# Thread: Question on melting ice caps

1. ## Question on melting ice caps

From what I understand the theory is that as the earth heats, the ice caps melt and water levels rise.

However, I am curious, since ice is actually less dense than water, would this mean water levels would actually fall?

Or is it a calculation of surface run off VS iceberg displacement?

Just curious, thanks!

2. ## Re: Question on melting ice caps

Yes, it is the melting glaciers that would increase sea levels, not icebergs.

3. ## The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to alamojo For This Post:

noprophet (26th July 2012), RMorgan (26th July 2012)

4. ## Re: Question on melting ice caps

Posted by noprophet (here)
From what I understand the theory is that as the earth heats, the ice caps melt and water levels rise.

However, I am curious, since ice is actually less dense than water, would this mean water levels would actually fall?

Or is it a calculation of surface run off VS iceberg displacement?

Just curious, thanks!
Well, that depends on where is the ice.

If we´re talking about gigantic ice blocks that basically are floating directly on the ocean, then if this ice melts we would experience a decrease in volume.

However, there is extremely thick ice covering landmass and if it ever melt, they would actually pour more water in the oceans.

It´s easy to experiment with this at home. Fill a glass with water and a few ice cubes; mark the water level. When the ice cubes melt, the water level will decrease, because ice occupies more space than water.

Now, if you add more ice cubes to the glass, that weren´t there before, when it eventually melt, the water level will rise, of course.

The main ice covered landmass is Antarctica at the South Pole, with about 90% of the world's ice (and 70 % of its fresh water). Antarctica is covered with ice an average of 2,133 meters thick. If all of the Antarctic ice melted, sea levels around the world would rise about 61 meters. It would be disastrous.

There is a significant amount of ice covering Greenland, which would add another 7 meters to the oceans if it melted. Because Greenland is closer to the equator than Antarctica, the temperatures there are higher, so the ice is more likely to melt.

At the other end of the world, the North Pole, the ice is not nearly as thick as at the South Pole. The ice floats on the Arctic Ocean. If it melted sea levels would not be affected or would in fact decrease.

Cheers,

Raf.

5. ## The Following User Says Thank You to RMorgan For This Post:

noprophet (26th July 2012)

6. ## Re: Question on melting ice caps

All of this melting ice talk just makes me thirsty.

I wouldnt worry about ice caps melting on antarctica. For that to happen it would have to be very hot all over the globe, so must would die from heat related things (like more intense weather or just plain old HEAT) before there would be a dangerous increase in sea level. I would like to see what is up under that ICE though. A lost civiliazation perhaps or even a large entrance to the Inner Earth. In the meantime though, I will enjoy a nice glass of Sweet Iced Tea in this heat.

7. ## The Following User Says Thank You to DeBron For This Post:

noprophet (26th July 2012)

#### Posting Permissions

• You may not post new threads
• You may not post replies
• You may not post attachments
• You may not edit your posts