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Sigh. We're still coming out of a mini ice age. | 189 comments | Create New Account
Comments belong to whoever posts them. Please notify us of inappropriate comments.
Sigh. We're still coming out of a mini ice age.
Authored by: Wol on Monday, July 30 2012 @ 01:53 PM EDT
Back what up? That an ice-plate is suddenly going to end up in the sea?

Of course not. But a little bit of using your brain should tell you it is not
only possible, but that the risk is real!

The ice sheets on Antartica are five miles thick in places. In many places they
are held back by ice floating on shallow ocean shelves. If the sea rises enough
for those floating ice shelves to start really slipping then we are going to get
a massive glacier calving event.

Do you really want a glacier spilling 5-mile-high icebergs into the Antartic
ocean? And every calving will raise sea-level and accelerate the next calving?

Yes, I know this is only a theory and a fear, and maybe a bit outlandish, but
catastrophic things like this have happened in the past. Why shouldn't they
happen again? Go back 9000 years and look at Doggerland, or the Mediterranean
and the Black Sea. How long did it take to form the North Sea or the Black Sea?
And maybe double the size of the Mediterranean? A few MONTHS?

If the Antartic ice starts slipping, then changes we expect to take years to
happen as it melts could actually happen in days as it slides.

Cheers,
Wol

[ Reply to This | Parent | # ]

Sigh. We're still coming out of a mini ice age.
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, July 30 2012 @ 02:30 PM EDT
Nope.

The reason why is the theory isn't based on the actual geography of either
Greenland nor Antarctica. Basically the great ice sheets are hemmed in by
mountains around most of their edges. There are only limited outflow channels
for fast motion of ice out of the central areas. In both cases it would take
many decades to drain the ice even if the outflow channels speed up 100X.

[ Reply to This | Parent | # ]

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