Climate’s Big Unknown: What’s Happening Beneath Antarctica’s Ice (WSJ)

https://www.wsj.com/articles/climates-big-unknown-whats-happening-beneath-antarcticas-ice-11546102801?emailToken=b0390c75fa3b61094af47c0c7393540b0M5fXkKDi+Y4mtfxhSgwd64ucmI3H9rakPu05bQAUObu1jQfr2SzhF0actXvzjiGhOb3IJoulGYNQUl/5WF4GDH1iPJTTH8/vgYvUrPZcoZou/TPYu3697oX6G4XiSKl&reflink=article_email_share

At the Asian Development Bank, which lends to governments and companies in Asia’s developing markets, Jay Roop is part of a team that oversees the construction of wharves, ports and roads around the Pacific region. To predict how projects might fare in future climate conditions, he and his team use 24 different climate models. The data they incorporate include melting rates of glaciers, historical ocean temperatures and rainfall, and information on local geography and water dynamics, which can affect storm surges. Most models don’t have data on the stability of Antarctic ice.

Mr. Roop consulted climate models to assess a wharf the Papua New Guinea government wanted to build. Many models suggested that, without climate-proofing, the wharf would be underwater within a few decades. The design was reconfigured so the wharf could be easily raised. That increased the cost by roughly 17%. Construction will begin in late 2019.

Author: Christopher K. Merker, Ph.D., CFA

Christopher K. Merker, PhD, CFA, is a director with Robert W. Baird & Co. Merker holds a PhD in Investment Governance and Fiduciary Effectiveness from Marquette University. He is a past president of the CFA Society Milwaukee and a current board member. An adjunct professor of finance at Marquette University, where he teaches the investment course, Sustainable Finance, he is also executive director of Fund Governance Analytics, LLC, a provider of governance research and diagnostic tools for issuers, asset owners and institutional investors. He publishes the blog, Sustainable Finance, which covers current topics around sustainability in investing (www.sustainablefinanceblog.org)