Sure, there may be certainly local weather change. There is no query that we (the people) have been placing a complete bunch of carbon dioxide into the ambiance and this carbon dioxide is altering the local weather. And issues are trying fairly dangerous. Possibly significantly dangerous. So what would occur if the worldwide temperature elevated sufficient to soften the ice cap in Antarctica? How a lot water is there and the way a lot would the ocean stage rise? What in regards to the Arctic polar cap? Why do not we hear in regards to the issues attributable to the ice that melts on the North Pole? (As a result of extra ice melts every summer time.)
Antarctic Ice Cap
Let me begin with the ice on the South Pole. Usually, I might do a standard “again of the envelope” estimation and simply get approximate values for stuff. Nevertheless, on this case, I actually do not have a sense for the scale of the Antarctic ice cap. I am unsure in regards to the space or the depth of ice. Truthfully, it is not my fault. It is as a result of I grew up with this Mercator projection map. This type of map makes Antarctica impossibly enormous.
To get a tough estimation of the scale of Antarctica, we consider it as a circle with a diameter equal to the width of USA. See—now we have made a connection between one thing you do not actually have a sense for to one thing you may be accustomed to. So, how far is it throughout the USA? As an example it has a width of width of round 3,000 miles (4,800 km). So, if we approximate this because the diameter of a round Antarctica, the floor space can be:
Forgive me, however I will cheat a little bit bit. Since I actually do not know if this worth is legit or loopy, I will take a peak on the Wikipedia Antarctica web page. Oh nice—I am moderately shut. I really feel higher now. However wait! There’s one different robust factor to estimate—the typical depth of the ice sheet on the South Pole. Effectively heck. I already seemed on the web page and I see that the typical ice thickness is 1.9 km. It is all for the very best. There is no means I might have guessed it is that thick. That is a loopy quantity of ice.
So now, we are able to visualize this ice sheet as a large cylinder—possibly extra like a hockey puck formed cylinder. I can calculate the quantity as the world of the bottom (a circle) multiplied by the peak. I will maintain the measurements in models of meters simply to make issues simpler going ahead.