Ask ARSE: What Happens When All The Ice Melts?

A dedicated ARSE fan has waved the ARSE signal and we have replied in kind.

People of science, it is time to: Ask ARSE.

"My holiest ARSE, I have been researching on YouTube and can't find anything solid on the effects of the ice melting from climate change. Can you tell me what would happen if the ice all melts?

Cheers" - Tate, 24.

Not sure if the "solid" remark was a pun on melting ice, but if it was, congrats and thank you for the question. 

Jumping straight in, most of the freshwater on ice is located in ice sheets on the polar caps. When we say most, we literally mean in the 90% of all freshwater is in the polar regions as ice. 

On average, sea levels will rise about 66 metres and many cities around the world would succumb to a massive new tide. Think of the water adjacent cities like Sydney, New York, Shanghai, London, especially ones below sea level like New Orleans. 

They would be gone. 

Rising sea levels from melting ice caps would destroy most major cities

The new sea-level 66 metres above where we consider it now would force 3012000000 people out of their homes with less land to house them. 

So what happens?

War, famine, disease, starvation. 

Saltwater moves inland and salinates the drinking water in reserves for much of the general landmass furthering the above effects, to the tune of about 70% of the world's drinking water. 

Gone. 

It also compromises irrigation systems and cooling systems in power plant cooling systems, including nuclear.

Climate change flooding woul destroy power plant cooling systems

The additional freshwater in the ocean changes the function of osmosis so significantly that ocean currents and weather patterns will be wild or stop completely, devastating marine and global habitats.

Warm air from the oceans will cease to travel into Europe from Africa and temperatures would plummet below livable levels. 

Mass extinctions will follow. 

The thawing of ice from glaciers and arctic tundra will also release major chemicals trapped within like permafrost and dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT). DDT is extremely deadly in drinking water and permafrost causes mercury poisoning.

Permafrost melting would release mercury into our water

How much mercury is held in the world's permafrost?

About 15 million gallons.
Which is equal to all the known mercury that currently exists on Earth not stored in permafrost. 

Another little nasty surprise in permafrost is the organic matter frozen that feeds microorganisms as it melts. As we know, bacteria eat and fart carbon dioxide and methane, obviously greenhouse gases. 

This new addition to the greenhouse burden would raise global temperatures by an estimated 3.5 degrees Celsius, evaporating rivers and lakes and turning much of the green world into a barren desert. 

So in summary; rising sea levels destroy major cities displacing nearly half the world's population, people starve and die of exposure from no safe drinking water or poisoning coupled with rising temperatures. Mankind fights one another for dwindling resources and bacteria fart us into extinction. 

 

Thanks for the question mate and helping us spread ARSE far and wide as we thrust deeper into the great unknown...
#Space_Aus