In the powerpoint presentation given by Dr. Harold Wanless, chairman of the Department of Geologic Sciences at the University of Miami, there is one slide that shows the bottom contour of the Kanja fiord. Dr. Wanless' core samples of sea water bottom reveal a past history of sea level rise that defy the common logic of linear, small increases over time. The geologic record shows that sea level rise occurs over time, in a series of rapid pulses. One likely explanation is what is happening under the Kanja fiord, where a shelf, several hundred meters high, effectively blocks the path of the largest pieces of the glacial icebergs. The theory is that eventually, under massive pressure of moving ice, this underwater shelf bursts open, releasing a torrent of ice.
The megacities of China and India, of Western Europe and the Americas, are combusting fossil fuels and changing the planet. The gases from livestock to feed the world's billions are changing the planet. The melting permafrost, releasing vast stored methane gas, is changing the planet. Whether our coastal cities survive might depend on a granite shelf beneath the Kanja ford only a few hundred meters high. I am in Ilulissat, one more day.