We talk all the time about the rising waters, the melting glaciers, but in the end we have a little trouble visualizing what all this could give. Based on a few articles and videos that were projected in the perspective of a TOTAL melting of all the glaciers, we tried to see what would happen concretely.
Be careful, these are very distant projections because it is estimated that it would take no less than 5 millennia to melt the whole mess. So BE ASSURED (no), even if global warming already has a violent impact on our life on earth, there is little chance that we will witness a total melting of the glaciers. Rather understand, it is better to hope that humanity is no longer in the perimeter at this time.
1. With a total melting of continental ice, sea levels would rise by 65m
WOW awesome right? We can dive from the 5th floor to go to work! YAY.
Yes. Actually no. Not at all even. It will simply wipe out much of the earth’s surface. But we will come back to it later in this top (I tease you).
2. It’s going to be hot, very hot
A little basic reminder. At present, the global temperature of the planet is 15°C. It is an average of all the temperatures recorded on earth. When we talk about limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees by 2100 (according to the Paris Agreements) it is therefore in relation to this global temperature. Except that not only did we leave for not respecting these agreements at all, but we are heading for much worse. Some IPCC experts even project a warming of +7°C by 2100, which would simply make a large part of the planet uninhabitable.
But back to our oceanic sheep. In the perspective of a total melting of the ice, the global temperature would therefore rise to 26°C. Or +11°C. Suffice to say that we would literally roast our rinds if we were still in the perimeter.
3. And fun fact: the more the glaciers melt, the more the water rises, the hotter it gets, the more the glaciers melt, the more the water rises, the more… GOOD YOU HAVE GOT IT
In the cute little stories of global warming there is a character that I particularly love: the positive feedback loop. Remember that expression because we are going to talk about it more and more. In summary, this means that global warming leads to global warming, a kind of vicious circle which, after a certain stage, creates runaway effects. And when there is excitement, we no longer answer for anything and the predictions of the IPCC no longer have any value since, basically, everything goes away.
To understand all this you need to know two or three things:
Albedo (a pretty cool word that has nothing to do with smoking ouinj): it refers to the reflective power of a surface. But I don’t know if you noticed but the ice floes and the glaciers are more of the white kind and the white has a super reflective power. So if the white stuff melts, there’s less reflective surface. Since maritime surfaces are dark, they absorb the sun’s rays without reflecting them. So less white surface = more dark surface = even less white surface = even more dark surface. Do you get the del?
Radiative Forcing (nothing to do with the forcers who attempt a bodily rapprochement): intimately linked to the albedo, it designates the difference between the radiative power that we receive and that which we emit. If it’s positive, it heats up, if it’s negative, we peel them off. Normally, the radiative forcing should be balanced and the Earth is supposed to emit as much energy as it receives. So necessarily in a situation of climate change, the radiative forcing is nawak (it is precisely in these terms that the IPCC experts express themselves).
4. Who says heat, says disease
Well yes you guys didn’t think you’d get away with a few third degree burns. The real thing about melting ice is the release of old, forgotten viruses. It is more precisely linked to the thawing of permafrost (permafrost for French speaking fans): you know permafrost is a permanently frozen part of the ground for at least two years (and up to several million years) which makes it very hard and impermeable, it covers 1 /5 of the planet, 90% of Greenland, 80% of Alaska, 50% of Canada and Russia.
Good and well with the melting of the ice, the permafrost will take a hit too. However, this ancestral ice certainly has the advantage of containing the traces of our climatic past (the puncture of an ice core allows us to know more about the composition of the atmosphere of the past), but also contains many greenhouse gases. very badass greenhouse gases (like methane whose greenhouse effect is much more powerful than CO2) without forgetting past viruses which can then rise to the surface without being prepared.
5. A saltwater lake could be looming in the middle of the Australian desert
There is already the “Kati Thanda-Lake Eyre”. From the height of its 9,300 km² in area, it is today the largest salt lake in Australia and Oceania, but… Looks like a simple puddle of water next to the one that could take place and completely change the landscape, fauna and flora within 5000 years. Anyway we told you that Australia was a door to hell. A country that has only self-destructed since its colonization.
6. Farewell to the Netherlands, Marseille, London, Venice, New York, Denmark, Brittany, Senegal, Gambia, Shanghai, Mexico, Florida, Bangladesh… (among others)
This simulator allows you to see how much the coasts will be impacted depending on the level of rising waters. With 60m so goodbye to all these beautiful cities, goodbye to all these beautiful countries. Oh yes and I forgot to say that we should also mourn the whole Atlantic seaboard. Basically, there will be more than Limoges and Charleroi to go on vacation. Well yes, but that’s how it is.
7. An average increase of 12°C on the African continent will make it almost uninhabitable
This continent is one of the first victims of global warming while its inhabitants are the least responsible for it (little crazy joke, don’t you think?). It must therefore be understood that we are talking about an entire continent of climate refugees who are already confronted with unbearable heat, so needless to say that all the exposed people will not wait 5000 years to break fissa.
8. Bernard Arnault’s heir clone will continue to travel by private jet
And frankly, that’s the kind of hope I fucking fight to live for.
We laugh, we laugh (meh) but the melting of glaciers in the last 20 years would be 10 times faster than what we could imagine before the industrial revolution, so cross your fingers, if it happens we will have time to attend to the apocalypse hand in hand.
Futura Science, CNRS, Brut, Bon Pote