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If all of the polar ice caps melted

  1. Jun 12, 2008 #1
    the sea level shouldn't rise? Water takes up more volume as a solid than a liquid right. So why all the fear that we will all be run over by the sea from melting polar ice cap? The sea levels shouldn't change at all right? What am I missing here?
     
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  3. Jun 12, 2008 #2

    Ivan Seeking

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    The South pole is a continent, not just floating ice, and there is a tremendous amount of ice in the north on land, such as in Greenland.

    I forget the greatest depth of the ice in Antactica, but I think it is something like a mile thick in places.
     
  4. Jun 12, 2008 #3

    But again it is just a big chunk of floating ice right? If the entire thing melted, sea levels shouldn't rise 1 bit.


    I can understand if all of the snow and ice on land actually melted, then the sea levels would rise, but if all of the chunks of ice in the ocean were to melt, sea levels shouldn't rise at all.
     
  5. Jun 12, 2008 #4
    Antarctica has about 5 million square miles of 1 mile (average) in depth of solid ice above sea level.
     
  6. Jun 12, 2008 #5

    Ivan Seeking

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    It also appears that during melting, the water can carve the ice into layers and lubricate its path, so that the ice will move in large sheets rather than slowly melting, which could significantly increase the rate of loss.
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2008
  7. Jun 12, 2008 #6

    Ivan Seeking

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    No, it is sitting on land, not floating. Antarctica is a ice-covered land mass.
     
  8. Jun 12, 2008 #7
    So what? It is still just like an ice cube in a glass of water right? I could fill a bucket a quarter up with some water and then fill it to the brim with ice, once all of the ice melted, none of the water would spill out of the bucket.
     
  9. Jun 12, 2008 #8
    Ok, but how much of the land is actually above sea level? Do we even know? I could see how sea levels could rise if all of the ice melts that is on land above sea level.
     
  10. Jun 12, 2008 #9

    NoTime

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    No. It's like a funnel full of ice sitting over the glass.
    The ice is not sitting in the water.
     
  11. Jun 12, 2008 #10

    Ivan Seeking

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  12. Jun 12, 2008 #11
    Antarctica is a continent. All that ice is sitting on a mass of land above sea level. Antarctica even has a mountain range with some peaks over 16,000 ft above sea level.
     
  13. Jun 12, 2008 #12
    OK so if Antartica melts, sea levels rise, but since the North Pole isn't a continent there is no land underneath. Therefore if the entire ice mass of the North Pole melted, sea level wouldn't change.
     
  14. Jun 12, 2008 #13
  15. Jun 12, 2008 #14

    loseyourname

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    Water World won't happen, but the sea level will rise.
     
  16. Jun 12, 2008 #15

    Evo

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    Don't forget that as ice melts, the land beneath it rises. It's a *very* slow process, but one that is happening right now from the retreat of the last ice age.
     
  17. Jun 12, 2008 #16
    So that we don't run out of issues :smile:

    But, I think the sea level would increase (and is increasing right now; heard about this somewhere - but don't have any source).
     
  18. Jun 12, 2008 #17

    Evo

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    The sea level is rising in some places and dropping in others. I've previously posted the link.
     
  19. Jun 13, 2008 #18

    Ivan Seeking

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    Here you go

    http://www.epa.gov/climatechange/effects/coastal/index.html

    http://www.epa.gov/climatechange/science/recentslc.html

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2008
  20. Jun 18, 2008 #19

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Jun 18, 2008
  21. Jun 18, 2008 #20

    Ivan Seeking

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    It looks to me that the data is still within the existing envelope of about +- 10mm.

    There is no way to draw any conclusions based on one simple graph.
     
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