GREGG NEWBURY, San Clemente
Cities all along the coastline and countries all over the world are making plans to deal with rising tides as a result of climate change. I am wondering where the water will come from. Water covers 70% of the Earth’s surface; it will take an awful lot of water to raise the level of the ocean waters.
Any talk of large storage of water would naturally consider the poles of Earth. And they couldn’t be more polar opposites. North Pole is water surrounded by land, and the South Pole is land surrounded by water.
The Arctic Circle in the north contains the Arctic Ocean surrounded by Alaska, Russia, Finland, Norway, Sweden, Greenland, and Canada. This is home for polar bears. Any snow and ice are pretty much a result of ocean water freezing from the cold temperatures. As such, there is not much storage of water there.
The Antarctic Circle contains the continent of Antarctica surrounded by the Southern Ocean (which, in turn, is surrounded by the Pacific, Atlantic and Indian Oceans). This is where the penguins live.
Wikipedia says the snow and ice average a mile thick. With 85% of the Earth’s H2O supply above sea level on this continent, there is theoretically enough water to raise the sea levels to dangerous heights.
However, with an average temperature of 35 degrees below zero—and ice melts at 32 degrees above zero—the temperatures would have to increase considerably to melt enough ice to increase water levels to cover Miami. And nobody is predicting any more than a modest few degrees of global warming.
Do you know where the water will come from?