MAY 26, 2017 09:01 AM PDT
What would happen if all the ice melted?
1 2 407

Can you imagine a world without ice? Even if you live in Florida with the sole intention of escaping icy winters, ice does a lot more for the planet than you may realize. First off, if all the ice were to melt, more of the sun's energy would be absorbed into the oceans, which could affect air currents and jet streams. The northern jet stream would most likely shift southward, causing places like England to get a whole lot more rain and bringing colder air and more snow to North American. I don't know about you, but my New England home already had snow up to the windows last winter - no more, please! Melting ice also means losing critical habitat for Arctic wildlife such as whales, walruses, seals, and polar bears.

To clarify, when we talk about melting ice, the most critical melting that could occur is that of ice sheets (which sit upon land), not ice caps (which float in the oceans). Melting ice sheets are what would cause drastic sea level rises, leading to flooding and inundation of coastal regions. The two biggest ice sheets, the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets, together contain more than 99% of the freshwater on Earth. According to a study, if all the ice in the Greenland ice sheet were to melt, scientists predict that sea levels could rise 24 feet. Meanwhile if all the ice in Antarctica were to melt, sea levels would rise 200 feet! So long Florida!
About the Author
  • Kathryn is a curious world-traveller interested in the intersection between nature, culture, history, and people. She currently lives in Colombia.
You May Also Like
MAY 07, 2018
Videos
MAY 07, 2018
Everything We Know About Hot Jupiter-Like Exoplanets
There are so many exoplanets out there that it's difficult to keep track of them all, but a significant amount of them are what astronomers refer to as 'Ho
MAY 15, 2018
Videos
MAY 15, 2018
A Robotic Hand Helps Rehab Patients
When patients have to rehab after surgery, illness or strokes, physical therapy and the accompanying exercises can be a drag. Robotics can help patients re
MAY 18, 2018
Videos
MAY 18, 2018
Tips for Reducing Your Melanoma Risk
Each year, more people are diagnosed with some form of skin cancer than every other kind of cancer combined. It's not just about having a pesky spot remove
MAY 23, 2018
Videos
MAY 23, 2018
Pig Brains Kept Alive in a Lab?
When the brain stops functioning, the body will eventually die, usually quite soon after. However, MIT's Technology Review reports that a team at Yale was
MAY 26, 2018
Videos
MAY 26, 2018
The Defense Mechanisms of Blowfish
Blowfish are known for their incredible defense mechanism: they can puff out into a spiky ball when threatened, as shown in the video. Some also have a spi
JUN 15, 2018
Videos
JUN 15, 2018
Is my sweet tooth genetic?
I can’t be the only one with a sometimes-uncontrollable sweet tooth. But what’s the deal – why do I like sweets so much? “Certainly
Loading Comments...