Areas of Expertise (8)
Ice Sheets and Sea Level
Earth System Modeling
Sea Level Rise
One of the world's leading experts on modeling polar ice sheets, sea-level rise and ocean response to climate change, Rob DeConto has been sought after by publications including National Geographic, the BBC, the New York Times, and the Washington Post for commentary on the effect of climate change on the Earth.
University of Colorado: Ph.D.
Press Coverage (7)
Antarctica's ice sheet is critical to the fate of coastal cities. How much it will melt remains a big question
Rob DeConto, a climate scientist and glaciologist at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst is lead author of a new study showing that a tipping point for Antarctica's ice sheet likely exists somewhere in between 2 and 3 degrees Celsius of warming, but exactly where is difficult to pinpoint. "We don't know exactly where it is," Deconto said. "I'd like to hope that we're wrong and it's somewhere well above 3 degrees (Celsius)."
Emissions Cuts Could Drop the Impact of Melting Ice on Oceans by Half
The New York Times print
A new study led by Rob DeConto looked at Antarctica ice found that overshooting targets and reaching 3 degrees Celsius of warming — which the world is roughly on track to do, given current pledges to cut emissions — could trigger an abrupt increase in the rate of melting around 2060, and drive a rate at the end of the century that would be 10 times faster than today.
UMass Amherst To Study Melting Greenland Ice Sheet
It was recently announced that a team of UMass scientists would embark on a research study of the melting ice sheet in Greenland. Professor Rob DeConto, Co-Director, School of Earth & Sustainability Department of Geosciences at UMass Amherst, joins us to discuss this project.
Boston already has some of the nation’s worst tidal flooding — and it will get much worse, study finds
The Boston Globe print
With some of the nation’s highest tides ever recorded, Boston has had more sunny-day flooding than nearly any other coastal community in the country — and the worst is yet to come as sea levels rise, according to a report released Tuesday by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Rob DeConto, a climate scientist at UMass Amherst who helped develop the Antarctica research, called the NOAA report “sobering” and said it underscored the dangers facing Boston. “This problem isn’t going to go away,” he said
‘There’s no scenario that stops sea level rise in this century,’ dire U.N. climate report warns
Science magazine print
Commenting on a new report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, released today by the United Nations, Rob DeConto, professor of geosciences, says while odds are low that the West Antarctic Ice Sheet will collapse in this century, the impacts of a collapse would be monumental.
Climate change: Warning from 'Antarctica's last forests'
It's not clear how fast the glaciers of Antarctica can respond to warming. Conceivably very fast, is the answer from Professor Rob DeConto from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. He runs computer models which incorporate physical processes in the ice that can result in the rapid collapse of cliffs at the front of Antarctic glaciers terminating in the ocean. "Today we are measuring sea-level rise in millimetres per year. So, a little more than 3mm per year right now," he explained.
Today’s Earth looks a lot like it did 115,000 years ago. All we’re missing is massive sea level rise.
The Washington Post print
"There’s no way to get tens of meters of sea level rise without getting tens of meters of sea level rise from Antarctica,” said Rob DeConto, an Antarctic expert at the University of Massachusetts. Some researchers, including DeConto, think they have found a key process — called marine ice cliff collapse — that can release a lot of sea level rise from West Antarctica in a hurry.