Climate change is often a topic of some very serious debate around the world. Many people refuse to believe it, however, there is no denying the fact that we haven’t done our planet any favors ever since the dawn of the industrial revolution. We continue to harm our environment and are doing very little to save it, something that should be done because it will only benefit us in the long run. Regardless, one of the more noticeable effects of global warming is the melting of the ice caps which has led to a gradual rise in sea level, slowly submerging cities like Venice.
Still, an interesting concept to think about is that what would happen if all the glaciers on Earth melted? Now, keep in mind that there is almost five million cubic miles of ice currently present on Earth. If all of it were to melt suddenly, it would certainly end in disaster for a lot of people. It will raise the current sea level by 216 feet which will submerge almost all the coastal cities and redefine the shorelines for our continents. This wouldn’t be all though, which is why we have put together this list of 15 shocking things that would happen if all the glaciers on Earth decided to melt.
15. Frozen Dead Bodies Will Start Showing Up
Freezing temperatures present along the glaciers provide the perfect conditions for the preservation of human bodies. A good example of this is Mount Everest where the bodies of climbers who died during the climb still remain perfectly preserved even to this day.
Not only this, throughout history where people have died in climates such as this, their bodies will start showing up as the ice melts. Apart from the creepy factor, this poses another huge risk as many of these might still carry deadly diseases like the plague or anthrax which will prove to be fatal if people end up coming into contact with them.
14. Inuit People Will Have To Relocate
The Inuit, who were also famously known as the Eskimos at one point are the people who inhabit areas of the Canadian Arctic. Over the years, all their traditions and way of living has formed around the ice of the Arctic.
If all of it was to melt, the Inuit would not only have to relocate to other, much warmer parts of the world but also give up most of their traditions that are almost a millennia-old. The cultural identity of these people largely depends on the vast Arctic landscape. With the looming threat of global warming in modern time, things already don’t look too great for the Inuit, something that they perfectly sum up when they say, “Without the ice, we are nothing!”
13. Knowledge Of Ancient Civilizations Will Be Uncovered
Scientists are already discovering evidence of ancient humans such as the Neanderthals who inhabited these icy regions thousands of years ago. Not only this, the things that were a part of their life at some point are also coming to light.
All of this will become even easier, in fact, we might even get to find out about civilizations that we didn’t even know existed. After all, who knows how many other secrets still remain buried under all of that ice. The risk of disease and contamination remains here as well since we won’t know the sort of viruses and bacteria these civilizations carried, easily endangering the lives of anyone who comes in contact.
12. London And Venice Will Drown Alongwith Most Of Europe
While Venice is the city famous for water, it is also what threatens this beautiful city which is slowly being consumed by the Adriatic Sea. This, however, will end up happening much quicker if all of the glaciers decide to suddenly melt.
Venice will be completely submerged but this won’t be the only casualty inside Europe at the hands of the rising sea levels, in fact, London will be gone too and the entirety of Netherlands will also disappear from the map. On the other hand, countries like Denmark will also end up losing most of their land and this will result in millions of people who will be left without any homes.
11. Earthquakes Will Wreak Havoc Across The Globe
It seems that the rising ocean level won’t be the only disaster that we’re going to face in the unfortunate event of the ice caps melting. It would also mean that there will be some pretty nasty earthquakes around the world.
To understand this concept, the editor of Popular Science Australia, Anthony Fordham likes to use the analogy of a ping pong ball with a dent on it. This dent represents the pressure that is a result of the massive ice sheet that currently covers Antarctica. Once it’s gone, the crust of our planet will proceed to vent all of that pressure, causing some pretty big earthquakes all over the world. Not only this, many of the active volcanoes in the area will erupt as well, causing a number of disasters all over the globe.
10. Chaos And Civil Unrest Will Ensue
This one is a given in almost any situation involving a natural disaster. We have to consider the fact that the sinking of all the coastal cities will cause a huge refugee problem around the world.
This basically means that many crucial components of society will simply cease to function. Consider New York City and London, both are famous for being the financial hubs of the western world and unfortunately, both of these will be completely submerged. This will cause huge problems and will end up in chaos and civil unrest everywhere. According to Dr. Hal Wanless from the University of Miami, it will be quite interesting to see how civilization will function after this chain of disasters.
9. Hidden Viruses Will Be Revealed
Certain viruses and bacteria are known to capable of surviving some extreme situations, from temperatures below zero to radiation in space. Many of these are trapped inside the massive ice sheets of the Antarctic.
The only issue here is that we’re currently unaware of the effect some of these can have on humans. It is a well-documented fact that our run in with some of these pathogens hasn’t been very nice in the past, where entire populations were wiped out by a certain disease. Scientists have already discovered a prehistoric virus known as the “Pithovirus” which is quite similar to some of the more dangerous viruses that exist today. An outbreak of deadly diseases when all the ice melts should definitely be expected.
8. Animals In The Arctic Will Die
While something like this will certainly spell doom for us in a lot of ways, it should also be kept in mind that an entire eco-system is thriving because of the ice. Animals like the polar bear, penguins, and walruses require the Arctic ice to survive.
Unfortunately, these creatures will be the first casualty from this disaster. The polar bears that are currently the top predators in the area will die off leaving the killer whales to be the new symbol of the Arctic. Walrus population will also be in trouble since a mother walrus relies on having pups on the ice. Many animals will simply go extinct while others will have their populations significantly reduced to the point where they will be endangered.
7. Temperatures Of The Earth Will Slowly Rise
This shouldn’t really come as a surprise but you should probably expect the planet to get much hotter once all the glaciers melt. This is a result of something known as the albedo effect.
If you’ve ever experienced the sun after snow, you’ve noticed that it reflects a lot more sunlight than any other surface. Our polar ice caps do exactly that but on a much larger scale given their size. A lot of the sunlight is reflected by these which contributes to keeping the Earth a bit cooler, however, once the ice is replaced by water, the sunlight will not be reflected with the same intensity. In fact, water is much more terrible at this job since it can absorb all the radiation.
6. Florida Will Completely Disappear
Yes, you better forget about the sunshine state because if all of the glaciers in the world do end up melting, then Florida will forever be submerged under the 216-foot rise in ocean water level as a result.
This will most probably be the most dramatic change that will happen to the map of the United States but that’s not all, however, as the entire Atlantic seaboard will face similar treatment along with the Gulf Coast. If you still cannot understand the extent of this, consider the fact that all coastal cities including New York will be completely submerged forcing people to evacuate and leave their homes behind.
5. Weather Cycles Will Be Completely Messed Up
As everything else on Earth will be going completely crazy, let’s consider the weather for a minute as well. The regular weather cycles on our planet play a very important role for our survival.
The reason behind this is that a lot of the agricultural produce brought in from around the world depends highly on the perfect type of weather. As the temperature in the Arctic rises with the melting of the ice, the flow of jet streams across the planet will be severely affected. This flow is responsible for producing storms and other weather phenomena across the globe. It would basically mean much longer periods of any given type of weather like snowstorms in the winter and intense heat waves in the summer which would result in severe drought.
4. New Shipping Routes Will Be Formed
As the entire planet will be engulfed in chaos on one side, new shipping routes will be defined to connect the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific on the other. This will most probably work out for the benefit of global trade but with everything else happening, we doubt it’ll be very important by that point.
Currently, open-water ships have to either cross the ice sheets during warmer months on pre-defined routes or with some of the bigger ice-strengthened ships. This would obviously put a lot of work on the shoulder of the International Maritime Organization which will need to draft new regulations for routes, vehicle standards and rescue capabilities in the newly formed ecosystem.
3. Companies Will Start Drilling For Oil
Apparently, some people will still stick to making some profit, especially all of the oil and gas companies for whom this disaster will turn out to be quite beneficial.
What a lot of people might not know is that back in 2015, Shell decided to drill in the Arctic for some oil but then later ended up abandoning its operations, losing billions of dollars in the process. One of the major reasons were regulatory restrictions by the government and the absolutely harsh winter weather. It is speculated that the Arctic region is home to almost 90 billion barrels of undiscovered oil. Once the polar ice caps are out the way, drilling will become much easier and petroleum companies like Shell can make some serious profit as a result.
2. The Day Will Become Slightly Longer
While some of the other effects that will happen as a result of all the ice melting might be more noticeable, this one, in particular, will not be noticed by your average person at all.
Steven Dutch, a scientist at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay believes that if our polar ice caps end up melting, they will add an additional 2/3 of a second to our normal day. While adding two-thirds of a second might not be a big deal, it is still pretty crazy. The reason behind this phenomenon would be that all the melted ice is going to redistribute water around the globe which will end up affecting our planet’s moment of inertia, slowing its rotation down by just a tiny bit.
1. Europe Might Become The New North Pole
Often times when we talk about finding the North Pole, the best way is to simply travel north. The only problem here is that the north pole of our planet is starting to slightly drift towards the east. Unfortunately, this is something that scientists have already observed and climate change has been speculated as the reason behind this.
The geographical poles essentially represent the axis of rotation of our planet which can be affected if a large number of glaciers melt suddenly which would redistribute the mass on Earth. As the ice resettles as water in some other part of the world, the planet will continue to shift on its axis towards the place where it lost the initial mass. Calculations by researchers suggest that if something like this did happen, Europe would become the new North Pole.
- Ad Free Browsing
- Over 10,000 Videos!
- All in 1 Access
- Join For Free!