What Happens When Polar Ice Caps Melt?



Fears surrounding climate change are growing, and for good reason. Small changes in the concentration of greenhouse gases can trigger an avalanche of events that will change life on Earth as we know it. One big concern relating to climate change is melting polar ice caps, which isn’t an eventuality we’re preparing for. It’s a reality that’s currently happening. Here’s what can happen when polar ice caps melt.



1. Sea levels would rise.
The first clear consequence of melting polar ice caps would be rising sea levels. All of that now liquid water could make its way into the world’s oceans, and if all the ice melted we would see a rise of about 230 feet. This would wipe out coastal cities and leave many parts of the world underwater.

2. Animals will be affected.
No ice means no place for many animals to live, rest, and hunt. Polar bears are an iconic symbol of this struggle, as they’re shown struggling to find ice to rest on or are surrounded by water with no land in sight. Many other animals call the areas around the ice caps home, and as these shrink there would be less and less habitat, leading to fewer animals. There’s even ice algae that forms the base of the arctic food web that would be severely affected by melting ice.



3. Less ice means less sunlight reflected back into space, and a vicious cycle begins.
Another consequence of melted ice caps is the lack of reflective surface. Polar ice caps are responsible for reflecting a large portion of incoming sunlight back out to space, keeping ocean temperatures regulated. As the ice melts, the surrounding waters warm up, leading to more melt and so on. As this water enters the world’s oceans, it can disrupt currents and lead to changes in the climate, as the oceans are the main system that regulates global temperatures.
 
Oct 8, 2020
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First let me say that human activity is definitely changing our atmosphere and environment. I am not a climate change denier.

That being said we need to look at some elemental experiments and adjust our "science" to fit the real model presented by planet Earth.

1. Bucket of water + plus centrifugal force = magic that defies gravity. Pour water into a bucket that has a handle on it, until the bucket is about 1/4 to 1/3 full. Then slowly swing the bucket forwards and then backwards, like a swing set, by your side. Then gradually increase the length of the arc of the swing, until you have enough momentum to swing the bucket all the way around in a circle, so that it is upside down at the top of its orbit. With practice, you can manage to turn the bucket upside down, without any water spilling out, so that at the top of the arc, when the bucket is upside down, it would appear that the water is defying gravity. We used to call that centrifical force, but now science has decided that there is only centrifugal force.

2. Either our instruments have become more accurate in measuring the circumference of the Earth at the Equator, or the Earths rotation has sped up. In any case, the Earth is spinning at approximately 1,037.5 miles per hour at the Equator: (Earths equatorial circumference 24,900 miles, divided by 24 hours in a day, the time it takes to make one full rotation, equals a speed of 1,037.5... approximately). Now unless there is some new superhuman who can spin a bucket in a circle at that speed, we have to assume that the centrifugal force on all water at the Equator is astronomically higher than the force on the water in the bucket. Also note that at the Earths North and South Poles there is only the mild force of the Earths wobble, and the celestial forces of gravity from the Sun, the Moon, and a teensy bit at times from other planets. My point is this, when we also add the natural property of water tension, surface tension, the way water forms a drop or larger bubble on a flat surface, instead of spreading out to infinity, and the fact that the oceans are salt water, thus increasing this tension, we need to do a lot more work on these estimates of how much sea levels will rise at any geographic point on Earth. A. The center of every large body of water is going to bubble up and out and pool deeper at the center to an extent determined by the centrifugal force the Earths spin is exerting in those locations. B. More water surface area, specifically at the poles, but to a small extent everywhere, means more sunlight hitting water directly, and more evaporation. More evaporation means more clouds, far more clouds. Clouds do shield us from most of the existential threats of a much warmer Earth.

So my points are these: The estimates of sea level rise seem to me to be treating the Earth like a glass of water, and there are many different forces acting upon the Earths major bodies of water than the simple gravity acting upon a glass of water, and the well defined finite available volume. Second, while we may see more rainfall, bigger storms, hotter temperatures, if we get the expected cloud increase, we may actually, over many thousands of years, become a tropical damp rainy climate all over the earth, and then the entire process will reverse, as the clouds allow the poles to start freezing again, which cools the oceans, and sends everything back towards an ice age. We know that these are the patterns the past suggests. By the way, that lack of centrifugal force at the poles, and more angled access to sunlight - filtered by much more atmosphere, is why water there can become still enough to freeze before anywhere else, and even though it isn't freezing elsewhere on the planet. Add to all of this the fact that on our East coast, land is moving towards the ocean and that causes the waves that hit the shore to be more frequent and shorter in side to side length. Whereas on the West coast, the waves hit the shore much less frequently, and have very long side to side lengths and are generally less turbulent prior to the final crashing. So this too suggests that the spin of the earth is one of the major factors in how water behaves.

So we very well may survive all of this global climate change after all, but it is likely that there will be some very unpleasant changes over the centuries. My primary concern is whether the Earth is capable of getting enough clouds soon enough, especially to protect ocean life and its food chain.

Mic drop! ;-)
 
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Gringoz

BANNED
Oct 3, 2020
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If all the ice covering Antarctica , Greenland, and in mountain glaciers around the world were to melt, sea level would rise about 70 meters (230 feet). The ocean would cover all the coastal cities. And land area would shrink significantly. But many cities, such as Denver, would survive.
Cool, better evacuate coastal cities now? 90 percent of the population lives there by the way
 
Oct 7, 2020
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the runoff significantly increases the amount of water in the ocean, contributing to global sea-level rise. and it is not only animal lives that will be affected, human life would also be affected. We could say, an apocalypse can happened :') I'm scared.........
 

Finch

BANNED
Nov 22, 2020
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If all the ice covering Antarctica , Greenland, and in mountain glaciers around the world were to melt, sea level would rise about 70 meters (230 feet). The ocean would cover all the coastal cities. And land area would shrink significantly. But many cities, such as Denver, would survive.
LOL Denver is 5280 feet high. So check your figures again. Also when the glacial maximum retreated sea levels rose from 130 meters to 400 meters, so glaciers melting is normal

But you will never know
 

Finch

BANNED
Nov 22, 2020
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the runoff significantly increases the amount of water in the ocean, contributing to global sea-level rise. and it is not only animal lives that will be affected, human life would also be affected. We could say, an apocalypse can happened :') I'm scared.........
Nope, sea level rises and an entire new continent becomes habitable
 

bearnard1616

BANNED
Nov 18, 2020
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The sea level will increase drastically and a lot of Cities which are located near the ocean or sea are in danger of being flooded. That is why people send to space special satellites that control sea level and icebergs melting.
 
Mar 4, 2020
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I deny the hysteria. I deny the fear of climate change. Climate change will be slow.

You will get bored, waiting for it. It's a farce.
 
Sep 6, 2020
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I deny the hysteria. I deny the fear of climate change. Climate change will be slow.

You will get bored, waiting for it. It's a farce.
You dent everything... Sound scientific information, vaccines, governments... Really, what is your point on a science forum if you are not going to look at anything from a scientific point of view?

 
Jan 13, 2020
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Fears surrounding climate change are growing, and for good reason. Small changes in the concentration of greenhouse gases can trigger an avalanche of events that will change life on Earth as we know it. One big concern relating to climate change is melting polar ice caps, which isn’t an eventuality we’re preparing for. It’s a reality that’s currently happening. Here’s what can happen when polar ice caps melt.



1. Sea levels would rise.
The first clear consequence of melting polar ice caps would be rising sea levels. All of that now liquid water could make its way into the world’s oceans, and if all the ice melted we would see a rise of about 230 feet. This would wipe out coastal cities and leave many parts of the world underwater.

2. Animals will be affected.
No ice means no place for many animals to live, rest, and hunt. Polar bears are an iconic symbol of this struggle, as they’re shown struggling to find ice to rest on or are surrounded by water with no land in sight. Many other animals call the areas around the ice caps home, and as these shrink there would be less and less habitat, leading to fewer animals. There’s even ice algae that forms the base of the arctic food web that would be severely affected by melting ice.



3. Less ice means less sunlight reflected back into space, and a vicious cycle begins.
Another consequence of melted ice caps is the lack of reflective surface. Polar ice caps are responsible for reflecting a large portion of incoming sunlight back out to space, keeping ocean temperatures regulated. As the ice melts, the surrounding waters warm up, leading to more melt and so on. As this water enters the world’s oceans, it can disrupt currents and lead to changes in the climate, as the oceans are the main system that regulates global temperatures.
The rainbow in the sky is the promise that the earth will not be destroyed by flood again.
Cool, better evacuate coastal cities now? 90 percent of the population lives there by the way
Push the people together to the ends of the earth...
 
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Jul 29, 2021
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Either 'global warming' or 'the sea level rise' many times is either local or averaged data declared.

'Millions of the population are threatened by sea level rise. But not mentioned that those are from areas with drastically grown near-sea population and small islands ones.

'Average temperature rise' - would be taken from particular changes in reported zones, as it is difficult to get reliable data all over the World in a short periods and make correlations. That is why, for instance, glaciers example is manipulating the headlines.

For the last 15 years, really global temperature rise is reported, compared to about 50 preceding years.

Data with enough precision is presented for the last 150 years, showing human drastic impact.

Not to diminish that impact here..

Data is being manipulated or giving not enough explanation every time. Even mathematically, the trend with current spike may not be predicted correctly.

Some areas are really experiencing colder temperatures or season changing shift.

'Climate change' has enough confirmation. Not all of it is due to human impact (for instance, ecologic fuel usage percentage is continuously growing).

The focus of many national and private missions is on the Earth surveillance.
With growing technology it is possible to diminish local impact and give the regression prediction of global warming curve change. At the same time include natural impact with cooling effects to the calculation.

Nature takes it time with processes, humanity needs to speed up with preventive processes as well (proactive, not reactive).

Stay aware and put all sources of information into trial.
 
Sep 6, 2020
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Data is being manipulated or giving not enough explanation every time. Even mathematically, the trend with current spike may not be predicted correctly.

Some areas are really experiencing colder temperatures or season changing shift.
It would be impossible to give enough of an explanation to 'educate' the population.

I used a less scientific forum and the commenters genuinely could not grasp the globe was warming as they were replying to a news article about disruptive snow in January.

I guess when talking to the population the phrase global warming has been replaced with climate change as the latter was far too confusing; on that basis any explanation would be lost.

I do not believe data manipulation is being used in a way to influence, but to warn... You only have to look at how the anti-vaccine people use correct data to enforce an argument for their side... i.e. correct statement from healthcare would be 20 patients in ICU, 14 were double vaccinated; the spin is the vaccine puts people at risk as 70% of ICU were vaccinated; the reality being with 85% of a population vaccinated it is most likely that a large number of admissions would be vaccinated people. - Just a quick example.


Stay aware and put all sources of information into trial.
I would say that was the position in 2012/ 3 which was not acted upon. At what point do you trial information before you risk coming up with 'We can categorically state that the science is 100% that an extinction event is happening' - Stated after multiple crop failures and worldwide famines ensue,
 
Jul 29, 2021
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It would be impossible to give enough of an explanation to 'educate' the population.

I used a less scientific forum and the commenters genuinely could not grasp the globe was warming as they were replying to a news article about disruptive snow in January.

I guess when talking to the population the phrase global warming has been replaced with climate change as the latter was far too confusing; on that basis any explanation would be lost.

I do not believe data manipulation is being used in a way to influence, but to warn... You only have to look at how the anti-vaccine people use correct data to enforce an argument for their side... i.e. correct statement from healthcare would be 20 patients in ICU, 14 were double vaccinated; the spin is the vaccine puts people at risk as 70% of ICU were vaccinated; the reality being with 85% of a population vaccinated it is most likely that a large number of admissions would be vaccinated people. - Just a quick example.




I would say that was the position in 2012/ 3 which was not acted upon. At what point do you trial information before you risk coming up with 'We can categorically state that the science is 100% that an extinction event is happening' - Stated after multiple crop failures and worldwide famines ensue,
I am not to argue, especially, for the vaccination, where each person is instructed and involved. The medicine achievements are incredible and vital, when in coordinated sacrificing action.
Yes, there is global warming, Together with warnings preventive deeds should be instructed:
1. ..
2. ..
...
10. ..
For daily life.

My point is to be more constructive rather that put threats alone.

We have satellites, observatories daily monitoring and gathering data, we have ocean and atmosphere scientists, paleontologists, chemists.
Together with 'die till 2050' some action and involvement should be presented.
 
Sep 6, 2020
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My point is to be more constructive rather that put threats alone.
The general population :

Want a comfortable life with as many luxuries as possible.
Do not wish to give up something they like or enjoy.
Are against tax rises.
Are tired of hearing Governments waste money and will become more efficient.
Immediately lessen any risk when bad i.e. a 1 in a million chance of death from smoking won't happen, but the same odds of a lottery win are enough to believe it will happen.
Do not believe they can make a difference as an individual and cite a country that is more wasteful to justify their position of being wasteful.

The situation:

In the UK we have the Green Party whom would implement many if not all actions required BUT they do not win enough support to make a real difference.
If a 'main' party impalement the requirements, they will lose votes to the point they cant make the changes.

Overall:

The population want a solution to a problem with a financial cost to them; that does not reduce the quality of their life whilst seeing other countries doing it first and proof it happened.
 
Jul 29, 2021
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Local initiatives have their activities.
Thames Barrier
The Netherlands have several local, city level solutions
UN small islands actions and monitoring
OECD Countries approaches to tackling coastal risks

Even personal 'to do list' could be found in web search. At lest following several from the list wouldn't be so much inconvenient.

The communities are here for discussion, information sharing. This is already a good thing)
 
Oct 26, 2021
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First let me say that human activity is definitely changing our atmosphere and environment. I am not a climate change denier.

That being said we need to look at some elemental experiments and adjust our "science" to fit the real model presented by planet Earth.

1. Bucket of water + plus centrifugal force = magic that defies gravity. Pour water into a bucket that has a handle on it, until the bucket is about 1/4 to 1/3 full. Then slowly swing the bucket forwards and then backwards, like a swing set, by your side. Then gradually increase the length of the arc of the swing, until you have enough momentum to swing the bucket all the way around in a circle, so that it is upside down at the top of its orbit. With practice, you can manage to turn the bucket upside down, without any water spilling out, so that at the top of the arc, when the bucket is upside down, it would appear that the water is defying gravity. We used to call that centrifical force, but now science has decided that there is only centrifugal force.

2. Either our instruments have become more accurate in measuring the circumference of the Earth at the Equator, or the Earths rotation has sped up. In any case, the Earth is spinning at approximately 1,037.5 miles per hour at the Equator: (Earths equatorial circumference 24,900 miles, divided by 24 hours in a day, the time it takes to make one full rotation, equals a speed of 1,037.5... approximately). Now unless there is some new superhuman who can spin a bucket in a circle at that speed, we have to assume that the centrifugal force on all water at the Equator is astronomically higher than the force on the water in the bucket. Also note that at the Earths North and South Poles there is only the mild force of the Earths wobble, and the celestial forces of gravity from the Sun, the Moon, and a teensy bit at times from other planets. My point is this, when we also add the natural property of water tension, surface tension, the way water forms a drop or larger bubble on a flat surface, instead of spreading out to infinity, and the fact that the oceans are salt water, thus increasing this tension, we need to do a lot more work on these estimates of how much sea levels will rise at any geographic point on Earth. A. The center of every large body of water is going to bubble up and out and pool deeper at the center to an extent determined by the centrifugal force the Earths spin is exerting in those locations. B. More water surface area, specifically at the poles, but to a small extent everywhere, means more sunlight hitting water directly, and more evaporation. More evaporation means more clouds, far more clouds. Clouds do shield us from most of the existential threats of a much warmer Earth.

So my points are these: The estimates of sea level rise seem to me to be treating the Earth like a glass of water, and there are many different forces acting upon the Earths major bodies of water than the simple gravity acting upon a glass of water, and the well defined finite available volume. Second, while we may see more rainfall, bigger storms, hotter temperatures, if we get the expected cloud increase, we may actually, over many thousands of years, become a tropical damp rainy climate all over the earth, and then the entire process will reverse, as the clouds allow the poles to start freezing again, which cools the oceans, and sends everything back towards an ice age. We know that these are the patterns the past suggests. By the way, that lack of centrifugal force at the poles, and more angled access to sunlight - filtered by much more atmosphere, is why water there can become still enough to freeze before anywhere else, and even though it isn't freezing elsewhere on the planet. Add to all of this the fact that on our East coast, land is moving towards the ocean and that causes the waves that hit the shore to be more frequent and shorter in side to side length. Whereas on the West coast, the waves hit the shore much less frequently, and have very long side to side lengths and are generally less turbulent prior to the final crashing. So this too suggests that the spin of the earth is one of the major factors in how water behaves.

So we very well may survive all of this global climate change after all, but it is likely that there will be some very unpleasant changes over the centuries. My primary concern is whether the Earth is capable of getting enough clouds soon enough, especially to protect ocean life and its food chain.

Mic drop! ;-)
East coast land is moving toward the ocean?
 

ASK THE COMMUNITY