If we continue to emit as much greenhouse gases as we do today, global warming will eventually make all the ice on Earth melt. Nowadays, this ice is mostly found at the South and North poles and in the high mountains. As a result, once melted, they will end up in the oceans, increasing the water level by more than 65 meters. In this article, we will explore what the new coast borders would look like if there were no more ice today.
The maps below show the Earth as it is known today with only one difference: the absence of ice, raising the sea level, and redefining the coastlines we know today.
There are more than 8 million cubic km of ice on Earth, and some scientists believe it would take over 5,000 years before all of it turns to liquid. If we continue to emit and add carbon into the atmosphere, it is very likely that the blue planet will become bluer and that its average temperature will double from 13°C to 26°C. Let us see which regions will be the most affected.
Montreal would be long gone, plunged into the seabed of the St. Lawrence River. The entire Atlantic coast would disappear, as would Florida and the Gulf Coast. On the California side, the hills of San Fransisco would be a cluster of islands and the Central Valley a great bay. The Gulf of California would extend from the North to San Diego, not that there would be any San Diego left.
The Amazon basin in the north and the river basin in Paraguay in the south would become Atlantic inlets, erasing Buenos Aires, Uruguay and most of Paraguay. Mountainous stretches would remain above the water along the Caribbean Coast and in Central America.
Unlike other continents, Africa would not lose as much of its land to rising water but the rising heat would make it uninhabitable. In Egypt, Alexandria and Cairo would be submerged by the intruding Mediterranean.
London, Venice, Holland in entirety and a part of Denmark would be old memories. The Mediterranean Sea would have engulfed the Caspian Sea and the Black Sea.
The lands now inhabited by 600 million Chinese would flood, as well as the whole of Bangladesh and the majority of the Indian coasts. Knowing that the Mekong Delta would be submerged in water, Cambodia’s Cardamom Mountains would be nothing else than a large island.
Mostly composed of deserts, the continent would benefit from a new inland sea. However, Australia would lose most of its coasts, where 8 out of 10 Australians now live.
East Antarctica: East Antarctica’s ice cap is so thick that it contains 80% of the ice on Earth. It seems almost unmeltable as it survived several previous warm periods. Climate change causes atmospheric warming, which results in snowfalls in Eastern Antarctica, thickening its ice. However, it is highly unlikely that it survives a return to an Eocene-type Climate.
West Antarctica: Similar to Greenland’s, West Antarctica’s one was described as much smaller during previous warm periods. It is vulnerable because it rests on bedrock below sea level. The heating ocean causes the melting of the icesheet from its base upwards, causing it to collapse. Since 1992, it has been estimated that 65 million metric tons were melted each and every year.