Arctic Ice Melting Much Faster Than Thought: maybe they'll make amphibious SUVs

Les Schaffer schaffer at optonline.net
Sat Nov 30 21:50:56 MST 2002


Jose wrote:

> On amphibious SUV's: Sea ice melting doesn't affect the level of the
> oceans.  The volume of seawater released in liquid form by melting
> is the same as the volume of the water previously displaced by the
> floating ice that has now melted.

this is (strictly) true, but only would be relevant if all melting ice
were free-floating ice, but as you are probably aware there is much
ice which is not free-floating, and that is what creates the potential
for rapidly rising sea levels.

see:

http://pubs.usgs.gov/fs/fs2-00/

http://www.geocities.com/carbonomics/MCcarbon/Carbonomics/13c04/13c04c_f.html

http://www.arctic.noaa.gov/essay_wadhams.html

http://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/stories/arctic/

and a host of other sites via google: "glacier melting rising ocean
levels"

remember too that a significant component of predicted sea-rise is in
thermal expansion of sea-water due to rising temps. also, loss of ice
sheets means earth absorbs more sunlight, etc., so accelerated
warming. thus in a deeper sense, sea ice melting COULD affect level of
oceans via feedback mechanism.



les schaffer


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