Burn: An Energy Journal – Rising Seas

You know all that abundant, dirt-cheap fossil fuel that's spurred the spectacular development of modern society? Turns out it's not as cheap as we thought.

Hydrocarbon energy releases enormous amounts of heat-trapping gases into the atmosphere, and the Earth's oceans absorb about 80 percent of that heat. That means sea levels are rising, and they'll continue to rise for hundreds of years to come.

While all coastal cities face real trouble, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development says Miami is the most vulnerable in its assessment of threats to 50 major cities worldwide. Parts of Miami will be permanently flooded in as few as 15 years.

BURN host Alex Chadwick talks with people deeply involved in the issues of how and when sea-level rise will begin to inundate Miami, as well as the reasons why waters are rising so quickly along the Atlantic seaboard of North America. To get firsthand reports on the rapidly melting ice sheets of Greenland (a significant cause of sea-level rise), BURN sends Neal Conan, former NPR host and reporter, with Gretel Ehrlich, longtime Greenland explorer and writer, to Greenland to meet with leading researchers.

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