Science

U.S. drug overdose deaths grew exponentially in 38 years

Adapted from Jalal et al., 2018, “Changing dynamics of the drug overdose epidemic in the United States from 1979 through 2016”; Chart: Chris Canipe/Axios

Deaths in America from drug overdoses have been growing exponentially for years — with an almost eerily consistent growth rate of about 9% per year for the past 38 years, despite the different types of drug epidemics and user demographics, scientists report in a new study published Thursday in Science.

Sea level rise: New study adds to worries about East Antarctica

Blocks of ice drift on the water off the coast of Collins glacier on King George Island, Antarctica on February 1, 2018.
Blocks of ice drift on the water off the coast of Collins glacier on King George Island, Antarctica on February 1, 2018. Photo: MATHILDE BELLENGER/AFP/Getty Images

A new study of the East Antarctic Ice Sheet's response to past warm periods has unsettling implications for the magnitude and timing of sea level rise as global warming continues. Until recently, most of scientists' concerns were about the instability of Greenland and the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, but that is starting to change.

Why it matters: The study, published Wednesday in the journal Nature, reveals the history of ice retreat and expansion in the Wilkes Subglacial Basin, in the southeastern corner of the East Antarctic Ice Sheet. The fate of the Antarctic Ice Sheet represents one of the largest uncertainties in climate science.