Climate change

What would happen if all the ice melted on earth?

If all the ice melts on earth, the oceans rise about 70 meters.

But before something like this happens, the globe must be much warmer than it is now.

The 80 meter rise in sea would then add another 30 meters because the existing liquid water expands - after all, hot water has a larger volume than cold water.

Consequences for the whole world

A 70-meter sea rise is affecting the entire world, and if it happens overnight, it will directly affect half of the world's population - and the other half indirectly, because suddenly 3.5 billion people will be homeless there to be.

99 percent of all the ice on earth is in three large ice sheets: the land ice in Greenland accounts for about 7 meters of sea rise, West Antarctica for 8 meters, and East Antarctica for another 65 meters.

The ice sheets contain water for a sea rise of 80 meters - which would certainly be disastrous for the low countries.

Impact on Europe

If these three ice caps were to melt, however, the water would not rise the same everywhere on earth.

Because the ice caps attract a lot of mass and the earth's gravitational field shifts as a result, the water runs from the ice melting in Greenland to the southern Pacific, and water from Antarctic ice causes the seas to rise around Europe and North America.

And then the end is Belgium and the Netherlands. The UN climate panel reports that all ice in Greenland can be gone in just 1000 years if the temperature rises by only 1 to 4 ° C compared to today.

The land ice is melting here

It is not only the land ice of Greenland and Antarctica that is causing the water level to rise.

The melting glaciers contribute much more to this.

In Science in Image you read how scientists can prevent the glaciers of Antarctica from sliding into the sea. They want to build artificial islands, pumping systems and miles of underwater dams.

Video: How Will Earth Change If All the Ice Melts? (February 2020).

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