The Flooded Earth: Our Future in a World Without Ice Caps
"By 2050: the sea will rise by 2 to 3 feet. Wealthy coastal cities will fight the rising water with dykes and levees; others will lose their underground infrastructure (including electric and fiber optic systems), and face building collapses." "By 2300: the sea will rise by 65 feet. As Antarctica melts, massive floating icebergs will interfere with shipping in the southern hemisphere. The world's geography will change drastically, featuring new rivers and lakes where they never before existed." "By 2500-5000: the sea will achieve its maximum height. Most formerly coastal cities will no longer exist at all. Massive migrations will take place, all deltas and low-lying agricultural areas will have been wiped from the map, and the newly de-iced Greenland and Antarctica will be important farmlands. Humans will have to cope with the spread of tropical diseases like Malaria and Dengue Fever, and the possibility of runaway mass extinctions." "Sea Level Rise Will be an Unavoidable Part of our Future, no matter what we do. Even if we stopped all carbon dioxide emissions today, the seas will rise three feet by 2050 and nine feet by 2100. This---not drought, species extinction, or excessive heat waves---will be the most dramatic effect of global warming. The effects of three feet of sea-level rise will be massive. Nine feet will be catastrophic. Incursions of salt into the water table will destroy most of our best agricultural land---for instance, the Central Valley of California---and corrosion will devour the electrical and fiber-optic systems of coastal cities, as well as our roads and bridges. Amsterdam, Miami, Venice, and other cities, might have to be abandoned. The melting of the ice caps will not be a slow trickle of water into the sea; it will release armadas of icebergs that will make shipping in the Southern Ocean hazardous or impossible. As icebound regions melt, new sources of oil, gas, minerals, and arable land will also be revealed---as will fierce geopolitical battles over who owns the rights to them." "In The Flooded Earth, species extinction expert Peter D. Ward describes in intricate detail what our world will look like in 2050, 2100, 2300, and beyond. In this blueprint for a foreseeable future, Ward also explains what politicians and policy makers around the world should be doing now to head off the worst consequences of an inevitable transformation, including the complete melting of the ice sheets, stagnant oceans, and greenhouse extinction. --Jacket.
Environmental Sciences | History
Ward, Peter D., "The Flooded Earth: Our Future in a World Without Ice Caps" (2010). Big History. 77.