[ skip to content ]

'Hipboot' Scientists to Deliver Warning at ODU about Rising Seas

Two visiting scientists will present evidence at Old Dominion University on Wednesday, Oct. 28, warning that polar ice melting and corresponding sea-level rise this century may exceed the estimates of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

James White, professor of geological sciences at the University of Colorado, and Robert Bindschadler, a NASA scientist, will speak at 10 a.m. in the first floor auditorium of the E. V. Williams Engineering and Computational Sciences Building. Both scientists are active in research involving rates of melting of polar ice.

The event is free and open to the public. It is sponsored by the Norfolk-based Wetlands Watch organization with support from the ODU College of Sciences.

Also a member of the visiting panel will be Brooks Yeager, a deputy assistant secretary of state under President Clinton who now is executive vice president for policy of the non-profit organization Clean Air-Cool Planet (CA-CP). The organization, which runs the Climate Policy Center and is dedicated solely to addressing the global warming problem, organized a tour by White and Bindschadler.

These visits to Atlantic coast localities that would be hard hit by rising seawater have been dubbed the "Hipboot Tour."

White, a specialist in global-scale climate and environmental dynamics, is chair of the National Academy of Sciences' Polar Research Board. He was an author of the paper "High-Resolution Greenland Ice Core Data Show Abrupt Climate Change Happens in Few Years" that appeared in August 2008 in Science magazine.

Findings of research in Greenland and Antarctica will be included in the evidence the scientists give forecasting an alarming rise in sea level by 2100. The recent IPCC report estimated the rise for Virginia at 2.5 feet. White and Bindshadler, who is a senior fellow at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, believe this estimate should be raised, and perhaps doubled.

Skip Stiles, executive director of Wetlands Watch, also will present a brief report on past sea-level rise in eastern Virginia, and on potential risks this century from a dramatic rise.

The 2009 State of the Region report from ODU's Regional Studies Institute has a chapter, "Climate Change, Global Warming and Ocean Levels in Hampton Roads," calling for action now that could minimize future damage from rising waters.  

This article was posted on: October 27, 2009

Old Dominion University
Office of University Relations

Room 100 Koch Hall Norfolk, Virginia 23529-0018
Telephone: 757-683-3114

Old Dominion University is an equal opportunity, affirmative action institution.