What would occur if the Antarctic ice cream sheets melted together with the rest of the ice on Earth?

Left: Wikipedia; Right: NASA

Regardless of her thoughts on climate change, the world"s ice cream is measurably melting and at a rapid pace. Offered recent trends in record heat years, it"s likely that melt will continue at an unprecedented rate for decades to come. Hence, it"s advantageous to explore too much scenarios whereby all ice cream on earth is melted to publication end expectationsand hopefully minimize risks.

You are watching: How much would sea level rise if all ice melted

National geographic teamed up v scientists and universities around the world to give an exact depiction the what earth would look like if sea level climbed by 216 feet, the indistinguishable of melt all the water at this time locked away in ice. This contains ice from continent (mountain snowpack, glaciers, ice sheets etc.) and ice ~ above oceans and lakes. One assumptionis the all ice consisted of on land has actually drained come the sea and not heldin continent lakes or rivers.

Once all ice is melted and included to the global oceans ourseas would rise by 216 feet as contrasted to the current level. An estimated 5 million cubic mile of ice cream exists ~ above Earth,which appears tobe on an inevitable melting trend given the recent observations.

To gain an idea of just how likely this is, let"s look at the previous as a guide to the future. Several studies measure up paleoclimatic proxies including carbon isotopes, fossils, element ratios, and also plant stomata attempt to identify at what CO2 level the Antarctic ice cream sheet disappears. The upper range of the ice sheet"s stability is somewhere between 500 ppm to near 800 ppm CO2. At thatpoint the planet is ~ above a course to being ice free for thousands of years. One upside is that while us may get to the 500 ppm tipping point in the following century, it will take hundreds of years for every the ice on the planet to completely melt. Hence giving humans generations to it is adapted to a wildly various planet.

compare of CO2 level over past 80 million years with the Antarctica stability zone. The decline... <+> in temperature indigenous the so late Eocene about 34 million years ago triggered the development of the Antarctic ice cream sheet as soon as CO2 obtained below approximately 600 ppm.


Given Earth"s present CO2 level the 409 ppmand rise of 2-3 ppm every year, it"s not much off to view we"re headed to 500+ ppm in brief order. Hope at this point, regardless of that or what girlfriend blame because that the raising temperatures, girlfriend agree the we"re on a trend towards an ice-free planet. Whether it"s natural, man-made, or both, humans have actually quite some adjusting come do.

The composing is ~ above the wall that human"s will need to adapt come a very different human being as ice melts and oceans rise. Most of the Atlantic coast, Florida, and also the Gulf coastline will it is in underwater. In addition, huge scale climate sport will change seasonal rainfall, creating infertile land where it when was fertile.

How carry out cities favor Miami, brand-new Orleans, brand-new York City, etc. Adapt to stability encroaching seas?

At what suggest do you rebuild inland, or perform you proceed to engineer barriers and levees?

How lot does it expense to relocate cities and all the facilities that supports them?

How countless lives room at risk?

Now, transplant these issues from an financial powerhouse prefer the United claims to developingcountries and also you have the potential because that massfamine, destruction, and also warfare.

What would happen if the Antarctic ice cream sheets melted in addition to the remainder of the ice on Earth?


What happens when over time east Russia i do not care the warmer productive farming grounds the a now dry infertile China demands to feed its population?

How do trade provides of agricultural goods change with an altering climate patterns?

There space no easy answers yet evidence is structure that we require to begin to work through options to this future dilemmas. These room no doubt the tremendouschallenges thisgeneration and also many come come will have to face.

See more: Fact Check: How Much Money Does Planned Parenthood Get From Taxpayers

Follow me onTwitter.

Trevor Nace

I to be a geologist passionate about sharing Earth"s intricacies v you. I received my doctor from fight it out University wherein I learned the geology and also climate of the Amazon. Ns am

…Read More

I to be a geologist passionate around sharing Earth"s intricacies through you. I received my phd from fight it out University wherein I learned the geology and also climate that the Amazon. Ns am the founder of science Trends, a leading resource of science news and evaluation on every little thing from climate adjust to cancer research. Let"s affix