Driving about four hours from volcanic country through winding hills reminding us of the Amalfi coast, we arrived in the very windy city of Wellington on Sunday, 2/12 in time for me to participate in the opening events of The International Cryosphere Conference.  The conference gathered scientists from all over the world (much like the AGU but way smaller) where papers would be presented throughout the whole week.  Its director, James Renwick, having been alerted of my coincidentally being in town, invited me to contribute. Seeing everyone enjoying themselves at this “icebreaker” we both agreed that a lecture hall was inappropriate – so we spontaneously changed the venue to right there:

My 15-minute talk began by thanking everyone for their research and assuring them that we are all with them. Then I shared images of collaborations with many of their colleagues along with examples of work and my outreach efforts. I closed with the image of my upcoming book for the Walton show:


I suggested they sign up so they could receive news from my distributor when its published in March. The editor of a UK journal suggested getting an advance copy to them for a possible book review.  More drinking and interesting conversations continued withpeople from the UK, China, Tasmania, Hawaii and from the states.

Richard noticed that Dr. Eric Rignot was from his alma mater – Irvine.  We had a delightful conversation with him that first evening – not knowing then that he was the keynote the next day.

His topic was: “Have we Passed the Point of No Return?” Short answer: YUP

He very calmly explained the data of the most current models and how crucial paleo research shared across glacial science disciplines over last decade have added to the certainly of those models and inevitability of further sea level rise without strong changes in global behavior. He reviewed the data in terms of key “floodgates” in Greenland and Antarctica which they are all monitoring…I was thrilled to see that two of the three he showed from Greenland: Jakobshavn and Petermann have been glaciers I have referenced in my imagery:

We spoke afterwards, and after reading up on him I mentioned that we had met Charles Elachi, former director of JPL in Banff at the Renaissance meeting – he then informed me that was who hired him...small world.

Here was the last slide of his talk: