What Would Happen If The Glaciers Melted – The maps here show the world as it is now, with one difference: all the land’s ice has melted and drained into the sea, raising it 65 meters and creating new coastlines for our continents and inland seas.
There are more than five billion cubic kilometers of ice on Earth, and some scientists say it would take more than 5,000 years to melt it all. If we continue to add carbon to the atmosphere, we will most likely create an ice-free planet, with an average temperature of perhaps 80 degrees Fahrenheit, rather than the current 58 degrees Fahrenheit.
- 1 What Would Happen If The Glaciers Melted
- 2 Why Our Glaciers Are Melting
- 3 Educator Guide: What’s Causing Sea Level Rise? Land Ice Vs. Sea Ice
What Would Happen If The Glaciers Melted
The entire Atlantic coast would disappear, along with Florida and the Gulf coast. In California, the hills of San Francisco would become a cluster of islands and the Central Valley a giant gulf. The Gulf of California would extend north beyond the latitude of San Diego, not that there was a San Diego.
What The Entire World Would Look Like If All The Ice Melted [6376×4840]
The Amazon Basin to the north and the Paraguay River Basin to the south would become bays in the Atlantic, sweeping Buenos Aires, the coast of Uruguay, and much of Paraguay. Mountainous areas would persist along the Caribbean coast and in Central America.
Compared to other continents, Africa would lose less of its land in a sea-level catastrophe, but Earth’s increased heat could make most of it uninhabitable. In Egypt, Alexandria and Cairo will be flooded by the intrusion of the Mediterranean.
London? A memory Venice? Taken by the Adriatic Sea. Thousands of years from now, in this catastrophic scenario, the Netherlands will surrender to the sea and most of Denmark will also disappear. However, the expansion of Mediterranean waters will also flood the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea.
A country where 600 million Chinese currently live would be flooded, as would all of Bangladesh, with its 160 million inhabitants, and most of the coast of India. Flooding of the Mekong Delta would leave Cambodia’s Cardamom Mountains stranded as an island.
Why Our Glaciers Are Melting
Predominantly desert, the continent would gain a new inland sea but lose much of the narrow coastal strip on which four out of five Australians now live.
East Antarctica: The East Antarctic ice sheet is so large (it contains four-fifths of all the ice on Earth) that it may seem insoluble. It survived the first warm periods intact. Lately it seems to be thickening slightly, due to global warming. A warmer atmosphere traps more water vapor, which falls as snow in East Antarctica. But even this giant is unlikely to survive the return to the Eocene climate.
West Antarctica: Like the Greenland Ice Sheet, West Antarctica was apparently much smaller during the early warm periods. It is vulnerable because most of it is found in rocks below sea level. Ocean warming melts the ice sheet itself, causing it to collapse. Since 1992, there has been an average net loss of 65 million metric tons of ice per year.
SOURCES: PHILIPPE HUYBRECHTS, VRIJE UNIVERSITEIT BRUSSELS; RICHARD S. WILLIAMS, JR., WOODS HOLE RESEARCH CENTER; JAMES C. ZACHOS, UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, SANTA CRUZ; USGS; NOAA, ETOPO1 BEDROCK, 1 ARC-MINUTE GLOBAL RELIEF MODEL COPYRIGHT © SEPTEMBER 2013 NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC SOCIETY
Climate Change: The Ice We’ve Lost This Decade, Visualized
Recent studies have suggested that the water that continuously flows around the Atlantic Ocean may slow down as the climate warms, potentially causing global climate consequences.
Melting fjords, increasing avalanches, endangered wildlife. Our photographer documented the effects of climate change at four stations in Svalbard, Norway.
For centuries, this spectacular underground world has recorded the local climate and enchanted visitors. Now its story features are dwindling, drop by drop. The real world of water would be even worse than the movie. For this list, we’ll look at the most dramatic consequences of the rapid melting of ice caps and glaciers. List 10 things that would happen if the world’s ice melts.
A real life water world would be even worse than the movie. Welcome to , and today we’re counting down our picks for 10 things that would happen if the world’s ice caps melted.
The Race To Understand Antarctica’s Most Terrifying Glacier
For this list, we’ll look at the most dramatic consequences of the rapid melting of ice caps and glaciers. Of course, thanks to climate change, the polar ice caps are melting, but gradually; we will consider a hypothetical nightmare scenario where they completely melted overnight.
#10: Antarctica could become habitable for humans. There has to be a bright side to all the devastation, right? As sea levels rose, countries around the world would lose habitable land. . . while Antarctica emerged from its ice sheet and became an archipelago. Although still arid and challenging, it could eventually become habitable, at least compared to its current harsh and extreme environment. Future humans may try to colonize the region, if only to explore and extract resources. On the other hand, it could also be a very exciting getaway. Who wouldn’t like to have a cottage in Antarctica?
#9: Australia would gain an inland sea. With all our ice melting, sea levels would rise about 200 feet. Australia would be one of the most affected places, with about 80% of its population living on or near the coast. As a consolation, the dry and dusty central parts of this vast sunny land would receive a vast inland sea, reminiscent of the landlocked ocean that existed a few million years ago. Of course, that wouldn’t exactly satisfy the cities and wildlife that remains underwater. Reclaiming all this water would be a blast from the past, but at a devastating cost.
#8: Atlantic Gulfs in South America The sea would also make major inroads into South America. Brazil would have to say goodbye to the beaches of Rio, because a large part of the South American coast will be destroyed. A lone Christ the Redeemer would be left to watch over the new archipelago. Even worse, the Amazon and Paraguay basins would become large inlets in the Atlantic Ocean, a devastating blow to Earth’s biodiversity and fatal to the Argentine capital, Buenos Aires. Both the “Paris of the South” and Uruguay’s Montevideo would drown as the sea advanced and continued inland to Paraguay.
If All The Ice Melted Maps
#7: Droughts in Africa Africa really doesn’t need more sand. But you could win if the world’s ice melts. In terms of rising water levels, most African countries would be somewhat less affected, but there would be an even bigger problem. Ironically, more water in the world would lead to, well, LESS, in some areas. Without the polar ice caps that reflect sunlight, average global temperatures would rise, exacerbating the severity of droughts, especially in the sensitive Sahel and the Horn of Africa. This is not to say that the sea did not claim its victims. Most of Senegal would be swept away and the Egyptian pyramids would become islands.
#6: Wild Weather Rising temperatures and sea levels would wreak havoc on the world’s weather systems. All that fresh water would disrupt ocean currents like the Gulf Stream, which could lead to cooling and strong storms across Europe. Arctic ice loss could also make US winters worse. The changes would alter rainfall patterns around the world, meaning some arid regions would experience heavy rainfall and vice versa. Also, with ever-higher water levels, storms would be more powerful, flooding coastal areas that escaped the initial devastation.
#5: The largest cities in the world. . . Disappeared As the sea advanced, the largest cities in the world would become real Atlantis. In the US alone, cities like San Diego, Seattle, New York, Boston and Miami would be completely submerged. In fact, the entire state of Florida would be wiped off the map. As well as densely populated cities such as Shanghai, Mumbai and Bangkok. Europe would lose Istanbul, Venice, Barcelona, London and Copenhagen, to name a few. For the most part, only major inland cities such as Moscow, New Delhi and Canberra would survive the floods.
#4: Disappearance of entire countries We would also see entire countries swallowed by the sea. Small island states are particularly vulnerable to sea level rise. The Maldives, Marshall Islands, Kiribati, Tuvalu and the Bahamas would disappear. Much larger countries would also disappear. Lower Bangladesh would become part of the Bay of Bengal. And the windmills in Holland would turn with the currents on the ocean floor. Some parts of Denmark would still stand out above the waves, especially the Jutland peninsula, which would become an island, but most of the land would disappear.
Educator Guide: What’s Causing Sea Level Rise? Land Ice Vs. Sea Ice
#3: The Global Refugee Crisis As cities and countries drowned, unprecedented numbers of refugees would be forced to seek food and shelter elsewhere. No government on Earth could boast the current resources or infrastructure to handle such a large influx of people. Especially since even countries and cities not claimed by the sea would face their own environmental, social and political problems. And so there would be anarchy – at least at first – with millions of people alone, desperately trying to survive. The unprecedented upheaval could completely transform national identities, borders, customs and histories.
#2: Global Chaos With humanity in disarray and agriculture and industry disrupted, the global economy would rapidly collapse and
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