sea level rise

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.

Hurricane Florence to cause "unbelievable destruction" in Carolinas

Photo: Alexander Gerst/NASA via Twitter

Hurricane Florence is taking aim squarely at the Carolinas — with North Carolina in the crosshairs first on Thursday through early Saturday, followed by South Carolina and possibly Georgia. The maximum sustained winds have weakened, and Florence is now expected to approach the coast as a Category 2 storm.

The bottom line: An unusual mix of weather systems across the U.S. will force Florence to hit the brakes as it nears the coast, somewhere close to the border of the Carolinas. It is likely to be the strongest hurricane to hit the coast in at least 25 years.