33

The area is experiencing post-glacial isostatic rebound. Much of Canada was covered in an extensive ice sheet in the last glacial period (the 'Ice Age'), from about 110 ka until 12 ka. The ice in the Hudson Bay area was among the last to melt: A thick ice sheet depresses the crust (the lithosphere), making a small dent in the uppermost mantle (the ...


31

Using the latest numbers from the 2013 IPCC report (Ch. 4, the Cryosphere), Antarctica contains 58.3 m of sea level equivalent (sle) and Greenland 7.36 m sle. Remaining glaciers provide an additional 0.41 m sle. In total and adding very minor contributions from permafrost etc. the total comes out to approximately 66.1 m sle. EDIT: Just to be complete: If ...


16

The question is requesting an answer that has no practical application. So rather than improving on some hypothetical calculation, I will describe the problem and hopefully make the difficulty providing a real answer to a time frame clear. First: "polar ice" Antarctica is located in a polar position and consists of a multi-km thick ice sheet. The Arctic is ...


15

As Peter Jansson explains, sea level rise purely due to melting of land-based global ice works out "to approximately 66.1 m sle." An issue with respect to sea-level rise that isn't often mentioned (especially not in disaster movies!) is that thermal expansion of the sea - i.e. water expanding as global temperatures rise - will also have a huge effect: see ...


14

Because of post glacial rebound. The asthenosphere was pressed down under Laurentide ice sheet during last ice age and is now finding a new balance, without the weight of the ice. Note that around the ice sheet, the land is actually sinking today, like when ones partner gets up from a waterbed mattress.


13

What you see are ice bergs frozen into a sheet of sea ice. The "chunks" are the ice bergs. Ice shelves are fed by two sources, ice from the interior of the ice sheet and ice formed by compaction of snow accumulating on the shelf itself. This means that a shelf can have very different dynamic regimes. Parts of shelves where ice is mostly formed locally will ...


12

Antarctica is the ice sheet (cap) that will contribute most IF it would melt completely. The 2013 IPCC report (Ch. 4, the Cryosphere) provides an estimate of 58.3 m of sea level equivalent (sle). Greenland would if completely wasted away provide 7.36 m sle. Remaining glaciers provide an additional 0.41 m sle. The likelihood of Antarctica completely wasting ...


11

There is some scope for continuing debate because quantifying the various components of the ice/snow/water balance are fraught with difficulty, and many of the estimates have error bounds which approach the magnitude that is being measured. However, a good best estimate, subject to continuing research, is given in:Is Antarctica losing or gaining ice? This ...


11

IceCube was initiated as the Antarctic Muon And Neutrino Detector Array (AMANDA) project. Since the sensor array involved drilling deep holes vertically into the Antarctic ice sheet by melting ice, no ice cores were retrieved. The bore holes have, however, been used to construct temperature profiles through the Antarctic ice sheet published in a paper in ...


10

There are two ways in which earthquakes could affect the Antarctic ice sheet, either by occurring on the Antarctic continent or by occurring elsewhere and sending tsunami-type waves towards the ice sheet/continent. Seismic activity occurs all the time on Antarctica. Particularly the West-Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) is located over seismically active zones ...


10

(I can't comment on @kaberett answer as a guest) Don't forget the odd effect that as ice melts and the water warms from 0C to 4C, that water will contract slightly, dropping sea level a bit (at least, locally). Once it gets above 4C, it will start expanding again. If the oceans overall cool a bit due to cold meltwater mixing in, they too will contract until ...


10

Don't rest so easy, ravenspoint. The Laurentide ice sheet at its maximum extent was larger than the Antarctic ice sheet is now. The bulk of that ice sheet melted in two pulses of 2000 years each, separated by the ~1000 year long Younger Dryas. During the first pulse, the Laurentide lost 5400 km3 of ice pear year. During the second pulse, it lost ice at an ...


8

As Peter Jansson pointed out, it adds up to 66.1 m of sea level rise. But what does that really mean for us? Here's a nice interactive map tool where you can enter how much the sea level will rise and see what that does to our coast lines. So crank it up to 60m and look around. Obviously, The Netherlands will disappear almost entirely, as will most of ...


8

Yes, polar ice can melt -- significantly, if not completely, with substantial effects on human civilization. And it can stabilize and recover, but the question is at what pace relative to human civilization. There are generally three types of polar ice: Ice sheets: "An ice sheet is a mass of glacial land ice extending more than 50,000 square kilometers (20,...


8

Ice floats with gravity towards lower elevation, the flow continues until the base of the ice sheet becomes floating and the ice forms an ice shelf or icebergs. Due to the subglacial topography, basal melting and mass balance, the flow velocities vary over a large range, faster outflows are glaciers. The pattern is somehow similar to how rivers transport ...


7

A first-order estimate is about 5%. This is a trickier question than it first appears because of ice shelves. Quoting from Kusky (2014): Ice shelves form where ice sheets move over ocean waters and form a thick sheet of ice floating on the water and attached to the land on one, two, or three sides. Their seaward sides are typically marked by a steep ...


6

According to "Permafrost, active-layer dynamics and periglacial environments of continental Antarctica" South African Journal of Science 98. pages 82-90: Only 25% of Antarctica has permafrost, as the material beneath thick ice sheets is not permafrost. The deepest permafrost occurs where there is no ice sheet. The deepest permafrost in the Antarctic is ...


6

There is no direct way to determine past ice thickness. The only solid information that exists are past areal extent. But, even this information is not necessarily clear since later advances may have overridden the past terminal positions and dating may not be exact. A main issue is the synchronicity of all such positions. With a past extent it is possible ...


6

While @kaberett's and @Phil Perry's answers are technically true, keep in mind 2 important issues: the oceans are so vast and so deep that it literally takes decades if not centuries for them to warm up or cool down. This is called Thermal Inertia - see a much more in-depth explanation about it. Basically, you'll only see the effect of current rising ...


6

By looking at the recent literature on the question, I see neither a consensus or a definitive answer on the extent of the snowball earth. Since the Neoproterozoic Snowball Earth event is more recent, there seem to be more evidences available and therefore more relevant research on this event than the 2.1 BY one - and will consider in the following only the ...


6

It's important to identify which ice. Polar bears are arctic, and they hunt in large part on sea ice. Arctic sea ice is decreasing and the most common point used for the disappearing arctic ice is the arctic sea ice minimum, meaning, the yearly low point, usually late September, so by that definition, we'd have an ice free arctic, you know, for a few ...


5

There are two studies published in 2013 that provide the most recent updates on this balance Depoorter, M.A. and 6 others, 2013. Calving fluxes and basal melt rates of Antarctic ice shelves. Nature, 502, 89–92, (03 October 2013), doi:10.1038/nature12567 Rignot, E. and 3 others, 2013. Ice-Shelf Melting Around Antarctica. Science, 341, 6143, 266-270, (...


5

Water molecules do interact with microwaves and in microwave ovens that operate at 900MHZ- 2.5GHz. This Radar instrument operates using Very High Freq Radio Waves at 193MHz [1]. At lower-than-microwave frequencies, the loss factor is much lower, and as a result the wave can penetrate deeper into the ice sheet with minimal absorption. The difference in ...


4

I had been to a conference at the NY American Museum of Natural History and the guest speaker at the science convention estimates about 220-230 feet (66 - 69 meters). If the polar ice caps melted, how much would the oceans rise?


4

Continents move slowly. Glaciations are ephemeral in comparison. That said, there apparently is a huge connection between plate tectonics and whether the Earth is in icehouse or hothouse conditions. There was very little if any ice on the Earth when the Earth was in hothouse (aka greenhouse) conditions. Dinosaurs roamed close to the poles. The Earth's ...


4

An interesting point to consider comes from your assumption of a constant rate of precipitation. Many earth system processes have non-trivial stochastic variations (or high-dimensional chaos). Consider the conservation of mass for ice: change in ice thickness = (precipitation, mass in) - (pick your favorite process, mass out). Both (mass in) and (mass ...


4

Would the enthalpy of fusion for melting ice fields be a causative factor for colder winter weather? No, for a number of reasons. Ice sheets melt in the summer and rebuild in the winter. This is winter. The enthalpy of fusion for water is 333.55 joules per gram. Multiply that by 280 gigatons per year and you get 9.3×1016 joules per year. While that sounds ...


4

When electromagnetic waves travel through a medium, it can interact with the medium in question. But that interaction depends on the electric properties of the medium. Ice, being a dielectric medium, do interact with the incident e.m. wave from the sensor. The penetration depth is directly proportional to the wavelength of the radiation used (there are ...


3

There is no consensus, but educated opinions. I tend to think that they did not freeze over. Some interesting arguments are given by Dorian Abbot in his paper where he first published about the Jormungand model. I tend to think it's sensible to assume that since photosynthetic bacteria survived, there must have been some open water. In fact, I have a recent ...


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