How Abu Dhabi will help save the world from disaster

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The National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded a five-year grant to experts in the UAE and US to research rising sea levels.

The $2.1m funding (approximately AED 7.7m) will help scientists to understand the forces behind sea level changes and to create credible projections over future changes and the effects of climate change.

As part of the research, New York University (NYU) Abu Dhabi’s Center for Global Sea Level Change, together with NYU’s Environmental Fluid Dynamics Laboratory, will provide instrumentation and expertise to study the Thwaites Glacier that makes up part of the Western Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS).

The grant is part of the newly announced International Thwaites Glacier Collaboration that’s headed by the UK’s Natural Environment Research Council and NSF.

Key to research is determining when the ice sheet’s collapse will take place, an event projected to result in a global sea level increase of ten feet.

David Holland, professor at the Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences and director  of NYU’s Environmental Fluid Dynamics Laboratory and NYU Abu Dhabi’s Center for Global Sea Level Change, and oceanographer Keith Nicholls of the British Antarctic Survey, will lead the research.

Holland explained: “The Thwaites system as a whole is not sufficiently well understood, exposing a significant gap in our knowledge of the particulars of WAIS retreat, the impact of oceans on its vulnerability and the larger consequences for sea levels.”

For more information, visit: nsf.gov

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