.S. in your view — the Greenland ice sheets melting or the Antarctic ice melting?
JW: Near-term (next 20 years) – the Greenland ice sheet. Based on current observations and understanding, the influence of rapidly warming Arctic waters and associated (northern) polar atmospheric changes are causing melting of Greenland ice at a rate much faster than that on the (much larger) continent of Antarctica. Sea-level rise from ongoing Greenland ice melt, as well as associated changes to weather patterns, will dramatically impact the U.S. coastal areas and much, much more (think droughts, fires, floods, catastrophic storms, etc.). After that, if…
Read the full article here: https://www.ourdailyplanet.com/story/interview-of-the-week-jon-white-ceo-and-president-consortium-for-ocean-leadership/