Global warming and climate change are real. Most people do believe that by now, though many (most) on the right doubt a human cause. Regardless, our climate is changing. What will that change look like long-term?
National Geographic has created an amazing interactive map that shows the anticipated change of each continent in the event of the melting of all of the world’s ice. With more than five million cubic miles of ice on Earth, ice makes up the second largest source of fresh water on the planet, with groundwater being first. After the oceans, ice is the biggest water reservoir on Earth. The Antarctic ice sheet alone holds 90 percent of the fresh water on Earth’s surface. Simply put, ice is a really big deal.
Nervous yet? Are your conservative friends nervous yet? Maybe not. After all, it would take more than 5,000 years for all of the ice to melt, according to National Geographic. However, the mean temperature only has to be 80 degrees Fahrenheit for this to occur– it’s currently 50 degrees Fahrenheit. All we have to do is keep right on burning coal, oil, and gas, and keep right on adding carbon to the atmosphere.
Just in case you want to prepare your great-great-great-great-great…or however many “greats” it would be, grandchildren for the possible eventuality, these maps — interactive on the National Geographic website — will at least help you plan where NOT to build your compound. Hint: ocean front property is not a good long-term investment.
In the map screenshot of North America below, the light blue areas along the shorelines, outlined in white, are the existing shorelines and what will be gone if all of the ice melts. To see how the rest of the world will fare, visit the National Geographic website.
SOURCES: PHILIPPE HUYBRECHTS, VRIJE UNIVERSITEIT BRUSSEL; RICHARD S. WILLIAMS, JR., WOODS HOLE RESEARCH CENTER; JAMES C. ZACHOS, UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, SANTA CRUZ; USGS; NOAA, ETOPO1 BEDROCK, 1 ARC-MINUTE GLOBAL RELIEF MODEL COPYRIGHT © SEPTEMBER 2013 NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC SOCIETY