Global warming is a topic that is a very prevalent in the news and also very much disputed. To simplify the theory, if we continue to burn fossil fuels at the rate we currently are, then the average temperature of the earth will continue to rise.
We are already starting to see the effects of this in the polar regions of the world. Glaciers are slowly but surely melting away. But what will happen when all the ice finally melts? Would the entire planet be flooded? Well, realistically scientists say the ice won’t all melt for upwards of another five thousand years. But when it does the earth will be a very different place than it is now. In total, there are five million cubic miles of ice all over Earth.
If that were to melt the first and most noticeable differences would be the levels of water in the sea. It would raise about two 216 feet or 66 meters, globally. That insane increase in size causes a lot of huge problems for society. Most major cities around the globe are located on the coast of whatever country they are in. This is because it allows for more trade routes and transportation via the ocean. That being said, if the water levels were to rise by a whopping 216 feet, most big cities would be underwater.
Cities like New York, Boston, Washington DC, and more would be under water. If all the ice melted, you could say goodbye to all three of those along with the entire East Coast. The whole state of Florida and the same thing goes for any cities in the Gulf of Mexico. On the west coast, hilly cities such as a San Francisco will be nothing more than a scatter of tiny islands in the Central Valley and next to San Francisco would be one giant bay.
Down in South America, most of the land loss would be in the northern and southern regions of the continent. The Amazon basin in the north and the Paraguay River basin in the South would become a massive inlet of water. It would wipe out iconic cities such Buenos Aires, Rio de Janeiro, Georgetown and more.
Over in Europe, the effects will really be felt across almost every major city. Starting from the North, Helsinki, Stockholm, Copenhagen, Amsterdam, Dublin, London, Venice, and more will all be affected in some way. Most of them will be completely under water. In Asia, almost all of its population is living on the coast. Land that is currently inhabited by 600 million people would all be underwater, forcing all of them to migrate further inland. Could you imagine 600 million people having to give up their home and move to a new city?
Australia would be basically the same as everywhere already described. There is something unique about Australia and that is it would gain a new massive inland sea in a southern part of the continent.
Africa would be the continent that would lose the least amount of land. The rise Earth’s temperatures may make the entire place too hot to live.
Perhaps the best thing to come out of this would be that Antarctica would now be a livable place. No longer covered in most of the world’s ice. In time people could travel here and start to set up towns and communities. After all, it is the fifth largest continent. In theory, it does sound nice but a rise in sea levels is only one of many problems that the melting of the world’s ice would bring.
As a matter of fact, the rise in sea level wanna even be their biggest problem. Currently, the ice helps keep the earth at an average of livable temperature of about 61 degrees Fahrenheit or 16 degrees Celsius. It does this by reflecting a lot of the light from the Sun back into space. If all the ice were to melt then it would be open ocean all around the globe allowing for a drastic increase in temperature. Some estimates say that the average temperature on earth could get as high as 80 degrees Fahrenheit for about 27 degrees Celsius and this is where things turn deadly.
For comparison, if the Earth’s average temperatures were to rise by as little as 5 degrees Fahrenheit globally then life would forever change as we know it.
Super droughts, mass extinction, powerful hurricanes, increased wildfires, famine and more are all possible side effects. So it almost goes without saying that human life would severely struggle if there were a 20-degree rise in temperature. Out of the last five mass extinctions on earth, four of them were caused by climate change produced from greenhouse gas.
The only mass extinction that wasn’t caused by climate change was the asteroid that killed the dinosaurs. One of the most notorious cases happened 252 million years ago. Carbon released into the atmosphere caused the average temperature to rise by a simple 5 degrees. This rise in temperature triggered the release of methane gas in the Arctic, resulting in the death of 97 percent of life on Earth. It should be clear by now that something needs to be done. Assuming these scientists know what they’re talking about and I believe that they do then change it need to be made to protect our planet.
Even though these and major changes in temperature will take hundreds of years to occur, life-threatening increases could happen in just the next 100 years due to the yearly increases we are already experiencing. This is a big motivating factor for people like Elon Musk to colonize Mars. Their goal is to try and save the human race from extinction. And with the path we are currently headed down, hopefully, it happens sooner rather than later.