What Would Happen If The Ice Cap In Antarctica Melted?

The continent of Antarctica, which surrounds the South Pole, has an area of more than 5 million square miles.

Only a few hundred miles of the continent are free from a permanent cover of ice. The ice cap that covers Antarctica is more than 6,000 feet thick in many places. At some points, it’s over 11,000 feet thick, more than two miles!

You can imagine how much water must be frozen in the Antarctic ice to form a mile-thick ice cap over an entire continent.

It’s been estimated that if the ice cap of Antarctica were to melt, it would raise the level of the oceans by 240 feet, and flood about one-quarter of the earth’s land!

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist. Born in New York, her work has appeared in the Examiner, Yahoo News, Buzzfeed, among others.

6 thoughts on “What Would Happen If The Ice Cap In Antarctica Melted?”

  1. If the antartic ice melts and spills into the ocean, Archemedes principle will kick in.

    That ice displaces and equal mass of air. as the ice receeds, the air will rush to fill the void.

    as the air rushes to fill the void, the pressure of the air over the surrounding ocean will fall…thus increasing the rate of evaporation.

    Since G (gravity is constant) and M (mass is constant), the evaporation of the ocean will increase….the rising wator vapor will cool (loose its energy) and end up falling as snow.

    Try this experiment– place a block of ice in a glass tube and connect it to a vaccum pump. As the vaccum removes the air inside, watch in amazement as the ice will melt really fast!! Remove enough air and the ice will be converted to a gas in its entirety

  2. I think antirom is a little confused. Archimedes’ principle says, “any object, wholly or partly immersed in a fluid, is buoyed up by a force equal to the weight of the fluid displaced by the object.” How does that apply to the melting of Antarctica’s ice? It doesn’t. If ice that is sitting on dry land melts and pours into the ocean, the level of the ocean would be raised. Aside: It would also decrease the salinity of the ocean which would cause other problems.

  3. When a mile thick ice cap melts, a great weight is removed. Would not the land rise and perhaps cause earth quakes? Does anybody know?

  4. There would be calamity and wars for all the high spots. The population would be decreased. We would reach a balance and life would be good. Stop crying about it. I already live on top of a mountain. Stay away.

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