Kiwi author's new book, Melt, imagines NZ's role in the world after Antarctica melts

A Kiwi author's new book imagines what the world would be like - and what New Zealand would be like - in a world where Antarctica has almost melted.

Jeff Murray's book, called Melt, explores how powerful nations might seek to claim the new landmass after the South Pole's ice cap melts, with New Zealand the nearest stepping stone for them.

His story follows a woman who has no choice but to leave her Pacific island home and come to New Zealand to flee the rising water, but she soon finds it is not as easy as she expected.

She then finds herself taking a journey even further south, to Antarctica itself.

Mr Murray, speaking this morning to TVNZ1's Breakfast programme, said he did a lot of research before writing the book, and that he thinks it could help to remind people of the uncertain future Earth faces at the hands of climate change.

"I wanted it to be a good yarn because I wanted people to enjoy reading it," Mr Murray said.

"But I did a lot of research, and early in the research I read a paper by James Hansen, who is a well known climate scientist, who laid out a scenario whereby Antarctica could melt even if we stop [global temperature rise] by 2 degrees."

Professor Hansen, formerly of NASA and now at Columbia University, predicted in 2015 that a sea level rise of up to three metres within the next century was likely, even if the global warming limit agreed by politicians in 2009 is kept to.

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1 NEWS used Google Earth data to generate a simulation of which areas would be affected by a three metre sea level rise – the areas shown are approximate. Source: 1 NEWS

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Author Jeff Murray said he based his book Melt on a plausible future. Source: 1 NEWS