top of page

Melt / Rise

Hydrological Globalization

Globe 1.png
chart 2.png
nasajpl 1.png

My new research is about ice becoming ocean and how that may be creating new connectivities between us. As cryospheres melt, becoming part of a larger hydrosphere—the world ocean—links are also created between otherwise distant places and peoples. In this project, I look at how melting ice, now transformed into rising seas, is potentially binding us together in novel ways across continents, and over time. By looking at adaptation to the twinned phenomena of melting ice and rising seas, I explore a concept that I call hydrological globalization: a new form of global connectivity in the wake of anthropogenic environmental impacts.

Designed around a new model developed by NASA physicists, the Gradient Fingerprint Map, and grounded in the methods and analytics of social science, in this project I explore hydrological adaptation between specific locations of melting ice and rising seas.

The earth systems model that serves as a heuristic for this work, determines meltwater contributions from each major glacial basin on Earth—from the Himalayas to Antarctica and from the Canadian Arctic to the Southern Andes—to show where specific sites of melting ice reappear as sea level rise in our coastal cities. It illustrates, for instance, that Cape Town, South Africa, is more affected by Icelandic melt than any other city in the world and that Greenlandic melt impacts sea level rise in Honolulu, Hawaiʻi more than any other city in the United States. The first phase of this project will, essentially, “follow the water” from the melting North (Iceland and Greenland) to two coastal cities most impacted by Arctic melt (Cape Town, and Honolulu) to track the potential shared, and divergent, approaches to adaptation in each of these very different, and distant places—places that were once frozen or not yet inundated…

bottom of page