Our planet is getting warmer every year, and the horrible fact is, global warming is accelerating. As a natural result, the glaciers are melting at an increasing speed. What if all the Earth’s ice melted?
Almost 10% of the world’s land surface is currently covered with glaciers, mostly in places like Greenland and Antarctica. The amount of water locked up in ice and snow is only about 1.7 percent of all water on Earth (332,500,000 cubic miles, or 1,386,000,000 cubic kilometers), but the majority of total freshwater on Earth, about 68.7%, is held in ice caps and glaciers. And if all land ice melted the seas would rise about 70 meters (about 230 feet).
What if all this ice melted? What would Earth look like? Alex Kuzoian of Business Insider prepared a video showing the effects of the global melting, and if it happens, “this would dramatically reshape the continents and drown many of the world’s major cities.”
What is all the Earth’s ice melted
- The global sea level would be about 70 meters (230 feet) higher.
- Most of the coastal cities around the world would be underwater, including Sydney, Adelaide, Perth, Calcutta, Miami, Venice, Saint Petersburg, Shanghai, Buenos Aires, Rio de Janeiro, New York City, Houston, New Orleans, and Stockholm.
- These cities are some of the wealthiest ones in the world. The loss of these cities would mean the global economy come down crushing.
- If all the ice melted, sea currents would change dramatically. Some of them would collapse. This would cause a mass extinction of sea creatures as well as polar animals.
- There would be an inland sea on the Australian continent.
- A large part of the Sahara desert would be underwater.
- The Red Sea and the Persian Gulf would be much bigger.
- Hurricanes will be more frequent and more powerful as more heat means they will carry more moisture.
- In North America, the entire Atlantic seaboard would vanish with its coastal cities. San Francisco’s hills would become an archipelago (a cluster of islands) and the Central Valley would be a giant bay.
- In South America, the Amazon Basin and the Paraguay River Basin would become Atlantic inlets.
- In Asia, the Caspian Sea would be much, much bigger. The area currently at least one billion people live would be claimed by the rising sea.
- In Europe, the Netherlands would completely vanish. Most of Denmark would be gone too. Brussels would be a coastal city.
- West Antarctica would be an archipelago, while the East stay as a continent. Since 1992, on average, Antarctica is losing about 65 million metric tons of ice every year.
- Glaciers and icecaps: Storehouses of freshwater on USGS.gov
- If all of Earth’s ice melts and flows into the ocean, what would happen to the planet’s rotation? on the NASA Climate website
- “What the World Would Look Like if All the Ice Melted” on the National Geographic website
- Cover image: Deposit Photos
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