Global warming is real news.
If we care enough to observe, we can see its effects all around us.
Our planet Earth is warming up fast.
Whereas the Arctic? Twice as fast!
But what would happen if all the ice in the world melted?
Some scientists say that it would take more than 5,000 years to melt the ice on Earth, more than eight million cubic km. If we continue to add carbon to our atmosphere, we’ll very likely create an ice-free planet, with an average temperature of 26 degrees celsius instead of the current 14 degrees.
The two main ice sheets, Greenland and Antarctica, contain more than 99 percent of the freshwater ice on our planet. The Antarctic Sheet has existed for 12,000 years and, according to journal Science, it has shrunk 18 percent over the last 20 years.
As the rate of ice melting is going to more than 86,000 square km per year, wildlife is losing critical habitat. No ice means it would also cause the deaths of a tremendous amount of wildlife, maybe even the extinction of some species. You would have very little time to adapt to such a new world.
Ocean currents would change their direction, affecting sea life. With no time to evolve to such extreme changes, sea creatures and polar animals, which depend on ice for protection and hunting, would face massive rates of extinction. The ones still alive would have to leave their homes in a search for a better place to live.
The entire Atlantic seaboard would vanish, along with Florida and the Gulf Coast. In California, San Francisco’s hills would become a cluster of islands and the Central Valley a giant bay. The Gulf of California would stretch north past the latitude of San Diego—which would then not exist.
Compared with other continents, Africa would lose less of its land to the ultimate sea-level catastrophe, but Earth’s rising heat might make much of it uninhabitable. In Egypt, Alexandria and Cairo would be swamped by the intruding Mediterranean.
London? A memory. Venice? Reclaimed by the Adriatic Sea. Thousands of years from now, in this catastrophic scenario, the Netherlands would have long since surrendered to the sea, and most of Denmark would be gone too.
The land now inhabited by 600 million Chinese would flood, as would all of Bangladesh, with a population 160 million, and much of coastal India.
Australia would lose much of the coastal strip where approximately 80% of its residents live.
Every meter of ice disappearing would also mean a very debilitating (and deadly) economic domino effect ensuing. Almost half of the globe’s human population lives in coastal regions, and along with the loss of homes comes the destruction of industries, manufacturing, and farmland. With no ice, the world would be a very, very wet mess. And the odds of cleaning up a spill like that would be impossible.
According to journal Climate Dynamics, if all the ice in the Greenland Ice Sheet would melt, global sea level would rise by about 7.3 meters. If all of Antarctica Sheet would melt, sea levels would rise by 61 meters.
But within the next generations, some cities may cease to exist if countries do not do anything about lowering the levels of carbon emissions.
We would love to hear what you think about global warming, climate change, and rising sea levels.