IF ALL THE ICE MELTED

January 31, 2014

RISING SEAS

Explore the world’s new coastlines if sea level rises 216 feet.

The maps here show the world as it is now, with only one difference: All the ice on land has melted and drained into the sea, raising it 216 feet and creating new shorelines for our continents and inland seas.

There are more than five million cubic miles of ice on Earth, and some scientists say it would take more than 5,000 years to melt it all. If we continue adding carbon to the atmosphere, we’ll very likely create an ice-free planet, with an average temperature of perhaps 80 degrees Fahrenheit instead of the current 58.

North America

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—not that there’d be a San Diego.

RS_Web_NA_15M_v3

 

South America

The Amazon Basin in the north and the Paraguay River Basin in the south would become Atlantic inlets, wiping out Buenos Aires, coastal Uruguay, and most of Paraguay. Mountainous stretches would survive along the Caribbean coast and in Central America.

RS_Web_SA_15M_v3

 

Africa

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 will be swamped by the intruding Mediterranean.

RS_Web_Africa_15M_v3

 

Asia

Land now inhabited by 600 million Chinese would flood, as would all of Bangladesh, population 160 million, and much of coastal India. The inundation of the Mekong Delta would leave Cambodia’s Cardamom Mountains stranded as an island.

RS_Web_ASIA_17M_v3

 

Australia

Predominantly desert, the continent would gain a new inland sea—but it would lose much of the narrow coastal strip where four out of five Australians now live.

RS_Web_AUS_12.5M_v3

 
Europe

London? A memory. Venice? Reclaimed by the Adriatic Sea. Thousands of years from now, in this catastrophic scenario, the Netherlands will have long since surrendered to the sea, and most of Denmark will be gone too. Meanwhile, the Mediterranean’s expanding waters will also have swelled the Black and Caspian Seas.

RS_Web_EU_8M_v3

 

East Antarctica

The ice sheet is so large-it contains four-fifths of all ice on Earth- that it might seen unmeltable. It survives earlier warm periods intact. Lately it seems to be thickening slightly _because of global warming. The warmer atmosphere holds more water vapor, wich falls as snow on East Antarctica. But even this behemoth is unlikely to survive a return to an Eocene Climate.

West Antarctica

Like the Greenland Ice sheet, the West Antarctic one was apparently much smaller during earlier warm periods. It’s vulnerable most of it sits on bedrock that’s below sea level. The warming ocean is melting the floating ice sheet from below, causing it to collapse. Since 1992 it has averaged a net loss of 65 million metric tons of ice a year

RS_Web_ANTARCTICA_15M_v3

(source, thank  you http://www.nationalgeographic.com/)

 

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