Re: If all the ice melted...

Date: Sun Jul 01 2001 - 18:53:55 MDT

On Sun, 1 Jul 2001, Spike Jones wrote:

> Even the most wild-eyed greenhouse theorist would
> estimate the sea rise would take a few thousand years.

There is another scenario which has been kicked around, which is that
somehow a substantial part of the Antarctic ice sheet could slide into
the ocean. See
and for a
couple of sample articles. One scenario is that the West Antarctic
sheet would disintegrate, raising sea levels about 15-20 feet over a
period of perhaps 500 years.

It's harder to see it happening with the East Antarctic ice sheet,
as it is grounded above sea level unlike the West which is grounded on
rock below sea level, making it slide more easily. But it hasn't been
ruled out as a possibility.

Floating the ice will raise the oceans as much as if it melts. So simple
thermodynamic calculations will not necessarily give you the right answer.


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