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(on video) Ice is essential for controlling Earth’s climate. Glaciologist Heidi Sevester explains why ice is essential to regulating global climate and…
First of all, it should be noted that the amount of ice present on Earth is not known precisely, but due to satellite measurements scientists still have an overall idea. If all this ice melted (Antarctica, the Arctic, as well as all terrestrial glaciers), the water level would rise by about 70 meters.
all the coastal cities of the world will disappear
But behind this figure hide big regional differences: some regions of the world will be swamped, and others will be much less affected. But it is certain that all the cities situated on the coasts will disappear. However, even after the ice melts completely, most of Earth’s soil will still exist, according to a study National Geographic,
In Europe, the Netherlands and Denmark will be the first to disappear. The lands of the British Isles and France would be reduced by about a third. London, Bordeaux, Biarritz, Dunkirk or even La Rochelle would be swallowed up. Normandy and Brittany would be divided into several islands. Paris would probably be under the waters of the Seine. Most of the Mediterranean coast will be submerged.
In North America: Florida, the entire Atlantic coast, as well as the Gulf of Mexico will be inundated. Cities like New York, Charleston, Miami and New Orleans will be a distant memory. The west coast would be less affected, just less and with more islands. In South America, Paraguay would be under water, as would the city of Buenos Aires in Argentina.
In Asia, a third of China will be submerged, as well as Bangladesh and the entire Indian coast. In Australia, all coasts will subside, and the continent will receive a new inland sea.
Africa would be the least affected of the continents, but Egypt and Senegal would still lose a substantial portion of their land.
Flood and population movement in anticipation
A rise in water level is the end result of melting ice, but before that, other problems arise: water from terrestrial glaciers drains away in the form of rivers. The scale of the catastrophe on Earth depends on the speed at which glaciers melt, depending on the temperature. But if thawing is rapid then major flooding is inevitable. Water resources will decline and many animal and plant species will disappear.
Once flowing into the seas and oceans, this melted ice would alter ocean currents, and therefore further disrupt the climate. But the bigger problem will come from humanity: currently the coasts are heavily populated areas. For example, in France 1/6 of the population lives on the coast. The disappearance of coastal cities would lead to population migrations around the world, leading to many conflicts.
The rate of snowmelt is continuously being revised upwards
Is this catastrophic scenario of complete melting possible? Not in the near future anyway. Because even if global warming is increasing alarmingly, the ice core should oppose it. What is certain now is that much of Greenland and the west of the Antarctic continent could disappear, and new studies are steadily pushing this time frame forward. For example, the Arctic could experience an ice-free summer by 2030, according to a study published in nature communication, In the long term, in the event of a very pessimistic climate scenario, only East Antarctica would resist, as this region has already experienced warm periods without melting.
About 125,000 years ago the Earth was as warm as it is today. At that time the water level was 4 to 6 meters higher than today: First, it would certainly be associated with the melting of Greenland and West Antarctica. This is the only situation comparable to what we know of at the climate scale. If our greenhouse gas emissions continue to grow at this rate, our climate will change radically and we will be heading for a complete melting of the world’s ice. But scientists don’t know exactly how fast it takes to melt: 200 years, 500 years, 1,000 years or even more? One thing is for sure, it is better not to wait for a reply to act.