What if All the Ice Melts? Oh No!
Yeah really. What would happen if all the ice on the Earth were to melt? Wouldn’t the world drown? Would countries shrink? Hoards of people will be forced to move away from the coastal areas. Entire civilisations will be wiped out. Animal species will be extinct. Err, hold on. Let’s get views from someone who understands this better that Al Gore and co.
xntricpundits directed me to an article by Robert Johnston, a PhD student (physics) at the University of Dallas. Johnston has published loads of stuff on global warming, including this paper whose title I’ve borrowed in part for this post. So here’s what he has to say about the ice melting thingy:
While today’s balance between the icecaps and global sea level has been relatively steady since about 1000 B.C., it would be careless to assume that this is the Earth’s natural state and that it should always be this way.
…recent stories have periodically appeared concerning the potential receding of the Greenland ice cap. Two points may be made regarding current understanding here. First, there is considerable disagreement as to the current rate of net ice cap loss–or even if there is net loss versus net gain. Second, even with temperature increases far greater than the dubious predictions of the IPCC, models indicate that Greenland’s ice cap would take 2,000 to 10,000 years to disappear.
Both Greenland and Antarctica, free of ice, have areas that would be below sea level. However, with the weight of this ice removed, Greenland and Antarctica would rise higher–this phenomena is called isostatic rebound. This rebound lags behind the removal of the ice (by thousands of years). Eventually, most of Greenland would probably be above sea level. However, significant portions of Antarctica would remain underwater.
Today the Earth has 148 million sq. km of land area, of which 16 million sq. km is covered by glaciers. A sea level rise of 66 meters would flood about 13 million sq. km of land outside Antarctica. Without polar ice, Antarctica and Greenland would be ice free, although about half of Antarctica would be under water. Thus, ice-free land would be 128 million sq. km compared to 132 million sq. km today.
this sort of change cannot be affected by modern human activity even given many centuries. It is sad that some youngsters think that burning of hydrocarbons could cause the ice caps to melt and drown cities; it is criminal when teachers don’t correct this nonsense. And it should tell you much of environmental groups like the Sierra Club when they use such myths to further an extremist political agenda.
Suffices to say, there’s loads of stuff that we do not know about the effects that global warming would have on our planet. Note that the fact that global warming is for real is not being denied. I remember reading a scientist saying, if the earth got warmer, fewer people will die of cold. Is that good or bad?