Re: If all the ice melted...

From: Robert J. Bradbury (
Date: Sun Jul 01 2001 - 09:04:39 MDT

On Sat, 30 Jun 2001, Spike Jones wrote:

> I wondered about the question since the A.I. movie did the classic
> dystopian runaway greenhouse gag about the torch of the statue
> of liberty poking out of the waves. So they were suggesting the
> great melting would raise the seas about, what? 80 meters or so?
> But when I see something like that I am tempted to shout a Robert-
> Bradburyesque "Thats not true!" But I thought this inappropriate for
> a crowded theater.

It would certainly make viewing the movie more memorable. But you
have to make sure you are right, otherwise you would be spreading
potentially incorrect memes.

> So when I saw it in A.I., I wondered how thick would need to be
> the average depth of the ice on Antarctica to raise the seas 80 meters?
> My first order estimates are that there is perhaps 2% of the earth's
> surface is ice with land under it. If all that melted, then the average
> depth of that ice would need to be about 3 km thick to raise the seas
> that much. I dont think it is that thick.

Actually the ice in Antarctica is several km thick. And as Hal and
his references (THANK YOU HAL!) point out, the rise is not completely
out of the question.

> As in the case with the waterglass, the warmer water would expand
> some. So if we need to account for that in estimating the sea rise in
> case of environmental repair caused by increasing CO2. spike
Yep, that combined with Hal's numbers seems to make the scenario
quite plausible.


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