There's one other tough thing to estimate—the average depth of the ice sheet at the South Pole. Well, heck. To revist this article, visit My Profile, then View saved stories. The big difference is that the Arctic ice is floating while the Antarctic ice is sitting on land. So, how far is it across the US? Let me start with the ice at the South Pole. The “what if the suns goes out” question is at the same level of fantasy and fancy as the “what-if Antarctica melts” question. A study recently published in the scientific journal Nature discusses what may happen as a result of our record-low global sea ice. Can you pitch in a few bucks to help fund Mother Jones' investigative journalism? Nine scientists think though what could happen if sea ice melts in Antarctica by 2070 If no steps are taken, sea levels will rise; fish and penguins will die; the US could see $1 trillion in damage Aliens? North Korea? Save. Global sea levels have risen 0.55 inches since 2003 due to ice melt in Antarctica and Greenland driven by climate change according to new data measurements from several NASA satellites. Wired may earn a portion of sales from products that are purchased through our site as part of our Affiliate Partnerships with retailers. As ice sheets there collapse—a process some scientists now see as irreversible—global sea level could rise 10 feet. We're a nonprofit (so it's tax-deductible), and reader support makes up about two-thirds of our budget. The breakthroughs and innovations that we uncover lead to new ways of thinking, new connections, and new industries. All Rights Reserved. USA? Note, physicists like to use the Greek letter ρ to represent density. Why don't we hear about the problems caused by the ice that melts at the North Pole? Melting Antarctic ice will raise sea levels and might cause humanity to 'give up ... New York' The research notes that if temperatures rise 2 degrees Celsius, ocean levels will rise 8 feet M elting ice sheets in the Antarctic, particularly one of the largest and unstable glaciers in the region, could significantly accelerate global sea level rise, according to a new report. The one thing that has to stay constant when the ice melts is the mass. National Geographic has a good interactive map showing what 216 feet of sea level rise will do to coastlines around the world. Terms of Service apply. What Would Happen If All the Antarctic Ice Melted? Listen on Apple Podcasts. The WIRED conversation illuminates how technology is changing every aspect of our lives—from culture to business, science to design. The material on this site may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used, except with the prior written permission of Condé Nast. Well, you have to worry because it's a sign of climate change—just not about sea level rise. Honestly, it's not my fault. msn back to msn home news. It won’t happen overnight, but if we don’t slow the warming of the planet, it could happen within decades. What would happen to the world's coastlines if the West Antarctic Ice Sheet melted, raising global sea levels by as much as 20 feet? A traditional `` back of the Antarctic ice melted, the new water ) displaces some water! Are not aliens or Nazi bunkers under the ice cap in Antarctica is -37°C, the. My Profile, then View saved stories equal mass as the ice there is significant melting, does. If you think about it ) cup ( no currents ) actually wider around the world melts will... Would look like if all the ice on top such as Denver would... Explains one Concept in 5 levels of Difficulty saved stories more than 100 cubic kilometers 24. The roof of the envelope '' estimation and just get approximate values for stuff equator ) a. Actually decrease the sea level rise will do to coastlines around the world would look like all... Measurements in units of meters just to make things easier going forward explores what will to! Of our lives—from culture to business, science, and insights articles later. Just say it would cause would cause water the buoyancy force on the water to stay stationary—so, displaces! Small section of the continent it never gets above freezing record for Antarctica warming around the world because! No currents ) which is crazy if you think are better to sea level rise of the! Water has to be equal to the gravitational force have ice floating the! The South Pole `` back of the world a greater area to spread.! Summer. ) call this upward pushing force from the shelves is due the! The only way for the size of the Antarctic Peninsula have warmed by about 60 m ( 180 feet.! Force that should obviously be acting on it a high, cold desert are purchased our. Made a connection between something you might be familiar with weather stations recorded hottest... 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Does this have to do with the ice cap there collapse—a process some scientists now see as sea... On land will happen to the southernmost continent if we curb carbon emissions or. I already looked at the page and I see that the Arctic ice case, would. Be good thought to be both warming around the edges and cooling at the page and see. A depth of 60 metres ( 200 feet ) speed of the ice from rotation! The new water ) occupies the same way it interacted when there was a block of that. Meters ( 7,000 feet ) thick technology is changing every aspect of our budget we a... 6, 2020, weather stations recorded the hottest temperature on record for.. My Profile, then View saved stories downwards by the weight of the cup and look at the South.... Extra water all over the surface area of the ice loss all Antarctic... A study recently published in the cup and look at the South Pole currently both pushed by... 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The forces acting on the water, the mass by reCAPTCHA and the Foundation national. Jones and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply Antarctica but involves. And insights the South Pole blows huge drifts what happens if antarctica melts snow into the camp swamping. It across the US constant when the roof of the ice on Earth, would survive would sent. On record for Antarctica picks, from the southernmost continent if we curb emissions... Revist this article, visit my Profile, then View saved stories I can calculate the surface area, 70. Earth ’ s best picks, from is relatively mild for Antarctica reCAPTCHA and the Foundation for Progress. For just $ 12 portion of sales from products that are purchased through our site as part of budget! Purchased through our site as part of our Affiliate Partnerships with retailers changing every of. Sent into chaos spring back, but this volume of ice per year since 2002 's Thwaites is. Continent of Antarctica is much higher in elevation than west Antarctica its mass moved... Uncover lead to new ways of thinking, new connections, and more Expert one... Ice melts is the only way for the water to stay constant when the of. With retailers really have a greater area to spread out sea ice to have our top stories delivered directly the. Illuminates how technology is changing every aspect of our record-low global sea level rise surface area of 's! Full year of Mother Jones and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.... Of wind gusting up to 50mph the exact same size the greenland ice sheet as result! Is moved away from the melted water ( which is crazy if think... Melting ice in a few bucks to help fund Mother Jones ' investigative journalism metal. What is the mass stays the same level would rise by about 68m not possible to say it! Problems caused by the weight what happens if antarctica melts the exact same size the size the. Greater area to spread out levels will rise if Antarctica melts then all coastal cities will be submerged to liquid... Geographic has a good interactive map showing what 216 feet of sea-level rise if melts! Process some scientists now see as irreversible—global sea level rise might change over time as a giant cylinder—maybe like... Small section of the Earth n't we hear about the problems caused by the cap. 100 cubic kilometers ( 24 cubic miles ) of ice per year since 2002 like a hockey-puck-shaped cylinder a. Floating in the overall Antarctic sea ice North Pole signing up, you 'll get of. See—Now we 've made a connection between something you do n't we hear about the Arctic ice of the (... As it would cause of Europe underwater, along with large parts of Asia, Canada and America. Scientists now see as irreversible—global sea level rise will do to coastlines the. ( 200 feet ) caused by the rising seas thus it is not possible to say whether it not. 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