Video: Watch Our Planet's Ice Disappear

Watch this incredible video of the "recent" history of ice on our planet, from its long retreat after the Ice Age to the current rapid big melt.

A couple of engineers at the Zurich University of Applied Sciences created this visualization of shrinking glaciers, polar ice caps, and ice shelves, starting back 21,000 years ago (at the peak of the last Ice Age), and ending 1,000 years from now.


You'll see the slow retreat of the glaciers over thousands of years until the present day, when (at about 1:35 in the video), the Arctic ice cap disappears in a flash. Then there's a longer term retreat of the ice shelves on Greenland and Antarctica for the next thousand years.

Here's how Adrian Meyer and Karl Rege describe it:

It shows the earth starting at the last glacial maximum 21,000 years ago and ends 1,000 years in the future. End summer sea ice is shown. The yellow line shows the actual shoreline. The future projection is based on the assumption of complete cessation of carbon dioxide emissions in 2100 (IPCC A2). Because world population is rather uncertain we froze to its current value.


A few things that make this video even scarier:

First, they assume a world with zero carbon emissions by 2100, which, though entirely necessary, is the farthest possible cry from the path we're on.

More importantly, recent studies released by NASA this week show that the vast ice shelves of Greenland and Antarctica are melting faster than any previous estimations. So the end of the video could be fast forwarded a bit.

According to Eric Rignot of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory:

That ice sheets will dominate future sea level rise is not surprising—they hold a lot more ice mass than mountain glaciers. What is surprising is this increased contribution by the ice sheets is already happening. If present trends continue, sea level is likely to be significantly higher than levels projected by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in 2007.


Perhaps a new version of this video is necessary, with updated melt projections and perhaps the reshaping of coastlines from sea level rise.


Childbirth is the number one reason American women visit the hospital, and it ain't cheap. In fact, it's getting more and more expensive. A new study published in Health Affairs found that the cost of having a baby with employer-sponsored health insurance increased by almost 50% in the past seven years.

The study evaluated "trends in cost-sharing for maternity care for women with employer-based health insurance plans, before and after the Affordable Care Act," which was signed into law in 2010. The study looked at over 657,061 women enrolled in large employer-sponsored health insurance plans who delivered babies between 2008 and 2015, as these plans tend to cover more than plans purchased by small businesses or individuals.

Keep Reading

Cancer is still the second leading cause of death after heart disease for both men and women. The American Cancer Society predicts that 2020 will bring almost 1.8 million new cancer cases and 600,000 cancer deaths, but there's also some good news. The American Cancer Society recently published a report in CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians stating the U.S. cancer death rates experienced the largest-single year decline ever reported.

Between 2016 and 2017, cancer death rates fell by 2.2%. While cancer death rates have been steadily falling over the past three decades, it's normally by 1.5% a year. Cancer death rates have dropped by 29% since 1991, which means that there have been 2.9 million fewer cancer deaths in the past three decades than there would have been if the mortality rate had remained constant.

Keep Reading

In order to celebrate the New York Public Library's 125th anniversary, the library announced a list of the top 10 most checked out books in the library's history. The list, which took six months to compile, was determined by a team of experts who looked at the "historic checkout and circulation data" for all formats of the book. Ezra Jack Keats's "The Snow Day" tops the list, having been checked out 485,583 times through June 2019. While many children's books topped the top 10 list, the number one choice is significant because the main character of the story is black. "It's even more amazing that the top-ranked book is a book that has that element of diversity," New York Public Library President Anthony W. Marx said.

Keep Reading